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Entries from Mar 2010

Liz Jensen: My Dirty Little Book of Stolen Time

28 Mar 2010 · 3 Comments

Harlot Charlotte finds herself catapulted from late 19th-century Denmark to 21st-century England in Liz Jensen’s odd fantasy. Charlotte is a mildly unreliable narrator somewhat given to giddiness and entirely given to elaborately structured sentences:
When Franz finally departed for a place he referred to mysteriously a the Halfway Club, I resolved to confront Professor Krak [...]

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Tags: fantasy · historical · j-author · m-title

Timothy Zahn: Odd Girl Out

23 Mar 2010 · No Comments

Odd Girl Out is the first of Zahn’s “Quadrail” novels to disappoint me a bit. The first two, Night Train to Rigel and The Third Lynx, paired the unusual setting (railways between the stars) with nods to classic noir detective fiction. Both had one major plot “twist” I saw coming from miles away, but The [...]

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Tags: o-title · science fiction · z-author

Stacey Jay: Undead Much

21 Mar 2010 · No Comments

I thought You Are So Undead to Me was fluffy in a fun way, but by the end of Undead Much, I was mostly just annoyed — enough so that it makes me retroactively question my response to the previous book.
This time around, what impressed me most was the density of repurposing elements [...]

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Tags: fantasy · j-author · u-title · young adult

Lauren McLaughlin: (Re)cycler

14 Mar 2010 · No Comments

(Re)cyler is definitely not the book I expected it to be.
Cycler ended so abruptly and with so little resolution that I expected (Re)cycler to be basically the second half of a novel too long for one volume. I thought it was going to include an “origin story” for Jill (who turns, physically, into her male [...]

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Tags: m-author · r-title · young adult

A.J. Jacobs: The Year of Living Biblically

13 Mar 2010 · No Comments

So here’s the elevator pitch for The Year of Living Biblically: this guy, technically Jewish, but secular — an avowed agnostic, actually — decides that for one full year he will follow the laws and commandments of the Bible. All of them. Literally. (Except for those it would be criminal to follow.)
(He also ignores some [...]

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Tags: j-author · religion · y-title

Timothy Zahn: The Third Lynx

10 Mar 2010 · No Comments

In The Third Lynx, Zahn again puts agent Frank Compton (from Night Train to Rigel) through some of the classic noir detective paces in his unusual near-future setting, which prominently features interstellar trains. (One of several tropes Zahn explores this time around is the detective who finds himself unexpectedly a murder suspect; there are also [...]

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Tags: alphabetical-author · mystery · science fiction · t-title · z-author

Wells Tower: Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned

06 Mar 2010 · No Comments

The nine stories in Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned are full of vivid, acute descriptions, like:
I had a studio apartment in the West Village, which people were impressed by until they came up for a look. The place was the architectural equivalent of a biscuit dough remnant, a two-hundred-square-foot waste shape of crannies and recesses left [...]

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Tags: e-title · fiction · t-author

A.J. Jacobs: The Guinea Pig Diaries

04 Mar 2010 · No Comments

In his introduction, Jacobs lays asserts that his participatory journalism draws on the tradition of writers like Nellie Bly and John Howard Griffin (the author of Black Like Me). But I would assert that he also belongs somewhere along the continuum of writers like Dave Barry and Mark Leyner, who blur the lines between the [...]

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Tags: g-title · j-author · nonfiction

J.F. Lewis: Revamped

01 Mar 2010 · No Comments

Revamped is, like its predecessor Staked, a fantasy thriller very much in the mode of Hamilton’s Anita Blake series: jockeying for dominance between various supernatural entities is the prime mover of the plot, which features a lot of sex and violence, the latter even more copious and explicit than the former.
Lewis continues to exploit the [...]

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Tags: fantasy · l-author · r-title · thriller