The Realms of the Gods, Wings to the Kingdom, Luka and the Fire of Life, The Clockwork Three

Oh yes, I’m still reading. :D

Tamora Pierce, Realms of the Gods
The last in the series, which seems to have sated my need for the fantasy series of my youth for a while. I recall not liking this one as much as the earlier books when I first read it, and I couldn’t recall if that was because I had to wait before this one came out or if it was something about the book itself. On rereading, I think it was the wait, because the book itself flows fairly well from the earlier series and has an engaging and original plot. Except…there is this romance, between Daine and Numair, that comes out of nowhere. It doesn’t seem to be foreshadowed in the earlier books at all — in fact, in the first book we find out explicitly that he’s all but twice her age. Pierce seems to have fiddled with ages a little bit by this last one to make them a little closer, but it still bothers me a bit. That said, they make a sweet couple. I just wish the teacher/student romance didn’t appear out of nowhere, is all.

Cherie Priest, Wings to the Kingdom
More Eden Moore! I love these books. Eden is such an amazing character — she has some supernatural powers, she can talk to ghosts, and she’s still pretty much an ordinary twentysomething. She’s skeptical of her friends’ crazy stories, not because she doesn’t believe in ghosts (of course she does), but because ghosts don’t act like that. She hangs out with a variety of people, some of whom are kind of useless, all of whom are massively entertaining. Also, this book features a mental institution built on the site of a sacred Indian burial ground. Which apparently exists in real life. (“I couldn’t make this up,” the author’s notes say.) What more do you need?

Salman Rushdie, Luka and the Fire of Life
I got this as an ARC from the ALA conference this summer, and I’m pretty sure it’s not out yet, so that’s one more I managed to read before the release date. Yay! (I’ve already missed a couple of the September & October ones.) I liked this even more than I liked Haroun and the Sea of Stories, which is saying something, because I thought that book was fantastic. The video game framing of the quest is ingenious, and the delightfully random collection of allies Luka picks up on his way through are just as delightfully random as they were in Haroun.

Matthew Kirby, The Clockwork Three
And another ARC! I grabbed this because it looked a bit steampunk, and it is, but only a bit. It is for the most part set in an entirely historically-accurate early twentieth century New York (although I don’t think it really is New York but a metaphorical city very like it), but there is a clockwork man and some mysterious goings-on with Madame Pomeroy. The story revolves around three children in different sorts of abject poverty. Hannah’s father used to be a stonemason, but he had a stroke and now Hannah is the only breadwinner for the family, working as a maid in a fancy hotel. Guiseppe was sold to a padrone when his parents died in Italy, and now he’s a busker, turning in all his money to his master in the evenings and hoping it’s enough to earn him dinner. Frederick used to live in an orphanage (for “orphanage” read “workhouse”) but is now apprenticed to a clockmaker and working on his journeyman piece. They all want very different things — Hannah for her family to have money again, Guiseppe to go home to Italy, Frederick to make journeyman and set up his own shop — and their desires eventually lead them all together and in some rather unexpected directions. I liked this book very much, and I’ll look forward to future books by Matthew Kirby.

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About Jen Moore

I'm a recent library school graduate in Madison, Wisconsin, looking for a full-time professional job and trying to manage a fulfilling life in the meantime. Oh, and I read. A lot.

Posted on October 7, 2010, in Reviews, The Internet is a Social Movement and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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