I just finished A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness and Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris.
First of all, if you like a nice mix of history and genealogy with your paranormal romance, do check out A Discovery of Witches. At first, I found the going a bit slow, but once the pace picked up (when Diana and Matthew went to France), I could not put it down. I hope that the momentum continues steadily into the next book, and then builds up even more in the final book of the trilogy. That would be absolute plot-pacing perfection.
Meanwhile, Dead Reckoning is the 11th Sookie Stackhouse book. Pretty much all of my friends have given it a "meh" review. Knowing that there are only two books left in the series, I think Dead Reckoning is reminiscent of Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince. Most people were bored by the flashbacks to Voldemort's childhood, adolescence and young adulthood, but to me it seemed like it was a good way to slow things down a bit before the grand finale.
I think Dead Reckoning probably serves a similar purpose: to clean up some loose ends (such as Sandra Pelt and Victor), and to leave room for a grand finale over the last two books. I actually enjoyed the less frenetic pace of the story, the bringing together of many details and the answering of many questions quite suddenly (Mr. Catalides has always been a favorite character of mine). I've read some gripes about the revelation that Eric and Niall knew each other before Eric knew Sookie; apparently Sookie is the one who introduced Eric to her great-grandfather in a previous book.
But, honestly, I just can't remember. I own and have read all 10 of the previous books in the series, and I simply did not keep track. I'll take readers' words for it, though, and suggest that we all cut Charlaine Harris some slack. Thirteen books is simply too many for a series (unless it's manga), and while I'm sure that the number was chosen to be rather "cute", I'm sure that Ms. Harris probably feels pressure to make those last two books something to really remember. So I think she should be forgiven for any perceived flaws in Dead Reckoning.
Meanwhile, I have begun reading 666 Park Avenue. Hmm... It's... cute. That is the best word I can come up with for it. It is most definitely paranormal chick lit, and perhaps a bit too light for my tastes. I also don't think that the author stops to take a breath, let alone allowing her main character to do so! I'm up to chapter 8 and I'm going to keep on reading to see what happens next. The main character has only recently discovered that she is a witch, and she's rather freaked out about it. What I am most interested in, is the first encounter with her soon-to-be mother-in-law...
It was a toss-up between that and Tempest's Legacy, so I decided to save the best for last. The Jane True series may come off as a Sookie Stackhouse-wannabe, but I honestly like Jane True better. Part of the reason I favor it, is because it is set in New England. Jane True lives in a fictional town in Maine, and spent most of the second book in Boston. (GO SOX!) I think Nicole Peeler writes with sass and humor, and I hope that once the Jane True series is concluded, she will continue to write. I'm just itching to start reading Tempest's Legacy. I have wanted Jane to end up with Anyan from the start of the series, and I wonder if things might get nudged in that direction now...
Copyright (c) 2011 Wendy L. Callahan