blue_ant: (kihyun [pink hair])
[personal profile] blue_ant2017-04-09 04:17 pm

hello, world!

This week I am reading Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee

I'm about 50 pages in and I really like it. One of the things I've noticed, though, is that a lot of recent SF I've read (examples: Ancillary Mercy and The Peripheral) where you're basically dumped into the middle of the story and nothing makes sense at first. I find this to be equal parts great and annoying. A facet of urban fantasy is that each book in a series, including the first will explain shit that's happened. Sometimes I love this, but it's not good for binge reading. It's like all the 'last week on ...' that you get on TV shows. But this is completely not what's happening in the books I mentioned above, and Yoon's Ninefox Gambit. Instead, you just have to pick up knowledge as you go along. I don't know if this is a new thing or if I just haven't read a lot of SF recently, or at least more future-SF (instead of near-future or science fantasy). But, anyway, just an observation. That's not to say that I don't like Yoon's book so far, because I do. It just has a steep learning curve.

Final books of 2010

143. Killashandra by Anne McCaffrey
Crystal Singer, book 2
Adult, Science Fiction, 384p

144. *Doctor Who: The Slitheen Excursion by Simon Guerrier, read by Debbie Chazen
Science Fiction, Audiobook, 5h41m

Entertaining enough and Chazen did a fine job reading. I'm sometimes disappointed that book-companions tend to be single-story characters; June was a fun character.

144 / 160 books (89%)
62 / 80 *new books (77%)
3 / 7 ^non-fiction (43%)
39517 / 48000 pages. (82%)
Audiobooks: 65h20m


137. The Pinhoe Egg by Diana Wynne Jones
Chrestomanci (chronological order), book 6
Young Adult, Fantasy, 480p

138. Dragon's Blood by Jane Yolen
Pit Dragons Trilogy, book 1
Young Adult, Fantasy, 320p

139. Heart's Blood by Jane Yolen
Pit Dragons Trilogy, book 2
Young Adult, Fantasy, 368p

140. A Sending of Dragons by Jane Yolen
Pit Dragons Trilogy, book 3
Young Adult, Fantasy, 320p

141. Crystal Singer by Anne McCaffrey
Crystal Singer, book 1
Adult, Science Fiction, 311p

142. *Doctor Who: The Krillitane Storm by Christopher Cooper, read by Will Thorp(e)
Science Fiction, Audiobook, 5h20m

142 / 160 books (89%)
61 / 80 *new books (77%)
3 / 7 ^non-fiction (43%)
39133 / 48000 pages. (82%)
Audiobooks: 59h39m


132. Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce
Immortals Quartet, Book 1
Young Adult, Fantasy, 384p

Even in a world filled with magic, Daine Sarrasi's gift with animals stands out, and between her unusual gift and having to hide the secrets from her past, it's easier for her to connect with animals than people. It takes time (and some gentle and not-so-gentle coaxing from friends and mentors) for Daine to come to trust her new acquaintances.

I really enjoy these books and always like the strong women characters that Pierce writes, but she does have a tendency to do things like pound us over the head with the idea that something bad had happened in her past, long before we find out what it is. A few fewer - or more subtle - mentions of how she can't trust these new people with her secret because they'd surely hate her would have been just as effective, if not more so. Regardless, it's a good story and a fun, easy read.

133. Emperor Mage by Tamora Pierce
Immortals Quartet, Book 3
Young Adult, Fantasy, 358p

Daine and her friends are sent to Carthack, to meet with the Emperor. Daine's duty is to see if she can heal the Emperor's pet birds and otherwise to stay out of trouble, but unfortunately for her, the god-touched don't have a choice about where and when they're called on to intervene.

Emperor Mage is another thoroughly enjoyable Tortall story. The Immortals series really improves with each book. I love Daine's interactions with the gods and how she chooses to use her borrowed power in a way that reflects her so very well (and which is not precisely the way she is expected to use it).

134. Realm of the Gods by Tamora Pierce
Immortals Quartet, Book 4
Young Adult, Fantasy, 368p

Daine and Numair go up against a group of magical creatures of a kind they've never seen before and when it turns out that neither Daine's wild magic nor Numair's Gift can effect them, rescue comes from a surprising direction. But now they're stuck elsewhere while war threatens Tortall.

There are a lot of new and interesting characters introduced in this last book in the Immortals series, including various gods, dragons, and other immortals and magical creatures, and Daine's prejudices against Stormwings are tested. The realm of the gods itself is an intriguing place to read about, with different rules from the moral realm and wonders and dangers all its own. It's a fitting end to the series.

135. Spindle's End by Robin McKinley
Young Adult, Fantasy, 422p

A wonderful adaptation of Sleeping Beauty. I love this book - I probably liked fairy tales when I was a kid, but now the kind of story where the princess sits (or lays, as the case may be) around waiting for the prince to rescue her don't appeal to me. This is a much more active story, with the princess taking part in her own defense. The animal characters are fantastic - the different personalities they have are so appropriate to the species. And as always with McKinley's books, the description is incredible, with so much detail that the world seems to come alive.

136. *Gool by Maurice Gee
The Salt Trilogy, Book 2
Young Adult, Fantasy, 215p (read 110p)

ARC from the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program.

I found Gool a meandering, boring story with characters I had trouble telling apart, dialogue that didn't make sense, and a world I wasn't drawn into. It may have made more sense if I'd read book one of the trilogy, Salt, first but I couldn't find a copy.

136 / 160 books (85%)
60 / 80 *new books (75%)
3 / 7 ^non-fiction (43%)
37334 / 48000 pages. (78%)
Audiobooks: 54h19m


126. Blood Price by Tanya Huff
Blood series, Book 1
Adult, Fantasy, 272p

127. Blood Lines by Tanya Huff
Blood series, Book 3
Adult, Fantasy, 271p

128. Blood Pact by Tanya Huff
Blood series, Book 4
Adult, Fantasy, 332p

129. Blood Debt by Tanya Huff
Blood series, Book 5
Adult, Fantasy, 330p

130. Smoke and Shadows by Tanya Huff
Smoke series, Book 1
Adult, Fantasy, 396p

131. Smoke and Ashes by Tanya Huff
Smoke series, Book 3
Adult, Fantasy, 407p

131 / 160 books (82%)
59 / 80 *new books (74%)
3 / 7 ^non-fiction (43%)
35692 / 48000 pages. (74%)
Audiobooks: 54h19m


122. Old Man's War by John Scalzi
Old Man's War series, Book 1
Adult, Science Fiction, 313 pages

123. The Ghost Brigades by John Scalzi
Old Man's War series, Book 2
Adult, Science Fiction, 317 pages

124. The Last Colony by John Scalzi
Old Man's War series, Book 3
Adult, Science Fiction, 316 pages

125. Zoe's Tale by John Scalzi
Old Man's War series, Book 4
Young Adult, Science Fiction, 336 pages

125 / 160 books (78%)
59 / 80 *new books (74%)
3 / 7 ^non-fiction (43%)
33684 / 48000 pages. (70%)
Audiobooks: 54h19m

Behemoth and Pegasus

119. *Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld
Leviathan, book 2
Juvenile, Steampunk/Alternate History, 481p

121. *Pegasus by Robin McKinley
Pegasus, Book 1
Young Adult, Fantasy, 397p

ARC from the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program.

Sylvani, king's daughter, is preparing to be magically bonded to a son of the king of the Pegasi, as is required by the treaty between their kingdoms. To everyone's shock, at the ceremony it turns out that Sylvani can mindspeak with her bonded pegasus. Which is impossible. Except it isn't.

I was concerned about how McKinley would be able to put the pegasus - froo-froo fantastical creature to the extreme - into a serious novel. There was no need to worry, though; McKinley's nonhuman characters have always been at least as well developed as the humans. The Pegasi are amazing.

I read this knowing that it was Part 1 of an as-yet-unfinished tale, and McKinley mentioned on her blog that the ending is unsatisfying, so I knew what was coming. But I was still surprised and upset at the cliffhanger where the story stops. I loved the book, but I expect the next time I read it will be right before Book 2 is released, whenever that will be. I can't wait.

121 / 160 books (76%)
59 / 80 *new books (74%)
3 / 7 ^non-fiction (43%)
32402 / 48000 pages. (62%)
Audiobooks: 54h19m

(#120 left out because there are two #64s)


113. *Wired by Robin Wasserman
Skinned, book 3
Young Adult, Science Fiction, 400p

114. The Cat Who Played Post Office by Lillian Jackson Braun
The Cat Who, book 6
Adult, Mystery, 262 pages

115. The Cat Who Went into the Closet by Lillian Jackson Braun
The Cat Who, book 15
Adult, Mystery, 288 pages

116. The Cat Who Blew the Whistle by Lillian Jackson Braun
The Cat Who, book 17
Adult, Mystery, 311 pages

117. The Cat Who Tailed a Thief by Lillian Jackson Braun
The Cat Who, book 19
Adult, Mystery, 247 pages

118. The Cat Who Came to Breakfast by Lillian Jackson Braun
The Cat Who, book 16
Adult, Mystery, 272 Pages

118 / 160 books (74%)
57 / 80 *new books (71%)
3 / 7 ^non-fiction (43%)
31524 / 48000 pages. (62%)
Audiobooks: 54h19m


108. Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce
Song of the Lioness, book 1
Young Adult, Fantasy, 231p

While Alanna (like all of Pierce's characters) is slightly Mary Sue-ish, her story is enjoyable, she and her friends are endearing, and the world Pierce created for them to inhabit is believable. Strong female characters are Pierce's specialty and Alanna is the roughest of the bunch.

109. In the Hand of the Goddess by Tamora Pierce
Song of the Lioness, book 2
Young Adult, Fantasy, 240p

The entry of romance into her life frustrates and baffles Alanna. All she wants is to become a knight, and these distractions confuse her. Several new characters enters the picture, including one who nobody seems to see as a menace except her.

Another enjoyable book with the strong female lead. Alanna makes her own choices and refuses to be bound by her society's restrictive rules.

110. The Woman Who Rides Like A Man by Tamora Pierce
Song of the Lioness, book 3
Young Adult, Fantasy, 253p

After achieving her knighthood and defeating a great enemy, Alanna leaves the palace and all her friends to discover who she is and where she belongs.

The third book in this series introduces still more new people and challenges to this growing character. She learns diplomacy and teaching and gains the respect of another race of people. Another enjoyable book.

111. Lioness Rampant by Tamora Pierce
Song of the Lioness, book 4
Young Adult, Fantasy, 320p

Alanna goes on a quest, determined to prove to everyone (including herself) that she is worthy of her shield. When she returns, great changes have occurred and she is tested even more.

Lioness Rampant is the strongest book in the SotL series.

112. Wolf Speaker by Tamora Pierce
The Immortals, book 2
Young Adult, Fantasy, 344p

112 / 160 books (70%)
56 / 80 *new books (70%)
3 / 7 ^non-fiction (43%)
29744 / 48000 pages. (62%)
Audiobooks: 54h19m


106. *Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
Leviathan, book 1
Juvenile, Steampunk/Alternate History, 448p

Alek, the young heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, is on the run after his parents are assassinated. Deryn has disguised herself as a boy in order to join the British air fleet. Although they're on opposite sides of a war that's just beginning, this is the story of how they meet.

It is also the story of giant mechanical monsters and enormous genetically-engineered creatures, with which the war will be fought.

Not surprisingly, Leviathan is a fun read with great characters and vivid worldbuilding, aided by Keith Thompson's stunning illustrations. While I was expecting a young adult book and the writing and plotting lean more towards juvenile, it's an excellent book and highly recommended as the first in the series.

107. Lady Knight by Tamora Pierce
Protector of the Small, book 4
Young Adult, Fantasy, 409p

107 / 160 books (67%)
56 / 80 *new books (70%)
3 / 7 ^non-fiction (43%)
28356 / 48000 pages. (59%)
Audiobooks: 54h19m


102. Terrier by Tamora Pierce
Beka Cooper series, book 1
Young Adult, fantasy, 563 pages

Terrier is a fun, fast-paced story about Beka Cooper, a former street urchin who is training for Dog (police) work.

The book is set up as Beka's diary or journal but reads like a first-person novel, and as with many of Pierce's heroines, Beka has special features and abilities which help her on her chosen path. It's an enjoyable book, though not without flaws, and a good set-up for the sequel Bloodhound, which is an excellent book.

103. *Bloodhound by Tamora Pierce
Beka Cooper series, book 2
Young Adult, Fantasy, 538 pages

As much as Kel (Protector of the Small) is still my favorite Pierce heroine, Bloodhound is the best book so far in the Tortall series, if not the best Pierce has ever written. I wasn't overly thrilled with Terrier, but Bloodhound more than made up for it. Bloodhound is well-written and the characters are believable and interesting. The plot strong and intriguing, magic is used occasionally and not as a constant crutch, and Pierce is not afraid to put characters in real, even deadly danger as fits the plot and setting.

I do have two minor technical issues with the book. The first is that, as with Terrier, Bloodhound was supposedly written as a journal but, again like Terrier, it reads like a first-person novel. I've read books in this style that are good reads but also are believably journals, and this is not believably a journal. However, it doesn't detract much from the book and is amusing at times.

The second issue is that it's never explained how the coles (counterfeit coins) are being made. It's not possible to simply melt silver and pour it over brass disks to coat them, and no "silver paint" would match so perfectly with real silver as to fool suspicious people. But as I said, this is a technical issue and it wouldn't have come up if I hadn't studied metalworking, or if I hadn't been so impressed with how Pierce had dealt with metalworking in the Circle series.

Those two small issues aside, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and recommend the series to anyone who likes a fun fantasy read with a bit of crime drama mixed in.

104. Page by Tamora Pierce
Protector of the Small, book 2
Young Adult, Fantasy, 288p

Page covers Kel's second, third, and forth years as a page. She passed her first year's probationary period and has gained acceptance from many people, but she still must fight prejudice from some quarters, including several teachers, a gaggle of fellow students, and conservative nobles who oppose any change in the status quo.

This book has its ups and downs. The dialogue occasionally knocks me out of suspension of disbelief by being sounding too modern and there are long stretches of time that are glossed over or simply absent because it's a short book covering three years and occasionally this is jarring. However, overall I enjoy the book.

105. Squire by Tamora Pierce
Protector of the Small, book 3
Young Adult, Fantasy, 380p

Kel passed the big exams and has become a squire. Lady Alanna is still not allowed to be near her (for fear that she'll enchant Kel to succeed), dashing Kel's hopes of being her squire, but instead Kel is chosen by Alanna's friend Raoul to squire for him and travel with the warriors of the King's Own.

This is one of my favorite Tamora Pierce books - Kel is my favorite, in my opinion the most realistic and the least Mary-Sueish of Pierce's heroines, in part because she has no innate magical ability and therefore must figure everything out without that kind of help (or crutch). Squire is my favorite of the Protector of the Small books, possibly because Kel is such a quiet and serious character most of the time and in Squire, with Raoul and the men of the Own around, her sense of humor comes out.

105 / 160 books (66%)
55 / 80 *new books (69%)
3 / 7 ^non-fiction (43%)
27499 / 48000 pages. (57%)
Audiobooks: 54h19m


95. So You Want to be a Wizard by Diane Duane
Young Wizards, book 1
Young Adult, Fantasy, 226p

Nita Callahan, perennial geek on the bad side of the school bully, runs across an unusual book while hiding in the children's section of the town library: So You Want to be a Wizard. She thinks it's a joke until she starts learning real magic (or rather, wizardry) from it. But it's not all fun and games when Nita and fellow wizard Kit accidentally end up in an alternate universe that's not at all friendly to humans.

Duane's fantasy (with a sci-fi twist) is a joy to read and only gets better as the series goes on. What other system of magic uses terminology like temporal-spacial claudication instead of magic door? The writing is clean and crisp, the worldbuilding is fantastic, and the characters are wonderful and come in ever-expanding varieties. This series is a yearly-reread.

96. Deep Wizardry by Diane Duane
Young Wizards, book 2
Young Adult, Fantasy, 272p

Having survived their Ordeal, Nita and Kit are on vacation with Nita's family when they are put on call. They meet up with some friendly local sea life in time to participate in a large-scale wizardry set to save the whole east coast and North Atlantic.

Deep Wizardry is one of my favorite in this series. The story is heartbreaking, the additional characters are wonderful with surprising depths and the undersea setting has both beautiful descriptions and incredible dangers.

97. High Wizardry by Diane Duane
Young Wizards, book 3
Young Adult, Fantasy, 269p

Nita's little sister Dairine becomes a wizard, steals the new family computer, and starts jumping around the Solar System all in one day.

The story moves between Dairine testing her new powers and Kit and Nita chasing after her. Dairine was portrayed as a precocious brat in previous books, but now we get to see deeper into her character and also (as usual) meet exciting new additions to the cast.

This was actually the first book in the series that I ever read. It was confusing (I recommend starting with book 1) but I liked it enough to seek out the rest of the series and I'm glad I did.

98. *Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Young Adult, Science Fiction, 400p

Mockingjay is a fantastic conclusion to a fantastic trilogy. The world, the plot, characters, everything is spot-on. For all her flaws - and she has many - Katniss is a relateable character whose reactions to the situations she's thrown into are totally believable. It's heartbreaking and amazing.

99. A Wizard Abroad by Diane Duane
Young Wizards, book 4
Young Adult, Fantasy, 332p

100. The Wizard's Dilemma by Diane Duane
Young Wizards, book 5
Young Adult, Fantasy, 403p

101. A Wizard Alone by Diane Duane
Young Wizards, book 6
Young Adult, Fantasy, 320p

101 / 160 books (63%)
54 / 80 *new books (68%)
3 / 7 ^non-fiction (43%)
25730 / 48000 pages. (54%)
Audiobooks: 54h19m


88. *The Boneshaker by Kate Milford
Young Adult, Fantasy/steampunk, 372p

A strange medical fair comes to town and unlike most of her neighbors, Natalie is not convinced that they are really there to help people.

The Boneshaker is well-written with an intriguing plot and Natalie is a great character, but I'm left a bit disappointed at the end of the book. There are too many loose ends, too many things that were superficially explained but never really explained. It's a fun book but ultimately unsatisfying.

89. *Doctor Who: Cobwebs by Jonathan Morris, read by Peter Davison
Science Fiction, Audiobook, 2h19m

Excellent story.

90. *Doctor Who: Apollo 23 by Justin Richards, read by James Albrecht
Science Fiction, Audiobook, 5h31m

The American English (dialogue and accents both) was not very good.

91. Deerskin by Robin McKinley
Adult, Fantasy, 320p

92. Graceling by Kristin Cashore
Young Adult, Fantasy, 471p

93. Fire by Kristin Cashore
Young Adult, Fantasy, 461p

94. *Omnitopia Dawn by Diane Duane
Adult, Science Fiction, 352p

Excellent new science fiction novel by one of my favorite authors. I didn't even know she had a new book out until I happened to see it in the store! I can't speak to how realistic the MMPORPG or hacking is, but the characters are fantastic and the story is intriguing. Although it reads as a stand-alone, it is the first in a trilogy and I eagerly await the upcoming books.

94 / 160 books (59%)
53 / 80 *new books (66%)
3 / 7 ^non-fiction (43%)
23508 / 48000 pages. (45%)
Audiobooks: 54h19m


85. *Life in the Fat Lane by Cherie Bennett
Young Adult, Fiction, 260 pages

A "popular" high school student has a metabolic disorder that causes her to gain lots of weight.

On the one hand, this is at times a pretty accurate account of what it's like to be a fat woman - the world is against you, people can be nasty and judgmental just because of how you look, and much of life seems off-limits...even if many of the limits are only societal pressure.

On the other hand, the book emphasizes the "good fat" vs "bad fat" myth, for example that it's "ok" for one person to be fat because you know they have a disorder, and that somehow sets them apart from all the other fatties who obviously just eat too much and sit on their butts all day. It's a difficult prejudice to shake, but it would have been nice to see the characters try a little harder.

I was afraid the book would end with the main character losing all the progress she had made, and it nearly did, but overall it wasn't bad. Not recommended to people who are feeling fragile or self-conscious, but potentially recommended to people who don't understand what it's like to be fat in a fat-phobic world.

86. Magician's Ward by Patricia C. Wrede
Young Adult, Historical Fantasy, 288 pages

87. *Spacer and Rat by Margaret Bechard
Young Adult, Science Fiction, 192 pages

87 / 160 books (54%)
49 / 80 *new books (61%)
3 / 7 ^non-fiction (43%)
21532 / 48000 pages. (45%)
Audiobooks: 46h29m

83, 84

83. *White Cat by Holly Black
Young Adult, Fantasy, 320 pages

When I first sat down to read White Cat, two hours passed before I realized it. It turned out to be an enthralling story. I wasn't sure about it at first, though, because the main character, Cassel, is almost completely unlikeable. Once you get used to his self-absorption and casual disregard for other people, and also once you start understanding why he is the way he is, the story moves along steadily, with clever hints leading toward various plot points. I liked it. I liked that the end was not what I expected, and yet fit the story and characters perfectly.

I think I wish it wasn't first in a series, though, unless the other books are set in the same world with different characters. It's a self-contained story that doesn't need to be continued.

84. *Enchanted Glass by Diana Wynne Jones
Young Adult, Fantasy, 292 pages

Definitely not my favorite of DWJ's books, but an enjoyable read nonetheless. Enchanted Glass has a complex plot with many secondary characters that can be difficult to keep straight, but the main characters were relatable and fun to read about. I will definitely reread this (especially to better understand what all happened).

84 / 160 books (53%)
47 / 80 *new books (59%)
3 / 7 ^non-fiction (43%)
20792 / 48000 pages. (43%)
Audiobooks: 46h29m


80. *Boneshaker by Cherie Priest
The Clockwork Century, book 1
Adult, Science fiction/Steampunk, 414 pages

Seattle is enclosed behind a 200-foot wall, built to keep in a toxic gas coming up from the ground and the rotters it creates when people breathe it in. Briar goes into the city she thought was deserted to find her son, Zeke, who went in looking for answers.

Boneshaker is the third Priest book I've read and was just as good as I was expecting. Priest skates the edge of horror - zombies are clearly horror-monsters, and frankly I was hesitant to read the book because of that - without going over the edge into the gruesome or overly terrifying. The story is well-plotted, the characters have believable motivations and depth, and the world is intriguing enough that I am excited to read the sequels.

81. The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley
Young Adult, Fantasy, 248 pages

82. *Glimmerglass by Jenna Black
Faeriewalker, book 1
Young Adult, Urban Fantasy, 294 pages

ARC from the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program.

Dana is half-human and half-Fae teenager and when she can no longer stand living with her drunken (human) mother, she runs away to find her Fae father in Avalon, the city connecting the human and faerie worlds. But as soon as she walks through the gate, everything starts going wrong.

Glimmerglass is an exciting story of a girl caught in a world she knows nothing about, forced to trust people she barely knows and being betrayed at every turn. I was concerned toward the end that too much plot would be worked into the last few pages, but it is the first in a series, so things wrapped up this book's story and set up for the next book.

My only complaint is that I am tired of women falling for men who are nasty to them. None of the boys Dana's age are nice to her, and yet she's drooling over them because they're Fae-gorgeous. Those bits were incredibly boring, unlike the rest of the story.

82 / 160 books (51%)
45 / 80 *new books (56%)
3 / 7 ^non-fiction (43%)
20181 / 48000 pages. (42%)
Audiobooks: 46h29m


78. *Fairy Tales for Writers by Lawrence Schimel
Adult, poetry, 30 pages

I was expecting this to be an regular-sized book of short stories, not a very small book of very short poems, but I guess that's my fault for not reading descriptions or reviews more closely.

I particularly liked Cinderella and particularly disliked Hansel and Gretal and Rumpelstiltskin. Some of the stories seemed a bit of a stretch to squeeze them into the fairy tale that they were titled, but generally it was cute a cute book and it took me a total of 10 minutes to read the whole thing.

79. *Un Lun Dun by China MiƩville
Young Adult, urban fantasy, 471 pages

Two girls accidentally find their way into an alternate London. Weirdness ensues. And a war.

I loved the world described in Un Lun Dun, all the odd creatures and strange ways things functioned. The pacing seemed off, though, and many of the characters (and there were many characters) were flat and forgettable. It was the world that kept me interested in the book much more than the story or the characters.

79 / 160 books (49%)
43 / 80 *new books (54%)
3 / 7 ^non-fiction (43%)
19225 / 48000 pages. (40%)
Audiobooks: 46h29m


(still may)

76. Daja's Book by Tamora Pierce
Circle of Magic, book 3
Young adult, Fantasy, 240p

I much prefer Pierce's Tortall books - I prefer nearly any given Tortall book to any given Circle book. A big part of the problem I have with the Circle books is that there are always too many things going on at once, so none of them quite get the time they need to be developed, and so neither do the characters. In Daja's Book, for instance, there is the drought, there is the fire (admittedly the two are connected), there is Daja's problems being a cast-out from her people (since a group of her people come around), there is yet another prideful mage (I think there is one in every book) and prideful noble (likewise) to cause problems and/or discord, and then Daja's and her friends' magics get away from them (more than once).

And that's not even all of it. It's just too much. The book should be half again as long to encompass it all, and all the Circle books are like that. But this is one of the few Circle books that I specifically reread occasionally despite the problems, because certain parts of the storylines resonate with me and I really like Daja.

77. Sunshine by Robin McKinley
Adult, Fantasy, 405p

Possibly my favorite book ever. Sunshine is a reluctant heroine who would rather bake cinnamon rolls than kill vampires. The world McKinley created for her to live in is so fascinating (and terrifying) that I love reading about it and learning all the snippets of information that come up in the book alongside the story - what different kinds of demons are like (physically and socially), how magic-using can effect the user; details that make the world seem more solid and there.

77 / 160 books (48%)
41 / 80 *new books (51%)
3 / 7 ^non-fiction (43%)
18724 / 48000 pages. (39%)
Audiobooks: 46h29m



73. *The Sarah Jane Adventures: The Time Capsule by Peter Anghelides
Young Adult, Science Fiction, audiobook, 1h6m

74. *The Sarah Jane Adventures: The Thirteenth Stone by Justin Richards
Young Adult, Science Fiction, audiobook, 1h8m

75. *The Sarah Jane Adventures: The Shadow People by Scott Handcock
Young Adult, Science Fiction, audiobook, 1h5m

75 / 160 books (47%)
41 / 80 *new books (51%)
3 / 7 ^non-fiction (43%)
18079 / 48000 pages. (38%)
Audiobooks: 46h29m


68. *Doctor Who: Wetworld by Mark Michalowski, read by Freema Agyeman
Science Fiction, Audiobook, 2h22m

69. *Doctor Who: Wishing Well by Trevor Baxendale, read by Debbie Chazen
Science Fiction, Audiobook, 2h21m

70. *Doctor Who: The Price of Paradise by Colin Brake, read by Shaun Dingwall
Science Fiction, Audiobook, 2h32m

71. *Doctor Who: The Nightmare of Black Island by Mike Tucker, read by Anthony Head
Science Fiction, Audiobook, 2h26m

72. *Doctor Who: The Story of Martha -
Star-Crossed by Simon Jowett
The Frozen Wastes by Robert Shearman
Breathing Space by Steve Lockley, Paul Lewis
The Weeping by David Roden
Science Fiction, Audiobook, short stories, read by Freema Agyeman, 42m each

72 / 160 books. 45% done!
38 / 80 *new books. 48% done!
3 / 7 ^non-fiction. 43% done!
18079 / 48000 pages. 38% done!
Audiobooks: 43h10m