Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Reading Roundup

Here's this month's list:

Betrayal by Lee Nichols
I read this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) so I really can’t say much about it.  But it’s the sequel to Deception (see my thoughts on Deception here) and it’s awesome.   Read it when it comes out in March.

The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff
I BOUGHT this based on knowing only two things: 1) That the cover is absolutely stunning.  It’s shiny and creepy and looks like it’s straight from a movie. And 2) That the book is about a changeling.  That’s it. Like most popular YA, I thought it was going to be about a girl and include a love story.  (Side note: There are so many YA Paranormal Romances right now that B&N actually reorganized their store to reflect that!).  But I was wrong.  But it was still great.  The Replacement is actually narrated by a BOY.  *Gasp* And he’s the changeling.  There’s a bit of a love story, but it’s really not the focus.  The brother/sister relationship and family dynamics take the front stage.  The underworld Brenna Yovanoff created is unique, and a bit all over the place, but really intriguing.  Overall, this book was refreshingly different.

The Tory Widow by Christine Blevins
This is a historical romance repped by the wonderful people at NC, so I read it to get a better feel for what they represent.   Taking place in New York City during the Revolutionary War, it was interesting to read how the Tory Widow, Anne, flipped flopped from Tory (because of her husband) to patriot (when the rebels take over) to Tory (when NYC becomes the British headquarters) to patriot again (her true feelings).  It’s definitely a story of one woman’s survival.  Yet, for a historical romance I wanted…well…more romance.  This novel focused almost exclusively on the historical elements and battles (a bit too much for my tastes even though I minored in history), rather than on the relationship between Anne and Jack.  Read for the historical bits, not for a romance.

Ender’s Game by Orsen Scott Card
I try to stay away from science fiction.  Yet, my non-novel-reading-boyfriend was so adamant that I read Ender’s Game that he bought it for me.  And, as much as I hate to give him the opportunity for an “I-told-you-so” moment, I devoured the novel.  It was fantastic.   Although clearly science fiction, Ender is such a fascinating yet somehow relatable character that you emphasize with him…even thought you’re not being trained as the only hope to save humanity.  And the twist at the end is SO GOOD.  It could have been a cheap “and then he woke up” moment that writers are told to avoid, but instead, it resonates so well, both with Ender and the reader.  The following wrap-up was a bit lengthy and seemed only to be setting up for the sequels.  I hate when books do that so obviously.  When I complained about that to my boyfriend, he was surprised to be reminded all the falling action was in Ender’s Game at all.  Overall, though, I’d recommend this book for all those people who think Sci-Fi is not for them.  I’m starting to reconsider it.

The Thief and The Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner
A Newbery honor book, The Thief kind of starts off the same way Disney’s Aladdin does: King’s advisor gets a street rat to steal something from an enchanted cave.  While Aladdin goes off exploring whole new worlds with Princess Jasmine, the quest to steal a special stone is the focus of The Thief. The twist at the end is fantastic.  It came out of nowhere yet it didn’t feel like a cheap trick…Gen’s character is just that great.  The story is continued in The Queen of Attolia, which wasn’t quite as good, but did introduce two strong female characters, competing queens, into the male dominated story, which was much appreciated.  I look forward to continuing the story in The King of Attolia and A Conspiracy of Kings (which is already getting award buzz).

And that's my October nine full manuscripts.

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