Thanks to my friend James, the quality of my reading material has improved dramatically. He was the one who introduced me to the Temeraire series by Naomi Novik, which I thoroughly enjoyed, mostly because of the writing: it's delightful. Naomi really has a way with words - I would re-read sentences and paragraphs just to reflect on how she cleverly describes things so creatively and vividly. It's the first time that I've read anything and thought, "Wow, I wish I could write like that."
James and I previously made a pact that we would never spring a book series on the other unless the series was in fact, complete. There is nothing more annoying than getting to the end of the book, only to realize that there is more coming, but you have to wait (usually months) for the next installment to be published. When he recommended the series to me, he was quite explicit that there are THREE and ONLY THREE books to the saga. What happens when I get to the end of book 3? I see an excerpt from book 4! Argh! I had half a mind to hunt him down to give him a sound walloping. James' own defense is that each of the books can be read standalone because they don't end on a cliffhanger, so the "book series rule" doesn't apply here. Hrmph.
Curious as to how book 4 was going, I visited Naomi's official site, Temeraire.org, which links to her LiveJournal. Good news! Book 4 may be published as soon as fall 2007, with book 5 slated for spring 2008. Not only that, it appears that Peter Jackson has optioned the movie rights to the series. Yay!