Monday, 16 May 2016

Area woman reads several books but doesn't blog - you won't believe what happens next!

Sex, scandal and village politics converge in J K Rowling's first post-Harry Potter novel. I can imagine there was a fair amount of head-scratching over this one, as it's about as far from Harry Potter as you can get, but I really enjoyed it.

I worked as a communities copy-editor for a few years and so I  felt right at home with Pagford and all of the little scandals of the village. My only complaint is that there is rather a large cast of characters and sometimes the point of view switches were too quick, but other than that, I really enjoyed it.


Melanie is a very special little girl. Every morning, she waits to be collected from her cell so she can attend class with all of the other special children on her block.

Melanie's favourite person in the world is her teacher, Ms Justineau, and it's that bond that is the catalyst for what comes next. I don't want to say too much, because The Girl With All the Gifts is one of those books you're better going into knowing as little as possible. Apart from a speedy ending, I liked it a lot, and felt deeply for Melanie's struggle to find her place in a strange world.

The All for the Game trilogy by Nora Sakavic is, I will admit up front, not for everyone. I am not one of those everyones - I devoured the trilogy in three days. There is a heavy focus on sportsball - Exy, to be precise, a kind of cross between hockey, lacrosse and volleyball as far as I can make out - that Sakavic created for the series.

Neil Josten has been on the run for most of his life. His criminal father is in jail, and his mother is dead. Neil's plan is to get through the rest of high school unscathed, and disappear. However, his plans are scuppered when a college Exy team comes to his school to scout him.

Boys! Feelings! Sportsball! It's all right here! There's a lot of heavy-going stuff in these books, but I got suckered in to Neil's story and his budding (and slow-burning, there's nearly nothing in book one) relationship with hissing snake-hedgehog boy Andrew.

This reminded me of Glitterland by Alexis Hall, a little bit. Men from very different walks of life - Cambridge University professor Larry Morton and muscly Al Fletcher - meet in a dark alley one night. Larry thinks he's about to be attacked, Al is thinking "better get this pretty, pretty man home before someone hurts him."

And so the relationship starts. It's very much opposites attract, and worlds colliding but Al especially is a great character with an A+ narrative voice.

Marius and Tessa, on Leiliana's orders are about to undertake a nearly impossible mission for the Inquisition, as the Inquisitor readies themselves to face Corypheus in the final battle.

Tessa and Charter have a couple of sweet moments, and I'm looking forward to the next issue - it feels like a nice way to expand on the Inquisition's back story, in a way.

And, of course, it ends on a cliffhanger. Again.

Tom Worthington is trying to keep a low profile at college after his father is arrested for a ponzi scheme and his assets frozen. Tom is determined to Make His Own Way  by gypsy cabbing at weekends and keeping his head down.

HOWEVER, Tom has reckoned without his room-mate, out-and-proud Reese, who is not happy at having to share his off-campus housing.

Can these unlikely room-mates come to some kind of understanding, despite their traumatic pasts?

I liked this one, rather than LOVED it, but it was readable enough.

This one straddles an interesting line between procedural crime drama and science fiction. I'm not entirely sure it was completely successful - not for me, anyway. I kept getting caught up in the science fiction part and confused by the crime drama part.

However, it's deftly written, and the main character is a compelling and interesting narrator. The premise of Lock In is great, I just. I don't know. I got confused by something somewhere along the line, and somehow couldn't get into it properly after that.


  1. I do not really understand the words "hissing snake hedgehog boy" but I love reading about fictional sportsball. And yay to Alexis Hall! I like Alexis Hall and just today got in a quarrel with him on Twitter about types of biscuits. I think I won.

    Have you read other John Scalzi books before? Are any of them good?

  2. Jenny: It's my way of saying he's small and angry but sort of cute with it - lol. I really enjoyed the series but it's definitely not for everyone. I love Alexis Hall!!!!

    Lock In was my first Scalzi, yes. I liked it but I did get confused.