What I've read lately

hallieod at indigo.ie hallieod at indigo.ie
Mon Jan 27 14:13:48 EST 2003


Ros:

>
>I thought I'd write up my own list of books that have impressed me this year
>and that I've been reading lately. Apart from _K and C_, the best books I
>read were probably _The Thief_ and _The Queen of Attolia_, both of which
>have been discussed already. I also loved le Guin's _The Other Wind_.
>Perhaps the book I Enjoyed and Admired Most in 2002 is tied between
>_Passage_ by Connie Willis, and _The Curse of Chalion_ by Bujold. I won't
>say much about either of them except that they are both wonderful! (How's
>that for a scholarly response!:-)) _The Curse of Chalion_ amazed me in its
>ability to deal with the topics of fate, faith and the divine with ease and
>delight and intelligence, and without labouring. And the characters! I was
>really impressed.

I.  Cannot.  Wait.  To Read.  This.  Book.  Why didn't you all rave 
about it earlier, so I could have known it was a have-to-have-now, 
rather than a can-wait-for-a-while?

>
>The prize for the most Disappointing Book goes to Sharon Shinn's _Jenna
>Starborn_. I love nearly everything Shinn has written, particularly her
>Archangel books, though I was somewhat disappointed in the ending to the
>last one. The resolution was weak and a real anti-climax. I especially love
>her _Wrapt in Crystal_, and her next-to-last one, _Summers at Castle Auburn_
>(though it isn't flawless by any means). So I was really looking forward to
>_Jenna Starborn_. What a disappointment. It's basically the story of Jane
>Eyre, set in a futuristic society. It does have a few cute quirks, but it
>just doesn't work. Putting Jane in the society Shinn posits here makes a
>nonsense of the story; the characters (almost the same as the original
>novel) feel like cardboard, including the main character, whose main dilemma
>and decision (exactly as in the original) makes no sense whatsoever. So
>Shinn has taken the Jane Eyre story and used it almost exactly as it stands
>in a different context in which it just doesn't convince. OK. Rant over.

Your rant was very interesting - it sounds a bizarre book!  I have a 
hard time even imagining Jane's dilemma working in any kind of 
futuristic society.

>
>Right now I'm reading _Necromancer_ by Martha Wells (waving at Hallie) and
>so far am finding it hard to put down. I hope to get hold of other books by
>Wells as well.

(waving back)

>
>BTW, which of Catherine Fisher's books would you most recommend, Hallie, for
>a new reader of her work? I've never heard of her.

I've only read the two I mentioned, _The Oracle_ and _Corbenic_, and 
the three in the Snow-Walker's Son trilogy so far, but I'm determined 
to get hold of _The Lammas Field_ ASAP.   I wouldn't be that pushed 
about the Snow-Walker's Son books, which seemed a bit thin to me. 
I'd say _The Oracle_ was *almost* heading in the direction of the 
Megan Whalen Turner books, except than you'd probably find it 
disappointing!  Not as tricky as _The Thief_, and not as emotionally 
powerful as _The Queen of Attolia_, but then I'd say that about a lot 
of great books.  The similarity for me is in the way she's invented a 
new religion, religious system, whatever, based - not directly on 
those of past cultures, but almost on the feeling of those past 
cultures.  Does that make any sense?  I really hope the sequel ends 
up as good.  _Corbenic_ is very different, as it's modern-day with 
Arthurian legends blended in.  It's quite bleak in parts, but I 
really loved it, and the ending is upbeat without feeling too 
contrivedly so.


Hallie.




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