Monday, August 26, 2013

Summerland by Michael Chabon

Michael Chabon
2002, HarperCollins, London

American fairytale of Ethan Feld, an 11-year-old baseball player, who is recruited by a group of mythical creatures to complete a quest to save the multiverse.  He meets werefolk, giants, faeries, sasquatch, and goblins along the way.

This is an enjoyable fantasy for young people and adults.  It has a few dark themes, but is still appropriate for children.  It feels like the author has added every mythical creature he could think of!  There are a lot of baseball references in the book, which I didn't understand; it does not distract from the story.  As well as being a work of fantasy, there are sci-fi elements to the story, such as multiple universes, physics, and a rather cute Saab-Zeppelin.

Link to journal at bookcrossing

Monday, August 12, 2013

Battle Royale by Koushun Takami

Battle Royale
Koushun Takami
1999, 2003, 2009, Haikasoru, San Francisco

A group of junior high students from an alternate reality of Japan are taken to an island where they are fitted with exploding collars and told they must kill each other until there is one survivor remaining.

I saw the movie and wanted to read the book.  This is like Hunger Games only better.  Bloody and violent and a hell of a lot of fun.  It may have been improved by a more in depth look at the dystopian aspects of this alternate reality, but then again, that may have distracted from the premise of the book.  As a stand alone, straight-out blood bath novel, it works.