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15 October 2005 @ 06:17 pm
Books I read on holiday  
These are the books I read while (or just before) I was on holiday - ISBNs because my library cataloguing software won't play nice with Gnome 2.12 at the moment, and this is the easiest place to record them.

"Seduced by Moonlight" by Laurell K. Hamilton (library; 034544356X; finished 23/9)
Trash, pure and simple. Merry is a Princess of the Unseelie Court, and she can only be her aunt's heir if she proves she's fertile (most Sidhe don't seem to be) - cue rather a lot of sex with her bodyguards. This is the third book in the series and it's going somewhat downhill, I think. LKH doesn't seem to be able to write anything that doesn't descend into some sort of attempt to get her heroines to sleep with as many men/whatever as possible - though these amuse me more than her Anita Blake books, which started out with a heroine who didn't sleep around because of her strict morality but in later books she both sleeps around and angsts about it. Merry is, at least, perfectly happy with sleeping with everything male that wanders past. But her entourage appears to be growing exponentially - and there's a corresponding reduction in plot, so I don't think the next one will be readable.

"Star Wars: Labyrinth of Evil" by James Luceno (library; 1844138712; finished 25/9)
This is the prequel to "Revenge of the Sith". Reading for plot - it was quite good, and we both thought that some of this should've been in the film. There's back story about the Jedi tracking Darth Sidious to Coruscant, and back story about General Grievous. I didn't think it was a well written book though - the characters felt flat to me. And if you're going to read this and the novelisation of "Revenge of the Sith" then you're best off pretending the Count Dooku in this book is someone who only shares a name with Count Dooku in the next book - the characterisation is totally different, which is a shame as the Dooku in "Revenge of the Sith" was very well done, I thought.

"The Autumn Castle" by Kim Wilkins (Europa Suite: 1; library; 0575075732; finished 26/9)
This was a change of pace after the last two. Despite being the first book of a series, it worked well as a stand-alone novel. The worlds of fairy are real, and at times when they are in conjunction with the human world it's possible to pass from one to the other - Queen Mayfridh used to play with Christine when they were children in Berlin; Christine's life has been changed by the appalling death of her parents in a car crash but she's back in Berlin now with her artist boyfriend; Mayfridh (in the way of the fairy) has forgotten all about the human world but now she has come back to visit she's remembering Christine again. The points of connection between them and the other people in the story multiply and overlap until it's all braided together into a proper fairytale ending. Despite the brutal and grimly realistic nature of the story (both physically and emotionally) I've been left with an aftertaste of beauty and style, both of which are appropriate for a fairytale I think. I'll definitely be looking for the sequels.

"Banner of Souls" by Liz Williams (library; 1405041242; finished 27/9)
Another change of pace - this is far future science fiction, far enough that it could be fantasy. I was left feeling like I was missing something - the story just didn't seem satisfying at the level I was reading it. Every event & scene followed on nicely from the one before, but when I looked back at the story I didn't know where I'd been or why things happened. According to the backcover blurb it's feminist science fiction, and apparently this generation's answer to Atwood and Tepper, but even Tepper at her most hysterical tells a good story. I've not read enough Atwood to really comment, but the two I have read did have clear stories to tell, and I knew what she was saying and what point she was making. Whereas this book left me feeling like I was just too blind or stupid to see the point.
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