December is eating my brain.
Anyhow, backing up a few months here, all the way to… October? November?… here are the books I read:
Breath and Bone and Flesh and Spirit by Carol Berg: Berg writes these immersive, slower-paced fantasies that I just love getting into. She takes the time to lay out her world and her story, building them up, drawing you in, shading in the illusions, really letting you get inside her story. Her books may deal with large-scale events, but they don’t *feel* epic. Rather, you get inside one character’s head so intimately that the story feels much closer and finely-detailed than sprawling and far-flung.
Wish they came with a map, though!
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins: What can I say about this book that hasn’t been said ten times over by reviewers all over? Yes, it is a departure in tone and content from the other two books, and yes, Collins chose to make it much darker and yes, Katniss’ emotional unraveling is painful to watch. I can understand why Collins chose to go this route, and despite some quibbles over the way certain plot twists played out, I was gripped by this final installment. Not the kind of book that I’ll ever re-read, though.
Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde: This book is weird and whimsical and delightful and dystopian. It’s sorta like a fantasy of manners set in a post-apocalyptic color-conscious society. One’s status, job, and marital prospects are determined by where one falls on the color perception spectrum. This is a future society you’ve certainly never seen before in fiction.
Alcatraz and the Knights of Crystallia by Brandon Sanderson: Woohoo, Alcatraz (and therefore, the reader) have finally made it to the Free Kingdoms. But Alcatraz is about to find out that being famous is not everything, and the evil Librarians are plotting… something… in the Free city. It’s up to Alcatraz to find out what and why and thwart their plans. Underneath the laugh-aloud fun is a vein of seriousness, underneath Alcatraz’s bravado is just a kid struggling with abandonment and figuring out how to be a hero.
Saving Juliet by Suzanne Selfors: Well, here’s something a bit different. Teenage Shakespearean actress Mimi would rather wield a scalpel than be on the stage. During a production of Romeo and Juliet designed to keep her family’s theater afloat, Mimi and her co-star, rock star hunk Troy Summer, stumble from snowy Manhattan into Shakespeare’s Verona and straight into the midst of the Montague and Capulet feud. Mimi might not be able to escape her fate, but she’s determined to help Juliet escape hers. This story *almost* works–there were definite moments that this time-travel/crossover-to-secondary-world was hard to swallow.
Whew. More books to come…