So, it finally occurred to me that, as others do, it is actually okay for me not to give a full-blown review of books! Hence, booklogs, with mini-reviews and quick impressions: a way for me to share what I'm reading without killing myself writing reviews :)
Also, I've been reading voraciously the last week since I counted how many books I own and haven't read and updated the good ol' Towering TBR of Doom; I've decided that I'm going to aim to get my TBR pile down to under 200 (or at 200) by the time I start my new job on January 27. *fingers crossed*
...And I haven't decided yet whether that figure will include or exclude books I know I'm getting from Christmas, since it already means reading 25+ books in 2 months, when I usually read 30-35 in a year!!
So, the first booklog for the Get-The-TBR-Pile-Under-200, or GTTBRPU200, with, yes, the exact covers that I read the books in, because I'm neutrotic that way.
GTTBRPU200 #1: The Glittering Eye, by L.J. Adlington
Amy is sent to spend Christmas with her archaeologist father in Egypt, and discovers a hidden tomb that holds the key to our alternate POV character's life.
This is a pretty cool book, not least because the MC is called Amy O:) (Which, I suspect, is why Yuna sent it to me :D) It alternates in POV between modern day Amy and an ancient Egyptian boy known as Shabti, whose fates end up being intimately entwined. While for me personally it lacked that special 'spark' (I felt the ending could have been foreshadowed better, and the plot a little more seemless and, I don't know, meaningful?), it's still a great story, with cunningly woven in backstory, a fantastic ending, great incorporation of Egyptology details without too many infodumps.
GTTBRPU200 #2: Magic Pony: Pony Camp, by Sue Bentley
MC goes to pony camp for the first time and finds a magical pony in the woods who needs her help to find his missing twin sister.
I'm torn on this book. On the one hand, it's gorgeous, with lots of colour and sparkle, and it's the kind of thing I would have adored to death when I was eight. But on the other hand, the resolution of the story is... unsatisfying; it mostly comes about without any direct action on behalf of the MC. I suspected a plot twist that would have fixed this, but it never came to fruition, which was a little disappointing. But otherwise, a really cute book :)
GTTBRPU200 #3: The Tales of Beedle the Bard, by J.K. Rowling
I think it's a pretty gutsy endeavour to try to write original fairy tales; they're such a specific genre, and while their language and plots may be simple, the way they convey their underlying moral/meaning is anything but. Try too hard and you end up with a "message story" that preaches rather than reveals; try too little, and you get a rather plain, rather pointless piece of prose. In this book, I think Rowling's managed the former; the five fables have a delightful, genuinely fable-like feel to them, and the morals are perfectly encoded. If you like fairy tales and fables, definitely check this one out.
GTTBRPU200 #4: Promise of the Wolves, by Dorothy Hearst
In a world where part of the Wolf Promise is to never consort with humans, Kaala, a wolf pup marked by the moon, is allowed to live against the wishes of her packleader, who believes that a pup so marked will must either bring the pack good luck, or destroy it forever; he doesn't want to risk his pack for her, especially when she is drawn to the humans.
This one's definitely my favourite from this booklog. Finally, a fantastic books that portrays wolves as wolves!! Regular Reader will be aware that I wrote an ebook, The 33 Worst Mistakes Writers Make About Dogs. Mistake number 31: Dogs are not wolves. (And naturally, the reverse: wolves are not dogs). It's very refreshing to read a book from a wolf's POV about their life and pack that's so very canine :)
The first chapter is not the hookiest I've ever read, but by about chapter 3 I was glued to it, and emotionally invested in Kaala's fate and the fate of her pack. Fantastic description of a beautiful world, filled with well-drawn characters. I likes muchly. If you like wolves - READ THIS BOOK! :D
So, four books down, 25 to go. Yay!