Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The drought is over!

Okay, so it hasn't rained enough here in So Cal this year, but at least some decent books are finally around and I’m getting caught up on the reading list so here’s the latest book review.

I came back from vacation to find the the latest (and first hardback) installment of the Rachel Morgan series “For a Few Demons More” by Kim Harrison (who obviously has a Clint Eastwood fetish when it comes to book titles which reminds me it’s about time for me to have my annual spaghetti western film festival…must go update my Netflix queue.) Fortunately for the author, but unfortunately for the rest of us, this series has gotten popular enough that this installment came out in hardback. I always have mixed feelings about this because I’m glad to know my favorite authors are successful enough to warrant a hardback release, but it means my book budget goes up some more and hardbacks are such a pain to fit into my purse to carry around. Paperbacks fit in so much more nicely, especially on days when I’m not carrying the state-of-Texas-sized giganto-purse.

None of which, of course, has anything to do with the actual book so let’s get to the review. Same cast of characters is back. Rachel still has the same impulse-control and adrenaline-junkie issues as always. She’s still tiptoeing around a possible relationship with Ivy the vampire. I have to admit I’m getting tired of the whole “will she give in to her secret lesbian desires” sub-plot that’s been going on through the whole darned series. Ms. Harrison needs to make a decision on this. Either make her a lesbian or don’t, but quit sitting on the fence because I’m sure I’m not the only one who has gotten to the point of no longer caring. Also, isn’t Rachel supposed to be a witch? I don’t think she cast an actual spell in the entire book. While there’s nothing terribly wrong with this book, it doesn’t seem like the series moved forward here. Despite the **warning – spoiler** exits of a couple of characters, everything seems pretty much in the same place it was at the beginning of the book. A major thread is left undone (presumably to keep our interest going for the NEXT book) and I’m starting to find Ceri a far more interesting character than Rachel (who never seems to learn anything from her mistakes).

After so much sameness, I decided to try something new with Diana Pharoah Francis’s “Path of Fate.” I really liked her twist on the tradition human/magical-animal-bonding story. What if an animal came to bond with someone who wasn’t particularly thrilled to be “chosen?” It was a great starting premise, but I thought it was resolved too quickly. There should have been more fallout from the initial rejection of the animal and it should’ve lasted longer. I found this book to be a bit simplistic (and unrealistic in certain areas). Although it was shelved in the main sci-fi/fantasy section, I can’t help wondering if maybe it was supposed to be in the YA section instead. It had that sort of feel to it. Still, there was enough good raw material there that I picked up the second installment in the series to see if the author makes any progress.

Then, of course, there’s the latest Dresden book “White Night.” Holy crap! Can Jim Butcher GET any better? I cannot believe the way each book is just better, funnier, more tightly plotted and more exciting than the last. I stayed up until 1:30 AM last night because I couldn’t put the darned thing down. If you’re a fan of the series, run, don’t walk, to pick up this book. If you’re not a fan…what on earth is WRONG with you? You can also go HERE to join in the letter-writing campaign to request another season of “The Dresden Files” on the Sci-Fi channel. While I’ll admit that the first episode or two were a bit lukewarm, the series definitely improved and got better each week. I thought the last two episodes were terrific and it’s absolutely worth bringing the show back for more.

Lastly, I devoured Jane Lindskold’s “Brother to Dragons, Companion to Owls” in practically one sitting. I’ve always been a big fan of her work – “Changer” and its sequel “Legends Walking” are two of my all-time favorites, but I’d never gotten around to picking up this book until recently. Lindskold was a protégé of the late, great, Roger Zelazny, and while her works are nothing like his, I still seem to detect a faint hint of a similar “tone” or style.

“Brother” chronicles the life of Sara, a young woman who has spent her entire life in mental institutions until one day she’s forced onto the street as a result of budget cuts. Unable to communicate in a normal fashion, Sara resorts to famous quotes from literature to get her point across. For anyone with a background in English or literature, this provides an extra layer of complexity. But Sara is more than just a kooky escapee from a nut farm – she possesses a special gift. It’s a gift that someone wants to find and make not-so-ethical use of. Also, this book IS available in paperback. Okay, so it’s a trade paperback, but still less expensive than a hardback version.

That’s where I left off and got some much needed sleep. I’m on almost continual mom-duty for the next 3 weeks so the pickings may be a bit slim around here. I know the jewelry pictures have been almost non-existent because I just haven’t had any time to make anything lately. I’ve got my fingers crossed about getting some stuff done on my lunch hour today.

And yes, I take jewelry projects to work on at lunch.

So what?

Perfectly normal.

Stop staring at me.



Anonymous said...

Brother to dragons sounds like an interesting book, I'll have to check it out.

I take knitting to work on at lunch, and my boss always asks me what I'm crocheting. Sheesh!

Silver Parrot said...

Rete - let me know if you check out the book. I really enjoyed it.

How dare your boss not know the difference between knitting and crocheting. People are such heathens!