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Monthly "Reads" > Shomeret's July Reads 3/4

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message 1: by Shomeret (last edited Aug 03, 2009 01:29PM) (new)

Shomeret | 1364 comments 11) The Rogues by Jane Yolen

Source: Library Started: 7/16 Finished: 7/16

Why Read: I'm interested in a book that takes place during the Highland Clearances and involves a Robin Hood type.

Comments: The characterization was wonderful. The young MC, the Robin Hood type, the laird's daughter who is sympathetic to the poor folk are all wonderful characters. Rating B+

The flap says that this is the last Yolen and Harris Scottish history novel. Say not so! What about further in the past? There are definitely more stories to tell about Scottish history.

12) Skinwalker A Jane Yellowrock Novel by Faith Hunter
Source: Science Fiction Bookstore Started: 7/16 Finished: 7/18

Why Read: I saw it on Goodreads on a list of books that people were looking at. It's about a Cherokee shapechanger. In many American Indian culture, skinwalker is not a neutral term. It means evil magic user. But I'm willing to accept it as a neutral term.

Comments: The cat viewpoint is one of the things that makes this book stand out. The alternation of the cat and Jane made her seem like a split personality rather than a shapechanger. In many shapechanger fantasies, they only change shape. The personality remains human. They are humans with the capabilities of an animal. Jane is actually part-cat.

The Cherokee cultural content is not as developed as I would like, but Hunter does provide a cultural backstory on why skinwalkers have had such an evil reputation.

Characterization was built slowly over the course of the book rather than showing us fully developed characters at the outset. Rating B+

13) The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe

Source: Library Started: 7/18 Finished: 7/19

Why Read: It's about a graduate student who is looking for the physick book of an 18th century woman for her dissertation.

Comments: The grad student MC is annoyingly dim-witted as a number of GR reviews have complained. The phonetic rendering of the New England accent is also annoying, but not as annoying as the MC. (But can you imagine all of Spenser's dialogue rendered phonetically to make sure that people knew he was speaking in a Bahstan accent? Gah! ) Even the villain is a more interesting character.

The best part of the book is the historical aspect. I found Deliverance Dane's magic appropriate to the period because it seemed to be Christian Kabbalist like the fantasy novels I've read about witches in the American Revolution--The Patriot Witch andTraitor to the Crown The Patriot Witch. Christian Kabbalist sources would be the most accessible to the American colonists who wanted to practice magic. I also thought the portrayal of the Salem witch hysteria was authentic. Rating B-

14) Dark Fire (Matthew Shardlake #2) by C.J. Sansom

Source: PBS Started: 7/19 Finished: 7/21

Why Read: I really liked the relationship between the MC, Matthew Shardlake and his apothecary friend, Guy, in the most recent book in the series Revelation which is the only one I've read so far. I know that I do have the first book,Dissolution because Gail sent me an ARC of that novel, but I have no idea where it is in my closet. So I put the other two on my PBS wish list and Dark Fire was posted first.

Comments: The characterization was excellent and I liked the MC's sense of ethics. I learned a few things about this period that I hadn't known. Rating B+

15) Bloody Jack Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, Ship's Boy (Bloody Jack, Book 1) by L.A. Meyer

Why Read: I'm a swashbuckling adventure addict and this book was mentioned in a GR review of Pirates!. The reviewer said she liked the MC of this novel better than the more girly MC of the Celia Rees novel. So I thought I'd try out the first book.

Comments: In this book the MC is in the English Navy disguised as a boy. There were apparently no impressed men in the crew. Everyone wanted to be there. I thought that this would be unlikely.

The MC apparently becomes a pirate in later books. I liked this one. The street urchin section before she enlisted seemed realistic.

To Be Continued...

message 2: by Melodie (new)

Melodie (melodieco) | 3589 comments I've got both SKINWALKER & THE PHYSICK BOOK OF DELIVERANCE DANE in The Pile and working them toward the top!

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