I'm home! Well, not exactly. I'm home for a couple of hours, to check out the status of the fumes (and to get some work done) and thought it about time that I start posting again, at least sporadically.
Given that I've been on vacation for quite some time now, today's post is nattering about books I've disappeared into lately. Just general impressions, nothing too well thought out - today, I have time for either thinking or posting and the latter feels like I’ve accomplished more.
Full Moon Rising by Keri Arthur. I had my eyes on this one for awhile - werewolves! Vampires! Hot sex! What's not to like? For some odd reason, Audible wanted two credits for it and I am pretty cheap with my credits, only spending them on books I really want and never two on one book (the waste!). Luckily, my birthday rolled around and my mother was kind enough to get it for me. It was alright fluff. The concept was pretty nifty and yes, there was a lot of sex - I don't normally mind (okay, sometimes I even enjoy) reading sex, but this one was... I don't know. I'm pretty sure this is Arthur's first book and there was a little too much telling, instead of showing. If you remember my review of The Ruins, you know I'm not fond of that. Also, the action kept stopping while the author explained references and there was way too much thinking about the sex. Repeatedly. About things that had already been thought about four times in the last two chapters. The book is clearly the first in a series and I’ll likely pick up the next one, as well - I can't wait to see what happens once Arthur gets a bit more comfortable (and gets a better editor). Neat concept, definite potential, needed another polish.
A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon. When I ranted about The Ruins, I also talked about another rule of writing: to be specific. My issue with The Ruins was that it was entirely too specific. The thing about A Spot of Bother is that it is extremely specific, as well, but in this one, it works. Essentially, this is a book about one man's mental breakdown, plus some fairly intense changes in his life into adult children. Hidden in minutia of everyday living - this is where the specificity comes in - are heartbreaking and hysterically funny insights into these people's minds and lives. It is read brilliantly by Simon Vance and I highly recommend it.
Lisey's Story by Stephen King. I started this book before I left for my 'vacation' and was reminded again of how Stephen King is meant to be read aloud. This is the story of the widow of a famous writer, to whom something very bad happens (it is, after all, a Stephen King story). I can't say too much about it, as I am still only about a third into the book. What I can say is that so far I've had a marvelous time. King excels at description, at taking his time, leaving you on tenterhooks for him to get to where he's going before he gets there. Remember my argument that good horror is like good sex? This book makes you realize that you're in the hands of a very good lover. So to speak. And reading this book is making me a better writer - it is both incredibly entertaining and an advanced class in writing.