Sadly, summer is coming to an end. The days will get shorter and colder, with more predictions of snow. And with these dreary days comes a chance for more reading time. To curl up under a blanket and read a new book as you listen to the snow plows and sooner or later, Christmas music.

But I’m getting way ahead of myself.

This summer I read some fantastic books. Here’s a look at the books I read, but didn’t have a chance to review. Just a few thoughts on each title, and maybe a recommendation or two….enjoy!

“After a brutal battle with the underworld that nearly destroyed him, Locke and his trusted sidekick, Jean, fled the island city of their birth and landed on the exotic shores of Tal Verrar to nurse their wounds. But even at this westernmost edge of civilization, they can’t rest for long—and are soon back to what they do best: stealing from the undeserving rich and pocketing the proceeds for themselves.

This time, however, they have targeted the grandest prize of all: the Sinspire, the most exclusive and heavily guarded gambling house in the world. Its nine floors attract the wealthiest clientele—and to rise to the top, one must impress with good credit, amusing behavior… and excruciatingly impeccable play. For there is one cardinal rule, enforced by Requin, the house’s cold-blooded master: it is death to cheat at any game at the Sinspire.

Someone in Tal Verrar has uncovered the duo’s secret. Someone from their past who has every intention of making the impudent criminals pay for their sins. Now it will take every ounce of cunning to save their mercenary souls. And even that may not be enough…”

This is the sequel to The Lies of Locke Lamora. I reviewed the first one here. I loved that one, and the author kept the plots and schemes coming in the sequel. I adored it completely. Jean and Locke are my new favorite duo. The third in the series, The Republic of Thieves, is due out October 8. A review is forthcoming.

“There is a cancer at the heart of the mighty Cerani Empire: a plague that attacks young and old, rich and poor alike. Geometric patterns spread across the skin, until you die in agony, or become a Carrier, doing the bidding of an evil intelligence, the Pattern Master. Anyone showing the tell-tale marks is put to death; that is Emperor Beyon’s law…but now the pattern is running over the Emperor’s own arms. His body servants have been executed, he ignores his wives, but he is doomed, for soon the pattern will reach his face. While Beyon’s agents scour the land for a cure, Sarmin, the Emperor’s only surviving brother, awaits his bride, Mesema, a windreader from the northern plains. Unused to the Imperial Court’s stifling protocols and deadly intrigues, Mesema has no one to turn to but an aging imperial assassin, the Emperor’s Knife.
As long-planned conspiracies boil over into open violence, the invincible Pattern Master appears from the deep desert. Only three people stand in his way: a lost prince, a world-weary killer, and a young girl from the steppes who once saw a path in a pattern — a path that might save them all.”

The first in a trilogy, The Emperor’s Knife is complex and unique. The Persian-like empire, and the different character backgrounds allows the reader to enjoy the story to a new extent. The sequel is already published, and I am eagerly awaiting the final book.

“After spending most of his life in captivity, Sarmin now sits upon the Throne of Cerana. But his reign is an uneasy one. And the emperor’s own heart is torn between two very different women: Mesema, a Windreader princess, and Grada, a lowborn untouchable with whom Sarmin shares a unique bond. In times past, a royal assassin known as the Emperor’s Knife served to defend the throne from menace, but the last Knife has perished and his successor has yet to be named. Sarmin must choose his own loyal death-dealer . . . but upon whom can be he bestow the burden of the Knife-Sworn?”

Sequel to The Emperor’s Knife, this book lives up to its predecessor, and then some. We meet new characters and learn more about the motives of familiar ones. I can’t wait for the third book to come out!

“Ranging from the now infamous village of New Dachang in the United Federation of China, where the epidemiological trail began with the twelve-year-old Patient Zero, to the unnamed northern forests where untold numbers sought a terrible and temporary refuge in the cold, to the United States of Southern Africa, where the Redeker Plan provided hope for humanity at an unspeakable price, to the west-of-the-Rockies redoubt where the North American tide finally started to turn, this invaluable chronicle reflects the full scope and duration of the Zombie War.”

The Brad Pitt movie was nothing like the book. I was terrified, as this was my first zombie book. The changing perspectives didn’t allow a connection to form, but it showed the reader so many different takes on a single event. It was thrilling and I was hooked easily. I loved the style of this book. I know there really isn’t room for a sequel, but I wish was there was one!

“Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander’s face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate… until she sees Ky Markham’s face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.

The Society tells her it’s a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she’s destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can’t stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society’s infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.”

I liked this book. It was easy to read and I found it to be less action packed Hunger Games. It was diverting, but boring at times and the characters were somewhat simple. However, I found the world to be unique and interesting.

“In search of a future that may not exist and faced with the decision of who to share it with, Cassia journeys to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky – taken by the Society to his certain death – only to find that he has escaped, leaving a series of clues in his wake. Cassia’s quest leads her to question much of what she holds dear, even as she finds glimmers of a different life across the border. But as Cassia nears resolve and certainty about her future with Ky, an invitation for rebellion, an unexpected betrayal, and a surprise visit from Xander – who may hold the key to the uprising and, still, to Cassia’s heart – change the game once again. Nothing is as expected on the edge of Society, where crosses and double crosses make the path more twisted than ever.”

The sequel to Matched, and not as good. The rebellion hiding in the wilderness was a little cliché. This book was a quick read, but interesting enough to make me want to read the final book in the trilogy (already published).

“In the city of Shadow, beneath the World Tree, alleyways shimmer with magic and godlings live hidden among mortalkind. Oree Shoth, a blind artist, takes in a homeless man who glows like a living sun to her strange sight. This act of kindness engulfs Oree in a nightmarish conspiracy. Someone, somehow, is murdering godlings, leaving their desecrated bodies all over the city.

Oree’s peculiar guest is at the heart of it, his presence putting her in mortal danger — but is it him the killers want, or Oree? And is the earthly power of the Arameri king their ultimate goal, or have they set their sights on the Lord of Night himself?”

Second book in the Inheritence Trilogy. I absolutely loved the first book, and I loved this one just as much. I was disappointed to leave the characters from the first book, but the author does a good job of introducing new people. I don’t like the sex in either book, but the story doesn’t suffer because of it.The characters are wonderfully real and flawed. I cannot wait to read the last book.

Tell me the books you loved this summer in the comments!