Tuesday, June 28, 2011


by Catherine Fisher

Grade: Good
Story: Rob's sister Chloe is in a coma, and it is ruining his family's lives. Then there's a druid and some weird New Age people and a Catholic priest. Also Avebury.

I'm not sure about this book. I finished it (which, considering how difficult I've found it to read books recently, is quite an accomplishment), but barely. The Darkhenge was dark and creepy, and the characters were definitely themselves (I especially liked one: see below). But there was something missing. I don't know what. It reminded me of Over Sea and Under Stone quite a lot actually, so maybe it's just that it's too young for me. Speaking of too young:

Catherine Fisher seems to have something against Romantic relationships. Not that this book seemed like it needed one. It's just that there isn't really any in any of her books. Plus she is sooo vague on her website about answering questions to do with that sort of thing. Which, even if I am often rather against Romantic-ness, can actually be rather annoying.
I mean, this book is more of a younger book than Incarceron, but still.

However, on the good side.
The Catholic priest was cool. Father Mac. He a) was actually orthodox b) actually had a real personality. Many fictional priests are missing on one of those two necessities at least. The orthodoxy was especially cool in the way it was treated, I thought. In many books like this, the priest or Catholic person will either willy-nilly go along with whatever the druids and New Agers say, or they will be stubbornly and crabbily against anything at all even remotely getting close to strange happenings. But he was more like a C. S. Lewis character, in the way CSL incorporated mythology and legend and ancient beliefs into That Hideous Strength. Which, as I said at the beginning, is cool.

I keep waffling between "Good" and "All right". I've changed it back and forth at least twice now. Well, what the heck. I'll give it a good for Father Mac and sibling relationships.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Rosemary and Rue

by Seanan McGuire

Grade: Unfinished
Read: To page 25.

So. Back to my old issue. I am so definitely over that lovely phase when I enjoyed almost every romance I read, and am back to the really annoying stage when I dislike almost every one of them. So I got to the sentence about the attractiveness of Tybalt, and I couldn't read any further. Grrrrr. Why can't I just get over it?
Otherwise, it was a pretty cool book. I liked the writing style and the main character and the world. So what more can you ask?


by Leah Cypess

Grade: All right
Story: Isabel is the Shifter--un-human and completely dangerous. She is captured in order to protect new king, because of course there is Danger! and Plots!

This was a bit weird for me. When I began, I really liked it, and then half way through I suddenly lost interest. It might be more the time of year right now. It's all I can to do to just keep everything together. It might also be (spoiler--visit rot13.com to decode) gur snpg gung V qrpvqrq V qvqa'g ybir Ebxna naq V qvq ybir Ira. Naq gura Ira qvrq. Noehcgyl. Naq gura jnf onfvpnyyl arire zragvbarq ntnva. Naq gura Ebxna orpnzr gur ybir vagrerfg. Naq nf lbh zvtug xabj, Ebznapr pna or n ernyyl naablvat vffhr sbe zr. Vg qevir zr penml, ohg gurer vg vf.

However, I don't think that was all of it. I don't know what it was. Maybe there just wasn't enough there to keep me going. And yet Tamora Pierce and Megan Whalen Turner both recommended it! So there must be something awesome about it. I do think Isobel was a great character, and I loved the descriptions of her and her fleeting memories of the past.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


by Michael Grant

Grade: Good
Story: "One minute the teacher was talking about the Civil War. And the next minute he was gone." So it's only the kids left, and of course lots of horrible things happen.

It's way too late and I'm exhausted, so this'll be fast.

--Like a mix between Hunger Games and The Lord of the Flies and some YA book I can't think of.
--In other words, kids die gruesomely.
--But it's fantastic. I mean, not the dying, the book. Flies along at a break neck speed, and you can't stop reading for the life of you.
--Weird mix between SciFi and Fantasy. When I was half way through, I couldn't figure out whether the ultimate villain would be an evil wizard, or some random act of physics. I still can't, actually. I would explain more about what I mean, except for the reasons I stated at the beginning of this.
--There are already four sequels. Gracious! Can't wait.

EDIT: Here are the reviews for the sequels: Hunger, Lies, Plague, Fear, and Light.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Line Between

by Peter S. Beagle

Grade: Good
Story: Various (short stories).

It was a while ago that I read this, so forgive the lack of quotes and fascinating observations. Not that there is any really when I do write my review immediately after reading the book...

"Gordon, the Self-Made Cat" -- Awesome and funny.

"Two Hearts" -- Excellent addition to The Last Unicorn. Sometimes short stories set in the same world as novels seem slightly weird, like perhaps simply giving in to the desire to have MORE. But this was good. Excellent characters and slightly sad, like TLU. Why weren't Molly and Schmendrick married though? I like married people, so there.

"Four Fables" -- Great, awesome. The last one had weird theology, though.

"El Regalo" -- Reminded me of Diana Wynne Jones. In a good way. Kids and unsuspected magical powers, and the whole tone of the thing. Great fun. Also--Buffy mention! And Willow poster!

"Quarry" -- I think this would be better if I knew the story that this is connected to. As it was, it was good, but I would have preferred to understand the relationship between the two characters better. But the monsters were cool as anything.

"Salt Wine" -- It was slightly boring for me at first, but I loved it nearer the end. It just seemed to take a while to get there. Plus--accents. They're hard to read. This type especially.

"Mr. Sigerson" -- Great! Unusually melancholy for a SH story, though. Because that is Beagle's style, I suppose. Now I'll have to buy this book to add to a future Sherlock collection.

"A Dance for Emilia" -- The switch to fantasy was slightly strange. It really seemed like a real-life story (which it was supposed to be, according to the intro), and then all of a sudden there was a talking cat. I guess that is part of Beagle's style too. I have to figure him out still. He reminds me so much of something, I just can't think what.