Monday, September 1, 2008

Are These Books Worth Mentioning?

Some books I read, I don't want to talk about, usually because they aren't worth mentioning, but occasionally because they're so good, there's just not that much to say besides "read this!"

The Last Colony, by John Scalzi, is a whiz-banger of an ending to the wonderful story begun in Old Man's War and continued in The Ghost Brigades. As late as the last fifty pages, I didn't see how he could resolve all the conflicts he'd set up. And then he resolved them in grand style, and I was highly gratified. It is a fitting end to a great series.

Then I read Zoe's Tale, which is the same story from the 16-year-old daughter's point of view. There were a couple of really interesting additions, but for the most part, I'd already read this story, so I didn't find it that compelling. I'll leave it around for my kids to discover, I think, despite the risk that it will spoil The Last Colony for them--they might as well read this one while it's fresh, because no kid wants a huge backlog of books that they "must" read.

I was sorry I'd read The Dead and the Gone by Susan Beth Pfeffer and Last Night at the Lobster by Stewart O'Nan because they didn't resolve the conflicts they set up, and they were bleak stories to begin with. Why immerse yourself in gloom when there won't be a resolution and the writing isn't especially enjoyable?

Amy's mom sent me Nora Robert's Tribute, and I enjoyed it. It's a good car book. (One of the important things about car books is that the plot is not so complicated that you can't pick up the book a week later and immerse yourself again in what was going on.)

The first part of The Dangerous Days of Daniel X, by the ever-prolific James Patterson, strikes me as so unpromising that I may just take it back to the library unread. If Walker picks it up and likes it, maybe I'll think again, since this is a book written to interest more boys in reading.


Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say thanks for commenting at J. Kaye's Book Blog. Now about the book mentioned....

Did you read the one before The Dead and the Gone? It wasn't as bad and I felt there was a light at the end of the tunnel.

My middle son read The Dangerous Days of Daniel X and loved it. I had originally checked it out for myself, but think I'll wait for the audio version.

Jeanne said...

Yes, I did read the book that precedes The Dead and the Gone, Life As We Knew It. I reviewed it here: