I didn't find this to be one of the best books in the series, but it was still a good series. I found it quite slow at first, but it really picked upI didn't find this to be one of the best books in the series, but it was still a good series. I found it quite slow at first, but it really picked up about a third of the way through and I've just spent a pleasant Christmas Day afternoon resting and finishing it.
I guess my more lukewarm reaction is because I wasn't bowled over by the main plot. I think Frost does a great job of balancing and grounding her books (I just love the way she finds ways to balance the power differentials between her couples without making it crazy insane as I have seen other authors do), and in this book one of the messages was that sometimes people don't get what they deserve - either for good or for evil. I like the solidity this gives her world, but I'll be honest - I would have liked the villain to be more totally defeated than he was.
But I'm very curious about the B-plot and Don and Madigan, and I'm looking forward to seeing where that goes.
While I liked this less that some of the books in the series, it is definitely not a bad book, and I've really enjoyed reading it. And really, what I'm complaining about is a good point in the long run and I'm sure will be good for the series - it just means I loved this one a bit less....more
It was either this book or Dogsbody that was my first Diana Wynne Jones novel, many, many years ago now. I no longer remember which one, and both haveIt was either this book or Dogsbody that was my first Diana Wynne Jones novel, many, many years ago now. I no longer remember which one, and both have a special place in my heart and my memory.
I have been looking forward to rediscovering them both - and while both were published in 1975, Ms Wynne Jones' offical fan site lists Eight Days of Luke first, so that's the order I'm rereading.
I went into the book remembering the basics - who Luke was and that it was based on Norse mythology - but the details were missing and I found I remember less of the aforementioned Norse mythology that I used to do. I also wonder if it would have been more generally knowing in Britain in the 70's than now in New Zealand in teh 2010's, since Astrid figured it all out pretty quickly, while I was still trying to remember what I could. (By the end, I felt I knew who everyone was except Mr Chew, who I shall look up when I get a moment.)
I think Wynne Jones did a lovely job with Luke as a manifestation of you-know-who (I don't want to have to spoiler lock this) as he's appealing and you end up cheering for him, but there's an awareness that he's not exactly reliable either.
As for David, he's a delight; not perfect (Wynne Jones' characters never are) but a lovely portrayal of a realistic boy caught up in hugely unrealistic events. He's a loyal friend to Luke (and indeed to Astrid as the story continues), and does his best to do the right thing. He's smart without being obnoxiously so and I enjoyed sharing the adventure with him.
Diana Wynne Jones was a brilliant author who could write amazing stories for children without ever "writing down" to them, while making those stories just as great for adults as well. It is a great pity her works are not better known and the world is indeed that bit reduced by the fact she won't be giving us any more stories.
If you haven't read her books, do give them a try. If you have, enjoy a reread....more
I find I just don't care after all, even though I'm sure I liked it when I read it when it came out. I've got things I want to read more, so I'm DNFinI find I just don't care after all, even though I'm sure I liked it when I read it when it came out. I've got things I want to read more, so I'm DNFing this one. I shall go and read the summary of the rest of it on the TARDIS Library instead....more
I found the beginning of the book a bit hit and miss, and I felt the emphasis on Lessa's "power" didn't fit with what we learn as the series progresseI found the beginning of the book a bit hit and miss, and I felt the emphasis on Lessa's "power" didn't fit with what we learn as the series progresses. However, it picked up and tightened up as the book continued, and by the end I was a Pern fan all over again. Part of me wants to pick up Dragonquest right away, but I'll get some other things read/finished first....more
I got side-tracked into rereading this (I can't remember how many years ago I originally read it) after listening to half the November podcast for theI got side-tracked into rereading this (I can't remember how many years ago I originally read it) after listening to half the November podcast for the Doctor Who Book Club, which is dicussing it. It's a quick read - I wouldn't be trying it if it wasn't - and I am enjoying myself. The only problem is that it makes me want to finish reading the BBC Eighth Doctor Books (of which there are 60 or 70) when I originally only got up to about #35. There are too many other things I'm trying to read and reread to really be able to add them to the list....more
I did enjoy rereading this. I thought I would, but wasn't sure how it would stand up to the 44 years since it was published. It stands up very well; tI did enjoy rereading this. I thought I would, but wasn't sure how it would stand up to the 44 years since it was published. It stands up very well; the romantic lead is a bit cave-man like at times, but he's still surprisingly appealing and Sara remains a strong, satisfying heroine.
I guess I'm reading with a certain bit of nostalgia, that lets me enjoy an old book even when reading with older, modern eyes. All the same, I did thing this stood up well and I still recommend it. Just remember when it was written - not to excuse any of the content (it doesn't need that) but to explain why it isn't exactly the same as books written today....more
I really enjoyed this one. I was a bit concerned after The Devil's Eye that the books were moving more towards politics and less about the puzzle, butI really enjoyed this one. I was a bit concerned after The Devil's Eye that the books were moving more towards politics and less about the puzzle, but this one has an excellent puzzle and I thoroughly enjoyed it....more
Having hit a point where I found errors in the book, I find I don't really care to finish. I'm moving my non-fiction read to Doctor Who essays insteadHaving hit a point where I found errors in the book, I find I don't really care to finish. I'm moving my non-fiction read to Doctor Who essays instead....more
**spoiler alert** I think I may have finally realised why these books scare me, as much as I love them. I fall in them so far it's hard to get out aga**spoiler alert** I think I may have finally realised why these books scare me, as much as I love them. I fall in them so far it's hard to get out again.
This was an excellent addition to the series, if not one to start with.
It was SO nice to see Jaibriol have to chance to actually connect with his family, even if for such a short time. And it kind of feels like the pieces are in place now; there's an end of the story in view in a way there hasn't been before.
I'm delighted Roca knows about Soz now, even if everyone still thinks she's dead. (There are hints the next book might be about Soz etc on Prism. I so hope so. Please.) Yes, more people know about Jaibriol's secret as a result, but I think that's okay.
Aliana is a lovely addition to the family and I shall enjoy seeing more of her.
And using Quis as the secret weapon. That was very clever. We know how much it affected Coba, and it really is Jaibriol and Kelric's best chance actually to affect change. I hope it works. It so makes me want to be able to reread Catch the Lightning knowing the truth of the world around the characters, rather than the one we were tricked into believing it was on the first read. (That was every so cunning, Catherine.)
So far, Catherine has slowly let out the secrets, first to us and now to the characters, so I hope she'll keep doing it and by the time the story is done, all the piees will fit.
Now I want to rush out and reread the whole series (as I always do when I finish one), but instead I shall line it up for after my Liaden reread and if that takes me as long as I suspect it might, I may even have another Skolian book by then (Soz and Prism, please?). At the very least, I should have the new Soz story due out next May.
A really good little story, about the only one of Catherine Asaro's Skolian stories that I haven't read. I have it in a hardcover anthology, but gettiA really good little story, about the only one of Catherine Asaro's Skolian stories that I haven't read. I have it in a hardcover anthology, but getting to read on the Kindle made it so much easier to read. I'd happily read another story (or several) about Bhaaj (and maybe Jak too?)...more
Written pre-reading: I read the very original editions of Firebird and Fusion Fire back in the '80s when they were originalReview post reading to come.
Written pre-reading: I read the very original editions of Firebird and Fusion Fire back in the '80s when they were originally published. I loved Firebird, but did struggle a bit with some of the nasty stuff Phoena got up to in Fusion Fire. I was always sad the story didn't seem to be finished.
Move up to the new millennium and the books were rereleased in revised trade editions with a more spiritual bent from a Christian publisher. Finally the third book, Crown of Fire was released. I happily bought all three. I read and really enjoyed the new edition of Firebird (although part of me missed the original version, which I had loved so much), but again I got stuck in Fusion Fire. So to my great shame, I never actually got to read the new book. I always wanted to and the whole series has been on my reread list for a long time.
So here we are in 2011, and over the weekend I was compiling a list of my favourite books (especially older ones like these) that I own in paper and would love to be able to buy as ebooks. For each one, I did a quick online search, just in case it was available and I'd missed it and what did I find by here was a new, annotated version of the trilogy. I bought it on the spot and I've started reading Firebird all over again today. This time I will keep on going with Fusion Fire and I WILL read all three books.
Which is a good thing, since today I discovered that Kathy Tyers has two more Firebird books coming out, one this week and one next year. Yipee, hooray! I want to tell her how delighted I am to discover this, but find myself very embarrassed that I'll have to admit that much as I'm a fan of the series (I now own 8 editions of the 3 books after all), I never finished reading it. Maybe I'll just lurk on her Facebook page until I've actually read this annotated edition of the first three books.
Please, please, do let the new ones come out as ebooks as this one did.
Post reading: As I said in my post about the series (copied above), I was totally delighted to find Kathy Tyer’s Firebird books rereleased and available for Kindle. I read my way through the trilogy in about a week, loving the first one, Firebird, all over again and finding the second, Fusion Fire to be a better read than I remembered. The final book, Crown of Fire, I had never read and I found it filled out the sequence very nicely. I now have the next book, Wind and Shadow on my Kindle and I shall enjoy reading about the next generation when I get to it, although I’m going to take a bit of a break to start fresh again when I read the new one....more
Dave got this one from the library and, since it was sitting there, I thought I'd give it a read. I remember my father reading this one and him watchiDave got this one from the library and, since it was sitting there, I thought I'd give it a read. I remember my father reading this one and him watching the 1979 miniseries. I must have come in at the end, as the only part I remembered was the very end with the father saying "here are the Martians." Those memories were enough for me to decide to give the graphic novel a try.
I'm not that good with graphic novels (I miss a lot as I'm a written word person rather than a visual person) and considering it was also condensed, I'm sure I missed some stuff, but I was left feeling I'd picked up the essential story with just a few points unclear.
I know I should really have gone to the source, but I know full well I'm not going to be reading any classic SF any time soon (although I am kind of interested), so I have to admit I cheated. I went to Wikipedia to help me clarify the few points and now I'm feeling quite satisfied by the story.
It's all a bit depressing really, but it's a very interesting kind of depressing, so that must be worth something....more
I thoroughly enjoy Jeaniene Frost’s books. She’s created a fun universe and she tells her tales with panache. She is however, one of those authors whe I thoroughly enjoy Jeaniene Frost’s books. She’s created a fun universe and she tells her tales with panache. She is however, one of those authors where I buy all her books when they come out and don’t always get them read before the next one is published. I really want to try to catch up on some of those authors, so right now I’m working on Ms Frost’s books.
I bought her first book, Halfway to the Grave, way back when it was first published. (My original review is over on Blogspot here.) I was a fan of Cat and Bones immediately and have enjoyed all their adventures – even if I am perpetually behind.
I was perfectly happy when a couple of side books were added for more peripheral characters and Eternal Kiss of Darkness is the second of those. The focus is on Bones’ “grandsire” Mencheres, an Egyptian vampire who is 4,500 thousand years old and believes his time is done. Once he meets private investigator Kira Graceling, his life gets a lot more complicated than it already was.
One of the lovely things about Jeaniene Frost’s books is that she has created a wonderful cast of characters that reappear frequently without feeling like they don’t belong in someone else’s books. So I was perfectly happy to get a book focussing on Mencheres and I really enjoyed watching him and Kira fall in love. I’m also happy knowing that I’m likely to see them working on their “happy ending” as the Cat and Bones books progress.
Another pleasure I have in reading these books is the way Ms Frost always manages to balance out the initial inequality in power between her couples (since one tends to be a vampire and the other human at the beginning of the book). The reasons differ, but by the end the human member of the partnership has gained some kind of power to allow the reader to believe these two people can have a happy ending without there being such an imbalance between them that it’s likely to cause them troubles in the future.
So all in all, another enjoyable book by Jeaniene Frost. I’ll continue to buy her books as they come out (a series about Vlad now too, yay!) and I really am going to try to catch up with the books sooner rather than later....more
So far I've only read the Jeaniene Frost story of this pair of novellas. I'm one of those people who need to read things in order, so I won't be tryinSo far I've only read the Jeaniene Frost story of this pair of novellas. I'm one of those people who need to read things in order, so I won't be trying the Ilona Andrews one until I've actually read up to the right point in the Kate Daniels series.
This was just a nice little story featuring Cat and Bones, and with an excellent cameo from Cat's mother Justina, as she comes to grips with the events of Destined for an Early Grave. The spoiled brat was suitably bratty and spoiled and my only disappointment was that all the "extra features" made me expect a longer story than the one I got. I expected the story to take up 50% of the book, but it was over at 30%, with the rest given over to sample chapters of upcoming books. Since I don't read those - I prefer just to read the book when it comes out - it was a bit diasppointing.
But the story itself was fun, and that's what I bought it for, so I'm only complaining a little bit.
Favourite Quote: By the time Bones anounced it was Tammy’s turn, I’d fallen in love with him all over again. Flowers and jewelry worked for most girls as a romantic gesture, but here I was, misty-eyed at watching him show my mother how to stab the shit out of him. — One for the Money by Jeaniene Frost, found in Death’s Excellent Vacation and/or Magic Graves
UPDATED 16 September 2012
I had tried the Kate Daniels series fairly soon after it came out and stalled on the first book. All the same, I always wanted to try again. The urge bit me the other day and when I popped over to fictfact.com to check the series, it told me that the first story was the one in this book. A shorter story seemed to be the perfect way to try the series again. It's a small story that I think does introduce the world well and it gives the reader a good introduction to Kate, especially in her choice of question to the creature at the end. I certainly liked this enough that I'm going to give Magic Bites another try. If I find I like it, I'm considering the idea of alternating this series and my Liaden reread, but as always, what I actually decide to read while probably depend on the whim of the moment....more
So there I was, thinking I’d cleared my decks and was all ready to go back to Athera, when I got an email from Orannia at Walkabout. It was a link toSo there I was, thinking I’d cleared my decks and was all ready to go back to Athera, when I got an email from Orannia at Walkabout. It was a link to a Goodreads blog by m/m romance author Amy Lane about her new book, Clear Water. I haven’t talked about it here much (and I probably won’t), but my son was diagnosed with ADHD last year. Things have deteriorated since then and we’re about to trial him on mediation in the hope that will help him manage his life more easily. Orannia’s one of my wonderful friends who will act as a sounding board when I need one, so she’s pretty much up with the situation. When she saw that here was a book with a hero with adult ADHD, she naturally sent me the link.
I read the post and loved what Ms Lane had to say, so I downloaded the sample for my Kindle, and when I got to the end of the sample I bought the book and kept right on reading. It was a lovely book. Patrick, the character with ADHD, is an absolute darling (I wanted to rush out and beat up every person who had ever put him down or taken advantage of him) and his hero, Whiskey was equally great in his own way. The sex scenes are well within my comfort zone (which is generally fairly mild), and my only real complaint was the high frequency use of the f-word, but I realise that is a personal taste thing.
The author really captured both being inside the head of a person with ADHD and how such a person can look from the outside. I found myself wanting to rush out and tell everyone to read it (including my son) for that insight alone. However, being an m/m romance (ie two gay – or in this case one gay and one bisexual – guys) I realise it totally won’t be for everyone (and that aspect of it – the sexual aspect itself rather than specifically the m/m – certainly and absolutely isn’t appropriate for my son at seven). Therefore I won’t be randomly recommending it to everyone I meet after all, but if you do like a nice m/m romance (this one is sweet rather than angsty, the latter being something I struggle with) and would like to get some insight into adult (and also youth) ADHD, then I do highly recommend Amy Lane’s Clear Water....more
I enjoyed this. It was just a fun, short story in a world I enjoy and a good read between a serious SF book (Ammonite) and a serious fantasy book (PerI enjoyed this. It was just a fun, short story in a world I enjoy and a good read between a serious SF book (Ammonite) and a serious fantasy book (Peril's Gate).
Wanting a quick read before seriously getting back into Peril’s Gate (and, if I’m honest, something short enough I could squeeze it in as an August read), I picked up Jeaniene Frost’s Happily Never After, which was a short piece set in her Night Huntress world. It was originally published in an anthology (Weddings from Hell I think it was called) and has now be released as a single ebook. I do enjoy Frost’s books and this was a nice, fun read exactly as I hoped it would be. The villain of the piece was a wannabe Mafia mobster and the scenes where the vampire hero, Chance, kept letting himself be killed by the bad guy and his henchmen, just to show up again afterwards and totally confuse them, were great fun.
Frost is publishing books faster than I’m reading them at the moment (I have 2 Cat and Bones and 1 of the spin-off books to read to get caught up with both series), but I’m kind of hoping I might use these books as “take a break” books while I work on getting up to date with the Wars of Light and Shadows books and end up caught up with both by the end of the year. Who knows if that will actually happen, but the plan is to give it a try....more
I was very impressed by The Help. I’d passed over it in my reading considerations perviously as it was not a topic orComments originally posted here.
I was very impressed by The Help. I’d passed over it in my reading considerations perviously as it was not a topic or setting with which I had any familiarity or understanding whatsoever, it not being part of my family’s or country’s history.
So many thanks to that sadly anonymous blogger whose review convinced me to read the book. I am ever so glad I did.
However, I also feel like it isn’t a book I can say much about because I have no authority to do so. I’m a 21st century white woman living on the other side of the world. This is foreign history to me; something I look back at with appropriate outrage that people could treat other people that way (and it is genuine outrage, but for me the reading experience was also rather like watching the inexplicable behaviour of creatures that could have come from another planet – making me love Abiliene’s invention of Martian Luther King for Mae Mobley).
I was fascinated by the author’s note at the end as well. She said two particular things there that struck me. Firstly that she didn’t know if she had the authority to write a book in the voice of a black woman, and secondly that Mississippi was rather like her mother – she (Stockett) was allowed to criticise her (Mississippi) as much as she wanted, but should a stranger do it, then that was something else again.
I kind of felt that way as a reader. I could read and love the book (and I did), but because of my own history and background, I don’t feel I have the right and qualifications to analyse the book and make judgments on its portrayal of its characters. I don’t know enough to know what kind of portrayal of the situation this is – does it walk a balanced line through its particularly thorny issues, or does it lean towards one side or the other, white or coloured? I don’t know. So I’m not going to even try to comment.
I will only say that if this is even close to an accurate portrayal of the times and situation, it is a terrible blot on the country’s history. I don’t deny other countries, my own included, have their own blots and stains, but this one does seem particularly horrific to me. And the bit that shames me most, is that I don’t know if I would have been brave enough to stand up for what is right or not. I hope I would, but the person who is sitting here at her computer in 2011, writing this, doesn’t have generations of history and ingrained racism and whatever else built into the development of the US civil rights moment behind her. Who would I be if I did? I have no idea.
After saying I choose not to comment in any detail on the book, I have to mention Hilly. I totally detest Hilly, but as I was writing the previous couple of paragraphs I realised that it isn’t actually her racism that made me dislike her so much. It was her petty self-centredness. I can’t stand people like that, be they white, black or blue with pink polka dots. I find that kind of petty nastiness to be particularly horrible. A generically evil villain usually at least has a reason for what he or she does, someone like Hilly just does it because she can. People like Hilly give me the shivers.
As a last quick word (without spoilers), I hope things work out well for Abilene and Minny, for Skeeter off on a new adventure where she can discover who she really is outside her constricted world. And I really, really want Celia and Johnny to have a long, happy life together. Sometimes, as the saying goes, living well is the best revenge.
P.S. I've changed my edition of the book (I was reading the Kindle book, but the UK version due to geographical restrictions) to show the cover of the edition I was actually reading. I do think the US cover with the birds on the yellow background is pretty, but I also felt it kind of plastered over the issues the book was dealing with, while the UK cover was much more up front about it. The US one felt a bit like a bait and switch to me - here, buy this book with the pretty cover and you'll have handed over your money before you find it is about such a fraught issue as race relations in Mississippi in the early 60s....more