Thursday, July 21, 2011

I Didn't Mean to Be Away for So Long

Mostly because it means I now have about a zillion books I need to post on. Hmmm...maybe I'll break the list down into a handful of parts and spread it out over the next few posts. I think my typing fingers might appreciate that.

'The Familiars: Secrets of the Crown' by Adam Jay Epstein and Andrew Jacobson is the second in a MR trilogy about a trio of magical animals. I completely loved the first one, and thought this second entry was good. Unfortunately, this second volume ends on a cliffhanger, which pretty much annoys the hell out of me, but seems to be par for the course in series novels. But, if you've read the first one (which I highly recommend), you'll probably want to read this one, if for no other reason than to revisit some favorite characters. And, because bunnies are evil, which Epstein and Jacobson are apparently well aware of.

Kiersten White's 'Paranormalcy' was one of my favorite debuts of last year, and 'Supernaturally' totally lived up to the promise of that first novel. And, though the story isn't done, this middle volume didn't feel like a middle book. It was a story in and of itself, with enough information about what happened in 'Paranormalcy' scattered throughout that I could easily bring that first book to mind, but didn't feel like I had to wade through a book report-style plot summary. (And that completely made sense in my head.) I'm really looking forward to the third novel. White planted enough seeds of...something in this one that I know there's some big picture out there, but I have no idea what it might be and am curious as bleep to find out.

'All the Earth, Thrown to the Sky' is Joe R. Lansdale's first foray into Young Adult literature and I just have to say it's about damned time. Lansdale is a great storyteller, no matter what genre he chooses to work in (and I think he's worked in them all, except maybe Romance), so it's no surprise that this is yet another compelling yarn. It's set during the Dust Bowl years and centers on three kids whose lives have pretty much sucked and who decide, now that all their parents are out of the picture, to hit the road in search of something better. Along the way, they meet up with mobsters and hoboes and circus people. It's a little Steinbeck and a little 'Paper Moon' and all Lansdale. I'm not sure how wide an audience it will attract, but I'm pretty sure it won't be as widely-read as it should be. It's a good story, well told.

Well, I've got at least six more on my list, one of which is Neal Stephenson's nearly 1000 page 'REAMDE', so I think I'll stop now. I hope to get caught up next week sometime, but the week after may be more realistic.

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