Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Please take us to the First Sirian Bank*

 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.


  1. Thank you for your book review.
    What sort of punishment should the protagonist bee receive? You have tickled my curiosity!
    Do you ever leave reviews on Amazon? Sometimes huge arguments break out between reviewers and I spend more time reading their comments than the books.

  2. sorry darling, i never read fiction; i live it.

  3. Ms Scarlet: Well, most punishments in the hive are having one's head bitten off. But there's always banishment from the hive, too, which is also the death penalty but it just takes a bit longer to die. Oh, then there's being fed to spiders, but that's not really a punishment, more a duty for the good of the hive (as the spiders provide information and intelligence to the bee priestesses in exchange for nice, fresh meals of bee).

    I don't think I've ever left a review on Amazon. I do sometimes read others reviews and find myself getting annoyed/amused by the lack of objectivity, or the fact that the reviewer gave the book one star as he thought it was going to be a DVD! I might have a little "review" read later. Have you left any?

    Norma: Then I can't wait to read your autobiography!

  4. Is that the same beehive as in Hörrörstör?

  5. Hollow city and the series sounds very interesting, I may have to check that out. Never heard of them. And when Norma's auto comes out, it will be available at your handy porn book shops everywhere.

  6. I definitely recommend the Peculiar Children series, Mistress Maddie. A third one is due out soon, and a film is in production starring Eva Green as Miss Peregrine.

    I hope Norma's auto isn't a pop-up book?

  7. I have left reviews on Amazon... this week I reviewed a kettle and a pair of jeans :-) I once gave a bad review for a book and somebody tried to pick a fight with me. Feisty those Amazons.

  8. It wasn't the book's author, was it, Ms Scarlet?


Tickle my fancy, why don't you?