Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Recent Reads I Haven't Reviewed.

There's a couple books I've read this summer without writing up a full review so I'll combine them all into one instead of making several posts. 
Dance with Dragons- George R.R. Martin
 This LONG awaited continuation of the Song of Ice and Fire series was a great read as always from Martin. Any author that can sneak in a Monty Python and the Holy Grail reference about farting in someone's general direction without it coming off as cheesy is my hero. I'm in anguish over some of the events of the end of the book because Martin continues his typical cruelty of the character cliffhanger. I felt somewhat less emotionally affected by the majority of the events in this novel and some parts (Daenerys) bored me with their repetitiveness. Compared to the typical fantasy I'd give this book a 5/5 but because it pales in comparison so some of the others in the series I'm downgrading it to a 4/5. Also the first book I read on my new Kindle.

Wolf Hall- Hillary Mantel

This is an historical novel chronicling the rise and career of Thomas Cromwell who came from humble beginnings as an abused son of a blacksmith, became a successful merchant, and finally became advisor and close friend to Henry VIII. I enjoyed the read immensely and it was a relatively quick read despite its large size. It was a much much more realistic portrayal of Henry VIII's character and motivations behind the English Reformation and his relationship with Anne Boleyn compared to the historical wrecks that have been popular recently. The book seemed slightly imbalanced. For the first 3/4 of the book the pace was steady but very detailed and then the last 1/4 was rushed. She's currently working on the sequel that continues to follow Cromwell's life and I'll probably read that once it comes out. I give this book 4/5 rating.

Let the Right One In- John Ajvide Lindqvist
I want to read as much Scandinavian lit as possible(but I'm not a big fan of crime fiction which is the big trend) so I decided to try this paranormal vampire-ish fiction. I read this entirely on the train from Bergen to Oslo so it's pretty short. It's about a bulllied boy who has a mysterious new neighbour who is a very odd little girl. There's been a series of odd murders in the area that seem to be connected. The paranormal aspects of the novel mostly seem to highlight the sad truths of childhood that the young boy experiences and the friendship between the boy and the little vampire is quite touching. Some parts involving a pedophile are seriously disturbing. This vampire book is not for people expecting a Twilight novel. I give it a 3/5 rating. 
An epidemic of white blindness strikes an entire country and one woman who has retained her sight takes it upon herself to protect and lead a small group of the blind. This dystopian-ish novel makes you wonder what you would be willing to do to help others while remarking at the depths of depravity to which humanity is capable of descending. It seems that if people en masse lose one sense then they lose all humanity. The structure of the novel was a little weird as there's no names and everyone is only referred to by physical characteristics that had been assigned them before the blindness struck. There's also limited punctuation- with no quotation marks and only periods and commas. While discomfiting it was a fantastic novel that I give 4.5/5. 

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