transmission
29Jul/17Off

volvo?

Fangirl

Rainbow Rowell

This is a book I've reviewed before. This time I split between the physical and audio versions of the book. I read more in the physical version because I got caught up in the story again. While very enjoyable the audiobook just didn't move fast enough once I was pulled in. While still a very enjoyable book on this read I felt like it wasn't quite as impressive as I remembered it being so I've knocked it down to A-

Rating: A-

28Jul/17Off

cigars?

The Magicians of Caprona

Diana Wynne Jones

Caprona is a small Italian city state famous for the warring magical Montana and Petrocchi families. The story follows the youngest boys of the Montana household, Paolo and Tonino, as the feud between the families escalate. When the families fail to come together to find the spell that will save Caprona from an enemy Enchanter and the forces of other city states the younger family members band together to save the day.
I've read this book many times before and reviewed it here once. One of the first few Chrestomanci novels this is a highly entertaining piece of YA fantasy. It doesn't quite hit the highs of Witch Week or Charmed Life but that may just be down to personal preference. I highly recommend Diana Wynne Jones to anyone and this is as good a starting point as any.

Rating: A-

28Feb/17Off

concrete?

Wishful Drinking

Carrie Fisher

Only a few days ago I nearly bought a physical copy of this book in a bargain bookstore.
Since I've just a had a big clear out of books I didn't want to start adding new books to my shelves.
Imagine my delight when I saw it pop up in the Kindle Daily Deals on Amazon. Especially because I had a credit that meant I could get the book for nothing!
Wishful Drinking is a book adaptation of Fisher's successful one-man show of the same name.
It's a mostly hilarious, occasionally moving piece of autobiography. The best parts are when she talks about her family and her battles with mental illness but it's never less than entertaining.
Given it's stage show origins it's not surprising that it's a little on the short side but it's still very much worth reading - especially if you can pick it up at a bargain price.

Rating: A-

27Mar/16Off

pho?

Me, Earl & The Dying Girl

Jesse Andrews

me, earl and the dying girlI read this after watching the film adaptation. I really enjoyed the film and I started to wonder how much of the weirdness of the characters actually came from the source material.
It turns out that it's a pretty straightforward adaptation of a wonderfully quirky novel.
Unlike the last book I read about a teenager with cancer this is significantly less manipulative of the reader's emotions.
I recommend both the book and the film if you like heightened reality in your contemporary YA entertainment

Rating: A-

9Feb/16Off

beetroot?

Johnny and the Bomb

Terry Pratchett

johnny-and-the-bomb-largeThe final Johnny Maxwell book finds Johnny and his friends find themselves travelling to 1941 thanks to the contents of bag lady Mrs Tachyon's shopping trolley and caught up in events as German planes bomb their home town.
Pratchett has a lot of fun playing with time travel paradoxes and the trappings of war time provincial Britain.
I first reviewed this back in 2003 and as then I think it's just a very good book.
Very much recommended.

Rating: A-

3Jan/16Off

alderman?

Johnny and the Dead

Terry Pratchett

johnny and the deadThe second Johnny Maxwell book finds him living with his grandfather. His new short cut home takes him through the local cemetery.
This is a sweet tale of community activism and as least as much about how the living need the memory of their dead as about the fate those who have died.
Everything that makes Pratchett a great writer is in this book - his humanity, empathy, wit and intelligence.
I will repeat myself once again - everybody should read Pratchett.

Rating: A-

30Dec/15Off

screewee?

Only You Can Save Mankind

Terry Pratchett

Only You Can Save MankindThis is the first of the Johnny Maxwell young adult series and the first of Terry Pratchett's books I've been able to read since his death.
I stayed over at my parents on Christmas Eve and I woke up early on Christmas morning before dawn. As I sat, slightly cold, watching the sun rise over the Forth I borrowed this ebook from Edinburgh Overdrive.
I first read it a long time ago before this blog existed and never again since I started keeping a record of my reading.
This short book retains all of Pratchett's humour, insight, and empathy while squarely viewing the world from a the perspective of a twelve year old boy.
I don't want to spend a lot of time on the plot of this one - I just want to recommend it.
Everyone should read Terry Pratchett. If the fantasy trappings of Discworld are putting you off this is as good a place to start as any.

Rating: A-

19Oct/15Off

humdrum?

Carry On

Rainbow Rowell

carry onThis is a super enjoyable piece of YA fantasy taking the fictional fantasy found in Rowell's Fangirl and turning it into a real story.
Simon Snow is the chosen one. Destined to save the World of Mages he cannot control his massive magical power.
As the stakes are raised in both the magical civil war and the battle against the magic destroying Insidious Humdrum he starts his final year at magical school with his room mate and nemesis Basilton Pitch missing.
I really enjoyed this book. The only issue I have is the state of ignorance the heroes are left in at the end. The reader knows more than Simon at the end and I felt sad that he didn't get to know some things revealed in other character's perspectives.

Rating: A-

19Oct/15Off

elf-shot?

A Red-Rose Chain

Seanan McGuire

a red-rose chainThe latest instalment of the Toby Daye story finds her in Portland on a diplomatic mission to avert war between Faerie kingdoms. Obviously this being Toby nothing quite goes to plan.
I seriously really enjoyed this book. I love the whole series so much. I've been rating them a bit harshly ever since I started because I'm certain that McGuire is capable of pushing her writing to another level but the consistent B+ rating doesn't really reflect how much I enjoy these books. Or indeed how excited I am to read what happens next.

Rating: A-

13Oct/14Off

bulk14

The Writer's Tale: The Final Chapter

Russell T Davies and Benjamin Cook

the writers tale the final chapterI do intend to actually write something about this one at some point...

Rating: A-