Thursday, 20 May 2010

Reading Challenge - 16 to 19

16 - Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
Howl's Moving CastleHowl's Moving Castle is one of those classics that I only discovered when the movie came along. It's a brilliant story, full of adventure and humour.

This is going to be one of those books that I will never part with, reread until the pages are worn, and recommend to everyone I know.

Full Review

(5/5)



17 - Rocannon's World by Ursula K. Le Guin
Rocannon's WorldLike with most of Le Guin's books, I needed sometime to get to know the characters and the world. At first it seemed to drag on, but once I was hooked on Rocannon's plight I wanted more. And because this is a novella and not a novel, once I was finally enjoying the story it ended.

Nevertheless I liked it. The species were reminiscent H. G. Wells' Time Machine, and I enjoyed that there was not one single species in this world, but different intelligent life forms, not related in any way.

(4/5)


18 - Planet of Exile by Ursula K. Le Guin
Planet Of ExilePlanet of Exile is another short novel/novella and, like Rocannon's World, ended when it was getting good.

It is set in Werel (also known as Alterra), which has the oddest cosmological traits: Each year (orbit time) is equivalent to 60 Earth years and each moon phase lasts 400 days. This means that a lifetime is equal to a year, and age is measured in moons. That was probably what I loved most about the story, because it was something so alien and strange, but that made complete sense.

(4/5)


19 - City of Illusions by Ursula K. Le Guin
City of IllusionsWhile only slightly longer than the last two, City of Illusions feels more elaborate and complete. It tells us the story of Falk, an alien from Werel, in a completely different planet, with no memory at all (no even speech), and his quest to discover who he is.

This is set in a post-apocalyptic Earth, and Falk travels through a great land mass to reach the city where the enemy lives (we learn later on that this is the United States). So this is a road trip kind of book, even if Falk is alone for most of the journey.

It is a lovely story, that gives you a lot to think about. It deals with illusions, lies, and betrayal, as well as with what defines one self.

(4.5/5)

(These last three stories can be found in Worlds of Exile and Illusion)