Saturday, January 28, 2006

Three New Books as Stories Unfold

I said before starting Kushiel’s Dart that I would give it a chance. I think that 178 pages is enough of a chance.

Now, I like Fantasy novels, but they’re not supposed to be that sort of … ahem… fantasy.

This series is based on a woman who becomes a spy based on her enjoyment of pain. Apparently, once people hurt her and have their way with her, they’re that much more likely to give away state secrets or something.

You would think that a story based on this could only go so far. You would be wrong.

Jacqueline Carey wrote three books about Phedre, who is blessed with “Kushiel’s Dart”, hence the catchy title. This lands her in the hands of her master, some guy with a weird name.

French names abound in this book that had good characters, a decent amount of intrigue but way too much smut that went too far for this cowboy.

So, the masochist-spy goes by the wayside (all three books worth), being replaced by Shaman’s Crossing by Robin Hobb and Wizard of the Grove by Tanya Huff. Wizard of the Grove is split into two books, Child of the Grove and The Last Wizard.

Tonight, I returned the second and third Kushiel books, without a receipt, and, combined with my Chapter’s card, a 15% discount and 5 dollars, I covered the price of Shaman's Crossing.

The funny thing about this is that the entire Kushiel series cost 5 dollars less than Shaman's Crossing would have been if I could have bought it the night I bought the Kushiel series. So basically, I got a book that I don't want (Kushiel's Avatar) for nothing.

So, the end of this very confusing tale is that, mathematical contradictions aside, my lack of willingness to read crap earned me a half a used book.

On to the minigoal!

Minigoal revision:

Getting rid of the book that I was in the middle of reading kinda hurts. Especially when I was a prodigious 178 pages in. Regardless, I soldier on. With the Soldier’s Son Trilogy. Or the first book of it, anyway.

Shaman's Crossing is 577 pages long, and, keeping with my 80-or-so pages per day, that works out to 7 days to read this book. Since it’s now Sunday, that means that Saturday is still the deadline for the completion of the book.

Two more in the bag:


I have to admit that I was more than a little disappointed with Eragon by Christopher Paolini. It was a modestly good book. The characters were okay, though nothing to scream about. The weakest point about the book was its dialogue. Throughout the book, Eragon, who is the “child of destiny” in this book, asks questions and receives answers like it’s a video game.

“Tell me more about .”
is ."
It was like this without variation for the first half of the book. The second half was better, if only just a little.

It probably doesn’t help that I listened to the audiobook and Saphira, the blue dragon, was done in a “Me Cookie Monster want cookie” kind of voice. Really, the voice actor did a pretty poor job overall, and I had a hard time gauging the quality of writing.

All that said, the plot is pretty strong for a rehashed old fantasy theme, and I’m looking a little forward to Eldest, as long as it’s not done by the same guy. There are supposed to be more dragons and I’m not sure I can take the story seriously with a dread army of muppets at Eragon’s command.

The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe

I’ve pretty much said all I need to about The Chronicles of Narnia. I continue to be amazed by Nicholas’ listening skills and his comprehension level. He’s excited to learn more about Narnia and Aslan (even if he sometimes mixes up which is which).

My favourite part to read to him was the part after Aslan’s return, his playing with Susan and Lucy at the Stone Table. However, I think his favourite part was when Aslan breathed life back into the statues at the Witch’s castle. Especially the Lion. “Us lions. Did you hear that, everyone? Aslan said Us Lions!” And of course, the noble giant, Rumblebuffin.

Next up, The Horse and His Boy and Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman. Anansi Boys is read by a Brit, too. I can only hope he’s better than the guy that did Eragon.

42 books left to go!


KimProbable said...

I still feel badly that your smut books were so smutty. I guess the mostly-naked chick on the front was an accurate portrayal after all.

And yes, the dragon voice was very Cookie Monster-esque. I tried not to giggle every time I walked by.

I'm excited for you to read Tanya Huff. Out of the 5 (6 maybe?) of her books I've read none have been even slightly disappointing and the Wizard Grove was amazing.

knxjew: Nicholas' new expansion set for his k'nex: K'nex Jew!

Baron Von Cliff said...

You too can assemble a lifesize working dreidel! Or maybe a monorroh is more up your alley? How about a motsa ball!

Liam J. said...

Very nice.

Shiny Beamer said...

Kim - you're funny Thanks for the chuckle!

domesticvixen said...

I'm trying to read the RJ book you lent us, but it keeps disappearing... along with the bookmark that had my place.

Liam J. said...

As long as it doesn't disappear on a permanent-type basis.

I'm assuming the two of you are battling each other for "first readsies"...

Shiny Beamer said...

Have you checked Zoe's house?

Baron Von Cliff said...

Have you checked your pockets? Or maybe behind the door at that house down the street. You know the one I mean, it's got the thing out front, and that guy who keeps doin' stuff lives there...well, maybe he doesn't LIVE there, but he's sure there quite a lot.