Okay. Yes. It’s been forever since I wrote a post. I apologize. Life outside of the blogosphere and interwebz got super crazy for me. There were Japanese classes and band rehearsals and gigs and married lady events and the holidays (which meant a lot of traveling). Here’s to getting back on track for 2014!

I’m back on my reading bandwagon and I read this month’s Vaginal Fantasy reads like a good little follower of Felicia Day. I’m also pleased to report I got to hang out with my Vaginal Fantasy book club ladies for brunch. It had been too long.

January’s sexy time reads were The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin (main read) and Archangel by Sharon Shinn (alt read).

Hundred Thousand KingdomsArchangel

The main read, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, is the first book in a trilogy. If you enjoy books with thorough world-building, this is a solid read with minimal sexy times. There are well-defined class and religious structures as well as cultural differences and “lay of the land” type descriptions. That was what really drew me in.

Quickie non-spoilery summary – Yeine Darr is summoned away from her homeland to the land/city of her mother, Sky. Her mother has died under mysterious circumstances and Yeine finds out she is being recognized as an heir to the king. Unfortunately, Sky is a politically (and religiously) treacherous city where gods are enslaved and the fine line between love & hate is trod on a daily basis.

Yeine strikes an intriguing pose at the start. She jumps off the page pretty fully defined early on. She has a dogged determination to stay true to herself and her people that, while admirable, gives her a static quality for a good portion of the book. As Yeine walks among slave gods and two-faced mortals, she never really seems to grow. Sure, she learns about herself and her mother, but Yeine herself never gives off the impression of changing. What keeps her from being dull are all the characters surrounding her. This book’s true strength is in the world around Yeine which bodes well for the rest of the series.

The alt book, Archangel, almost reads like an alternative Bible story where angels walk (and fly) on Earth and intercede on behalf of humanity through song. This is another book that has very well-defined cultures, class structure, religion (obviously), and side characters but feels a bit short on the emotional development of the main characters at times.

Quickie non-spoilery summary – Gabriel is in line to take over the role of Archangel. Part of that includes finding his hand-picked-by-God wife aka “angelica” to help him lead the annual Gloria (gathering of angels and mortals singing an intercession to God). Since, Gabriel waited until the last minute to find her, he has no time to woo. He also could never have expected on finding Rachel a defiant, stubborn slave to a wealthy merchant or that the current Archangel, Raphael, may not be quite as angelic as he should be.

This is a No Sexy Times read. If that’s your thing and that’s what you want, move along. Archangel is an interesting take on angels and, if you love music and singing like I do (shameless self promotion),  the descriptions of the vocals and hymns and Gloria are quite good. Rachel and Gabriel spend so much time apart or verbally sparring, you wonder how anything manages to transpire. The Anne McCaffery one word cover quote says it all – “Provocative.”

Read any good sexy reads recently? How about non-sexy reads? I’m always looking for suggestions!