Sunday Status Update: July 6, 2014

This week, many thanks to Marion, who managed to secure an update from Enira, the Banshee Queen from the video game Lineage II.

fantasy and science fiction book reviews Enira: Listen and tremble, puny mortals! Heed my words! Cower and obey! I am Enira, the Banshee Queen. I will not be mocked. My will shall not be thwarted. You will return my copy of The South Beach Diet book, and right now, or I will rain down upon you the doom of thousand dark stars!

fantasy and science fiction book reviews Kat: I read three good books this week. Shannon Hale’s The Unfairest of Them All is the second book in her EVER AFTER HIGH series about the children of famous fairytale characters. These are silly children’s stories, but they’re quite entertaining and have some nice life lessons, too. In Winter’s Shadow is the final book in Gillian Bradshaw’s DOWN THE LONG WIND trilogy. It tells how Gwynhwyfar unintentionally destroyed Camelot by betraying Arthur. My favorite read this week was Scissors Cut Paper Wrap StoneIan McDonald’s excellent short novel about two men who are seeking redemption by taking a quasi-Buddhist pilgrimage in a high-tech neo-feudal Japan.

fantasy and science fiction book reviews Kate: This week I’ve been listening to Rogues, the new anthology by George. R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois. I really like it so far, and it’s especially fun that some of the stories are narrated by Game of Thrones actors. I’ve also been reading Egg and SpoonGregory Maguire‘s YA novel coming out in September. Set in Russia with a healthy dose of Russian folklore, it is fantastic, in all senses of the word.

fantasy and science fiction book reviews MarionI finished In Thunder Forged, by Ari Marmell. For a book based on a videogame, which is not my thing, it was a fast, fun read. I started Rocket Girl by George D.Morgan. I thought it would be about his mother, Mary Sherman Morgan, a woman rocket scientist in the 1950s and 60s. The book is disappointing, since it seems to be more about George’s quest to write a book about his mother, not about his mother herself.

fantasy and science fiction book reviews Terry: Oh, dear. I’m reading an author’s first novel, and it’s dreadful. Reviews on Amazon tell me it gets better, so I may hang in there for a bit more, but right now it is bringing to mind Dorothy Parker‘s famous book review: “This is not a book to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.” I’m not naming it here in case it gets better, but it’s sure tempting me to set aside my personal dictum that I will read every book I start to the end. (It’s one of our slogans, you know:  “We read bad books so you don’t have to.”) I’m also reading Scott Nicolay‘s first collection of horror short stories, Ana Kai Tangata, still working on Alena Graedon‘s The Word Exchange, and dipping into Rjurik Davidson‘s Unwrapped Sky. Finally, I finished E.C. Blake’Masks, a young adult novel about a society run by a cruel autarch, with a plucky young heroine who faints considerably more frequently than is a good thing for a novel. I’m feeling in need of a completely engulfing novel that will sweep me away and not let me put it down for a while, but right now I’m feeling like I need to turn to Lee Child and his JACK REACHER novels for that sort of propulsion. Oh, well, a popcorn novel for the hot, hot Sacramento days might be just right in any event.

fantasy and science fiction book reviews Tim: I continued with Servant of a Dark God this week. While there are a lot of things I admire about the novel, I’m not finding it a particularly enjoyable read. Still, it presents a neat little conundrum for a reviewer, as at this point I’m not entirely sure what the problem is, and whether it’s something particular to me.

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TIM SCHEIDLER, who's been with us since June 2011, holds a Master's Degree in Popular Literature from Trinity College Dublin. Tim enjoys many authors, but particularly loves J.R.R. Tolkien, Robin Hobb, George R.R. Martin, Neil Gaiman, and Susanna Clarke. When he’s not reading, Tim enjoys traveling, playing music, writing in any shape or form, and pretending he's an athlete.

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  1. April /

    I’m compelled to talk books to anyone who might actually care so if there is one of you around…;-)

    I finally got to read Written in my own Heart’s Blood by Diana Gabaldon (book 8 in the Outlander series) this past weekend and while the title is a mouthful and rather obscure, I adored the book. I laughed, cried etc. I may have to do another re-read of the entire series soon.

    Also read the third of Daniel Abraham’s The Dagger and the Coin which was good but moved at what felt like a glacial pace (could have been that I had the book mentioned above in hand and was anxious to read it) and one of the POV characters gives me the heebies so I started skipping those chapters. I’ve never done that kind of thing before but it made the book move along much better and made it more enjoyable.

    Finished the audio of Ravenwood which was also lots of fun with excellent characters, a really good voice actor and interesting world building.

    • I have wanted to read the Gabaldon series for years and haven’t had a chance. I feel sure I’d like it.

      I know what you mean about feeling like a book is too slow when you’re anxious to read the NEXT book in your stack. I often have to put the NEXT book out of my mind so that I give the present book a fair read.

    • I’ve never been able to get into the Outlander series; I don’t know why since it should be my “thing.” I read once of the Lord John books and thought it was well-plotted and historically interesting, but felt no urgency to pick up another one. I do know that Gabaldon is reputed to be gracious and inclusive of her fans. She attends the northern California Scottish Games every year and hangs out with the other fairgoers.

      • April /

        I think it is really character driven so if the characters don’t resonate with you then the story might end up just being ‘meh’ for you – although I personally think her way of evoking an atmosphere with just words is pretty amazing, if the characters didn’t grab me it wouldn’t be very fun at all.

  2. April /

    It is a very good adventure story with romance. Some people love it, some hate it. Worth a try in any case.

    I think it was partly that much anticipated book I had waiting and partly because of that one skeevy character that I had trouble moving through the book.

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