Wednesday 30 July 2014

4* review: Death's Daughter, Kathleen Collins

pub. Carina Press, due out March 2014.

'Walker' Julianna Norris, half mage, half fae, can read magical signatures, ie. she can tell whose-magic-done-it. Lovely concept. So she works for The Agency but also often helps local human law inforcement, despite their crass police chief. So when half-magical children start to disappear in quick succession she's the obvious choice of investigator.

I enjoyed this one, and gave it the 4 stars despite the unbelievably stupid, stereotypical police chief and the remarkably un-vampish vampire boyfriend. Julianna's character was strong enough to tempt me to ignore those weaknesses and the fact I didn't spot the real villain for quite a while was a bonus; I usually do.

If you don't take this one too seriously you can sit back and enjoy it. Or, if you look at it as research, it's a great example of a hook heroine?

Monday 28 July 2014

How Sad Is That???

I've just bought some refills for my pens. When I say "pens" I mean the drawer full of Pilot G2s I've written with for years, because they're so comfortable, even several HOURS later. [Pilot, if you ever read this a free sample would be very nice. :) ]

Usually, I pick them up from my local post office which, amazingly, stocks them. But this week they ran out, and I was down to my last three. Withdrawal symptoms threatened.

So I went to Amazon. No problem. Very fair price if I bought a dozen [That's 12 for those who don't know what dozen means - yes, you're out there, I've met several of you already]. One-Click and it was sorted.

Then a small window popped up. In it, a ready-typed message that said "I've just bought..." with an instant click-on connection to Facebook, or a couple of other "social networking" sites.

I admit, I blinked. I didn't click. Assuming I wanted to connect with Facebook et al, why on earth would I want to tell the world I'd bought pen refills? What corner of the globe is going to find that heart-warming, thrilling, entertaining. Or even regard it was human contact?

I know there are people who send pictures of the drinks they've just bought in a pub, or feel it vital to tell the world which restaurant they are currently sat in, and frankly that's pretty lame, but pen refills? Only now, of course, I'm wondering where I can track all the other ridiculous messages that must be 'out there'. What could be the most inane, or cringe-worthy, item someone has just told the whole world they've bought, clicking first and thinking later.

Even as a sales pitch this trick is pretty weak, surely. Or are there people 'out there' who just have to buy what someone they half-know has.

No, even if, it's still just sad.

Friday 18 July 2014

Do You Read? How About Raising Money for Books Just for Saying So????

This one's very short - and to the point, I hope.

I've just hit on the Pages4progress site, a World Education site that has a donor willing to stump up a dollar for EVERY PAGE YOU READ, towards, yes, books for people who haven't any.

I've signed up, I've already logged in about 700 pages without trying. That's a lot of books.

Anyone else willing to join in? Yes?

Why not?

Wednesday 2 July 2014

SF? I know I shouldn't, but...

Why, oh why, do we apologise, in actual words or just in our manner, for liking a particular book, or genre?

I'm sure we've all done it. "I like SF" immediately springs to mind. We 'admit' to liking it, mindful it's not cool, or it's clearly beneath a grownup's notice. Some of us may 'admit' to reading YA SF - even worse! And feel obliged to defend our weird taste.

Me? I seem to have worked my way through that phase. I can even declare "I collect different kinds of vampire stories" with a straight face. Or at least a smile.

What it occurs to me I haven't quite grown out of is 'admitting' that sometimes I don't like a book that 'everyone else' admires or loves. I can be honest about most but it still feels awkward saying I disliked a 'big' book, or even that I couldn't finish it.

Yet why should I feel awkward? Books vary, writers vary, and readers vary. I'm not going to love a book just because 'everyone else' does. I'm definitely not going to say I do when I don't. That would be cowardly. So no, I'm resolved I won't feel bad about either any more.

Though hopefully I'll still be polite about it. :)