Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Replay by Ken Grimwood

Ken Grimwood
1987, 1992, Ace, New York

Jeff Winston dies of a heart attack in October 1988, then awakens again in his old college dorm room, as his younger self. He goes on to 'replay' his life again and again.

This book made me smile. The prose is really beautiful and it's so full of hope. I loved being drawn into the story, and also to consider what I would do given these circumstances.

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Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Little Friend by Donna Tartt

The Little Friend
Donna Tartt
2002, Random House, New York

Set in a small town in Mississippi, The Little Friend tells the story of Harriet, whose older brother was murdered when she was a baby. As a twelve year old, Harriet vows to find and punish those responsible for her brother's death.

This is a dark story, I didn't think it was as taught as The Secret History, but it's still a great book. Tartt writes such fantastic characters and puts them in scenarios so real you can nearly smell the dusty streets of Mississippi.

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Friday, December 19, 2008

Love and War by Paul Cornell

Love and War
Paul Cornell
1992, Doctor Who Books, London

The Doctor and Ace travel to a planet called Heaven where the dead from a number of cultures are sent for burial. Ace falls in love with a Traveller called Jan, but their love appears doomed when the dead begin to rise again.

An enjoyable, if convoluted story, and utterly confusing. The 'war' parts of this book were much better than the 'love' parts ... haha.

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Friday, December 5, 2008

The Twelve Deaths of Christmas by Marian Babson

The Twelve Deaths of Christmas
Marian Babson
1979, 1981, Keyhole Crime, London

A psychopath is on the loose in London at Christmas, killing strangers with whatever is at hand. The book is written with some chapters from the point of view of the killer, and the rest of the chapters are written in the third person.

It was such an interesting device to have part of the book written from the killer's point of view. The narrator never gives away their identity, just little clues dropped every now and again. It's like a manor mystery, with a limited number of suspects all living in a house together, and I didn't guess who it was until they were revealed.

This is just the story to get you in the Christmas Spirit!

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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Farseekers by Isobelle Carmody

The Farseekers
Isobelle Carmody
1990, Starscape, New York

This is book two of The Obernewtyn Chronicles set in a post-Apocalyptic world where some humans have developed new mental powers. Elspeth is a farseeker - she has the ability to look into the minds of others. When her home is threatened, she begins a quest to find an old library, and a new powerful ally.

The first chapters of the book are a bit of recount of what has happened in the first book - which was good for me seeing as I hadn't read the first book, but chapters like that can be a little boring. I enjoyed the story, although I felt it was let down by a lack of focus. Most quest stories have one really strong quest, which isn't resolved until then end, but this one had a series of connected quests and they gave the novel a stop-start feel. The premise of the story was interesting, but hardly unique; the well-developed characters are what really drove the story.

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