#8 Anne Osterlund, Academy 7
In a universe far, far away, but obviously a distant colony of ours (they celebrate Christmas!), Dane and Aerin are two misfits - one, the son of privilege, the other a refugee with a mysterious past - who find themselves against the odds at an exclusive Academy. Not unpredictably, they become friends and discover secrets about themselves and each other.
The world is intriguing (though I have to confess thinking it unlikely and rather unimaginative that they DID in fact still celebrate Christmas), the characters likeable and believable, and the revelations interesting and not unbelievable. I liked the school, and would have liked to see more of it.
Overall, an enjoyable read, marred by some extremely clunky writing. Overwritten descriptions and things like an emotion that "blared" into a face, redundancy with "both," and an agreement error with "everyone" (where was her editor???).
#9 Cassandra Clare, City of Bones
Normally, I'm a sucker for urban fantasy, but this one, though much more accomplished than the previous entry, left me cold. I had trouble finishing it, and definitely won't bother with the rest of the trilogy.
#10 Galen Beckett, The Magicians and Mrs Quent
This is regency romance in a quite intriguing alternate world, though one whose laws of physics defy ... um, laws of physics ... but still. Although very well written (the most accomplished stylistically of the three), rather too much of too many different things. Very derivative - Jane Austen meets Charlotte Bronte meets Suzanna Clarke. My other complaint is that for a romance, the romance was EXTREMELY dull, almost off-stage. I mean, I don't necessarily want a bodice ripper, but I'd like a bit more emotion. Good enough, however, that I will probably read the next book in the series (and, sigh, yes, this does appear to be the first of a series).