[DWJ] quick belated conference response

Gili Bar-Hillel gbhillel at netvision.net.il
Wed Aug 19 16:50:37 EDT 2009

Charlie wrote:

> *Gullstruck Island* is an excellent book, and better even than *Verdigris
> Deep *(I've not read *Fly By Night*), though not so DWJ-ish. (I could have
> sworn that the author of *Verdigris Deep *must have been marinaded in
> Wilkins Tooth, Ogre Downstairs, Dogsbody, and DWJs of that vintage, but
> apparently not.) Make time to read it! I know that Hallie has blogged
> it, if you want to see a review.

For the curious, VERDIGRIS DEEP was released in the U.S. under the name WELL
very very good, as is FLY BY NIGHT. I also agree with Charlie's comments on
VERDIGRIS DEEP vis-a-vis DWJ: to me it felt like a cross between WILKIN'S
TOOTH and the Morrigan bits of TIME OF THE GHOST. Hardinge is one of the
most exciting new authors I've come across in recent years: like DWJ, she is
at once endlessly inventive while being firmly planted in tradition; each of
her books so far has been surprising and refreshing and completely new; she
is a master storyteller with an infectious love of language; her characters
are believable, complex and feel very real. In GULLSTRUCK ISLAND I greatly
admire how she dealt with racism/ethnic cleansing/culture wars without being
stereotypical or simplistic. FLY BY NIGHT is the funniest of her books,
though it too is about hefty topics such as the interplay of religion,
economics and politics.

In other words, I'm a big Francis Hardinge fan now. Also Philip Reeve, he's
brilliant. And read HEROES OF THE VALLEY by Jonathan Stroud, it's got a lot
in common with the Dalemark books. So many good books I've been reading
lately, that I've started wondering if I'm lowering my standards, or
improving my preselection skills, or if there simply are a lot more
excellent books for YA readers being written nowadays.

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