Monday, October 18, 2010

Short reviews

Very short reviews, but they're starting to pile up a little bit.

The Fulfilments of Fate and Desire by Storm Constantine

The last book of the Wraeththu trilogy is narrated by my overall favourite character, Cal. He's engaging, irreverent, self-absorbed and really, really funny. When the book opens, he's somewhat down on his luck, and working as a whore in the Wraeththu equivalent of a frontier town. It's not long before Cal is working out how to escape, and to move on.

Events are unrolling around him, and although fate has plans for Cal, he drags his steps and rebels every step of the way. For me, this was the best of the trilogy, but I'm biased because I love Cal so much. I do want to read the second Wraeththu trilogy now.

7/10 Someone else cooks dinner – yay!

For the Win by Cory Doctorow

In the near future, young gamers are used by big business to make them rich. The gamers take exception to this and start to unionise. There are a lot of narrative threads to keep track of here, and the plot can sometimes wear a little bit thin. It's also hard to keep track of when Doctorow stops periodically to give the reader history or object lessons, which threw me out of the story.

Overall, though, For the Win is an enjoyable, intersting read with a fascinating point of view.

6/10 Leaving work 30 minutes early

Tomorrow, When the War Began by John Marsden

A group of Australian teenagers go bush for a few days of the summer holidays before school starts up again. When Ellie – the narrator of the novel – and her friends get back to town, they discover that something is very wrong and Australia has been invaded; forcing them into hiding.

I did enjoy Tomorrow ... but for such a short novel it took me forever to read and some of it read a little choppy, with short sentences and some of Ellie's thought-processes felt off to me. But overall a good read, and I'm looking forward to reading the second book. :-)

6/10 Leaving work 30 minutes early

The Insatiable Moon by Mike Riddell

This is a re-issue of a New Zealand novel. The film is coming out this month so I suspect the book has been re-issued to coincide with that.

Arthur is a psychiatric patient, living in a halfway house in Ponsonby, a fairly well-to-do Auckland suburb. He also thinks he's the second son of God and that the apocalypse is coming.

Margaret is a slightly discontented housewife who has a chance encounter with Arthur which changes her life.

The Insatiable Moon is a short novel, but it meditates on some profound themes – belief, love, connection and community being the strongest threads running throughout.

It's an easy novel to read, even with the deep themes and it does leave you with some interesting questions.

7/10 Someone else cooks dinner – yay!


Jodie said...

Seems lots of people think For the Win is kind of lessony. I'm thinking about reading mor eof his earlier novels before approaching this one (maybe Maskers, since I've read Little Brother). What do you think?

Maree said...

It was the first novel of his I had read, but yes - it's very lessony. I have heard good things about Little Brother, though.