Friday, September 30, 2016

August Reading: Tanzania, Werewolves and Writing

My August reading is introduced to you by Gusynya! Descriptions from Goodreads.

Holly Black “The Coldest Girl in Coldtown” [USA] 
Rachel Aaron “2k to 10k: Writing Faster, Writing Better, and Writing More of What You Love” [USA] 
Sunday Ngakama, Sanna Hukkanen “Karkuteillä” [Tanzania, Finland] 
Patricia Briggs “Moon Called” [USA] 
Kelly Sue DeConnick “Bitch Planet. Book One, Extraordinary Machine” [USA] 
Salla Simukka “Valkea kuin lumi” (Lumikki Andersson #2) [Finland] 
Agatha Christie “Crooked House” [UK]

Short fiction:
Carrie Cuinn “Visitation of Irba” [USA]

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown
“Tana lives in a world where walled cities called Coldtowns exist. In them, quarantined monsters and humans mingle in a decadently bloody mix of predator and prey. The only problem is, once you pass through Coldtown's gates, you can never leave.
One morning, after a perfectly ordinary party, Tana wakes up surrounded by corpses. The only other survivors of this massacre are her exasperatingly endearing ex-boyfriend, infected and on the edge, and a mysterious boy burdened with a terrible secret. Shaken and determined, Tana enters a race against the clock to save the three of them the only way she knows how: by going straight to the wicked, opulent heart of Coldtown itself.
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is a wholly original story of rage and revenge, of guilt and horror, and of love and loathing from bestselling and acclaimed author Holly Black.”

Very interesting worldbuilding! Fun, exciting start, followed by a slow middle, too many (albeit often interesting) flashbacks, they were distracting from the main story. The ending made up for the slow middle, though. I liked how this vampire world was very unusual, new. The characters were nice, but not particularly appealing to me.

2k to 10k: Writing Faster, Writing Better, and Writing More of What You Love
“Expanding on her highly successful process for doubling daily word counts, this book, a combination of reworked blog posts and new material, offers practical writing advice for anyone who's ever longed to increase their daily writing output. In addition to updated information for Rachel's popular 2k to 10k writing efficiency process, 5 step plotting method, and easy editing tips, this new book includes chapters on creating characters that write their own stories, practical plot structure, and learning to love your daily writing. Full of easy to follow, practical advice from a commercial author who doesn't eat if she doesn't produce good books on a regular basis, 2k to 10k focuses not just on writing faster, but writing better, and having more fun while you do it.”

This short book is packed with goodness! I already started writing more thanks to it. ^u^ Definitely recommended! And make sure to check Rachel Aaron's blog, too. ;-)

“Karkuteillä viel lukijan Viktoria-järvelle Tansaniaan. 12-vuotias Shida karkaa kotoaan ja suuntaa toteuttamaan unelmiaan miljoonan asukkaan Mwanzan kaupunkiin. Kaupungin kova todellisuus paljastuu Shidalle, kun hän päätyy monien muiden tavoin kadulle.
Sarjakuvan tarina perustuu mwanzalaisten katulasten haastatteluille. Albumin toteuttamisen roolijako poikkeaa hieman perinteisestä kirjoittaja-piirtäjä -asetelmasta, sillä molemmat tekijät ovat osallistuneet kaikkien työvaiheiden tekemiseen käsikirjoituksesta puhtaaksi piirtämiseen.”

A Finnish-Tanzanian comic about street kids living in Mwanza. 12 years old Shida runs away from home and finds new friends. Despite all the hardships the kids endure, the story felt warm and hopeful.

Moon Called
“Mercedes "Mercy" Thompson is a talented Volkswagen mechanic living in the Tri-Cities area of Washington. She also happens to be a walker, a magical being with the power to shift into a coyote at will. Mercy's next-door neighbor is a werewolf. Her former boss is a gremlin. And she's fixing a bus for a vampire. This is the world of Mercy Thompson, one that looks a lot like ours but is populated by those things that go bump in the night. And Mercy's connection to those things is about to get her into some serious hot water...”

At first it sounds like a book about Mercy but soon you realise it's all about the very macho alpha males, the werewolves. Mercy gets involved in their troubles and although she does some action she's not whose story it is. It's theirs. Their stakes are high, their world might change, and she's more of an observer here. I would prefer either a different story centred on Mercy or this story written from the PoV of one of the werewolves – it would make the story stronger. But I did enjoy this book.

One of the characters, a vegetarian and veterinarian, Carter Wallace became a werewolf and isn't happy that he craves meat and that animals smell the predator in him. He wants to heal, not eat them. I like finding vegetarian characters in books and his story was interesting. I wish there was more about Carter and less about those macho werewolves fighting for power. ;p

Bitch Planet. Book One, Extraordinary Machine
“In a future just a few years down the road in the wrong direction, a woman's failure to comply with her patriarchal overlords will result in exile to the meanest penal planet in the galaxy. When the newest crop of fresh femmes arrive, can they work together to stay alive or will hidden agendas, crooked guards, and the deadliest sport on (or off!) Earth take them to their maker?”

Orange is the New Black in space. Except less interesting for me. A lot less...

Valkea kuin lumi (As White as Snow)
“The heat of the summer sun bakes the streets of Prague, but Lumikki’s heart is frozen solid.
Looking to escape the notoriety caused by the part she played in taking down Polar Bear’s crime ring, seventeen-year-old Lumikki Andersson escapes to Prague, where she hopes to find a few weeks of peace among the hordes of tourists. But not long after arriving, she’s cornered by a skittish and strange young woman who claims to be her long-lost sister. The woman, Lenka, is obviously terrified, and even though Lumikki doesn’t believe her story—although parts of it ring true—she can’t just walk away.”

I think this is the first time I read a book about a cult, though I've seen many such stories in TV-shows. A fun, easy to read story (even in Finnish! ^^). There's new adventures but we also learn more about Lumikki's intriguing backstory that was hinted at in the first book.

Crooked House
“In the sprawling, half-timbered mansion in the affluent suburb of Swinly Dean, Aristide Leonides lies dead from barbiturate poisoning. An accident? Not likely. In fact, suspicion has already fallen on his luscious widow, a cunning beauty fifty years his junior, set to inherit a sizeable fortune, and rumored to be carrying on with a strapping young tutor comfortably ensconced in the family estate. But criminologist Charles Hayward is casting his own doubts on the innocence of the entire Leonides brood. He knows them intimately. And he's certain that in a crooked house such as Three Gables, no one's on the level...”

Such a twist in the end! @o@ As usual with Christie, a big cast, most of them are suspects, most look innocent, and nothing here is what it seems. The book was supposed to (temporarily) satiate my Agatha Christie craving but it only made me want to read more of her books. =D

A quote from Crooked House:
“But some people, I suspect, remain morally immature. They continue to be aware that murder is wrong, but they do not feel it. I don’t think, in my experience, that any murderer has really felt remorse … And that, perhaps, is the mark of Cain. Murderers are set apart, they are ‘different’—murder is wrong—but not for them—for them it is necessary—the victim has ‘asked for it,’ it was ‘the only way.’”

No comments:

Post a Comment

How to leave a comment.
Как оставить комментарий.

Спасибо за ваши комментарии :)
Thank you for your comments =)
Kiitos kommenteistanne ;-)
コメントありがとうございます ^_^

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...