I’m attempting to read Mordred, Bastard Son by Douglas Clegg because my Arthurian legend obsession is still going strong but I’m having a hard time getting into it. I’m about 30 pages in and I’m already annoyed with the dialogue and writing style. I can understand when an author wants to immerse the reader into an era, like the dark ages, but then there is using dialogue that is really just irritating. It’s rather like reading a Shakespearian play and I just want to shake people until they stop talking like that. Then the writing is really choppy, with breaks all over the place, and it really ruins the flow. I’m just not able to sink into it. I’ll keep up with it for a little bit more but I might have to abandon it if it doesn’t catch me soon.
I just cracked open Wisdom’s Kiss by Catherin Gilbert Murdock. I’m literally like 5 pages in. It’s letters and bits of journals and such and you all know how I feel about books written in letter form. I can already feel my eye twitching. I’m apparently not doing too well with my first choices of books after my mini-hiatus. I was hoping to have a review ready for the beginning of next week but I’m beating my head against a wall here. Ugh. My kingdom for a good book?
What are you currently reading?
I just cracked open The Witch’s Trinity by Erika Mailman last night. So far it’s your basic witch trial plot but set in Germany. There are a few German words scattered about, like Mutter for Mother, but otherwise the setting could be any generic village in the early 1500’s. I can’t completely tell if the main character is really having supernatural things happen to her or if her old age is affecting her mind. The author suggests it might be all in her head.
What did you recently finish reading?
I just finished reading Winter of Magic’s Return by Pamela Service. It’s the first of the New Magic series and I can’t wait to start on the next book. It’s a post-apocalyptic story about the return of Merlin and King Arthur. It was fantastic. The book ended right when they found King Arthur, returned to youth, and set off again to fix the world. Plus, it has original characters that don’t annoy the crap out of me. That alone is a feat of magic.
What do you think you’ll read next?
I’ll read the next book in the New Magic series next. Tomorrow’s Magic by Pamela Service. I picked it up last night from the library. These are old books, published in the late 80’s, and I really hope I don’t find a missing volume. That would suck.
It’s National Book Week. The rules: Grab the closest book to you. Go to page 56. Copy the 5th sentence as your status.
Well, the book closest to me is the one I’m currently reading, The Witch’s Daughter by Paula Brackston. I’m only on page 36 (I am in the process of moving and I am super busy), so turning to page 57 is going to be as much a surprise for me as it will be for you.
–> The next few hours passed in a whirl of activity.
I don’t even know what’s going on in this part yet but we’re in the middle of a flashback from the main character. Since the character is immortal and over 400 years old, that is quite a flashback.
I have a tick that completely irritates me in stories. That is using more than one name for a character. I understand that characters have nicknames and pet names and so on, but those names should be used within dialogue only. Using multiple names for a character in the text is confusing and annoying. Having the name Elizabeth, Bess, Beth, or Eliza sprinkled around a page is annoying because it is both confusing and shows the writer was not able to create enough descriptors for their character. In other words, it is the writer’s poor attempt to not start every sentence with He/She or the character’s name.
Paula Brackston is doing something a little different in her story. Because the main character is immortal, Brackston is using two different names to separate time zones. As a young girl the character goes by Bess and as an older woman the character uses the name Elizabeth. Bess the younger and Elizabeth the older. The other name does not appear when we are reading about one time zone. This is a neat little trick that I approve of to get readers to think of the two names as different characters, even if they are the same person.
I don’t have a lot of extra time on my hands right now because I’m moving next week. Please be patient with me while I’m surrounded with packing boxes and a general mess. I’m still reading The Witch’s Daughter by Paula Brackston and I also picked up The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brain Selznick . The Book Smugglers reviewed it a few days ago and I wanted to see what it was all about. It’s about 30 pages of short text and the rest of the book is badly drawn sketches and grainy photos. The only great thing about The Invention of Hugo Cabret is the original concept of combining two different medias, words and pictures, to tell a story but it’s badly done. Good idea, bad execution. It’s a huge book, so that is a lot of bad to be faced with.
I’m taking the whole of next week off to move and get settled in my new apartment. Hopefully this extra time will afford me a few evenings curled up with a book and a cup of something a bit stronger than tea. Where and when did I acquire so much crap? Ugh!
Angel in the Front Room, Devil Out Back by Stanford Diehl
I’m not usually into contemporary fiction. I’m much more a fantasy / sci-fi girl. I can’t remember how I even found this book (I have a bad habit of just clicking through Amazon and just writing down titles) but the summery was half-way interesting. So I picked it up at the library last weekend. It’s a big book, 420 pages long, and I might not even finish it if the characters don’t settle down soon. I’m only 80 pages in but I’ve already come to two conclusions; everyone in Solomon’s Rock, Georgia is evil and Jackson Moon has a split personality.
Twenty years ago something bad went down in Solomon’s Rock, something so bad that it scared Jackson Moon into running. Now, years later, he’s back in his hometown to find some answers. Too bad he can’t decide whether to be the hero or the coward in this book. During one confrontation with a person from his past, now the commissioner, he is cowed by the man telling him to keep his nose out of the town’s business. But only a few pages later, in a confrontation with a judge, Jackson Moon plucks up the courage to sass back to the other man. Jackson held the judge’s gaze. “If I can’t dig up any bodies,” he said, “maybe I’ll have to bury some.” It’s like we’re dealing with two different people.
There are a lot of characters in this book and more are coming out of the woodwork on every page. We’re still figuring out where everyone fits and slowly learning what might have happened in Solomon’s Rock, Georgia 20 years ago. Right now I think we’re still stacking the deck with the cast and I’m hoping that the book picks up after the next few chapters. The reader doesn’t know much at this point and the protagonist appears to know even less.