Unnatural Death, Dorothy L. Sayers

“Ohmigod. Damn. Double rainbow. So intense.”

I presume you’ve seen the video. You know, the guy who’s crying over the rainbow? That is just about the emotional reaction I had to this book. It’s so beautiful… What does it mean?

Ahem.

I used to read mysteries with obsessive, almost irrational hunger. Then I moved into reading Fantasy and writing SF, but that’s another story. What I am talking about is Mysteries.

I’ve read a lot of them.

Until the read-a-thon, I had never read a Lord Peter Whimsey mystery.

This is a criminaloversight. Which I will fix as soon as possible. (Hint: Christmas is coming. The goose getting fat. Please to put a book in the ageless woman’s hat.)

So yes, the book.

It is the third in the series, but I read it with minimal confusion as to who was who. You just dive right into post-war London and environs. Where Lord Peter, who quotes EVERYTHING, is wandering around looking useless and being a genius, his butler is being AWESOME, (seriously, I think the man only had one scene, but I had to do my delighted dance and read it aloud,) the police are being SRYS BYSNS, and the spinster writer who he employs to spy for him, whose name I have forgotten because I thought of her as Maureen Johnson, is off being Catholic and hardcore. (Seriously, it was like a Maureen Johnson cameo. Only written 80 years before mj became the darling of Twitter. TIME TRAVEL?) And there were Lawyers, being delighted and fascinated by words in laws. I like words, so this pleased me. Also, there are a lot of LADIES doing THINGS in this book. Being one myself, I approve of them becoming more than Damsels in Distress or Moral Compasses in stories. And here they were, being Evil, and Stupid, and Clever, and Moral, and Rebellious, and Good, and all sorts of lovely things. (Hint: Christmas is coming.)

The actual murder was delightfully clever, to start. You see, they weren’t actually sure that it WAS a murder until the end of the book. It was only a terribly convenient death, with some suspicious circumstances. But when they started investigating, other people started dying mysteriously too. By the end of the book, the murderer was getting quite sloppy. But we still weren’t sure HOW people were dying until the end.

So yes. I want marry Lord Peter. I gave it four stars out of five. No big deal.

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Star Wars: 501st, Karen Traviss

I said I would review everything I read for the read-a-thon. But next year I’m not going to do that, because when that is just not fair to the book. I mean, I barely remember this one. I started reading it at about three in the morning? And most of the book I spent my time propping my eyes open and muttering “where are the EXPLOSIONS?” at the page. (Hint: there were not as many explosions as I’d like.)

The idea behind the book, as best as I can figure out, is that Order 66 ended, and millions of nerds cried out and said, BUT WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? They were given this book to silence them. The issue with that, is that I do believe that Order 66 finished off all the plot threads quite nicely. I mean yes, there were things hanging, but they were aesthetically pleasing things. In a terrible way.

I mean yes, there were people killed and others were left in terrible no-win situations. But the story WORKED. That was a good ending point. Now in this book, most of the text is spent on people thinking about the meaning of things, from a religious, moral or ethical perspective. Which might be fine, I was just OUT OF IT when I read the book, (and now when I’m writing this. Symmetry! Hah!)

When I pick up a book with Storm Troopers on the front, I want a heavy dose of action and plot. Regrettably for that idea, Ms. Traviss has spent much of the previous series writing the Imperial Commandos to be darn near indestructible genius demi-gods. So just breaking a few people out of triple zero isn’t such a much. So just to fill up the PAGE COUNT, you need the endless soul-searching. So maybe more flaws would have been good? Or less of a stupid enemy? I dunno. I gave it two stars out of five. I shan’t worry about the characters any more.

The Deadlies: Felix Takes The Stage, Kathryn Lasky

This is another book I read during the readathon. At the time that I read it I had already been reading for 21 hours and it was six in the morning. And now since then said sister has brought it back to the library. So i’m working from my (very fuzzy) memory.

Felix is one of a family of well mannered, loving Deadly Recluse spiders who happen to be super toxic, and they live in the symphony hall. He has an artistic soul! All he wants is to be accepted and to create! All he wants is to take a ride on the conductor’s baton!

One quick attempt at a ride later, the conductor is being treated for a heart attack, Felix is regrowing a leg, and the Deadlies are looking for a new home, due to their previous home being the domain of exterminators now. Will they ever find a place where they can live without persecution? Will Felix ever find a place where he fits?

I was very confused by the book. I’ll be honest. There was a mom spider, and two sisters I couldn’t keep straight, and Felix. I think what Felix wanted was to not be an introvert, but that is so far outside of my comprehension that I was still going HUHHHH????? The whole time. Also, Mom was all worked up about kindergartens and her children being teased despite being super toxic? Like I said, I was confused. There was a lot of stuff about acceptance, but I just focused on the search for a house, since I could understand that. And that was rather fun, the dramatic cross-coutnry trip, including movies. ^_^

However, the book was fun, and it had fun pictures. 😀 It was exactly what I wanted at that hour. So I gave it three stars out of five.

2nd Samuel

I was actually supposed to read 1st Samuel, which makes more sense. !st Samuel is all about how awesome David is. 2nd Samuel is more like LET”S ALL WATCH IT FALL APART.

Thoughts:

  1. Someone needs to stop Joab. He takes his personal vengeance WAY too seriously. I don’t care how good of a general he is. Someone needs to go to David, and say “Dude, this man is stabbing people in front of the whole army. It’s BAD FOR MORALE. And morals.”
  2. Never name your daughter Tamar. That’s just- not a name with a good history.
  3. David is SO BAD with women. I just kept facepalming the whole time, really.
    1. But I still love him. Something about his poetry and way of rallying the troops. 😀
  4. There is SO MUCH politics in this book! Seriously! Everyone’s backstabbing and supporting people, and withdrawing their support, and all that junk. It’s CA-RAY-SEE. 
  5. Also, sexism. There’s a lot of it.

Song Of Solomon

So, for the readathon, two people got me to read books of the bible. Part of the promise was that I would review ALL books I read, so here goes. 😛

Song of Solomon, or Song of Songs, as it’s also know, was very interesting to read. I mean, it’s about physical love. Between a man and (one of) his wives. Serious I’M TOO YOUNG moments happened frequently. There was a lot of glistening. And myrrh, and spices. And “going down into your garden.”

MAYBE I have a dirty mind. But that seemed an AWEFUL lot like innuendo to me. I’m just SAYING.

But all the don’tthinkaboutitreallydon’tthinkSEEItoldyoutoothat’syourownfault was worth it for these two verses. ^_^

Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm;
for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave.
It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame.
Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away.
If one were to give all the wealth of his house for love, it would be utterly scorned.
        -Song of Songs 8:6-7

They make me happy.

Passages: Darien’s Rise, Paul McCusker

So you’re a city kid who’ve been sent out to an exile in a small town named Odyssey- obviously when you hear about an old abandoned mansion you go to explore it. And when you hear mysterious voices behind a closed door, you go to investigate those voices. Kyle thinks this is OBVIOUS. Anna thinks they should go home.

Kyle kinda gets his way. It’s hard to tell, since he fell through the floor into a bright light, and Anna opened a door to find the same bright light swallowing her up. Now he’s running across the country side with a dashing young officer, and she’s been charged with spying and sold as a slave.

Those people who’ve read 1st Samuel will find the plot of the book to be rather familiar. That would be because it’s the same plot, just in a different setting, with several added characters, and technology, and points. And stuff. *cough*

I have mixed feelings about this story.

There are several points against it. A Con would be that it’s very sexist. Kyle is going on adventures and saving lives all around the country for most of the book, as said, while Anna gets rescued from the slave market and then does chores in the house of the Old Prophet. Then they send her on a mission- which is to go hang out in a convent. That doesn’t go well, but the pattern continues. Kyle does stuff, Anna stays home. She’s even the one with the natural mystical faith, which faithful-girl trope I am SO OVER. I was also quite bothered by the reaction the characters have to deaths of other characters. One “main” character dies, offscreen, and everyone is devastated. That’s fine. I support devastation. The fact that some minor characters died, ON SCREEN, and they got one line about the (girl) character praying for them? That bothered me.

But on the Pro side, it’s a very funny book. I laughed quite a lot, and not in a mocking way. Okay, a couple times it was mocking. Like when Darien is paying for his bride with enemy metals? In the original it was the foreskins of his enemies. Had to update that one a bit, did they? Though they didn’t really have to update the one where Darien steals part of the king’s clothes while he’s sleeping, and it’s hilarious all ways. 😀 The book is also a rollicking good adventure, at least on Kyle’s part. And while Anna’s story arc is less satisfying at the end, she gets to witness some good parts, and have the most human reactions to her situation.  (You know, like : I’m seeing things in the mirror that aren’t there- I MUST BE CRAZY.)

Overall, it was a successful book, and I would feel quite sanguine about lending it to my smaller siblings. It’s one of those that has nothing to pollute young minds in it- but even with that handicap it manages to land a solid “fun read.” I gave it three stars out of five.

P.S. ONE MORE THING. Why does no one accuse them of being crazy when they say they’re from another world? I feel strongly that there should have been more allegation of insanity. AUGGGGGGGGH.

CLICK, CLACK, MOO: Cows That Type. Story by Doreen Cronin, pictures by Betsey Lewis

Farmer Brown never thought much of of the old typewriter in the barn, until the day the cows found it.

Now there’s a strike going on, demands are being made on both sides, and the ducks are serving as neutral arbitration.

The farmer hasn’t had milk or eggs in days.

WHERE WILL IT END?

Okay, so this cautionary tale about the perils of education* was quietly hilarious. I mean, I expected it to be funny, it’s that type, (you can tell by the illustrations,) I just didn’t expect it to be quite THAT funny. I laughed out loud when I got to the end, and I’ll CERTAINLY be buying it.

I gave it four stars out of five.


*Not really. I just wanted to say that. 😀