Sunday, February 19, 2012

A week in books

I managed three books this week:

Marie Lu's Legend, which I quite enjoyed, once I stopped trying to look for Les Miserables parallels (she said she was inspired by imagining what Les Mis might look like today, but I think she was drawing on a superficial look at Javert and Val Jean's relationship). But enjoyed the main characters and I thought Lu did a nice job building the suspense and mystery.

Lindsey Leavitt, Sean Griswold's Head. Aside from the sort of grisly sounding title, this was actually a fun read. The main character, Payton Gritas, has recently discovered her father has MS, and her normally organized life goes into a tailspin. To help her, the school counselor suggests she picks a focus object, and Payton picks--Sean's head. As she studies his head (and him) she discovers all sorts of things she didn't know about the boy she's sat behind for years. While the MS angle adds some depth to the story, mostly I thought it was a light, quick read.

Laini Taylor, Daughter of Smoke and Bone. I had mixed feelings about this. Taylor's writing is gorgeous and I was often drawn in just by the prose. I loved the initial premise--Karou is an art student in Prague, who happens to have blue hair (it grows that way, after a childhood wish) and who was raised by chimaeras, part-beast, part human creatures, led by Brimstone who collects teeth of all sorts. Karou has a funky friend and a creepy ex-boyfriend and her life seems complicated enough between school and running errands all over the world to get teeth for Brimsone, not to mention the unexplained tatoos on her hands or her persistent sense of loneliness and not-wholeness. But then they discover a series of burnt handprints on doorways near all the portals Karou uses, and it's clear that the angels are back and have targeted the chimeras. From that point, the story gets more complicated. As I said, it was beautifully written and I enjoyed it on that level alone. Taylor also draws an intense romance. But I felt underwhelmed by the revelation about who Karou actually is.

Now, I'm working on Orson Scott Card's Lost Gate--and we'll see what comes next!

1 comment:

  1. I have Daughter of Smoke and Bone on my tablet just waiting for me, sitting right next to Scorpio Races. Just not enough time in the day!