Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Book: The Hangman's Daughter
Author: Oliver Potzsch
Grade: D/two stars.
Recommended To: dead people.
I had high hopes for this book club choice. I read some sketchy reviews before hand, which warned me a little bit about the dialogue and the translation, but I wasn't aware that the dialogue was going to be quite as bad as it was.
The dialogue was like trying to run through waist deep water against a current. I rolled my eyes multiple times whilst reading this book. Either the author or the translator doesn't have a grasp on how people actually speak. If a character is only speaking to the burghomaster, then it is unnecessary to write: No, I wasn't digging in that grave and what's it to you anyway, berghomaster? Slog Slog Slog.
This book also had an unusual number of exclamation points. Probably about 5 per page. These are kindle pages, mind you, any my font was huge. That's a lotta damn exclamation points!!!!!!! The author used exclamation points instead of dialogue and narration to try to add emphasis. The words may as well have been bolded, underlined and italicized for emphasis instead. It was irritating.
I don't recommend this book. The story wasn't compelling enough to make up for the dialogue issues and the punctuation problems. In truth, I haven't even finished this book yet, but it has been so hard to get through, I just had to write this review to get out some of my frustration.
Sunday, April 15, 2012
Book: Lord John and the Private Matter
Author: Diana Gabaldon
Grade: C +
Recommended To: People who want to be disappointed in Diana.
I love Diana Gabaldon. I think her Outlander series is fresh, interesting and very well written. I do not feel the same about her Lord John spin-off series.
Do I think Lord John is interesting enough to have his own series? Yes. Do I think that Lord John should be solving mysteries. Absolutely not. John is not a detective, he's a lord who is trying to find love and hope in an often cruel world.
Diana should have focused on Lord John's relationships and his work running Ardsmure prison. Not his apparently terrible detective skills. There was no hint of detective work in the Outlander series, so I'm not sure how Diana decided to run with that particular story line.
I'm much more interested in Lord John's love life, his crush on Jamie, and how he gets blacklisted. Or, just tell me about his life. He doesn't have to have having an adventure all of the time, especially when some of these mysteries are just plain boring.
Of course this book is well written - because it is by Diana - but the plot was not interesting enough to make me want to keep reading the books in the Lord John series. I'll probably just stick with Claire and Jamie from now on.
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Book: Game of Thrones - A Song of Fire and Ice: Book 1
Author: George R.R. Martin
Recommended To: Everyone. This book should have a wide ranging audience, despite the fact that there are some dragons.
I can't rave enough about this book and series. The first book is over 700 pages and I finished it in 4 days. This was after knowing almost everything that was going to happen because I watched the HBO series Season 1 right before starting the book.
I'm not sure where to start in describing what Game of Thones is about. There's a super interesting dwarf character. A bastard that decides to devote his life to protecting the kingdom from the White Walkers (basically zombies). Lord Stark who despite his better judgment goes to the capital to be King Barathon's hand, and pays dearly. An incestuous brother and sister. A snotty child-king. A braided Dothraki war lord and many many other compelling and interesting characters. There's lots of sex, intrigue, back-stabbing and outright war. It is an epic novel and an awful lot happens in a mere 700 pages.
Plus, there are four more books in the series with a sixth on the way. Allegedly book three is the best one.
There's not a lot of bad things to say about this book, except that there are an incredible amount of characters. It is often difficult to keep them straight because many of them have more than one name, or they have nicknames. Fortunately, the author has included a handy guide in the back of the book to tell you who belongs to what family/house etc. I've heard the other books add even more characters. Yipee.
My one complaint is that I wish I had read the books before watching the show on HBO. The problem with watching the show first is that now I have a fix on exactly what HBO wants each character to look like. There's no imagination left since I watched the show first. But, I likely would never have picked this up if HBO hadn't made the show. Catch 22.
I finished book one over the weekend and raced out to the store to buy the rest. I'm about 300 pages into the second one and it is just as spicy and delicious.
I bet you will enjoy these!