Friday, July 11, 2008


First of all, the last time I reviewed books I casually mentioned at the end that I was liking Ghostwalk by Rebecca Stott. Well. That book is awesome.

Rebecca Stott
I'm not real big on mysteries, as a rule. Sometimes I go for literary mysteries like The Thirteenth Tale or Shadow of the Wind, but I usually read these because somebody else has harassed me so much that I feel like I have to. Ghostwalk, however, was a different story--my boyfriend brought it home one day and I hijacked it before he could even start. I LOVED IT. It's a super-creepy story about three characters: Elizabeth, a historian, dies while writing the final chapters of a controversial biography of Isaac Newton and his alchemical experiments. Cameron, his son, recruits his ex-lover Lydia to finish the book. Meanwhile, Cameron is the target of a violent animal rights group and Lydia begins to draw eerie parallels between the 17th century deaths in Elizabeth's book and happenings in the present day. You have to read this.

Twilight and New Moon
Stephenie Meyer
Young Adult Fantasy
No, I did not read these for the first time last week. A second reading did not make them any less addicting. I was afraid that I would be overly critical of the writing, since when I read them the first time I was only partway through my linguistics degree and not working in the book world, but the plot is so gripping that I flew through it at the same speed as last time. I don't know how Stephenie Meyer did it. (A side note: I'll give $5 to the first person who sends me an in-depth review of The Host to

Marked and Betrayed
PC Cast and Kristen Cast
Young Adult Fantasy
This is another series of teen vampire books that one of our reps gave me. It's much more contemporary, taking place in Tulsa at a "vampire finishing school." In this world, vampires are marked during their freshman year of high school, at which point they become fledglings. For the next 4 years, they must stay in the proximity of adult vampires or they'll die. Some of them die anyway when their bodies reject the Change, but most fledglings go through 4 years at a House of Night school and then become adult vampires. This series is about Zoey Redbird, the Harry Potter of the Tulsa House of Night. I like these--the dialogue is so clever.

Kristin Cashore
Young Adult Fantasy
The only bad thing about this book is that it doesn't come out until October. This is the first Make-Me-Go-To-Bed-I-Can't-Stop-Reading novel that I've encountered in a long time. It takes place in a world where some people are Graced with special abilities which manifest when they're children. At the same time, one eye changes color, marking them as Gracelings. This book is about Lady Katsa, niece of one of the kings of the Seven Kingdoms, who is Graced with the ability to kill. For years she has been used to knock powerful people into submission, but now she has begun a committee for the defense of the downtrodden. It's a coming-of-age novel and also a novel of high fantasy and action, and I loved it. Heavily influenced by Tamora Pierce's Song of the Lioness Quartet, which was my favorite as a child.

Celia Rees
Young Adult Historical Fiction
I actually had a really hard time with this one because of the overwhelming number of typos, grammatical mistakes, and interesting punctuation choices. This is one of the hazards of reading an uncorrected proof. It also makes a book more impressive when you a) read it in spite of these glaring mistakes and b) really enjoy it, as I enjoyed Sovay. Sovay is a young lady from a good English family during the French Revolution. She begins her career as a highwayman when her fiance cheats on her, and loves the thrill of robbery so much that she gets herself in over her head. At the same time, her brother has disappeared and her father has presumably gone after him. In their absence, a warrant for their arrest (for sedition) is issued. Sovay must use all her wits to find them and protect them, with the help of a cast of interesting characters that she meets along the way. This one comes out on August 19th, hopefully after a copyeditor gets her hands on the manuscript.

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