A well written and witty introduction to knitting for beginners with a guide to stitches and a selection of easy patterns. There's a nice section on r...moreA well written and witty introduction to knitting for beginners with a guide to stitches and a selection of easy patterns. There's a nice section on repairing mistakes. It's all very practical! The aiuthor is American but she points out the differences in Brituish and American terminolohy and styles.(less)
I don’t read much vampire fiction (not my favourite sub-genre) so I have little to compare this to. Cassie is a streetwise, sassy clairvoyant brought...moreI don’t read much vampire fiction (not my favourite sub-genre) so I have little to compare this to. Cassie is a streetwise, sassy clairvoyant brought up by the vampire equivalent of a powerful local mobster. As the story begins she’s on the run from him and he’s catching up fast. Her escape drops her right into the hands of the Vampire Senate who also want to make use of her powers. As well as being a clairvoyant, Cassie sees ghosts and – it turns out – may well have other hidden talents courtesy of the parents she never knew.
The vamps in this book aren’t necessarily all bad guys or stone cold killers, though they are manipulative, amoral and sneaky and there are other magic users who are just as dangerous if not more so. Cassie’s relationship with the beautiful Tomas and the seductive Mircea is complex and interesting. Cassie wants something from the vamps, too, besides security. She wants information about her parents.
I have a few technical issues with this book (there are times when the overpunctuation made me want to scream), but by an large it was a fast light read, though with a bit of muddlement on the plot that clunked towards the end when much hinged on spirit travelling through time. There was also the longest sex-foreplay scene in the history of the universe with unbelievable pauses between strokes for huge chunks of infodump/exposition in question and answer format. Not quite ‘as you know bob’ (because Cassie didn’t know) but almost.
Will I read the next one? Possibly but I’m not rushing screaming to the nearest bookseller to read it NOW. (less)
The first book of Virga. Steampunky far-future tech and a high concept world of floating countries set inside a massive fullerene balloon 3000 metres...moreThe first book of Virga. Steampunky far-future tech and a high concept world of floating countries set inside a massive fullerene balloon 3000 metres in diameter, drifting in space. There's a (mostly) breathable atmosphere, but no gravity except where it's created locally, and it's deadly cold away from the artificial suns. Hayden Griffin is a dangerous young man, determined to murder Admiral Fanning of the nation of Slipstream, whom he believes to be responsible for the death of his parents. But things are more complicated than Hayden had ever dreamed possible. Fanning turns out to be a decent man and Hayden is caught up in events involving Fanning's scheming wife, Venera, Aubri Mahallan, a woman engineer from outside Virga, and a mission to Candace, the Sun of Suns, through the inside of the balloon a vast space encompassing floating rocks, some occupied, and with enemy ships out to stop them at any cost. Hayden's simple view of good and evil is overturned in short order. I found this a slow read. Vastly inventive ideas seemed to dominate the characterisation and I prefer character-led stories.(less)
Joanne Baldwin, weather warden, is part of an organisation which, with the help of captive Djinn, tries to control weather and other potential natural...moreJoanne Baldwin, weather warden, is part of an organisation which, with the help of captive Djinn, tries to control weather and other potential natural disasters and keep life on earth pretty much as we know it. When she's deliberately infected with a demon mark by another rogue weather warden she turns to her old friend Lewis for help - but Lewis is a bit of a rogue himself, and currently in hiding.
And then there's David, so much more than just a hitchiker. A lot of this book is Jo and David on the road, being chased by a storm and outrunning weather wardens who have control of the elements. But Jo's not powerless, even fighting off a demon mark, and she has choices to make.
This is a fast, enthralling read, an emotional roller-coaster which keeps up a relentless pace and sweeps you along with it. The end sets up the possibility of another book, but is blessedly free of the type of cliffhanger ending which plagues later books in this series.(less)
The is the bittersweet story of Medraut, high king Artos' bastard son, born of an incestuous relationship with his...moreElizabeth E Wein: The Winter Prince
The is the bittersweet story of Medraut, high king Artos' bastard son, born of an incestuous relationship with his sister Morgause. Medraut, ostensibly Morgause's godson, returns to Britain after travelling in Africa and settles in Artos' court where his younger half-brother Lleu, fragile, unskilled and afraid of the dark, is Prince of Britain, Artos' heir. Even Lleu's twin sister, Goewin, seems more suited to rule.
Medraut is educated, intelligent, self-reliant and capable and his medical knowledge (learned in Africa and also from his 'godmother' Morgause) sets him apart. Time and again he helps Lleu to overcome his physical problems and improve his confidence and swordsmanship, yet all the while he is torn by jealousy and the desire for Artos' approval.
When Morgause comes to visit he saves Lleu from her scheming and warns Artos, but still events conspire to drive him into her clutches and to fall in with a plot which could cost Lleu's life.
This is a beautifully written, elegant book. It's a personal narrative by Medraut addressed specifically to Morgause, which doesn't become obvious until he tells of her visit from his own point of view, when suddenly he's talking to, 'you, mother'.
This interweaving of myth and legend with complex characterisation and layered familial relationships is compelling reading. Highly recommended. (less)