Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Gone away

Books just aren't grabbing me the same way anymore. I end up regretting half the ones I read now. The other half I don't have much to say about. (In the last two months I've read Silksinger, Forest Born, Ice, Liar, Fire, The Maze Runner, Nation, Good Girls, Warbreaker, The Magic Mirror of the Mermaid Queen, Donut Days, Secrets of Truth and Beauty, and Philippa Fisher's Fairy Godsister, and reread Blackbringer (which I still thought was good)). I guess this is a drawn-out way to say not to expect much more here, not that you do.

I spent some time in Bangladesh recently and it's safe to say my perspective has shifted. There's so many real and eternal things to invest in that losing myself in a fantasy doesn't appeal much anymore. I think the right kind of book can shed light on this world (I recognized many of my emotions in the main character of Forest Born, for example) but others, the kind that focus on shock and horror and other evils, have lost their attraction.

I may post here again if I find a book particularly worth mentioning, or I might turn it into a more general blog. Not sure yet.

Here's a quick run-down of the books mentioned:

Silksinger. I loved Whisper's power and the adventure was exciting but it kept getting darker and by the end I felt like I had been drinking poison.

Forest Born. I didn't exactly love it but I want to read it again: it's a quiet kind of book that I think will grow on me some more.

Ice. This is the last one I read. I was extremely impressed by the pacing: Durst drops new revelations at exactly the right times near the beginning, and it only speeds up from there. It also has a pretty good mix of fairy tale atmosphere and modern sensibility (the main character is the daughter of an Arctic researcher).

Liar. The craft this book must have taken is impressive but in the end, it feels like you know less than you did when you started. I knew enough to expect it going in, but maybe I'm cynical.

Fire. Don't know if I'll read another book by her. A third with a main character like the ones in her first two would be too much for me. This one also seems darker than the first.

The Maze Runner. Very like The Hunger Games in terms of excitement but I thought it took too long for the eventual payoff ("End of book one" and very few answers) and was darker than justified. "Dark, edgy and realistic" must be in these days.

Nation. Oooh... I liked this one quite a lot, except for the ending. Pratchett's humor works places other than the Discworld, but in this one it acts as leavening instead of being the main course.

Good Girls. Yuck.

Warbreaker. Some interesting ideas and exciting action sequences, but the characters didn't stand out a lot.

The Magic Mirror of the Mermaid Queen. I don't remember Changeling very well but I think this was a little more of the same: Neef and co. managing geniuses. (She makes friends at the changeling school, including Tiffany (later known as Woolworth).)

Donut Days. I'm not sure I read the whole thing but if I did, I barely remember it. Controversy erupts over a prophecy and the main character's mother preaching. I liked the bikers a bit.

Secrets of Truth and Beauty. I blogged about this already.

Philippa Fisher's Fairy Godsister. Impulse read! I saw this at the bookstore, picked it up at the library, and enjoyed it a bit, but it's a very light read. Take it with a big grain of salt.

Blackbringer. I already blogged this one, too.

1 comment:

Martin LaBar said...

Well, maybe you'll find a good one soon.