Sunday, August 13, 2017

Green Magic

The Waking LandThe Waking Land by Callie Bates

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


It's worth the hype. I don't know if this one is ya or not, it doesn't need to be. Unlike some other recent reads, every single time I thought she was going for the usual, she turned the cliche around. I'm dazzled. Lady Elanna's grown up a hostage all her life, raised in luxury and favored by the king. What does she do when she's forced to flee her privileged life and face her feelings of betrayal and abandonment in the face of real dangers and responsibilities? Pretty much what any reader of fantasy hopes we would do, with green magic running through our veins: she steps up. The dangers of stepping up are not sugar-coated, either. Beautiful language, stellar character development, and two more books in the pipeline. Hurray, and HIGHLY recommended. I was lucky enough to win an ARC, and thank Del Rey profusely. There's nothing like getting to add someone new to your "favorite authors" list. (Note to publisher: look at those reviews on goodreads, maybe you need to market this as an adult fantasy. Me, Robin Hobb, other adults: 5-4 stars, great reviews; teenagers: 1-2 stars. This is more like Recluce and only mature readers evidently can see it.)



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Recent Reads


Friday, August 4, 2017

The New Voices of FantasyThe New Voices of Fantasy by Peter S. Beagle
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Wow. Hard times are good for great writing and serious reading. Here are serious practitioners of fantasy and lovers of language, tinged with truth and mudded with blood and myth. Many of the writers have won or been nominated for awards, and they know their stuff. Buy it, read it, and dream larger, possibly darker, definitely deeper dreams. Each story is a portal to a different world. Each is a literary gem, shining like a necklace of stars in the hands of a dragon. Even the ones that you may not like are beautiful. It was edited by Peter Beagle, after all. Delightful, but not light reading, highly recommended. (I received an EARC for review from the publisher and Netgalley.)


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Thursday, August 3, 2017

Moonbeams and Hard Truths Can Go Together

Ginny MoonGinny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Ginny Moon's birth mother has trouble with drugs, men, cops, and her temper. She also has trouble with Ginny Moon, who has a LOT of trouble understanding people in general, due to her position on the autism spectrum. Ginny Moon was removed from her birth mother's custody four years ago when she was nine, and since then she has done nothing but do her best by hook or crook to get back to her birth mother and Ginny's job of taking care of Baby Doll. Lying, stealing, running away: Ginny knows these are wrong, but she doesn't know what else to do, because taking care of Baby Doll is VERY important, and none of the adults around her, even her therapist, seem to understand.
Things come to a head when her adoptive parents are about to have their own birth child. Ginny comes from a violent background; despite her obsession with Baby Doll, can she be trusted around the new baby? Ludwig does an amazing job of showing why it's hard to communicate for the autistic and with the autistic. The book is told in Ginny's voice and yet we can see when she can't how people are caring for her and about her, and feel empathy and frustration for everyone in the story. That's amazingly hard to do when you're taking on autism, social services, adoption and foster care, poverty and high school all at once. Both tender and tough, this is a great read for adults and teens.





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