After finishing the Dark Elf trilogy, I wanted to continue straight to the Icewind Dale books. Unfortunately, they were in Malacca so I started on Kai Meyer’s Pirate Curse which I bought during my pirate YA book hunt but didn’t read because I was sidetracked by the Percy Jackson books. Of course, this book is translated from German so I bet I’m missing out on a lot, but it has its moments. I love reading a pirate story with a main character who is actually a bloodthirsty pirate, unlike the girl in Piratica. The idea of polliwogs is not actually new, but still a thrilling addition to the plot. I guess even though I love pirate stories, plain Treasure Hunt type stuff isn’t exciting me much these days. I want my pirate stories mixed with fantasy elements, which is exactly what makes Meyer’s Wave Walkers books so cool. I can’t wait for the next installations, but I bought the US version and the translations come out WAY slower than the UK ones.
After Kai Meyer, this past week I’ve been reading romances. Tesvin, an ex-staff, recommended me Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ Chicago Stars books awhile ago, but I only started reading them last week. I started out with It Had To Be You, which surprised me a bit. I guess I’m not so used to reading modern romances (always stuck to the paranormal/historical when I read romance) so I don’t know what’s normal and what’s not. I found myself really liking the heroine, Phoebe. The plot is common enough, I suppose, and the sub-plot is just okay. Dan Calebow, the hero, annoyed the hell out of me with his chauvinistic comments, but he gets better towards the end.
Actually, even though the second book has a better sub-plot, I prefer the first to Heaven, Texas. Not sure I like Bobby Tom as a hero at first, although by the end of the book I found myself thinking he’s cute. It’s just the fact that (1)his name is Bobby Tom, (2) he wears a Stetson all the time, and (3) he acts like a stereotypical Texan is annoying. Even Gracie Snow didn’t endear herself to me as a female character. And I never liked stories where a character had to have a “makeover” for the guy to see her in a different way. I think I started the story liking Gracie Snow, and not liking Bobby Tom, but as I went on I liked Bobby Tom more and more and Gracie less and less.
The third Chicago Stars book, Nobody’s Baby But Mine, was a bit weird. I just thought it was so weird that Jane Darlington would go so far just to have a regular kid. I mean, yeah, being intelligent sucks, but it’s not exactly the end of the world, and it sure as hell beats being stupid. Even Cal Bonner’s reaction when he found out was a bit extreme for me. Everyone is this book seem a little bit insane, to tell the truth. But never mind, I enjoyed it well enough when I didn’t let the little details bother me.
In between romance books I read Secret Vampire by L.J. Smith. My copy is old and battered and has more than several pages falling off and taped back and falling off again; I’ve read it too many times. I love L.J. Smith’s books, and her Night World series are the best by her. It’s true that the stories get pretty corny and the plot sometimes too cliched, but I love her characters. James was boring, but Poppy was likable. And Ash completely stole the show, and I think he was around for only a couple of chapters. I started this book in the car on the way to work, and finished it before punching in at 9.30 a.m.
Another book I finished in the time it takes to get to work is Diana Wynne Jones’ The Magicians of Caprona. Another book that I’ve read over and over again, although this one is in a better condition than Secret Vampire. Of course, there’s the fact that I had to buy it again after losing it. Hmm.. Anyway, I adore Tonino. I wish there’s another story with both Tonino and Cat Chant in it (other than the short story in Mixed Magics, that is). Since I had to buy a new copy, I have the new sparkly cover, but the one I uploaded is the one I used to have. I still miss it.
And then, because I’ve had an urge to ever since I read Pamela Dean’s Tam Lin, I re-read Diana Wynne Jones’ Fire and Hemlock. There’s no doubt that it’s my favorite DWJ book! It has made me completely obsessed with Tam Lin and Thomas the Rhymer stories. I like Polly, and I love Thomas Lynn. I even adore Leslie and Nina and Seb and Fiona Perks and Ed and Sam and Ann. I love the long lists of books that Thomas gave to Polly to read, and I love reading about how fast she goes through books. Yummiest DWJ book, yes. Definitely.