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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

This Week's Random Reading

I've been having fun picking up random books as I leave my library and taking them home to read.

These last few days, I've picked up a few. Dreamhunter by NZ writer Elizabeth Knox is set in an alternative universe NZ, Southland, which was unoccupied when settlers arrived 250 years before theEdwardian  era. Religion is somewhat different, with an Orthodox Church and Lazarus as a patron saint, whose feast day is celebrated by Southlanders. Some years ago, a young man, who has since become the heroine's father, stumbled into a place called -er, the Place, where those with the gift can find and catch dreams, which they can then share with others, leading to dream palaces and usage in hospitals and even prisons...Something nasty is gong on!

I enjoyed it, though I was a bit annoyed to find a cliffhanger at the end, suggesting a sequel, something not indicated on the cover. A Google search showed that it's the first of a duet.

Barry Jonsberg's My Life As An Alphabet is very funny, with serious underpinnings, but for once there's no nasty twist at the end. Candice Phee is a girl with a lot of family troubles, which she is trying to solve in the most bizarre ways, and a friend who insists he comes from another dimension and is trying to return every night by jumping from a tree. I believe this one has been shortlisted for an award. Oh, and he makes a cheeky reference to his own novel Kiffo And The Pitbull, which you'll only recognise if you've read it.

I'm just finishing off The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda, described by one blurb as "The Hunger Games With Vampires".  Not quite, and I have some issues with the worldbuilding, but it's very readable,  the kids should like it and there aren't too many books for boys these days. The hero is a human boy living in a vampire society in which humans, or hepers as they're called, are a rare delicacy. Thanks to his father's training, he's managed to pass as a vampire, living on his own for seven years. If they smell his blood or sweat, he won't just be bitten, he'll be eaten. Vampires go crazy at the scent of human. They're not undead, they're a separate species.

Alas, another book that probably has a sequel, with no warning on the cover!

On my way out of the door today, I picked up Four Of Diamonds, a collection of four short books in the series about the Diamond brothers, by Anthony Horowitz. Tim Diamond is the worst private eye in England; the stories re seen from the viewpoint of his younger brother, Nick. I've read the first two, The Falcon's Malteser and Public Enemy Number Two. They were hilarious and the frst was made into a film called Just Ask For Diamond.

I'm really enjoying these random reads, though I have a pile of review books to finish as well. It will help me in my library job as well as be fun for me.

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