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Currently reading

Wolves of the Calla
Bernie Wrightson, Stephen King
(re)Visions - Alice
Anthology;Kaye Chazan;Hilary Thomas;Amanda Ching;Christian Young
Progress: 129/220 pages
Blackout (All Clear #1)
Connie Willis
The Well of Ascension
Brandon Sanderson
Children of Dune
Frank Herbert

Book Review: Catherynne M. Valente - In The Night Garden

In the Night Garden - Catherynne M. Valente

Well, the short version is that the first book of "The Orphan's Tales" has blown me away.

 

I've come to expect nothing less of Cat Valente but I am still always surprised at how emotionally attached I get to her books. My full review can be found under the link.

Peter Pan: Londres (French Edition)

Peter Pan: Londres (French Edition) - Régis Loisel http://sffbookreview.wordpress.com/2012/06/04/regis-loisel-peter-pan-comics/

Peter Pan: Crochet (French Edition)

Peter Pan: Crochet - Régis Loisel http://sffbookreview.wordpress.com/2012/06/04/regis-loisel-peter-pan-comics/

Peter Pan: Mains Rouges (French Edition)

Peter Pan: Mains Rouges (French Edition) - Régis Loisel http://sffbookreview.wordpress.com/2012/06/04/regis-loisel-peter-pan-comics/

Laini Taylor - Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Daughter of Smoke & Bone  - Laini Taylor

All the fans will hate me for this but, my god, this book was bad. Full review is hidden under the title.

 

THE GOOD: A great idea and a thrilling beginning.
THE BAD: Every character is of unnatural beauty, the language is clunky, there are logical mistakes galore, the romance is revolting, the plot gets dropped mid-book. Plus, cliffhanger (for those who care what happens).
THE VERDICT: Not recommended. Dear YA authors. Not every story needs a forced romance, especially between an old man and a teenage girl. Age is not just about how old you look, it is about experience and maturity. This was a pretty terrible book.

RATING: 2,5/10 – Terrible

Tina Fey - Bossypants

Bossypants - Tina Fey

For a full review, click the title above.

 

Here's the short version:

 

THE GOOD: A well-told, hilarious glance into the life of Tina Fey. Not a single boring moment and no whiny biography stuff.
THE BAD: It was very short and, given the issues Fey talks about occasionally, it wouldn’t have hurt to go more in depth.
BONUS:
The audio clip of “Palin and Clinton” on SNL that was cut into the audiobook.
THE VERDICT: Recommended to everybody who likes Tina Fey. Simple as that.

RATING: 8/10 – Excellent fun

Karen Lord - Redemption in IIndigo

Redemption in Indigo - Karen Lord

My full review can be found at SFF Book Review.

 

THE GOOD: A funny, light tale with every word in its place, great characters and a wonderful ending.

THE BAD: The characters were somewhat distant, some side characters deserved more screen time. Plotwise a bit forgettable in the end.

THE VERDICT: Recommended for everyone who wants something different than you average epic fantasy. This is a perfect book for a cozy afternoon, spent with trickster gods, objects controlling chaos, creatures with indigo skin, and one woman in the middle of it all.

RATING: 7,5/10 -  Very good

Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples - Saga Volume One

Saga, Volume 1 - Fiona Staples, Brian K. Vaughan

My full review can be read at SFF Book Review.

 

Here's the short version.

 

THE GOOD: Incredible characters, fast-paced action, emotional levels to everything the characters do, and a world that begs to be explored more.

 

THE BAD: It was too short. The Stalk’s story arc was the only one that really suffered from the abrupt ending point, but I would have liked more in general.

 

BONUS: Lying cat. Also, The Stalk. That bitch is straight out of my nightmares.

 

THE VERDICT: If you haven’t guessed yet, I am going to recommend this book to everyone. It’s a fast-paced science fiction odyssey with Romeo and Juliet bickering along the way and super creepy creatures lurking in the dark. It is fun, it is original, and the art is beautiful. Go out and get it (or maybe wait until the second paperback comes out so you don’t have to suffer like me…)

RATING: 9/10  – Pretty close to perfection

Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (Musical Tie-in Edition)

Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West - Gregory Maguire, Douglas Smith

My full review can be found over at SFF Book Review.

 

As someone who came to the book only having heard the musical CD (yeah, i actually still bought that one on CD), I was positively surprised at the adult tone that Maguire has. This is not a children's book and it has little in common with the colorfull, cute version of Oz we know from our childhood movie/literature classics.I preferred this dark, political version of the land and I enjoyed every page of gritty, sinister intrigue as well as the sexual undertones. If you've only seen the musical: Prepare for something very different, less comic but no less enjoyable.

Breaking Dawn (The Twilight Saga, Book 4)

Breaking Dawn - Stephenie Meyer didn't finish it. Terrible book.

The Wee Free Men: A Story of Discworld (Discworld Novels)

The Wee Free Men - Terry Pratchett My full review was posted at SFF Book Review.What a fun Discworld adventure. For all of those who have had enough of crazy Ankh-Morpork for a while and want to enjoy the country air, so to speak, Tiffany Aching's first adventure is just the thing.Living on the Chalk, herding sheep and making excellent cheese, Tiffany has decided whe wants to be a witch. When strange creatures start appearing and Tiffany has to stare a headless rider into the eyes it doesn't have, she knows trouble is brewing. Then her brother Wentworth disappears and Tiffany has only her trusted frying pan and an army of little, blue men in kilts and with a preference for strong licqor to aide her in rescuing him.This was fun on many levels and I can't wait to read more about Tiffany, a heroine so wonderful all other YA novels should learn from her.7,5/10 - almost 8/10

Emilie and the Hollow World

Emilie and the Hollow World - Martha Wells

My full review is over here.

This book started out very promising, only to do lots of little things wrong along the way and disappoint with a predictable, lukewarm ending.

The Handmaid's Tale

The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood Full review at SFF Book Review.This is considered a classic for good reason.Long as it may have taken me to finally pick up this book, it has lived up to every bit of hype I had heard before. I have been very fed up with what is sold as "dystopias" lately, especially in the YA genre, and I needed something with the same power as George Orwell's [b:1984|5470|1984|George Orwell|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1348990566s/5470.jpg|153313]. Now this is a very different book in subject, but the tone is just as horrifying, the world as full of terror - and that's how it should be.It is strange to say that I enjoyed cuddling up with this book, under a nice blanket and with a cup of tea by my side. Because this is not exactly a comfort read. It shocks and terrifies and, above all, makes you think. As my first Atwood, I am duly impressed and will read many more of her books.Highly recommended.8,5/10

Mistborn : Final Empire Series (Book #1) (Mistborn, Book 1)

Mistborn: The Final Empire  - Brandon Sanderson

Wow! Brandon Sanderson really is as good as everybody says.

My full review can be found at SFF Book Review.

 

Brandon Sanderson is a star, there is no doubt about that. He knows how to write a story that is so gripping it will make you go "just one more chapter" until you're done. There are a few moments to catch your breath but when Vin's story isn't full of action and intrigue, the characters' growth and development makes it impossible to put the book down.I devoured this chunky novel in a couple of days and started immediately with book 2. The world is fresh and original, if not exactly happy, the magic system - and you know there is a great one when Sanderson is involved - completely blew me away. It took a while to hit me but when you read that scene where Kelsier, the cocky master thief who stole my heart right away, uses Allomancy for the first time, you'll know why everybody raves about it.Sanderson did pretty much everything right. He gives us epic fantasy with almost none of the tropes, he puts a spin on recognisable things but surprises us with new ideas every other chapter. The only negative point I could bring up is that - for my personal enjoyment - I could have used more descriptions of surroundings. And maybe less use of the word "maladroitly". Seriously, Brandon, you seem to like that word. :)As you can tell, excitement and general awe completely outweigh these minor qualms. Which is why I will put this book into the hands of anybody who calls himself a fantasy reader. Must read!

Captain's Fury

Captain's Fury - Full review at SFF Book Review.I feel like I'm repeating myself when it comes to Jim Butcher's books. But I have to say it, again: This is my favorite book of the series - so far.I wasn't a huge fan of the first book but continued anyway. With every volume in the Codex Alera series, Jim Butcher has stolen my heart a little bit more. Book three, Cursor's Fury, decided it for me with its brilliant military aspect. It's as if the author knows which parts I like best and writes each book with only the best ideas from the preceeding novel. Captain's Fury has everything a great fantasy novel needs. Wonderful characters who we have come to know and love over the course of several thousand pages, a great world that seems to be in constant conflict with someone or something. There are some of the most engaging and thrilling action scenes in these books that I have ever read and I honestly can't imagine going to bed every night without at least a little bit of Tavi.8,5/10

Un Lun Dun

Un Lun Dun - China Miéville A full review can be found at SFF Book Review.China Miéville's brain must be an awesome and terrifying place. Un Lun Dun is a young adult adventure that takes place in a city that is so original it could be a character of its own. I cannot put into words how original and fun and clever this book is.Over 500 pages long, it reads like it's half that size. I was surprised how much I cared about all the characters (especially the milk carton Curdle) and delighted at how the author turns fantasy tropes on their head. One of the coolest and most fun YA books I have ever read.