It was released at the same time as Caraval, which got all the hype and was .... pretty good. But this! Wow!This is the best book I've read in months!
It was released at the same time as Caraval, which got all the hype and was .... pretty good. But this! Wow!
The author has taken Christina Rossetti's poem "Goblin Market" (She even names the protagonist Elizabeth, like Rossetti) and mixed it with Goethe's and Schubert's "Der Erlkönig," throwing in the myth of Persephone and just a titch of Labyrinth with her unnamed Goblin King of "austere" (most over-used word in the book) beauty and "thistledown" hair looking all-too-much like David Bowie as Jareth. But all of this is woven so skillfully together!
I devoured this book.
The characterization is strong: Liesl/Elizabeth is a feminist character who does not need saving by a man; her goal is to save her siblings. She isn't pretty, which is a nice change. She does not spend the whole book looking for a man, and, even though her unsurprising romance is a major part of the book, it is not what "makes" her as a person.
The setting is good, with enough historical touches thrown in to make it feel real. (There is that anachronistic weirdness of what appears to be a Medieval monk teaching the Goblin King to play the violin, however. ) And the plot is multi-layered with several surprises.
I thought at first it was a stand-alone, as the ending is fabulous and should really be the final end. But then I noticed that the tiny subplot of the grandmother and the Goblin King is never worked out thoroughly, that Liesl never resolves things with her emotionally manipulative father, and that her brother's conflicts are left hanging. Therefore, in spite of the fact that Liesl's main conflicts have been resolved and she's in a good place (as is her sister), I'm guessing there will be a sequel to bring a cheesier ending; I just hope it doesn't spoil the goodness of this one.
If you feel like reading a modern fairy tale that feels as old as the Grimm Brothers' tales, try this. It is magic sliced into a novel.
I borrowed this book from the public library, but it's so good that I'm going to buy a copy to keep!...more
This is the sequel to Shelton's To Helvetica And Back. It's set in a fictional town which strongly resembles Park City, Utah, during the time of a filThis is the sequel to Shelton's To Helvetica And Back. It's set in a fictional town which strongly resembles Park City, Utah, during the time of a film festival which parallels the Sundance Festival (with even a sneaky little nod to Sundance in the form of a secret password). It involves movies stars, wannabe stars, polygamists, and, of course, a spot of murder. (For what is a cozy without a murder to solve?) I've read every single one of Shelton's books, and this new series is my favorite. The setting is charming, for one thing. And, unlike many other cozy authors, Shelton's protagonists are never stupid or helpless women who must constantly be rescued. That's a big plus. If you're a cozy fan, a Sundance fan, a skiing town fan, or just someone looking for a fun winter read, give this a try. It's a delightful little escape from reality....more
I'm surprised that book bloggers aren't RAVING over this book. It's good. Really good. I had my doubts at first. A white woman writing about a WOC MuslI'm surprised that book bloggers aren't RAVING over this book. It's good. Really good. I had my doubts at first. A white woman writing about a WOC Muslim protagonist? How's that going to work? But it did. And Scarlett is a kick-butt heroine! She does NOT need to be saved by a guy. She's not caught up in a stupid love triangle. She's smart. She's resourceful. She loves her sister. Her story is NOT just about how to get the cute guy. This is a mystery book that turns into action/adventure. It hints at fantasy, but fortunately, the author does not go that way -- because it would likely ruin the tale. And it's a stand-alone. There is NO non-ending to force readers to buy a sequel. A sequel might happen in the form of another mystery to solve, but this book has resolution. It's diverse YA. It's feminist. It's fast-paced. The plot twists work. it's just plain GOOD. The book bloggers should be raving over this....more
This book was very good -- until the end. I took off a whole star because it has one of those non-endings. There is no plot resolution and very littleThis book was very good -- until the end. I took off a whole star because it has one of those non-endings. There is no plot resolution and very little chance for the reader to grasp what happens at the end, as the style of writing changes --- and so do the characters. It's as if the book were an unfinished manuscript left by a dying author and then finished by someone who just wanted to publish it quickly, with as many shocking changes thrown in as possible. I suppose some of this will be alleviated by a sequel, and I suggest that readers wait until there is a sequel before reading this volume, as they will be less angry that way....more
This is very light on the sci-fi, but I loved this! I was not surprised; I'm a huge Connie Willis fan. I wonder if this is her rebuttal to all the readThis is very light on the sci-fi, but I loved this! I was not surprised; I'm a huge Connie Willis fan. I wonder if this is her rebuttal to all the readers who whined about how Willis didn't foresee cell phones when she wrote Doomsday Book and the sequels, how the central conflicts in the whole series revolve around missed communication or poor communication. In Cross Talk, Willis gives us the exact opposite: way too much communication....more