Tam Lin by Pamela Dean

Reading Tam Lin is like reading two parallel stories – one a straightforward tale of college life, the other a much stranger and more magical brew. It shouldn’t work, but it does and does it so beautifully that I fell completely in love with this book. The main reason Pamela Dean’s blend of college and magic works so well (and this is something that she captures brilliantly) is that the time spent at university is a time unto itself. Not only is it a transitional period for those who go, it is also cut off from everything before and after … Continue reading Tam Lin by Pamela Dean

Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty

This is a very cool locked room murder mystery in space. As such, anything I really want to say about it will be a spoiler. Dagnabbit. I enjoyed Mur Lafferty’s Shambling Guide to New York City earlier this year, but that in no way prepared me for Six Wakes, which is in a whole different league – tense, fast-paced and un-put-down-able. Whereas upon finishing Shambling Guide I was feeling both impressed and a little disappointed, after reading Six Wakes I am nothing but captivated. The basic set up is as follows: The six clones that make up the crew of … Continue reading Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty

Alien Earth by Megan Lindholm

I don’t know how long I’m going to manage coherency here, before this just becomes one long gush of everything I loved about this book, but I’ll give it a go. Megan Lindholm (A.K.A. Robin Hobb), writes characters and the tensions between them so, so well that I found myself gnawing at my knuckles and completely unable to disengage over the two days it took me to read this book. I got angry, I got frustrated, I chuckled, I nearly cried, I sighed a huge, heartfelt sigh of relief at one point … man, it was a great ride! For … Continue reading Alien Earth by Megan Lindholm

Beholder’s Eye by Julie E Czerneda

  I bought Beholder’s Eye earlier this year, in April in fact, right after Little Red Reviewer had Julie E Czerneda as a guest on her blog to promote her latest Web Shifters book. (It’s a really good post, which you can read here if you’re interested). Hmmm, you don’t seem as impressed as you should be. I’ll say that again with more emphasis: this book I’ve just read was bought this year. I just read something in the same year that I bought it! This never happens! Be impressed (you can pretend – I’ll not know)!! J It normally … Continue reading Beholder’s Eye by Julie E Czerneda

Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb

One of my Book Bingo tasks this year was to read a book I previously DNF. Now before you start throwing stones at me, I was really sick when I first tried to read Assassin’s Apprentice. It took me at least an hour to read the first chapter and a little of the second before I put it down. At the time I blamed the book for not grabbing me, but it was far more my fault. I just wasn’t in the right headspace. And then I never gave it another go. Until now. What the heck was wrong with … Continue reading Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb

Heart’s Blood by Juliet Marillier

Before I begin, can I just say that it’s a complete fluke that there are fairy-tale-retelling elements in Heart’s Blood, after last week’s Kingdom of Sleep, and that this parallel in my reading was in no way deliberate. Just one of those happy accidents. I picked this up having been inspired by both Maddalena of Space and Sorcery and Karina of Karina Reads to try Juliet Marillier’s books (hearty thanks are due!). I have Daughter of the Forest on the book pile at home, but I got caught short at work without a book to read (drama!) and Heart’s Blood … Continue reading Heart’s Blood by Juliet Marillier

Twilight Robbery by Frances Hardinge

First off, while nothing I say here is going to spoil Mosca and Eponymous’ first outing, Fly by Night (my thoughts here), for anyone, I do feel that you should read that book before you tackle Twilight Robbery. The events in the first book have created the situation in the second, and, more importantly, Mosca and Eponymous’ relationship is more touching here if you see first how it began. “They shared a love of words, a taste for adventure and a dubious relationship with the truth …” This relationship is so very well written. It’s not something that Hardinge makes … Continue reading Twilight Robbery by Frances Hardinge

The Girl in the Road by Monica Byrne

This was both an astounding read, and a disturbing one. It’s not a book I can say I enjoyed wholeheartedly because it deals with some very serious stuff, and yet there were parts that were bewitching, and fascinating, and enticing. There was no point at which I felt I’d have to put it down, but there were points at which I wish I could have done. In case I’m not making myself clear, I feel very conflicted about this book. I think, on the whole, it was good. Byrne’s two unreliable narrators, telling their stories a generation apart, are compelling, … Continue reading The Girl in the Road by Monica Byrne

Chalice by Robin McKinley

After the utter grimness of A Clockwork Orange I needed to read something comforting, familiar and beautiful. And Robin McKinley will ever and always be the author I go to for that combination. The Hero and the Crown, The Blue Sword, Beauty, Spindle’s End, and Sunshine are some of my favourite curl-up books, but somehow I missed Chalice being published back in 2008 and bought it earlier this year to plug the gap. The actual story is small – a young woman is unexpectedly given a significant responsibility she thinks she cannot live up to, but does it well (if … Continue reading Chalice by Robin McKinley

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

The idea of censoring and banning books both flummoxes and fascinates me. The concept of protecting others from challenging ideas by denying them access seems odd to me because I associate challenge with growth – how can I become more than I am now if I am always given the easy path? Additionally, my job is all about making information freely available to all in the interests of empowerment. It is a job that rests upon the belief that to learn is to grow. There are some really crappy aspects to my job (contrary to the popular belief that library … Continue reading A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess