Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Last Wish

My review today is on The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski it is translated by Danusia Stok. It is published by Orbit, it is 359 pages long not including an excerpt from Orcs by Stan Nicholls. The cover has the symbol of the main character which is a wolf's head with fangs bared. Now I will warn you. This is a series of short stories that the author wrote and published first to introduce the reader to the world of the witchers. I did not know this when I started reading it and I had to google the book as I was trying to figure out what was going on. Once I knew that all the stories were memories and the only story happening in current time is "Voice of Reason". There are seven stories all in all. The characters are brilliant and the action scenes are wonderful. The blurb on the back is bad do not waste your time with it. The story is about Geralt de Rivia a witcher. He kills the monsters that haunt the world but the monsters are becoming less and the people hiring him are becoming more so. He wonders about who are the monsters really are and where he fits into this world on the brink of change. I was not sure that I was going to like this novel(ish) but I really did. The way that the author tells the stories is fun and interesting. The translator did a great job because she clearly has a love for the books and an excellent grasp of both languages. I went out and bought both novels that are over here in the USA and I cannot wait for the second/third one to make it. By second/third I mean the third book but the second in the series.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict

Today I am reviewing The extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict by Trenton Lee Stewart. It is only in hardcover at the moment. It is 470 pages long with 30 chapters. The cover and each chapter beginning has the delightful art by Diana Sudyka. This is the fourth book in the series but it is a prequel giving the reader a look into Mr. Benedict's childhood. Nicholas Benedict is a genius but as he is only a nine year old boy he is ignored. The adults in his short life have been selfish and cruel. He has only lived in orphanages as his parents were killed in experiment when he was a baby. The story starts with him going to a new orphanage called 'Child's End. The real name of the place is Rothschild's End but everyone just calls it 'Child's End because it is a horrible place to live. When Mr. Rothschild died he wanted his house to be an place where children can come to be safe. But because of bad management the place is going to ruin and it going to be closed down. Nicholas is befriended by John Cole and runs afoul of the local bullies The Spiders. He learns that there is a treasure hidden by Mrs. Rothschild and he determines to find it. With the treasure he and John are going to leave the orphanage and live wherever they want to but first they have to beat Mr. Collum to it. It is a fun wonderful read just like all the others in the series. I need to get my hands on the other books as I have only read two of the them. I look forward to the next one in the series.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Library of Babel

This week's book review is The Library of Babel by Jorge Luis Borges, translated by Andrew Hurley. To start this off with I love Borges. If you have not read him FIX THAT NOW! I'm not kidding he is amazing. One of the best, if not the best, speculative fiction authors ever. The short story is only 17 pages long but that is more than enough for Borges. It has wonderful engravings by Erik Desamzieres. The story sounds simple enough. The world is a giant library. The author of the story is a traveler who is searching for the catalogue of catalogues. He is nearing the end of his life and wanted to give the next person on a similar journey some help. He talks about some of the politics of the giant library. Other than that I cannot tell you more. Not because there is not more, there is so much more going on the text. Borges is just more than I can say. I have now read books by him. The other book I have read and the only one I owe by him is Labyrinths. I fell in love with Borges in that. It will not take you long to read this one so just go ahead and get from your library.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

A Monster Calls

Today's post is A Monster calls by Patrick Ness and Inspired by Siobhan Dowd. The illustrations are by Jay Kay. It is published by Candlewick Press, is 204 pages ling excluding the author's note at the beginning. The author's note is important because Ms. Dowd died before she could write this book. So her friend wrote it for her. This story made me cry but it was so beautiful. The main character is Conor and a monster is calling him. He wakes up to hear a monster calling his name. Over the course of the story the monster tells Conor three stories but at the end Conor must tell him one. One true story. I won't tell you who or what the monster really is but he is no danger to Conor. The story is really about Conor learning to handle grief and loss. While I was reading this I was made to think about my own journey to peace with grief and loss. That is something to be proud of as a writer to pull the real emotions of the reader, to bring the reader back to points in their lives, so that they will understand the protagonist. Ness does this beautifully. When Conor had his revelation I cried and remembered my own. If I had a child in my life going through something like Conor is I would give them this book.