I really liked the title. It fits the book.I have to add that I got this book from NetGalley.
There are two parts to this book: the mystery and romance...moreI really liked the title. It fits the book.I have to add that I got this book from NetGalley.
There are two parts to this book: the mystery and romance. The mystery, but I do not know that the romance worked for me.
The main character comes to research and write a book about a twenty year old kidnapping. The love interest interferes.
The Mystery: Some of this I saw coming, some of it I didn’t. I figured out the part I saw coming half way through the book. I enjoyed finding out I was right. So, IMO, it’s good. It is a fun, enjoyable read. I finished it pretty quickly.
The Romance: I have to admit, I didn’t actually get the romance. The love interest is hot and cold. Uses him one minute and the next minute he is all hearts and roses.
Plus, the love interest did a few things that I personally would have a hard time forgiving. I think the main character should have made him grovel more. Like, weeks more instead of just forgiving him. It was just too quick.
Favorite Scene: This is a hard one. There are a lot of really good scenes. But if I had to pick one, I would pick the conversation one between the main character and the love interest’s sister. Not, note, the love interest.
If I had to pick a favorite scene with the love interest, it would be the last one, the one where he declares his love and is practically forgiven. For all that I thought the forgiveness came too quick and the main character should have just driven on, it was pretty good. That might sound contradictory.
I have to say, there were no boring scenes. I also think every single scene did something to push the story forward.
Would I reread Stranger on the Shore by Josh Lanyon? Probably not. It wasn't bad, but not nearly as good as some of Josh Lanyon's other efforts.(less)
I finished Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett last week. This is the first time I read Color of Magic. I understand there is a movie; I have not seen i...moreI finished Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett last week. This is the first time I read Color of Magic. I understand there is a movie; I have not seen it.
Okay, I have to admit the idea of a world transported on the back giant turtle strikes me slightly ridiculous. In fact, large parts of the book strike me as ridiculous. But it works. It all holds together and not in a ridiculous way. That’s amazing.
The idea of the naïve tourist is a good way to explore this world. He’s an insurance analyst. The very idea of insurance seems a foreign concept to other character, the inept wizard. The inept wizard is a cynical type, one who is forced by his leader and circumstance to actually keep his promise to be a good tour good for the tourist.
In the tourist’s travels, while explaining the idea of insurance to people, one person commits insurance fraud. The book never said so, but I suspect the person never gets his money.
I loved the idea of the invisible dragons, dragons that are only real if you are in the dragon area and if the dragon’s owner believes in them. It’s like riding an invisible airplane, while carrying an invisible gun. Sounds pretty wonderful, doesn’t it? Well, it sounds wonderful to me.
The Luggage is pretty damn interesting, too. I mean, the idea of Luggage, with a capital L, that bites and is infinitely large – well, it would never be lost, never be stolen, and you could carry whatever you liked!
Also, the net around the edge of the world that catches anyone who falls over. Good idea. Too bad it is not fool-proof.
I love it. I love it a lot more than I thought I would, considering how utterly silly the idea sounds.
The book ends when the inept wizard falls over the edge of the world. This is a cliffhanger, and I don’t think I approve. But, luckily, the second book is already out.(less)
I got Half a King by Joe Abercrombie from NetGalley. There are some errors in the copy, but it’s an ARC and they’ll probably be fixed by time it’s pub...moreI got Half a King by Joe Abercrombie from NetGalley. There are some errors in the copy, but it’s an ARC and they’ll probably be fixed by time it’s published.
I found out that Half a King was a YA novel only a few chapters into the book. The main character is young, but I wouldn’t have twigged to its YA status if I hadn’t read it online. I will try not to spoil anyone.
I really like that line: I may be half a man, but I swore a whole oath. It has a ring to it.
The main character, Prince Yarvi, is born crippled in a world that values only strength in its kings. One badly formed arm makes him a cripple, a half a man.
I have to ask: when was the last time you had a main character that was crippled from the get-go? Me, I can’t remember.
So, born unable to wield a weapon, Yarvi trains to become a minister. But his father and brothers are killed so he has to take the throne. He promptly declares war on those who killed his family. He is betrayed just as quickly. Then he vows to take back a throne he never really wants.
There is war and betrayal, all of it driven by politics.
But for all that Half a King isn’t a bleak book. Gritty, yes, but not bleak. I was expecting bleak; other Joe Abercrombie books are bleak. Perhaps that’s the YA effect. I am grateful; bleak books are so hard to read.
After the betrayal, Yarvi’s lives in harsh conditions. But he lives, and that’s more than his betrayer intended. He finds friends and companions that carry him to the end. His friends are all from different lands, different stations in life before they ended up together. They are all interesting, especially the one named Nothing.
My favorite part: the end.
The ending is a series of scenes, each dealing with a different character. Some of it I guessed from previous events. One part of the end, the most important part, I never guessed. It involved the betrayal of a character that I thought was trustworthy, that I thought fit into another role in the story. No. It was fantastic.
To reiterate: that one scene makes this book a standout. I will always remember that end. Always! It was perfect. Completely unexpected, but perfectly sensible, too.
My least favorite part: the middle.
This has less to do with sagginess in the middle – it has none! It is very sharp and tight in the middle! – and more to do because I thought briefly Yarvi himself was betraying everyone. It didn’t work out that way and I am glad. I was inspired to skim the end to reassure myself Yarvi was a character that I should root for. This, no doubt, is evidence of good storytelling.
Things I would like to know: more about the world.
The focus of Half a King is on Yarvi. That’s fine; he is the main character. But the companions are from other lands, and judging from them, the other lands are different. I am not even sure about the relationship between the other lands to Yarvi’s land. None of that is important to the story so it wasn’t included. But I still want to know.
I really, really liked Half a King and I am looking forward to the next one. (less)
I read Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie for the National Novel Reading Month (NaNoReMo for short), hosted by John Wiswell. You’re suppo...moreI read Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie for the National Novel Reading Month (NaNoReMo for short), hosted by John Wiswell. You’re supposed to that classic you always meant to read, but never got around to actually reading.
Murder on the Orient Express is a mystery classic. I’ve never seen any of the movies or the TV show. But I know the story, which probably indicates just how much of a classic it is.
Before I started the book, I didn’t know this is the ninth in a series. But it was okay. I think there were references in the beginning of the book to past events, but it didn’t affect the rest of the story.
Despite starting late – I completely forgot until the middle of the month! – I finished it quickly. The book is supposed to be around 300 pages, but it didn’t feel that long. It was a quick read. I also didn’t know that detective was Belgian. I suppose I thought he was English or American or something. (I mean, Dame Christie was English so . . . yeah, I assumed.)
The language was a bit formal, but not more than I was expecting. I mean, this book was first written in the 1930’s, and all writing was a lot more formal back then.
It’s written in the third person, and while it’s a fairly strict third person, there is a lot more distance between the reader and the main character than in contemporary third person POV. I think this might be a result of the formality of the language. That makes me wonder, how much of a role does language play in how much distance exists between the main character and the reader in other POVs?
I liked how she divided the suspect interviews into chapters and how she built up each character before the murder even happened. It made the conclusion that much more inevitable. The reveal of how all the characters are connected was slow, almost delicate, and I liked it a lot.
So, I was looking at the characters and how their stories match up. This is what comes of knowing how it ends. ;) I think, if I didn’t already know the ending, it would be hard to guess. I mean, who would guess that were all in on it!
And the ending! They let it go! That, I didn’t know. I am glad I didn’t because it was a surprise. They let the whole train car of murderers go. I mean, the guy who got murdered deserved it. He got justice at the hands of his victims that he never got in the courts. Even so. Still not sure how I feel about it. (less)