I love a good mystery. But I often have a hard time with the genre because of how it treats its fThis review originally posted at More Than Just Magic
I love a good mystery. But I often have a hard time with the genre because of how it treats its female characters. Women in mysteries and thrillers are often caricatures of real people. They’re either extremely uptight and controlling, or they’re “sluts.” They’re rarely fully realized characters, in the end they seem to primarily exist to be difficult. I makes me nervous to try out new authors, if I don’t know whether or not they subscribe to these particular tropes.
Which was why I originally hesitated when considering Where They Found Her. I hadn’t read Kimberly McCreight ‘s earlier work. But I had heard amazing things about her novel, Reconstructing Amelia. So I decided to give her a shot – and I am so glad I did. Where They Found Her is a dark, compelling mystery that will grab you from the first page. But it is also a story of complicated, layered women.
This novel is filled to the brim with different kinds of women. Including three point-of-view characters. There’s Molly Sanderson, just getting back on her feet after her baby was stillborn. There’s Sandy Mendelson, who lives in the run down part of town and is trying to both pay bills and get her GED. There’s Barbara, an over protective mother who is constantly worrying about the fate of her children. And they’re only the tip of the iceberg. From point of view characters, to secondary characters, this book is just as much about the experiences of women – particularly mothers and daughters – as it is about the mystery of who left the baby down by the stream.
I’m not going to say much else about the story – I don’t want to risk giving anything away. I will admit that I guessed pretty early on who the mother of the baby was, but in no way did that detract for my enjoyment of the book as a whole. There is just so much going on and so many complicated relationships to distract yourself with, the mother of the baby feels like only one piece in a larger puzzle.
I highly recommend this book to those looking for a new mystery to consume. But be careful. Once you start reading you’re going to have a very hard time putting the book down again. Probably best if you don’t make any plans until you’re done reading....more
One day, many years from now, humanity has managed to colonize not only Mars, but the moon as welThis review originally posted at More Than Just Magic
One day, many years from now, humanity has managed to colonize not only Mars, but the moon as well. This is obviously a time of great change. New technology, new medicine, new genetic enhancements and even new sports. Zeroboxing is all the rage – both on Earth and Mars.
Zeroboxing is in many ways, similar to the regular old boxing we have today. Two men (and occasionally women) get into a ring and pummel each other until one of them taps out or is knocked out. What makes zeroboxing different however is that there’s no gravity. Players are placed in a cube with six magnetic walls. Down is up, right is left and you need to be able to crawl up the walls and spin through air, just as easily as you throw a punch.
It’s a challenging sport but Carr Luka is great at it. At nineteen he’s one of the best in the league and his star is rising higher and higher every day – especially with the help of his marketing guru/Martian girlfriend Risha. The future looks bright for Carr, until he returns to Earth to visit his mother and learns a secret that will change his life forever.
I am not a boxing fan. I’m not really a sports fan of every kind, but I’ve especially had a hard time understanding boxing. Watching two people beat each other up has never been my idea of a good time. As a result I really struggled with many parts of this novel. It may take place on the Moon and they may fight in zero gravity – but at its core it is a sports novel and if you’re anything like me you probably won’t enjoy the numerous fight scenes throughout.
However, I couldn’t give up on this novel because despite the blood and punching there were some universal elements that kept me hanging on, wondering what Carr Luka would do next. He struggled with the expectations put upon him – by his mother, coach, advertisers, his fans. He wants to live up to those expectations but sometimes that seems impossible. I also like that he struggles over doing the right thing and with some of the consequences of fame. To someone with no stakes in what happen it may seem like there is a clear-cut right and wrong thing to do in this book. But it can be difficult to do the right thing when you aren’t the only one who will be affected. Nevermind that walking away from something you love can feel impossible.
In the end whether I understand the sport or not is irrelevant – Carr Luka worked hard to get where he is and he never stops trying and fighting for a single page of this novel. He’s got spirit. And if you are both a sports/boxing fan and a science fiction fan I recommend that you pick up this novel and experience his journey for yourself....more
This is not my usual read - for those that read this kind of book I would recommend it whole heartedly. It was very cute and funnier than I expected.This is not my usual read - for those that read this kind of book I would recommend it whole heartedly. It was very cute and funnier than I expected. I was also surprised by how well developed the characters were, there were so many little details that really went a long way.
I wasn't too excited about the plot but that's just me. And there were a couple of eye roll moments but overall a fun read (too bad it's not summer - it would have been perfect for the beach/cottage). ...more
Torn between 3.5 and 4 stars. The first half/two-thirds were quite slow and it was hard to stay motivated. Once everyone was introduced and everythingTorn between 3.5 and 4 stars. The first half/two-thirds were quite slow and it was hard to stay motivated. Once everyone was introduced and everything was established however, things got much more exciting. Looking forward to seeing where this one goes in Volume 2.
Definitely A+ for art though. Mike Allred is a pro. ...more
The very first Christopher Moore book I ever read was Fool. And just like that I was hooked. ForThis review originally posted at More Than Just Magic
The very first Christopher Moore book I ever read was Fool. And just like that I was hooked. For starters it was a re-telling of one of my favourite Shakespeare plays (King Lear) and it was hilarious. Like laugh out loud in public and read your favourite bits to your friends funny.
So when I heard there was going to be a new book featuring my favourite inappropriate court jester, Pocket, I couldn’t resist.
The Serpent of Venice is an entirely brand new adventure, that stands alone. You don’t need to read Fool to understand what’s happening in this novel. Although I highly recommend you do as it is a) very funny and b) there are some other crossover characters and it would make them that much more interesting if you already knew a little about them.
As you may have guessed from the title, The Serpent of Venice is a re-imagining of Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice (with a little Othello mixed in for good measure) and all the players are here! Shylock, Jessica, Antonio, Lorenzo…with the added addition of Pocket! And where Pocket goes, trouble follows. This book is every bit as inappropriately funny as his other books and it’s near impossible to keep from giggling. Need some examples?
“Fine, as the tailor said to the broke and naked knight, suit yourself.”
”Shag a virgin, five shillings. Sail you off the edge of the world* for six,” she called by routine, bored. *It’s AD 1299. “Around the World” hasn’t been invented yet.”
I especially enjoyed the chorus and the other’s character’s interactions with them:
CHORUS: Fear did twist the jester’s tiny mind–stretch it past the limits of sanity until it snapped–and shivering and pale, he went mad.
CHORUS: You’re shouting at a disembodied voice in the dark.
Oh fuckstockings. Good point. Well, a bit knackered, perhaps, but not bloody mad.
I did, however, find that the pacing of The Serpent of Venice, didn’t quite have the same snap as Fool and I had a hard time getting as invested in the characters. This could very well be because I’ve never really enjoyed the source material. I read The Merchant of Venice back in Grade 9 and it never jumped out at me the way others, like King Lear or The Tempest did. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy this book, I really did. But if someone were to ask me what Shakespeare work I would have liked to see Moore tackle next, The Merchant of Venice wouldn’t have been my top choice.
But all in all Christopher Moore is still doing a damn fine job as he continues to expand this crazy Shakespearean universe. I hope there are even more books starring Pocket in our future....more