Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Author: David Wellington
Publisher: Three Rivers Press
I try to go into each book I read with a kind of presumption of innocence. I flip the front cover for the first time with the idea that the book will be good, and as I read the evidence is presented for or against that point. With Frostbite, it wound up going in the other direction -- I started to hate the book in short order, but slowly warmed up to it as the story progressed. The result was a read that was kinda lumpy -- the bad stuff is piled at the beginning, and the good stuff at the end. I found it rewarding overall, but having to slog through the first half may be too much for some readers.
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Author: S. A. Swann
Publisher: Ballantine Books
I picked up Wolfbreed more or less on impulse. I chanced upon it while I was browsing the local public library in search of the copy of Frostbite that I knew was there. From the cover, I figured Wolfbreed for a fantasy novel, which is not I genre I read extensively, but that was part of what drew me to it. After a long string of Urban Fantasies punctured by the occasional YA paranormal, I was interested in something a little different. Well, I kinda got that, and I kinda didn't. Wolfbreed has a very by-the-numbers plotline, but it's also a testament to the power of a writer's skill to make even predictable stories interesting. In fact, the quality of the storytelling in on such a high level that I'm annoyed that the book languishes in relative obscurity while lesser books are better-known.
Sunday, January 9, 2011
Author: Cynthia Leitich Smith
Sometimes in literature, the hero will have a poorly-written love interest. You know the type: not a really defined character, little personality, even less agency in the story. She hangs around the hero a lot, just kinda being there, not really contributing anything except maybe a sex scene or two (If it's an adult book, instead of YA). Then, in the last act, she finally serves some purpose in the book by being kidnapped by the bad guy, prompting the hero to get really steamed and race to the rescue. Tantalize is this girl's story: the story of the shallow, uninteresting, totally-irrelevant-to-anything love interest. Who thought this was a good idea?
Saturday, January 1, 2011
Author: Carrie Vaughn
I seem to be in a love triangle with the Kitty Norville books. I love them, and I also love this blog. If the blog just loved Kitty too, we'd have a nice little menage going, but she must be a jealous creature. Every time Kitty comes over to have some fun, the blog is only a reluctant participant, sulking about while I try to... to...
Okay, not the best metaphor. But the point is: I liked Kitty Raises Hell. In fact, it reminded me why I run this blog, and after a few weeks of generally-mediocre material, that's a reminder that I sorely needed. But now, facing the need to do a write-up, I'm not sure that I have anything meaningful to say about it.