Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Recent Reads - Lanyon, Knight and Gaiman

I read a couple of books recently by two authors I've seen around the blogosphere for a long time now and finally decided to give them a whirl. And another whom I have read previously.

The first was Josh Lanyon. Everyone seems to rave about his books, but I always shied away because they are m/m. The other day, I couldn't take it any more and I bought The Adrien English Mysteries, which contain the first two books in that series--Fatal Shadows and A Dangerous Thing. I read both of them in a couple of days. I liked them, but I didn't love them. And it had absolutely nothing to do with the m/m content. As a matter of fact, that is the one thing that I did love about those two books. I really like the interactions between Adrien and Jake. Jake struggles with his sexuality and both of their reactioins seem honest and real. He does do great characterization. I'm just not a huge fan of murder mysteries. But I do still plan on reading more of his work! I want to see how Adrien's and Jake's relationship evolves.

After that, since I had the e-reader out, I decided to browse the books I had uploaded and came across Butterfly Tattoo by Deidre Knight. I bought that one because I love, love her parallel series. That was just an amazing set of books! Well, I rememebered Tracy @ Tracy's Place recently spoke highly of the book on her blog, giving it a 5/5 rating. I figured it'd be good. And boy oh boy was it ever!! Holy Cow, it was on hell of an emotional roller coaster of a read. So utterly and completely heart breaking, yet so full of all the hope and love you could want. I absolutely loved this book! I could not agree with Tracy's rating on this one more. It is a story of overcoming grief from the loss of a partner, and that of a gruesome attack. Both the h/h have a lot of healing to do, and I love how they do that together. And the sweetest thing of all, is it's the hero's daughter that brings the two together initially. Definitely one to read.

And then I finally started reading my first Neil Gaiman book--Neverwhere. I'm not finished with it yet, but I know I'm going to love it. It's, umm, very odd. I think I might have a new fascination with Mr. Gaiman. I discovered last night that three of his books were made into movies. And one of them is a tv movie for Neverwhere. I think it's a six part mini-series. I have it added to my instant qeue on Netflix. As soon as I'm done with the book, I'm watching the movie. So maybe I'll do a comparison review.

I came across two other Neil Gaiman movies, Stardust and MirrorMask (if you click on the movie title, it'll take you to a youtube movie preview trailer.) Both of them are rated for children to watch. I'm a whimp like that. I don't like anything creepy and scary so that little fact is pretty important to me. But MirrorMask really looks like a strange movie, even though Jim Hanson Productions had a part in making it, it looks a little creepy in the previews. I couldn't help myself, I ordered a copy of Stardust. I need to look for a copy of the book first before I watch it. It looks really good! A little romance and fantasy. And it has a well known cast--Robert De Niro, Michelle Phieffer, Claire Danes.
Stardust settles over the viewer like a twinkly cloak. The film, which captures the magic and vision of author Neil Gaiman's fantasy graphic fable, is a transportive journey into a world of true enchantment, which fans of the Harry Potter books will enjoy as well as will adults looking for the perfect date movie. The tale is a not-so-simple love story and adventure, set in 19th century England--and an alternate universe of witches, spells and stars that turn human--and hold the key to eternal life.
Does that not sound just perfect? :) The book is YA, but I'm hoping the bookstore has a copy when we go tomorrow. I wonder how many other books of his will make it to movies? I don't think I'll read up his backlist (it's pretty long) but I'm not done with this author!


Chris said...

I read The Butterfly Tattoo on Sunday and spent a fair amount of time crying while I read it! Definitely a 5/5.

I think my favorite Neil Gaiman book is American Gods, although Good Omens is pretty awesome.

Mandi said...

I would love to try Neil Gaiman.

Books three and four in Adrien English series definitely focus more on the relationship between Adrien and Jake, although there is still a murder to figure out:)

Leontine said...

Hi Amy,
I watched Stardust and loved the movie...it is a mix of fantasy, romance, lots of humor and DeNiro cracks me up in his part. The books are all new to me thought I did read Tracy's review of Butterfly I still have to order it.

Lea said...

Hey Amy:

I think we are totally on the same wave length. I have "Butterfly Tattoo" on my e-reader up next through Tracy's recommendation and now yours.

I also have 2 Josh Lanyon short stories waiting to be read. I've partially read one of them. He has a nice crisp writing style which I like. :)

Thanks for sharing your thoughts! Great post!


Amy C said...

Hey Chris, thanks for the recommendations. American Gods is the first one of his books that I seen reviewed on a blog. I'll definitely keep Good Omens in mind!

Oh and yes, a fair amount of time will be spent crying while reading Butterfly Tattoo. What a complicated mess they find themselves in. And it didn't feel melodramatic, you know? Maybe just a tad, but it felt real!

Amy C said...

Hey Mandi, that's great to hear that there is alot of focus on Adrien and Jake in the next two books. I am looking forward to read them soon! The two characters have really grown on me.

Leontine! Yes, when I was watching the previews for Stardust I got a few chuckles. It does look like it's going to be funny. My husband loves De Niro so I hope this is a movie he'll watch with me!

Amy C said...

Awesome, Lea! You are going to LOVE Butterfly Tattoo. My mom loves Deidre Knight also, so I called her up yesterday and told her she MUST buy this book when it goes to print (she doesn't do e-books). And some Josh Lanyon! How cool that we have chosen some of the same authors so close together!

SusiSunshine said...

I loved Butterfly Tattoo. It's such a great book. I couldn't make myself stop while reading it.
And I also loved Stardust- book and movie both. Neil Gaiman is just great.

Erotic Horizon said...

Hi Amy C...

I am bearing getting by with your recommendation - I am still reading my fantasy books and pushing in the erotic somewhere around the edges...

I will check out Tracy's review, but I will get the knight book.. and of course Mandi has raved about Lanyon so I had to get those for my summer read -I like a good suspense so fingers cross I 'll like those.

I think I might be lynched if I said I didn't like the movie stardust -it's my kids favourite and they are boys..but time will tell. I might read a NG eventually...


My Blog 2.0 (Dottie) said...

Hi Amy!

I follow Neil Gaiman on Twitter, can't help myself, his books are so good!

I haven't read Stardust, but I will now and then I try the movie.

I've read Deidre Knight before, but not the Butterfly Tattoo. I have some ebooks, but usually prefer print, so maybe I'll wait with your mom.

Mandi has been ravening about Josh Layton, so I'm giving him a try as well.

Great post Amy! Lots of my authors to try!

Dottie :)

Blodeuedd said...

I loved Stardust, so funny, and cute :)
Mirromask on the other hand was just weird and confusing.

Amanda said...

Oh I LOVE Stardust!! It is one of my favs! Although I haven't read anything by neil Gaiman i keep meaning to..... but then a pretty romance falls into my lap instead!

Can't wait to see what you think of the movie!

Amy C said...

Hi Susi, I hear you about not putting Butterfly Tattoo down. I read until 11:30 the first night, which is really late for me, and then picked it right back up first thing in the morning until I finished it! I was telling my mom that I had no idea she could write with such strong emotions. She really got into the characters heads in this one.

Hey, E.H., I know! I have so many books, mostly older ones, added to my wishlist and TBR due to awesome recommendations! And that's okay if you didn't like the movie. There are lots of things I don't like that others do. You're allowed :P! But it does look so good, so I wonder why you didn't like it?

Amy C said...

Hey Dottie! Another who loves Neil Gaiman! You know, I was browsing his website this morning and he is going to be at the library in Cleveland in October. Cleveland is about 3 1/2 hours away. I had a thought of maybe driving there for the day with my mom! I don't know. I have to get a better feel for his books, to make sure it would be worth the drive. Sounds like fun though anyway!

Hey Blodeuedd! I am now so curious to watch the movie. I wonder where I was when the movie came out. I've never heard of it until last night. Adn the movie isn't even old. I imagine it was even in the theater, considering the actors in it.

Amy C said...

I hear you, Amanda! That's why it's taken me so long to get around to Neil Gaiman. The lack of romance always got in the way. But I'm feeling the need to branch away from the romance more lately. I still need my romances but I'm not minding the shift a little here and there.

Cecile said...

Hey Amy!
I will soon be getting Butterfly Tattoo due to a few of you that has raved about it!
And I have Neverwhere on my TBR pile. I actually found that one at a Thrift Store waiting for me to come and rescue it! Thanks for the heads up about your liking it!
Lovin your idea about branching out... but you know what they say about your comfort zone... and that is where I am right now. I still have time to spread my wings and fly though =)
I hope you are having a great day!

Anna said...

I'm glad your liking Neil Gaiman. I ordered Neverwhere the other day.

SusiSunshine said...

Me again. Forgot something.

I've got something for you on my Blog. Look here

Amy C said...

Thank you, Susi! That was so kind of you to think of me :).

Oh Anna, I'm sure you are going to enjoy Neverwhere! My reading time is usually slow during the day now that Devin is home. It seems to take me longer to read now! But I am really enjoying it, even though I'm not even half way through.

Amy C said...

Awesomely goodness, Cecile! You are going to love Butterfly Tattoo. ANd you have a copy of Neverwhere! maybe something will spark you to read it soon.

Yes, you do have plenty of time to spread your wings and explore other genres. Once I discovered romance and left the straight fantasy books, it took me almost 4 years to finally snap out of the hold the romances had over me. And that has only been over the last few months! It's crazy how addicted we get to romances, isn't it? And it is too, it's an addiction!

Eva S said...

Hi Amy,
Hi Amy,
I haven't read any other than American Gods, but I'll look for some more. Everybody is talking about Butterfly Tattoo, I wish it was a print book...
I agree with Blodeuedd, Stardust is cute, one of my daughters favorite, but Mirror Mask really was too weird!

Have a great week!

Amy C said...

Hey Eva, I only saw the preview for MirrorMask and I have to agree with you and Blodeuedd that I'm sure it is weird, even that little bit was very odd! But I do want to give it a go. I wont buy it, just rent it from netflix.

I did also just look to see when the print release date is for Butterfly Tattoo and it's not until February 10, 2010! That seems like quite a long time :(.

kirsten saell said...

I tried to watch MirrorMask, but it was just a tetch too weird for me. Very visually rich, though. Haven't seen Stardust, and the only Neil Gaiman I've read are some of his Sandman comics (which were totally unbelievably blammo).

I think I might be the only person on the planet who didn't luuuuuurve Butterfly Tattoo. I mean, I made it to the end (which is saying something these days), but it didn't make me cry (and I cry over episodes of Futurama. That one where the dog lies there outside the pizza place waiting for Fry, who's never coming back, and that song is playing in the background? OMG, I'm a wreck whenever I hear that song now). But it just seemed like so much wangsting over nothing. I kept wanting to tell them both to get over it, lol. Yup, I'm one cold beeyotch. :P

I have enjoyed the Adrien English series. Still need to get Death of a Pirate King, though. He does have a beautifully uncluttered writing style, and his characterizations are really good. I did end up wishing there was more romantic/sexual interaction between Jake and Adrien, though. Maybe in the next one...


kirsten saell said...

I did also just look to see when the print release date is for Butterfly Tattoo and it's not until February 10, 2010! That seems like quite a long time :(.

Unless things have changed without my notice, Samhain's titles are released in print ten months after the ebook release. Sorry, hon. :(

Donna (Fantasy Dreamer) said...

I haven't read any of Deidre Knight's books but I did pick up Red Fire this past Friday. I'm going to add Butterfly Tatoo to my wish list, sounds like a winner.

American Gods was my favorite Neil Gaiman book, very intense read. So glad to see you are enjoying him. I need to check out those movies.

Amy C said...

Hi Kirsten, yeah, I'm thinking that I might not make it through MirrorMask when I get around to watching it. But I'm too curious not to. I think it's strange that Netflix would categorize the movie as a childrens movie, ages 9 and up when the movie seems to be so weird almost to the point of that it would freak kids out, rather than entertain.

Hmm, I did mention somewhere that Butterfly tattoo might have been a bit over dramatic at times, but damn, how could you not cry?? Did you at least get weepy-eyed? Once or twice?? :P I wonder sometimes if it's my mood that day when a book makes me cry or get teary eyed. I wonder if it were a different day and I was feeling differently would I not have, you know?

I am definitely reading more Neil Gaiman. I finished Neverwehre last night. And I dig him!

Amy C said...

Hey Donna, I enjoyed Red Fire, but not Red Kiss :(. You read her Parallel books? I love those!

I am definitely going to get American Gods soon. I do want to read that one. I see it most often.

Christine said...

Great list! I'm planning on reading Butterfly Tattoo someday. I just know I'm going to love it.

I've read Neil Gaiman before... mostly his children's and YA books. But I have had Stardust on my bookshelf for a long time and have not read it. I've always wanted to read more of his stuff! :)

p.s. Am I the only one who really liked Red Kiss? lol

Tracy said...

Amy I'm so glad you liked the Lanyon and the Knight. Most of Josh's stories are suspense in some way - not necessarily mysteries. There are some you might like better. Try The Dark Horse and The White Knight next. Although you def. need to read more about Jake and Adrien! :)

Butterfly Tattoo. *sigh* I just loved this one so much. Knight really packed a punch with that one. You nailed it when you said love and hope. So damned good. :)

I've never read Gaiman but I should after reading how much Ana and Thea at The Book Smugglers love him. Maybe one day soon. :)