Thursday, May 14, 2015

Fairies, knights, adventures and cannibalism (books 31-35 for 2015)

Oooh, wow. Time I stopped reading for a few seconds and made a bit of an effort to at least partly catch up.

31 - The Darkest Part of the Forest - Holly Black

In Fairfold the fairies and elves are largely unseen, but close to hand. The locals know how to behave to remain safe, and their tourist industry is thriving. A few tourists die horribly each year but it's expected. Fairies and elves are captivating, but deadly. In an unbreakable glass coffin in the woods a boy with horns has slept for generations...

I enjoy dark fantasy, and this was an enjoyable way to spend an evening. The way that fairies and elves fit into this world and how they and Fairfold interacted clearly had a lot of research behind it. I found the relationships between the key characters interesting, if a bit overdone for my preferences. So all in all, worth the time to read if not likely to feature on this year's best-of list.

32 - The One Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared - Jonas Jonasson

On his 100th birthday Allan Karlsson is sitting in a nursing home room, while preparations for a party go on. The Mayor will be there, as will the local media. Allan decides he doesn't like the way things are going - so he leaves, via the window, to anywhere but here. Along the way he meets a curious cast of travelling companions and we hear the story of his extraordinary life.

This will be hard to beat for the best book I've read this year. The story drew me in, so much so that I nearly missed a train stop. Truly hilarious too, my fellow commuters (and before that, fellow campers) gave me some worried looks as I repeatedly failed to contain laughter. When I saw this circulating madly in the library a year or so ago I assumed it was just another so-so flavour of the minute, I'm pleased to report that I was wrong.

I'd recommend this to just about anyone. If you haven't read it, do. It's not a difficult read and the reward is spectacular!

33 - Save yourself! (Princeless, vol. 1) - Jeremy Whitely et. al.

Princess Adrienne has no interest in waiting to be rescued from her tower, and the dragon guarding her isn't keen on her intended fate either. So the two of them set out to rescue Adrienne's sisters...

A quick read, I picked this up after seeing it on a recommended reading list... somewhere ... a while ago. A funny, clever story. More aimed at children, but  I've never let that stop me enjoying a good story.

34-35 - International Flavour and Just Desserts (Chew v. 2-3) - John Layman

Two more books in this inventive, humourous and rather gruesome series. I've read several more volumes since, and well... it gets better later on. These were still pretty decent. These books start laying down more groundwork for a much longer story arc. My memories of the others I've read since have got a bit jumbled with these, so I'll write more when I review those.


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