1 January 2017

Patrick Rothfuss reasonably well read in fantasy challenge

So a couple of years ago, or in fact nearly 6, Patrick Rothfuss posted this list on his blog of books which he believes you could consider yourself to be reasonably well read in fantasy having read. Now last year I signed up for questions number of challenges and although I was going pretty strong at the start of the year by the end of the year I'd failed miserably. I did quite enjoy the challenge so there's a chance I'll sign up for some of them again, but I also thought I'd give this one a go for myself.

I'm going to list out the books, every book in each series included, and as I read them I'll mark them off. The plan is by the end of 2017 (or maybe 2018) I'll have read the lot. There are a few of these I've already read so I'll try and make those clear also.
  1. The Dresden Files: Storm Front - Jim Butcher [read prior]
  2. The Dresden Files: Fool Moon - Jim Butcher [read prior]
  3. The Dresden Files: Grave Peril - Jim Butcher 
  4. The Dresden Files: Summer Knight - Jim Butcher
  5. The Dresden Files: Death Masks - Jim Butcher
  6. The Dresden Files: Blood Rites - Jim Butcher
  7. The Dresden Files: Dead Beat - Jim Butcher
  8. The Dresden Files: Proven Guilty - Jim Butcher
  9. The Dresden Files: White Night - Jim Butcher
  10. The Dresden Files: Small Favor - Jim Butcher
  11. The Dresden Files: Turn Coat - Jim Butcher
  12. The Dresden Files: Changes - Jim Butcher
  13. The Dresden Files: Ghost Story - Jim Butcher
  14. The Dresden Files: Cold Days - Jim Butcher
  15. The Dresden Files: Skin Game - Jim Butcher
  16. The Last Unicorn - Peter S. Beagle
  17. Green Town: Dandelion Wine - Ray Bradbury
  18. Green Town: Something Wicked This Way Comes - Ray Bradbury
  19. Green Town: Farewell Summer - Ray Bradbury
  20. Green Town: Summer Morning, Summer Night - Ray Bradbury
  21. Stranger In a Strange Land - Robert Heinlein
  22. Lord of The Rings: Fellowship of the Ring - J. R. R. Tolkien [read prior]
  23. Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers - J. R. R. Tolkien [read prior]
  24. Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King - J. R. R. Tolkien [read prior]
  25. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Magicians Nephew - C. S. Lewis [read prior]
  26. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - C. S. Lewis [read prior]
  27. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Horse and His Boy - C. S Lewis [read prior] 
  28. The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian - C. S Lewis [read prior]
  29. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawntreader - C. S Lewis [read prior]
  30. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Silver Chair - C. S Lewis [read prior]
  31. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Last Battle - C. S Lewis [read prior]
  32. Dragonriders of Pern: Dragonflight - Anne McCaffrey
  33. Dragonriders of Pern: Dragonquest - Anne McCaffrey
  34. Pern: Dragonsong - Anne McCaffrey
  35. Pern: Dragonsinger - Anne McCaffrey
  36. Pern: Dragondrums - Anne McCaffrey
  37. Dragonriders of Pern: White Dragon - Anne McCaffrey
  38. Pern: Moreta - Anne McCaffrey
  39. Pern: Nerilka's Story - Anne McCaffrey
  40. Pern: Dragonsdawn - Anne McCaffrey
  41. Pern: The Chronicles of Pern - Anne McCaffrey
  42. Pern: The Impression - Anne McCaffrey
  43. Pern: Smallest Dragonboy - Anne McCaffrey
  44. Pern: Girl Who Heard Dragons - Anne McCaffrey
  45. Pern: The Renegades of Pern - Anne McCaffrey
  46. Pern : All the Weyrs of Pern - Anne McCaffrey
  47. Pern: The Dolphins of Pern - Anne McCaffrey
  48. Pern: Dragonseye - Anne McCaffrey
  49. Pern: The Masterharper of Pern - Anne McCaffrey
  50. Pern: Runner of Pern - Anne McCaffrey
  51. Pern: The Skies of Pern - Anne McCaffrey
  52. Pern: Ever the Twain - Anne McCaffrey
  53. Pern: Dragon's Kin - Anne McCaffrey
  54. Pern: Beyond Between - Anne McCaffrey
  55. Pern: Dragonsblood - Anne McCaffrey
  56. Pern: Dragon's Fire - Anne McCaffrey
  57. Pern: Dragon Harper - Anne McCaffrey
  58. Dune: Dune - Frank Herbert
  59. Dune: Dune Messiah - Frank Herbert
  60. Dune: Children of Dune - Frank Herbert
  61. Dune: God Emperor of Dune - Frank Herbert
  62. Dune: Heretics of Dune - Frank Herbert
  63. Dune: Chapterhouse - Frank Herbert
  64. Dune: Hunters of Dune - Frank Herbert
  65. Dune: Sandworms of Dune - Frank Herbert
  66. Do Androids Dream of Electronic Sheep? - Philip K. Dick [read prior]
  67. Discworld: The Color of Magic - Terry Pratchett [read prior]
  68. Discworld: The Light Fantastic - Terry Pratchett [read prior]
  69. Discworld: Equal Rites - Terry Pratchett [read prior]
  70. Discworld: Mort - Terry Pratchett [read prior]
  71. Discworld: Sourcery - Terry Pratchett [read prior]
  72. Discworld: Wyrd Sisters - Terry Pratchett [read prior]
  73. Discworld: Pyramids - Terry Pratchett [read prior]
  74. Discworld: Guards! Guards! - Terry Pratchett [read prior]
  75. Discworld: Eric - Terry Pratchett [read prior]
  76. Discworld: Moving Pictures - Terry Pratchett 
  77. Discworld: Reaper Man - Terry Pratchett 
  78. Discworld: Witches Abroad - Terry Pratchett
  79. Discworld: Small Gods - Terry Pratchett
  80. Discworld: Lords and Ladies - Terry Pratchett
  81. Discworld: Men at Arms - Terry Pratchett
  82. Discworld: Soul Music - Terry Pratchett
  83. Discworld: Interesting Times - Terry Pratchett
  84. Discworld: Maskerade - Terry Pratchett
  85. Discworld: Feet of Clay - Terry Pratchett
  86. Discworld: Hogfather - Terry Pratchett
  87. Discworld: Jingo - Terry Pratchett
  88. Discworld: The Last Continent - Terry Pratchett
  89. Discworld: Carpe Jugulum - Terry Pratchett
  90. Discworld: The Fifth Elephant - Terry Pratchett
  91. Discworld: The Truth - Terry Pratchett
  92. Discworld: Thief of Time - Terry Pratchett
  93. Discworld: The Last Hero - Terry Pratchett
  94. Discworld: The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents - Terry Pratchett [read prior]
  95. Discworld: Night Watch - Terry Pratchett
  96. Discworld: The Wee Free Men - Terry Pratchett [read prior]
  97. Discworld: Monstrous Regiment - Terry Pratchett
  98. Discworld: A Hat Full of Sky - Terry Pratchett [read prior]
  99. Discworld: Going Postal - Terry Pratchett
  100. Discworld: Thud! - Terry Pratchett
  101. Discworld: Wintersmith - Terry Pratchett
  102. Discworld: Making Money - Terry Pratchett
  103. Discworld: Unseen Academicals - Terry Pratchett
  104. Discworld: I Shall Wear Midnight - Terry Pratchett
  105. Discworld: Snuff - Terry Pratchett
  106. Discworld: Raising Steam - Terry Pratchett
  107. Discworld: The Shepherd's Crown - Terry Pratchett
  108. The Chronicles of Amber: Nine Princes in Amber - Roger Zelazny
  109. The Chronicles of Amber: The Guns of Avalon - Roger Zelazny
  110. The Chronicles of Amber: Sign of the Unicorn - Roger Zelazny
  111. The Chronicles of Amber: The Hand of Oberon - Roger Zelazny
  112. The Chronicles of Amber: The Courts of Chaos - Roger Zelazny
  113. The Chronicles of Amber: Trumps of Doom - Roger Zelazny
  114. The Chronicles of Amber: Blood of Amber - Roger Zelazny
  115. The Chronicles of Amber: Sign of Chaos - Roger Zelazny
  116. The Chronicles of Amber: Knight of Shadows - Roger Zelazny
  117. The Chronicles of Amber: Prince of Chaos - Roger Zelazny
  118. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
  119. Earthsea Cycle: A Wizard of Earthsea - Ursula K. Le Guin
  120. Earthsea Cycle: The Tombs of Atuan - Ursula K. Le Guin
  121. Earthsea Cycle: The Farthest Shore - Ursula K. Le Guin
  122. Earthsea Cycle: Tehanu - Ursula K. Le Guin
  123. Earthsea Cycle: Tales of Earthsea - Ursula K. Le Guin
  124. Earthsea Cycle: The Other Wind - Ursula K. Le Guin
  125. Sandman - Neil Gaiman (comic)
  126. The Fisher King Trilogy: Last Call - Tim Powers
  127. The Fisher King Trilogy: Expiration Date - Tim Powers
  128. The Fisher King Trilogy: Earthquake Weather - Tim Powers
  129. Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: The Hitchhiker' Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams [read prior]
  130. Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: The Restaurant at the end of the Universe - Douglas Adams [read prior]
  131. Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Life, the Universe and Everything - Douglas Adams [read prior]
  132. Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: So Long, and thanks for all the fish - Douglas Adams [read prior]
  133. Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Mostly Harmless - Douglas Adams
  134. Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: And Another Thing... - Douglas Adams
  135. Riddlemaster: Riddlemaster of Hed - Patricia McKillip
  136. Riddlemaster: Heir of Sea and Fire - Patricia McKillip
  137. Riddlemaster: Harpist in the Wind - Patricia McKillip
  138. Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath - H. P Lovecraft
  139. Reprimanded - William Gibson
  140. Cat's Cradle - Kurt Vonnegut
  141. 1984 - George Orwell
  142. Callahan's: Callahan's Crosstime Saloon  - Spider Robinson
  143. Callahan's: Time Travellers Strictly Cash - Spider Robinson
  144. Callahan's: Callahan's Secret - Spider Robinson
  145. Callahan's: Callahan's Lady - Spider Robinson
  146. Callahan's: Lady slings the booze - Spider Robinson
  147. Callahan's: The Callahan Touch - Spider Robinson
  148. Callahan's: Callahan's Legacy - Spider Robinson
  149. Callahan's: Callahan's Key - Spider Robinson
  150. Callahan's: Callahan's Con - Spider Robinson
  151. Midsummer Night's Dream - William Shakespeare [read prior]
  152. The Chronicles of Master Li and Number Ten Ox: Bridge of Birds - Barry Hughart
  153. The Chronicles of Master Li and Number Ten Ox: The Story of the Stone - Barry Hughart
  154. The Chronicles of Master Li and Number Ten Ox: Eight Skilled Gentlemen - Barry Hughart
  155. The Princess Bride - William Goldman
  156. The Bloody Chamber - Angela Carter
  157. Gun, with Occasional Music - Jonathan Lethem
  158. The Odyssey - Homer
  159. The Last Herald Mage: Magic's Pawn - Mercedes Lackey
  160. The Last Herald Mage: Magic's Promise - Mercedes Lackey
  161. The Last Herald Mage: Magic's Price - Mercedes Lackey
  162. Ender's Saga: Ender's Game - Orson Scott Card
  163. Ender's Saga: Speaker for the Dead - Orson Scott Card
  164. Ender's Saga: Xenocide - Orson Scott Card
  165. Ender's Saga: Children of the Mind - Orson Scott Card
  166. Riverworld: To Your Scattered Bodies Go - Phillip Jose Farmer
  167. Riverworld: The Fabulous Riverboat - Phillip Jose Farmer
  168. Riverworld: The Dark Design - Phillip Jose Farmer
  169. Riverworld: The Magic Labyrinth - Phillip Jose Farmer
  170. Riverworld: The Gods of Riverworld - Phillip Jose Farmer
  171. One Thousand and One Nights
  172. Riftwar Saga: Magician:Apprentice - Raymond E. Feist
  173. Riftwar Saga: Magician:Master - Raymond E. Feist
  174. Riftwar Saga: Silverthorne - Raymond E. Feist
  175. Riftwar Saga: A Darkness at Sethanon - Raymond E. Feist
  176. The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger - Stephen King
  177. The Dark Tower: The Drawing of Three - Stephen King
  178. The Dark Tower: The Waste Lands - Stephen King
  179. The Dark Tower: Wizard and Glass - Stephen King
  180. The Dark Tower: Wolves of the Calla - Stephen King
  181. The Dark Tower: Song of Susannah - Stephen King
  182. The Dark Tower: The Dark Tower - Stephen King
  183. Memory, Sorrow and Thorn: The Dragonbone Chair - Tad Williams
  184. Memory, Sorrow and Thorn: Stone of Farewell - Tad Williams
  185. Memory, Sorrow and Thorn: To Green Angel Tower - Tad Williams
  186. Belgariad: Pawn of Prophecy - David Eddings  [read prior]
  187. Belgariad: Queen of Sorcery - David Eddings [read prior]
  188. Belgariad: Magician's Gambit - David Eddings [read prior]
  189. Belgariad: Castle of Wizardry - David Eddings [read prior]
  190. Belgariad: Enchanter's End Game - David Eddings [read prior]
  191. Malloreon: Guardian's of the West - David Eddings [read prior]
  192. Malloreon: King of the Murgos - David Eddings [read prior]
  193. Malloreon: Demon Lord of Karanda - David Eddings [read prior]
  194. Malloreon: Sorceress of Darshiva - David Eddings [read prior]
  195. Malloreon: The Seeress of Kell - David Eddings [read prior]
  196. Belgarath the Sorcerer - David Eddings [read prior]
  197. Polgara the Sorceress - David Eddings [read prior]
  198. Snow Crash - Neal Stephenson
  199. The Neverending Story - Michael Ende
  200. The Dragonlance Chronicles: Dragons of Autumn Twilight - Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman
  201. The Dragonlance Chronicles: Dragons of Winter's Night - Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman
  202. The Dragonlance Chronicles: Dragon's of Spring Dawning - Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman
  203. The Dragonlance Chronicles: Time of the Twins - Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman
  204. The Dragonlance Chronicles: War of the Twins - Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman
  205. The Dragonlance Chronicles: Test of the Twins - Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman
  206. The Dragonlance Chronicles: Dragons of the Dwarven Depths - Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman
  207. The Dragonlance Chronicles: Dragons of the Highlord Skies - Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman
  208. The Dragonlance Chronicles: Dragons of the Hourglass Mage  - Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman
  209. The Shannara Trilogy: The Sword of Shannara - Terry Brooks
  210. The Shannara Trilogy: The Elfstones of Shannara - Terry Brooks
  211. The Shannara Trilogy: The Wishsong of Shannara - Terry Brooks
If you click over to the post you'll see Patrick Rothfuss actually listed around a further 40 Books/Series, but I think I'll be pushing myself enough with this many for this year! In all honesty I think it unlikely I'll complete these, but I can give it a go!

There are a few of the above that I've read either partially or in their entirety and consider to be my personal gateway to fantasy. Some which I've read after they've been recommended. A couple I own having inherited them from my Dad, but haven't picked up yet. Several I've heard of as fantasy greats since reading book blogs and a significant number I've never heard of. 

Wish me luck! 

15 December 2016

Worth the Lies - Mara Jacobs

Image from Goodreads

Oh, what a tangled web... 

Kelsey Cameron has spent the past four years thinking about a man she saw for only a minute. But it was a good minute.

Huck Beck is getting a second chance at fulfilling a dream. And he won't do anything to mess that up. Even if every time he looks at Kelsey he desperately wants to do just that.

Forced to pretend to be a married couple, Kelsey and Huck have to lie to Huck's family and friends. But in the end, are they really just lying to themselves?

Is the possibility of finding love... Worth The Lies 

Worth the Lies is the sixth full book and the seventh story released in Mara Jacobs worth series. I really enjoy returning to this series and seeing how characters from the earlier stories are moving on with their lives it's one of the things that has kept me going back to the series time after time. The sense of community that Mara Jacobs has built up with these books is brilliant, however I do feel slightly as though the group of people she's moving through, friends, are possibly just too close to have this many romances occur in such a short space of time. It's the cynic in me but my only criticism of the series.

What I live about Mara Jacobs storytelling is that the characters are fully fleshed out, they have unique back stories, unique attitudes and unique foibles. What's more is that because Mara Jacobs takes her time between books and gets to know her characters they feel real. Too often you find that with this kind of series the heroines are identical all the way down to their underwear. 

Specifically this story, between Huck and Kelsey, was good because the connection between them felt genuine. Yes there was a flavour of insta-love but it was backed up by something that had been churning away in the background for several years. 

I liked the way the undercover angle was worked into the story, it wasn't the main line but it had me turning the pages nearly as eagerly as the romance story did. It was particularly interesting to see how they each dealt with their guilt from lying to Buck's family and I'll even admit to being slightly disappointed there wasn't more fallout from the Lies they told each other. 

All in all it was a well rounded but comfortable story.

1 October 2016

The Mother in Law Cure - Farha Z. Hassan

Image from Goodreads
The Mother-in-Law Cure is a modern day fairy tale that chronicles the rise of the book's central character, Humara from orphan to power matriarch in an affluent family. Humara's influence spans generations and continents, but things are seldom as they appear. Humara's prosperity is not simply good fortune but stems from something dark and sinister - as those who encounter her quickly begin to realize. It seems that nothing can stand in Humara's way as she pulls the strings of those around her, until she meets the unlikeliest of nemesis. Another young orphan whose status in the household is little more than a servant will be the instrument of Humara's demise. The Mother-in-Law Cure is an urban fantasy that takes you from Pakistan to the Middle East and back to the United States.

The Mother-in-Law Cure wasn't a book I deliberately sought out, I received it as part of the Goodreads First Reads programme, where you can request any of the books listed by authors/editors/publishers and a predetermined number of people will be selected to receive a copy of the book. I've found the books received through this programme to be a little hit and miss so I've largely stopped requesting them. 

Out of all the books I did request The Mother-in-Law Cure was far and away the best. 

It's an interesting cycle and I suspect in some ways an interesting look into a culture many in the west, myself included, have never experienced and don't really understand. 

We begin with a young unmarried orphan, and we progressed through her life and through her marriage. With an oppressive mother in law she plots to fix it and eventually moves with her family to the states. The cycle continues on until she herself becomes the oppressive mother in law. 

Moving into the realms of the daughter in law we see a mirror of the same helpless situations. The same decisions to be made. We see the true difference between mother and daughter in law and how that first young girl has allowed that original oppression to poison her life.

If nothing else this book makes you think. Aside from that I think it's well written. It's been plotted out well and the tension is definitely there to keep you on the edge of your seat. 

30 September 2016

Sinner - Maggie Steifvater

Image from Goodreads
Cole St. Clair has come to California for one reason: to get Isabel Culpeper back. She fled from his damaged, drained life, and damaged and drained it even more. He doesn't just want her. He needs her.

Isabel is trying to build herself a life in Los Angeles. It's not really working. She can play the game as well as all the other fakes...but what's the point? What is there to win?

Cole and Isabel share a past that never seemed to have a future. They have the power to save each other and the power to tear each other apart. The only thing for certain is that they cannot let go.

I read Shiver, Linger and Forever a while ago after purchasing them on impulse from my place of work. They were thoroughly enjoyable with a fairly unusual plot and a definitely interesting take on the whole werewolf thing. While the tension between Grace and Sam was what made the story the secondary characters had some good hooks in them too. 

I was never quite satisfied with how things ended between Isabel and Cole.

It was too Sterile.

This book in a nutshell resolves that. It takes all their loose ends and neatly wraps them up. The whole thing builds in a crescendo before reaching some sort of equilibrium.

This book in many ways is less about the wolves and more about the people behind the wolves.

There's very little of Grace and Sam in this story, but I think you're given fair warning of that just from the blurb. If you're looking for their continuation you're out of luck. If you just want to return to that world this is everything you're looking for. 

Me. I think I'll read just about anything Maggie Stiefvater puts out in this universe!

12 March 2016

The Blue Sword - Robin McKinley

Image from Goodreads
Harry Crewe is an orphan girl who comes to live in Damar, the desert country shared by the Homelanders and the secretive, magical Hillfolk. Her life is quiet and ordinary-until the night she is kidnapped by Corlath, the Hillfolk King, who takes her deep into the desert. She does not know the Hillfolk language; she does not know why she has been chosen. But Corlath does. Harry is to be trained in the arts of war until she is a match for any of his men. Does she have the courage to accept her true fate?

It's taken me longer to write this review than I would have liked. I read this book as the second book in my firsts series of the year, the second book in the first series selected for the Flights of Fantasy Reading Challenge. It was a good book. I realised after I'd read them that the challenge, and Goodreads, actually lists them the wrong way round. 

I think I lost something by reading the books in the order I did. The Hero and the Crown is about Aerin, who is a long lost hero from The Blue Sword, and by reading that first it was almost as though I knew too much about her. The Blue Sword relies quite heavily on the concept of Aerin and the discovery of Harry's similarity to her, I think you can tell this from early on and so you start to look for the book to fit the pattern which spoils it a bit. I can see why the author gets quite vocal in her defensive of the order she wrote the books.

If you can ignore the similarities between the books you get a good read. Written in the 1980s it fits well with the style of fantasy books widely published at that time. Harry's quest is interesting enough to captivate. I do feel that she fell too easily into the sway of her captor, it's a relatively minor niggle. 

My other niggle is that the characters didn't really feel in true danger at any point. Someone always comes sweeping in and just manages to save the day. In The Hero and the Crown, the danger to Aerin, and indeed to Tor, felt more genuine, more appropriate and as such more exciting.

At the end of the book all the loose ends are nicely tied up, which is good if you like that sort of thing. It's neater than you would generally get in a book published more recently and it doesn't leave room for sequels in my opinion. 

This review may leave you thinking I didn't enjoy the book, I did, however I can't help comparing it. 

10 March 2016

Divergent - Veronica Roth

Image from Goodreads
In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

What's it possible to say about Divergent that hasn't already been said? To be honest probably very little, this book is popular and with good reason. It's been nearly two years since I read Divergent and when I read it I did so in a single day. 

My good friend, and blushing bridesmaid, gave this to me for my birthday in the middle of my final exam season at uni. I'd been planning to buy it for a while, and in some ways her timing was perfect, I needed a break, it was my 21st and I had an exam, two more in the following week and was moving out of my student accommodation for the final time to boot. In some ways her timing was terrible, because after that first exam instead of studying I picked up the book and read it from cover to cover. 

Veronica Roth in Divergent has managed to explore humanity at both its best and its worst. In Tris she has created a powerful heroine, someone with willpower and determination, but also morals. At the opposite end she has explored what highly tense situations can do to people. 

The pace in this book is very fast, the whole events take place over a period of around a month, but the book feels faster. And yet within the story there are places to pause, gather your thoughts and your breath and get to know the characters. 

I can't recommend Divergent enough. I've even seen the film and can say that they didn't do too bad a job. 

3 March 2016

The Knife of Never Letting Go - Patrick Ness

Image from Goodreads
Prentisstown isn't like other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else's thoughts in an overwhelming, never-ending stream of Noise. Just a month away from the birthday that will make him a man, Todd and his dog, Manchee -- whose thoughts Todd can hear too, whether he wants to or not -- stumble upon an area of complete silence. They find that in a town where privacy is impossible, something terrible has been hidden -- a secret so awful that Todd and Manchee must run for their lives.

But how do you escape when your pursuers can hear your every thought?

The first book in this trilogy The Knife of Never Letting Go is unique. The concept of a world where you can hear the thoughts of men but not of women is genius. The way in which Todd's town is bound together in secrecy in what is such an open world is the perfect catalyst for this story.

When Todd and Manchee run for their lives the obstacles they face feel very real. With the world and background which Patrick Ness has created you can empathise with the people who oppose Todd, but also with the genuine fear Todd feels.

The Knife of Never Letting Go is a fantastic book for the teen audience because it raises the questions of acceptance and diversity in a way that provokes the reader into putting themselves into every pair of shoes. Our willingness to accept those who are different from ourselves is a very real issue these days with our huge ability to move from place to place, but this book puts that out there without actually cramming it down your throat.

Patrick Ness has a very easy writing style, even taking account of the intrusion of random thoughts. For me this was a brilliant page turner.