Sunday, January 24, 2010

Random reading continues

I had seen a lot of glowing reviews for John Howe's Lost Worlds, but the only library in our system that owned it marked it missing practically as soon as it was on the shelf. So I borrowed it from ILL. I had the feeling it might have many small pieces and wanted to know before I bought it. It turned out to NOT have small pieces, but I've decided not to buy it anyways. The art is gorgeous and the text seems well-written, but the juxtaposition of real and imagined lost worlds makes me uncomfortable - is this fiction or non-fiction? It's a gorgeous book, but I don't think I have enough interest in the subject at my library to justify buying it.

Malice by Chris Wooding. Nice mix of black and white comics and text. Sort of creepy mixture of urban myth and horror. I don't often read horror and this one didn't really grab me. Too much atmospherics and not enough action, plus the jumping between characters at the beginning was kinda confusing. Plus the stand-out text and images on the cover will make it hard to shelve. I'm getting Tom Becker's Darkside series instead for our new horror series of the year.

Cicada Summer by Andrea Beaty. Nice story about a girl dealing with grief with a little mystery in it. Why do stories about death always have flashbacks in italics? The fantastic nature of the flashbacks makes me a little doubtful about the appeal of this story. It doesn't have quite the realistic feel and emotional punch of Love Aubrey.

Ben and the Sudden Too-Big Family by Colby Rodowsky. Well-written and engaging story about blending and creating new families. Ben's character was built realistically and sympathetically and I appreciated seeing a story with characters who were a little more introverted - and that was ok, not something they had to be "cured" of. Very unfortunate cover though.

Mike Stellar: Nerves of Steel by K. A. Holt. Don't often see genuine scifi for the elementary/middle grade reader. Plenty of science, mystery and heart-stopping action. Kids who like fast-paced adventure and science will really love this one.

Mystery of the Third Lucretia by Susan Runholt. Don't often see ya mysteries that are this....wholesome for lack of a better word. Plenty of realistic action, some death, a thread of women's rights issues running through the story, but nothing too overtly violent, sexual, or depressing. Ever notice how many ya mysteries are depressing? Plus, this is a "real" mystery with clues, a tightly constructed plot, and the characters are believable.

I've still got a few library books to go, but that might be all my faster-than-the-speed-of-light reading for today....or maybe not. I've still got a cold or something and can't sleep when I can't breathe, so might as well stay up all night reading....


Charlotte said...

Doesn't Mike Stellar make a nice change? I enjoyed it lots!

Susan Quinn said...

I'm going to have to put Mike Stellar on my TBR list! You are right that you don't see a lot of science in MG books - that's why I'm writing one that has some! Also, reviewing a bunch of MG books on my blog. Thanks for the tip!