Friday, April 8, 2011

Book Challenge/Kindle Lovin'

I took a challenge this year to read 100 books. As a voracious reader, I felt it was a goal that was challenging but manageable. And I've learned all about making sure goals are manageable. Shooting for the stars is great, but really, the rest of your goals should be ones you can accomplish rather than scurrying towards them will due force until burnout forces you to stop.

There's no point in that.

This week I knocked three books out of my list - 10-12, respectively. Although I've previously only put my review on Facebook for my friends, the Book of Faces isn't very good for going back to see what one has read. It's nice to be able to help friends find books, and I enjoy the challenge of helping people find that next beloved story, so maybe these reviews will help someone else. Or at least I can find them when I need to recommend a book next time for someone.

I have a confession about this book - I've read it before. In fact, it's one of my favorite books, and I've read it every year since it came out. Between my reading and other people's borrowing of it (hey, it's a great story!), I've worn out two copies of it in paperback. So this time, I thank the Kindle Gods as I downloaded one of my beloved stories, and reread it.

This is the type of story where the mix of fantasy, with a nice little romance and a healthy dose of amusement all roll into the best take on fairy tales I've ever read. Don't mistake it for a fairy tale rewrite - this isn't the type of book where Snow White is conceptualized in a 'new and fascinating way." No, what this book (and the series) is about is why fairy tales are shaped the way they are - and how how fairy godmothers use this power to help shape the stories, bringing out the good and trying to avoid the bad. It is, simply put, the best way of rediscovering fairy tales and thinking how they work I've ever read. And the delightful mishmash of these tales is just hilarious.

If you ever enjoyed fairy tales, this is the book for you.

I originally grabbed this book last summer, and due to my insanely huge book pile, I simply didn't get a chance to read it until now. This book is an urban fantasy thriller/mystery, and it focuses on the Fae rather than werewolves or vampires (although vampires supposedly exist, but since I'm on book one, I can't verify that). Out of the faery urban crush of the past few years, this one's had one of the better story ideas behind it, and I applaud the author for using the traditional wide variety of Faekin as mentioned by the ancient Celts. The story is interesting. The world-building is very good.

The writing - well, it's not terrible, but it has a few definite bad habits that I found distracting.

Overall, if you can get past a few writing issues, and some of the lukewarm characters (they start to grow on you by midbook, and become much better by the end), and you enjoy fantasy, then this is a book for you.

So, this is the third book in the Dresden Files series. I wasn't a fan of the first two. Book one was ok, and book two stank, but the third possessed all the potential I saw from book one realized. This fantasy/mystery series possesses a healthy dose of sarcasm to lighten the tension and a plot that's fun to follow along, although occasionally his leaps of logic feel just like that - a tad incomprehensible, but mostly, a solid mystery read that leaves you wanting more.

And having read two of these books on my Kindle, and started two others, I am officially hooked. It's so convenient! My poor money - now I can get easy access to the books I crave... dun dun dun.