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December continued

98. Valiant: A Modern Tale of Faerie by Holly Black
Rating 7/10
I thought I'd like this book much more than the last faerie book I read with the same setting because of the idea in this one of making things more gritty and dark and real. However the author didn't gel the two worlds together too well and so it was jarring to bounce back and forth between descriptions of magical goings on and life as a runaway teen on the streets. I think i part this was because the characters weren't ones I identified with at all. They got a couple of definitive characteristics and then stayed fairly stagnant for the duration of the story. The language, casual drug use and casual sex in this story seemed to be there more for shock value than to further the story. The 'Never' was a great idea but it kept degenerating into something flat. At times it was like reading a fanfic written by someone who has never experienced the things they are writing about. I found that I really did like the faerie mythology that Holly Black was creating but the modern story that was lain over top of her faerie worlds was just flat.

99. Fantastic Alice edited by Margaret Weis
Rating 8.5/10
This was a really enjoyable collection of Alice in Wonderland stories. They're all stories that were inspires in some way by the original 'Alice in Wonderland' book. This is a really varied collection, some were quite post modern and abstract and some were just sweet stories. As with all short story collections I've read there were some stories that I didn't enjoy and others that I enjoyed greatly. This collection had a high ratio of stories that I liked :) Some stories had excellent word play as a way of playing homage to Lewis Carroll's work and there was a hearty dose of nonsense thrown in as well. Highly enjoyable reading.

100. Street Gang: The Complete History of Sesame Street by Michael Davis
Rating 8/10
I adore the entire world of Muppets and so learning about them and the creation of Sesame Street and some of the other Muppet creations that came from that start was wonderful. I did not enjoy the organizational skills of Michael Davis in his writing. He'd tell a story then jump back to tell the story of the 10 years that preceded that event, which is not too confusing but then he'd launch into another story from the same day that wasn't related really and then jump back to tell the history of that one and there were parts of the book that just started to feel stagnated because he wasn't great at progressing the story. As interesting as the information was it needed to be presented in a more thoughtful manner. But pushing that aside I really enjoyed being able to take a peek into the world of Jim Henson for a bit. That man was a genius.

previous entries are here:

2009: part one and part two
and 2008: part one and part two


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Elizabeth Jamieson

January 2013


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