Thursday, June 30, 2005

In the Coils of the Snake

Clare Dunkle. I first received a copy of Hollow Kingdom from VOYA to review last year. I looked at the cover and groaned to my friend Jen about fantasy books. Bad cover. Really bad cover. But I had to read it because I had a review to write.
So I started it on the boat on my way home from school.
I finished it on the boat on my way back to school.
It was that good.
Then VOYA sent along the second in the series, Close Kin. I was excited that Linda was letting me review the series, especially since I didn't get credit for the first review! I gave it a 5Q rating (the highest there is) and someone named Sarah was listed as the reviewer. Oh well.
Now Linda sent me the last in the series.
Another amazing book. It has been 30 years since Close Kin (in the goblin world ...not real life), and Marak is ready to die. His son is being prepped to take on the kingdom, and Marak has even gone to the trouble of finding his son a bride. Traditionally the goblin kings have to steal their brides (preferably elf...sometimes human) to take them below the earth for the rest of their lives. Marak has basically raised Miranda since she was a baby. She is fully fluent in goblin, and has a home life that is making her long to be locked underground as a king's wife.
Marak brings Miranda to his world, and then he dies. The day that she is to be married to Marak Catspaw, the elves return. This time they are led by the mysterious and powerful Nir. And the way that Miranda has been raised has in no way prepared her for the fate to come.

Just as fast paced and exciting as the first enstallment, ITCOTS is a wonderful ending to an amazing story!

Sunday, June 12, 2005


Being a social worker must be a drag. Really. My sister is a sw, so I have heard some of her stories, but E.R. Frank is the queen of the sad story.

Wrecked begins..."The day I killed my brother's girlfriend started with me handpicking leaves off our front lawn". Seriously. The first line.

I almost put it down, but remembered the amazing voices of Life is Funny and kept reading.

Anna is such an interesting character. The reader must wonder if her quirks came less from the accident and more from the years and years of her father's yelling and pushing buttons.
Anna's best friend Ellen is a stand-out and I was left wanting more of her story as well.
I have a crush on Seth.

Again, I love reading the arcs because it feels so great to read early, but then I feel too bad to put lots of plot on here. So I can only leave you with my general impressions.

This is a sad, sad story...but not sad in a Lurlene McDaniel way. Sad in a compassionate and compelling way. You will want to know Anna, and you will want to know how she gets through everything that is put upon her plate.

I would recommend this to anyone who liked Life is Funny, or even 33 Snowfish, by Rapp.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Capt. Hook

What a grand adventure indeed.

I do not profess to be an expert on Peter Pan. I probably know the main points of the story, and I have read books lately like Peter and the Star Catchers. But when I was at BookExpo and saw the cover of Capt. Hook, I knew I had to read it!

I have always been the fan of the villian. In Disney, there are none better than Cruella and Malificent.

James Matthew Bastard is dropped off at Eton by his Aunt Emily. His bastard status preceded him...his father is a Lord and his mother is unknown. His pale skin and Charles II style hair-do set him apart as well.

How does he get from Eton to infamous?

Through a series of adventures involving befriending Roger Peter Davis (Jolly R), exposing his yellow blood, training a pet spider named Electra, being the best swordsman around, attempting to kidnap the Sultana Annanova, and being sent to sea for seven years!

J.V. Hart has out-Snicketed Snicket with the play of language, and use of slang that rolls so sweetly off the tongue. ("scugs", "ripping", "a bit of the various"). This book is begging to be read aloud. Don't be fooled, though. It's not for the young reader. The vocabulary is high, as is the emotional content (dealing with "bastard" status, to hazing, to the slave trade). One of my favourite quotes that sums up Hook is found on page 63 of the arc:

"This was the fear James had to face throughout his days, that amorphous abyss between what people say they want and what lengths they are actually willing to go to, to risk achieving their heart's desire"

I really would like to meet James Matthew!

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Holy Cow. Book Expo.

It's like ALA on steroids AND speed! I went with colleagues and friends, Jen, Margaret and Karyn and Sarah. We did the split up, and go through the booths and grab the galleys thing, and we did the autograph thing as well. I got books signed by Tomie de Paola, Mark Teague, Rosemary Wells, Adrian Tomine(!!!), Libba Bray and a couple more. We talked to some of Jen's publishing buddies as well.
But mostly we got trampled! My 7 month pregnant self garnered no pity or extra space from those in the book biz! I was happy to leave, lug my galleys to school, drop them off and meet some friends at Cowgirl Hall of Fame for some well deserved grub.

Look forward to hearing about some of the following books...

Capt. Hook, by J.V. Hart (I am VERY excited about this one and started it on the ferry last night!)
I, Coriander, by Sally Gardner
Spook, by Mary Roach (Stiff was soooo good...I have high hopes for this one!)
The Witch of Cologne, by Tobsha Learner

I do have more, but decided only to bring one backpack's worth home last night!