Appaloosa by Robert B. Parker: This is the first in a series of Westerns by the guy who wrote the Spenser: For Hire novels. So, the good is that this is fast-paced, engaging, and Westerny without being too over-the-top cornball Westerny, if that makes any sense. The bad is that I really disliked most of the characters aside from the narrator (and I wasn't all that sure about him) -- which was kind of the point (the point being that it takes a certain kind of person to live a gunslinger's life, and neither gunslingers nor people who are attracted to them are nice kinds of people) but it made slow going at times. I also realized around the second half of the book that I'm sick to death of stories about gunslingers; I found myself a lot more interested in the "civilian" characters who wandered across the page (the prostitutes, the Chinese immigrant workers, the restaurant owners). On the other hand, the last chapter grabbed me hard and the preview of the next book intrigued me enough that god help me, I went out to B&N and bought the rest of the series. So we'll see how it goes.
Duma Key by Stephen King: Well, it's King. If you like King, or if you don't like King, you'll know what to expect (and what not to expect; I think this book ups the ante on King's weird race issues by quite a large margin). It's doorstopper-sized and pretty much vintage King. This one's about art and artistic creativity, and I think it made me afraid to draw anything ever again.
Northlander by Meg Burden: Fantasy of the England-derived, kings-castles-and-magic type. Most of the problems I had with the book were problems of the first-novel sort (odd pacing, awkward coincidences), and world-building issues (I'm mega-picky on world-building). But I loved the characters (five really quite adorable brothers, and the telepathic outsider with healing powers who comes among them) and I'm sure I'll be after the next book soon, because I want to know what happens to them next.
The Hallowed Hunt by Lois McMaster Bujold: I liked her other Chalion books a lot, but ... I couldn't even finish this. SO. BORING. The plot drags, I found the characters utterly bland, and I ended up just skimming to the end to see if things picked up when the fighting got going (answer: no).