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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis

Title: To Say Nothing of the Dog
Author: Connie Willis
Reviewed Format: mass market paperback
Release Date: December 1, 1998
Pages: 512

When Ned Henry begins to pet Mr. Spivens and wax poetic about the role dogs have played as Man’s Best Friend throughout the centuries, he suddenly finds himself yanked out of 1940 and back in the year 2057.  Ned is a time traveller.  He also has a serious case of time-lag--Mr. Spivens is not a dog.  Time-lag is the wonderful after effect of extraneous time travel with little to no sleep or rest in between.  It renders its victims confused and sleepy; if you are suffering any of the following symptoms: Difficulty Distinguishing Sounds, Blurred Vision, Slowness in Answering, a Tendency to Maudlin Sentimentality, then you may be time-lagged.  The only cure is rest.

Unfortunately for Ned, he works directly under Lady Schrapnell--an American woman who’s taken it upon herself to commandeer every available time travel agent and send them through the Net and across time in her obsessive attempt to rebuild Coventry Cathedral, in Oxford.  Her schedule is rigorous and unforgiving.  The consecration is in seventeen days and Ned’s just been prescribed two weeks of bed rest.  To complicate matters even further, he’s been sent back to 1888 Victorian England where he’s supposed to fix a possible incongruity for Mr. Dunworthy, avoid Lady Schrapnell, find some rest and relaxation, and not worry about finding the Bishop’s bird stump until after his new mission’s completed.  The only problem is he can’t remember what he’s supposed to do, with whom, or where.  At least the Maudlin Sentimentality will help him fit right in.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Shadow Prowler (ARC) by Alexey Pehov

Title: Shadow Prowler, first in the Chronicles of Siala Trilogy
Author: Alexey Pehov
Reviewed Format: UK ARC
Release Date: April 1, 2010 in the UK; February 16, 2010 in the US
Pages: 400

Shadow Harold is a professional thief. His latest Commission (thieving job) has gotten him in a bit of trouble.  He hasn’t exactly gotten caught, just noticed by the wrong people.  The kingdom of Siala is overrun with a mysterious yellow fog and demons that hunt in the shadows.  Everyone thinks the Namesless One is to blame--a figure of darkness both evil and powerful who sends his minions forth to carry out terrible deeds.  The Order of Magicians bring Harold forward with a proposition: journey to Hrad Spein and the Palace of Bones to retrieve the Rainbow Horn or be sent to the Gray Stones for his perpetual thieving crimes.  The Rainbow Horn is a magical instrument sure to break the bond that ties the Nameless One to this world; the Gray Stones is the worst prison imaginable.  Harold doesn’t have to think very hard about his decision and it isn’t long before he’s off to the Forbidden Territory in search of a map that will help him navigate Hrad Spein.

Shadow Prowler is an interesting mix of races and characters looking and acting out of the ordinary from what I’m used to seeing in Fantasy novels.  It’s laughable for dwarves to have beards--only goblins partake in that particular ritual; elves aren’t beautiful in the classic waifish way so associated with their multiple literary appearances--they’re almost as ugly as orcs, their cousins, but only slightly more appealing.  Siala itself is a city built around thieves with statues and monuments erected to one of the best around.  The characters and setting are unorthodox and quirky.  The writing, however, I had some trouble with.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Weekend Discussion: The Deal With Epic Fantasy Is...

I'm going to admit something to you that I used to not care about, but am now embarrassed to bring up.

Over the past few days, I've been reading a book.  It's in a genre I used to stay far away from, but have since stopped being hesitant to read.  This particular book reminded me why I used to avoid these novels like the plague as I wrinkled my nose in distaste, reaching for Fiction/Literature or Science Fiction instead.

I have a slight prejudice against epic fantasy.

Now, before anyone tries to defend epic fantasy or comment with the positives before reading the rest of this post, or skimming and pretending you've read it, I do have experience that backs up my preferences and remember: it's now a slight prejudice.  I'm only hesitant now, not completely avoiding of it.  That I was even reading this book is proof of that.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Local Habitation: An October Daye Novel by Seanan McGuire

Title: A Local Habitation: An October Day Novel #2
Author: Seanan McGuire
Reviewed Format: mass market paperback
Release Date: March 2, 2010
Pages: 400

It’s been a few months since Tobes stepped back into the world of Faerie.  She’s no longer working for Safeway thanks to getting her P.I. license reinstated.  She works among mortals hunting down cheating spouses, which isn’t exactly rivaling the Faerie world’s idea of investigative assignments.  With barely enough time to get back to ‘normal,’ Toby Daye receives a phone call from Sylvester Torquill, Duke of Shadowed Hills and her liege.  When Sylvester says jump, Toby obligingly responds, “how far?”

The two have a good working relationship. Mostly that’s because they’ve developed a genuine friendship over the years; Sylvester doesn’t abuse Toby’s loyalty and Toby would do a lot for him, even if he didn’t ask, but sometimes Sylvester has to pull rank.  His niece, ruler of a neighboring Duchy, has stopped responding to his calls.  Tamed Lightening is in a precarious position. It’s nestled in between Shadowed Hills and Dreamer’s Glass--the Duchy of Riordan, a typically ruthless Fae eager to claim any extra land for herself.  It’s a political game of Operation: can Toby step in as an impartial outsider, find out what’s going on with January and bring that information back to her uncle without starting an inter-Duchy war?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Winner of Changeless Giveaway

First, I want to apologize for not posting a Weekend Discussion. I was a bit busy, but I promise there will be one next weekend! :)  Now that I've gotten that out of the way...

There were significantly more people who entered my Changeless giveaway: to each and every one of you who entered, thank you!

This particular contest was a bit of a big deal for me: I've never had the privilege to share an ARC before. Thanks to the wonderful people at Orbit Books, someone gets to read the second Alexia Tarabotti novel a few day sooner than it hits store shelves.  I'm happy the second book I could offer on JRT was such a popular pick.

But all of that aside, I'm sure you'd much rather find out who random.org picked to win...

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Changeless, The Parasol Protectorate: Book the Second (ARC) by Gail Carriger

Title: Changeless, The Parasol Protectorate: Book the Second
Author: Gail Carriger
Reviewed Format: ARC
Release Date: March 30, 2010
Pages: 400

Alexia Macoon, once again, has a few problems on her hands: supernaturals are losing their abilities all around London, ghost are being exorcised, and she can’t seem to keep her clothes on when her husband is around.  The latter is, inarguably, the result of her new status as Lady Maccon, wife to Lord Conall Maccon, Earl of Woolsey and Alpha of the biggest wolf pack in England.  The others are matters that must inevitably be explored in Gail Carriger’s second Parasol Protectorate book, Changeless.

When Alexa finds herself in a dreary and damp old castle in Scotland, with her dim, but sweet best friend and one of her impossible sisters, it’s more than just a social call.  It’s a miracle her retinue managed to make the journey at all; what does one pack for a dirigible ride and will the food be up to Alexia’s rather generous, but hardly forgiving standards?  What she meets upon arrival with hatboxes, suitcases, and brightly colored ladies flouncing about the Scottish Highlands in their English best, are the in-laws and an ancient Egyptian mummy.  Neither are predisposed to the common courtesies, but Alexia is up to the challenge.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Star Wars Clone Wars Gambit: Stealth by Karen Miller

This review can also be read at Club Jade, a Star Wars fansite. :)

Title: Star Wars Clone Wars #4 Gambit: Stealth
Author: Karen Miller
Reviewed Format: trade paperback
Release Date: February 23, 2010
Pages: 432

Karen Miller’s high regard and curiosity concerning Obi-Wan Kenobi is quite charming.  In her second Star Wars book, Clone Wars Gambit: Stealth, every character has a lot to shoulder in the war, even (and especially) Obi-Wan.

Ahsoka has more to consider as Anakin’s Padawan than the teachings of the Jedi Order. She cares for his well-being and has learned how to read her Master’s emotions to help herself navigate and deal with his temperament.  Anakin struggles with the responsibilities of being the Chosen One.  What he feels they should do, what he should do as such a prominent figure, conflicts often with the wider doctrine of the Jedi, not to mention how delicately he juggles his forbidden relationship with Padmé.  Obi-Wan still wrestles with his misgivings as a teacher and his emotions over the health of a dear friend.  It’s clear, though, that as Bail Organa brings a frightening new element in the war to the Jedi’s attention, this cast of extraordinary beings have rather ordinary problems.

All things considered: Obi-Wan and Anakin, for as much as they remain larger than life figures, symbolic of the Jedi Order and its potential, are still forced to deal with their very human emotions and drama.  After a harrowing skirmish on Kothlis, Anakin and Obi-Wan are forced to realize they both need some much needed rest.  Obi-Wan is still running a bit ragged from his encounter on Zigoola; Anakin and the entire galaxy agree.  The pair are sent to Lanteeb anyway--a planet of no consequence until recent Separatist actions pique the Republic’s curiosity.  Their physical wounds may be healed, but Anakin and Obi-Wan learn the hard way: some scars never go away.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Star Wars Fate of the Jedi 4: Backlash by Aaron Allston

This review can also be read at Club Jade, a Star Wars fansite. :)

Title: Star Wars Fate of the Jedi 4: Backlash
Author: Aaron Allston
Reviewed Format: hardcover
Release Date: March 9, 2010
Pages: 328

Luke and Ben seemed to have abandoned their mission to uncover the murky truth of Jacen’s turn to the Dark Side during the third FOTJ book, Abyss, when a weird new tribe of Sith caught their attention.  In Backlash, the adventure continues.  Luke’s on the prowl, metaphorically sniffing out Vestara Kai like some crazy bad ass Jedi hunting dog; with his blood splattered on her person after a lightsaber battle that ended with the death of her Master, Vestara’s unaware she’s even being tracked, but you can bet she’s looking for a place to hide.  Ben’s aware of his father’s exhaustion, despite Luke’s protests, and elicits the help of the Jedi via an encrypted, sneaky, and very under-the-radar message intended to make absolutely clear it isn’t Luke who’s asking (which would violate the terms of his parole), it’s his son.  Eager to help and reminding us the “good thing about the Solos and Skywalkers” is they “never run out of things to do” (p. 6), Han and Leia pack Allana and her pet nexu aboard the Falcon and head to the only place Luke and Ben can guess is the most likely location Vestara would land: Dathomir.  And here, ladies and gentlemen, is where the fun begins.  What follows is a witty and wild adventure in which Daala realizes she’s in over her head, Han gets a flamethrower, and a nexu manages to elicit more pathos out of me than Allana ever will.

Now that there’s more time between FOTJ releases, the page count per book can go up and fans like me can feel we’ve bought something worth the cover price.  Let me make this clear: the extra pages were not only needed, but they’re everything that made Backlash read like a complete installment in the series rather than a rushed addition or careless afterthought.  Every success reveals a new failure, though and unfortunately, no matter how much I’m enjoying this series, something went wrong.  To be fair, there’s many things going on behind the scenes that have affected FOTJ.  One of those is the release of the Lost Tribe of the Sith books as e-books.  Sure, they’re free, but they’re e-books.  I don’t know about you, but I hate e-books.  Sitting to read in front of my computer for extended periods of time isn’t as easy as sitting with a physical book.  There’s considerably less eyestrain; not all of us can afford fancy e-book readers with e-ink (or to keep printing each story).  Some of the plot in those books, which I still haven’t and refuse to read until they’re in print, would, I hear, have helped clear up some of my confusion over the latest band of Sith apparently no one’s ever run into before.  With the release of Crosscurrent, I finally got a lot more information and backstory that I really should have gotten before I read the first FOTJ book, Outcast.  It might be too much to ask for books to be released chronologically, but it would have been really, really helpful.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Weekend Discussion: Flash Reviews

I've gotten a small pile of books in over the past couple of months or so that I wouldn't normally read.  They're also the kind of books I don't usually review on JRT, but I have a good working relationship with this publisher and don't want to disappoint.

I may have a solution.

Some of you may be interested in these books, despite the fact that they are not "speculative fiction" or the type of literature I am used to (and prefer) to read.  Since it's my hobby here to provide you with my honest opinion of books in the hope that you read, and then recommend your friends read them, why not do something a little different to celebrate the unique quality of these books?

I present to you: FLASH REVIEWS!

Flash reviews would be shorter reviews, perhaps 2 per post, of a book received for review that I'm curious about but normally don't cover--nor will I make a habit of covering--on JRT.  This is an exception I'm more than happy to provide since I love this publishing company so much.

How many of you would be interested in such a feature?

The books up for discussion are as follows:

Daughters of Fortune by Tara Hyland
If I Grow Up by Todd Strasser
Suspicion by Kate Brian
My Single Friend by Jane Costello

I'm making this decision in part with your help because I want it to be clear the reason I'm not making a habit of changing my review policies is simple.  I've started to establish the sort of readers that are attracted to my blog.  I do not want to disappoint a future audience by misleading them if they return and discover I don't continually review Chick Lit or non-SF/F YA titles.  Flash reviews seem the best way to get my thoughts out and share these books with you!

Let me know what you think in the comments. :)

An extra note: Terribly sorry this post isn't a review!  Like the Jawas mentioned earlier in the week, I'm in the process of reorganizing my reading schedule and so, have taken a bit of a breather to rejuvenate the way I review.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Winners & New Giveaway!

I want to thank everyone who entered JRT's first giveaway.  I learned some things that will hopefully make the next contest easier on you as well as myself.  With all of the new followers the contest attracted, I'm a little sad to say JRT didn't quite make it to 50; the contest will not have an international winner.

There is a winner, though!  I counted all of everyone's valid entries and picked one winner at random.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Book Fairies - March Edition #2

Dear Readers of JRT: you are amazing.  No, really--you are.  For about 7 months now I've been bringing you reviews here on my official book review blog and I couldn't be more thrilled at the amount of fun I've had so far.  Here's what arrived in my mailbox this past week; I'm happy to say I get to share with one lucky reader more than just a photograph this time. :)  (that's also why this Book Faeries post is being put up so close to the previous one)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Dark Secrets 1: Legacy of Lies and Don't Tell by Elizabeth Chandler

Title: Dark Secrets 1: Legacy of Lies and Don't Tell
Author: Elizabeth Chandler
Reviewed Format: UK Trade paperback
Release Date: August 4, 2009
Pages: 496

Dark Secrets is the first volume in what I’m assuming will be a regular series of YA paranormal-romance-mystery-thriller duologies.  In this first volume, Elizabeth Chandler, pseudonym for University of Rochester Professor Mary Claire Helldorfer, takes readers to the North Eastern town of Wisteria.  Like any other small US town, the residents of Wisteria are all familiar with each other and share stories and strange pasts with visitors and tourists.  Of course, because a river runs through the town, there’s a lot of strange activity residents ascribe to ghosts.  If you’re familiar with some of the tenets of paranormal activity then you know how water is said to act as a conduit for spirits; wandering souls are attracted to the river and the town as a result for being so close to the Sycamore and two other creeks.  Even though Dark Secrets is one volume, it’s composed of two complete novels: Legacy of Lies and Don’t Tell.  Both explore not only the strange town of Wisteria, but the surge of ghost activity and deaths through the eyes of two long-time visitors that had me wondering just how safe this town actually is.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A Message From The Jawas #3

Dear Readers,

Did you miss us?  Did you even know we existed?  Erika's kept us under lock and key, slaving away, reading all of these great books she gets in; the faster the better.  Don't even get us started on our food regime (we prefer to call it dietus lack...etus.  How that Latin* for you, eh?).


Erika would like us to retract the previous statement in lights of the blatant lies we've, apparently, deceived you with.  We thought it'd be more dramatic and sassy; she thought it was crass and rude.  Anyway.  She's sending us out from the back rooms and into the bright and piercing sun of daylight, blinking our sensitive eyes against the pain to give you this very important message:

Erika has a lot of books waiting to be read.  A lot.  We could give you a number, but we won't because she says that's bragging and it's impolite.  We also won't go into the definition of the word impolite, nor the word hypocrite.

We digress.

In order to make room for all of the fantastic and exciting Advance Reading Copies she has as well as the books she's been planning to read (gifts, self purchases) she's going to be changing her reading schedule to reflect her dedication to this blog.

ARCs will now be read a little closer to their publication dates.  This should please readers who are compelled to look for a great book and then realize they have to wait another month or two until it's released.

Other review copies (books received specifically for the intent to review) and new releases will have the next priority.

Everything else Erika has her eye on will have the lowest priority, but will be interspersed throughout Priorities 1 and 2 to feed something she calls instant gratification.  Really: you can say in that case, everything's become a priority, but we won't correct her on that.  Let's just keep it between you and us, OK?

Because she wants to continue giving quality reviews, there will probably be one review less each week.  Roughly, she's been churning out 3 or 4, depending on the week, but that will now most likely be 2 or 3.  Remember: she wants you to get quality over quantity.  There has been a bit of a backlog here and she's determined to relieve us of the pressure and work her way steadily into early blindness.  Don't worry--she loves every minute of it.

Happy Reading,

The Jawas

*We apologize to Latin, the language, and its admirers or anyone who actually speaks/writes/reads it well enough to be offended by our creative word play.

P.S. The ladies at The Book Smugglers asked Erika the following question over the weekend, "What do you think Steampunk is?"  Her answer is one of those featured on Steampunk Appreciation Week!

Monday, March 8, 2010

The God Engines by John Scalzi

Title: The God Engines
Author: John Scalzi
Reviewed Format: Subterranean Press Trade hardcover
Release Date: December 31, 2009
Pages: 136

John Scalzi’s best known for a lot of things: his blog, Whatever, where he talks about whatever’s on his mind at the moment, and his Science Fiction series, Old Man’s War, are only a couple.  When he announced his upcoming Fantasy debut in 2009 I was surprised and quickly realized I needed to read a copy as soon as I could.  Not to mention, the cover art for the Subterranean Press hardcover is only a glimpse of the artwork inside.  The God Engines is a fascinating take on Fantasy that really overlaps with Science Fiction enough to please Scalzi fans approaching the book familiar with only Old Man’s War.

Captain Ean Tephe and his crew are on their way back from a failure at Ament Cour aboard the Righteous.  When the book opens, readers are hit with one of the most eye-catching first lines I’ve ever read: “It was time to whip the god” (p. 7).  From there on, there’s little I can say that wouldn’t ruin the book for you, but I’ll try not to; the beauty of this book is in reading it for yourself.  As the title suggests, The God Engines is going to be about something to do with the latter two words: gods and engines; as the first line suggests: the god has done something reproachable.  Scalzi quite literally imagines a time far into our future where the science of space travel has transcended the boundaries between what is quantifiable and what is not.  Space travel is possible on a level entirely different from what we know or typically imagine today; the journeys we still aspire to between and among the stars has transformed and evolved (this is probably not the best word) into the nebulous and almost magical realm of religion.  The gods of Tephe’s universe are given human form as they have been broken and anchored to the only thing that keeps them under control: iron.  With methods unknown to mortals, the gods can draw on the faith of their followers to become the engine of the ships built around their iron prisons.  It’s the particular god on Tephe’s ship that’s gotten a little out of control and begun attacking members of the crew that has him, and the Priest Andso, worried.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Book Faeries - March Edition #1

This may be one of my most favorite Book Faeries post yet!  I was hoping a few more titles would arrive that I've been expecting (orders, special surprises) before I showed you, but alas: there have been delays.  I'm not complaining--far from it!  There's a lot of ARC surprises, birthday presents, and some extra goodies in this entry waiting for you to take a peek inside!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Zoe's Tale by John Scalzi

In lieu of a Weekend Discussion, I am posting my review of Zoe's Tale to promote the giveaway that ends next week. :)

Title: Zoe's Tale, a novel of the Old Man's War Universe
Author: John Scalzi
Reviewed Format: hardcover
Release Date: August 19, 2008
Pages: 336

Sixteen-year old Zoë Boutin Perry is your average teenaged girl.  She has a best friend, a boyfriend, a lovable--if clueless--pet, and two alien bodyguards (whom she, at a much younger age, named Hickory and Dickory) trained and prepared to eliminate any and all threats to her well-being.  I guess Zoë has a couple of things that separate her from the average teenager after all.  Fans of John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War Trilogy will recognize Zoë as the adopted daughter of Jane and John Perry and a young woman who became rather pivotal in the plot of both The Ghost Brigades and The Last Colony.  Zoë’s Tale is, in fact, a book that parallels The Last Colony but isn’t really dependent on it or the trilogy to sustain the narrative.  It’s a witty and intelligent addition to the existing Old Man’s War library that not only illuminates large swathes of plot before left shrouded in mystery, but does it from the point of view of a teenage girl--an experience John Scalzi admits, he has never had.

For as much as I read and review them, I still consider myself new to YA books. Also: I’m picky; I’ll only read YA titles if they’re Fantasy of Science Fiction, otherwise I lose interest very quickly.  Despite this, I think I’ve developed a good idea of what a smart and sharp YA protagonist should sound like.  That and let’s not forget: I was once a teenage girl.  Taking both factors into consideration I would like to say I think John Scalzi did a great job!  Zoë is incredibly self-aware, articulate, and has a wicked sense of humor.  There are enough diversions and digressions into fights with Gretchen (best friend) or Magdy (boyfriend’s best friend), PDA-deprived boredom, and singing contests to temper the maturity she exhibits quite spectacularly throughout the narrative.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

A Reminder

There is one more week to enter for your chance to win Andre Norton nominee Zoe's Tale by John Scalzi.

At the moment, the contest is open to US residents only, but if I hit 50 followers I will make it open to international contestants as well.  Since the contest opened, I've gained close to 30 new followers.  I'm flattered and shocked!  Thank you everyone who's joined JRT so far.

I would like to take this post to remind you of a two other points:

1.  Only 3 people have correctly entered the contest.  Please remember there are rules to abide by, information I must get from you in order to consider your entry for the prize!

2.  Zoe's Tale is an Old Man's War book.  That is to say, it's part of the collective series, but does not necessarily need to be read after Scalzi's OMW trilogy.  It does stand alone well by itself.

I'm currently reading the book and will post my review over the weekend.  Here is a hint: it's absolutely fantastic!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Dark Life (ARC) by Kat Falls

Title: Dark Life
Author: Kat Falls
Reviewed Format: UK Advance Reading Copy
Release Date: April 29, 2010 (May 1, 2010 in the US)
Pages: 304

Imagine that we didn’t live long enough for scientists to prove Global Warming true--nature takes care of that for us.  In her upcoming novel Dark Life, new author Kat Falls tackles this issue with a world broken by tumultuous waves and overwhelmed by rising ocean levels.  The East Coast has fallen off the United States (and we all thought it’d be California) into an eerie deep sea canyon; it’s a myth whether anyone’s ever been down to see it.  Armed with more wit than weapon, Ty Townson is exploring Coldsleep Canyon to seek the truth when a derelict sub catches his attention.  What he finds inside is a strange Topsider girl, lots of blood, and a member of the Seablite Gang--a group of rogue pioneers turned pirate, raiding supply ships and scaring the locals.  The three have more in common than he realizes.  Now Ty and his fellow Benthic Territory pioneers face more than just worries over the local harvest.  The Commonwealth has stopped all supplies to the burgeoning underwater city unless they capture or debilitate the Seablite Gang.

Dark Life reads more MG than YA at times with more action than reflection and more dialogue than exposition.  This bothered me at first.  I couldn’t find a balance between what I wanted out of the book and what I kept getting.  For all that we’re privy to Ty’s point of view, we don’t get much, if any, internal dialogue or more than quick, cursory emotional checks.  I was a little disappointed, if only because in all the SF/F YA titles being published lately, it’s rare to find one from a boy’s perspective.  Here was a great opportunity to step outside of what I’ve become so familiar with.  I suppose it’s because I’ve become used to something deeper than the shallow (not in the worst sense of the word--I mean here only that Falls just seemed to skim the surface) exploration of Ty portrayed through the narrative.  The most engrossing thing about him was the secrecy surrounding his earlier visits to the doctor.  Other than this, I’d have to say, I wasn’t too impressed with Ty.  He did perk up when Gemma came around, though.  I can’t say whether this type of approach, where dialogue and action take precedence over exposition, is characteristic of younger texts or not (if it is, and even if it isn’t, this is not necessarily a bad thing), but the lack of description to the extent I’m used to in YA books made Dark Life feel a little younger.  It doesn’t ingratiate the text too well for my sensibilities, though.  It felt more like I was watching a movie.  Coincidentally, I do believe Dark Life is going to be made into a film.  Not so coincidentally, Kat Falls teaches screenwriting--an interest that’s extremely evident in the way the narrative is executed.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Rosemary and Rue: An October Daye Novel by Seanan McGuire (Also: It's my birthday!)

I decided to give you a book review today.  You could say I'm celebrating my special day by sharing one of my (so far) most exciting reads of 2010!

Title:  Rosemary and Rue: An October Daye Novel
Author:  Seanan McGuire
Reviewed Format:  mass market paperback
Release Date:  September 1, 2009
Pages: 368

October “Toby” Daye--or “Tobes” as I prefer to call her (thank you, Julie!) is in a unique position.  She’s half faerie, half human with little to none of the benefits of either and all of the consequences of each.  Her magical abilities are so limited that any exertion on enchantments and the like makes her ill; unlike pureblood Faeries, Tobes (yes, I’ll be referring to her in the rest of the review with that name.  That’s how much I like it) won’t get to live in immortal boredom.  Sure, she has a longer than average life span compared to regular humans, but what’s a couple of hundred years when she could have eons?  Aside from these two rather annoying side effects of her pedigree, Tobes has other things to consider: the underside of most pureblood noses (or other olfactory organs) who see Changelings like Tobes as less than worthy of the air space, much less their attention.  It’s all Tobes can do to ignore their gross prejudice, cozy up to the more enlightened groups of Faerie-infested San Francisco and the greater Northern California Bay Area (ah, home), and earn her living working as a P.I.--Fae services for hire.

It figures she’d get into trouble on assignment for a dear friend, spend the next 14 years of her life as a fish and come back only to find her human partner and quarter Fae daughter don’t buy her bogus story (not to mention: she can’t exactly tell them the truth).  Now Tobes is working the evening shift at the local Safeway (a grocery store) and on her own in an apartment with two Siamese cats as roommates doing everything in her power to stay out from under the Faerie radar.  Considering where she lives, that’s about as impossible as it is inevitable that the story must go on!  When Tobes comes home from work one morning there’s a strange series of messages on her machine, all from the same person.  Since it’s a Faerie Tobes hasn’t had any dealings with in awhile, she’s wary and hesitant.  Before too late, there’s been a murder and Tobes has more important matters warring for her attention than hungry cats, angry managers, or demanding landlords.

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