Thursday, July 19, 2007

Ice by Vladimir Sorokin (translated by Jamey Gambrell) initially had me totally enthralled. Using hammers made of ice, men and women beat on the chests of those they've kidnapped in the hopes of finding others whose hearts will respond with their true names. Those whose hearts remain silent are presumably left for dead while those who are "awakened" are welcomed as brothers and sisters. However my enthusiasm waned with each repetitive chapter as the lack of any real storyline was made apparent. I understand it's part of a trilogy and that a larger arc may appear, and I enjoyed it enough that I think I'll probably read the others when they come out, but it was definitely not as good as I'd hoped. I also had an issue with the translation (or at least I'm assuming it's the translation) because at times it seemed stilted and almost clinical. I have no idea if this is the author's style or a product of the translation, but the end result was that I felt somewhat distant from the book.

I didn't like Enna Burning by Shannon Hale as much as I did her other two books, but it was still pretty good. It continues the story from The Goose Girl, only this time focusing on Enna and the ability she gains of setting fires. She quickly finds that the fire and heat are all-consuming and she and Isi, who is herself struggling with the overwhelming communication from the wind, must find a way to balance themselves amidst a war with a bordering country.

I spent a good part of last Saturday waiting in line to see Spoon, which gave me the perfect opportunity to read Colm Toibin's book of short stories Mothers And Sons. As the title indicates, all the stories are linked thematically, exploring the different ways mothers and sons relate and interact. The writing was lovely and several of them were very powerful. I'm excited to read his novels now.

Leila over at Bookshelves of Doom has been raving about Cherie Priest's novels and I decided it was time to pick up her first, Four And Twenty Blackbirds. I started reading it on the bus ride home and knew before we reached the mall that I needed to hit the library by my house for the second one as soon as possible. It was immediately engaging and established such a deliciously creepy, Southern Gothic atmosphere that I couldn't stop reading. It follows Eden, a mixed race child raised by her aunt, as she tries to piece together her family's history and discover who the three ghosts are who seem to be protecting her. It was awesome, and I had to restrain myself from starting her second book last night after I finished this one because I would have been up all night reading if I had.

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