The Story of Owen by E.K. Johnston: I really enjoyed this one; it’s best for the kind of reader who likes books that take their time, with plenty of attention to details of world and character. It’s fresh, unexpectedly funny, and a bit heart-wrenching. I very much liked how Johnston resists the easy and cliched in favor of a more interesting take on dragon, relationships, and friends. Plus, there’s a Canadian setting, and what I swear is a Doctor Who joke.
Destroyer by C.J. Cherryh: Reading the cover copy for this one stressed me out–no joke! And the next one looks EVEN WORSE. As a reading experience, this one was a bit frustrating, because we were so close to getting some closure with the whole Barb thing–so close to seeing her as a real person, as opposed to Bren’s biased view of her. But it didn’t quite happen. Maybe it will? I am more hopeful than I was, anyway. And the political stuff and new understanding of the atevi world view is all really fascinating and well-done. I wonder, just as a question of process, if Cherryh understands more about the atevi than she lets on, or whether she writes herself into it.
The Wolf Hunt by Gillian Bradshaw: I’ve been thinking for a few years that someone really needs to write some YA retellings of the Lais of Marie de France. Well, there’s one out there, Wolfborn, as well as this adult book by Bradshaw, which could probably be a cross-over. Both are using the Bisclavret story, which is certainly one of the more dramatic ones. Bradshaw is, of course, a wonderful writer of historical fiction, and she deals well with the fantastic elements of the story (I’m sure the biology is iffy, but I don’t personally tend to notice these things). Eline is not at all sympathetic, but the main characters attempt to deal with her with sympathy and kindness. All in all, this isn’t one I loved, but I did appreciate it.