I got to read these pre-publication, as I said, and also at the beginning of a pretty serious reading slump. Despite that, and despite struggling to mI got to read these pre-publication, as I said, and also at the beginning of a pretty serious reading slump. Despite that, and despite struggling to make coherent notes on my decidedly-uncooperative Kindle, I tore through the books, and they even challenged my beloved Abernathy's books for favourite series. (SORRY. Abernathy's books may not be out for a while, and I'm not trying to be obnoxious!)
Of course the irony of this is that Sesskia's diary - Diary - Diary? - has been available in serial form for a long while on Melissa's blog, but this may be one of those cases of the reading universe rewarding lack of patience or something, because I wanted ALL the story NOW. And got it! I loved Sesskia, and loved her voice - essential for diary format to work - and loved her earning of her place in the new world. And how they all adapted (or didn't) to finding ways to benefit from each other's different strengths when a bigger crisis than Sesskia's personal one hits.
Maybe don't read the descriptions of the second two books before you start the first, but be sure you can get the next two as soon as you've finished it, as you'll want them....more
A lot, or possibly all of that one-star deduction was due to the fact that this was one of the only Discworld books I couldn't get read by Nigel PlaneA lot, or possibly all of that one-star deduction was due to the fact that this was one of the only Discworld books I couldn't get read by Nigel Planer. I don't like the way Tony Robinson does Death AT ALL (having imprinted on Planer's, which is fabulous), hated the infant-reincarnation stage of the Abbot and found the two monks too indistinguishable for easy listening. I think I might have found it a bit slight anyway, but will probably read this sometime and see if that makes a difference. ...more
[with huge apologies to Katie] I loved the first one, which among other things, had one of the funniest and best kissing scenes ever, liked the second[with huge apologies to Katie] I loved the first one, which among other things, had one of the funniest and best kissing scenes ever, liked the second, though it went too far for me in the direction of teens unrealistically excelling at crime-solving, but this... Not only was there no reason for a love-triangle at this point, but Mycroft got to be so bad that I actually might have rooted for the new guy, Harris, more than for him. His barrelling into the dance and punching Harris was only part of it. I did love the way Rachel got helped with the PTSD she was suffering from by being taught self-defence, but it wasn't Mycroft helping her, was it?
Scott Westerfeld's contribution to the #VeryRealisticYA thread on Twitter comes to mind: 'Teens suspect crime has occurred. Inform parents and police and go back to being teens'. I'm all for a bit of unrealistic drama, but sadly this trilogy ender exceeded my tolerance levels by a lot....more
This one is all thanks to Katie, and it was intense enough an experience that I'm actually feeling smug about following up on the rec before4.5 stars.
This one is all thanks to Katie, and it was intense enough an experience that I'm actually feeling smug about following up on the rec before her other friends did. Also, it's worth mentioning that I'm not actually a big Sherlock Holmes person. I probably read a story or two over the years, and read a few of the recent children's series that relate in one way or another to the originals for the History Book, but that's it for reading. I watched the first film and some of the British series (which I didn't much care for, though it got better after the first ep), but the only thing I've ever loved is Elementary. We've only watched the first season, but that's because A Certain Family Member had too many ALL the emotions and we took a break. All this preamble is in aid of clarifying why Katie's likening the book to Elementary, along with what she said about the relationship stuff, sold me immediately.
With all that roundaboutation, you'd expect an attempt, at least, at a coherent review of the book, right? Or perhaps you wouldn't, if you've read some of my "reviews". That would be sensible, because I don't feel coherent about this one and I'm going to excuse a little of it by either copping out or being insightfully accurate about the book and saying that it's that kind of book.
To get the mystery element out of the way first; I thought it was okay but not great. There were too many things that Mycroft and Rachel (or James and Watts, or any permutation of names you prefer) got to do that they were extremely unlikely to have been allowed to do, and even I pretty much called the villain from early on, which is not good.
BUT. The characters. Just that, okay? Rachel is fantastic - angry and sad and smart and a "good daughter" and fed up and a good friend and strong. Certainly capable of screwing up badly and saying things she wishes she hadn't too. We're in her head all the time, rather than having the POV switches more common in YA, and it works really well. Mycroft is - well, he's perfect for a mostly-Sherlock-alike. Very, very damaged, but brilliant and caring as well as self-destructive, rather than the tortured & utterly self-involved 'bad boy' romantic hero type. As powerful as his history (when we finally get to see it) is, Rachel's family story is unexpected and deeply moving too, and a reminder that some countries are BIG and rural farming in them is quite different from farming in, say, Ireland. Or even in a lot of the northeast of the US, where I've also lived. Of course this is obvious, but the family farm on which Rachel grew up, and which she mourns deeply, is extreme. That aspect of the book was fascinating and never really neatly resolved, because how could it be?
There was one scene though, when Mycroft has gone off after getting in serious trouble, and Rachel thinks: "It's the longest hour of my life. I spend most of it fretting about where Mycroft went after he left, what damage he's inflicting on himself. If he torched a building because of a fight with me, what will he do now?" (About the earlier incident, too it's "It was me who made him feel that way..." Italics hers.) It's almost more disturbing now that I've typed it out, but at the time I was pretty much split in two. Half of me was simply going THEIR LOVE IS SO TRUE. THEY MUST BE TOGETHER. The other half was intensely worried at the idea that Rachel (and readers) was falling into the *classic* trap of thinking that Mycroft's brokenness can be "fixed" by loving him enough. The first drowned this out with THEIR LOVE IS SO TRUE IT DOESN'T MATTER. YOU CAN FIX IT, RACHEL. (Do I have personal experience with this classic error? Oh, yes. Is it one of the most tempting of the faulty thinking traps? Definitely.)
I kept reading, and I loved it, and I'll be reading the second. And the third. (And hoping for more and fast writing and more, please!) The kissing scenes were just awesome, and also thinking about them still makes me laugh, days after reading. And, you know what? Their love really IS so true....more
The most enjoyable short story I've read in a long time. It's twisty-clever, but in a nice way, rather than the type of clever that sneers at everyoneThe most enjoyable short story I've read in a long time. It's twisty-clever, but in a nice way, rather than the type of clever that sneers at everyone. Perfect length, but my goodness, I would love so. many. more....more
I really wanted to love this one, but struggled a bit. Three different narrators (fine), three different voices (-ish), but the hardest character to rI really wanted to love this one, but struggled a bit. Three different narrators (fine), three different voices (-ish), but the hardest character to read anyway was in second person present tense, which was a definite struggle....more