I loved this book. It was so quiet for a Vorkosigan book and I really, really liked that (although I was kind of hanging out for at least a volcanic eI loved this book. It was so quiet for a Vorkosigan book and I really, really liked that (although I was kind of hanging out for at least a volcanic eruption).
This book ponders big, huge questions in a very clever way. I lost my mother less than a month ago and while it was a different kind of loss to the one of the characters, it still made the book resonate with me more than it might otherwise have done.
I'd happily hang out with Cordelia and Oliver as they raise their children and work on surveying Sergyar. I don't suppose I'll get the chance to, as it probably wouldn't make a commercial book, but a reader can dream....more
A pleasant and enjoyable read, which I found a lot more interesting than The Girls of Friar's Rise. Rosalind's developing relationship with her brotheA pleasant and enjoyable read, which I found a lot more interesting than The Girls of Friar's Rise. Rosalind's developing relationship with her brother was a pleasure to read and the Irrepressibles were always great for a laugh - although I don't know that I'd ever even want to meet them, let alone be related to them!...more
I don't know when I started this. I set an arbitrary date of 20 December for finishing The Sending, so I'm equally arbitrarily saying I started this oI don't know when I started this. I set an arbitrary date of 20 December for finishing The Sending, so I'm equally arbitrarily saying I started this on 21 December. I know I pretty much went straight from one to the other, so that will be good enough.
I ended up reading this through a difficult time in my life, as my mother's health rapidly deteriorated over the Christmas and New Year period. Both she and my mother-in-law died while I was reading this book. I did take a break from it for a while (and read a rubbishy cozy mystery instead), but I found myself drawn back to this one constantly. In a strange way, I think this book will always have a special significance as I was reading it late into the night (thanks to a Kindle Paperwhite with a light) as I sat beside my mother for the last time. Somehow, reading about Elspeth's quest coming to its end at such a time seemed to work.
I can't comment on the literary merit of the book, or even how well Isobelle Carmody brought everything together at the end. I wasn't thinking about such things, but the words and the story drew me in and left me satisfied. There were a couple of places where I thought Elspeth was a bit slow at working out things I thought were obvious (for example (view spoiler)[I'd figured out that Eden was going to be the final free destination for beasts at least one book back if not two (hide spoiler)]), but that's okay.
There were also a couple of mysteries that were never solved that I wish had been (namely (view spoiler)[how Maruman got out of a cryopod to be there to find Elspeth and how Dragon got into one (hide spoiler)]). Considering how much was revealed in dreams, surely it wouldn't have been too hard to address those things too?
But these are minor quibbles and I really enjoyed it. I'd love to see everyone in a few years just to see a little of "what happened next" as the world will most likely to quite different if certain electronic communication hinted at gets up and running.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I knew this book would be perfect for my mother when I first saw it, and I bought it when it came out to give to her for Christmas. Very sadly, whileI knew this book would be perfect for my mother when I first saw it, and I bought it when it came out to give to her for Christmas. Very sadly, while she was well enough on the day to open it and acknowledge it was indeed exactly her kind of book, she was never well enough to read it. I started reading it myself while sitting with her in the hospice and loved what I got read.
It's now at my father's house with her things and I'll have a go at finishing it at a suitably appropriate time....more
I've liked all the Gwendoline Courtney books I've read so far (many thanks to Audrey for lending them to me). However, I have to admit that this has bI've liked all the Gwendoline Courtney books I've read so far (many thanks to Audrey for lending them to me). However, I have to admit that this has been my least favourite. I think it's just that it's a book that chronicles everyday happenings without any huge rise in crescendo as we get towards the end. That's okay, and it was still a pleasant book, but all the same I found it less captivating than the others for that reason....more
I have no idea when I finished this book, although I think it was before Christmas, so I'm going to pick an arbitrary date of 20 December 2015 for myI have no idea when I finished this book, although I think it was before Christmas, so I'm going to pick an arbitrary date of 20 December 2015 for my finish date. My life went quite insane while I was reading this as my mother's cancer came back in full force and we lost her in early January 2016. I know I was up to The Red Queen by the time I was sitting at her bedside reading and that it took me a LONG time to finish that one. Understandably, I wasn't keeping detailed records, so it's all kind of guesswork.
I really, really enjoyed this book. I loved the places we went with Elspeth on her quest and the way all the current and past time information started to come together. But I can't really separate it out from the next book, so I'll try to comment more in the review for that so I don't risk any spoilers....more
A thoroughly enjoyable entry in the La Rochelle series, and surprisingly more grown up that EBD's usual books. There are outrageous things in it, likeA thoroughly enjoyable entry in the La Rochelle series, and surprisingly more grown up that EBD's usual books. There are outrageous things in it, like cigarettes and clear hints (although still only hints) of upcoming pregnancies more than a day or two before the baby arrives. In Janie's case, if you're paying attention (and I was warned to do so when loaned the book) you can figure it out MONTHS in advance, although the cigarette smoking continues.
I'm being a bit of a smart alec really, as it's a lovely book and I'm very glad I've read it.
Having now read for EJO Abbey books (well, three), I find that at the moment, I feel like the EDB ones feel more solid and real. I'm enjoying the Abbey ones, but there's a soft or gentle sense to them that suggests they could up and float away at any moment. Or something. It's hard to describe. I'll also have to see if it continues as I read more or not....more
Be aware that this is the US edition of The Stone Key, which means it is actually the second half of that book, while the first half was US publishedBe aware that this is the US edition of The Stone Key, which means it is actually the second half of that book, while the first half was US published as Wavesong. About the only good thing about it as far as I can see, is that it offered the opportunity for another pretty cover. Since I live in New Zealand and got the AUS/UK edition from the library which was all 1000 pages in one binding, it all proved to be very confusing. I've chosen to consider the books to be 5A (Wavesong) and 5B (The Stone Key), and I see the story as a whole one in two main phases rather than two separate stories.
I thoroughly enjoyed the entire book (A and B combined) and I'm loving the way Carmody continues to weave together so beautifully the three main threads of Elspeth's life. There's learning about the Beforetime and its immediate aftermath and figuring out the lives of Cassy and Hannah and their friends. There's her place in the here and now as a significant part of Obernewtyn and a young woman in love. Finally, there's her role as the Seeker and the quest and the challenge of its ultimate conclusion, which seem to be speedily growing closer.
A book that focussed on just one of these, or even two out of the three, wouldn't pull me in, tie me down and push all my buttons the way this series does. I love all the aspects of the story and I'm looking forward to travelling right to the end with Elspeth.
I liked this. Not as much as the earlier books in the series perhaps, but I liked it. I liked seeing all the next generation children that I recogniseI liked this. Not as much as the earlier books in the series perhaps, but I liked it. I liked seeing all the next generation children that I recognise as Chalet School pupils, especially Beth and Barbara. It was also lovely to have a proper introduction to Nan.
I like the way that, on the whole, the La Rochelle books don't take the whole book to deal with the problem main character(s). They are getting themselves sorted and coming right from fairly early in the book and from there it's that they have a chance to to build on their new beginning and grow from there. It isn't a last minute reversal of character, which would annoy me I think.
Also, I can totally see why Janie and Joey become such good friends. They have much in common and personalities that would either just click (as they did) or set them at odds forever because they were so alike. I'm glad it was the former rather than the latter.
I may have to work out which book deals with Beth from here and see if the rest of her story plays out in a Chalet School book....more
This is my second "Abbey" book now and I'm finding the series charming. They are a lovely, easy read about generally nice people who aren't perfect, aThis is my second "Abbey" book now and I'm finding the series charming. They are a lovely, easy read about generally nice people who aren't perfect, and I'm pleased there are more on my shelf for me to read.
It was interesting the way the book started with Joan, then shifted mostly to Joy, before going back to Joan at the end. And as much as I like Joy, I'm looking forward to spending more time with Joan in later books.
I didn't really need another classic children's series to get hooked on (when I think about the money I've spent on Chalet school books, I don't need to do that again), but I'm not sorry really, and it's lovely to know I have a whole new group of book-friends who will happily keep this new habit fed....more
I'm rereading/reading this series because the last book comes out this week.
When I first read it, I got through the first four books and decided I wanI'm rereading/reading this series because the last book comes out this week.
When I first read it, I got through the first four books and decided I wanted to have the full story available before I kept going. I don't exactly remember why now, although I know I was engaged with the characters to the point I found the idea of reading the books without knowing it was going to turn out okay to be stressful.
This time, I shall read it ALL! :)
This book itself, is very much a set up book. It introduces us to the world, to Elspeth and a number of the other long-term main characters, and to the mission that Elspeth will work on completing through the entire series.
I loved rereading it and I've already started on the first few pages of book 2....more
Lovely to reread this one as well. It isn't as good as Children of Morrow, but it's great to have a "how they coped afterwards" kind of book as they cLovely to reread this one as well. It isn't as good as Children of Morrow, but it's great to have a "how they coped afterwards" kind of book as they can be fascinating....more
There's a lot of good stuff in here, but somehow it's overall less satisfying than the others. Mo is a good, solid character, but she's nowhere near aThere's a lot of good stuff in here, but somehow it's overall less satisfying than the others. Mo is a good, solid character, but she's nowhere near as appealing as Bob and shows some unpleasant character traits here and there, especially in regards to Bob, who readers are already well invested in. Overall, it's an interesting experiment, but I'm not sure if it works completely.
At the risk of being totally shallow, I hope we go back to Bob with the next book.
It was also interesting that she sees Bob as immature, yet he feels like the better human being, despite what he does and is becoming, and some of that "immaturity" is probably a part of that.
I'm not even sure if this makes sense, but I'm trying to express something I can't quite explain.
All the same though, it's been a great if crazy binge read. Looking back, I see I started The Atrocity Archives on 10 October, so I've read everything Laundry related, including the short stories, in less than a month. I'm quite glad it was children's books I was reading in between and I think I'll go and read another one now while my brain settles itself down.
ETA (6/11): I read some of the spoiler threads on Charles Stross's blog yesterday, including a number of comments he made in reply to other people's posts. There were two things he stressed that I knew, but perhaps hadn't taken into full account.
1. Bob is a very unreliable narrator. Mo is also an unreliable narrator. 2. Mo is progressing her way through a nervous breakdown in this book, which means her own understanding of her thought processes (and those thought processes themselves) are also unreliable.
I'm one of those primarily SFF readers who does take things fairly literally and therefore doesn't do unreliable narrators well. (In fact, if I know about one in advance and there's not another major point drawing me to the book, I am likely to pass it by in favour of something more straight forward.)
So I do feel much more favourable towards Mo taking those things into consideration. Conversely, I'm more worried about Bob as I like him a lot. Stross hinted at a Bob-grows-up book where his perception of his self and his actual self start to match up. While possibly difficult to read, it sounds like a potentially excellent book.
So I find myself much more inclined to bump the score up to an 8 and reread the book at some point (maybe before the next on comes out next year) with those points in mind.
I also acknowledge that I read the series so fast, I'm sure to have missed stuff. A reread in the future, methinks....more