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Dispatches from Terabithia

Currently reading

The Man With the Golden Torc
Simon R. Green
Childhood's End
Arthur C. Clarke
The Iron Ship
K. McKinley
House Immortal (House Immortal, #1)
Devon Monk
In the Night Garden
Catherynne M. Valente

The Atlantis Gene

The Atlantis Gene  - A.G. Riddle Bleh, no short synopsis this time. I really wanted to like this book, but the ‘thriller’ bits definitely outweighed the ‘sf’ bits, to the point where I got tired of reading about spies and started skimming forward. Maybe book 2 would be more my thing, but I’m not convinced that I want to buy the second book on such a thin liking for the first book. The writing was also very uneven, and at least at the beginning, would have done well to have been edited significantly.

Vampire Academy

Vampire Academy - Richelle Mead Tales of the vampire princess Lissa Dragomir and her dhampir guardian Rose at Vampire High School. It gets hard to find books that a) have been adapted to the screen and b) you haven’t read when you read as much as I do. This was basically Mean Girls with fangs. There was behavior from all sides I really didn’t like -- including the spreading of rumors and the theft of boyfriends and whatever else. And, to my shame, I’m sort of tempted to skim the rest of the series.

The Night Watch

The Night Watch - Sergei Lukyanenko, Andrew Bromfield The Others walk the streets of Moscow, split into the Night Watch, those of the light who watch over the actions of the dark, and the Night Watch, who do the opposite, in the effort to maintain the balance between good and evil. This follows Anton, who stumbles across Svetlana and Egor, both unaligned humans who have become embroiled in events that threaten the whole city and the truce that exists between the light and the dark.

I <3 me some urban fantasy; I also have the movie ordered through Netflix, but something in this just didn’t click for me, and I really don’t know why. Enjoyable, but I found myself skimming the third part. Not sure I’ll be continuing. (Also counts for Urban Fantasy, Adapted to the Screen)<br/>

Half Bad (Half Life Trilogy)

Half Bad (Half Life Trilogy) - Sally Green Man, this book was fucking grim. Gave up at 50%. Started reading "Let's Pretend This Never Happened" by Jenny Lawson to cheer myself up.

And I mean, the writing's good. But this kid just cannot catch a break. Persecuted, tortured, ignored. I quit when there were needles being shoved in fingers. Just...nope. Time to be done.

City of Stairs

City of Stairs - Robert Jackson Bennett Years ago, the city of Bulikov wielded the powers of the Gods to conquer the world. But after its divine protectors were mysteriously killed, the city's proud history has been erased and censored, progress has left it behind, and it is just another colonial outpost of the world's new geopolitical power. Into this musty, backward city steps Shara Divani. Officially, she’s just another lowly diplomat; unofficially, Shara is one of her country's most accomplished spymasters — dispatched to investigate the brutal murder of a seemingly harmless historian. As Shara pursues the mystery through the ever-shifting physical and political geography of the city, she begins to suspect that the beings who once protected Bulikov may not be as dead as they seem.

I kept getting vibes of China Mieville’s City and the City while I was reading this for some reason -- probably the parallel worlds coexisting in one place. I have to admit, about 3/4s of the way through I started laughing out loud at some of the things being spouted -- it seemed like an indictment against those musty Old Testament rules that make no sense at all anymore, and I just couldn’t stop myself. 10/10, would read again, loved it.

Sweep in Peace

Sweep in Peace - Ilona Andrews You know something’s gotta be awesome if I’m hitting reload on a website every day. In fact, I think I keep Ilona’s blog on a tab permanently just in case she updates. Book one was entitled Clean Sweep and was released as an e-book last year. The series is about the innkeeper of a little bed and breakfast -- which happens to serve aliens. Sweep in Peace is book two, and it’s a lot of fun.

Day Shift (Midnight, Texas)

Day Shift - Charlaine Harris Welcome to Midnight, Texas, a town with many boarded-up windows and few full-time inhabitants, located at the crossing of Witch Light Road and Davy Road. It’s a pretty standard died-up western town. Stop at the one traffic light, and everything looks normal. Stay awhile, and learn the truth… Fun books -- I like that the world isn’t ending, it’s not anything major, it’s just a small town of like ten people who all have secrets and some drama that arises coincidentally, not because there are GRAND PLOTS omg. It’s a nice break once in a while.

Midnight Crossroad

Midnight Crossroad - Charlaine Harris Welcome to Midnight, Texas, a town with many boarded-up windows and few full-time inhabitants, located at the crossing of Witch Light Road and Davy Road. It’s a pretty standard died-up western town. Stop at the one traffic light, and everything looks normal. Stay awhile, and learn the truth… Fun books -- I like that the world isn’t ending, it’s not anything major, it’s just a small town of like ten people who all have secrets and some drama that arises coincidentally, not because there are GRAND PLOTS omg. It’s a nice break once in a while.

Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania

Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania - Erik Larson Larson’s narrative style applied to the sinking of the Lusitania and how it brought America into WWI. Loved it. Always love Larson’s stuff. He’s on auto-buy for forever.

Karen Memory

Karen Memory - Elizabeth Bear Karen is a young woman on her own, is making the best of her orphaned state by working in Madame Damnable’s high-quality bordello. Trouble erupts one night when a badly injured girl arrives at their door, begging sanctuary, followed by the man who holds her indenture, and who has a machine that can take over anyone’s mind and control their actions. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, the next night brings a body dumped in their rubbish heap—a streetwalker who has been brutally murdered. I found this a lot of fun -- not fantasy, in and of itself, but steampunk and Elizabeth Bear, so I’m cool with it.

The Emperor's Blades

The Emperor's Blades - Brian Staveley The Emperor has been murdered, leaving the Annurian Empire in turmoil. Now his progeny must bury their grief and prepare to unmask a conspiracy. His son Valyn, training for the empire’s deadliest fighting force, hears the news an ocean away. He expected a challenge, but after several ‘accidents’ and a dying soldier’s warning, he realizes his life is also in danger. Meanwhile, the Emperor’s daughter, Minister Adare, hunts her father’s murderer in the capital itself. Court politics can be fatal, but she needs justice. And Kaden, heir to an empire, studies in a remote monastery. Here, the Blank God’s disciples teach their harsh ways – which Kaden must master to unlock their ancient powers. It definitely took me a while to click into this book, but that had more to do with my circumstances than with the book itself. The prologue was fantastic. The rest just didn’t sink in and I had to keep pushing to stay interested. Once it clicked? Awesome. Only drawback -- I somehow fell asleep last night with twenty pages left to go, then had to go to work this morning instead of finishing. Fail.

The Shadow of the Torturer (The Book of the New Sun #1)

The Shadow of the Torturer (The Book of the New Sun #1) - Gene Wolfe The tale of young Severian, an apprentice in the Guild of Torturers on the world called Urth, exiled for committing the ultimate sin of his profession -- showing mercy toward his victim -- and follows his subsequent journey out of his home city of Nessus.

So this week may not have been the appropriate week to read this book. Like, by a long shot. This week may have even been one where I’d have had trouble digesting something simple and YAey since we had lots of family drama, which usually (and this time, too) leads me to indulge in weird daytime TV that mostly involves HGTV and little else.

SO. I read the first half of this pre-drama, enjoyed it but didn’t really look too closely at it, which I gather is not the way to read this book. Then drama happened, I took a day or two off from reading, and came back to it a bit lost. I gulped the second half of the book down today with the frequent periodic outbursts of a video gamer cursing at his game coming from my husband, and I totally did not understand the significance of anything that happened. Woo. From about where we met Dr. Talos, I felt like the whole story took a loop for the genuinely odd, and while I got the greater riffs of the story I don’t really see what was so significant about them or whether I should continue on. Sigh.

The Darkest Part of the Forest

The Darkest Part of the Forest - Holly Black Hazel lives with her brother, Ben, in the strange town of Fairfold where humans and fae exist side by side. The faeries’ seemingly harmless magic attracts tourists, but Hazel knows how dangerous they can be, and she knows how to stop them. Or she did, once. At the center of it all, there is a glass coffin in the woods. It rests right on the ground and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives. Hazel and Ben were both in love with him as children. The boy has slept there for generations, never waking. Until one day, he does…

I’m realizing I’ve now read four Holly Black books in two months. Woo. Totally unintentional, yo. I found myself absolutely riveted to this audiobook after several false starts where I just couldn’t get hooked in, but once I did I really enjoyed myself. It’s an interesting take on the urban fantasy fairy interactions -- complete with female warrior, believable LGBT characters. Whimsical, beautiful, dark, fun. The mechanic that the story depended on was awesome, though I did see the twist coming from a mile away, darnit.

Golden Son

Golden Son - Pierce Brown Golden Son continues the stunning saga of Darrow, a rebel forged by tragedy, battling to lead his oppressed people to freedom from the overlords of a brutal elitist future built on lies. Now fully embedded among the Gold ruling class, Darrow continues his work to bring down Society from within. I did not like this book as much as I did Red Rising. I dunno… it was flinchy. I was absolutely flinching at the end of it to the point that I wasn’t sure I wanted to put the third book on my to-read list. It’s not that it isn’t good, it just didn’t hold me the way the first book did. Bleh. Don’t hate me.

Brown Girl in the Ring

Brown Girl in the Ring - Nalo Hopkinson In a post-riot Toronto that the rich and privileged have fled, barricaded, and left to crumble, the inner city has had to rediscover old ways: farming, barter and herb lore. Now the monied need a harvest of bodies, so they prey upon the helpless of the streets. With nowhere to turn, a young woman must open herself to ancient truths, eternal powers, and a tragic mystery surrounding her family and bargain with the gods to save herself. My husband read this for his Caribbean Folklore class he took this term, and he’s been insisting that I read it ever since, even though I really didn’t think I’d like it that much. I was right: The dialect in this book was really difficult for me, but the traditional folk-tale structure of the story revived a lot of it. There were notes of African folklore, Anansi stories, and even a little bit of Neil Gaiman’s storytelling structure present. Not really for me, for the most part, but I can see why it was so well-loved.

The Shadow Over Innsmouth

The Shadow Over Innsmouth - H.P. Lovecraft The Shadow Over Innsmouth is a short novel about a weird hybrid race of humans and creatures resembling a cross between a fish and a frog, which lives in the seaside village of Innsmouth, so says the synopsis. In reality, it reads like a journal or a travelogue, and honestly, the writing style kept me with it as much as anything, as it was very matter-of-fact about what the writer went through. I’ve had this on my to-read list for a very long time, having been a goth teenager with a penchant for reading excessive amounts of books, and the books I skipped over in my goth-dom would probably have gotten me kicked out for cardinal sins - I never got around to Lovecraft or Gaiman’s Sandman comics, for instance -- so I’m glad I’ve finally gotten to both this year. I think I missed the comics train, unfortunately, but this was very readable and very creepy.