This is an interesting mix between the recent fad for teen post-apopocoliptic books (like Enclave) and moderGenre: Young Adult Fantasy (Vampire Novel)
This is an interesting mix between the recent fad for teen post-apopocoliptic books (like Enclave) and modern vampire novels. Our heroine, Tana, wakes up in the bathtub, having passed out at a party, only to realize that the entire party has been massacred by vampires, who may still be in the building hiding from the sun. In groping for a plan, Tana stumbles on two more surviving victims -- her recent ex-boyfriend gaged and tied to a bed, and a vampire chained near him, but just out of reach. Partially because of the chained vampire's warning, Tana realizes that Aiden (her ex) has been bitten and is now "Cold" (e.g. infected with the vampire virus and lusting for blood and if he does get it, will become a vampire himself). She still decides to rescue both of them (and in doing so possibly becomes infected herself) and they all set off towards the nearest Coldtown - a quarantined area where any vampire or anyone possibly Cold is locked away. For life.
The world set-up (that vampires and vampirism has been forced out into the open in the last 20 years because a vampire had been seduced by all the romantic notions about vampires in modern media and started leaving his victims alive, thus creating an epidemic of baby vampires that the government's response was to attempt to quarantine the situation) is interesting but the portrayal of vampires and the portrayal of life in the quarantine area is not particularly unique. What really fascinated me about this book was the emotional storyline. Tana is pulled in many directions at once, and like many of us her decisions don't reflect reasoned out logic but the emotions and/or social realities of the moment. I found her an interesting and complex, though completely understandable character. I found her commitment to the people she was with highly admirable, even when they didn't deserve it. I also liked the "flashback" chapters where we see the story (sometimes the distant past of the story) from Tana or some of the other character's viewpoints. I thought it added an interesting depth and counterpoint to the choices Tana was making. ...more
This is the second in the Vlad Taltos series, although if you follow internal chronology it predates the first novel, _Jhereg_. This isGenre: Fantasy
This is the second in the Vlad Taltos series, although if you follow internal chronology it predates the first novel, _Jhereg_. This is the story of Vlad as a young turf Boss, experiencing his first boundary dispute with another turf boss in the Jhereg. If you liked the first novel in the series, you'll probably like this one, as it has the same kind of pacing and humor, and many of the same characters appear. In fact, this is the book wherein Vlad meets and woos his wife (or from some points of view, is wooed by her, at knifepoint). I actually think the pacing and tension build more evenly in this book then in _Jhereg_, but Burst is having to do less world-explanation, which may account for the difference.
I remember being utterly fascinated by these books as a teenager, because how could I like the hero, he is an assassin after all!?! But now, as an adult, I don't find that a particularly vexing moral quandary, so I now find the books a good yarn, and the world interesting, but there's not a lot of substance or insight to them. ...more
Genre: Fantasy (technically, urban fantasy, but it doesn't fit any of the tropes)
There is very little plot to this book, it is more a mood and charactGenre: Fantasy (technically, urban fantasy, but it doesn't fit any of the tropes)
There is very little plot to this book, it is more a mood and character study. It is told entirely though diary entries of a high-school aged (or in Britain and Wales where the book is set forth form/lower fifth form aged) Mori Phelps during 1979. What has happened in the past is explained in dribs and drabs - there was an accident and Mori's twin sister died and Mori herself was crippled. This accident was either caused by their mother or caused by Mori in an attempt to stop their mother from doing something vile with magic, it's not quite clear. Mori was then forced to live with her mother after her grandfather's subsequent stroke and runs away. Child services sends her to live with her father, Daniel, who abandoned them when she was a baby, so he's a stranger to her. Luckily for her, Daniel shares her love of science fiction, not so luckily, he lives with his sisters who immediately pack the Welsh middle-class Mori off to an upper class British boarding school. Her only solace is reading. Her diary is filled with the books she's read obsessively, which are mostly science fiction, but she does read mysteries and Plato as eagerly. In many ways the book is an homage to scifi and fandom, but it's also a fond stroll down memory lane, when there was no internet and the way you discovered new books was to see them all bright and shiny in a bookstore and eagerly gobbled them up.
The way magic works in this novel is unique in my reading experience -- it's not like D&D, reliable do X get Y result. It's very fluid: the effects of a magic spell can't be foreseen, and can always be explained away. Mori struggles with the morality of her own actions magic-wise, which is made worse by the very intangibility of determining exactly what she did. There are fairies (although it's not at all clear that that's what they are -- that's just what Mori calls them) but most people can't see them, and they don't look like what most people think fairies look like; they aren't Tolkein's elves, or Shakespeare's Peaseblossoms and sprites, nor Tinkerbell. They are more earthy and non-human, and they generally don't talk - and when they do, they don't use nouns. Like classic fairy stories, it is best to treat them with caution, although Mori, being a socially awkward teenager, frequently fails to do so, with varying results.
I enjoyed the book very much - but it is not a fast paced action-adventure, if that's what you're looking for. It's more a slow period piece, examination of character, time and place. Off the top of my head I can't think of another science fiction/fantasy book its similar too. It did leave me with a substantial list of sci-fi classics i want to go re-read simply from Mori's excitement reminding me about them!...more