Monday, November 24, 2014

Literary Lundi #2

Another week has gone by so here I am to tell you about what I've been reading!

Books Acquired:

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers-- This is the first book in a series I'd heard good things about.

Yes Please by Amy Poehler (audio)-- Yep, decided to go with this for my next audiobook.

The Edible Woman by Margaret Atwood (audio)-- I had really enjoyed The Handmaid's Tale, plus this was an Audible daily deal and I know I'll need something before I get my next credit.

Books Finished:

The Book of Strange New ThingsThe Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was anticipating this book quite a bit because the plot sounded similar to one of my favorite books, The Sparrow. There are some surface similarities (basically, a missionary to an alien planet), but they aren't at all the same book. Overall, I like The Sparrow better because it is more plot driven and I think does a better job of addressing certain religious questions, but I still really liked this one. It is much more about characters and relationships. The missionary had to leave his wife to go on this journey, and things don't go very well at home for her. I think I was hoping for a stronger religious aspect as well as more of a reveal. Yes, there are a few things we don't know until later on but nothing like the sucker punch toward the end of The Sparrow. So, maybe I shouldn't have had that comparison in my head, because nothing else can be that book and this one certainly has merit in its own right. I just don't think a person who loved The Sparrow would necessarily also love this one because they are doing very different things.

I read the audiobook and the narration was really good. The author does several different accents, and his voice for the aliens is fantastic. My understanding is that in the print version, symbols are used in place of the letters they can't say (I might not have this exactly right). The reader does such a good job of the alien accent; I just loved it.

I'm almost hesitant to label this sci-fi, because it really isn't a science fiction story. The man could just as easily have been in an unexplored, isolated corner of the Earth and I don't think it would change much. Anyway, it's a strong novel, although not entirely what I was expecting.

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The Silent Deal (The Card Game, #1)The Silent Deal by Levi Stack
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Most of the YA I read takes place in fantasy worlds or postapocalyptic wastelands. The Silent Deal's setting? 1840s Russia, the town of Aryk. Isolated and covered in strange grafitti, populated by serfs, and, oh, yeah--playing cards are illegal. Viktor and his new buddy Romulus, a mysterious boy who lives in the woods and won't reveal his past, try to find out just what went on in their town--where did the graffiti come from, why are there so few children, and what is the secret that all the adults seem to know?

I went through this pretty quickly. The plot moves forward at a good pace, and there are many interesting characters. There is nothing in this to make it inappropriate for middle grade/younger YA, although the plot can be a bit complicated so I think it would be a good recommendation for advanced readers/thinkers who maybe aren't ready for older content. It's the first in a series, and the plot is wrapped up while still leaving several mysteries to be solved in the subsequent books--no cliffhanger, but we still only know a small part of what is going on.

I received my copy free from the author and am looking forward to reading the second book in the series.

View all my reviews

Currently Reading:

Yes Please by Amy Poehler-- I'm getting through this pretty quickly (on audio) and it's great! She reads it, of course, and it's funny, sad, heartfelt--definitely a must for fans of the celebrity memoir.

The Antiquarian by Julian Sanchez-- Hunter and I have this joke that every book we read has the word "palimpsest" in it. Seeing as how this book involves a centuries-old manuscript whose contents are worth murdering for, I will be sorely disappointed if "palimpsest" doesn't make an appearance.

Next Up:

Well, I already have my next audiobook, so that's settled. As far as regular books go, I think it's time for another non-fiction. Maybe something more historical or humanities, since the last nonfic I read was math-based. I'll have to look and see what I have in my library.

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