Sep. 3rd, 2009 05:49 pm
blue_ant: (tea [red kettle])
[personal profile] blue_ant
49. Eternal by Cynthia Leitich Smith
I loved Tantalize and was excited to see that Smith had a new novel. But when I read the description, I wasn't so sure I was going to like it. Turns out I was wrong. Really, really wrong. Set in the same world as Tantalize, Eternal is the story of a girl (Miranda), her guardian angel (Zachary) and the underworld of vampires, werewolves and other creatures. Miranda is kidnapped in a graveyard one night, much to the chagrin of Zachary, who is supposed to look out for her, though not necessarily interfere. It's at this point that Smith could have done things different and created a mediocre novel about angels and vampires, but she doesn't. Instead, she draws us into the strange world she's created and takes us on a ride as now-fallen angel Zachary must try to find Miranda, who has changed in ways he'd never imagined. Highly, highly recommended.

50. Doctor Who: Revenge of the Judoon by Terrance Dicks
A short, cute Doctor Who book I got through LibraryThing's member giveaway. The Judoon, who we met in the series when Martha and the Doctor first go together, are back! Martha, the Doctor and a young man they meet along the way must find a way to stop the Judoon. For such a short book, the plot is decent and the story is quite fun. I read it in about an hour, and then passed the book on to another Doctor Who fan and friend of mine.

51. The Redbreast by Jo Nesbø
It didn't take me long to fall in love with detective Harry Hole. Even though Nesbø paints a less than flattering picture of our main character, Hole is no less than fantastic. Fighting against a drinking problem and enemies he doesn't even know exist, Hole must try to solve a mystery that's deeply connected to Norway's involvement in World War II and Norwegian Nazis. Nesbø's writing style, translated by Don Bartlett, is strong and intriguing. And though Hole is the main character, Nesbø doesn't shy away from creating strong secondary characters. I thoroughly enjoyed and loved this book. The only reason I gave it 4.5 stars is because there's a bit of character death that is vital to the plot, but upset me greatly.

51 / 100 books. 51% done!


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


May. 22nd, 2009 04:24 pm
fiveforsilver: (Blood Ties [Henry])
[personal profile] fiveforsilver
63. ^*Your Hate Mail Will Be Graded by John Scalzi (368) A/Non-Fic

A ten-year retrospective of Scalzi's blog, the Whatever. This book covers a variety of topics in no particular order, from war to business to parenthood.

Scalzi's writing is always a pleasure to read, but I wondered at some of the choices of material to include. Many of the entries are timeless - essays on parenting and advice for aspiring authors, for instance. But many (though not all) of the political posts are hopelessly outdated, having been written just prior to some major event that then made the entry obsolete.

64. *Lean Mean Thirteen by Janet Evanovich (330) A/Mys

Standard Stephenie Plum book. Things blow up, cars are destroyed, much hijinks ensue around and to her, and there is high sexual tension (and maybe some sex) between her and Joe, and her and Ranger. Entertaining but no new ground.

65. *Eternal by Cynthia Leitich Smith (307) YA/Fan

We meet Zachery, a guardian angel with a crush on his charge. And we meet Miranda, Zachery's charge, a high school girl who is about to be turned into a vampire. Can Zachery save her soul after he fails to save her life?

Eternal was a quick read that switches perspectives between those two characters, neither of which has a particularly strong or exciting voice. The plot was not very interesting and the world was not explained or described enough to be especially believable. Overall, a mediocre book.

66. *David Inside Out by Lee Bantle (184) YA/Fic

This is a short book that looks at the difficulties that are sometimes faced by gay teens today. What happens to the gay characters is mild compared to what happens to some people in the real world, but it does get across some of the conflict and frustration that must be common for many gay teens. Not a bad read but hardly the "hard-hitting" book that the blurbs made it out to be.

66 / 150 books. 44% done!

38 / 75 *new books. 51% done!

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

19642 / 45000 pages. 44% done!


Aug. 23rd, 2008 09:55 am
fiveforsilver: (YW [Did I do right?])
[personal profile] fiveforsilver
101. A Night in the Lonesome October by Roger Zelazny (280)

This is one of my favorite books. Here's the review I have posted previously:

The narrator is...a dog.

His master is...Jack, who wields 'the knife'.

The characters include...a witch, a vampire, a werewolf, 'The Good Doctor', and 'The Great Detective'.

This is a fun, totally non-serious, absolutely enjoyable book about what happens when 'the right people' gather when there's a full moon on Halloween.

102. Tantalize by Cynthia Leitich Smith (310)

I felt like reading this book once more before I get rid of it, maybe to see if I'm making the right choice. I am. I didn't like it as much the second time even as I did the first, and I didn't like it all that much the first time.

103. *Zoe's Tale by John Scalzi (335)

Zoe's Tale is another fantastic book in John Scalzi's Old Man's War universe. Zoe is the adopted daughter of John Perry and Jane Sagan, who are chosen to head up a colony on a new planet. Except things don't go exactly as expected and along with the normal hazards of colonizing a new planet (unfriendly lifeforms, inedible vegetation, etc), they suddenly discover that they've been made pawns in an intergalactic war.

This book is a retelling of the timeline of The Last Colony from Zoe's perspective. Because she's a teenager, she isn't privy to everything the adults know and do - and, likewise, they don't know everything that happens to her - so Zoe's experience of that time is quite different from her parents'.

Scalzi writes the Old Man's War books so that each of them is a stand-alone as well as part of a cohesive story, and Zoe's Tale is no exception. Also, although I found it shelved in the adult science fiction section of the bookstore, this was intended to, and in my opinion does, bridge the divide between adult and YA. It is also hysterically funny throughout much of the book. Scalzi wrote Zoe as a brilliant, sarcastic, irreverent character who talks back to adults (human and alien alike) and uses her wits to save the day, yet still manages to act and sound like an believable teenager.

103 / 110 books. 94% done!

47 / 75 *new books. 63% done!

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

28591 / 33000 pages. 87% done!
Audiobook time: 25h49m


Jan. 3rd, 2008 03:45 pm
fiveforsilver: (Blood Ties [Henry])
[personal profile] fiveforsilver
Originally posted in October of 2007 in [livejournal.com profile] fiveforsilver:

126. *A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray (403)

It was ok. I think I missed something, though, because I don't know what the title has to do with the story. It seemed like a story of what might have happened to Sara Crewe or Mary Lennox if magic had been real in their worlds, but their stories are far more magical. Maybe my expectations are too high - most of the YA books I have read recently have either been old favorites (which means all sorts of authorial sins can be forgiven) or new favorites with an inspiring level of writing ability (such as Scott Westerfeld). I expected the writing to be more lyrical; it was too flat for the times and places and events that were being portrayed.

Also, while many things were left unexplained at the end of the book, the events within it were tied up neatly. This left me with a vague curiosity about some things (what was the Order? why was that boy chasing Gemma? what are the Realms and what will happen to that girl now?) but no desire or need to read further in the series.

This is a classic case of 'don't judge a book by its cover'. The cover art is beautiful, and the title brings great expectations, and neither quite lives up to its promise.

Last books of October:

127. Lioness Rampant by Tamora Pierce (320)
128. Page by Tamora Pierce (288)
129. Lady Knight by Tamora Pierce (409)

Rereads. Inputting data into LibraryThing's Common Knowledge made me want to read these again.

Fist books of November:

130. *So Yesterday by Scott Westerfeld (225)

I think this was Westerfeld's only YA book that I hadn't read (because I couldn't find it before). It is an excellent book, as usual. It reminded me of William Gibson's Pattern Recognition (both are about advertising and people who see advertising in ways that the rest of us don't).

131. Trickster's Choice by Tamora Pierce (403)

Also a reread, ditto above. However, I should put the Trickster books away for a while - a very long while - because lately Aly's Mary Sue-ness is so irritating that I can barely enjoy all the things I do like about these books.

132. *It's the Little Things: 300 Simple Ways to Indulge Yourself by Amy Collins (300)

I picked this up randomly at a library book sale earlier this year or last year. I put off reading it because (once I got it home) I was afraid it would be stupid or annoying. To my surprise, there are a lot of good suggestions and it is calming to just sit down and read a few pages from it.

133. Trickster's Queen by Tamora Pierce (444)

Yeah, I skimmed quite a bit while rereading this. Aly really started to irritate me.

134. *Tantalize by Cynthia Leitich Smith (310)

In a world where vampires and werewolves (and so on) are real (if not accepted), Quincie's uncle is starting a vampire-themed restaurant. Then bad things start happening to the people connected with it.

The first half of this book is fairly blah. It's all setup for what happens in the second half of the book. The second half is much more interesting, and the more I think about it, the more I like it. There are twists that aren't normally found in the vampire books (at least, not the ones I've read).

spoilers )

135. *Little (Grrl) Lost by Charles de Lint (271)

Another YA urban fantasy by Charles de Lint. This is an updated version of the Littles or the Borrowers -type of story, it's really a cute story with as much urban as fantasy. I didn't love it like I loved the Blue Girl, but I liked it.

136. The Android's Dream by John Scalzi (394)

Reread. Hilarious book. I can't wait for the sequel.

137. *Smoke and Shadows by Tanya Huff (396)

First book in the Smoke Trilogy, sequel to the Blood books. More vampire Henry Fitzroy. So far (I'm halfway through book two) they're just as much fun as the first series, although I miss Vicki and Mike.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter 137 / 150 books (91.3%)
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter 66 / 70 *new books (94.3%)
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter 44,775 / 50,000 pages (89.5%)


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