April book list

Into the Wild by Sarah Beth Durst: Fairy tale characters who have escaped from the Wild have to combat it with the help of Julie, Rapunzel’s daughter. I liked the concept of this one, but wasn’t ever in love with it. It’s not that the book itself was shallow, but I was never particularly touched by it.

Soulless by Gail Carriger: Victorian vampires and werewolves. I liked the fact that the werewolves had an actual society and weight of their own–that is, they weren’t just there to be a counterpart for the vampires–but I wasn’t convinced by the setting and the hero was not the type that I usually go for.

Hexwood by Diana Wynne Jones: This is one of my favorite DWJ books–I love the way it weaves together Arthurian myths and completely mad scifi, while at the same time being a perfectly good story. I’m not sure that it would be to everyone’s taste, since it takes a while to get what’s going on, but I love it.

Gifts by Ursula Le Guin: Really nice YA fantasy, with a setting that reminds me of the Highlands. Reviewed {here}.

The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell: I sort of ran out of time and didn’t formally review this one, but I loved it! At first I was majorly skeptical, given the rise in books that pretend to be Victorian but are actually just modern books in period clothing. But Mitchell absolutely nails the voice from the very beginning of the book and, despite the fact that I’m not usually a fan of love at first sight, I totally bought the relationship. I also loved the description of the magic and the way that Amelia interacts with it.

Black Hole Sun by David MacInnis Gill: Set on a future Mars, this is a nice adventure story. I didn’t ever quite tip over into love, but I also read it in bits and pieces. The world is a really interesting one and I believe there’ll be more to the story, which I would definitely read. I think my hesitation here was largely not fully connecting to the characters, and if the second book can make them and their relationships a little more real, I think I’d really love it.

Among Others by Jo Walton: Love, love, LOVE this book. Reviewed {here}.

The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge: I’m a huge Goudge fan, but hadn’t actually read this one before. It’s odd because it’s clearly fantasy, and yet it’s also so very clearly Goudge–her voice, her descriptions, her concerns. I don’t think it’ll ever be my favorite of her younger books (Smoky House, for the record) but I did enjoy it a lot.

Voices by Ursula Le Guin: Sequel to Gifts, and set in quite a different landscape. I did like it, partly because I’ve always liked stories set after the war is over. Somehow I ended up identifying more with the Waylord than with Memer, though I liked her a lot as well. There were a number of lovely images here, and I was very satisfied with the resolution.

Birthmarked by Caragh M. O’Brian: This one suffered a lot from my being Done with dystopias and girls with scars and people who should have realized how silly their society is a long time ago. I could see someone else liking it a lot, but at the moment it just wasn’t my cup of tea.

Cousin Kate by Georgette Heyer: This one is very eerie in places, but also quite fun and even a bit swoony.

The Saint of the Prisons: A biography of Valeriu Gafencu, Romanian martyr under Communism. Quite an amazing story.

A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Giditz: I’m always in favor of fairy tale re-tellings, or re-workings. This one did something interesting by tying together a number of different Grimm stories by using Hansel and Gretel in all of them. I didn’t mind the direct address of the narrator, but again (I feel like I’m saying this a lot this month) I never quite fell in love with it.

The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova: Weaker than The Historian, in my opinion. Reviewed {here}.

The Red Glove by Holly Black: Cassel is back, and possibly even more awesome than before. I cannot wait for book three. Reviewed {here}.

By These Ten Bones by Clare B. Dunkle: Several people had reviewed this one recently, so I thought I’d pick it up. Set in some version of Highland Scotland (I was never completely clear on time period), I liked it a lot, particularly the different take on one of the more over-done fantasy creatures.

The King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner: I decided to re-read KoA because I needed to see how to write a really long scene from multiple perspectives, something Turner does brilliantly. Then I forgot what I was reading for and just read. This book: so awesome. Every. Single. Time. This time through, I really noticed Sejanus and Dite and how their relationship plays out and is just beautiful and heartbreaking. Gaah, MWT is amazing.

Where the Broken Heart Still Beats by Carolyn Meyer: The story of Cynthia Ann Parker, who was captured by the Comanche and later recaptured by white settlers. Told in alternating chapters by Lucy Parker, her cousin, and from Cynthia Ann’s own viewpoint, it’s a different and sad look at relationships between Native Americans and settlers in Civil War era Texas.

Brain Jack by Brian Falkner: This book was unexpectedly awesome. It was misshelved as jFic at my library (it’s pretty clearly YA by every test out there), so I was expecting something younger at first. But Sam is a great narrator and I love the way Falkner describes the way the characters interact with computers. It’s absolutely poetic and it allowed me, who knows very little about that level of programming, to understand what was going on and to connect emotionally to what would have otherwise been a very dry story. I did feel that the ending was a tad too good to be true, but that’s a minor complaint. This is a fun and fascinating book.


Filed under bookish posts, monthly book list, reviews

6 responses to “April book list

  1. I love Elizabeth Goudge… 🙂

  2. Pingback: Diana Wynne Jones | By Singing Light

  3. Pingback: Megan Whalen Turner | By Singing Light

  4. Pingback: Historical Fantasies: Medieval and Renaissance Europe | By Singing Light

  5. Pingback: Historical Fantasies: Victorian era | By Singing Light

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