25 May 2011

What I'm Reading

The Anubis Gates - Tim Powers
This was excellent and I really enjoyed it. It has time travel, sorcery, body-swapping, Egyptian mythology, and nineteenth century history. This is an excellently constructed time-travel fantasy, and reading it I find myself wishing there were more like it.
I found that the plot moved along at a fair pace and despite various complicated things happening it wasn't hard to follow. There were some plot twists that I guessed fairly quickly, including one of the main ones, though I suspect that it might have been due to my familiarity with time -travel stories. Even though it is mind-boggling time travel is one of those things I do tend to think about when I'm presented with it. In this case the events in the book manage to form a loop that seems free of paradox. I admire the planning and sleight-of-hand that must have taken.
I definitely recommend The Anubis Gates to any one who enjoys smart fantasy and/or well made time-travel stories.

Jack of Fables - Vol. 6, The Big Book of War
I've been reading Fables for a while although I didn't pay a lot of attention to spin-off series Jack of Fables, until The Great Fables Crossover. At that point it became clear that I had some back reading to catch up on. Now that I've got this graphic novel I'm all caught up and at some point I may read through the crossover and the preceding graphic novels again.

Midnight Never Come - Marie Brennan
Another Elizabethan fairy story. I was careful not to read this book straight after Sword of Albion, even though I've been waiting to read this one for a while. Comparisons are inevitable but these are two very different books, despite being set in the same period. Sword of Albion is very much a supernatural action/spy thriller, whereas Midnight Never Come is more political. The fairies in this are nowhere near as cold and threatening as the ones written by Mark Chadbourn. Brennan's fairies are very capable of cruelty and manipulation, but they are far more relatable than the Enemy.
The major theme of the book is the contrast between the fae court and the mortal court of Elizabeth I. The idea of a fairy court beneath London acting as a shadow or dark reflection of what happens above, is integral. The two main characters are a mortal and a fairy and we see both of their worlds in vivid detail.

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