56. Zoe's Tale
by John Scalzi
Old Man's War series, Book 4
Young Adult, Science Fiction, 336 page
Zoe's Tale is another fantastic book in the Old Man's War universe. Zoe is the adopted daughter of John Perry and Jane Sagan, and 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. And 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.
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.
58. *Doctor Who: The Story of Martha
by Dan Abnett, read by Freema Agyeman
Adult/Young Adult, Science Fiction, Audiobook, 2h27m
It's an account of Martha's travels during the Year That Wasn't, while the Master and the Toclafane ruled the Earth.
Since we already know how it's going to end, it could have been extremely boring and drab, and the first half wasn't particularly exciting. But it picked up in the second half and not only becomes a pretty exciting story but also explains several things that were mentioned in the episode Last of the Time Lords.
by Tamora Pierce
Beka Cooper series, book 2
Young Adult, Fantasy, 538 pages
(Copied from previous review)
As much as Kel (Protector of the Small) is still my favorite Pierce heroine, it is my opinion that 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 the first book in the series, Terrier, but this book 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 journal-style books 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. One can't simply melt silver and pour it over brass disks to coat them. And what kind of '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 she'd dealt with metalworking in the Circle series.
But those are small issues, and those two small issues aside, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and recommend it to anyone who likes a fun fantasy read with a bit of crime drama mixed in (although you should probably read Terrier first as there are some things that will be pretty confusing otherwise).
59 / 160 books. 37% done!
27 / 80 *new books. 34% done!
3 / 7 ^non-fiction. 43% done!
16495 / 48000 pages. 34% done!