Erin’s 2013 reading list

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  • #210309
    ErinMH
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    Steampunk romance in an alternate history that I had trouble believing in. As long as I decided to just accept the world as it was, the story was lots of fun. The twist at the end was completely expected, but still well executed.

    (And the entire reason I picked this book up is because I love the phoenix tattoo on her cheek on the cover, and my muse wanted to use it as a springboard for a completely different kind of story.)

    #210310
    ErinMH
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    A deep investigation into what it means to be real, a continuation of the excellent tale begun in LIBRIOMANCER, and a complex emotional piece where I found myself wanting so many different and mutually exclusive things to happen. The ending is classic second-in-a-trilogy, on a par with The Empire Strikes Back. The character I had the least sympathy for in this book was Gutenberg, who claims to be a good guy. The devourers are back, and they have we dingos and metal monsters and a man who loved his son on their side. Meanwhile, we have Isaac working at understanding magic and libriomancy more thoroughly, and pushing himself to his limits and beyond once again.

    An excellent follow-up. I eagerly await the third book!

    #210311
    ErinMH
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    I loved the art (mostly — the images of badgers kissing as humans do just looked weird because their moths aren’t at the very front of the muzzle), and Bryan Talbot did a very nice job of weaving different historical threads together into a cohesive story. However,the political ideology struck me as especially heavy-handed, making Baron Krapaud more caricature than character. I might check out more of Talbot’s work, but I’m probably not going to go out of my way to do so.

    #210312
    ErinMH
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    Honestly, I probably should give this five stars. I love Vern. I love the DragonEye PI world. I love the movie Karina Fabian pays homage to. I love the depth of Vern’s feelings for Sister Grace, as well as the way Fabian shows us a different side of the world than she has so far.

    In fact, the only complaint I have about it is it felt too short and reads much too quickly. Definitely recommended.

    (Gave this four of five stars on GoodReads.)

    #210313
    ErinMH
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    It was free in mid-July on Kindle, and I couldn’t resist. I’ve never read all the Sandman books, so grabbing the first one and reading it was something I couldn’t resist.

    I loved it, of course. And maybe I’ll treat myself to the rest of them for my birthday or something. ;)

    #210314
    ErinMH
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    I just reread this book. I needed something long and thoughtful, lyrical, deep, and complex to let my brain chew on, and this filled the bill — even knowing what was coming, even being able to see the misdirection this time, I was still caught up in the magic of the coin tricks, the cons and the grifts.

    I still have questions — Are Shadow and Sam related at some level? Why do the buffalo, thunderbird, and Whiskey Jack react as they do toward the end? Does Horus head back to Cairo? (Okay, that last one’s pretty minor.) I’d also like to see more in this world (guess it’s time to reread Anansi Boys too), but that’s mostly because it is the kind of complex world and story I wanted.

    It may be a while before I reread it again, but I have no doubt that I will.

    #210315
    ErinMH
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    A fun read, part of what the Titans went through after the Identity Crisis — this is what happens when Cyborg wakes back up. As with most comics, it makes the most sense if you have some knowledge of the history of the Titans.

    #210316
    ErinMH
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    Finally got around to this. I’ve read some of the short stories in anthologies, and I read Magic Burns (checked it out from the library). Nice solid urban fantasy set in an indeterminate nearish future.

    #210317
    ErinMH
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    Second book in the series. Realized the fourth book is the one I’ve read before. Quite enjoying the series.

    #210318
    ErinMH
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    A reread. I skipped over the third book to read this one because this one was in paperback, so goes faster than the audio I have to use for the third.

    #210319
    ErinMH
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    I told my husband that the strangest thing about this book was that I kept reading it. It’s a wonderful book, with great plotting and twists and turns, and amazing characters who all have goals — big goals. But it’s clearly set up to be a tragedy. One of the first things you learn in the book is that Blue has known since she was a little girl that she would kiss her true love and he would die. Now she’s sixteen and getting involved with boys — one of whom she’s seen as a ghost and one of whom wants to date her. Chekhov’s gun and all that — before the end of this book series, I know Blue is going to kiss a boy and he will die — and I will cry my eyes out when it happens. But still, knowing it’s coming, the story and characters are so compelling that I have to keep going. (Next book up: book 2, The Dream Thieves.)

    For the record, this book is not a tragedy, but there are definitely loose ends and unexplored avenues to come. Loved this.

    #210320
    ErinMH
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    A wonderful follow-up to the first book. Characters are deeper, more faceted. Secrets are explored — some become clearer, while some become more complex and hidden. Blue gets closer to her future tragedy, and hope and fear ride side by side, twisting around each other in the story.

    The one inconsistency I did find was that through most of the book, swearing was described — but then in a few places, it was actually used, and it felt like a mistake, something overlooked along the way.

    There are not many books where someone can be accepted at face value when he introduces himself as a hit man, let alone such books that also have talking trees, magical car replicas, and a dragon. And as cool as all those things are, it’s still the characters I love this book (as well as the preceding one) for.

    #210321
    ErinMH
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    A promising start to the prequel. I have not read all the Sandman issues (some year, I will), but I’ve read a few, and it’s cool to get a glimpse into what came before. I most especially liked the gathering at the end of this issue.

    #210322
    ErinMH
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    I fell in love with this book when I was in elementary school, and then I forgot about it as I got older. I went looking for it again when my son was in third grade. Now, reading it out loud to my kids is an annual tradition.

    It’s a book that was made for reading aloud, honestly. Ray Bradbury’s writing is poetic, and many passages depend on the rhythm of repetition, the assonance, or the consonance in the description. When my son read it to himself, he was bored. When he hears it aloud, it lives for him.

    The characters are primarily sketches, not fleshed out deeply with any real differences between them, a pack of eleven- and twelve-year-old boys, out for a night of trick-or-treat, who are worried about their friend who couldn’t come with them. They explore ideas and customs about death, fall, winter, and the death of the sun and its rebirth throughout history. This is definitely a book about ideas and parallels, signs and symbols, rather than people — although the sacrifice at the end, the loyalty of friends, is always touching.

    This was the first year my daughter participated in the annual reading, and some of the passages were very scary for her — not as much when they were read as later at night, when they came out in her dreams. Still, she enjoyed it very much and had no intention of stopping listening. I would recommend other parents interested in sharing this with their kids honestly assess how ready their kids are for the content.

    #210323
    ErinMH
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    Final episode came today, and I really waffled about how to rate this. Every Tuesday, I’ve been “Is this an update Tuesday?” and I rush through each episode. But for today’s episode, I didn’t feel like it was me rushing. I felt as though there should have been something more in the climax or the dénouement or both. It’s not just the feeling of not wanting to leave a story’s world after a really good read; it’s more like it was cut short. Maybe it’s the number of secondary characters who are still hanging around, unresolved? Maybe I want a little more monologuing from my villains, some explanation of the use they’re going to put the Doomsday Device to?

    Overall, it’s a very good read, and I’ll probably reread it in time, but it’s not my favorite of Ms McGuire’s works.

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