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10 January 2010 @ 01:34 pm
Books  
These don't count as reviews, they're just thoughts about the books that quite possibly will only really make sense to me :)

1. "Ink and Steel" by Elizabeth Bear: I got "Blood and Iron" for my birthday a couple of years ago & enjoyed and intended to get round to buying the rest of the series sometime, but they always seemed to be imports on Amazon so I never did. But in looking for Christmas present ideas for J to top up my main present with I remembered them & found that all 3 of the Promethean Age books that I didn't have were available (kinda, I'm having to wait for "Hell and Earth" as it was out of stock). Pretty sure I finished "Whiskey and Water" before 2010, so my books for the year starts on book 3 of a series :) As always with this author's books I'm left feeling like I've probably missed about half of what's going on, but in a good way - there's just so much stuff packed in on so many different levels. I know reading "Blood and Iron" again before starting on the new ones I picked up more because I already knew the shape of the story so I saw more of the details. The first two in the series are set in the modern world but "Ink and Steel" takes us back to the Elizabethan age - and the main characters in the story are Christopher Marlowe and William Shakespeare. This is probably my favourite period of history anyway, so I very much enjoyed that side of it. And it was also cool to know more in-world stuff than the characters - when Kit goes into Faerie for the first time he has no idea what's going on, but having read the two earlier books (set later) the reader knows more. And despite knowing kinda where it's going having read the first books I still don't know how it gets there and won't find out till I can get my hands on "Hell and Earth" and finish the story. Or if the stories the characters in the modern day books tell about the things that happened in the Elizabethan books were what really happened.

2. "All the Windwracked Stars" by Elizabeth Bear: the first book in a different series. This is Norse mythology where the Promethean Age books are more Celtic (mostly). And it has a very different worldview. It starts with the end of the world, then we move on 2000 years to the end of the world; it's all cycles but not the same at all each time. (That makes more sense in my head, but I can't articulate it really). And the whole of human civilisation (grown and dying again in that 2000 years) is just a flicker while the world dies. The main characters are those who survived Ragnarok - a Waelcyrge, a Valraven (warsteed of the waelcyrges) and the Wolf (who was at the end of the world before). And those who are re-born (in various ways) at the next end of the world. And some of it's about what you should or shouldn't do to save people/the world, and when the means are more important than the ends (again with the inability to articulate it). The next book in the series is a prequel, I believe.

3. "206 Bones" by Kathy Reichs: I mentioned this one before so nothing more to say here, but it was a total change of pace! :)

And now I've started on the 4th one, but this'll take me a while to read - "The Mind of Egypt" by Jan Assmann. The introductory chapters were full of words I didn't know, and a discussion of the methodology of history that was fairly over my head, but J's just finished it and says that the more concrete & less theoretical stuff is well worth the read, so I shall continue!
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