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01 July 2010 @ 10:44 am
Mmmm... books..  
OK it's my turn to post here today while the lovely _ocelott_  is away for a week.  I thought that maybe I could yammer on about some books that I have liked and recommend since ... well, that's what I do.

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The Silver Metal LoverThe Silver Metal Lover by Tanith Lee - This is an embarrassing title. I feel a bit silly saying it out loud: "You must read The Silver Metal Lover!!!"

This is about a girl named Jane, who lives in a futuristic society. Jane and her friends are all very rich (and spoiled), and Jane spends her time following others and believing that she's not as talented or as pretty or as interesting as some of her other friends. Jane is just Plain Jane although she lives literally in the clouds above the city with her famous mother, and is surrounded by wealth and privilege. Then one day Jane meets Silver - a robot so lifelike he is almost human, and falls instantly in love. From that point on she becomes irrationally obsessed with Silver. Jane engineers a way to get him and runs away from her privileged life to hide with Silver.

What's so lovely about this book besides how freaking engrossing the story is (I regularly reread it), is how much is going on. There's the world which is so complete (I think Tanith Lee excels at writing in such a way that she shows you a corner of a world and you believe the rest of it is there beyond that page), then there are the people in it.  They are so arresting, both the sharp people (you know, the glittery kind that can cut you), and then there are the softer ones, like Jane and Silver.  And the things that happen to them?  There's growth in the protagonists, there's love, there's betrayal, there's beauty. I cry at the end of this book, but I will still reread it.  There's also so many things that this book makes me think about, and it haunts me long after I'm finished.

There's a sequel set many years after the end of The Silver Metal Lover called Metallic Love which has a couple who sort of reflect Jane and Silver but in a different way. I recommend it too. And if you like futuristic societies with rich, idle, entitled kids who change in dramatic ways, I'd also recommend Lee's Biting The Sun (which is one book that holds the duology of Don't Bite the Sun and Drinking Sapphire Wine).

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Rosemary and Rue: An October Daye Novel
Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire. I'm a fan of urban fantasy and this is one of the series I'm currently obsessed with.

The series follows Toby Daye, who is a half-human, half-fae private investigator in San Francisco. Toby has a dark background - her mom has lost touch with reality, Toby's family (her daughter and the man she loved) wants nothing to do with her, and she has grown up amongst prejudice by the Fae. I love the world building in these books. There's so much variety in the fae creatures (Pixies, Undine, Cait Sidhe, Kitsune) and then we have the halfbreeds and the changelings. The politics, culture, and otherness of these creatures is fascinating. Of course there's a lot of urban fantasy out there and this one has a similar structure where the protagonist investigates a a crime, but there's something in the way the world is slowly built layer upon layer in this one that I love. I'm sure I'm not really conveying here how awesome I find this series, but discovering what happens next fills me with anticipatory need. I recommend this series if you like Ilona Andrews' Kate Daniels series and Patricia Briggs' Mercy Thompson series.

So far this series consists of Rosemary and Rue, and A Local Habitation. An Artificial Night , the third book, comes out in September.
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Clockwork Heart
A Clockwork Heart by Dru Pagliossotti - I picked this up last year based on the recommendation of The Book Smugglers. This one is a story that I recommend if you enjoy having a mix of steampunk, fantasy and romance in one book. Again there is a fantastic world. This time the setting is in a fantasy city called Ondinium. This city is divided by caste - "Primus for the exalteds; Secundus for the cardinals; and Tertius, for the plebians". The exalteds run the city and are separated from other castes in the city center, while the other castes live in concentric rings around them. The Icari are people who have the build and agility to fly with metal  wings (made out of Ondinium, which is lighter than air), and thus are allowed to fly between the castes, carrying messages. The heroine in this story, Taya, is an Icarus, and she rescues two of the exalted during a wireferry accident. This causes Taya to be entangled in the mystery of who is tampering with the wireferries and in the lives of two exalted brothers Cristof and Alister Forlore.  I had a little bit of trouble getting into the terms used in this book (you're just thrown in there), but once I understood them, I was sucked into the complex plot and the sprinkling of romance. This was one of my favorite books that I'd read in 2009 and I reread my favorite bits every so often.

According to the author, a sequel is written and is in her agent's hands. *crosses fingers*.

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Going Too FarGoing Too Far by Jennifer Echols - This recommendation is different from the others as it's not speculative fiction. I thought I needed a representative recommendation for romance and young adult fiction which are genres I also read. This one is a book I read relatively recently (this year), and I utterly LOVED it. If you are a person like me, you prefer that a story does not have physical attraction and lust as a short hand for falling in love. A believable mental connection and slow build up is paramount in my mind for good romance. Going Too Far has the right build up and mental connection. Hallelujah, people!

This is about Meg, who is a blue haired rebellious teen who hates her small town and spends her time waiting for college and driving her parents to distraction. One day she gets caught trespassing on a railroad bridge (the word is that a couple of teens died there), and she and her friends are arrested. Their punishment is to drive around with the ambulance, fire department and police for a week and miss their spring break. Meg gets the shift with Officer After, the man who caught her and her friends on the bridge in the first place. Turns out that John After is nineteen, and not much older than the teens he just caught. In the week that they spend together, they get closer.  The book is told in the first person from Meg's POV, and her voice is perfect - sort of matter-of-fact, self-aware, defiant and yet vulnerable at the same time. The book is incredibly addictive and hard to put down. I haven't read any other books by this author yet, but I will. 
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What about you guys? Any books you love and pimp to everyone you see?
 
 
 
a novel engineerjawastew on July 1st, 2010 05:41 pm (UTC)
I picked up a copy of Clockwork Heart thanks to Ana & Thea, too. ;) I haven't read it yet, but I do look forward to it.

Recently I've been recommending Feed (Seanan McGuire's other series) to everyone I know. It was such a fun book and I tend to know more people who like zombies than half faery P.I.'s (which is UNFORTUNATE!!). But I, too, adore her October Daye books. :)
janicujanicu on July 1st, 2010 05:55 pm (UTC)
Zombies are big now. There are also zombies where you don't expect zombies. I'll be reading along and all of a sudden - what? Another zombie?! These are part of the plot twist so I can't reveal the books or mention it in my reviews, but I privately put another notch on my "Surprise! A Zombie!" count.

I like half faery P.I's better because I'm a weenie when it comes to horror, which is why I'm holding back on Feed. But maybe I should just go for it.
a novel engineerjawastew on July 1st, 2010 10:31 pm (UTC)
There are zombie popping up where you'd least expect them! I did not, for instance, ever expect there to be zombies in Boneshaker. And then, the final book in a trilogy I read suddenly had zombies. I'm totally with you there. Zombies are oddly becoming quite popular. It's like a secret underground movement. They're infecting books throughout the country.

I'm pretty wimpy myself when it comes to horror (I can't stand horror movies!), but Feed I managed well. That's not to suggest it strongly to someone who might have reservations, but there's less gore than typical zombie stuff. The book examines how society would react if a zombie outbreak were to occur, especially if zombies became part of our every day lives. It's really fascinating in that way, but there is action and shooting and all that fun adventure. But she does well to take care of the little day-to-day considerations. :)

I may have really enjoyed Feed, but I love her October Daye books more for so many reasons!
janicujanicu on July 3rd, 2010 04:27 pm (UTC)
OK, this makes me feel less scared to try FEED so thank you. :) My husband and I bend our heads together and whisper "OH HELLS NO" when we see a trailer for a Horror movie. I guess horror books don't scare me as much as movies do too, so that helps.
a novel engineerjawastew on July 3rd, 2010 04:38 pm (UTC)
Oh, if that's the case, you should do fine with Feed. The book gets a little long (it could have been split in two, easily) and repetitious, but you'll see when you read it. :)
Flower maidenblodeuedd83 on July 1st, 2010 06:05 pm (UTC)
Hi Janicu! :)

I really must read Mcguire now, the book sounds so good.

As for pimping, Magician by Raymond E.Feist cos I love fantasy, and Dune by Frank Herbert for sci-fi fans
janicujanicu on July 1st, 2010 07:29 pm (UTC)
Ah, Dune is a classic! :) I've never read Raymond E.Feist for some reason, although I think my husband likes his books. I will check to see if he has Magician! Thanks for the rec.
angiebookgirlangiebookgirl on July 1st, 2010 09:18 pm (UTC)
Wow. That is just a seriously excellent list. And you've suggested THE SILVER METAL LOVER for me so I know I'm going to have to track that one down. I've actually been close to picking it up a couple times and held off for whatever reason. Now my interest is piqued again.

I am ridiculously excited about the sequel to CLOCKWORK HEART.

And Jennifer Echols' next one FORGET YOU.
janicujanicu on July 1st, 2010 11:32 pm (UTC)
I think more people need to read it, but that title may be a bit..scary, haha. The cover is very pretty though. :)

I need to glom onto Jennifer Echols' backlist! And yes, I'm so happy about there being a sequel to CLOCKWORK HEART. Now to pray to the book gods that it gets sold to a publisher.
Calico Reactioncalico_reaction on July 2nd, 2010 01:46 am (UTC)
I've still got A CLOCKWORK HEART to read! I'll get to it one day though, I promise!
janicujanicu on July 2nd, 2010 12:05 pm (UTC)
Well, read it when you're in the mood. Hee, I'm now afraid I've built it up quite a bit to you.
jncarjncar on July 2nd, 2010 03:16 am (UTC)
I finished "Clockwork Heart" last week, and even though the pacing was a little uneven I really fell in love with the characters and the world. It was a great read, and I look forward to the sequel *fingers crossed*

And "Rosemary and Rue" has been on my must read list for a while. My "must read" shelf keeps getting fuller and fuller!

Books that I always pimp to my friends are the Vorkosigan books by Lois McMaster Bujold. I run into more fans of her fantasy, and I generally read more fantasy myself, but the Vorkosigan books are the first space-opera that grabbed by imagination since Star Trek, and I fell deeply in love. I've read the whole many-book series at least 3 times, and I'm sure I'll revisit them again soon. Even folks who normally don't go for space opera can easily get sucked in by the fantastic characters of this series. Plus, I love that the hero is physically disabled. You hardly ever see that, and Bujold handles it oh-so-well.
janicujanicu on July 2nd, 2010 12:13 pm (UTC)
I noticed a few people felt like it dragged when it got into the bits tracking down the "mastermind". Can't wait for the next one. I think it will be about diplomacy and I tend to like the "stranger in a strange land" stories. :)

Oh I am starting the Vorkosigan saga. I'm on the second one right now in CORDELIA'S HONOR omnibus (so far Miles isn't there yet). I get comments from people like they wish they were reading it for the first time. So I think this is going to be GOOD.
Mardelmardelwanda on July 2nd, 2010 05:21 am (UTC)
Do I have some books to recommend!
If you've read my blogspot blog (that's the blog where I post a lot about books), then you've seen all the posts I've done of Suzanne McLeod - a British author who has just recently had her first book published in the US - The Sweet Scent of Blood. The sequel (Cold Kiss of Death) will be coming out in 2011, although it's available now (U.K.version) over at The Book Depository. A third book is in the works (Bitter Seed of Magic), which I can't wait to read. Fae, Vampires, Witches, Ghosts, .....(and a boss Satyr)

Another book that I've just read recently is Song of Scarabaeus by Sara Creasy - total Sci-Fi with a light touch of romance, although the romance is intense (no graphic scenes, and handled with care) There are space ships and kidnapping, and danger....

All the other books I love have been the favorites of many others lately - The Kate Daniels series (Ilona Andrews), The Mercy Thompson books (Patricia Briggs), Allie Beckstroms series (Devon Monk) and the space series featuring Siranth Jax by Ann Aguirre. Also, anything by Terry Pratchett, but my favorites of his are his disc world novels, both adult and YA. I know there's more, but these are the ones the jump into my mind when I think of must-reads or auto-buys
janicujanicu on July 2nd, 2010 12:17 pm (UTC)
Re: Do I have some books to recommend!
I read the first McLeod and need to get into the second (it's on the TBR). I want her to get together with the Satyr :P

I really want to read the SONG OF SCARABAEUS when the TBR goes down a wee bit! If I see any contest for it, I enter, but it is not to be so far. *want*.

You have excellent taste. :)
tinhearttomestinhearttomes on July 2nd, 2010 02:47 pm (UTC)
I love Tanith Lee, so I have had Biting the Sun on my TBR read list for a while. Actually, I have never heard of Silver Metal Lover before now. Thanks for the rec! I will definitely have to pick that one up, even if it does have a silly name.

Rosemary and Rue, A Clockwork Heart, and Going Too Far are all on my radar. I think I might even pick up A Clockwork Heart next time I make a purchase at Amazon. It sounds spectacular, and there's going to be a sequel!
janicujanicu on July 3rd, 2010 04:30 pm (UTC)
Bit of random trivia - SILVER METAL LOVER was also made into a graphic novel. I own that one too. The book is better I think, but yeah, I just needed to own the graphic novel.

Oh do read the rest. Most people who read A CLOCKWORK HEART say that there are pacing problems, but I loved the world so much that I didn't have them. Your mileage may vary. GOING TOO FAR is the awesome sauce.
seemichelleread.blogspot.com on July 3rd, 2010 07:24 pm (UTC)
You got some awesome books on this list - but I've never read SILVER METAL LOVER or the Seanan McGuire books. Oversights I have been meaning to correct for some time. Thanks for the pics!
janicujanicu on July 4th, 2010 02:20 am (UTC)
:) Yes, give them a try! I'd love to see what you think.