rommalb?

The Forgotten Beasts of Eld

Patricia A. McKillip

Winner of Best Novel at the inaugural World Fantasy Awards. It tells the story of Sybel, a daughter of wizards, who keeps a menagerie of magical creatures in her high mountain home.
She is removed from the world and knows little of other people and then one day a baby is left with her to keep safe from the King of Eldwold.
How she is changed by that event and the consequences that flow out from that point form a unique kind of fantasy tale.
The distinguishing thing about this book is the quality of the writing. It’s really unlike anything else I’ve ever read in the Fantasy genre. The words flow like a sing-song fairy tale. Somehow retaining the structure of prose but feel of the poetical.
I found it fairly difficult to get into but the last half of the book is incredible.
I really don’t know if it’s going to be everyone’s cup of tea but I suspect I’ll be thinking about it for a long time.

Rating: A-

bandolier?

The Day of the Doctor

Steven Moffat

A Target novelization of an old Doctor Who episode shouldn’t be as much fun as this.
Moffat adds and modifies the original script to give the story more depth, more humour and more clever clever twistiness.
I really really enjoyed this.
I split reading this between the ebook and the audiobook (that Amazon synergy at work) and I normally leave my audiobook reviews to the end of the year but I just enjoyed this one too much!
Nicholas Briggs is excellent as the narrator and voices the various Doctors with much relish. Even the little bits of audio atmospherics actually add to the story for a change. Briggs does have one weakness – he seriously cannot do Clara’s accent.
Anyway very highly recommended if you like Moffat era Doctor Who.

Rating: A-

attention?

Hunger Makes Me A Modern Girl

Carrie Brownstein

I picked this up because Brownstein is part of one of my favourite bands: the wonderful Sleater-Kinney.
Despite her success with the cult comedy show Portlandia this book is very much more concerned with her band than any other aspect of her life.
Speaking with a disarmingly frank and self-deprecating tone she looks back at the band and her early life.
It’s definitely one of the stronger rock musician autobiographies I’ve read.
I don’t think she paints a very flattering picture of herself but she does come across as someone very much worth knowing.

Rating: A-

family?

The Brightest Fell

Seanan McGuire

Family affairs come to a head with Toby’s mother Amandine binding her to find and return her missing half-sister.
The search takes her through the realms of Faerie and causes serious collateral damage along the way.
My favourite Urban Fantasy series continues in stellar fashion. I’d recommend that you read this series but maybe start with an earlier book.

Rating: A-

politics?

Once Broken Faith

Seanan McGuire

Following the events of the previous book the royalty of North American Faerie gather to discuss the future of the Elf Shot cure.
Politics soon turns dirty and Toby has to identify the culprit before everything goes to hell.
It’s just another highly enjoyable book in the series – maybe’s about time you gave it a shot?

Rating: A-

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-

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-

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-

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-

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-