OT Other Books

Dorian E. Gray israfel at eircom.net
Fri Feb 15 13:57:17 EST 2002

Lizzie recommended...
> Vivien Alcock: I loved her _Trial of Anna Cotman_ years ago; I've
> read _The Mysterious Mr. Ross_.  Her books tend to be sort of
> spooky at times, often aimed at younger readers (they are children's
> books, but within that they're written fairly simply--it's the
> that are unique).  Give Her a Try.

Ooh, yes!  I found "The Haunting of Cassie Palmer" in a second-hand
bookshop a couple of years ago, and I love it!  Cassie is the daughter
of a fake(?) psychic who successfully raises a ghost...oh, it's
lovely, and I'm in love with the ghost. :-)
> The Exiles: read the first two.  Not bad, not bad at all.  For quite
> while the first one reminded me a lot of Noel Streatfeild's The
> Summer/The Magic Summer (UK/US) but I eventually forgot about that
> just enjoyed them.  I don't think I loved them wholeheartedly, but
> were worth reading.  Thanks for the reccomendation!

Borrowed the first one from Hallie recently and was immensely
irritated by the fact that the US publishers had changed some stuff
for a US audience; reading about kids in England using dollars and
cents drove me up the walls!  I must say that I found Big Grandma's
reaction to the calamity at the end somewhat unrealistic - *I* would
have gone absolutely BESWICK!  But that could be just me.
> Sherwood Smith: has anybody read stuff by him?  I read the Wren
books a
> while ago and came accross them online recently.  I remember that I
> them, though I think the ending wasn't quite what I wanted it to be.

Psst!  Sherwood Smith is a woman!  Thanks here again to Hallie; she
lent me "Crown Duel" and "Court Duel".  I much preferred the latter; I
loved the court politics and manouevring.

> Tanya Huff: found a new volume of two of her books: Gate of
> Circle of Light and The Fire's Stone.

I got the former quite recently and the latter years ago; I'm a
long-time Huff fan.

> Especially liked the second one (in
> part because I'm one of those straight girls who goes gaga over m/m
> stuff).

I'm inclined to agree with you here - I like "Gate of Darkness", but
it's very fluffy.  "The Fire's Stone"...well, I suppose it hasn't a
great deal more depth, but I love the romance in it.  I always cry at
the bit when Aaron breaks down and tells what happened to his cousin.

> also read a couple of the Blood books she wrote recently--they seem
> little underdeveloped but not bad.  Maybe I'm just comparing them to
> the Laurell Hamilton books I was reading at the time--those books
are so
> full of sex and violence and power that anything else seems a little

I must admit to preferring Huff's books; I get very tired of all the
sex in Hamilton's stuff.

> I think both series are girly vampire books--you know, vampire has
> tragic past going on, he's hot, there's a kickass woman as the main
> character, etc.

Grin.  I've divided fictional vampires into three main cliches.
Huff's Fitzroy is an example of #3 - the Nice Guy vampire.  Despite
being mumblety-hundred years old, he's a kind, caring, feminist New
Man. :-)  Hamilton's main vampire (whose name I've forgotten) falls
into category #2 - the EvilSexy vampire.  He's evil (or at least
morally iffy), but frightfully sexy and dangerously attractive, and
the female lead spends half her time fighting her attraction to him
and the other half indulging in kinky sex scenes with him.  Anne Rice
is the paramount writer of this type of vampire.

> I liked them better than most of the Anne Rice books I've
> read (two week phase.  If that.  I thought the Vampire Lestat was
> brilliant.  Several of the others bored me senseless.

I read "Interview with the Vampire" and spent most of it wanting to
kick Louis (who is a type #1 vampire - "ohhh, the Angst!"  Spends his
entire time whining about the misery of being a vampire, but never
actually does anything about it, like putting all of us out of his
misery).  Started "Lestat" but got bored.  I am not an Anne Rice fan.

My own recommendation?  I recently discovered Roger Zelazny's "Amber"
books.  These are a lot of fun.  Alternate worlds, deadly politicking,
magic, love, mysteries, some of the smoothest writing I've come across
in a long time...everything you could want, in fact.  But be warned -
get the huge one-volume all-ten-books-at-once (I found it in the
library), because the story doesn't anywhere near end in book one, and
you'll want to rush off and read the rest!

Until the sky falls on our heads...

Dorian E. Gray
israfel at eircom.net

"Where-e'er you find 'the cooling western breeze,'
In the next line, it 'whispers through the trees':
If crystal streams 'with pleasing murmurs creep,'
The reader's threaten'd (not in vain) with 'sleep'"
-Alexander Pope, "Essay on Criticism"

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