It’s Monday! What are you reading?

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Hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.

The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross

Finley feels like a creature lives inside of her. She can’t control it and it gets so mad and so strong. When her employer’s son tries to assault her, she hurts him badly. While fleeing the scene, she draws the attention of a group of people who have powers like hers. Maybe they can teach her to control her frightening side before it is too late.

This is steampunk YA and the beginning of a series. The story is farfetched but enjoyable. The world-building is well done and the characters are well differentiated and interesting.

Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

Tessa is living in London at the Institute of the Shadowhunters. She narrowly survived a kidnapping attempt and has found out that her brother is a traitor. Now they have to figure out what the mysterious Magister is planning and how Tessa is supposed to be involved.

This is the second book in a series that started with Clockwork Angel. I read that so long ago that I didn’t remember any details. I got totally confused when I started this book then when it was in the same world as the author’s Mortal Instruments series (City of Bones, etc.) Some of the characters were the same too. I had to look up plot summaries online to figure out when in time I was. Turns out that this series is a prequel to City of Bones.

This book seemed like a typical second book in a series. Nothing is really resolved. It is just moving the plot forward to book three.

Barefoot Season by Susan Mallery

Michelle is back from 10 years in the Army and multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. She was injured and is suffering from PTSD and problems adjusting to civilian life. All she wants to do is to take over running the inn that she owns and that her recently deceased mother was running for her. The only problem is that her high school best friend turned enemy Carly has been working as her mother’s manager and Michelle isn’t going to be able to run the inn without her.

I thought this book did a good job with portraying the effects of mental trauma on veterans. It gives a glimpse of how difficult it is to adjust to civilian life again.

The Fallen Angel by Daniel Silva

Israeli agent Gabriel Allon is retired. For years he lived undercover as an art restorer. Now he is living openly and has been hired to restore a Caravaggio at the Vatican. But when a Vatican curator falls from the balcony in the Sistene Chapel, Gabriel is pulled back into a complicated web of antiquities theft and money laundering.

This is a series that I really enjoy. However, this wasn’t my favorite book in the series. There was too much going on. It starts with the death of the curator who was investigating the Vatican art collection for stolen art. That leads to money laundering in the Middle East and terror threats in Vienna and Jerusalem along with a papal visit to Israel. By the last 3/4 of the book you’ve pretty much forgotten about the first death that is supposed to be the focus of the book. It comes back to that but it seems tacked on.

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Reading Now:

Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness by Scott Jurek and Steve Friedman

Scott Jurek is an ultramarathoner and a vegan. In this book he explains how he transformed from a Minnesota hunter to an elite athlete who eats no animal products.

In My Father’s Country: An Afghan Woman Defies Her Fate by Saima Wasab

The author was raised as a favored child even though she was female. Her father was killed by the Soviets when she was 6 and eventually part of her family fled to the U.S. As an adult she signed up to be a Pashtun interpreter for the U.S. forces in Afghanistan because she wanted them to understand the country that she came from. While there she found that it was difficult to integrate her Pashtun past with her appreciation for western freedom.