Miss Possum

Miss Possum
Pale but dynamic

Friday, 11 October 2013

 The Crowfield Curse

The Crowfield Curse by Pat  Walsh

Oct 11, 13  ·  edit

bookshelves: childrenya-fantasymagic
Read in October, 2013

I really love this book - lucid writing, fantastic (in all senses of the word) characters, scary suspense, unusual magic and danger. The story unfolds through the eyes of Will, an orphaned abbey servant, who finds unexpected friends through his own good actions, but those actions also cause him to become embroiled in ancient, magical, dark mysteries.

I love that some characters are neither good nor evil, just mysterious and dangerous and run with Will through the story; that characters who should perhaps be looking out for Will are instead focused on other worldly things; that Will (and the reader) can not quite understand what exactly is happening or who to trust and must try to work things out for himself - these reflect many children's own experience.

The crisp, snowy winter landscape generates its own magic through vivid brief descriptions. Abbey life, hardships and questionable characters are painted deftly, and magic peeking through the cracks in daily life is beautifully done. The childhood experience of a spooky place to be avoided at all cost is a central theme.

The magic and magical characters provide the greatest appeal for me - unusual, refreshing, and though startling to Will, woven into the fabric of daily life with the sense of a generally invisible world parallel to this one. The magical characters have their own stories and motivations, and brush up against Will as his story crosses theirs.

Fabulous writing, wonderful plot, terrific sense of wellbeing engendered at the end of the story.
Highly recommend this beautiful book.

also posted on Goodreads

Saturday, 6 April 2013

The Daylight War by Peter V. Brett

The Daylight War

The Daylight War by Peter V. Brett
5 of 5 stars

This book has the most exciting demon battles I have ever read!! Demon battles happen every night, but somehow Peter Brett just keeps racheting up the tension, danger, magic and drama. Peter Brett does that amazing thing - keeps your sympathy with a number of characters, each of whom has agendas which preclude the success of the others; that is, one character's achievement of his/ her dreams and wishes must be predicated on the failure of another character's, as they are striving for mutually exclusive goals. At the same time, the goals are about life, death, love and community, as well as the future of humankind, so the stakes are high. Vivid, glorious writing - I'm in the characters' bodies and minds, I'm in their world, I see the demons through their eyes.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Assassin's Quest (Farseer Trilogy, #3)

Assassin's Quest (Farseer Trilogy, #3) 

Assassin's Quest (Farseer Trilogy, #3)

The first book in this trilogy is easily the best.

This, the third book, really suffers from saggy middle syndrome. The characters have been journeying since the second book, and the pace is just too slow, while over-using the device of a journey to keep the plot moving. It was hard to stay focussed - the book didn't hold my attention for more than about 15 minutes a time. It was just interesting enough for me to keep reading. Themes, ideas and characters were repeated over and over again with little change.

This book scores 3 stars rather than just 2 for the quality of the ending - it is probably worth persisting just for that.

Specifically - Finally, having had Molly called 'spirited' and 'strong' with very little evidence for 3 books, she finally did do something impressive. 

Also, the final dramatic scenes showed the author's fine imaginative and descriptive capacity, more like the first book of the series. Some loose ends were not tied up <spoiler>the white ships were a promisingly scary idea never explored</spoiler>. Some plot elements I will never understand - <spoiler>why could he not tell Burrich and Molly he was still alive? - they were both well over him and probably would have been glad to know he was alive, and to have him as a friend. In thinking he would cause them harm if they knew he was alive, he is still the self-indulgent young man who thinks the world revolves around him, which does not accord with the rest of his character development. </spoiler>.

In general I recommend the series, particularly the first book.

Posted on Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/45112.Assassin_s_Quest
Thumbnail from Goodreads.

Friday, 22 February 2013

A Game of Thrones (A Song o...
4.42 of 5 stars

Well, what can I say? The entire series so far - Misogynist, brutal, gratuitous, and BRILLIANT. Fantastic (in all senses of the word) and wonderful. Riveting, spell binding, realistic - we all know these characters, and part of them are in all of us. Fast paced plot, too many people (keep up!)action, drama and unreliable narrators.

Read it - all of this is true - don't let the too many characters or the brutality or the misogyny put you off - this is brilliant writing.

Review posted on Goodreads as Maryanne Ross
Maryanne Ross

Assassin's Apprentice (Fars...
4.11 of 5 stars

In general, very good writing and character depiction. In some ways the overall plot is slow to unfold and rather predictable, but the various sub-plots and intrigues are pacy and dangerous.

Really didn't like (view spoiler) - when there was another hint of more of the same in the second book, I had to ask someone else if it was going to happen again, and if so, I might have to stop reading! Also the main character is a bit too gutless at times.

Some of the female characters in particular are strong and unusual, although Molly is a little too good for me, hopefully she might be killed off in the second or third book (view spoiler)

The superpowers/ magic in this book are one of the best elements - risky, unpredictable and poorly understood - they create unlikely friendships; mysteries in the characters and keep the plot moving.

Really like the bonding with animals descriptions - makes me understand my dog a little better!

Also posted on Goodreads