Sweet Trouble

Rants, raves, book reviews and one girl's thoughts on life, the universe and everything.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding by Charlaine Harris

Charlaine Harris's new Sookie Sackhouse novel, All Together Dead ,hits the bookstore shelves this Tuesday*. Perhaps because of this I was inspired to catch up on her previous novels while at the library this past week. I brought home both Grave Surprise and the anthology "My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding."

Grave Surprise is the second Harper Connely mystery. I had been looking for this at the library since it came out last October, mostly just keeping an eye out for it in the "new fiction" display. Finally I gave in and pulled it up on their computer to see if it was in and was surprised to find it in the actual mystery section instead of sci-fi or just plain fiction. They ARE mysteries, but with the premise being that of a young woman once struck by lightening who can now find dead bodies and discern the cause of death, well, I expected to find it elsewhere I suppose.

The anthology of short stories I am still working on, but it has been utterly delightful thus far. I started with the authors I was familiar with, including Harris's own offering "Tacky" set in the Sookie-verse and one by Rachel Caine called "Dead Man's Chest" which featured some particularly swashbuckling pirates. The other's I was iffier about. I have heard of Jim Butcher's Dresden Files and P.N. Elrod's Vampire detective series. I've even read a romance by Sherrilyn Kenyon in anticipation of meeting her at a convention once, but have never pursued or followed any of them.

The Harry Dresden offering was fun, the characters gettting hitched were clearly featured as secondary cast in other novels and yet the tale stood on it's own. I'm almost tempted to pick some the Dresden Files now, though I have heard they can be repetetive when consumed it large quantities. Many series have that particular problem, though, so I won't let it stand against them. P.N. Elrod's tale of a wedding character who meets an Elvis impersonator doesn't sound very supernatural, but has enough twists to qualify and is funny on top of it all. Again, it's enough to make me want check out her series (no matter how tired I've become of vampires) as the quality of story telling and characterization is top notch.

There are five more short stories in the collection that I've yet to peruse, but I can reccomend it already based on the strenghts of the four I've read. If any of the authors I've mentioned are on your radar at all it's not to be missed. Heck, it's not to be missed period if the title alone can make you smile...

*There's a lot of great stuff coming out on May 1st, including Sherwood Smith's Senrid, Kelly Armstrong's No Human's Involved, Meg Cabot's Pants on Fire, the Lackey/Mallory When Darkness Falls and of course the aforementioned All Together Dead. When it rains it pours!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Twilight, New Moon and Eclipse by Stephanie Meyer

Stephanie Meyer delivers the most riveting and lovely novel I've read in awhile in her first offering, Twilight. It is followed up by the equally delicious New Moon and the soon to be released Eclipse*.

Twilight begins the story of the strong willed Bella, who moves from her beloved Arizona to live with her father in dreary Forks, WA. The Olympic Peninsula is misery for this sun-loving girl who has trouble adjusting to life in area known for having the highest average rainfall in the country, and great gloomy forests on top. There are other residents of Forks who count this fact as a blessing and the very reason for making their homes there...and so we meet the Cullens, a unique "family" of vampires whom Bella befriends.

For all that this book may fall into the popular new "urban fantasy" description, the characters are much more reminiscent of a modern Bronte offering. It stands in a class of it's own and I am one reader very thankful that Ms. Meyer laughs at the idea of stopping with just three books and plans on providing more literary joy for both myself and her rapidly growing fanbase.

* If August seems like too long a wait for Eclipse, be sure to check out Meyer's offering in the Prom Nights From Hell compilation by Meg Cabot. I also reccomend Sunshine by Robin McKinley for another unusual take on vampires (or any other book by McKinely for that matter.)

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Scrubb Brush

I've been rereading a lot lately. Old favorites, old friends and a few who's plots I had simply forgotten and decided to pick up again before deciding if it was a keeper and should go in storage, or if it was one for the "to sell when I get around to making an Amazon used bookstore" pile.

In anycase, from an old favorite I rediscovered what has got to be one of the single best opening sentances ever:

"There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it."

That's just so fabulous.