More recent reads

Hallie O'Donovan hallieod at indigo.ie
Mon Nov 3 16:18:24 EST 2003


I recently read _The Amulet of Samarkand_, by Jonathan Stroud.  Had I 
heard of the hype before picking it up, I might not have bothered, 
but I'm glad I did.  I really enjoyed the cynical, smart-alec 
djinni's voice, and Nathaniel reminded me more than a bit of 
Christopher.  Nothing nefarious (as Widdy put it!), but the same kind 
of fairly unsympathetic boy, whose lack of emotional cop-on and 
empathy is completely understandable.  And he has the same dangerous 
attraction to charismatic males, which is clearly going to prove 
troublesome to him in the sequels!  Becca's almost finished, and 
giving it the thumbs-up too.

I still haven't got _The Thief_ back, so haven't been able to reread 
for those DWJ tributes, which is annoying.  But I forgot to mention 
that a sequel to Thief and _Queen of Attolia_ is supposedly coming 
out next year sometime.  Can't wait!

Much to my surprise, I found _Paladin of Souls_ in a bookshop today. 
(Surprise because the bigger shop which regularly has Bujolds, even 
US-published ones, hasn't had it, *and* I got a message from 
Amazon.co.uk yesterday saying that it wasn't going to to be available 
from them in the foreseeable future.)  This is a UK edition, and 
doesn't have the DWJ endorsement, which strikes me as very weird. 
But I've done the head-shaking thing over publishers enough already 
here, so will leave it.  (Ugly, ugly cover IMO though!)

Next-to-last, nobody took me up on my offer of _Paper Mage_.   I'm 
willing to send this anywhere - and will be anyway, if nobody wants 
it here - someone on BookCrossing  is bound to want it, I'm sure.  I 
just want to see if anyone else sees the DWJ resonating ripples I saw 
in it.

Finally, I just finished _Mister Monday_, which I enjoyed, though I 
agree with all those who found the writing less appealing than that 
in some of his other books.

Minor spoiler:


S

P

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L

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S

P

A

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N

Y

W

A

Y

The thing that annoyed me was the way Arthur's 
originally-going-to-happen death was set up.  The kid had such severe 
asthma that he'd been hospitalised for it, was just out of hospital, 
was starting at what *seemed* to be a rather snooty, exclusive school 
(ok, this might just be my impression, but think of the 
neighbourhood, and the library, and so on) his mother was a 
super-important medical researcher, and nobody at the school was 
aware that he had this medical problem and needed NOT to be packed 
off on a cross-country run?

May just be my being picky, but, seems to me the 'real world' 
elements of a fantasy (if there are any) should be done realistically 
to make it all work, and DWJ always does it better than this. 
Anybody else notice this or disagree?

Hallie.

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