30 Mar 2011

My Library Haul (3)

If you click on the covers you'll be taken to the goodreads page for each book.

I didn't take my own picture this time around simply because I'm feeling horribly lazy today.

The Book of Joby  This library haul starts with The Book of Joby by Mark J. Ferrari.  I put this one on hold because I read the summary on the library newsletter I get each week and it sounded like it would be an entertaining, funny read.  I also seem to enjoy the whole "God and the Devil have made a bet based on the soul of a single human being" type stories.

SoullessI'm working my way, albeit slowly, through the various works of Christoper Golden.  Soulless will be the third book I've read by him and caught my eye via the summary on Goodreads.  I'll note here, for the record that I won't be reading any of Golden's work that is based on television or films.  His graphic novels I'm currently on the fence about and will decide on those at a later date.

I, Lucifer: Finally, the Other Side of the StoryAnother author first for me, I decided to read I, Lucifer after seeing it on that evil library newsletter. Again I was drawn in by the summary; really who doesn't want to read the story of Satan as told by himself while he's stuck in a human body for the summer? Okay maybe not everyone, but it sounded like something I could wrap my brain around for a while.

Dreaming WaterGail Tusukiyama is another author that I throughly enjoy reading. I'm also trying to work my way through her body of work as well, so Dreaming Water was next on the list and I finally managed to get my hands on the library's copy. So far I haven't been horribly disappointed by her stories and I hope that trend continues with this book.

So there you have it, my latest haul from the library.

25 Mar 2011

Thoughts: Rot & Ruin

Title: Rot & Ruin
Author: Jonathan Maberry
Publisher: Simon & Schuster BFYR
Pages: 458
Source: Borrowed from library

In a post-apocalyptic world where fences and border patrols guard the few people left from the zombies that have overtaken civilization, fifteen-year-old Benny Imura is finally convinced that he must follow in his older brother's footsteps and become a bounty hunter.

In Benny's world, fifteen is the age at which people are expected to get a job and pull their weight otherwise their rations get cut. Benny and his friend Chong try out a variety of jobs; each one having disadvantages that make the boys decide not to keep it as a vocation. Eventually Chong takes on a job as a tower watcher and Benny, grudgingly, decides to apprentice under his older brother as a zombie bounty hunter.

Rot & Ruin was a book I picked up expecting to read the usual YA fare -- some sort of love triangle, some fluff about how horrible the zombies are blah blah blah. I was awesomely pleased when I finished the book because none of that was true. Jonathan Maberry has crafted a world in which the zombies are more part of the scenery instead of the catalyst to the story; a trend that I'm really starting to enjoy in my zombie fiction. Yes, Benny and Tom are zombie bounty hunters, but the story revolves around the humanity of the people who survived First Night rather than playing out scene after scene of zombies trying to break into the town to eat the survivors.

Benny doesn't like his brother. He thinks Tom is a coward and can't understand why people in town seem to treat him as some sort of hero. Eventually, after training with Tom, Benny starts to learn more about the people, and the world, he's grown up with; and not all is as it seems. Maberry has done a spectacular job telling a coming of age story where the main characters learn some hard truths about the world in which they live; mostly that the zombies may not be the most evil thing in the world.

The writing is tight and flows amazingly well. There is lots of action, a little bit of non-gushy romance (and /not/ a love triangle, thank god!), and tragedy; everything a good story should have. This is a book I'll pass on to my kid to read and one I'd recommend to zombie/post-apocalyptic fans.

10 Mar 2011

My Library Haul (2)

I love my local library, even though sometimes they never have what I want.  I adore being able to log into the system, find the books I'm after, putting them on hold and then just wandering over to pick them up when they arrive.  Sometimes I go in just to pick up my holds but then I end up roaming around and walk out with more than what I went in for.  Such was the case today.  I was only going to go pick up the last three books in The Walking Dead series, but I ended up with three other books on top of those.
Yep, the library is just as bad for feeding my addiction.  Fortunately it is a /lot/ cheaper than the bookstores. 
Crawlers by John Shirley - Almost finished this one, actually.  Pretty good little mix of creepy and science fiction.
Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves, The Ghost and the Goth by Stacey Kade, Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry, Matched by Ally Condie and, of course, books 3-5 of The Walking Dead graphic novel series.

I just finished reading Overwinter by David Wellington and will post a review soonish.  Right now I've got errands to run and books to read so, since it is a miserable day outside I'll be curling up with my books and my tea after I get back from picking people up and dropping people off.

Oh!  The kid finished The Marbury Lens.  He loved it.  Said it was the best book he's read in a long time.  He sent Andrew Smith an email telling him so.  Now I wait until Gramma is done reading it and then it'll be my turn.

3 Mar 2011

Duo of thoughts: Godmother & Wildwood Road

A bit ago I posted about my latest library haul where I ended up adding a few books to my already gigantic to be read pile.

Out of the pile I've finished two and discovered that one of them I'd already read before.  I've never actually done that before; taken a book out of the library that I'd already read, but I blame myself for not writing down the actual titles of the books I was after.  I knew I still had a couple of Gail Tsukiyama's books to read, but it was Dreaming Water I am after, not Night of Many Dreams which I read back in January of 2009 (thank you Goodreads).

Wildwood Road by Christopher Golden
I read my first Christopher Golden book a few years ago and have been on a slow hunt to read more of his work. This one was a typical supernatural thriller/ghost story and, in my opinion, was a little draggy in parts.

The Dansky's are the perfect couple. They have great jobs, great friends and love each other deeply. However, after the Halloween party all that is about to change. While Jillian is passed out in the backseat, Micheal narrowly misses hitting a little girl. Of course, like any good citizen, he offers her a ride home only to discover that her house is just a bit creepy, just a bit off, just a bit wrong. He has some sort of supernatural encounter but doesn't remember any of it when he and Jillian are awoken the next morning by police tapping on the window of their pulled over car. Now Micheal is seeing the little girl everywhere and Jillian is turning into a not-so nice person leaving Micheal with the burden of trying to figure out what exactly is going on.

Did I like the book? Yes. It was, like I said, a slow read. It wasn't a book that screamed at me to pick it up and finish it now. This was, actually, my most recent "bathroom" read. The overall main plotline was good. The flashbacks of Jillian and Micheal's history together, while I suppose they were important to build their relationship strength, were distracting. I wanted more ghost/supernatural and less mushy 'we're so perfectly in love in our perfect world'.

The entire ghost mystery part was /awsome/. I loved the story behind the how/why. I wish there had been more of that in the book. Overall not a horrible read, but not one I'd likely sit down and read again.

Godmother: The Secret Cinderella Story by Carolyn Turgeon
I had been waiting a long time to read this book. My local library was doing huge renovations when I first tried to put it on hold. Once the renos were done, I actually had to ask one of the librarians if this book was even still around since they'd had a giant book sale a few months back. Fortunately, it turned out that it was just buried in the stacks and she was more than happy to retrieve it for me.

It was mostly worth the wait. Turgeon's writing is lovely. I had no problems losing myself in the story of this ill fated fairy godmother, though I was a little confused as to some of the things happening to her in the current time. The flashbacks to her fairy life were sprinkled throughout the book and fit in well with the overall plot line, slowly revealing exactly what happened on that fateful night that Cinderella went to the ball.

The book was a fast read for me; I finished it in a day so it is safe to say that it did suck me in and had me wanting to know more. The ending is one that I kind of saw coming, but wasn't too sure if I was right or not until the very, very end. It is an ending that sneaks up on the reader and, in the case of my mother, some may need to re-read it to see if they've followed it correctly.

Overall a book I'd recommend to friends and family alike.

2 Mar 2011

to the author from socal

Sometime back in February there was a twitter post on my feed that lead to YouTube and this video in particular where author Andrew Smith discusses books for boys, about boys, by boys.  I watched the entire thing and even watched a few of the response videos and then I sat down and wrote an email to Mr. Smith.  All I wanted to do was thank him for expressing and honest opinion about the apparent lack of strong books for teenage boys and for the book suggestions he made in the video.  I have two teenage boys.  My eldest will be fifteen in a few months and is impossible to buy books for.

I got a really nice response from Andrew and he even reached out to my son and myself with a bit of a challenge.  Two titles were offered up and, after choosing one, Andrew said he would mail a copy out to Sean as long as the kid agreed to read and offer feedback when he was finished.  I was /very/ surprised by the offer, but put it to Sean and he ended up choosing The Marbury Lens.  Andrew also blogged about the whole thing on his blog, Ghost Medicine, right here.

So, Andrew, I just wanted to let you know that the book arrived today!  It sat on the kitchen table and stared at me all day.  When Sean got home I shoved the package at him and demanded that he open it.  Right. Now.  It really is a fantastic cover and I love the way you signed it for him.  Sean's comment when is slid out of the envelope was 'wow it is kind of big' and he wants to know what Mind the Gap means.  I told him it probably will be more clear after he reads the book.

I told him he'd best hurry up and read it too, because Grandma has already picked it up and started reading it.  She made it to chapter three before Sean caught her and informed her that she needed to wait her turn.

So, two of us are waiting for Sean to finish so we can fight over the scraps, and you'll all get to read for yourselves what the kid thinks about the book when he finishes reading it.