I've been on a reading frenzy again without benefit of blogging, but now thanks to the wonder that is summer break I am back and ready to talk.
The Drowned Cities by Paolo Bacigalupi The main character here is Tool, the half-man who made a significant appearance in Ship Breaker. I listened to Ship Breaker quite a long time ago, but I did not blog about it....though I am not sure why. Ship Breaker is the 2011 winner of the Michael L. Printz Award, and well deserved it. This book takes a close look at the groups fighting for eminence in this post apocalyptic world. Nailer,"Lucky Girl," and Pima in Ship Breaker are parallel to Mahlia and Mouse in The Drowned Cities. All these teens should be dating, studying in school, and going to proms, but instead they are fighting for their lives and livelihoods in a world that uses their peers as cannon fodder in a war that has no right or wrong side. Tool, who features in both stories is a genetically engineered being part human, part animal. Which side of him is predominant at any given time is what drives the story. I have not figured out if this is supposed to have taken place before or after Ship Breaker, but I suspect, after. Maybe? (I recently purchased The Windup Girl as I am intrigued by Bacigalupi after two such fantastic YA titles. I want to see what he does with adult fiction.)
Insurgent by Veronica Roth: After I read Divergent I thought I would go crazy before I could read Insurgent. Luckily I retained my sanity, and the book was well worth the wait. The only problem was my inability to remember some important details from Divergent. I will not make that mistake again and will most likely read the first two again before the third. In this one Tris is back and the conflict between the factions is more intense. While I like the dystopia concept I do wish there were more time in the world when it was still working before diving into the downfall of the society. This series is ripe for a pre-quel.
Hold Me Closer Necromancer by Lish McBride: I really loved this humorous, horror novel. Yes, you read that right funny and scary. Sam discovers pretty early on that he is a necromancer, one who has power over the dead. His family has kept this from him to protect him...this is really the only cliche and somewhat predictable part of the novel. Because necromancers can steal each other's power by killing, Sam must watch out for Douglas the most powerful necromancer in the area and head of a council of other supernatural folks including fey and wolves. This type of book series has exploded since "the book that shall not be named" made vampires cool, but this one is different. It is well written, funny, with full characters about whom I am looking forward to finding out more in Necromancing the Stone due out in September.
Timepiece by Myra McEntire: I had held out a long time before I finally read Hourglass, but I found I could not resist the time travel premise. I really liked Hourglass and its cover. In fact, the cover is what I liked best about Timepiece though I have no idea what the covers have to do with story, especially as in this case, the book is narrated by Kaleb, so the idea that it is Emerson on the cover just does not work. Even the title has little meaning this time, while "Hourglass" had a strong link to the characters. I know there is a third book in the works, and I will need to read it to finish up the trilogy, but after this one I am not sure how interested I am. There was so little true tension created and while I was rooting for Kaleb, as I should because he narrated, I did not feel any connection to the others who drew me in in the first book. A bit disappointing overall.
In my next post I will discuss The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller and Faith Bass Darling's Last Garage Sale by Lynda Rutledge, my most recent adult fiction reads as well as That Woman by Anne Sebba about the life of Wallis Simpson.