Jessie Burton: The Muse

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.

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Malorie Blackman: Thief!

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 ThiefI’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!”

China Mieville: The City and the City

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. the city and the city

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.

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James Dashner: The Kill Order (+ series)

I’m awarding myself a lot of completionist-points for this, although I did pretty much skim the last one.

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.

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Terry Pratchett: Dodger

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”.

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Chapter XV: Captain Flint again

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.

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Chapter XIV: Galumphing

“The Swallows were back in real life…”

Enough of this escapist charcoal burning. Serious stuff is afoot, and it’s time to get real. Actually, this bit is hyper real: there’s an acknowledgement that this isn’t, in fact, virgin territory if the Amazons got there first. Next, we’ll work on how it wasn’t empty anyway if the natives / savages / tribal charcoal burning witches were there…

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