Thursday, July 1, 2010

My monthly reads - June

Lamplighter - D.M. Cornish
Better than the first one, though a little predictable in parts. I was ambivalent about the series at the end of the first book, but now I look forward to the release of book three in October.

Doppelganger - Marie Brennan
Something recommended to me by Amazon, seems their taste is pretty good. A divergence from the usual Sword or Sorcery questions you get with fantasy.

Warrior and Witch - Marie Brennan
I liked the first one so much I had to read the sequel straight away. Just as good as the first, although a little more disjointed, because it kept changing which character's POV it was following.

Nim's Island - Wendy Orr
A fun kids book I read to compare it to the movie. We watched it on tv with the kids the other week, and we quite enjoyed it. I think it's one of the closest book to movie conversions I've seen, with the exception of adding in the fantasy 'Alex Rover' character. That was my favourite bit of the movie, don't get me wrong, it just wasn't in the book.

Debt of Bones - Terry Goodkind
Because DP and I have been watching Legend of the Seeker, I thought I'd go back and reread all my Sword of Truth books. They are just as good if not better after repeated reading... much like brownies that are better after a few days in the fridge.

Fire - Kristin Cashore
A prequel to Graceling (which I've not yet read, but will soon), this was a really good story of a human monster, who inspires desire in those that look at her. In case that wasn't enough, she can read and control minds as well. A well woven plot, with little tidbits left to discover all the way through, and a host of well written, likeable characters. Fire's moral wranglings over how she uses her powers and how people react to her really brought the character to life for me.

Graceling - Kristin Cashore
Reading the prequel first didn't really effect my enjoyment of this book, but if you are the sort with a sharp mind that notices small details, read this one first. Once again, a book with a well woven plot, and a strong gutsy heroine doing the impossible. She's almost a Mary Sue, in terms of her ability, but well written enough that she is still likeable.

Wicked - Gregory Maguire
I've read his marvellous story 'What-The-Dickens: Story of a Rogue Tooth Fairy' and thoroughly enjoy the way this author reimagines classic folk tales and fairy tales and stories from our collective childhoods. This retelling of the Wizard of Oz from the wicked witch of the West's point of view was quite good, for the most part. Elphaba's childhood and formative years were dealt with very well, but the end of the story, where it begins to meet with the traditional Frank Baum tale seemed a little rushed and forced to me. Still, I did like Wicked, and look forward to the sequel, and more of Maguire's fairytale retellings.

Son of a Witch - Gregory Maguire
The sequel to Wicked, I found I didn't enjoy this as much as the first book. Liir as a character lacked the strength of conviction that his 'mother' had, and his mopey, depressed, self-pitying narrative that takes up much of the book bored me. But when he had purpose, the story moved along well, tying up next to none of the loose threads from the first book perhaps, but giving a small glimpse into the lives of Ozians after the Wizard was gone.

No one noticed the cat - Anne McCaffrey
The Anne McCaffrey equivalent of a Mills & Boon novel. No pussy jokes please! I don't mean to say this is a bodice ripper, just that it is a easy novel, perfect for a light hour or two of reading relaxation. In a setting that could have been fraught with politics, this light royal drama requires little thinking from the reader. Not to say that every step is spelled out in condescending dreariness, but that children and adults alike will like this book. Not something I'd give my six year old, with the murders, and sideways, though present, mention of the matrimonial bed, (I'm pretty sure that would go over his head at least), but this isn't as complex in its relationships as a Pern novel, by any stretch. Still, for not being a detailed tapestry, this is still a well woven story, that is no less bright for it's ease of reading.