deliabarry: (Cat in the Hat)
The Golden Compass (Northern Lights)
His Dark Materials, Book 1
by Philip Pullman

Lyra Belacqua is a young girl being raised by the scholars of Jordan College in Oxford. One evening, she sneaks into the Scholars' retiring room to hear her uncle, Lord Asriel, tell of his explorations in the North. Soon, children begin disappearing, and Lyra's narrow world of Jordan College and the streets of Oxford has expanded to include the mysterious Mrs. Coulter, a Texan aeronaut, a witch queen, armored bears, and a perilous journey to the North.

Somehow I missed reading this when it came out, and a number of people have told me I should read it because I would love it. I did buy a copy a couple of years ago but just couldn't get into it. I saw the movie a couple of weeks ago, however, and picked up the trilogy right afterward.

There were many things I enjoyed about this book. Lyra's quest and adventures are in the classic tradition, and Pullman's writing brings them to life. His view of the world, both physically and culturally, is compelling. The major problems I had were with the Humans' external souls (exactly how does that work again?) and with Lyra. I found her to be an arrogant, insufferable little brat, and that cast a real pall over the book for me. I'm going to continue reading the rest of the trilogy, however. All those people who love love love it can't be wrong, can they?
deliabarry: (science fiction)
Running with the Demon
by Terry Brooks

I've never read anything by Brooks before, but I've heard of him for years, so when my cousin offered to lend me this book, I took her up on it.

The storyline is a pretty straightforward fantasy plot: the battle between good (here called the Word) and evil (the Void). There's a crippled Knight of the Word, a demon, a union on strike, a 14 year–old defender of nature with magical powers and mysterious parentage, and a ghostly wolf/dog who shows up now and again to protect her. The plot is pretty standard good vs. evil with the fate of the teenager and the world hanging in the balance. It was a good reminder of why I prefer hard SF. Not surprisingly, this is the first part of a trilogy. I doubt I'll bother with the next two.

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deliabarry

December 2016

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