Jun. 24th, 2010 09:57 am
fiveforsilver: (Blue window)
[personal profile] fiveforsilver
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


Aug. 15th, 2009 06:42 pm
fiveforsilver: (Witchblade [Sarah/computer])
[personal profile] fiveforsilver
Final books of July (yeah, I'm a bit behind) :

107. *Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd, edited by Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci (403) YA/SF-Fan-Fic

Short stories about geeks and nerds of various stripes. Some of them are more-or-less realistic, some of them aren't realistic at all, most of them are hysterically funny. Authors include MT Anderson, John Green, David Levithan, Garth Nix, Cythia Leitch Smith, and Scott Westerfeld.

108. *Fathom by Cherie Priest (384) A/Fan

For an unknown purpose, a sort of earth elemental convinces a man to build a tower in a specific place. In pursuit of a way to awaken her father (Levithan), a kind of water goddes takes a drowning girl and changes her into something new. The girl's cousin is turned into a statue and set in a garden near the shore for reasons which we don't find out until much later.

The book follows a number of different threads and it's not obvious until far into the story how they relate and who is good or bad.

Actually, it's never entirely clear, but if I were a human living in that world, I know who I would want to win.

It's rare to find a book where not having answers is as fascinating as having them would be. But in this book, in which very little has concrete explanations and most of the characters aren't human (even if they once were), the story is more important than the explanations, and I loved it.

109. *Fearless Fourteen by Janet Evanovich (320) A/Mys

Hey, more standard Stephanie Plum. Lots of crazy grandma in this one, a little more Morelli than Ranger as I recall, and some amusing computer geeks to add to the weird.

110. *Doctor Who: The Pirate Loop by Simon Guerrier, read by Freema Agyeman (2:20) A/SF

This one was odd (well, they're all odd, aren't they?) but fun.

110 / 150 books. 73% done!

61 / 75 *new books. 81% done!

3 / 10 ^non-fiction. 30% done!

31248 / 45000 pages. 69% done!
Audiobooks: 26h30m


Apr. 20th, 2009 11:41 am
blue_ant: (carli [reading])
[personal profile] blue_ant
27. Kin (The Good Neighbors, Book 1) by Holly Black
The back and inside cover of this book, and the fact that it's a YA graphic novel with a female lead, are what drew me to this book. It's short, not a Watchman length book, but that doesn't mean it's not good. In fact, I found it be exceptional. The drawings, while just black and white, don't need to be anything else. They're brilliant, expressive and scary all at once. The story is part mystery and part fantasy, with both genres mixing quite well together. I found myself easily pulled into the story, and once finished, I discovered I wanted the next book immediately (yes, there is a cliff hanger, so readers beware). I will probably check out some of Holly Black's other works as well.

28. The Explosionist by Jenny Davidson
A very nice, clever book about a world close to our own, but not quite. The book is a combination of alternative history (what would life be like, had a crucial moment England's history happened differently?) and science fiction with a twist of the supernatural. Davidson's writing is strong, and while I had a few issues with Sophie's behavior, but nothing that really kept me from finishing and enjoying the book. The story takes place in Scotland and we follow the life of 15-year old Sophie. Unlike a few books I've read recently, though there's a sequel in the works, there's no real cliffhanger here. The Explosionist could be the only book, and it while we'd want more from this world, Davidson ties everything up quite nicely and without making it seem like a ploy. Very clever little book and, in an odd way, reminded me (vaguely) of Stephenson's The Diamond Age. Perhaps young adults who like The Explosionist, will move on to harder sf, like Stephenson.

29. Dreadful Skin by Cherie Priest
Yet another excellent book by Priest. I found the story, told through different perspectives and through different time periods (though not the time traveling sort) to be fascinating. My favorite section was the last, where everything came together for the big fight. Priests storytelling was brilliant and I cannot wait to read more of her books.

29 / 100 words. 29% done!


Feb. 26th, 2009 08:34 pm
blue_ant: (reading [books and more books])
[personal profile] blue_ant
16. Fathom by Cherie Priest
I picked up this book because I really enjoyed Priest's Eden Moore series. That also meant I hadn't read anything about it -- including reviews or the inside cover summary. So, it was much to my surprise when I realized this book wasn't the horror story/ghost story that I had expected. Instead, it was something rather different and quite awesome. Priest tells us one story from multiple points of view. While in other books this might be tedious, it was not for Fathom. Instead, we learn to love the different characters, even when they do things we don't understand/agree with. I think this was what made the story so good. Instead of just focusing on a third person omniscient narrator or a single, first person point of view, we got variations on both of those. What Priest created was a stunning story set in a world not unlike our own, while at the same time, altogether different. She draws on unknown (including, though not necessarily central to the plot, ghosts) as main characters who are in a battle to save the human race. Priest does not shy away from heartache, violence and death, and that is one of the things that makes this book so good.

17. Wanted by Mark Millar
I found this to be an unrealistic and easy, if dark and violence, graphic novel. That's not to say I didn't like it -- because I did. I just happened to have the luxury of seeing the movie version first. Luckily for everyone involved, the movie version is unlike the graphic novel in all but name and characters (and even then it's not quite that similar). The plots are sort of vaguely similar at the beginning and parts of the ending, but otherwise, the graphic novel takes a much darker twist. Which is good, because if this had been the movie? I would have hated it. That being said, I quite liked the book. It's a dark tale, following the life of our anti-hero (or hero, depending on how you want to look at it), Wesley Gibson. The story is high on violence, the art is beautiful (if occasionally kind of gross) and while the writing isn't as eloquent as, say, something Neil Gaiman wrote, it doesn't matter. It was a highly enjoyable graphic novel, but not for people who are expecting it to be exactly like the movie.

18. Angel by Cliff McNish
I don't know what I was expecting when I picked up this book, but I definitely didn't except it to be as, well, bad. The writing wasn't all that bad and I finished the book out of curiosity, and in hopes that it would improve -- it just didn't. Angel played far too much on clichés -- those associated with high school, depressed kids, and angels. There was no real resolution, the story was mostly about running away (and later toward) angels and other people. I found the storyline with Freya's brother to be the more interesting one, but even the events of his life got tedious. In the end, McNish ties everything up in a neat package with a bow on top -- and I don't approve. I think that with a better ending, perhaps this would have been a better book.

18 / 100 words. 18% done!


Jan. 29th, 2009 10:46 am
blue_ant: (carli [reading])
[personal profile] blue_ant
10. Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
I first read this book when I was in middle school and remembered liking it -- but I couldn't remember anything about the story. And what I did remember, came from my viewing of the anime adaption of the book by the same name. While the movie takes a different take on certain events (plot points are changed, but not to the detriment of the story as a whole), the book turned out to be just as good. I could also clearly see why my younger self quite liked it. The story is basically the same, Sophie is cursed and ends up running into (and falling in love with) Howl. That's a simple enough plot line, but Jones never lets anything be that simple. Instead, she throws twists, turns and all sorts of curve balls into the story, creating a fantastic tale that never stops. I thoroughly enjoyed this reread and expect the story to pass the test of time.

11. The Abadazad #1: Road to Inconceivable by J.M. DeMatteis and Mike Ploog
A very cute first story in a series of graphic novels. The story centers around a young girl and her brother. The art is quite well done and the plot is strong. I found the book to be an entertaining and fun read. Highly recommended for kids who like adventure series with strong female characters. Also, if you start reading this one, you might one to pick up the rest, because the books ends with quite a cliffhanger.

12. Wings to the Kingdom by Cherie Priest
I read these books out of order, this is the second one in the Eden Moore universe. But it turns out that Cherie Priest is such a good writer and storyteller, that it doesn't matter that I read the third one before the second. If anything, the second is much creepier than the other two. It's a fun ghost story, of sorts, about Confederate soldiers, a create that's not quite human and note quite a ghost and Eden Moore and her friends. It does help to have read at least one of the other books in the series to understand some of the minor plot points, but it works well as a stand alone novel as well. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, even if it did scare me on a few occasions. I am excited to read more of Priest's novels.

12 / 100 books read. 12% done!


Nov. 8th, 2008 04:25 pm
blue_ant: (daniel [rock star])
[personal profile] blue_ant
135. Not Flesh Nor Feathers by Cherie Priest
This is the second novel of Priest's that I've read. It's not the second in her series, but it's the only other one I could get from the library. The book is excellent, it's both scary without getting out of control and interestingly descriptive without driving me crazy (I like action, what can I say?). I haven't read a lot of zombie books (a few graphic novels), but this is a great one. Her reasoning behind the zombies is different, but sound and it works perfectly, both in the context of this book as a lone read and in the series as a whole. Her writing style fits the characters perfectly and her setting fits the novel just as smartly. Throughly enjoyable read, and I'll be heading the bookstore soon to pick up her other books.

136. Skin Deep by E.M. Crane
I wasn't sure what to expect when I started this book. The cover is beautiful, but gives nothing away. The back cover reads only "Do you know what's underneath if you scratch the surface?" Which also gives nothing away, though it does hint at the depth of the novel. Even once you read the inside flap, you don't really know if this is some sort of fantasy story or just straight fiction. In a way it is fantasy, but not in such a way that the book should be shelved anyplace other than regular fiction. It's a story that any girl (or boy) who wasn't ever that popular in high school can related to. In loose terms, it's about love, loss and growing up. But Crane's book is so much more than that. It's an extraordinary view into a world that is like our own, but not quite. Our heroine, Andrea, is in the process of discovering who she is and in doing so, she uncovers more than she bargains for. She might not find herself by the end of the novel, but what she does find is much, much better.

136 / 150 new reads. 91% read!


Apr. 30th, 2008 06:27 pm
fiveforsilver: (Books [YW: Did I do right?])
[personal profile] fiveforsilver
45. Elantris by Brandon Sanderson (615)

This is a well-written fantasy novel that I enjoyed even more the second time around.

46. *Four and Twenty Blackbirds by Cherie Priest (285)

I really like Cherie's blog ([livejournal.com profile] cmpriest), so I decided to check out one of her books. This will make her the third author whose books I read after I was already a fan of their blog. I am not a big fan of horror, though, so I made [livejournal.com profile] blue_ant read it first, so she could tell me if I'd be able to read it or not.

Eden is an orphan who occasionally sees the ghosts of her dead relatives, has a cousin who keeps trying to kill her, and that's just the beginning of her family dysfunctions. She finds out just how crazy it all is when she starts probing into her family's past - but if she hadn't, things could have turned out a whole lot worse...

I did like it, although not quite as much as I expected. Eden never seemed to take much of anything seriously, and the book was in first person, so the whole book had a rather sarcastic tone and a pretty even level of emotion. Which on the one hand, meant it wasn't especially scary, even for a horror-phobe like me, but on the other hand...it felt like it should have been scarier.

47. The Shockwave Rider by John Brunner (246)

This has been one of my favorite books since I first read it in high school. It is definitely dated, with an optimistically organized and truthful version of the internet (or "data net") and pessimistic views of the US future, but I've always enjoyed the way the story is told - it starts out as a series of flashbacks that eventually work up to the present time, and has random thought-provoking (to various degrees) quotes and questions peppered throughout the book.

47 / 110 books. 43% done!

18 / 75 *new books. 24% done!

2 / 10 ^non-fiction. 20% done!

14440 / 33000 pages. 44% done!

Currently reading:
Sunshine by Robin McKinley
Steampunk edited by Ann & Jeff Vandermeer


Mar. 24th, 2008 01:47 pm
blue_ant: (devon [fandom + work])
[personal profile] blue_ant
32. Return to Barrow (30 Days of Night, Book 3) by Steve Niles
Another graphic novel in the 30 Days of Night series. Better than the first one and on par with the second. The story gets better, but I think I might stop after this one. I believe Niles no longer writes/illustrates and I'm not sure I'm willing to read the other issues. That being said, they do get a little bit more wicked and I like that. I also watched the movie, which is basically the graphic novel on screen and it's not great, but much scarier than the comic itself.

33. Something Rotten by Alan M. Gratz
A surprisingly engaging reworking of Shakespeare's Hamlet. I'm fond of updated adaptations of Shakespearean works and I was pleased with this one. It's a YA book, set up as a mystery. It obviously borrows heavily from the story of Hamlet, including the name of the town (Denmark, Tennessee) and some of the main characters (best friend is named Horatio). Which the book seems slightly clichéd at times, it's really quite fun.

34. Four and Twenty Blackbirds by Cherie Priest
Thanks to my sister, I've been reading Cherie Priest's blog on a regular basis and so I was curious about her work. The book is billed as horror, but that would be far too limiting. I found this book to be quite good, the characters engaging and her writing style fantastic. This isn't a book for the faint of heart, but by no means is it horror. Priest does a great job of combining suspense and mystery to create a book I practically devoured.

34 / 80 new reads. 43% read!


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