Wahlberg, Karin: Trøsteren (2012)

Sorry folks, this one does not come in English and neither will this input.

Jeg fikk Trøsteren av min snille svigerinne. Inntil da hadde jeg aldri hørt om Karin Wahlberg. Nå har jeg det og er glad for opplevelsen.

Trøsteren er en del av serien om førstebetjent Claes Claesson og hans kone overlege Veronika Lundborg. De havner i alskens mulige og umulige situasjoner og må løse gåtene som oppstår. Dette er mitt første møte med denne verdenen, så jeg vet lite om hvordan de tidligere bøkene har vært (annet enn kritikker da).

Trøsteren var et vellykket møte. Karin Wahlberg skriver på den Christieanske måten. Her er det lite gørr og sex. Istedet får vi en intrige med noenlunde gjettbare gjerningsmennesker og med interessante karakterer. Det er tydelig at det er en forhistorie for ekteparet Claesson/Lundborg, men det at jeg ikke visste hva den var gjorde ingenting. Wahlberg skriver godt og boken er morsom å lese.

En kvinne går hjem nattestid og blir skutt. Hun blir operert av Veronika Lundborg på Lund sykehus intensivavdeling. Livet reddes, men da hun flyttes til vanlig avdeling dør hun. Har Veronika tabbet seg ut?

Førstebetjent Claesson kan ikke ta saken pga av forholdet med Veronika, men en annen interessant sak dukker opp. Det blir funnet et levende spedbarn i en pappeske bak politihuset. Nå får Claesson gleden av å skulle sjonglere avstanden til saken han bryr seg om og letingen etter moren til spedbarnet.

Norton, Andre: The Forerunner Factor (2012)

Andre Norton’s “style is clean and simple. She doesn’t digress into an examination of minutiae, of either exterior or interior worlds. With graceful economy she hands the reader the very hearts of her characters, and cleanly etches her settings – like an artist who can suggest the whole shape of an object by the thickness of the line with which she draws. The result are lean, rich stories that move.” Linda Taddeo

The Forerunner Factor“The Forerunner Factor” is an omnibus containing “Forerunner” and “Forerunner: The Second Venture”. Andre Norton’s books talk about the Forerunners. They are those who went before and have left artefacts that noone understands. We desire what they were and had.

In “Forerunner” we meet Simsa, the orphan. She lives in the Burrows, the slums in the spaceport-city on the planet Kuxortal. Her looks are exotic with iridescent blue-black skin and white hair. As many of Norton’s other protagonists, Simsa has a telepathic bond with her batlike zorsal but does not truly communicate with them. The adventure begins when she gets involved with a spaceman in search of his brother. Together they end up running for their lives. Eventually they come into contact with a Forerunner artefact and, what do you know, Simsa is revealed as one.

In “Forerunner: The Second Venture” Simsa escapes captivity, crash landing on another world where life does not seem viable. She comes into intelligent life, manages to communicate with it and discovers that the Forerunners have also been there. In this novel Simsa has two goals. First and foremost she seeks to remain herself. The second is to survive without recapture.

Kushner, Ellen: The Privilege of the Sword (2006)

The Privilege of the Sword by Thomas Canty

The Privilege of the Sword” is part of Ellen Kushner’s Riverside stories and is a fun read. Kushner makes this whole world believable. It’s a fantasy book without magic or supernatural creatures. Instead we get a novel set in a time where women were commodities to be bought and sold for money and land.

Katherine, our main character, is sold to her uncle to pay her family’s debts. Her uncle is the decadent Mad Duke Tremontaine, and his plans for his niece do not follow conventional rules. Independence and the ability to defend herself are qualities that he aims to knock into her through sword lessons. Maybe not what Katherine had in mind, but she buckles up and does her best to uphold the agreement that was made between her mother and her uncle.

So, why is this book so good. One reason is that the characters of Katherine and Mad Duke are three-dimensional. Another is the humor and action that fills the novel. The Privilege of the Sword flows somewhere between peaceful and tempestuous.

The Privilege of the Sword is available as audiobook in an unabridged version and narrated by Ellen Kushner,  Barbara Rosenblat, Felicia Day, Joe Hurley,  Katherine Kellgren, Nick Sullivan,  Neil Gaiman

Gaiman, Neil: The Graveyard Book (2008)

Graveyard Book McKean 2.jpg
Bod in the graveyard. Art By Dave McKean

Neil Gaiman is another of my favorite authors. Each story I have read has captivated me. The Graveyard Book flows and left me with a sense of having enjoyed something wonderful. His texts lend themselves to being read out loud, and they would be fun and interesting for both reader and readee. However, reading to yourself is just as enjoyable. This is a Children’s story, but it is definitely not for the very young. Perhaps at least 8 years old due to some of the violence.

Nobody, or Bod as he is called, is a loveable boy. He’s completely believable and the characters around him are fascinating. I love his “mom” and “dad”. What a place to grow up and what friends to have. Like any kid, Bod accepts the world around him just as it is. His unusual childhood prepares him for whatever comes his way. I wish I could be more like him. Accepting people for what they are rather than what I think they are would be an incredible gift.


The Graveyard Book is available in four versions:

  1. The children’s version, illustrated by Chris Riddell;
  2. The adult version, illustrated by Dave McKean and
  3. The slipcased edition, illustrated by Dave McKean.
  4. Read by Neil Gaiman

The Graveyard Book won the Newbery Medal, Hugo Award for Best Novel, Locus Award for Best Young Adult Novel and the Carnegie Medal for 2009. It was also nominated for the British Fantasy Award for Best Novel and World Fantasy Award for Best Novel for 2009.

Damsgaard, Shirley: The Witch is Dead (2007)

The Witch Is Dead (Ophelia and Abby Mysteries)“The Witch is Dead” is part of the Ophelia and Abby mysteries. This is the only one of them that I’ve read. Even though it is the 6th book in the series, I had no problem figuring out what was going on. It’s always nice when authors manage to write stand-alone books.

I found Damsgaard’s writing pretty good. She kept the action coming and her characters, especially Aunt Dot, likeable. The baddies were not a given from the start. As I’m one of those terrible people who reads the last few pages right after the first chapter, I knew who they were. I find reading books more enjoyable if I’ve read the ending quite early on.

As a mystery The Witch worked. At times it was a bit off in its rhythm. For the most part it followed a Christierian formula. Violence wise it was the same. It’s refreshing when writers avoid splattering guts and blood all over my pages.

“Psychic librarian Ophelia Jensen has an exciting life––solving supernatural mysteries with her Grandmother Abby and her adopted teenage daughter, Tink, who also happens to be a medium. But, all Ophelia really wants is to create some normalcy and routine. When Ophelia’s elderly Great–Aunt Dot comes to Summerset, Iowa, for a visit and is out from the watchful eye of her older sister, Dot is determined to find a little fun and excitement, too.

Briggs, Patricia: Moon Called (Mercy Thompson I) (2006)

Moon Called - The last full moon of october

This is the image that I feels illustrates Moon Called best and it shows Mercy (Mercedes) as I had imagined her from the words Patricia Briggs has written about her in Moon Called.

I am a fan of Ms. Briggs’ writing. My adventure with her began with the Hurog saga. Then it sort of developed into a full-fledged love affair and here I am writing about yet another series of hers.

Poor little teen-ager Mac/Alan. Little had he thought about the possibility of werewolves being real. Then all of a sudden he was mauled and changed into one by nefarious people. The Marrok (Bran) calls this rape. To make matters worse, Mac was experimented on and kept in a cage. One day he manages to escape and turns up at Mercedes’ garage (auto-shop). She is a softie and takes him under her wings, eventually introducing him to the Alpha of the Tri-Cities area, Adam Hauptman.

Map created by Michael Enzweiler
Map created by Michael Enzweiler

Adam and Mercy will according to all the foreshadowing become a couple. Mercy and Adam are very alike, yet incredibly different. She is a shape-shifting coyote, he is the alpha werewolf of the Tri-Cities area. If the two of them decide to become mates, his pack will have to accept Mercy as his second. At least one of the members of the pack seems to have done so already, Warren.

Warren is a sweet-heart. He is a gay were-wolf with an open lifestyle. Meeting Mercy changed his life for the better. For once he met another predator who did not care what gender he loved. Then she introduced him to Adam and Adam accepted him as well. That did not mean that the rest of the pack managed to embrace him as one of their own, but that is the way of the world. We all have different prejudices. Some are more vocal and open about them than others. Sadly, getting to love the person you love is not something we all get to experience.

Just now it really struck me. What if I refused to accept a person because of who they loved? How would that change me and the person I met like that? It is a concept I find terribly confusing.  It would be like me refusing to accept a person because of the color of their skin or hair or eyes. Being on the receiving end of such prejudice must hurt terribly.

Mercy is the kind of person that opens up her heart to a great variety of people. Vampire, werewolf, fae or human matters not. If the other person seems to be decent, then there is room for them in Mercy’s life. Her attitude does create problems when some of her friends meet others of her friends, but Mercy just expects them to be polite to each other no matter how much they might despise each other (vampires vs. werewolves comes to mind). And people often do what Mercy expects. For reasons they do not always understand themselves, Mercy is definitely a person they want to have in their lives. What a gift, and possibly, what a curse.

Her being a mechanic is a bonus for me. As a kid I wanted to be a lot of things and mechanic was one of them. There is something satisfying about being able to take things apart. Sadly, I stink at putting them back together again. Then there is the goo. Goo is the loveliest thing on earth. Mercy gets to fix cars and is a whole lot better at putting them back together again than I am. My “niece” is a mechanic. Even here in Norway it is still unusual for a girl to choose such a career. I absolutely love that my “niece” chose such a line of work. So the idea of a mechanic that happens to be a woman is an added attraction for me.

Just so you know. One of Patricia Briggs series also begins at the time of Moon Called. When Bran sends Charles off to deal with a problem in Chicago the series Alpha and Omega starts.


Amazon Kindle


Reviews:


Moon Called as cartoon:

SKU: C1606902032
Rating: Teen +
Cover: Amelia Woo
Writer: Patricia Briggs, David Lawrence
Penciller/Inker/Colorist: Amelia Woo (digitally painted)
Genre: URBAN FANTASY
Publication Date: March 2011
Format: Comic Book Collection
Page Count: 104+

ISBN-10: 1-60690-203-2
ISBN-13: 978-1-60690-203-5

Just because I like pointing out the obvious. Do the images below remind you of anything? Anything at all??

Layout 1

 

Meaney, John: Paradox (2001)

Paradox: Book I of the Nulapeiron Sequence (Bk. 1)

Cover art by Jim Burns

I’ve now read “Paradox” for the third time and am still enjoying it as much as the first. Because I’m a dork, I just realised that there are two more books to this series. Well, well, live and learn.

From the above I’m sure you can tell that I really liked “Paradox“. We get a large dash of philosophy, some biology, sociology, lots of action and a thoroughly likeable protagonist. Tom Corrigan is at the centre of our attention throughout the whole novel. He raises himself through the various layers of society through hard work, luck and other people’s ambition. There is no sugar-coating of our hero. He rises to the greatest heights and falls to the deepest depths of hell. Meaney is a really good writer.

Nulapeiron is a strange world. Semi-alive dwellings and vehicles. Subterranean demesnes layered from the poorest to the richest. At the very top we find the Oracles.

Tom Corrigan is witness to the brutal killing of a woman by the militia. She just happens to the same woman who gave him a small, seemingly insignificant info-crystal. Shocked to his core, Tom realises that she is one of the mythical Pilots.

This info-crystal, along with the Oracle Gerard, are the two things that push Tom onto a path that will take him to his destiny.

Use public libraries

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