25 October 2009

While i didn't do the readathon

I did read a couple books yesterday. The first was a very pretty book, Skellig by David Almond. It's a YA novel. just 182 pages. I give it a 7. The volume i had was a sort of "guided reading" copy, with an author interview and questions on the book at the end. In the author interview, Almond explains his take on magical realism, which is exactly what this book feels like to me. Michael and his family have just moved into a new house, one that needs a lot of work, when Michael's mother has his little sister prematurely. Michael thinks of the baby constantly, even deciding he can feel her little heartbeat next to his own. As Michael's father tries to get the new house in order, Michael explores. He meets the home schooled neighbor girl, Mina, who quotes William Blake and seems pretty smart. He also finds a man, dirty and old and crippled, living in the broken down garage. The man's name is Skellig, and he may be an angel.

Other opinions on Skellig: Somewhere i have never travelled, Susan, As Usual, I need more Bookshelves, Nymeth, An Adventure in Reading, Book Zombie, Becky, Valentina, Jenny.

The other i read last night was The Secret of Roan Inish by Rosalie Fry. only 89 pages. It is a sweet little story of a Scottish girl Fiona, sent to live with her grandparents on an island. The grandparents live a short distance from the original island the family lived on, Roan Inish. Four years earlier, when the family evacuated, they lost the youngest member, Jamie. Fiona learns of the legend of the selkie from her grandfather, who tells her as well that some fisherman claim to have seen Jamie. Fiona, with the help of her cousin Rory, searches for Jamie and tries to lead her family back to Roan Inish. I give this one a 5. It had a lovely atmosphere, very dreamy.

i also finished my third RIP book, The Strain by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan. It reminded me of Patient Zero as it takes an old myth, vampires, and goes at it like a CDC virus outbreak. A plane lands at JFK, then immediately goes dark, power off, no response on radio or cell phone, shades drawn. When the ground security finally get into the plane, they find all the passengers, all but 4, dead. The CDC gets called, as the only theory is that it was some virus that killed the passengers. Dr. Ephraim Goodweather is the CDC expert. Abraham Setrakian has been fighting vampires since he was in a concentration camp in Poland. Now an aged pawnbroker, he joins Goodweather to fight the vampire menace.

I give this one a 5 as well. It is quite creepy and gory. I would say that, since it is the first of a trilogy, the ending was pretty unsatisfying. The characters are solid; I really liked Setrakian and Vasiliy Fet, the exterminator who joins up with the band of hunters. I read a couple reviews where the reader felt the CDC characters went along with Setrakian a little too quickly but i didn't feel that way. After all, by that point they'd seen one of the vampires in action as well as all the evidence of the strange plane. So i think it developed pretty normally.

other opinions: Devourer of Books, Love Vampires, Medieval Bookworm, Fantasy Book Critic, MariReads, Bobbi's Book Nook, Shelf Love.

2 comments:

  1. I LOVE Skellig. I liked it the first time I read it, but I've been teaching the book for several years in my Children's Lit course designed for college students (mostly Education majors). The more I read it the more I love it! I haven't read any of Almond's other books, though. Hmmphf!

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  2. it is weird, i was completely unaware of this book before about 6 months ago. then i saw it reviewed in like 5 places all at once. I also haven't read any other of Almond's books

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