Sunday, August 4, 2013

Five book reviews for the price of one!

Spellbound is the second book in the Spell trilogy by Blake Charlton. I recently read the first book, Spellwright which was seriously impressive. This was still a good book - it opened very strongly and was rather hard to put down, but it didn't quite have the edge the first did. It also used one of my least favourite tropes, but I'd rather not spoiler it for you, and in connection with said trope, something that was stated to be impossible naturally happened and despite the predictability it was presented as a major reveal. Despite some flaws it still comes highly recommended to those who enjoy original high fantasy.
No release date has been given for book three yet. I hope it isn't too far off!

After becoming aware of the male-protagonist-dominated nature of my paranormal detective reading I've been looking for a good paranormal detective series with a female protagonist that doesn't rapidly head down the erotica or maiden in distress route for a long time.
Greywalker by Kat Richardson is the most promising I've sound so far. I like that the protagonist takes some time to get used to her abilities and that this is not done in too twee or convenient a manner - she takes time to start to control her new abilities and by the end of the book she's still got some way to go - a good thing as this is the beginning of an ongoing series. I like that she's got some useful skills but recognises the ability of others and uses the variety of skills that her friends and aquaintances have rather than being a one person solution to the ills of the world. I was briefly worried that it was taking a turn down the erotica route that so many have before but thankfully Greywalker proved me wrong.
Perfect? No. Looking foward to reading book two? Yes. Recommended? Also yes.

'Monday 17 April 8st 13, alcohol units 6 (drowning sorrows), cigarettes 19 (fumigating sorrows), calories 3983 (suffocating sorrows with fat-duvet), positive thoughts 1 (vg)

Helen Fielding's Bridget Jones's Diary is one of the very few chick lit books (and movies) that I really enjoy. It's really not my genre, but this stuff is really funny and, reading it (again) as a single nearly-thirty, at times it's absolutely nails things - the quote above isn't one of those things, thankfully. I found this on a market stall while on holiday in Brisbane when I was nearly out of reading matter. With a third book due in October it was well worth the time. I'll have to find the second before the new book is out!

“If you’re brave enough to try, you might be able to catch a train from UnLondon to Parisn’t, or No York, or Helsunki, or Lost Angeles, or Sans Francisco, or Hong Gone, or Romeless…”

Un Lun Dun by China Mieville is another re-read from my Brisbane trip. I loved this book and I'm sure I'll read it plenty more times. Don't be put off by the recommended age of the book - it's great for adults too. A wonderful surreal world that evokes a feeling of wonder. A story that takes the tropes, runs with them for a bit and then turns them upside down to make something beautiful. Absolutely recommended.

When interviewed by Erin Morgenstern Neil Gaiman explained 'I told my publishers there was a novella on the way, but then I did a word count at the end, and realized I just wrote a novel by accident!' (source)

I was excited to hear that a Neil Gaiman novel was coming and I was not disappointed. I picked this up at the Queensland State Library bookshop when I was about to run out of holiday reading (again). The ocean at the end of the lane delivers a very different and dark fantasy based on places and events from Gaiman's childhood. Just go read it. Really.

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