Sunday, March 06, 2005

Since the kind nod from Brandywine Books, I've had a flattering number of hits that have shamed me into posting. I've spent the past week reading about three books a day (it was kind of a bad week), yet I haven't much to say about any of them--mostly fantasy and juvenile fiction. Not that those aren't worth reviewing, but when I read that many at a time they all sort of blend together. A few of note:

Jenna Starborn, by Sharon Shinn. Oddly enough, an SF retelling of Jane Eyre. One of those things that either really works or really doesn't, and somehow in this case it worked. While the author stayed fairly close to the story, simply updating the time period, she cleverly changed a few things that made it her own yet kept the same feeling and atmosphere of the original. I really liked this, and will certainly try Sharon Shinn again.

Cart and Cwidder and Drowned Ammet, by Diana Wynne Jones. These are the first two books of the Dalemark Quartet, and I'm not quite sure how they're going to tie together, other than the common thread of rebellion and revolution. However, both were excellent stories on their own, which I always appreciate in a series, and Jones has a great style. (Also she grew up in Thaxted, a lovely little village in England that I was privileged enough to visit a few years ago.)

The Worldwide Dessert Contest, by Dan Elish. A very old favorite from my childhood--a funny, lighthearted story of a man who keeps coming in last in the dessert contest because at the last minute his desserts always turn into other things like trampolines, knee pads, super glue... Enter the rhyming Captain B. Rollie Ragoon and his roller-skating apple pies! Lots of fun.

The Winter Oak, by James A. Hetley. The sequel to The Summer Country, which I liked a great deal. Both are just the kind of fantasy I enjoy--urban, or mythic, as it's called. If only the characters weren't always abuse victims... Ah well. The scientist witch/cyber pagan in these books makes up for that.

Treve, by Albert Payson Terhune. I picked this up at a used bookstore in Portland for 35 cents! His Lad of Sunnybank books were among my favorites as a child, and this is one I read as well but didn't remember. A sentimental, manipulative, and perfectly wonderful story about, of course, a collie, and two men who own a sheep ranch.

A Stir of Bones, by Nina Kiriki Hoffman. This is a prequel to a couple of her other books, which I won't name because her titles are much less memorable than the books themselves and I can never keep them straight. Anyway, it's about 4 children who discover a haunted house, and is a good backstory though somewhat thin on its own.

There are a few other books I want to post about at greater length, but as they are somewhat more edifying literature I think I will save them for another time.

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