It’s not often I’ve absolutely no idea what to blog about, but I’m struggling here.
I suspect it’s partly because the ATP World Tour Finals tennis tournament took place in London last week. I’m normally all about the tennis, especially when we get tennis on the BBC. So that has distracted me somewhat, especially since the (ahem) WTF tournament lived up to its initials. Weird week, really. There were a lot of great match-ups on paper (as you’d expect with the top eight tennis players in the building), but the whole thing ended up being a bit of a damp squib, with some really one-sided matches in the round-robin section and a walkover in the final.
And you’re obviously reading this blog because of the informed tennis commentary.
Anyway, that’s taken up some of my brainpower over the past week, and work has done a number on everything else. Let’s not talk about work, people. *sobs*
Which leaves me with recent reads?
I finished Juliet Marillier‘s DREAMER’S POOL. I thought it was a bit slow in the beginning – possibly as Marillier took her time weaving the strands together and I had no idea where it was going. So I found the book quite easy to put aside at first… until it suddenly wasn’t. Marillier’s a born storyteller, and once I got caught up in Blackthorn, Grim, and Oran’s world, I had to stay up late to see how their story would end. I think she’s previously written on the writers’ blog, Writers Unboxed, about the more technical aspects of writing, and it was interesting how she used both past/present tense and prose to create very distinct POVs for each of the narrators. Too often I find authors have interchangeable narrators, but this wasn’t the case here. Plot-wise, the mystery fan in me liked the whodunnit subplot and as for the resolution, I ended up second and third-guessing myself throughout. And oh, I liked Nathan’s review @ Fantasy Review Barn, which starts with “Once upon a time Juliet Marillier wrote a fairy tale and it was wonderful”. Very apt.
I also read Josh Lanyon‘s FAIR PLAY, which was less successful for me. Probably for a couple of reasons – I labelled it as romance in my list of November new releases, and actually, the mystery elements overshadowed the romance. So there was definitely an expectations thing in play. The other reason is because a lot of the mystery revolved around 1960s radicalism in the United States – not an era/movement I know very much about, and unfortunately, the story didn’t leave me wanting to know more. I’ve had the same reaction to some of Isabelle Holland‘s books when I was overdosing on her modern Gothics a year or so ago. Maybe because I can’t really identify with the thinking and arguments of that time, or I’ve not read any books (yet) that makes that period feel more immediate and accessible? I hesitate to say it’s the former because numerous books have gotten me interested in things I’d previously had zero interest in…
Next up is either ML Brennan‘s TAINTED BLOOD or Meljean Brook‘s THE KRAKEN KING. Decisions, eh?