Fool’s Assassin by Robin Hobb
While reading, I kept comparing this book’s pace to a stroll in the park. It’s smooth, it’s steady, and the scenery is a delight to behold…just don’t expect to reach your destination any time soon. This time, though, I think a slower pace works for the story, which is quiet, contemplative, a little tragic and very, very beautiful.
Every Breath by Ellie Marney
Every bit as good as it sounds (I mean, who can resist Sherlock Holmes in modern-day Sydney?) with some wonderfully dark, complex characters. Rachel Watts and James Mycroft make quite the team--she has more than enough smarts, guts, and emotional baggage to rival his brooding genius. I really appreciated that they both came from working class families constantly scraping to make ends meet, and the mystery ain’t bad either.
Rose by Holly Webb
I've seen this book described as Downton Abbey meets Harry Potter. So far (I’m only about a quarter of the way through) that's proved an accurate description. When Rose gets the job of her dreams as a maid in Mr. Fountain’s mansion, she’s determined that no magic will sabotage it. Too bad her boss is an alchemist and Rose’s own magical talents are just starting to surface…
Kinda Like Brothers by Coe Booth
Great plot and mostly likable characters, but the ending left a ton of issues unresolved, making me wonder if this is the first book in a series.
Skulduggery Pleasant: The Faceless Ones by Derek Landy
I've made my adoration for this series clear, so I won’t bore you with more gushing. Just read them. Read them all.
British Folktales: New Versions by Kevin Crossley Holland
I finally bought myself a copy of this--only my favorite collection of folktales--for Christmas. Most of the tales are told straight, but in a very distinctive voice. My personal favorites are “Tam Lin”, “A Fine Field of Flax”, “The Wild Man”, and “Seal-Woman”. Two super-short ghost stories, “Her” and “Boo!” actually inspired a story of my own (more on that later). New Versions is out of print, but you can buy used copies pretty cheaply online.