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posted by [personal profile] ladyslvr at 11:38pm on 07/06/2009 under , ,
Books finished:

Seek by Paul Fleischman (audio) (1 pt) - An audio book that simply would not have worked in text form only. The main character is a high school student who was raised by his single mother. His English teacher assigns him to do an autobiography, so he creates his from the sounds that shaped his life. As his absentee father was a DJ, the sounds are primarily based on the character's search for his father up and down the airwaves.

Prince of Stories: The Many Worlds of Neil Gaiman by Hank Wagner, Christopher Golden, Stephen R. Bissette, and Terry Pratchett (3 pts) - A biography of Gaiman centered around the genres to which he contributed. Most of the information is redundant for people who are already fans of Gaiman, but wouldn't be interesting to people who aren't, unless they're not familiar with his entire body of work.

Good Fairies of New York by Martin Millar (2 pts) - A literary mess. There's a lot of stuff happening in this story, but it's all jumbled together with a lot of abrupt transitions between scenes and voices. The characters are difficult to distinguish and even more difficult to like.

Bloodlist by P.N. Elrod (2 pts) - An early entry into the good guy vampire and paranormal noir genres. Set is 1930s gangland Chicago, the main character is a newborn vampire who needs to solve his own murder. This is one of the few series for which I eagerly anticipate new entries and periodically reread the older ones.

Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories by Sandra Cisneros (2 pts) - The stories detail very mundane events in the lives of very ordinary people. All of the stories are told from a woman's perspective and from a feminist angle. They also feature characters who are Mexican or Mexican American. The author has a poetic voice, but also has a propensity for lists as a descriptive device. Most of the stories are character studies, which makes them thin on plot or action.

Scarlet by Stephen R. Lawhead (2 pts) - The second book in the Robin Hood trilogy, this one focuses on Will Scarlet and his joining of the band of Welsh freedom fighters lead by deposed prince Rhi Bran y Hud. It's told mostly in flashback with frequent interruptions to highlight the fact of the storytelling. Like most second entries in a planned trilogy, this one builds on the structure established by the first, but has problems with stagnating in the inevitability of the story.

The Devil You Know by P.N. Elrod (1 pt) - A self-published novella set following the ninth book in the series, but dealing with events revealed in the third. It's a standalone story, so people who don't get the chance to read it won't be missing anything. However, it does serve as a fitting conclusion to the first trilogy that clarifies some of the points raised within.

The Opposite of Invisible by Liz Gallagher (audio) (2 pts) - YA. A teenage girl who is firmly in with the outcaste art crowd at her school falls for her best friend and a hotly sought after jock at the same time, only to have both of them express interest in her.

Peter Pan and Other Stories by J.M. Barrie (2 pts) - The story based on the play Peter Pan reveals a whole side to the characters that Disney conveniently left out. The story is dark and dangerous and suggests itself to be more of a commentary on child death than on the ostensible plot of growing up. A follow up story "Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens" is also included. This one appears to be the testing ground for some of the ideas that did eventually make it to the play, but is otherwise unremarkable.

Who Can Save Us Now?: Brand New Superheroes and Their Amazing (Short) Stories by Owen King and John McNally, eds. (2 pts) - Billed as being a collection of short stories about superheroes for the 21st century, this anthology mostly reveals that the authors didn't understand what made the iconic heroes of the comic book Golden and Silver ages so super. Some of the stories--especially toward the back half of the book--are quite good. A couple would have been better if they hadn't been under the umbrella of the anthology and its stated purpose. A few, though, only reveal a meanness, pettiness, and vindictiveness that is not in keeping with how superheroes are supposed to be.

Total points for the month: 19
Total points for the year: 65

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