Sunday, July 01, 2007

June books

First Truth, and Hidden Truth by Dawn Cook B+
Good fantasy books. Liked them very much. Fun characters and an interesting situation. Wish I could find the third book!!

The Husband by Dean Koontz B+
Good. Not his best. Interesting story.

Forbidden City by Alex Archer C
From the Rogue Angel series, which I didn’t know until I’d gotten a chapter in… A good adventure, but lousy writing… Had an interesting idea, just really cliché and bland.

Touch the Dark by Karen Chance D-
Okay, I admit I only got a third of the way through the book and quit… Too much telling and not enough story, which I find Very Annoying. Also, rather dark, dark, dark… Beth loves vampire books and recommends them to me frequently, and in general, I’m just not into them. Some of them are good, but this is not one of them.

Mirror Dance, Memory, Komarr by Lois McMaster Bujold A-
Loved these… Excellent stories, characters… They are mystery/sci-fi/adventure/space opera tales following Miles Vorkosigan. It was interesting to reread these again. I’m amazed at how much is going on in these books. Each of them is so thick with multiple stories and happenings that I must have missed a quarter of everything the first time around. I missed much of the gore and violence of Mirror Dance the first time I read it… I don’t know how I could possibly have missed how nasty the torture and violence was... I was deeply disturbed this time around. And I feel like I skimmed Memory the first time I read it- I’ve already blogged on Memory so won’t again, except to say it really affected/changed me this time. Good books!

Taken by Thomas Cook B-
Interesting. I kept reading this mostly to find out what was going to happen. The characters were rather flat, but the ideas were fun. I wish it had actually gone somewhere… Reminded me of King’s Firestarter a little, but definitely didn’t live up to King’s story-telling. I felt like Taken opened a can of worms and just left them flopping around on the concrete…

Divine by Mistake by P.C. Cast A-
I loved the narrator in this book, very quirky and fun. (My mom started this and told me she was ‘silly’ and she didn’t mean in a good way. I loved the sense of humor mixed throughout, perhaps because the author is an English teacher…) I enjoyed this very much. A woman is snatched from her world and thrust into some alternate dimension where she is now the goddess Epona’s spokesperson to her people, gets married to a centaur, and has to fight the vampires rampaging her country… Warning: yes, this is a fantasy book, but it’s under Harlequin’s new fantasy label, Luna, which means it’s a fantasy/romance. Yes, there’s some raciness to it, but rather mild. Harlequin has recently noticed the amount of women now reading fantasy & sci-fi and has pulled together some tried and true writers plus some newbies to make money off said readers. Some of the books are excellent, some are merely pathetic… This one was good.

Fortune’s Fool by Mercedes Lackey A
I enjoyed this so much!! Lackey’s combined so many wonderful fairy tale elements in her 500 Kingdoms novels and this is definitely my favorite so far. Fortune’s Fool is the story of the seventh son of a Russian King and the seventh daughter of the Sea King. They deal with Baba Yaga, a kitsune, a Jinn, dragons, the Little Humpback Horse, a Rusalka, a werewolf... And that’s only the stuff I can remember! Acres and acres of fairy-tale traditions surrounding the seventh child of a king and that’s what Lackey’s playing off of in this lovely little tale. Fun for the fairy-tale lover…

Spellsinger by Alan Dean Foster A
I read these a long time ago. Loved them then and it was fun to realize how good they really are as I re-read them almost 20 years later… I enjoy Foster’s humour and cynicism. A young college student is transferred from our world to a world of magic and enormous, intelligent animals in the hopes that he will be able to ‘save the world’. Good for laughs, sheer adventure and zaniness. I used to own all these, but in my first couple of years in college I hit a time when I was sure God was telling me to stop reading fantasy & magic so I ditched ‘em all. (didn’t burn ‘em, I’ve got a friend who did that, but I thought that was just silly… I gave ‘em to the local used book store and got credit! Far more practical.) Oh, I’ve mourned the loss of some of those books!!! I don’t know why God had me do that, maybe just to cause me to trust Him with all my belongings. Who knows. I’ve been able to re-read some of those I got rid of and discover how lousy they were- I’m delighted to say these are still excellent! It’s delightful to rediscover these characters: Jon-Tom, the transferred human and out-of-control magician; Mudge, the cynical, loyal and overly-sexed otter; Clothahump, the ancient tortoise magician who yanked Jon-Tom from a gentle marijuana aided sleep into a mysterious/shocking world of magic and death by skunk… (Another set I’ve mourned was Joel Rosenberg’s Guardians of the Flame. I’ve read those since then and they weren’t quite as good as I’d remembered, but still very good.)

The Impatient Beader: Easy Jewelry Projects for the Busy Beginner by Margot Potter A
Excellent book for the beader. Interesting designs & concepts. Excellent & simple instructions. I want to buy this! (I checked it out from the library.) It’s not that I need the instructions or really the design projects, but I love looking at her stuff because they fill my head with ideas for my own stuff. Excellent as a spring-board for my own designs. (if you’re interested or knowledgeable, this one is mostly bead stringing projects)

Simply Beautiful Beading: 53 Quick and Easy Projects by Heidi Boyd A
Very simple book for the beginner. Interesting designs and concepts. Another library book I want to buy. An excellent springboard for the beading I already do. I like some of her projects, and some I’d NEVER even look at twice, but there’s enough here that it’s definitely a valuable resource. (Again, if you’re interested or knowledgeable, this one has a broad variety of projects- wirework, macramé, beaded boxes, etc.)

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