Not without problems and the weakest of the three (though I don't know if anything can/will ever match the sheer awesome of Fortune's Pawn), but still...moreNot without problems and the weakest of the three (though I don't know if anything can/will ever match the sheer awesome of Fortune's Pawn), but still a thoroughly rousing and fun conclusion to Devi's story.(less)
Decent, but I gave up on this series after the fourth book. So no real connection or investment in th...more
The Dark Tower: The Little Sisters of Eluria: 3/5
Decent, but I gave up on this series after the fourth book. So no real connection or investment in the short story for the series.
Discworld: The Sea and Little Fishes - 4/5
I always enjoy a visit to Pratchett's Discworld and Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg are big favorites.
The Sword of Truth: Debt of Bones - 1/5
A short story from a series I really do not like. I can't stand the way Goodkind writes women (or antagonists, or protagonists, or humans) and I dislike the world he created.
Tales of Alvin Maker: Grinning Man - 1/5
I am no fan of Card's, but I couldn't even make it through this short story... and it is one of the shortest additions to the anthology.
Majipoor: The Seventh Shrine - 3/5
I can't say I really understood everything that went on here (as I have never read any his work), but the ideas were creative and strong.
Earthsea: Dragonfly -- 2/5
Confesson: I've never finished Le Guin's most popular series. I gave up early in book one, so this was not a story for me.
Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn: The Burning Man - 3/5
Like most of Williams' work, this just leaves me cold. Ehhhh.
A Song of Ice and Fire: The Hedge Knight - 4/5
The first Dunk and Egg story. The whole reason I wanted to read this and that Danielle sent it to me. And I wasn't disappointed. So many infamous figures were shown - Aerion, Dunk, Egg, Baelor Breakspear, Maekar.... It was an entertaining read.
Pern: Runner of Pern - 3/5
Confession: I've never read Pern either. I am not coming off too well as a fantasy fan, huh?
The Riftwar Saga: The Wood Boy - 3.5/5
I have a lot of fondness for the Riftwar books and this was a nice, short reminder of why Feist's books are so fun to read.
The Wheel of Time: New Spring - 3.5/5
I'd read this before but it features one of my favorite characters (Lan) so it's always worth a reread. It's a bit long, but the story of Lan and Moiraine's meeting and friendship is a good one.
All in all, a very satisfying anthology and I look forward to reading Legends II.(less)
"But the truth is, the longer you love the same person, the more mysterious they become. March is like a pocket universe, full of stars, and I will ne...more"But the truth is, the longer you love the same person, the more mysterious they become. March is like a pocket universe, full of stars, and I will never learn all his light."
"March knows what I want and what I can offer. He gets me down to my breath and bone; he will not try to change me. For him, I need not yield that which makes me Jax; I need not surrender the universe for March's sake. He will share it with me."
I've been all over the universe with Sirantha Jax, March, and Vel. This was a fitting, engaging, and impressive way to end it all. (less)
I REALLY liked this, but I just didn't love it. I love parts of it, but not the book as a whole. You know? It was intense. Creative. Fun. But also imp...moreI REALLY liked this, but I just didn't love it. I love parts of it, but not the book as a whole. You know? It was intense. Creative. Fun. But also imperfect.
Still. I liked it and would read it again. And I will probably read the inevitable sequel(s).(less)
Originality is something that should be noticed and rewarded. When it seems like every idea has been re...moreRead This Review & More Like It On My Blog!
Originality is something that should be noticed and rewarded. When it seems like every idea has been recycled, redone, or revamped to try and tempt it into a new shape, the few books that try for something truly new stand out. That ingenuity is one of the reasons behind the hype and hoopla building behind Beukes' newest novel, The Shining Girls. The other is this: a time-traveling serial killer. I didn't really need to hear anything after that - I was hooked on the synopsis alone. Happily for me, Lauren Beukes delivers with this mashup of genres.
The Shining Girls is fairly straightforward story, told in unadorned prose. It's an enterprising mix of several genres, but it works -- all to the credit of the author's talent. Beukes dispenses her tale in a third person narration, sharing out narration amongst several disparate POVS. There is Harper Curtis, the killer, Kirby the girl who lived, Dan Velazquez, a washed up homicide reporter, and Mal, a streetkid who sees more than others want. Some POVs are stronger than others (twisted as he is, Harper's chapters are easily the most engrossing), but all add something to the story of the shining girls. I found Mal's additions the most ill-fitting, but even he has a bigger role to play than immediately apparent.
There's no explanation, technologically or otherwise, for how/why Harper can do what he does. It just is. That's it. There is a magical House that allows Harper to go sometime else, in order to target his victims. He closes "the circle" and jaunts back and forth, from the depths of the Depression-era Chicago to the 1950s, 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s. Either the reader can buy into the premise of a time-traveling house or you can't. Suspension of disbelief is key to enjoying this tale. If you go looking for concrete answers or why, you'll be disappointed. Beukes focuses tightly on the plot, and the characters to a lesser degree. The plot holds up as long as you can accept the otherwordlyness of the plot devices.
Despite its good aspects, there are issues within The Shining Girls. A large portion of the plot, i.e. Kirby's major addition the story, ends up... less important than the time spent developing it would have you think. And for a novel centered on an unhinged time-traveling serial killer there is a surprising lack of suspense. Partly derived from knowing ahead of time which girls are doomed takes away some of the tension, but there is a lack in Beukes' depiction. That isn't to say the murder scenes aren't horrifying (and horrifyingly graphic) - they can be and often are. There are many horrible things in this novel, and reading them from Curtis's POV can be a chilling experience. However, the dearth of any real atmosphere around his actions is a big miss.
If a time-traveling serial killer piques your interest, The Shining Girls is definitely worth a read. A cut-and-dried style works well for Beukes' obvious talents and for crafting a uniquely appealing story. If a plot-driven thriller novel, with slight sci-fi elements and with fairly well-realized characters is your thing, this also is a book for you. Be warned: when I say there are some hard scenes to read, I mean it. This book isn't afraid to rack up a body count, and get gory. All that said, this is a taut thriller with an interesting hook. It's unlike anything else I've read and that, combined with Harper Curtis's maniacal agenda, will make it memorable long into the future. (less)