Given that the last book I read was Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel’s Dart and that I’ve also started reading A Feast for Crows, the fourth book in George R. R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice & Fire” series, I really needed to take a break from weighty tomes. What better way to do that than to read a Young Adult book from my adolescence?
Now, I can’t take credit for the sudden nostalgia; my friend Kim and I went our local used bookstore (yes, those still exist!) where she ended up getting a couple of R. L. Stine’s “Fear Street” books, and the melodramatic storylines tugged at the heartstrings of my childhood memories.
Thanks to my love for Sailor Moon and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, most of the books I read when I was younger were fantasy driven with strong female leads (not much has changed!), and Meg Cabot’s “Mediator” series falls right into that category. Despite the fact that I’d only really read the first book in the series– back when it published under Cabot’s pseudonym “Jenny Carroll” and with far better cover art– once I reread the first book, I had to finish the series; I’m half-way there!
So far this has been my favorite choice from the Vaginal Fantasy bookclub. Albeit, there have only been six books, of which I’ve only read four, having missed the first and fifth book- but still, I loved this. The Iron Duke is a very close second though; need more Archimedes Fox in my life- obviously, I’m going to read the second one in the series!
Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Kushiel’s Dart is set in an incredibly rich world that slightly resembles a France of days long past with an intriguing Apochryphal-esque mythology. Phedré, the heroine, is both pensive and brazen, without a clichéd spunkiness. Not that it’s always a bad thing! There’s strong characterization throughout the whole novel; even the antagonists are well fleshed out. Although, that should always be the case, right? Perhaps it’s because of all of these strong characters that it’s not surprising that political chaos ensues.
Suffice it to say, it’s a dense read. Not merely a lengthy one, but quite complex as well, with the political history and drama more convoluted than Phedré’s intricate
tattoo marque. However, following in the vein of algolagnia, whatever pain is required for comprehension is immensely pleasurable.
(That’s not too bad a joke, is it? Anyhow…)
You may or may not have noticed, but I’ve halted Sunday Sounds for the past few weeks in an attempt to get a stronger focus on my own words and ideas (and images!).
But I’m also trying to get my 25 in 2012 reading resolution rolling, so a little bit a review and commentary is gonna trickle in. We’re still cool right? ;)
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larsson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This was a bittersweet end; not so much in content but because of the history of the series itself. When considering as a “trilogy,” this tied everything up well, but The Girl Who Played With Fire and this felt very much like a two-parter in a longer series, so it’s saddening to know that there can never be another book when that was the intent.
The ending itself felt a little hokey, but after everything the characters went through, I’m happy for them!
Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Thanks to the ladies of the Vaginal Fantasy Hangout group, I read my first ever Victorian Mystery Romance novel!
I enjoyed the storyline, but it’s the characters that kept me going. I love the crazy March family. And Fleur!
There were at times when I felt that there was too much world-building/explaining, but it goes by quick enough and returns to amusing character interactions that it’s not too much of a problem.
I’m excited to see Julia learn more about herself and grow, and that Brisbane tones down the arrogance (I know, I know, he’s ~tortured~!). Mostly I hope to see more Portia and Valerius. haha
What have been your recent reads?
This book is beautiful. There are sentiments that absolutely make me ache because of how truthful they feel. Yes, it can be jumbled, messy, and sometimes so blunt that those particular scenes could border on perversion- but all of that just creates such a brilliant honesty. While the number of characters that appear can become overwhelming, they are never dull; no pun intended, but they become blindingly bright and so alive.
I admit that I started this last year but despite having read it in such a drawn out span of time, every time I picked it up I fell right back into the fantastic quality of the language. Due to the time frame it took me to read this and the ~patchwork~ design of the overall narrative, this begs a reread soon! However, it’s less for the sake of comprehension and more for appreciation of all the interconnected details that I need to revisit this heartbreaking book.
I’m almost apologetic for all the italicizing but hey, it’s how I feel.
Anyhow, please note that on goodreads I rate a book according to how much I loved it, not necessarily for its “quality”- because those are two very different things. However, that is not to say that this book doesn’t merit the five stars I gave it. It’s more like I don’t feel… qualified to give “real” ratings. Although it is my opinion anyway so… you get what I mean, right?
(Cover image from the publisher’s website. I happen to have the pink version and will probably update this post at a later date with the appropriate version.)
I wish I could call myself a voracious reader, but I know that some of you can just burn through book after book, week after week! Alas, my interests and attentions are all over the place (music! tv! knitting! hooping!) and while I wouldn’t have it any other way, I would like to incorporate more book reading to the mix.
Although twenty-five books in one year isn’t that many, this is one of those times where I’m setting the bar low enough so that I can definitely get it done! ;) In addition to updating here, I’ll be using goodreads to mark my progress– if you’re on there, I’m musekitsch!
Obviously this is quite a bit more than twenty-five (and it doesn’t include all the graphic novels I want to read!); I’m less stringent on what I’m reading during the year (not that I don’t care! I do!), more so how much I’m reading, so if I read a book that’s not on the list, I’m still going to count it. Whether it’s appalling or not, these are just some of the books I’ve amassed through the years and have yet to read.
Anyone else with a reading resolution? Although my little wallet might protest, I’d love some book recommendations! As you can probably tell from the collection above I’m pretty partial to fiction and sci-fi/fantasy, but there are also some non-fiction books on there. I’ve also got a soft spot for philosophy, theory, and productivity/self-help books, but am open to anything… well, as long as you can promise it’s interesting. ;)