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Friday, April 21, 2017

Book Round-Up

The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters by Gordon Dahlquist: What an odd book this was.  It's Victorian steampunk, which I love, but the story is more twisted and ugly than I expected. I didn't love the novel (the first of a trilogy, natch) -- way too long, with too many repetitive and unnecessary action scenes -- but Dahlquist has some intriguing ideas and a good writing style so I will keep reading for now.

Deep Secret by Diana Wynne Jones: What a fun, enjoyable novel this was!  With very little exposition and traditional world-building, Jones nonetheless created a vivid story involving magic and technology, unconventional heroes, multiple worlds, a decaying empire, an a wacky sci-fi convention.  Some elements are a little dated (the portable, magical fax machine cracked me up), but I loved this novel and I was sorry when I finished it.

The Drowning Spool by Monica Ferris: The seventeenth (!) needlecraft mystery wasn't quite as good as the others.  Ferris did an admirable job detailing characters who aren't perfect or don't make great choices but nonetheless deserve justice, but I missed the regular characters, and the mystery itself was forgettable.  She also appears to have dropped the potential storylines she hinted at in the last book, which is too bad.

Hip-Hop Family Tree Book 1 by Ed Piskor: The first comic book in a series that will detail the history of hip-hop.  There's not much of a traditional narrative because Piskor opted to take a more fragmented, impressionistic approach, but that serves the thesis -- that hip-hop resulted from the confluence of many disparate trends, people, and circumstances -- well.

Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen: Another lovely, comforting read from Allen, whose description of a hot, humid Southern summer practically caused my hair to frizz.  I think the characters were too blasé about a major reveal late in the book, but I especially loved her portrayal of Selma, a character that in other novels would have been a one-dimensional villain.

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