This is the ultimate in fanfiction: written with the complete support and cooperation of the original author, who has done an outstanding job of engaging with her fan base. And as such, it is the very best of fanfic. It ties up some loose ends from the original series, speculates on complex characters’ motivation, develops and resolves some important relationships, and – most importantly – it made me cry, several times.
I really enjoyed ‘The Miniaturist’. I remember thinking that there were definite indications that it was a First Novel, and I looked forward to seeing how the author would progress.
I really, really enjoyed ‘The Muse’. It has all the thoughtfulness and artistry and detail of ‘The Miniaturist’, but it reads a lot more smoothly. The characters are fascinating and delightful, and their relationships are both intriguing and completely believable.
Essentially, someone recommended that I read ‘Noughts and Crosses’ but that was reserved by someone else at the library, so I got this one instead. As such, I don’t really feel as if I’ve given Malorie Blackman a fair hearing, and I will definitely go back and do it properly.
‘Thief’ is OK. It felt very slow at first. I was expecting time travel, which didn’t actually kick in until a good third of the way through. The set up chapters didn’t ring entirely true, but maybe that was partly because my expectations were off – if I’d been expecting a real-life contemporary school story, I might have been prepared to give it more time.
I did enjoy it much more once it was in the future. Continue reading “Malorie Blackman: Thief!”
I remember studying the Battle of Hastings in history. We were told that because of weather conditions, William the Conqueror was delayed in setting off from France. Harold thought he wasn’t coming and dismissed some of his armies before William arrived, and that’s why our meat is named in French. Continue reading “Chapter XVII: To be a lonely lighthouse keeper”
This has been fairly low down on my ‘to read’ list for a long time, and I’ve kind of been putting it off. I think I was vaguely intimidated by it, because I’d read so many reviews saying how great it was. I was worried it was going to be either too clever or too grim for me.
It is neither of those things. It is extremely clever, but it’s also very readable. It’s similar to ‘1984’ or ‘Farenheit 451’ in that the complexities of world-building are conveyed entirely through the plot, which is gripping in its own right; and it’s absolutely as well-written and as original as either of those.
I am very aware that there’s not much point in writing reviews if you never write a remotely bad one; and I feel really mean writing bad things. Maybe I’m not cut out for this.
Instead, I think I will write a good review of a different book.
Yes, she gets two chapters named after her. She is That Good.
This chapter is peculiarly alien in culture, and at the same time I feel closer to John than ever before. Continue reading “Chapter XVI: The best of all natives”
I am planning a presentation-workshop at the moment, which will focus on themes from YA fiction and film. As such, this was a bit of a duty-read, and it’s possible that that has influenced my perception. At the same time, I really do enjoy the genre in general. I didn’t love this. (I didn’t hate it, either.)
There will be spoilers.
My Christmas treat to myself was to allow myself to read two Pratchett books in a row. And a treat it was! I don’t think I’m alone in feeling extremely comfortable and at home in Pterri’s head – he feels like a favourite uncle whom I haven’t quite managed to meet, and almost everything he writes makes me breathe: “yes, of course, that’s right, that’s how it is”.
If there is one thing I really really don’t like, it is being Falsely Accused. Especially the kind where you can’t say anything in your defence and nobody will listen and they will never know that you are nice really because they won’t let you tell them and there’s nothing you can do and it’s all so unfair. The end of this chapter makes my insides all cold and explodey.
But there’s lots of lovely stuff first.