oracne - Victoria Janssen (oracne) wrote,
oracne - Victoria Janssen

Vacation reading [ya]: Clare, Duey, Boston

City of Bones, Cassandra Clare: this was entertaining, if mostly predictable in the emotional and plot arcs. At first, the style bugged me, because I am not the kind of reader who needs to stop and hear a description of each character as they appear, and I kept getting thrown out of the story; but eventually this stopped, and I could get caught up more. I felt like I was reading slices of the Harry Potter books [the parts about Harry's parents' generation] thrown in a blender with dialogue and Giles from Buffy: the Vampire Slayer, and just a bit of shojo manga. The older generation in this book actually interested me more than the teen protagonists. It was fun popcorn reading. Also, everyone was very pretty.

Skin Hunger: A Resurrection of Magic, Kathleen Duey: this was a really good book, but too depressing throughout for me to lose myself in. There are two stories going on, separated widely in time but linked, and it takes a little time to realize the implications of the links, which are not necessarily good for any of the characters. The character I liked most, Sadima, seemed to be the only one who was not obsessed with magic above the business of living; a character in the parallel story, Hahp, has to become obsessed with magic to survive. The wizard school is the creepiest thing ever.

The Children of Green Knowe, Lucy Boston, was written in 1954, and has simple, gorgeous descriptions of the countryside of England in that time. WWII and its effects are never mentioned [edited to add: I forgot! Boggis mentions both WWI and WWII]; the present mingles instead with the distant past and the children who lived in the house at that time. I have read other books in which a child meets ghosts from the past, but am I wrong, or do those not appear much any more? Have they all been replaced by time travel stories? I'm thinking of books like The Sherwood Ring by Elizabeth Marie Pope and Margaret Mahy's The Tricksters and Patricia McKillip's The House on Parchment Street.
Tags: books, sf/f, ya
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