Tuesday, December 20, 2011

30. The Necessary Beggar

By Susan Palwick (316 pp.)

Another book I was looking forward to reading that I wish I liked more. The set-up is great. A family from another world is exiled and they end up in Reno, NV. The main protagonist is a young girl who grows into a teenager during the course of the story. The characters are likable and the contrast between cultures is detailed and interesting. The first problem I had was it was too long. Every scene seemed to go on longer than it needed to. We watched the exiled family try to understand crime, Christianity, Halloween, Christmas, casinos, homeless people. It went on and on. The second half of the book turned into an implausible teen romance and family melodrama. I didn't hate it but have trouble recommending.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

29. The Queen of Attolia

By Megan Whalen Turner (404 pp)

Well, I disagree with the person who reviewed this book online and wrote, "Best Book Ever." I liked it a great deal but didn't love it mostly because of an unexpected plot event I found implausible and not particularly desirable. The story is about the Thief from the previous book, who gets into serious trouble and a terrible thing happens. Then he needs to get his groove back. The backdrop is political maneuverings of three countries plus an empire from over yonder that would also like to get its grubby hands in the mix. I thought the book got a little too bogged down in that stuff and the end was about 50 pages too long. I'm still going to read the third one but not for a bit. First, I'm back to working on the nightstand odds and ends.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

28. The Thief

By Megan Whalen Turner (219 pp)

I still haven't cleared out the odds and ends on my nightstand but I made a big dent in them. I read this book when it came out but I never continued in the series so I wanted to read this again before I moved on. I barely remembered the story so it was just as big a surprise this time around. It's about a thief who is taken out of prison so he can steal something for the king. Really good. I recommend.