Distracted by good things, for once

The post I promised about The Court of the Air hasn’t materialised because of three-and-a-half very good reasons.

1) I read The Painted Man and it was a tremendous read, drawing me in to the extent that I forgot about a lot of the outside world.  It’s a solid four-star book, if not five-star at times; there were plenty of issues with it but in the end I didn’t care, I loved the characters too much.  The cities sounded like they came out of online city-building games and the dialogue often felt a bit like it was lined with lead – not to mention the Exposition Free-For-All that was the rushed ending – but I cared not a whit because all the characters were marvellous and I loved them all, partially because all of them were resilient and partially because they never really stopped to pity themselves (though I’m sure most people I know would have).  Even Leesha.  It was a great change from all those books out there in which every other paragraph the MC has an emo moment.

One aspect I liked in particular was that TPM had moments of thrillingly awful horror from both demons and humans; I’ve never winced at authors doing damage to their characters or their characters’ loved ones quite like I did in TPM.  It was very finely done, as going a bit too far one way would have pushed scenes into being pure gross-out material and too far in the other direction would have been more melodrama territory.  As an added bonus the actual plot regarding the demons and the wards has a lot of potential and I can’t wait to see where Brett is taking it.

I am thrilled that there’s a sequel (The Desert Spear) and that the author’s doing a signing at Forbidden Planet on the 16th April – I am SO going to be there to get a copy!

2) My friend Elizabeth recommended me a teen vampire book – Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead.  Bearing in mind I’m not a great enthusiast of vampire fiction I actually enjoyed it a great deal.  It’s not Stoker, but it was readable and fun and at no point was I cursing at all the characters for being moronic idiots (oh hey Meyer!).  I was effectively stuck to it for the five hours it took to read and enjoyed it – there’s something compulsive about Mead’s writing style and Rose, the MC, is an interesting unreliable narrator.  It was a decent Twilight antidote; more akin to Harry Potter (if you stand back and squint a bit and allow that VA has less worldbuilding) than Meyer’s crapfest, somewhere in the same field as LJ Smith, though I think Mead is the stronger writer.  Definitely something to recommend to those tweenagers finding it hard to read beyond Twilight.

3) I’m currently reading The City & The City by China Mieville.  Everyone’s been raving about this book for months and for the first hundred pages I was only so-so about it, but it’s clicked with me without me noticing.  At first it was a bit mystifying in places – Breach? – but now I can’t read it fast enough.  I’m only about halfway through so I can’t really comment on it, but it’s recently been nominated for the Arthur C Clarke award and is shortlisted for the Hugos, and there are other awards I know I’ve mentally mislaid.  Mieville is one of those authors I’ve yet to find disappointing.

3.5) DOCTOR WHO.  Good grief, it was everything I’d hoped for and more.  Matt Smith was wonderful in showing the transition between Tennant’s Doc and his; Moffatt is a god.  I can’t wait for the rest!

So if you want that Court of the Air post from me, my Amazon review is here.

Coming up soon: Clockwork Phoenix vol.1, Fool Moon by Jim Butcher, The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima, Yellow Blue Tibia by Adam Roberts when I can get hold of it, The Vesuvius Club by Mark Gatiss and probably a Georgette Heyer if I feel up to it.  Note: the above is not in any order, let alone reading order.  It’s just how they’re arranged by my laptop.  I have a shocking lack of organization in my life.

And because this is the sort of thing I do when I’m hungry and need cheering up after a really hard day, here’s someone tickling a slow loris called Sonya.


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