I'm swimming in middles right now. I keep starting, and when I get print books from the library, I have to dive in because there are time limits, you understand. So here I am reading Daughter of Smoke and Bone, but slowly, because the last two chapters spent way too much time on instalove, but also reading Ruby Red, because everybody recommended it but then I couldn't renew it and it turned out to be pretty good.
Except--let's move into an aside here, because when I try to organize my blog posts I end up not posting for weeks at a time, so we're going to do a free-form, stream-of-consciousness thing here--that Ruby Red suffers from a problem that is right up there on my pet peeves list next to instalove, and that is unnecessary reticence. That is, when a lot of this person's problems would be solved if they just enlisted the right ally, but they don't, because then the story would be over. This happens a lot in YA books, because if you bring in an adult there's a good chance they could solve the whole problem. A book has to explain to me why that won't work in a way that I'd believe it.
Gwendolyn, the main character in Ruby Red, has a cousin who's going to be a time traveler, and her whole family is waiting with bated breath for her to make her first trip. There is no reason on earth to suspect they'll think she's crazy if she admits to time traveling herself. This contradiction is a thin excuse for her to keep a secret that the story requires be kept, not a rational reaction on the part of the character. I'm still reading, though, because otherwise it's quite good.
Then there's still In This House of Brede, which is long and nunnish, and I will bask in as long as I can.
And let's see, what else? I figured out how to use audio books from Audible on my Kindle (did you know that my Kindle has speakers?!? I can just set it next to me on the counter when I'm in the kitchen and it will read to me!) and James Marsters is reading me Jim Butcher's first Dresden Files book, Storm Front. He's doing a bang-up job, too; I could listen to him talk all day--and now I can!
Kris really liked the Wool Omnibus, and I had already gotten it from Amazon ages ago, so I poked in on that. It's a collection of story/novella-length pieces, and I'm enjoying it. So far it's basically another take on far future dystopia, doing something similar to Maria V. Snyder's Inside Out, but I'm hoping that the thematic stuff gets a little more complex, because I think it's going to get better and there's a lot of room to explore some cool issues about resource allocation and how the real world requires unpleasant choices.
Oh, and I can't forget When She Woke, because it's great. In fact, I think it'll probably get a review all its own when I'm done, but for now I'll just say it's kind of like The Handmaid's Tale meets The Scarlet Letter meets Citizen Ruth. It's very explicitly political, but the first half, at least, is so thoughtful in portraying the point of view character that it works very well as a novel in spite of that.
So, that's the run down. I have a couple of real reviews coming up, but I really think they're not my strength as a blogger. I do better when I babble--at least, I post more consistently!
Hmmm...I'm not convinced that the thematic stuff in Wool DOES get more complex. Certainly not as regards your points. It's more "starts dystopian, stays dystopian". I honestly think it's beach sci-fi. Nothing too deep or compelling. But we can talk when you finish it, and you can tell me what you think.
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