The Woodcutter by Kate Danley - See previous book review post. I have nothing to add to that review that would not be spoilery. It's simply a wonderful book for anyone who likes retellings of classic fairy tales.
Bottom line: Same as before. Buy it. Right now.
Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson - This book has been recommended to me by SO MANY PEOPLE over the years and is, as I have learned, one of my father's favourite books. When I began reading it, this baffled me, because this book is TERRIBLY slow to get started. CRIPPLINGLY slow. This is not a book that grabs you in the first sentence, or paragraph or chapter, or... well, anywhere in the first 20% or so. It's world-building, which I don't generally mind, but there's just something about it that is too subtle. It DRAGS. It drags and drags and then it suddenly hits the "Become Awesome" button. So I get it. I GET why so many people I know have named this as one of their favourite books. It is absolutely FASCINATING ow this book creates a near-future world based on internet concepts that so identically resemble things that really do exist today... that's fucking amazing. And the main characters.... I like them, all of them, but I don't ~LOVE~ them, any more than I ~LOVE~ most of this book. It's fascinating in how the author so clearly envisioned many elements of a future inconceivable by that time's web standards. It's a pretty good story, it's told... okay... but to me, it's not as world-changingly incredible as its reputation would have had me believe it was.
Bottom line: Recommended reading, but not until you have a lot of free time on your hands. This book probably won't show you anything new, but it's a fun ride if you can get past the initial slow opening.
Hyperion by Dan Simmons - Another review I'm giving before I've finished the book. I fucking love this. Unlike with Snow Crash, I loved it from the first paragraph in. This is very heavily character-driven sci-fi, and the author's style makes me purr like a kitten. His writing is an utter delight, and the story is just as good. So far, there's not a ton of action, exactly -- 7 characters have to get to a place, and they all decide to spend their time getting there by telling their stories of why they figure they were chosen to be part of this mission... pilgrimage... thing. Because presumably knowing that information may give them a snowball's chance in Hell of surviving it. Maybe. So the majority of the book is the characters' individual stories, punctuated by them going from a spaceship to another spaceship, to a boat thing, to some other mode of transport presumably... Those parts are good, but the stories the characters tell of themselves are SPECTACULAR. This is some powerful-ass writing, made even better by the fact that every character has a very distinctly different outlook on the world, different philosophies and strengths and weaknesses that define them, and the writing reflects all of that SPECTACULARLY. And I've only just started on the 3rd story. But man... the first was so chilling I was getting goosebumps reading it in the dim back room at my shop, and the second is SEXY AS HELL, OH MY GOD, and the third now is about a poet so OF COURSE I love it... And this book features a monster that is one of the most goddamn awesome motherfucking literary monsters I have read about in a LONG time.
Bottom line: ACQUIRE THIS BOOK RIGHT THE FUCK NOW.
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