Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Ecclectic Collection

The Long Afternoon of Earth, by Brian Aldiss. This little book took me a week by itself: it wasn't exactly fun to read. I felt bad for it because it hadn't been checked out in 15 years; turns out there was a reason for that. While the imagery is good and the ideas of earth's future are interesting to think about, the writing drags. You could eat a bag of coffee beans and this would still put you to sleep in about 5 minutes. I slogged through, but I'm not sure it was worth it.

One Night to be Sinful, by Samantha Garver. I stole this from the lending library, in preparation for having my husband abandon me for the entirety of Valentine's Day. In the class of more respectable smut, this book's language, grammar, and writing style were kept to a level somewhat better than "horrendous," a word which can usually be applied to "romance" novels. The characters may be nearly realistic, but the plot is anything but.

Edge of Twilight, by Maggie Shayne. From the writing, it felt like there ought to be preceding works, but the cover and inside pages didn't specify. In an effort to combine sensational fantasy with "romance," this author mooned traditional fantasy ideas and literature. While the story was interesting in a way, it cannot be included in mainstream vampire literature, the rules of which it shuns. There were fragments.

Charming the Highlander, by Janet Chapman. Continuing in the mini-theme of smut books, I am again reminded that crap like this makes me all the more thankful for stuff that's actually good: hurrah for full sentences, plots that make sense, and believable characters, none of which are found here. Why can no romance novel characters ever actually say what they think? Oh, because then there would be no story.

Poison Study, by Maria V. Snyder. The story was good, but it has a few problems. The main character, while interesting and realistic, feels to be about 15, even though it says she is 19. Her youthful personality and niavety do not jive with some of her adult actions. Still, she's not bad. The other main character is kept too aloof from the other characters, so many of his actions are surprising, not in the good, plot-twist sense, but the bad, out-of-the-blue, because-the-author-said-so sense. Those are kind of a big deal, but the plot is interesting and the writing fairly good otherwise, so I will read the sequel shortly.

Thud!, by Terry Pratchett. Good, as always, I was yet saddened by this book's lack of totally memorable lines. While very funny, and sometimes very poignant, this fell a bit short of most of his previous works. It seemed less insightful than normal; I got the feeling the author was rushed, or maybe just working on a story, not the usual societal commentary. Although still funny and well-written, it's not up to par.

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