Ah, just got the last installment of the Princess series a couple of days ago. LOVELOVELOVELOVELOVE.

Okay, getting the LOVE overwith, aside from the chance to revisit with Talia, Sleeping Beauty, Danielle, Cinderella, and Ermillina Curtana, Snow White, I had a great time reading it. Jim Hines knows how to move a plot along, and while the earlier books aren't slouches in the plotting department, this was was even more involving. Because, fellow readers, when one of the main characters is in true mortal danger, and you KNOW (unlike many other series) dead means dead in this Princessverse, it ups the ante.

The only regret I had while reading SQS's is how little I felt I knew Snow White before this book. Of all the characters in the earlier books, she was the most inscrutable with the least well-known background. And, while I learned a ton more about her in this book, it was through another agent. I'm not sure how Hines could have done it any other way, because by the end of the story, Talia had to have her happy ending, too (although in truth, there aren't endings at all, you know?), at least for this series of four books. I did feel a little emotionally removed from Snow during the reading. Which is disappointing for me. Of course, this was my first reading, and rushed so I could find out what happened.

A more extensive review soon on Hathor Legacy, as soon as I can finish it. Haven't been feeling well today, so it might be up for Monday.

In the meantime, don't take MY word that this book and it's three earlier books are worthwhile, fun, summer reading with fun and sobering twists on these well-known Disnified characters. Check them out yourself!
Y'all know I love zombie books and short stories. I wasn't convinced I'd like Feed, because when I picked it up for a quick look in the bookstore, I wasn't drawn into it. Luckily for the author, B&N allows you to download a sample of about 24 pages. So I downloaded the sample, and HAD to order the whole book. I was hooked.

I stayed up until 4 am this morning to finish it, and I rarely do that anymore. I probably will have to reread some of the last bits to refresh my memory about what happened since I was wandering in & out of consciousness for a few minutes.

The title refers to not only the virus created zombies that wander the landscape, but also the main characters' online profession of being blogging reporters in their post-apocolyptic world.

A lot of the book's first third is devoted to copious amounts of worldbuilding/infodumping, but believe me, it's necessary to read through it, and it's not all that bad. The zombies aren't actually the main feature of the story, although as an active background that forms the behaviors and rituals and medical requirements of the people in this world, they're vital. The real story is about how a pair of very bright siblings forge ahead to build a blogging site that will set them up for life. How? They've been selected to report on a presidential candidate.

The main character, Georgia Mason, is 20, a reporter and too good at what she does. She rarely missteps, is savvy, shrewd and is just this side of being believable. She's so competent she's scary. Her brother, the same age, is more of an adventurer (tho Georgia is, too) and fills the irresponsible side of the equation. And then there's Buffy, their tech wizard (yes, she named herself after THE Buffy). Really bad things start happening to the presidential candidate and his family and coworkers. He's being sabotaged, and no one but Georgia thinks there's anything to that.

I don't mind worldbuilding when it builds to something, and you gain the benefits of knowing the background to the story. In this case, Mira Grant/Seanan McGuire does a pretty good job. Some of it is repetitious, and could have been mentioned less often, but, what the heck, it worked for me and got me immersed.

A commenter on Hathor Legacy mentioned how disappointed she was by the point of view shift that happens late in the novel, and I could see her point. I usually dislike it a lot, too. In fact, I HATED it in The Reapers are the Angels. In that book, the POV shifts from the main female character abruptly in the final chapter or coda to the male character who's been tracking her with the intent to kill her. In Feed, the shift is not as sudden, not coming out of the blue, and when it happens, you feel that character's grief legitimately. Really, this is how it should be done, if it should be done at all. I was leary about it, but as I said, Georgia is almost too perfect, and we don't get to see many of her flaws (if any).

Do I recommend this? Yes, even if you're not into zombies--zombies are not the main meal in this book. Now, I can't wait for the sequel to come out.
Finally on LJ! What the heck is going on with it? Sheesh!

I've been in a storm of reading some books that've been recced by readers over at Hathor.

The first one I dove into this past weekend was The Orphan's Tales: In the Night Garden by Catherynne Valente. The other, which I read until about 3:30am this morning, was Feed by Mira Grant/Seanan Macguire. I lost track of Perdido Street Station by China Mieville, but I'll return to that one; it's complex, so I'll have to restart it, I think. Another book I've been slowly rereading is The Waters Rising by Sherri Tepper.

Tepper, a writer who writes with strong, often overstated themes, but always progressive and feminist...ergh, her book is problematic. It's based in the same world as her much earlier novel Plague of Angels, only further into the future. Tepper enjoys setting her SF/F books in pseudo fairy-tale worlds, or with fairytale ish characters. So, although Waters is a very different different book from In the Night Garden, let me tackle them both, because it was through reading In the Night Garden that I became motivated to write anything about Waters Rising.

The Waters Rising...where to start. Argh! Okay, it shares a main character with Plague of Angels-Abasio. It's an undeterminant number of years in the future from where he started. Mysteriously, the waters of earth are rising, and even more mysteriously, it's all fresh water, so the entire ecology of the earth is changing yet again. The reason I've been so reluctant to write about Waters is because it's so *scattered*. It's a mish-mash of odd talking creatures, unbelievable metamorphasis among the characters, and a bizarre mix of science and fantasy. The earlier book Plague of Angels worked better, was tighter, and used the tropes of fairy tales more effectively. In this case, it's not happening. It's almost as if Tepper thought this wild idea might as well mesh with that wild idea, and sewed it all together with a generations' long plot, coincidence and a total WTFery.

Part of the WTFery has to do with the main character, Xulai. She is coded as a far future Chinese girl (she's pictured on the cover). She starts out as a young girl, appearing to be around ten years old when Abasio meets her, and he develops feelings about her at odds with her appearance that admittedly kind of skeeve him out. But that's okay! Because she's actually NOT ten years old, and conveniently ages to a young nubile 19 year old girl when her magic camoflague wears off. Abasio is at least two or three or more times her age. It's difficult to say how much older, but let's just say...uhhh. If I relayed the plot, which mixes in assassin cybernetic monsters from the Big Kill times eons ago, an octopus sea king that speaks English (just like Horse) and is a sagelike being willing to help land creatures adapt to the rising waters, well, it's a good thing it's Tepper writing this, because I don't know if anyone else could remotely pull this sort of here-and-there plot together. And even she doesn't do it, either.

Moving on to The Night Garden! The Night Garden has to be one of the more intricately woven books I've read in a long while. No character is a minor character, and every character introduced as a secondary character in another character's story ends up in a story of their own, where their story is told and they become their own main character in their own lifestory. It's fabulous. Valente plays on her creatures' expectations of their futures-they know they're living in a fairytale, yet are surprised when the script doesn't go the way they think it will. And she plays on the readers' expectations of where and what the story is all about. It's slyly feminist. Rapunzel isn't who or what you think she is, and neither is the bartender she eventually meets. And the bartender discovers that his long-ago love is no longer who he wants her to be, and she has her own purpose (and always did). Stepmothers are kind and loving, and her daughters are jealous. Beasts are well-spoken and civilized, and humans are beastly. Everything is turned upside down in this world with its own mythology and religions of living stars and gods and creatures. It truly is a fantastical world of fairy fantasy.

There's a second book in the trilogy that's out, and I already bought it. The story in the first book just stops. Some story threads are wrapped up, but the frame story isn't resolved. Who is the girl telling the story? Why was she cursed with the tattoos around her eyes? The third book isn't out, but I'm eagerly awaiting it! After I finish the second book, of course.
I've been reading a couple of zombie anthologies recently. For some reason, anothologies of short stories appeal to me much more than  a full-scale novel stuffed with zombies and angsting protagonists. Short stories about zombies/survivors get right to the point, they don't dally (if it's written well) and the writer has less of a chance to screw things up.

The Living Dead anthology (1 & 2) are both excellent, AND Joe Johnson Adams the editor, manages to do what so many other anthology editors don't do; he infuses his anthology with tons of stories written by-get this-WOMEN WRITERS. Yes, just about every other story is written by a woman (there are about 20) and believe me, yes, it makes a difference to see that my own gender is represented so well in the pages and in the stories themselves. Even though women are usually educated to read and write about white men, and it can be difficult for women writers to crack out of that box, when they do, it's terrific. It's not going to be only white men surviving disasters (zombie or otherwise). Women are going to be more than sex-fodder, rape-fodder, rescue-fodder, and all the usual crap that women are used as in most literature or genre fiction.

The front of The Living Dead 2 lists Cherie Priest, Kelley Armstrong and Carrie Ryan along with Max Brooks. Inside there's this list of writers:  Paula R. Stiles; Karina Sumner-Smith; Molly Brown; Jamie Lackey; Amelia Beamer; Brenna Yovanoff; Mira Grant; Cherie Priest; Kelly Link; Krya Shon; Kelley Armstrong; Carrie Ryan; Kim Paffenroth, R.J. Sevin & Julia Sevin; Catherine MacLeod; Genevieve Valentine; and Sarah Lanagan. No Poppy Z. Brite this time around, but hopefully she'll be in a third anthology. More of the stories in this book are original, although there are some reprints. All in all, most of the stories were involving.  That's 18 out of 44 stories.  That's 41% of the anthology. Pretty good. And most of the stories are pretty high quality, too, making you think.

The biggest disappointment was The Skull-Faced City by David Barr Kirtley. It's a sequel to a story he wrote for the first anthology, which he explained was written in anger about an ass-faced male friend of his who was abusive to his girlfriend (the friend's girlfriend, not his own). In the sequel, all the women are rescued, are pregnant, or abused, and have very little agency of their own. That's par for the course in a lot of horror stories, so nothing new there.

Last Stand by Kelley Armstrong sticks in my mind the most. She explores the concept of the Other explicitly in this story, and you're left wondering who the zombies are for the first few pages. The zombies aren't traditional mindless things in this, and they have a woman leader of immense steely strength leading them.

The other anthology is The Dead That Walk edited by Stephen Jones. His anthology has many more Big Names in it: Clive Barker, Harlan Ellison (with a story that made no sense at all to me), Joe Hill, Stephen King, Richard Matheson, etc. No women listed on the cover. Who are the writers inside? Let's see: Yvonne Navarro; Nancy Holder; Lisa Morton; Kelly Dunn. That's out of 24 stories. That's 4/24, or 6% of the total number of stories. I don't like distilling an anothology into gender percentages, but it does start to irk when you read story after story after story from a predominately white male point of view--even when the stories like that are written by women writers. Remember when I mentioned that women writers have to break out of that box, making the white male the protag of their stores because that's the default? -- it also doesn't help when an anthology chooses that kind of story to include, when there are other points of view to include.

I was less impressed with The Dead That Walk overall, heavy-hitter writers or not. I did really enjoy a riff off of Of Mice & Men near the end of the book. But that's more or less because my daughter had just been reading through it for school, and I got to review the original book. I just don't "get" Harlan Ellison. Maybe back when I was in high school and could wrap my head around disjointed seeming experimental narratives, but not now. Joe Hill's contribution is one that I've seen before, and doesn't actually include actual zombies (that's okay, but this fell flat for me). For The Good of All by Yvonne Navarro sticks in my head, though. She's writes a Catholic latina point of view in a setting that's not often used--the southwest, and uses a main character who's working class, a woman, who has very strong opinions and a point of view, and the other character is male priest or Slavic stock. What she does, and why, makes you think, and horrifies at the same time. Which is the point of most zombie stories isn't it? It's the only story that I remember, aside from Tell Me Like You Done Before (the Mice&Men riff) by Scott Edelman.

Comparing these two anthologies makes the contrasts pop out. I never really think of who the editors are of anthologies, or what their criteria for choosing stories are, but it's fairly evident here that one anthology is trying to be more inclusive, while the other one is trying to sell books by using Big Names (which always helps sell a book) while mostly ignoring varieties of other viewpoints that are not white male.  While I can appreciate novels and short stories that mostly use white male points of view (The Stand, etc) and are sexist and Old World in their attitude about women's strengths and weaknesses, I'm much happier reading stories which don't ignore women, which feature women, don't have women as helpless pregnant help-meets that help patriarchy along. It's refreshing to know that others are represented as well.

Anyway, even if you're not into Zombies, give The Living Dead anthologies a try. The stories are uniformly well-written (if sexist here and there), have a plethora of stories written by women in women's point of view and have some decent stories written by men in a female point of view. Zombies aren't just creatures of fear-they're also creatures of modern statement. Meaning, just like in science fiction, they're relevant to current American culture (buybuybuy to bouey the economy).

Not all zombies are mindless. Not all humans have souls. Which is worse?
I'm up to Chapter Nine, now, and wow, Jim Butcher does NOT pull punches with the start of this book! No pussy-footing around from the first line of the book onward! (no, I didn't preread the chapter Butcher had up on his website)

a few spoilers mentioned here )

Okay. I think I'm off for the night (ha! like that'll ever happen!), so I'm going to hunker down and get some chuckles from MP&Mummies. I don't want this book to end-luckily, it's pretty long. I can get cheered up for as long as I need!

Dinner: hamburgers with applewood bacon, lettuce, tomatoes (do tomatoes have toes?) and french fries, with frozen corn on the cob in the oven finishing up. Yeah. Lovin' the simple dinners.

Tomorrow: since we're not getting back until 5pm, I'm going to put some Trader Joe's mini-meatballs and Ragu into the slow-cooker, and make pasta with veggies on the side, of course.

Wednesday night: I'll have to look at the menu, but something easy to make since we'll be out until 5 or later again!


Book Talk

Mar. 8th, 2010 03:17 pm

The Dead Tossed Waves (the sequel to Forest of Hands and Teeth) is winging its way to me right now! Yay! More zombies to read about!

I am making progress on Mansfield Park and Mummies, and so far, it's a lot of fun. I like how Vera Nazarian has captured the rhythm of Jane Austen's writing, amped it up for the humor effect, and mixed in Egyptology obsessions, werewolf curses, and oblivious Edward and family. It follows the original Austen book very closely, which explains its length-MP was a long book! And it's obvious how much Vera enjoyed writing it. I can feel the laughter coming out of the pages almost as if...it were haunted.


Book Talk

Mar. 2nd, 2010 08:43 pm
I just started reading Mansfield Park and Mummies: Monster Mayhem, Matrimony, Ancient Curses, True Love, and Other Dire Delightsand already it's got me grinning. I've never read any of Vera's work before (and mind, she's been nommed for big awards in the SF/F community, too, don't know how I missed her books) but going on the first ten pages, you can tell she's got the ear for Jane Austen with a liberal dash of Monty Python and Tongue-In-Cheek.

It's a hefty book, though, so I'm reluctant to haul it around hither and yon; it's perfect couch reading.

Oh yes! I keep meaning to mention this book: it's published by Norilana Press, and it's called James Fairfax. It's an alternate reality of "Emma", where gay relationships and marriage are accepted, and where Emma is trying to find a partner for the gender-switched (in this book) James Fairfax. In the original novel, James is a Jane. I might try that one out next, but if I can find a copy of Dreams of the Compass Rose, I'll read that first. After I get through all these other books!

Books. I've long been a collector of books, from way back, when I had money from birthdays and Christmas, my first stop was the bookstore. I'd spend hours choosing the books I wanted to buy because hey, money was finite, and I preferred value for my dough. I wanted books I could reread.

And now, I'm realizing that as valuable as I find books, and love them (hey, I used to MAKE books in school and for my own projects-real ones, sewn and glued and with covers and everything), they are my own personal clutter. I think it's probably a blessing that two basements, in different houses at different times, zorched a lot of my book collection. Many of those were hardcover specials from Borders or Barnes&Noble that my dad gave me that were actually set in type that was unreadable, or that I'd never really read.

Now I've been going through my paperback collection-there's more in the garage, I think, but I may have to toss those out. They may have mildewed or been nibbled on by silverfish after eight or nine years of being boxed up. A lot of those are my old Heinlein collection and Darkover collection--and think about wow, what a huge chasm between those two writers! Cripes.

I go to a site called Unclutterer, and sure enough, it's true; the less stuff you have weighing you down, the better you feel. 
 


Mansfield Park and Mummies was delivered today while I was out, and WOW. It is a HUGE book!  And yes, the Appendix is hysterical. I've been waiting for a book to do that for ages. I mean, I'm surprised it hasn't been done before MP&M! The book looks like a helluva lot of fun. Can't wait to read it: right now I'm reading The Mermaid's Madness by Jim Hines.

Edited to add: OH YEAH! I also preordered (which I NEVER do) the next Harry Dresden book "Changes". It's the ONLY series that I will do this for. I would go back and reread some of the earlier novels, but...honestly? I don't have the time.

Does anyone know of a good summary wiki for those books? So I can remind myself of what's what in Harry's universe?  I'll also do some googling myself, of course!

Up for reviews...yes, I'm getting back into the swing of things after feeling absolutely no confidence in my writing, and not wanting to read anything for a LONG time.

Jim Hines: The Step-Sister Scheme and The Mermaid's Madness.  I've been meaning to review SSS for a while now (I bought it during the summer, I think), and I did read most of it in chunks, but again, that reading malaise that hit me. I'm reading through The MM now, and will go back and reread SSS. I like the books. There was some objection from another reader about how Hine's treated one of the princesses' sexuality issues (or orientation), but he explained he was tackling that in a later book. He sounds like a great guy on his LJ blog, very thoughtful, and very self-aware of what he's doing and *not* doing.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Classic Regency Romance - Now with Ultraviolent Zombie Mayhem! I was mailed this book sometime during September, I think, before I quit Paperback Book Swap. The book itself is in unread, perfect condition. I have read portions of it, because, even though I found it funny, it wore me down after short bursts. I mean, it is difficult for me to read past the extra vomiting and crassness and modifications when I practically have the story memorized in my head. Yes, I've read the original that much! But it IS amusing. I'm curious at how Seth Grahame-Smith expands the female roles within the original story.
 
Mansfield Park and Mummies: Monster Mayhem, Matrimony, Ancient Curses, True Love, and Other Dire Delights by Vera Nazarian. Now, I'm looking forward to getting this baby in the mail mostly because, even though Fanny Price is not my favorite Austen heroine, she does what she can in her own passive aggressive way, without trying to piss off the peopleto  whom she feels she owes her life; reading the original as I get older makes me appreciate her character more. She never actually *simpers*, you know? And, like many people I know in LJ land, and elsewhere, she suffers from migraines and tension headaches, and who can't sympathize with that, eh?  Vera's iteration of MP promises to blow the water out from under Fanny and the rest of her family, and I'm fully prepared to enjoy this romp with mummies, werewolves (Aunt Norris gets hers, yay!) and the other fantastical happens.

And, lastly, The Dead-Tossed Waves (Forest of Hands and Teeth, Book 2), book two in the Forest of Hands and Teeth series. From what I've read on the Amazon description of the book,  it jumps ahead a few years to deal with Mary's daughter. Mary is the protagonist of the first book. I've preordered it, and I'm really hoping that the author, Carrie Ryan, answers questions and plot threads left hanging at the end of Forest of Hands and Teeth. Much as I like her smooth writing style, with lots of description, and hints of an elaborate safety system after the zombie apocolypse, it would be really nice if she answered the questions some of her readers (like me) would like the answers to, or at least some sort of wrap up to them. This is a March 2nd release. I'll have to wait until then, and reread the original book.

This past weekend I've been reading Your Hate Mail Will Be Graded: A Decade of Whatever, 1998-2008, which I stumbled upon at Borders. I've been alternating between that book and The Mermaid's Madness (PRINCESS NOVELS).

 


Yeah, I know, Phantomsis an oldy published in 1989.

A doctor and her much younger (14) sister reach the doctor's California mountain hometown. They find the housekeeper dead. They find everyone dead (whose bodies they can find) and the mystery is total. The phones don't work, except when they decide to work. The doctor calls in the Sheriff from a nearby town-the one in town was found dead on the floor of his office-and he brings a contingent of deputies with him.

People die in gruesome ways, and the monster (it is a monster) loves to kill of course. It's been killing for centuries (perhaps millenia). There's a coating of science over the make-up of the monster and how it can do what it does and how it does it.

The writing is basic, a bit clumsy and not transparent, at least to me. I had to read past it.  It has a medium sized cast, with two of the main protagonists being female, one of the a young teen. Sexual threats are used against the younger one by both a deputy (not directly to the girl, however, the first time) and the monster after the deputy is killed and absorbed by it. But that's a minor thread.

I'm not a huge Dean Koontz fan, but, all-in-all, a mildly entertaining way to pass the time.

books

Jul. 9th, 2009 07:44 pm
Yay! I finally ordered the second part of the As the World Dies trilogy!  

It'll be fun to read that, once it comes up in my TBR list pile. Right now I have to read The Stolen One, but I've been busy with doctors', dentists' and vets' appointments, and so on that I haven't had a chance to devote the time I need to really read through it.

I've printed out a few how-to articles on how to review a book, but they seem mostly angled for kids in college turning a paper in to a professor. But the principles are the same, at least.

In the meantime, I dragged my copy of Sink Reflections off of the bookshelf to review the principles in that book (I am a born messy, and drive the Guy NUTS because I just don't see the same mess he does when he comes home.)

I also reread a Jack McDevitt book that I can't seem to shake, mostly because of its perspective and because the main mover and shaker in the novel is a woman explorer/silversmith. The book is Eternity Road. It's a lot of fun.



WOW, who knew? I really did not know about the supercomplex novels that Barker wrote. All I knew about were his iconic horror movies, full of horrible and horrific images, like Pinhead, and people sinking into steaming ground, and so forth. 

To clarify: I'm a compulsive reader of the end of novels in order to see if the writer packs ALL of their endings in one big package at the end. I can't help it. I *usually* prefer books that are a little more complex, unless I'm feeling particularly brain-dead.

In the Great and Secret Show, for instance, I read ahead, hadn't heard of ANY of the characters (they weren't there in the first ten chapters of the book, and had to plow on ahead into the book proper in order to find out what was going on. In TGaSS, Barker actually introduces the heroine of the story 125 pages into the book!  And the last character you hear from in the novel, he's a character from Barker's other short stories (and was played by Scott Backula in The Master of Illusions) but I didn't know who he was, exactly.

Of course, this book is the first in a trilogy (only two books of it have been written). Barker writes about stepped evil. Some characters are evil, but some or more evil than others, and the good characters, well, they're not always going to survive, and if they do, not in the way you think they will. ANYthing seems to go in a Barker novel. Also, like Stephen King, Barker references Christianity in his books. It's something that seems intimately connected with modern horror; braiding it with Christianity. However, Barker's version of it in his stories is distinctly different from King's. His characters are also everyman/everywoman type characters, but not quite to the same type of depth that King likes to take his.

Where Straub is cerebral, where King is character driven, Barker is pulled by mysticism and the mysteries of the afterlife and hell.

I tried reading Barker a while back, but couldn't get into his style at the time. But now, it's much easier to get into his stories and characters. I can't wait to get into Imagica, his magnum opus. It's HUGE. But I've got a ton of reading to do before I hit that brick of a book.
See my review of Nothing but Ghosts on Hathor here. Wonderful little book.
This is unbelievable, but I think I'm finally over my Stephen King obsession. OMG. It's been years now. Oh, I still love some of his books, but my almost-complete collection of his novels? I looked through them, and decided to send the ones I loved the least off into the postal regions of Paperback Book Swap.

I've broken out of the one-writer thing I had going, and branched out enough now to where I'm comfortable reading other writers. That sounds really strange, I know, and I'm probably not saying it clearly. Whatever it was I needed out of his books, I've finally gotten it, and I don't need it any more. Other writers are stepping in-not as obsessions: I guess I needed more voices to listen to and see how they puzzle out plotting and story and character.

I love Rob Thurman's stuff. I love Alexander McCall's Ladies' Detective series. I've loved The Dresden Files for a long time now. I love that I'm back to having some faith in my old first love of SF/F again, and with some mystery series. I'm starting to like Kelley Armstrong's "Dime Store Magic" (and I usually don't like witch/vampire/werewolf stuff).

I'm not sure what changed, but there it is. Whatever cocoon there was, it's coming off. Yay!

World War Z

Jun. 1st, 2009 08:07 pm
I finished World War Z a few days ago, and went through some of the chapters again.
I can understand why it's been optioned for a film; but I have no idea at this point where along the process it is, aside from a director having been hired. But this is Hollywood, and you never know what's going to happen.






I have to admit that the stories in the book which hit the hardest, or were the most memorable, were the ones narrated by the women. One woman tells about the ends that the people who tried to escape into Canada went to survive (let's just say, not everyone survived the dreaded Canadian winter...with their flesh intact). And then there was the pilot, now a Colonel, who swears she heard another woman over her handset radio guide her to safety...but even though the evidence says otherwise, that other woman never existed.

I thought...it was curious how Brooks had the zombie plague originate in China. There's never any guess as to *what* causes the zombies at all. That issue is never addressed. But HOW zombies spread--that's the interesting part. He inserts a doctor who talks about the illegal trade in organs, ripped from still-living Chinese prisoners, and how those transplants were part of the reason for the wide-spread appearance of zombies everywhere. Then Brooks takes his narrator to Tibet, where the largest city in the world still exists, and the human smuggler there details how the zombies spread to Africa (a popular destination for Chinese trying to escape the zombie plague).

From there, until it's admitted what the zombies are, it's called the "African rabies"!

Even though the Swine flu (remember that recent scare?) originated in Mexico, there was some furor about it being called the "Mexican Flu"--which was quickly taken back by the people who coined that term.

Other than the politics, which World War Z if rife with, the actual story of the spread, the fights, the techniques for getting rid of zombies, and how people dealt with it, and twenty years after the near-extinction of the human race how they *still* deal with it--all feels remarkably spot on for psychology. Little nation-states emerge, and are then stamped out by the army. Last Men On Earth abound. So do people who believe they ARE zombies (really, they're walking in comas).

I was disappointed by the limited number of female viewpoints in WWZ, but to be honest, that he included any at all was surprising. And that one of the women was in the military was even more surprising.

If I didn't have so many other books waiting in my TBR pile, I'd reread it more thoroughly.

Books!

May. 31st, 2009 05:45 pm
Lots of fun summer reading in one series! Read the review here.

The Enchanted Inc series of four novels is light-hearted, fun, and a great refuge for those tired of the gritty, angsty, Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance plots. I've reviewed one of the books on my LJ before, but, after having more exposure to the UF and PR genres...my god, where are all the books like this series? Where are they?

Does anyone here read Jodi Picoult books? There's a movie coming out soon, starring one of the girls from Medium called My Sister's Keeper that's based on her book of the same name.

I picked the book up for a brief skim while I was waiting in the grocery store for a prescription. In short, the book focuses on "What would happen if a child, who was expressly born to medically assist an older child, grew to the age where she didn't want to be pushed around anymore and go through any more tests, or even donate an organ?"

If I'd bought this damned book, I would have hurled it out the window and added it to my growing imaginary pile of books waiting for a bonfire.

Not because of the subject matter. No. I think the subject matter IS an interesting one. No, it's because I read the final two chapters. And I am glad I did.  Let's put it this way, without spoiling anyone who is planning on reading this piece of crap or going to see the movie:

Picoult chickens out at the end of her story. Oh, she takes it to a logical conclusion, and then pulls some Chick Lit twist shit that I find contemptible. She takes the EASY way out. She takes the emotional "heart-wringer" "twist" ending that negates EVERYTHING the title character was fighting for. And this isn't the only time she's pulled this last-minute crap in one of her books. Oh no.

She LOVES to take the easy plot out.

I'm off to read either World War Z by Max Brooks, about the history of a Zombie War that spread across the globe (highly recced by a friend) or Chasing Silver by Jamie Craig (Juno Books), which is a paranormal urban fantasy romance. I'm not sure which it is. It involves time travel.

Truth be told, I'm more inclined to read the book about the zombie war. Romances? Not so much interested in these days. Unless it's a ZOMBIE romance, of course! LOL

Either way, I might review what I read, or not. Chasing Silver is one I got mostly for a Hathor Review, so I guess I'm viewing that one as more work than fun. We'll see. If it IS fun reading, then I'll be doubly surprised and happy.

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