Mini-reviews

Despite having a few days of non-enthusiasm for reading, I got my mojo back pretty quickly, and managed to, in between visitors, planning, marking and going back to work, still get through a few books …


Young Miles
(Omnibus of The Warrior’s Apprentice, "The Mountains of Mourning", and The Vor Game), Lois McMaster Bujold, 583pp. – I’m still loving these books, but some of the earlier ones (internal chronology) lose a little of their jazz because I already have some idea of what happens, given detail of later books. It’s still excellent writing, on a grand scale, and I’m mad about Miles! I’d already read "Mountains of Mourning" in this volume, and as I got towards the end of The Vor Game I started to feel like I’d read it in the dim distant past – that may have been just a bit of deju vu due to having read later books though. The Vor Game didn’t hold me QUITE as much as Warrior’s Apprentice, and it wasn’t til I read Bujold’s afterword that I realised why – it really is two distinct stories, and the second half is more space opera than anything else. Warrior’s Apprentice was excellent though. Bring on the mail with some more Miles I say!

Komarr
, Lois McMaster Bujold – This one was probably no less a good book as the others, but because I had already (and only recently) read the book that follows, I think I suffered form spoiler syndrome. Still an awesome read though, and a very good lesson for reading in internal chronological order!

Embrace the Night,
Karen Chance, 392 pp. – Book 3 is better than Book 2, but it really felt like nothing much happened. Really. The story just seemed to go around in circles, and while there was a conclusion, it didn’t seem like it was one that really needed almost 400 pages to get to. The last third of the book was pretty good, but I think that’s because most of the action happened then.

Marked,
P.C. and Kristin Cast, 348 p. – I had put off reading these books, but when I received a review copy I decided to take the plunge. Pleasantly surprised! I really enjoyed reading it, for the most part, and I can see why the teenage girls have gone mad on it. I’m not sure the comparisons to Twilight are avoidable, but they certainly are favourable. P.C. Cast is a better writer by far, and the premise is an interesting take on vampire / vampyre ishness… My one complaint is possibly invalid in terms of the target audience – there were parts that I felt were very adolescent… Like a teenager’s ideal world, relationship situation and so on. But that’s to be expected I suppose, and fair enough, given the books.

Jennifer Scales and the Messenger of Light, MaryJanice Davidson & Anthony Alongi, 282pp –  I think there’s a bit of concept overload going on in these books – I *like* the premise, but it’s not as well done as it could be, and it seems like the authors are trying to jam too much into it. I am not enamoured with the shapechanging representation – there’s no difference between the character in human form and the character in "beast" form – they can still talk, answer telephones, use ketchup bottles, all sorts of stuff (which seems just a little ridiculous), to the extent that sometimes, it’s difficult to tell from the context whether they’re in human form or not. It knocks me out of the story frequently, which impacts on my enjoyment.

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