Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Night's Edge - Book 1
The third of my Christmas books and I'm 3 for 3! (I have one Christmas book left to read.)
So, Julie Czerneda is a Canadian author, mostly of science fiction. She's a favourite of my good friend, Ginette, and when I had read something about Julie and this book somewhere (I follow a lot of blogs) I mentioned to G that I thought I'd like to give her a try. G said that she thought I'd like it. She did. So it went on my Christmas list and my son put it under the tree for me.
Now this book is a brick. I mean, an 800-page brick! And I have the mass market paperback edition so let me tell you that when one is used to reading on an ereader, it's a pretty daunting thing! *LOL* It took me a while (for me) to read. 2 1/2 weeks. But not because I wasn't enjoying it, 'cause I was, but looking for a light and a comfy way to hold the book for an extended period of time and the smallish font is a bit of a chore! *LOL*
Anyway... to the book.
This is not a book for someone who wants a quick, action-packed thrill ride. This is a book to immerse yourself in. A book to discover slowly, like that cliché of peeling back the layers of an onion. A book to sink into until you become as at home in Marrowdell as Jenn and her family and her friends.
There's something special about Marrowdell and as you go along in the book, you slowly begin to discover its delights and secrets bit by bit. It could be frustrating if you weren't into that, but I found myself almost wallowing in the atmosphere. Julie makes Marrowdell come alive.
And the characters. Oh, I loved most of them. Absurdly, the character I could never really warm up to was the main character of Jenn. She was just a little too young, a little too naive and impulsive, a little too... flighty at times?... for old lady me. I didn't dislike her at all. I just never warmed up to her. The surrounding characters... honestly? I think I liked them all! I have a special soft spot for Horst. And Kydd. And Tir. Then there's Scourge... the, um, big warhorse. *LOL* And like my friend, Ginette, the TOADS!!!
And you know... there's nary a prince, a duke, a queen or an emperor. This is a story about normal (well....) country folk, farmers, millers, tinkers and an one-time soldier or two. You know... it feels just like a Canadian book in some ways. *LOL*
Oh, I enjoyed this! And I'll read the second one as well as dip into Julie's science fiction tales.
Saturday, January 6, 2018
Blackthorn and Grim - Book 1
One of my Christmas books, Dreamer's Pool had been on my TBR list for quite a while. Recommended by my buddy, author Allison Temple, as one of her favourite reads , it sounded like something I would enjoy and I waited for it to go on sale in ebook. It never did. *LOL* So Michael bought me the mass market paperback for Christmas. Bit of a brick, it is!
But it was really really good! It was not what I was expecting. I had thought it'd be something like Grace Draven's Master of Crows, a romance with fantasy woven in. What I got was more along the lines of Blair MacGregor's - one of my favourite fantasy authors - Desert Rising books. Fantasy for grown-ups with mature themes and thoughtful, learning, growing characters. At least the main story about Blackthorn and Grim. Two amazing characters that are so broken and beaten you wonder how they've managed to survive past the first chapter! And while there might not have been romance as I had expected, there is certainly love in this book.
At least in the main story about Blackthorn and Grim. Two amazing characters that are so broken and beaten you wonder how they've managed to survive past the first chapter! But both Blackthorn and Grim have a thread of steel in them. A core of good. And maybe even a bit of altruism on top of that. We discover more and more of this as the book goes on, which is a delightful journey. But dear Lord, when we first meet them they are quite at the nadir of their lives. Don't mistake me though, Blackthorn is as prickly as her name and I love her for it - and Grim, well, I do want to know about his past and what has brought him to be the Grim he is now.
The book rotates 1st person POV between three characters: Blackthorn, the wise woman, Grim, her erstwhile friend and protector, and Oran, the prince of Dalraida. Oran is a sweet fellow. Scholarly almost. And he's waiting impatiently for the arrival of his bride, Flidais, who, when she arrives, is not quite as expected and thereby hangs the tale. I will admit, for the first half of the book I was not thrilled with Oran. I found him quite bland and even whiny. But then he sort of woke up and he got better. Never as enthralling as Blackthorn or Grim, but bearable at the very least. :)
I like the way Juliet Marillier writes. I realised that every time I had a spare 5 minutes I was sneaking in a few more pages, a sure indication that I was quite entranced. Be sure I'll be reading the next two books!
Monday, January 1, 2018
The Invisible Library - Book 1
My first finish of 2018 and what can I say? I really really enjoyed it!
I think this book first came to my attention on one of the book blogs I follow when I read the blurb and found it had tons of things I enjoy. Books, libraries, undercover agents, secret societies, magic and chaos.
The main character is Irene, a journeyman Librarian, or as she's described in the afore-mentioned blurb - a professional spy for the mysterious Library. I liked her. She was competent in her job, yet not infallible. She was likable and funny. And while she was clever and able to get out of some bad situations, there were times when she made mistakes and bad assumptions and needed a hand. There's a lot more of her to discover, I think, in further books, and I'm looking forward to doing that.
I also loved the character of her assistant, Kai. He's a tad mysterious and is definitely not coming clean on some stuff, but I never got the sense or feeling that he was one of the baddies. There's also a lot more of him to discover in the books to come.
The plot was complicated and interesting once we got into it. Lots of twisty-turnies and surprises. It kept me turning the pages, that's for sure. And the last couple of chapters had some intriguing questions set up that weren't answered and some outcomes and explanations that I wasn't quite expecting.
So in the end, this Christmas gift from my son, Michael, was a winner. I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the ongoing adventures of Irene and Kai and the others. A good way to start of the reading year of 2018!