This is the second book I've read from this author and he is now firmly in the top spot among Swedish authors.
This story is about a man who loses eveThis is the second book I've read from this author and he is now firmly in the top spot among Swedish authors.
This story is about a man who loses everything. It is also about putting yourself together after your world has shattered and somewhere inside that it's also something of a ghost story. It takes place in the archipelago and in a way the sea is a mayor character in the book itself. John Ajvide Lindqvist manages to weave the past and the present together into a story so compelling I near missed a few stops on my commute.
I can't say I got very scared but still it was enjoyable. Recommended....more
I know I said I would write in Swedish about Swedish books but as this one has been something of an international success, at least the movie, I willI know I said I would write in Swedish about Swedish books but as this one has been something of an international success, at least the movie, I will take it in English because really, any fan of writing that creeps under your skin, clings to your back as a child sized nighttime monster and sticks in your chest like a pole through the heart needs to be read.
I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to read this, it might be a side-effect of my dislike for Swedish movies or maybe something left over from when I was that scared pre-teen girl. In any case I am kind of glad I did because now the setting of this book is just a metro trip away and that makes it just a bit more real. A bit more scary.
One interesting part is that if you were to take out the supernatural elements of this story I wouldn’t touch it with a ten foot pole. It would be wallowing in real life and misery and that really isn’t my cup of tea. Unless there are vampires apparently. Because the clever addition of a classical monster in a very untraditional guise makes the misery stand out so much more, makes my heart ache for Oscar and the others. Makes it a better book in my point of view.
Maybe it’s different when you grew up in the same world, in the same country. I remember the 80’s in Sweden; I remember many of the things mentioned in passing. If someone who didn’t grow up in the same environment read this book they probably won’t get the same experience. But they on the other hand will get the faint exoticism I get when reading books set in England or USA. In the end I think a good book is worth to read regardless. And this is a very good book. ...more
The Tiny Wife is a tiny adorable book, easily read in a single sitting and most awesomely absurd in both its premise and in its execution. It is hardThe Tiny Wife is a tiny adorable book, easily read in a single sitting and most awesomely absurd in both its premise and in its execution. It is hard to say something about the story as almost anything would be a spoiler but what can be said is that in the end it is a story about people, a story about knowing yourself and a story about life. And also tattoos turning into lions and people shrinking until they almost disappear. Or do disappear.
I got this book in a review challenge from Swedish Zombie, and I started reading it just after finishing with a very long and complicated hard SF noveI got this book in a review challenge from Swedish Zombie, and I started reading it just after finishing with a very long and complicated hard SF novel by Peter Hamilton. This might not have been completely fair to Rot and Ruin. I spent the whole first third of the book being annoyed at the main character for being an idiot when he in fact was being a pretty ordinary teenager.
Basis of the book is this: two brothers live together in a small town of survivors about 14 years after First Night, the outbreak of the unknown cause for everyone dying rising again a while later with a mindless urge to consume anything living. The older brother is a zombie hunter while the younger is just trying to figure out what he wants to do with his life. Then stuff happens. Perceptions change and in the end the read’s been told a fairly engaging story.
In some way this felt like The Passage light. There’s a strange young girl and a young man finding himself in this one too but the storytelling seems aimed at more inexperienced readers. I use that term instead of Young Adult or Teenagers because age have very little to do with it. I would just as soon put this in the hands of an adult who is rediscovering reading or someone who just want something fun and light while sunning at a resort.
At the start I was pretty sure I was going to be annoyed the whole way through the book but in the end I wouldn’t mind reading more by the author and even a continuation of the book. I also have a sneaking suspicion that if this was filmed I would be hopelessly mooning over Tom (the older brother) even though he is a bit too good to be true at times, even his faults were endearing.
One thing the author does very well is balance the gender roles. Contrary to many post apocalyptic novels both males and females are allowed in any role they feel they could manage but despite this the gender identity is not erased to be replaced with some kind of hard-ass male template. Women are women, just women who can also kick ass when needed. There might not be terribly many women portrayed in Rot and Ruin but those that are feel real, and in the end that’s what matters most. ...more
This is a rather thin and lovely YA book. It takes a refreshing look at magic along with a more traditional one. The four youths are great with all thThis is a rather thin and lovely YA book. It takes a refreshing look at magic along with a more traditional one. The four youths are great with all their strengths and weaknesses, they feel human and they use their powers in really imaginative ways. The worldbuilding is also well done, no infodumps or the like, it just comes when it comes.
This is the kind of book I would have loved as a kid, it even has that boarding school element that I loved so much at that age.
One thing though, this book is named Sandry's book but there's not a lot of her in it, not much more than the other three at least. I hope the other books have the same mix else it feels really unfair to as lovely a character as Sandry. ...more
It's not a secret that I love Butcher's writing so of course I had to try this book. I actually bought it for my husband for his birthday but I endedIt's not a secret that I love Butcher's writing so of course I had to try this book. I actually bought it for my husband for his birthday but I ended up reading it first. My fear was that without the possibility to fall back on pop-culture references Butcher would loose quite a bit of the appeal but thankfully I was wrong. Butcher's writing is still action oriented and to the point but he continues to write captivating characters that carry the story.
I like the magic system (yes, I am repeating myself) and the fact that the main hero has no conventional magic powers at all makes it all the more interesting. Especially as everyone else does. Butcher has also kept his habit of making the real bad guys really bad but also keeping from lumping everyone into the same group. Just because one barbarian is a blood-thirsty monster that doesn't mean every barbarian is. Check your prejudices at the door.
The story is simple (a plot to overthrow the ruler meets with unexpected resistance and unlikely heroes), the action is abundant and the characters are wellformed and likable. All in all a great light read, maybe while the sun shines and there's something cold and delicious to drink nearby....more
This is yet another addition to my to-read list from John Scalzi's Big Idea segment on Whatever. As soon as I read "Defiant Drunk Nerd Syndrome", druiThis is yet another addition to my to-read list from John Scalzi's Big Idea segment on Whatever. As soon as I read "Defiant Drunk Nerd Syndrome", druids, shapeshifting and celtic mythology I knew I had to read this book. And I wasn't disappointed. This is a fun read, filled with laughter, bad-assery and a dog who sometimes wants to raise an army and take over the world. And he's not the bad guy.
One of the problems for an author of the fantastic is creating a believable magic system. It can't be giving the hero or his enemies too much power. And you can't really give to little either because then it just get kind of boring. Hearne manages to balance that quite nicely despite the enemies being mostly gods. He gives everyone a fair bit power but he gives them limitations as well so there is that oh so necessary balance. Sidenote, I think it's great that he takes the traditional witches covern and makes them a force to be reckoned with. Too often they get ridiculed and looked down upon.
All in all this is a very enjoyable and kinda fresh take on urban fantasy. I am looking forward too Hexed and Hammered and I hope those two are about what I think they are about.
Oh and read John Scalzi's blog. It's a treasure trove of good book suggestions. And bacon on cats....more
There is something to be said for an author who kills her main character in the first chapter, I have to say that. Harper Blaine takes quite a beatingThere is something to be said for an author who kills her main character in the first chapter, I have to say that. Harper Blaine takes quite a beating and one could think she'd taken lessons from Harry Dresden in getting her ass kicked. In fact it's hard to read Greywalker without drawing parallelles to just the Dresden Files, both main characters are PIs and both handle the supernatural in a large American city assisted by assorted side-characters. But where I instantly relate and like Harry, Harper kinda just make me wince. Maybe this will change later on in the series, I do hope so, but for now it is quite obvious that this book is the first in a series. The characters are a bit chunky, the action scenes just a bit too rushed and impersonal and the story just a little bit to simple. It might have been slightly unfair to read this so soon after finishing Butcher's series about Dresden, had I read this first I might have rated it higher than the average three it gets now.
Despite that the series does show promise, I like the author's take on the supernatural and if Harper Blaine and her fellow characters get a bit more flesh on their bones it might be an enjoyable read. ...more
I now understand why people who have read V for Vendetta first is not as big fans of the movie as the people who haven't. Because while the movie is gI now understand why people who have read V for Vendetta first is not as big fans of the movie as the people who haven't. Because while the movie is good, and I expect I will still enjoy it, the book is so much better. It's kind of like the difference between a really nice sketch and a beautiful oil painting of the same motive. Both are works of art but the oil painting has more dept and more variation.
If I were to make a recommendation to someone completely unfamiliar with both the movie and the book I would say watch the movie first. I think that way you'll get the most enjoyment out of both as the movie won't feel like a pale copy but rather a nice preview.
There are differences of course, not only in the amount of detail, most of those differences are centered around Evey and I'm not sure which version I like best. Same thing with the ending.
In any case, I would say this graphic novel is required reading for anyone interested in alternative history and good stories....more