Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Ins and Outs: April, May and June

I started writing this post thinking it would be about only April and May, but time just vanished and June was suddenly over! :O As it can be seen, blogging hasn't been my top priority, and I don't expect that to change any time soon. I hope there will still be reviews (once in a while), but I will not try to review every single book I've read (not that there have been many of those lately either). The Ins and Outs will continue, though (well, I'll try).

And so, here's for April and , May and June:

INS

April

Bookmooch:

Son of Avonar by Carol Berg

Gifts:

My Bday was on April, so I got some books!
The last unicorn by Peter S. Beagle (Thanks Anita!)
Night Over Water by Ken Follett
Spark: How Creativity Works by Julie Burstein
The Kingdom of Gods by N. K. Jemisin (Thanks Carlita and Sofi)


 


May

Bought:

The Map of the Sky by Félix J. Palma
Breath and bone by Carol Berg
Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore


Bought at a Bookfair

(Feira do Livro de Lisboa)
Marvel 1602 Vol. 2 by Neil Gaiman

 

Bookmooch:

Royal assassin by Robin Hobb
Sourcery by Terry Pratchett

Winking Books:

Black Cat. Volume 1, The man called Black Cat by Kentaro Yabuki

June

Bought at a Bookfair

(Feira do Livro do Porto)
The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien (Marvellous pocket edition!)
A luz do oriente by Jesús Sánchez Adalid [The light of the Orient]





OUTS

April

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

Read along with Jen7waters of Cuidado com o Dálmata

I enjoyed Leviathan, although I didn't fall in love with it. I guess Scott Westerfeld's writing is to blame because, while he can tell a pretty awesome story, he just tells the story, he doesn't try to tell it beautifully or with any quirks in the language. But I liked to to read a book set in WWI, even if it's an alternate universe with lovecraftian beasts at the service of men. The two kids in story, Aleksandar and Deryn are really sweet, both with something to prove, and they both manage to get on their own feet and do what they like.

Rating: 4 out of 5


Dune by Frank Herbert

Not a new universe for me, but the first time I actually read the book. However, found it a bit disappointing, especially in terms of characters. The political machinations and survival parts of the story were good, but I just couldn't stand Paul and all the messianic tone of his story. So, I'm glad I finally read it, but I will not read anything else about the Dune universe.

Rating:
3.5 out of 5



Fables. Vol. 2 : animal farm by Bill Willingham

This was better than the first one: the story was more gripping and it didn't feel so much of an introduction, even if there were some new settings and characters. Will keep reading.

Rating: 4 out of 5





John dies at the end by David Wong

I was actually surprised to like this book. It's not that I don't like this type of surreality (although I tend to go for less gore), but usually books like this (and I admit my knowledge about books like this is limited) tend to bore me after a while. I mean, there is only so much surreality and weirdness that you can throw at me without it crossing the line of too much and therefore becoming just plain stupid. Or the author starting repeating himself. Or there stopping being a point to the story. Not with John dies at the end; it kept being interesting throughout its 400+ pages.

Rating: 4 out of 5


Flesh and spirit by Carol Berg


REVIEW

Rating: 4.5 out of 5






I am Mordred : a tale from Camelot by Nancy Springer

A retelling of Arthurian legend from the point of view of Mordred, in a try to humanized him. Doesn't bring much new to the story, and the good thing about taking so long in reviewing books now is that I can comment on how memorable the book is: this one, not much.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5




May

Magic bites by Ilona Andrews

Read this one after Jen7waters raved about the series, but it didn't work out for me. It never left the pages for me, and I never connected with any of the characters. So... Not for me.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5






The Summer Tree by Guy Gavriel Kay

I had such high hopes for this one. It's Guy Gavriel Kay, and one of the Fantasy's classics. Well, I didn't like it.
But let me start by talking about the cover, because I love that illustration. I see it, and I imagine an entire story just by looking at it! A guy, tied to a tree, all naked! Why is he there? Is it punishment? Is he a good guy? Does he deserve it? Does he feel like he deserves it? I can see someone broken, and who has abandoned himself to despair. Someone with a hint of darkness inside.
I wasn't far from the truth, but the execution left so much to be desired. The concept was not one that I like: regular, "our world" kids, get transported to a magic world of elves (*by any other name*) where there are prophecies, and wars, and epic battles with gods and other magical beings. And-They-Don't-Even-Bat-An-Eyelash-At-It. Really, after a brief "I don't believe in magic." they all go so jolly into a freaking vortex of magic to go help this random dude (and accompanying dwarf) set up a celebration to his king. So, no, I couldn't suspend my disbelief, and the hopping POVs where too bloody distracting.

Rating: 2 out of 5



Breath and bone by Carol Berg

The continuation of Flesh and Spirit doesn't disappoint. Valen is about the best character ever! And he changes so much since the beginning of Book 1 till the end of Book 2, and it's such a treat to get to read about all that development, how he grows, and learns who he is, and what he is, and goes from not caring about anything but his own neck to becoming a hero. Just go read this series. Now.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5


June

Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore

Ah, Bitterblue, one of my most awaited books of 2012. And I finally read it! Opinion? Not as good as Graceling and Fire, but it does bring closure to the story. I liked how it still deals with Leck and all he had done, and how Bitterblue is trying to find herself as a woman and as a queen.
I can't quite put my finger on why it wasn't as good as the other books, but I just didn't have the same grasping eagerness to get to the end as with the other two (or go back to the beginning once it was done).


Rating: 4 out of 5



I Am the Messenger by Markus ZusakI am the messenger by Markus Zusak

Jen's fault again, but since it is Markus Zusak, I was bound to read it anyway. It is such a sweet book. Yet, quite like The Book Thief, quite prone to break your heart only to mend it again.
If you, like me, are likely to tear up at the first moment of sweetness or at a tragedy, please be warned that you'll be crying your heart out with this book. It is weird, and although you know what's going on, you are never sure why is it going on, and so you read, and are amazed by it, and read some more, and fall in love with it.
However, it is not quite to the level of The Book Thief (in my opinion), the short, fragmented sentences feel a bit forced here. But everything else is simply amazing.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5



The Map of the Sky by Félix J. Palma

Not as good as the first one, somewhat overly long with too much philosophical questions in between. The story is good though, and I especially loved that the little "mistakes" and incongruities that I came across while reading the book were explained at the end of the book, as intended discrepancies. It reads more like a horror story than the previous one (well, 3 horror stories), to the point that you are actually frightened and spooked out. Yet, where H.G. Wells is involved, I was never really able to suspend my disbelief. Maybe it was the fact that I know this author is always up to something, but it just didn't ring plausible, even within the context of this universe.
Oh, and I really liked to see old characters appear, and see how they had changed, and get to know a bit more of them.

Rating: 4 out of 5



TBR Change: +1 (From 225 to 226)



Other Stuff

I was kindly given this stamp by p7 of Bookeater/Booklover:


Thank you so much!

1º - Escolher três blogues para passar...
Como eu estou muito atrasada nestas coisas, parece-me que todos os blogs que sigo já receberam este selinho. E bem merecido!
2º - Fazer a ligação de quem te ofereceu:
Mais uma vez, obrigada Bookeater/Booklover.
3º - Escolher 5 factos aleatórios sobre ti:
1. 90% das vezes que como gelado, este é de limão. O resto das vezes o mais provável é não haver gelado de limão.
2. Se saio de casa sem um livro sinto-me despida. Às vezes levo um livro comigo sabendo que não vou ter nenhuma oportunidade de o ler.
 
3. A forma que mais gosto de conhecer sítios novos é meter os pés ao caminho e andar sem destino pelas ruas de uma cidade nova.
 
4. Agora que comecei a trabalhar a sério, descobri que não consigo ler tanto como quando era estudante, mesmo em tempo de exames. Conselho para a malta jovem: Leiam, Leiam, Leiam!
 
5. Adoro a ideia de me apaixonar por um livro, por uma frase, por uma personagem, e fazer isso todas as vezes que tenho um livro novo.