I’ve recently read a few things that I’m not going to review in full or even in brief but I do want to mention them.
Kill You Twice by Chelsea Cain. Book 5 of the Archie Sheridan series. I commented over at AvidMysteryReader‘s blog that this is it for me with this series. I started out loving the utterly twisted dynamic between Archie Sheridan and Gretchen Lowell, the serial killer who tortured him but chose not to kill him, because it was so different from anything else I had read in mysteries/thrillers. It’s dysfunctional and fascinating but is growing stale for me as a reader: I want the narrator/protagonist to progress as the series progresses, and it feels like Archie really isn’t, and that he doesn’t want to. And at this point, I don’t trust that Cain will let him, because Gretchen as arch-nemesis sells books. Beyond that, most of the major plot points felt extremely coincidental and/or utterly predictable and disappointing. Not badly written, but not up to the standards of HeartSick.
He Speaks Dead by Adrienne Wilder. M/m paranormal/horror. The narrator is dead. He’s a ghost, in love with a live guy who is psychic, and they have sex by taking possession of horny drunks, which seriously squicked me; not because of the sex but because the mental/ghost possession felt like a brain or psyche rape to me. And their excuses parallel those of date rapists — she wanted it. I found narrator pretty unsympathetic on the whole and the entire relationship seemed profoundly unhealthy — falling in love with a dead guy you never knew while he was alive? The other hero needed serious therapy for a variety of things, not the least being his choice in lovers. And the ending was a complete cop out. If this had been a paper book, it would’ve hit the wall.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling. This is the first Potter book that I read immediately upon publication, since I came to the series fairly late. I haven’t re-read this book since it was published, and upon re-read the storytelling stands up but the writing does not. Rowling could have stood a firmer editorial hand with this book, as well as the next two probably.
I’m working my way into Tana French’s new mystery, Broken Harbor. I’ve never read her before. Love the writing and the narrator’s voice, but I haven’t felt compelled to sit down and read the book cover to cover. Perhaps this was the wrong place to start?