cyphomandra: fractured brooding landscape (Default)
Roughly arranged in descending order of fondness. All ebooks, and if anyone out there is competent with Calibre and prepared to explain it to me, let me know. I am currently using it mainly because of the fanficdownloader add-on, which is brilliant, but have yet to work out even how to get fics directly from Calibre to my phone.

Life Lessons and Breaking Cover, both Kaje Harper. )

St Nacho's series, ZA Maxfield; St Nacho's, Physical Therapy, Jacob's Ladder, The Book of Daniel. )

Secret Light, ZA Maxfield. )

Double Blind, Heidi Cullinan. )

Men Under the Mistletoe, Ava March, Harper Fox, Josh Lanyon, KA Mitchell. )

Bad Boyfriend; Bad in Baltimore, KA Mitchell. )

Life After Joe, Harper Fox. )


Sep. 15th, 2011 11:46 pm
cyphomandra: boats in Auckland Harbour. Blue, blocky, cheerful (boats)
When not having video game-induced existential crises, I have actually been reading. However, the earthquakes have completely disrupted my already somewhat shaky book tracking. At this point I am just going to go through the lists I have and do brief commentary, with a few noble exceptions…

Books I would like to come back to in more depth, but let’s be realistic here:

Karen Healey’s The Shattering, which I read in ARC some time after the February earthquake, and which is now out officially. I liked Guardian of the Dead (her debut YA novel) but felt it went off-track; this is much better. Perfect NZ town (somewhere Nelson-ish, I think) has dark side, uncovered by trio of teenagers with interesting assortment of identities. I particularly liked the use of emotional control as part of the magic system.

Jordan Castillo Price, the Psycop series (Among the Living, Criss Cross, Body and Soul, Secrets, Camp Hell, GhosTV, and an assortment of shorts that fit in around the first three books, of which I like Thaw but am not all that keen on the Crash ones). These are ebook psychic cop thrillers (hard to believe from the name, I know), in a version of the US where psychics are real but not all that understood and the main character, Victor Bayne, is an endearingly awkward medium who has spent much of his life running from any deeper contemplation of his abilities, mainly via a vast variety of licit and illicit pharmaceuticals (I think he’s the first protagonist I’ve seen who’s sniffed glue, though, rather than go for all that glamorous intravenous stuff).

Jordan Castillo Price, the Psycop series. )

Wendy Wan-Long Shang, The great wall of Lucy Wu. Chinese-American girl dealing with heritage. I read this months ago and liked it a lot; it gets a lot done in a little space, and gives all its characters a chance to breathe without making them into obvious stereotypes. Also, it made me desperately crave noodles.

Gene Luen Yang, Prime Baby. Resentful older brother is convinced there is something strange about his new baby sister, confirmed when she starts babbling in primes. I don’t think this quite pulls off the dislocation effect, and as with American Born Chinese this story still sees all its female characters as objects rather than subjects.

Megan McCafferty, Bumped. YA dystopia where falling fertility means that only teenagers can get pregnant. Melody is holding out for the best contract she can get when her separated at birth identical twin (Harmony, naturally) shows up, having escaped from her religious upbringing. I liked the slang and the moment when Melody declares to a vast array of paparazzi that she has been having Non Reproductive Sex (“with condoms!”) with her contract partner, but too little of the world had changed, and the lead’s avoidance of all sexual activity (and bookwise, being rewarded for this) felt too much like the same old thing.

Assorted ebooks. )
cyphomandra: fluffy snowy mountains (painting) (snowcone)
I need to start keeping better track of these. Anyway. List of those I can remember at the moment, and subsequent commentary:

Edmund de Waal, The hare with amber eyes
Gordon Korman, The War with Mr Wizzle (re-read)
Mandy Hager, The Crossing
Josh Lanyon, The Dark Horse
Josh Lanyon, The Dickens with Love
Josh Lanyon, Don't Look Back
Housuke Nojiri, Rocket Girls

The Hare With Amber Eyes was brilliant - nonfiction, family memoir, a book about objects (of art) and collections, the connections between them and their people, and what we lose and what we keep. I will attempt to go on about it again in more detail once I have my own copy and am not doing it from a week-old memory of a library book. The Gordon Korman is a cheerfully comforting re-read, although the degree of personal manipulation it involves always makes me worry more about what would happen if in the future Bruno decided to take a job with pretty much any branch of the government. The Josh Lanyons are all enjoyable but slight, and not as good as his two series, although I approve strongly of his taste in fiction (Dickens, obviously, but The Dark Horse involves a film version of Mary Renault's The Charioteer). Don't Look Back is the possibly obligatory amnesia story, which treats amnesia as a kind of extreme personality reboot (there's a fair bit in the text to suggest this is all psychological rather than organic, but the disconnect feels too easy as opposed to, in a slightly odd counter-example, William Monk's amnesia in the Anne Perry books, where his previous self is much more of a character).

The Mandy Hager is first in a trilogy - post-apocalyptic Pacific Island (Cook Islands based, I think) story in which strong female lead rebels against all her society's constraints. So, some of the same problems as Juno of Taris (lead shares contemporary mores and is positioned as correct by the text for this, despite conflict with all of her upbringing), but much less irritating - no secret psychic powers and some interesting stuff going on with race and religion, although there is the feeling in the text that everybody good has been waiting for Maryam (the lead) to show up to start acting on their secret rebellious feelings. I am also irked that the blurb indicates who will form the core group at the end of the book, but that's not the author's fault - I do want to read the next one, and will comment more then.

Housuke Nojiri, Rocket Girls. )


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