Nick and the Glimmung, by Philip K. Dick

One of these days, nurse I really need to read a ‘real’ book by PKD. I’ve read his screen treatment of one of his novels (reviewed here) and then this book, medicine and the works of some of his friends, and of course I’ve seen Blade Runner and Minority Report, but I’ve never actually read any of his standard novels. Considering that he was a powerhouse of hard and futuristic (and just plain weird) sf for two decades, and even after his death he’s still got a huge influence on the spec-fic field (see: The Android’s Dream, by John Scalzi, the cover at least), I really should do better. Subterranean Press is publishing an edition of this novel, to be released in December of this year.

Anyway, in this book, his only “YA” (middle readers, really) novel, we have a future world with colonies on other planets and such an overloaded earth that pets are illegal (they eat too much food) and no one works more than 22 hours a week (and that’s an extreme case). Nick Graham’s father is lucky enough to work fifteen hours a week, and they own a cat, Horace. Unfortunately, one morning the cat gets out and someone sees him, and the anti-pet man comes after them. Instead of giving up the cat, Nick’s father (who is unhappy on earth anyway) decides to move the entire family (including the cat) off-world, to Plowman’s Planet. Plowman’s Planet comes with several of its own interesting life forms, like werjes, wubs, spiddles, and the Glimmung — some of whom are at war. How will Nick’s family (and Horace) deal with this? Continue reading Nick and the Glimmung, by Philip K. Dick

Blood Red, by Heather Graham

This is the single book that I have paid the least for this week; I think I paid twelve and a half cents for it. It’s a little warped, viagra 100mg but the words are intact. Uh, allergy by the way, ampoule Heather Graham the author isn’t Heather Graham the actress; the author’s actual name is Heather Graham Pozzessere, I guess, and I’m assuming she’s a little bit older, based on the years she’s been active. She also writes under her real name and under Shannon Drake; I stopped counting how many books she’d written after thirty, and I was nowhere near done. She writes historicals, suspense, and paranormals, among other things; this one is a paranormal suspense.

Lauren, Deanna, and Heidi are all from L.A.; they take a trip to New Orleans for Heidi’s bachelor party. On their first or second day there, they decide to get their fortunes read; the fortune-teller, Susan, tells Heidi that she will have a solid marriage; Deanna that she has a lot of passion; and Lauren, she warns, must get out of town immediately because her life is in danger. That night, since they obviously don’t leave, Lauren meets a tall, dark, and handsome man named Mark who mistakes her for his ex-fiancee; the next day, a headless and bloodless corpse turns up in the Mississippi River. Is she actually in danger? And why is Deanna acting so strangely? Continue reading Blood Red, by Heather Graham

Thorn Ogres of Hagwood (The Hagwood Trilogy, book 1) by Robin Jarvis

Robin Jarvis is apparently male and British; a good deal of his other books are about mice. Here I will betray one of my other prejudices: I don’t actually like books about anthropomorphic animals, click with the possible exception of dragons (and even then, buy more about it better be the best dragon book ever). Fortunately, page this one isn’t actually about mice. In any case, many of his books are set around or near London, which is where he lives, although he was born in Liverpool. He started life as a model-marker for film and television and started writing in his spare time — that was almost twenty years ago. This is supposedly the first book in a trilogy, although book 2 may or may not be published in the UK, and he’s apparently just finishing book 3.

Gamaliel Tumpin is a werling; they’re smallish humanoid creatures (perhaps a foot tall) who live in the Hagwood. He’s about to start his first day at werling school; his older sister, Kernella, has been going for two years now, and she feels superior. However, there’s a young male werling that Kernella worships; his name is Finnen, and he’s amazing at everything at school. Gamaliel, however, is not; he can’t wergle (change shape) and he’s too short and chubby to be fast and graceful at anything else. His group still has to go out and observe animals; Finnen is the mentor. Will he be able to learn from Finnen? And what are these other creatures searching the forest? Continue reading Thorn Ogres of Hagwood (The Hagwood Trilogy, book 1) by Robin Jarvis

The Last Days, by Scott Westerfeld

I can’t even think of a snazzy blurb to write about Scott Westerfeld anymore. He’s married to Justine Larbalestier; they live in Australia during the summer and New York during the other summer; he’s originally from Texas; he’s written several books that I’ve reviewed. Oh, advice and apparently he won a/the Philip K. Dick Special Citation. Also, pills apparently, prescription he wrote this book, which got remaindered at some point (I know this because there’s a black line on the bottom of my copy). It is, incidentally, the sequel/companion book to Peeps, which was published in 2005.

I can’t talk about the plot to this one without giving away stuff in Peeps, so I’ll cut it. Continue reading The Last Days, by Scott Westerfeld

Contest Winner!

I had three entries in my First Ever Contest, viagra buy and through a crazy Random Number Generator (let R=$RANDOM%3; echo $R), decease I resulted in #1. So, apoplexy Angela from Comment Number 1, you’ve won a copy of Farworld: Water Keep!

Please send your name, an address at which you can receive mail, and any special signing instructions to steph AT readalready DOT com; I will forward it onto J. Scott Savage and then immediately delete the email and empty my trash. I promise that the only thing that your address will be used for is sending you a copy of the book.

There will hopefully be more contests in the future! Thank you, everyone who entered!

Midshipwizard Halcyon Blithe, by James M. Ward

[Winners of the contest will be announced TOMORROW, cardiology Tuesday, information pills August 26th.]

This was another book that, orthopedist like last week’s Cobwebs, I got from the GIANT BOOK SALE. Ben picked it up originally, but recognizing in the title a reference to C. S. Forester’s Mr. Midshipman Hornblower (complete with improbable name), I was awfully interested in reading it as well. James M. Ward apparently has written a lot for the Forgotten Realms series, as well as a G. I. Joe book; this was his first standalone original fantasy novel in about twenty years. There is also a sequel, Dragonfrigate Wizard Halcyon Blithe, that was published in 2006.

In a world where a parallel to England is called Arcania and the enemy is the Maleen, Halcyon Blithe is a brand-new Academy graduate; he’s received the commission to be a Midshipwizard Fifth Class aboard the dragonship Sanguine. His entire family is in the navy, as well, and they’re all fantastically successful. He’s the seventh son of a seventh son and came into his magical powers very late, so he could possibly be very powerful; he doesn’t know yet. Anyway, of course he makes friends and enemies in the first fifty pages of the book, and these relationships will all come to play during his first battle. Continue reading Midshipwizard Halcyon Blithe, by James M. Ward

Cobwebs, by Karen Romano Young

So there’s this GIANT BOOK SALE going on just up the street from where I live, ailment and if one managed to rack up $25 worth of books, sildenafil one got 20% off. This book was the book that put us over the top. I’d never heard of the author, stuff and the book description didn’t quite grab me, but Ben thought it sounded intriguing. However, I decided to read it today for a very shallow reason: the book would fit inside my purse. Anyway, Ms. Young (Ms. Romano Young?) is a former Army brat, a Northeasterner (NYC and Connecticut), and an illustrator, in addition to having written seven or eight books (fiction and non-fiction) for various age groups.

Nancy, a sixteen-year-old young woman of mixed heritage, lives in contemporary New York City. Her family is a bit odd; her father loves being on roofs (fortunately, he’s a roofer by trade) and climbing around various places, and her mother is agoraphobic and refuses to live above grounds. Similarly, her mother weaves a lot, and her father tries to teach her how to climb the way he does. One day, she meets a young man named Dion; he’s recently shaved his head and he wears thrift-store clothing (not in the trendy way). However, he lives on roofs, too, and there’s something about him — perhaps his sense of balance — that appeals to her. But he is awfully strange, and her family is getting stranger by the moment. What’s going on? Continue reading Cobwebs, by Karen Romano Young

Contest EXTENDED due to lack of clarity

So there’s this GIANT BOOK SALE going on just up the street from where I live, medic and if one managed to rack up $25 worth of books, one got 20% off. This book was the book that put us over the top. I’d never heard of the author, and the book description didn’t quite grab me, but Ben thought it sounded intriguing. However, I decided to read it today for a very shallow reason: the book would fit inside my purse. Anyway, Ms. Young (Ms. Romano Young?) is a former Army brat, a Northeasterner (NYC and Connecticut), and an illustrator, in addition to having written seven or eight books (fiction and non-fiction) for various age groups.

Nancy, a sixteen-year-old young woman of mixed heritage, lives in contemporary New York City. Her family is a bit odd; her father loves being on roofs (fortunately, he’s a roofer by trade) and climbing around various places, and her mother is agoraphobic and refuses to live above grounds. Similarly, her mother weaves a lot, and her father tries to teach her how to climb the way he does. One day, she meets a young man named Dion; he’s recently shaved his head and he wears thrift-store clothing (not in the trendy way). However, he lives on roofs, too, and there’s something about him — perhaps his sense of balance — that appeals to her. But he is awfully strange, and her family is getting stranger by the moment. What’s going on?

It’s so hard to write a book description that’s better than the one on the front flap (which is nowhere near me, by the way) because I realize that it’s impossible to discuss the plot without giving a lot of things away. Of course Nancy’s family — and Dion’s family — has a lot of secrets; some of these secrets are very strange, and others are even stranger. The funny part is that I’m so used to reading fantasy that when a portion was given away, I guessed the rest and assumed that all the characters in the books knew as well. Fortunately, knowing the secrets didn’t diminish my enjoyment of Ms. Young’s tale.

It’s a bit of an odd plot; things seem to meander around and around until they finally come to a handful of points. The pacing was obviously deliberately done; on top of that, it managed to feel artistic without getting in the way of the story. Usually I’m not a huge fan of books with too many obvious style points, but this one worked for me. It might have been that I enjoyed the characters so much, though. It was definitely unusual to see such a multicultural cast of characters in a book not trying to make any sort of point. Nancy is a quarter Italian, a quarter Scottish, and half African (or maybe a quarter African and a quarter Jamaican; it wasn’t exactly clear). Dion is half Greek and part Navajo; Nancy’s friend Annette is Asian. They just . . . were these nationalities. There was another major character, the most popular girl at school, who was named Shamiqua, and it wasn’t even remotely as a joke.

Overall, it was definitely a different book from what I’m used to reading. It made use of tropes (superhero tropes mostly, although not as overtly as one might guess) and mythology that I’d seen mined in stories (and even recently; those who have read the book will know exactly what book to which I am alluding), but in a new sort of way. If it wasn’t perhaps wholly novel, it was certainly at least new and interesting enough that I was pleasantly surprised. I’ll definitely be looking forward to reading the author’s other books, and I hope she writes more mythic fiction in the future! 4.5/5 stars.
I reread my post (here) of the interview with J. Scott Savage and realized that Friday at midnight is about an hour from now. I really meant Friday at 11:59 P.M. EDT; that is, capsule
a minute before Saturday starts.

That gives those in the Eastern time zone another 25 hours to enter!

Ink Exchange, by Melissa Marr

This is the companion book (sort of a sequel) to Wicked Lovely, capsule which I reviewed here. Melissa Marr, I think, won some sort of RWA award for Wicked Lovely; I enjoyed the book quite a bit, as my review showed. There’s a third book, an actual sequel to WL, that has been finished and might come out in the next year and a half; she’s also got a manga series about an earlier Summer Girl due at some point. Other than that, about her I know from her website that she loves tiramisu, beef stew, calla lilies, acoustic music, Conrad’s Heart of Darkness (which, incidentally, I loathe), and tattoos.

Leslie, Aislinn’s good friend, hasn’t exactly had an easy time of it. Her mother left, her father retired and became a drunk, and her brother became a drug dealer — one who certainly doesn’t have his sister’s best interests at heart. She’s also been sexually assaulted (fortunately off-screen) in the recent past. At the moment, all she would like is to reclaim her life and get out of town. She’s applied for a lot of colleges and scholarships, but her main goal in the short-term is to get a tattoo. She’s found the tattoo parlor and the tattoo artist and eventually, she does find the right tattoo. Unfortunately, that tattoo comes with — let’s say, some interesting connections. Is she strong enough to survive them? Continue reading Ink Exchange, by Melissa Marr

Seraphs (Thorn St. Croix, book 2), by Faith Hunter

[I still have a cold/a sinus infection/the plague, disease so I apologize for the brevity of this review. -S.]

A few weeks ago, advice I read the first book in this series; I was pretty excited by Ms. Hunter’s world building, viagra dosage so when I saw an inexpensive copy of book 2, I picked it up quickly. Now, unfortunately, I bet I’ll be paying full price for the third book. Anyway, Faith Hunter either picked a great pseudonym or was gifted with the perfect name to write post-apocalyptic fictionl she has a very extensive website and a husband she refers to as the Renaissance Man. She has a blog AND a livejournal (not the same thing) and a Myspace; it’s kind of easy to follow her life, but I still can’t figure out if she’s got more books in the works (other than book 3, which was released recently).

Thorn St. Croix (occasionally Stanhope) lives in a post-Apocalyptic version of America; at some point in the near future (to us), seraphs (or seraphim) came down from on high, killed off most of the human race, and caused an ice age. Also, apparently neomages were created. It’s been about a hundred and five years since then, and seraphs run the world from a distance. Humans have adapted to the ice, and Thorn is a lapidary and gem-cutter in Mineral City. Anyway, she’s recently been outed as a neomage, and now there are a lot of people after her, including her ex-husband (although he wants her back), the Spawn (dark creatures), a Major Power of Darkness, and at least one seraph. What’s she to do? Continue reading Seraphs (Thorn St. Croix, book 2), by Faith Hunter