This last few weeks, I’ve not taken much time to write reviews of my recent reads (well, the new TV season has started!) so I thought I’d write a few notes.
The Timekeeper by Mitch Alborn
This was rather a sweet story about a boy who was the first to mark time (in the sense of dividing it into years, months, weeks, days, hours) and how it became an obsession for him. In the story, he becomes Father Time. His tale is interwoven with those of a young teenage girl and a dying old man. While I loved the story, I felt the moralising about appreciating the time we have was a touch heavy handed.
Still, I gave The Time Keeper 4 stars out of 5
Les Chevaliers d’Emeraude – L’Enlevement by Anne Robillard
OK, I admit it, I’m a complete sucker for this series. I love Robillard’s understanding of character. Even though they are in a fantasy setting, they feel fresh and timeless. After all, a man in love with his best friend’s wife is still conflicted and in pain whether he’s a 21st century person or a heroic mediaeval knight.
One thing I’m noticing about this series is that it is more episodic than many I’ve read. By that I mean that in many epic fantasy series each book has its own “quest” if you like, feeding into a larger series arc. With Robillard there seems to be a lot more mini character development arcs – at this point it seems that character is far more important to her than plot development. In that sense, she reminds me a lot of George R.R. Martin.
I have to say though, I’m really happy the first series is already complete – it would be so frustrating to have to wait five years for the next book a la Martin. Having said that, as I’m reading them in ebook format I do need to wait on the publisher releasing them.
Naturally, I gave L’Enlevement 5 out of 5 stars.
The Blinding Knife by Brent Weeks This is the second in Weeks’ Lightbringer series – the followup to the Black Prism. I’ve not enjoyed this series quite as much as his Night Angel trilogy, but it is still a great read. Weeks develops his world and characters with the trademark WTF???? Weeks moment. I look forward to seeing where he goes with this.
For the first time I split this book between the Audible audiobook and reading on the Kindle. I really got into the book, so I was so happy to be able to continue listening while doing necessary chores. I did get some strange looks from my husband walking round the apartment as I laughed at a particularly funny quip from Kip or froze to think “what??? Did he really do…?”
I gave The Blinding Knife 4 stars out of 5
American Gods by Neil Gaiman There was a recent special offer on this book so I decided to give it a go. Gaiman did say in the accompanying blurb that this book was not for everyone, and I have to say that was the case for me. I can’t even say with any certainty why I struggled to get into this book. It was original, imaginative, well written. At times, it could be violent and crude, but that has never turned me away from A Song of Ice and Fire.
I suspect it was because the characters were unsympathetic to me. I personally felt that I could neither relate to nor like Shadow, which meant i struggled to like the book.
I gave American Gods 3 stars out of 5
The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling
As a Harry Potter fan, I was anxiously awaiting the release of JKR’s first adult novel – or at least her first novel geared towards adults. I’d had it pre-ordered for my Kindle, so I was very very disappointed on release day when the book was unreadable. Although the publisher and Amazon fixed this later in the day, in the meantime, I’d returned my order and bought it from Kobo. Rather a poor start to a major book launch.
The Casual Vacancy is VERY different to Harry Potter. There is the odd flash of JKR’s great humour, and understanding of character, but other than that, it’s a character study along with some political soapboxing. I enjoyed the beginning, getting to know the characters and the setup, the middle lagged for me somewhat, and although the ending picked up, I found it very depressing. This was the first book I read on my new Kobo Glo though.
I gave The Casual Vacancy 3 stars out of 5.
The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan
Although this Heroes of Olympus series is for young adults, I love it. Riordan’s style is light, witty, and fun and he knows how to end a chapter on a cliffhanger. His world building is also imaginative and fun; Greek and Roman gods wandering around our world. The Mark of Athena is no exception to his high standard. I look forward to hearing more of the seven demigods and the next great prophesy. I also listened to this on Audible as well as Kindle, which enhanced the experience.
I gave The Mark of Athena 4.5 stars out of 5.
As I have mentioned a few times now, I’m starting to get into audiobooks a lot. Jeff Bezos sucked me in with the Whispersync for Voice and the great deals on bundling the ebook and Audible book. I can imagine I’ll do a lot more listening.