What am I reading now?
Aralorn: Masques and Wolfsbane by Patricia Briggs. This is slightly cheating because I have in fact finished it once already, and am reading it again because I don't want it to end. Masques is an old novel of hers which has been dug out and polished up, and published in an omnibus edition with a sequel. I love it when authors do that, taking an old story which they wrote mainly on instinct, and revise it with everything they've learned since.
I don't love it when an author's old story is simply republished without revision. I tried to read The Flood by Ian Rankin a few months ago, and gave up because I realised that I had absolutely no interest in any of the characters or what was going to happen to them. Just as well, the ending was entirely unsatisfactory.
What have I read recently?
Minion by L.A. Banks. I picked this up from the library for the sole reason that it was a modern urban fantasy with a black girl on the cover, rather than the usual mixed-race-but-passes-for-white, and I thought that sort of thing should be encouraged. I've had it out for months but not had the concentration span to read it. Anyway, it's set in modern-day America and features a team of vampire hunters, so far so good, but then it turns a load of clichés on their head.
The first couple of pages of dialogue annoyed me, because I thought they were trying too hard, but then my brain adjusted to the lower-class African-American speech patterns. And I found part of myself deriding the rest of myself for being such a classist or racist as to have been uncomfortable with it at the beginning. Why should everyone in books be incredibly middle-class? Young people in particular should have the opportunity to read books with heroes who speak the same way that they do. How can you expect people to get interested in reading when no one in the story is like themselves?
I ended up reading the entire book in one go, didn't even skip to the end to find out what happened, which is very unusual for me. Turns out it's the sort of book where you have to read the sequel. So I need to find it on the library database and order it.
What am I going to read next?
I've had Unseen Academicals by Terry Pratchett out of the library for a while now, so probably that.