BOOK & BLOG
October 21, 2010
Books of the Week
I read more than those books this week. That’s not always the case, but often it is. I don’t review books I found less than memorable or books I found downright bad, and from time to time I feel compelled to remind you of that. If I do mention a book, it’s like putting a stamp on it that says: IN MY OPINION, THIS BOOK IS NOT A WASTE OF YOUR TIME OR YOUR MONEY.
I’ve talked about Stacia Kane’s “Downside” books here before, and the most recent, City of Ghosts, is the third continuance of the adventures of Chess (Cesaria), a debunking witch in a society where the church (not the Christian church) is the dominating factor. In fact, it’s the government. Though Chess hardly toes the church line she is a drug addict, which the church condemns she is touchingly determined to try to do good and to avoid killing people. She is also in love with a man who despises her, at least in part. Does this make the books sound challenging? In some respects, yes, but the character has grown with every book. I find that every now and then I’d like a more comprehensive explanation of some of the systems operating in Chess’s world, but for the most part I’ve found this series very well written and the world incredibly vivid.
Kalayna Price is new to me, and I am only a third of the way through Grave Witch. Alex Craft, Price’s heroine, is a down-on-her-luck magic P.I., who needs a job in the worst possible way. She’s also the daughter of a very high-up politician, though the media haven’t discovered this . . . which, frankly, I find unbelievable. However, Alex is a likeable and capable grave witch, and the plot is unfolding in an unexpected way.
You wouldn’t think the plot of Outlander could be condensed so neatly into a graphic novel, but it has been. The Exile put the some of the plot that we only learn about later into a linear arrangement, which made the story seem new! And the drawing is really interesting. Clair’s bosom does seem to change sizes, as does Jamie’s jawline, but I enjoyed every page. A lot of fun for fans of the series . . . and who isn’t?
We have a new household member. Soft-hearted Daughter found a smallish dog in her apartment parking lot and after searching for a week to discover the owner (and discovering the joys of getting up to walk a whining canine), she did the classic thing and brought the dog home to Mama and Daddy.
The dog is a mélange of dogs part pit bull, perhaps, looking at the breadth of the chest and skull. He’s about twenty pounds, white and dark brown, and as good-natured as the day is long. He can bounce like he was on a trampoline, was obviously used to table food, and is housebroken and not neutered. (That will change very soon.) For now, his name is Colt (don’t ask; not my idea). The other dogs tolerate him.
After bffpaula’s daughter’s marriage, Paula and I will go on our annual Christmas shopping trip. Paula may not have thought of this yet, but I have, and I’m counting on it as a sort of “return to normality” signal.
I’m looking forward to attending CrimeBake in Dedham, Massachusetts, in a few weeks. I’ll be spending some time in New York before I go to Boston, and that time in New York will be taken up with interviews, a new author photo session, a play (I’m strictly a spectator!), and some other fun stuff. I really don’t like photo sessions, but I do cooperate. As far as I’m concerned, the sooner the photographer gets the shot, the sooner people will stop buzzing around me.
There are two projects I’m pretty excited about: the games made from the Dahlia Lynley-Chivers short stories, and the comic books made from the Harper Connelly books. As I get more information about those, I’ll be passing it along. It’s good to see both new ventures chugging forward. Seeing your tales retold in another medium can be really illuminating.
© 2010 Charlaine Harris