Friday, July 22, 2005

Friday Book Review, etc.

Okay, seriously, ENOUGH with the heat already! And yeah, I know, other places are 113 where we're only 98, but I don't care. I don't live there, I live HERE...where it's freakin' HOT!


Okay, on to the book review:

Firstly, I finished reading the new Harry Potter book last night. It was pretty much as predicted - lots of revelations of "background" info and *SPOILER WARNING* the death of one major character. And yes, it was darker and more adult than the previous books. It was a good read, but honestly, I was left with the overall feeling that it was 600 or so pages of set up for the NEXT book. Which, of course, is probably 2 or more years away so that's kind of a bummer. I thought it was better than the previous book, "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," but still not as good as I was hoping and somewhat repetitive in spots. Still, I don't feel like I wasted my $ buying it (note - I got it at 40% off).

So, on to new recommendations. This week, I'd like to introduce one of my all-time favorite authors - Tanya Huff. From urban fantasy to space opera to vampire detectives, she does it all well...and with a wicked sense of satirical humor which is always a plus for me.

I first discovered Ms. Huff's work through her Vicki Nelson, vampire detective series (note - she was doing this genre WAY before Buffy or Anita Blake came along). The first book in the series is Blood Price

Then, I moved on to her "Quarters" series which begins with Sing the Four Quarters This series involves a common "universe" where bards control one or more of the four "quarters" (air, earth, fire and water) by their music, however, each book follows a different character or set of characters in the universe so you can easily read one without having read any of the others. I will warn you that this book (like most of Huff's work) contains some homosexual characters and homosexual situations. If you are bothered by that type of thing, then Huff (and this series in particular - as the mentions in other works are much less blatant) is probably not for you.

Her space opera "Valor" series I think is truly outstanding and I very much enjoy the strong female sargeant protagonist. The first book in the series is Valor's Choice

Finally, there's her "Summoning" series which is just pure cotton candy fun. Huff provides hilariously funny, sarcastic dialogue well mixed with traditional fantasy elements. Who knew Hell had such a potty mouth? If this is your cup of tea (or wolfsbane or whatever), then start with Summon the Keeper Warning: this series gives a major part to a talking cat so avoid it if that kind of thing bugs you ;-)

And finally, here's a tantalizing picture of something I just won on e-bay:

Coming to Silver Parrot Designs very soon!

Have a great weekend everyone and try to STAY COOL!



Jenie said...

Wow, Blood Price! I had totally forgotten about that book! I liked it when I read it, about 15 years ago. Is it an actual series, now?

Silver Parrot said...

I think there are four or five books total in the series and then there are a couple of short stories that have appeared in various anthologies, but she hasn't written anything NEW about the main characters in quite a few years. However, her two latest books, "Smoke and Shadows" and "Smoke and Mirrors" follow a minor character from the first series who's now a main protagonist. And, you'll love this part - he's a PA on a vampire detective tv show. They're quite funny (and yet scary at the same time).