But it's an important piece of information, because if I'm annoyed by a story, or am not feeling the vibe, it'll take me a couple weeks to get through.
I'll preface my first review of the Lazy Day stories I'll be reading and presenting my views on by saying this: I don't analyze the mechanics of a story. I'm not going to get into what I think this symbolizes or that means or blah blah blah, because do you really care if I think a tree means something more? Doubtful. So basically, I'm going to tell you if I dig the story or not. Sound fair? Hope so.
Now, back to By Sunset.
Another disclaimer: I don't read fantasy. Not for any snobbery or distaste, per se. I just haven't delved into the genre. So I didn't really know what to expect with my virgin foray into this world. I did wonder if I was going to get smacked over the head with trolls and imps with fifty-seven syllable names, but this definitely didn't happen here.
My initial reaction is that this is a smooth, gentle introduction for the non-fantasy reader. And it was added fun, not knowing what to expect. I'll try to remain spoiler-free, but proceed with caution in case I accidentally slip up.
We're introduced to lady-in-waiting Olivia, who encounters a sexy stranger while taking a swim. This is where I sit up and take notice because it becomes clear there will be some smutty action happening. And I'm not disappointed. But while I was smiling in the afterglow of some chance-encounter heat, I'm smacked in the face by a twist I didn't expect that I'll leave for you to find. Meanwhile, two royal families are at odds and take part in dragon races that take the characters places I didn't really anticipate. Being the fantasy noob that I am, I struggle to find a way to describe yet not spoil, so I will say this: I get this almost Shakespearean vibe to the way the families are written. The classic feel of drama, treachery, and vendetta in an other-worldly setting. It's an interesting mix.
I enjoyed the blend of story and sensual scenes. Hey, I'm a chick. We like the sexay. And Langston paints a vivid setting for the action. Her words make me envision a surreal yet believable world. I love the way she works the dragons into the story and makes them not just 'extras'. They are participants, and they are pretty awesome. And just when I think I know what's going to happen, I get surprised because I'm clearly WRONG about the story's direction. The characters are believable, and they are introduced in a non-confusing fashion, which I greatly appreciate when I'm in uncharted waters. I didn't have to waste time going back a few pages to clarify who was who in my brain.
Long story short, I'm glad I got time to spend my Saturday night curled up with a story, and I'm glad it was By Sunset. My only complaint is I don't have the next book in the series handy to continue reading, and as far as complaints go, I'm pretty sure that's a good one to have. I'll be waiting for the next chapter!