Sunday, September 21, 2014

My Real Children by Jo Walton

My Real Children
Jo  Walton
Tor 2014

Patricia, suffering from dementia, is in a nursing home. She has memories of two, very distinctly different lives. Covering the years from 1933 when she was seven, to 2015 when she is lying in a bed not wanting to have to decide which was her real life, she loves both her lives.

In both lives she got an Oxford education and had children. In one life she had several pregnancies and four children who lived; in the other life she gave birth to two children but mothered others. In one life she had love, in the other respectability. In one world, peace and cooperation lead to scientific advances; in the other bombings and nuclear fallout affect her life.

As always, Walton’s writing is mesmerizing, pulling the reader into the lives and hearts of the people in the pages. This is very subtle science fiction, mostly taking place in the past but in two very familiar worlds where subtle difference show they are not ours.

My Real Children is one of those books a reader never forgets. One that will echo, with thoughts of it springing into mind unbidden, for many years. Definitely one of the best books of the year.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Book of the Week Wood Sprites by Wen Spencer

Wood Sprites
Wen Spencer
Baen 2014

I always find it hardest to write reviews of books I fall in love with. Wood Sprites with its wit, imagination, and humor is fully in this category.

     Just days before their ninth birthday, precocious twins, Louise and Jillian discover they are not biologically related to their parents when their blood type is revealed after they create a huge explosion when filming an episode of their underground video series set in their imagined version of Elfhome. The issue with their parentage is extremely mystifying since they’ve seen the video of their birth and they know they emerged from their mother. In this delightful romp, the twins uncover their true parentage and relationship to Tinker, become celebrities, write and produce a kick ass school play version of Peter Pan, and discover a diabolical plot that could end the accord between our world and its parallel, Elfhome. It is set in the world of Spencer’s outstanding science fantasy Elfhome series where a transdimensional gate catapults a near future Pittsburgh onto a parallel world inhabite by elves  where it stays except for one day a month.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Read in August

Here are most of the books I read in August. There were a couple that weren't on Riffle yet including the picture book Little Puppy and the Big Green Monster by Mike Wohnoutka that I like a lot.
Remember, I only finish reading books I enjoy and like enough to recommend to others so all of these are recommended. I didn't read much YA/Teen in August but The Name of the Blade played out like a very colorful anime right before my eyes, I loved the combination of fairy tale and science fiction in Stitching Snow, and was surprised by the unpredictability of The Devil's Intern. Wood Sprites, Thief's Magic, and Trace of Magic were all very well done, extremely enjoyable, fantasy novels. The time periods and settings in Seven for a Secret, the Fair Miss Fortune, and Flight of the Sparrow all were informative and skillfully drawn making each of their eras come vividly to life complete with smells and sounds.