Monday, 29 September 2008
I thought it was about time I updated my book list. While not up to Dinah's standards, I have surprised myselves by reaching the heady heights of seventeen and a half books read this year! So, here we go:
15 - The Margarets, by Sherri S Tepper.
This book had such a marvellous premise, that I just had to read it: Margaret, a girl living on Mars' moon Phobos with her parents, has imagined six other personalities to keep her company - a queen, a spy, a warrior, a shaman, a linguist and a healer. After being forced to leave Phobos for an imperfect Earth, the various personalities split off from Margaret and spread throughout the galaxy, unaware of each other. In the end, they find each other, coming together to save the human race from slavery and destruction.
After an excellent, if somewhat confusing start, the story started to come together. Unfortunately, it quickly unravelled into a miss-match of a twee childrens fable/mythology/sci-fi/love story. Plus, with seven different Margarets to cover, the character development was left a little short, especially Naumi-Margaret's unrequited love for his friend Ferni.
On the plus side, everything was wrapped up in a neat little package at the end, and everyone lived happily ever after. Oh, joy.
16 - Smoke and Mirrors, by Neil Gaiman.
I *love* this book! It's a collection of short stories ranging from the old woman who finds the Holy Grail in a charity shop, a murder of angels, eating babies, wedding presents/marriage, the end of the world, sex changes, trolls and a different look at the legend of Snow White, amongst other things. Some stories I've read only once, others (like the Holy Grail story, the Wedding Present and Snow White) I have read again and again.
17 - Greater Than The Sum, a Star Trek: The Next Generation novel by Christopher L Bennett.
After the hokey old clap-trap of the previous two Next Gen novels that feature the Borg, I really didn't want to read this latest offering. (The only reason I did was that I'd heard that this novel set up events for David Mack's forthcoming Destiny trilogy which is getting rave reviews!) Plus, I wasn't too thrilled by Mr Bennett's last Star Trek book of the lost era, The Buried Age. That book was about Captain Picard's life between commanding the Stargazer and the Enterprise-D, and, while offering an insight to his character, I couldn't 'hear' Picard as I was reading it.
This book, however, couldn't have been more different. I could 'hear' all the characters as if they were right there in one of the episodes or films - Their 'voices' were spot on. The characterisation is excellent, which was imperative really, as one of the main story focal threads was the meshing of Picard's crew aboard the Enterprise-E. After the events of the film Nemesis - Data's death, Riker and Troi transferring to the Titan - Picard has to find suitable replacements for these trusted officers, which, after much wailing and gnashing of teeth in previous novels set after the film, he eventually manages.
The Borg, while a threat, were skillfully handled and thankfully weren't omnipresent. The only drawback was the inclusion of Hugh, the ex-Borg from the Next Gen episode 'I, Borg' - His inclusion just seemed a little twee.
Even a certain Chief Medical Officer's pregnancy didn't put me off - This is a great book!
Oh, there's a half, too:
.5 - Marshmallows For Breakfast, by Dorothy Koomson.
A friend at work loaned me this book last year. I tried reading it, I really did, but it really wasn't for me. I got halfway through before giving up on the main character - I didn't like her. She blows hot and cold, she has issues, and I couldn't care less about her stupid problems. OK, so they probably weren't stupid, but I just don't care anyway.
Luckily, my friend resigned last week, so I escaped from subjecting myselves to any more of it, and gave her the book back, half read. Ha!
Phew! That's it for now, thank goodness.