March 23rd, 2011

[m] see the lightning crack

Echoes by Melinda Metz

Release Date: July 27th, 2011
Publisher: HarperCollins
Genre: Paranormal Young Adult
Pages: 517 Trade Paperback
Source: Bought

Trigger Warning(s): There’s a lot of use of the words “insane” and “crazy” and “psycho".

Summary: Can't believe she did that . . .

. . . at four-thirty I have to . . .

. . . I hate this place . . .

Rae Voight is losing her mind. When she walks down the halls of Sanderson Prep, she hears voices . . . even when no one is talking. Other people's thoughts crowd her head, a confusing tangle of insecurities and dark secrets. Just when Rae reaches her breaking point, one voice comes screaming through the din, loud and clear:

. . . Rae must die . . .

If Rae doesn't figure out who the thought belongs to soon, she could lose more than just her sanity.

NOTE: This review is spoiler-free!

Read more at A Bookworm's Shelf.

God's War, by Kameron Hurley

One-line summary: Bad-ass head-chopping bugpunk in an Islamic far future.

Night Shade Books, 2010, 288 pages

Nyx had already been to hell. One prayer more or less wouldn't make any difference... On a ravaged, contaminated world, a centuries-old holy war rages, fought by a bloody mix of mercenaries, magicians, and conscripted soldiers. Though the origins of the war are shady and complex, there's one thing everybody agrees on-- There's not a chance in hell of ending it. Nyx is a former government assassin who makes a living cutting off heads for cash. But when a dubious deal between her government and an alien gene pirate goes bad, Nyx's ugly past makes her the top pick for a covert recovery. The head they want her to bring home could end the war--but at what price? The world is about to find out.

Collapse )

Verdict: This is a debut novel and it shows, with bumpy pacing and characters who become a sort of indistinguishable bloody mess (literally and figuratively) by the end. But the setting is one of the most imaginatively constructed I've read in a long time, and the action is constant if sometimes confusing. This is a dark, bloody, bug-infested urban fantasy/sci-fi mash-up, and a rough-cut gem. I will look forward to more from this author.

WWII Non fiction

I have to write a paper on the significance of the Eastern front in World War Two, and I'm wondering if anyone rec some creditable non-fiction, focusing on the impact of the Battle of Moscow, Stalingrad etc. on the Russian and German army. Nothing that's a magnum opus, hopefully, but something that's a good authority on the subject.
Baby and me
  • ed_rex

Review: Our Kind of Traitor, by John le Carré

John le Carré, image courtesy of Wikipedia.
John le Carré in 2008
Photo courtesy Wikipedia.

Some writers have but a few stories to tell — think of Joseph Heller or John Irving, whose reputations would have been far better served by a Salingeresque retreat into silence than by their painfully pointless later works.

Other manage to keep working at or near the levels at which they made their reputations. Think of Mordechai Richler, whose final novel, Barney's Version was his masterpiece. Or consider John le Carré, now in his 80th year and still producing work of a very high level indeed.

If not quite as savagely powerful as 2003's Absolute Friends, his newest novel is significantly more controlled — and so more powerful — than his previous offering, A Most Wanted Man, which suggested a writer whose moral outrage had got the better of his novelist's instincts.

If Our Kind of Traitor isn't, quite, a masterpiece, it is a solid, subtle and (yes) thrilling novel that is vintage le Carré, almost without violence or action, but still a story that finds the reader anxiously awaiting its resolution right up to its final three paragraphs.

Read the full review at Edifice Rex Online.