Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Time Traveler's Wife

Title: The Time Traveler's Wife
Author: Audrey Niffenegger

What it's about: Clare meets Henry for the first time when she's a young girl. Henry meets Clare for the first time when he's almost thirty. Soon after he meets her, they get married. No, this isn't some sort of lolita story. Henry has a genetic condition that causes him to spontaneously time travel, and the first time he meets Clare is when he travels back in time to when Clare is six. Meanwhile, Henry has been married to her in her future for a couple years already. The book is basically the story of two people in love who have to live with the difficulty of Henry's time travel.

What I thought: It's a very intriguing premise, and the story is executed in such a way that it's really not confusing. Really, the writing is top-notch and the characters are really brought to life. The sex in the book definitely isn't very fade to black, which turned me off a bit, but I guess that's part of how the book portrays this as being a story about real people.

Overall: I liked it, but I dunno if I'd read it again.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Green Rider

Title: Green Rider
Author: Kristen Britain

What it's about: Karigan G'ladheon is just a normal schoolgirl. Okay, maybe normal's not the best word for someone who runs away from school after getting suspended, but still, Karigan certainly never expected what happened next. A dying Green Rider, one of the king of Sacoridia's messengers, encounters Karigan and gets her to continue his message errand, one that is of vital importance to the safety of the country. Karigan's swept up into a dangerous adventure that brings her face-to-face with ancient monsters, traitorous soldiers, and the mysterious Grey One who plots the downfall of Sacoridia.

What I thought: Love this book. Seriously. This novel made me realize that epic fantasy stories could have a sense of humor to them and be more than Tolkien ripoffs. (Or rather, what I imagine Tolkien ripoffs to be, having never been able to make it through any of the man's books.) I really love how developed the culture and history of Sacordia are, and all the detail we get isn't explained in boring info-dumps but in natural places in the narrative that add flavor to the story. The characters are great, too. Timas Mirwell is a very interesting antagonist; he might be a bad guy, but his chapters make you respect his way of thinking and his cunning. Karigan herself is likeable. She's got a sense of humor and she's a pretty admirable heroine, but she's also not perfect, which just makes her more relatable. The way that romance is barely even touched on in this first book is also something that I find refreshing. I mean, I like me a good romance as much as the next girl, but this story didn't need any more than the foreshadowing it had. After all, there are three books by now and the series isn't even finished yet. Plenty of time for romance to develop slowly. As for the plot itself, it is pretty good. Green Rider can almost work as a stand-alone book, as the plot with delivering the message and stopping the Grey One is resolved mostly neatly by the end of the book. The plot of this book isn't anything hugely spectacularly innovative, but it really sets up the world and the characters for the more intricate plots of the following two books.

Overall: I'm a fan.

Review of the second book in the series, First Rider's Call, is coming up soon, but the third book was reviewed back in, I wanna say, May, for future reference, folks.

Making Money

Title: Making Money
Author: Terry Pratchett

What it's about: Moist von Lipwig is a respected citizen of Ankh-Morpork because of how he improved the postal system there. But while the initial rush of bringing the post office back from the brink was enjoyable, he's feeling a little stuck in a rut now. Happily enough, Lord Vetinari has a new job for Moist. He gets to take over the city's mint and bank. For Moist, it's like being a conman in a candy store. ... Er, wait, bad metaphor. But as a conman, Moist knows a thing or two, and he uses his knowledge of money and human nature to start getting the bank back on its feet. However, not everyone is happy with the changes Moist is making. (Of course.) The family who used to be in charge of the bank is determined to undermine Moist and take back what's theirs, and the effort is led by Cosmo Lavish, a man who admires Lord Vetinari perhaps just a little too much.

What I thought: The humor is in full force in this book. The situation is similar to Going Postal, but it has its own set of difficulties for Moist, so it's not a rehash. However, though this is an excellent book, I do sort of feel that it doesn't have the same desperate, frantic excitement of the first book, where Moist had to do well or pretty much end up dead, whereas in this one, there's not that sort of suspense.

Overall: Still a very good, solid Discworld book.

P.S. - This blog ain't dead. I've got a huge backlog of entries to do. I just caught the lazies. ^^;