Sunday, December 18, 2011

A Sunday Review

My NetGalley book this week was Seraphina by Rachel Hartman. A gifted young musician attempts to hide her dark secret while trying to solve a major mystery. Rachel Hartman is best known in my circles as the writer and artist of Amy Unbounded. But with this novel she's taken the plunge into a different world, and in the process fleshed out Amy's world unexpectedly. Yes, the novel is set in Goreed, no, Amy does not appear. But a couple of other familiar characters do, and the result is something that will please Amy's fans while still appealing to a whole new audience. I can't speak to the details of the book yet, though I plan on writing a more thorough review. Let's just say this is the kind of book that you read once, set aside for a bit, then reread with a great deal of joy. I haven't found such an appealing read in awhile, and I'm actually excited that I'm going to read it again. Parts of the novel remind me of Bujold's Chalion series, in a good way. And parts are very much Hartman's old style, also in a good way. I want to read the sequel, and my only real regret about this book is that the official edition won't be out until summer. In the meantime, get ready, fans of Amy Unbounded will want to read this, fans of young adult fiction will want to read this and fans of well-designed fantasy worlds will want to read it as well. Put it on your wish lists now.

This week's comic book related review is Brody's Ghost Volume 1 by Mark Crilley. A total slacker wins a staring contest with a ghost, and suddenly is drawn into an unexpected world. I like the art, of course. Not Crilley's old style, but it's still got that strong sense of storytelling and clean lines. The main character is kind of annoying, but he grows on you. The ghost... well, she's really annoying, but that's the way she needs to be for the story to work. If you are looking for Akiko, you won't find it here. But this is something just as good in its own right.

Agatha Christie this week was Postern of Fate in 1973. Tommy and Tuppence move into a new home, only to find mystery is still around them. I enjoyed this final tale of the pair of investigators. I like how they casually talk with one another, so linked. And I figured out some of the mystery, although not all of it. I regret that I'm so close to the end of Christie's works. I wish I could do what Holly did in Red Dwarf and just erase my memory of the whole lot and start over again. They are that good. I wonder if there are any mystery writers out there that even come close?


Anonymous said...

I can't guarantee that if you like author x, you will love author y. But some Christie fans seem to like Dorothy Sayers, P.D. James, and Elizabeth George. Then there are the novels that Agatha Christie wrote as Mary Westmacott, although they were more Gothic romance than straight murder mystery.

Anonymous said...

Mary Roberts Rinehart was sometimes called "the American Agatha Christie." Charlotte Armstrong wrote good stuff if you like twist endings.