2014 Completed Reading Challenges

Once Upon a Time VIII Reading Challenge 3/21/14 – 6/21/14 – finished 6/12/14

 RIP IX Reading Challenge 9/1/14 – 10/31/14 – finished 10/29/14

 

 Georgette Heyer Reading Challenge 1/1/14 – 12/20/14

Georgette Heyer Reading Challenge: 1/1/14 – 12/20/14

It being the final week of the year, I think I can safely close out the Georgette Heyer Reading Challenge.

I read:

I was trying to get to level 2 (10 books), but I’m ok falling one short.    That means I have one physical book and one Kindle book left still to look forward to.

It was a good year – I’ve added Venetia to my list of favorite Heyer books (up with Frederica).    I’ve also read enough that I have a much better feel for her older vs. newer work.   But, I can still branch out a bit: the book I have waiting on my Kindle is one of the historical novels she wrote about some of the kings of England.

Pistols for Two – Georgette Heyer

Read for the Georgette Heyer Reading Challenge.

This book of short stories was a perfect travel read.     It was also fun to experience her writing in a shorter form.     They’re probably even a little more mad cap than usual because she needed to pack so much into so few pages.      I’m also amazed how much action she’s able to pack into less space.     Heck, she managed to work in one of her hate at first sight turns into love stories, and I didn’t find it far-fetched!

My favorite story is probably the namesake (and first) story, which concerns two young men, best friends, who fall out over a girl, and back themselves into a duel.      Neither one actually wants to do it, of course, and their process over the night before the duel is beautifully written.    I also think I enjoyed it because her protagonists usually are women, and it was nice to have the focus be on some men for a change.

RIP IX Reading Challenge 9/1/14 to 10/31/14

 

Well, it being the second to last day of the month, and while I am a fast reader, I am not that fast, I think it’s safe to say I’m done with the RIP Challenge for the year.

The challenge was to read at least four books in the challenge categories.   I managed six:

It’s been a lovely Fall, and I look forward to repeating it next year.

Shade’s Children – Garth Nix

Read for the RIP Reading Challenge.

In the future, humanity has been enslaved by a race of Overlords that use people as the raw materials to construct their armies.   Children are harvested on their 14th birthday.

Occasionally, children do escape, and some find their way to Shade’s hideaway.    Shade was once a man, but is now a personality trapped in a machine.     His sole purpose is to fight the Overlords, but with his soul gone, is he truly committed to this war?

Four of Shade’s children have come closer to any others to finding the source of the Overlord’s powers, but with Shade’s true intentions in question, will they be able to bring about the Overlord’s downfall?

I’ll admit, this book is fairly depressing, as post apocalyptic stories go.       The future world is terrible, and Shade is not a great ally.     What the four children (young teens, really) are able to do together is rather impressive, considering what they’re up against.     I have trouble saying it’s truly an enjoyable read, but it is satisfying.

Regency Buck – Georgette Heyer

Read for the Georgette Heyer Reading Challenge.

The more Heyer I read, the more I realize I like her older books better.    They’re light and fun, like all her books, but less likely to run to the absurd.  This book is one of her earlier books, and it runs toward the absurd frequently.

Judith Taverner and her brother Peregrine (that’s Sir Peregrine, but he’s only eighteen, so the honorific seems a bit premature) are journeying to London against the express wishes of their guardian, Lord Worth.    It seems that their father held the elder Lord Worth in great esteem, but didn’t realize that the elder Lord Worth predeceased him.     So Perry and Judith (and Judith being an heiress of 80,000 pounds!), find themselves the wards of an eligible bachelor.     You can see where this is going.

Judith is so rich, she catches the attention of all the interesting people in town, including Beau Brummell, the Prince Regent, and a number of the prince’s younger brothers.      There are plenty of parties, and riding engagements, and trips to Brighton.    Oh, and someone wants Perry dead because Judith is his sole heir.

The book’s not terrible, but it veers to the silly too often, and since I’ve more recently read some of her more mature work, I found myself missing that.   (It didn’t help that edition I have has a particularly terrible cover.)

 

The Leper of Saint Giles – Ellis Peters

Read for the RIP IX Reading Challenge.

I really hadn’t meant to have a historical mystery theme to my RIP reading this year, but that does seem to be what I have in my TBR pile lately.    This is book five of the Brother Cadfael books.

Brother’s Cadfael’s abbey is in a bit of an uproar – they’re hosting the wedding of one of the area’s largest landowners, to an heiress who also has extensive lands.     When it turns out that the groom is old enough to be the bride’s grandfather, and she arrives more or less under constant guard by her guardians, Cadfael’s interest is peaked.    Ivetta is the granddaughter of a man Cadfael fought under in the Crusades – a hero who died in the Holy Land.

When the groom is murdered, the accused, a young man who had been in the groom’s retinue and had fallen in love with Ivetta, takes refuge among the lepers of Saint Giles – their asylum being not far from the Abbey.    The lepers, especially an elderly wanderer who calls himself Lazurus, seem to have taken a special interest in the murder, and Cadfael does all he can to solve it, for the sake of Ivetta, and the young man who loves her.

I really liked this book.   The romance could have been overdone and fraught, but Peters handled it well.    I also had no idea who the real murderer was – definitely the sign of a well thought out mystery.