Despite the hubbub of getting ready for Christmas and travelling for work I did actually manage to finish a couple of books this week. Hurrah! It means I am back on Santa's 'nice' list. So what did I read?
I was very excited when I found The Masked City by Genevieve Cogman on NetGalley. You may remember back in March I read Cogman's UK debut The Invisible Library, which I loved. I was really excited when I discovered that the second instalment was available. Book two starts in the same chaos filled alternative London where the last adventure was set. The action starts early when Kai is abducted by a mysterious fae who has plans to use him to start a war between the fae and the dragons. As Kai's family aren't able to enter the world where he is being held means that Irene and the inspector Vale are his only chance at rescue. Irene is determined to save him and stop a war regardless what the cost. Saving Kai will take every skill that Irene has honed while in service of the Library in the highly chaotic alternate Venice where Kai is being held and where the carnival never stops.
I thoroughly enjoyed The Masked City although the Library seemed to feature less in this book than it did in the previous and although Irene is too busy rescuing Kai to have time to 'procure' books for the Library. Cogman treats us to a background of the dragon race and Kai's family. We also learn more about the fae and their societal hierarchy which was interesting as a contrast to the dragons. This is done mainly through Lord Silver who featured in book 1. Silver is your fairly typical creepily arrogant antagonist who you can't help but enjoy reading about. Inspector Vale is also back in this alternative London's alternative Sherlock Holmes. There seemed to be a lot more action in this instalment with Irene's many and frequent brushes with the story's various baddies. Cogman doesn't make it easy for Irene in her search and rescue of Kai and she does something that I found surprising and out of character. I thought this was an interesting turning point for Irene and demonstrates that Cogman has plans to fully develop her lead character. My one tiny criticism is that I thought the book ended too abruptly. If I had been reading a paperback I would have checked that a few pages hadn't fallen out. I guess this must makes me start to look forward to book 3. A great read nonetheless.
Book number 2 is a December debut - The Lady Who Lived Again byTomasine Rappold, which is the first novel in the Sole Survivor series. Madeline Sutter has been leading a sad and lonely life after being the only young girl to survive a tragic accident that kills all but one of her friends. Rather than celebrating that she survived the inhabitants of the small town of Misty Rivers have treated her like an abomination when she appeared to come back from the dead. Madeline didn't just survive she developed an extraordinary ability to heal injuries and illnesses. Already an outcast Madeline has kept this new skill a secret. Madeline is determined to be alone until a handsome new doctor Jace Merrick comes to town. Fate plays a big hand in ensuring Madeline doesn't stay alone when she ends up in a sham engagement to the hunky doctor. Can she keep her secret hidden or more importantly can she resist her growing affection for Dr. Merrick?
I was looking forward to a nice easy read and >The Lady Who Lived Again certainly fit the bill on that front. Madeline's story was certainly a sad one but I didn't really warm to Jace as his backstory made him sound like a bit of a whiner. I also thought that given the time period that it would be highly unlikely that Madeline would have started a sexual relationship as quickly as she did. Although the limp that she had for most of the story seemed to disappear after she jumped into the good doctor's bed. He must have incredible powers in the boudoir! Overall, I found the story a little bit dull and didn't really buy into Madeline and Jace's romance. I love the cover though...gorgeous!
That is it for me this week. Don't forget about my teeny tiny survey about the future of my Week in Review. Don't miss out having your say. I hope everyone has a super fantastic holiday. Just one more WIR for 2015 so until then Happy Reading and Happy Holidays!
The Masked City
The Invisible Library 2
Pan, December 3, 2015
Paperback and eBook, 368 pages
(Not yet published in the US)
The Masked City by Genevieve Cogman is a wonderful read for all those who enjoyed Mr Penumbra's 24 hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan, Jasper Fford's The Eyre Affair or Ben Aaronovitch's Rivers of London.
Librarian-spy Irene is working undercover in an alternative London when her assistant Kai goes missing. She discovers he's been kidnapped by the fae faction and the repercussions could be fatal. Not just for Kai, but for whole worlds.
Kai's dragon heritage means he has powerful allies, but also powerful enemies in the form of the fae. With this act of aggression, the fae are determined to trigger a war between their people - and the forces of order and chaos themselves.
Irene's mission to save Kai and avert Armageddon will take her to a dark, alternate Venice where it's always Carnival. Here Irene will be forced to blackmail, fast talk, and fight. Or face death.
* CONTAINS BONUS EXTRA CONTENT - SECRETS FROM THE LIBRARY*
Note that The Invisible Library will be published in the US/Canada on June 14, 2016 by Roc and is eligible at that time to be featured in the 2016 Debut Author Challenge. It will be followed by The Masked City on September 6, 2016, and The Burning Page on December 6, 2016.
The Lady Who Lived Again
Sole Survivor 1
Lyrical Press, December 8, 2015
Trade Paperback and eBook, 256 pages
Madeleine Sutter was once the belle of the ball at the popular resort town of Misty Lake, New York. But as the sole survivor of the community’s worst tragedy, she’s come under suspicion. Longing for the life she once enjoyed, she accepts a rare social invitation to the event of the season. Now she will be able to show everyone she’s the same woman they’d always admired—with just one hidden exception: she awoke from the accident with the ability to heal.
Doctor Jace Merrick has fled the failures and futility of city life to start anew in rural Misty Lake. A man of science, he rejects the superstitious chatter surrounding Maddie and finds himself drawn to her confidence and beauty. And when she seduces him into a sham engagement, he agrees to be her ticket back into society, if she supports his new practice—and reveals the details of her remarkable recovery. But when his patients begin to heal miraculously, Jace may have to abandon logic, accept the inexplicable—and surrender to a love beyond reason…