In the process of being sick, I decided to give the Codex Alera series (by Jim Butcher) a second chance. Last time I tried I only got ten pages into the first book. This time, I burned through the whole series in less than a week (damn you, Kindle, and your instant gratification!) Less shark-jumpy than his Dresden Files series, and more carefully-crafted. He keeps a lot of secrets from one book to the next, and is confident enough not to answer all the questions he raises, even five books in, there are questions unanswered from the first book.
(Oh, and as evidence that I'm still alive and well, I still hate Perl.)