Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Short reviews

Somehow I've read three books over the past week or so and not realised. Instead of doing three separate posts, I'm doing one short reviews post for all three books.

First up, is It Devours, by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor. Oh yeah, I've read that book.

It's the second Night Vale-based novel and let me tell you - I love Night Vale. I'm behind on the podcast, but that doesn't make my love for it any less true, pure and full of spiders.

In It Devours, Carlos the Perfect tasks another scientist - Nilanjana ("Interloper!") with figuring out what's behind mysterious rumblings in the desert outside of town.

Nilanjana's investigations lead her to the Joyous Congregation of the Smiling God - and to Darryl, one of its most devoted members. As Nilanjana and Darryl figure out what's happening, a romance starts to blossom, houses start disappearing, and Carlos is, as always, perfect.

I have to admit, I enjoyed the first Night Vale novel slightly more than It Devours, but it was still greaet. Full of Night Vale weirdness and insight and absurdities, which are all the things I love about Night Vale.

Next, we go from both the sublime and the ridiculous to... just the ridiculous. I picked up The Exodus Quest by Will Adams from the withdrawn shelf at the library. And - I mean - it's just. It's a very very silly book.

Archaeologist Daniel Knox spots something in a bazaar somewhere in Egypt that sends him off on a chasey-chasey quest for .... uhm.

I *think* the fundamental premise of the book is that there's solid proof that the heretical Pharaoh Akhenaten was actually Moses and the Old Testament of the Bible is just a collection of folk stories that all have to do with the same Exodus event? Honestly, I'm not even sure.

Hanging the premise on Ancient Egypt is catnip to me, so I forgave A LOT, including Knox rushing about Egypt like a lunatic with a fairly serious concussion. That's mentioned once and then completely ignored for the duration. It's a bit Da Vinci Cod in the whole ... absurd theory turning out to be true, but it was readable enough and just seemed to want to be LIKED.

Jasper Richardson is struggling. His house has turned into little more than twisty corridors between piles of books and papers and he knows he needs help.

He finally calls hoarding clean-up specialists Carroll and Lewis for help to manage his home and figure out why he's basically barricaded his life behind his hoard.

When he meets Lewis, Jasper starts to realise that maybe there is more to life than giant piles of stuff. As for Lewis, he struggles to remain professional in the face of his obvious attraction to Jasper.

This was really good - readable and it had a lot of depth. Jasper is just so vulnerable and clearly lonely when he meets Lewis, and Lewis does his level best to act ethically and professionally towards Jasper.

The two eventually fumble towards something solid and lasting. A really good read.

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