Here we are with the May book post, and not a Star Trek book in sight!
20. The Bees, by Laline Paull
I bought this book after having read a brief review on io9 at the end of last year.
I found it to be quite a delightful look into the workings of a beehive, with the author's scientific knowledge of bees given a creative and engaging flourish. I particularly liked the emphasis on the bees methods of hierarchy, communication and senses.
However, I found myself frequently annoyed with the antics of the protagonist bee, whose point of view the novel focused on. Her many adventures seemed too easily entered into, and her transgressions seemed unrealistically unpunished (although not without consequence). All rather 'Mary Sue'.
21. Hollow City, by Ransom Riggs
The second novel of the Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children series in which the Peculiar Children escape from their Welsh island home before it is bombed during World War II. This novel follows their adventures on the way to London in search of an ymbryne (kind of a witch) who can revert Miss Peregrine back from her bird form in which she's become stuck. Oh, and also while escaping the vile clutches of various hollows (monsters) and wights (monsters in human form).
While I rather enjoyed this second outing of the Peculiar Children, it wasn't as engaging or novel as the first - probably because the scene has already been set. Still, the old-timey photos were well chosen to illustrate the story.
22. The Dark Side of the Sun, by Terry Pratchett
I hummed and hahed about whether to read something from the DiscWorld, or a stand-alone novel, and eventually picked this (one of Sir Terry's first novels).
I love it for the imaginative concepts and world-building, and especially because the protagonist, Dom Sabalos, has a planet (The First Sirian Bank) for a godfather! The aliens are truly alien and the humans even more so, and some of the technology is truly indistinguishable from magic.
* Post title from page 61.
23. The Next Always (The Inn at Boonsboro trilogy), by Nora Roberts
This was a free book from Amazon after I'd spent a certain amount, or bought a certain book from some promotion or other. I don't normally read this kind of romantic-fiction-thing (chick lit?), but was mildly surprised by it even though it was a tad predictable.
A centuries-old inn in the town of Boonsboro is being renovated by three brothers, and, coincidentally I'm sure, three single women are thrown into the mix. Plus a rather matter-of-factly presented minor-character ghost - no occult mysticism or hocus-pocus, and no boring back story. Really quite refreshing.
24. Howl's Moving Castle, by Diana Wynne Jones
Having seen the animated film some years ago, I thought it was high time I read the book.
It's quite different from the film, but I mostly think that's a good thing as books generally don't tend to translate well, word-for-word or page-to-screen, or whatever you want to call it.
I found it a little too 'young adult', but that's probably because I expected it to be an adult book, for some reason.