December 31, 2007

Best of 2007

On the eve of 2008, I thought I'd see if I could come up with a best of list for 2007. I decided to go with twelve instead of ten. That way you get one for each month of the year. It's been such a good year book-wise and making such a list is sort of my thank you to all the authors, editors, publishers, illustrators, and booksellers who make my days good days.

Best of 2007
(in order of publication)

Such a Pretty Girl by Laura Wiess
Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs
Ironside by Holly Black
The Well of Shades by Juliet Marillier
Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
Song of the Sparrow by Lisa Ann Sandell
Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer
Beastly by Alex Flinn
Dragonhaven by Robin McKinley
An Ice Cold Grave by Charlaine Harris
Long May She Reign by Ellen Emerson White

December 30, 2007

The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray

And so ends the trilogy that began with A Great and Terrible Beauty, continued with Rebel Angels, and concludes in this final volume, The Sweet Far Thing. I liked the first one well enough because of its unique blend of a wild, magical, mythical realm barely constrained behind stiff Victorian curtains. I really got into the second one as the plot became more complex, Gemma came into her own powers, Felicity and Ann's stories became more layered, and poor beautiful Pippa was relegated to the Realms indefinitely. When I saw how thick the third one was, my eagerness ratcheted up a notch. After all, I have been sitting around lately asking for longer books. Suddenly, here one is.

Unfortunately, 800 pages later, the best thing about it remains the first four words, it's lovely title, taken from a poem by W.B. Yeats. And it does capture the extremely bittersweet feel of the last portion of the book. But somehow this installment failed to capture my imagination. It frustrated me more than anything. Instead of making good use of everything she fought for in Rebel Angels, Gemma spends the entire novel trying to decide whether or not to do what she decided to do at the end of the last book. Not until the final pages does she get a grip on herself and do what needs to be done. I thought we were done with crippling indecision in the previous books. I wanted the Gorgon to just let loose and throttle her! Meanwhile, Felicity and Ann are apparently thirteen again and spend the majority of their time being petty and distrustful, backstabbing Gemma whenever they get the chance. Pippa is the most interesting of the original friends, munching on the berries of the dead in all her Miss Havisham glory. But her path is extremely predictable. And Kartik? Fiery, beautiful Kartik? Sigh. The end to his story had far too much in common with Merlin's fate for my taste. I will say that the scene where Gemma and Kartik place their hands inside the stone was achingly beautiful. But, as with much in this hefty book, it was too little too late and I'm left feeling sad. Wishing, somehow, it could all have gone differently.

Links:
3 Evil Cousins Review
The Story Siren Review

December 17, 2007

They Work for Me













Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson have been cast as Bella and Edward respectively in the upcoming movie adaptation of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight. I'm am, tentatively, very excited. Just look at them.

Kristen/Bella: "Dude, you are a total vampire."
Robert/Edward: "I am such a vampire. Watch me brood."
Angie/Fangirl: "Yay!"

December 13, 2007

100% Ravenclaw

The sorting hat says that I belong in Ravenclaw!


Said Ravenclaw, "We'll teach those whose intelligence is surest."

Ravenclaw students tend to be clever, witty, intelligent, and knowledgeable.
Notable residents include Cho Chang and Padma Patil (objects of Harry and Ron's affections), and Luna Lovegood (daughter of The Quibbler magazine's editor).


Take the most scientific Harry Potter
Quiz
ever created.

Get Sorted Now!

Link via Laughter & Loveliness

100% Ravenclaw, the test said. 94% Gryffindor, 84% Hufflepuff, and 32% Slytherin. So, given my character results, I'd guess I'm a somewhat less ruthless Snape or a somewhat less crazy Luna. Both of which I'm fine with.

December 4, 2007

Reader and Raelynx by Sharon Shinn

This is the fourth book in Shinn's Twelve Houses series. Each volume focuses on one of the six companions and this one follows the youngest--Cammon. The boy who reads souls. Heretofore, Cammon has been something of a delightful enigma. The scruffy little brother with a good heart, not an ounce of tact, and the ability to gauge a person's true intentions. In this volume, he comes into his own and it was a treat to be one up on the rest of the characters for once. To actually be inside his head. Cammon is still Cammon, but we do get a little more information on his background and abilities as a reader. When he is chosen to assess the true intentions of Princess Amalie's suitors, the inevitable humorous and dangerous consequences follow. In fact, this was the most predictable of the four novels so far. Although I was surprised (and perfectly delighted) with how much of it was Senneth's story. She is my favorite character and, in the end, all the books are about Senneth, the people she gathers around her, and the ways in which she binds them together. As in Mystic & Rider, her sheer strength took my breath away. Now that I think about it, it makes sense that we get so much of Senneth in this book as it becomes clearer and clearer as the story goes on how much Cammon relies on her. How, even when he disagrees with her logic, she has come to fill a space in his life that was empty until she walked into the tavern and freed him with a swipe of her knife. As always, Shinn's strength is her dialogue and her strong characters. They leap, gleefully and disreputably, off the page, making me wish I knew them. Wish I could talk with them and watch their faces. Become familiar and chummy with them. Until I was one of them. One of the six. No, seven now. That's the sign of a good book. That's the reason I'll read anything she writes. That, and finally having the satisfaction of watching Tayse cleave Halchon Gisseltess in half without blinking an eye. The good news: Ms. Shinn is in negotiations to write a fifth installment in the series. All is right with the world.