October 2006 Archives

prepare to be amused - The Wee Free Men

It's so much fun when someone introduces me to a new fantasy world.   (Thanks, Jenn!)   I zipped through the first book, The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett (HarperCollins, 2003) and am onto the sequel, A hat full of sky (2004)  The first line of the first book gives you a delicious taste of what is coming:   "Some things start before other things."   Tongue-in-cheek humor runs alongside the adventures of 9 year old Tiffany Aching, who has read the dictionary all the way through.   You'll meet the local Nac Mac Feegle (the wee free men) and follow Tiffany as she deals with some emotional issues in her life.   In the second book, Tiffany is now 11.   I'm not done yet, but it has the same flavor as the first and is calling to me as I write . . .


Read what Terry says about these books on his site:   http://www.terrypratchettbooks.com/  I discovered there is a third book about Tiffany that I'll have to order.

Limits not reached - Downsiders

Arthur Schopenhauer said, "Every man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world," but that's not true for fiction writers and especially science fiction and fantasy writers who create worlds in which to set their stories.  Some are an imagined future for our own world, some our world altered, and others totally new worlds.  The best ones, however, convince me completely of their world no matter where or when it is.

by Neal Shusterman (Simon & Schuster, 1999) is one of those.  I only just discovered the book, which means I won't have to wait long for the sequel coming out in 2007.  It's a story of Downsiders, who live below New York City, and what happens when their world collides with Topsiders.  I found it fascinating, believable, and despite the gravity of the topic, with moments of humor.  Definitely a good read that will find its place on my ever-crowded shelves.


Read more about Neal and his writing at http://www.storyman.com/




Another set of books that convinced me completely were Uglies and Pretties (both Simon Pulse, 2005) by Scott Westerfeld.  Books 1 and 2 of this trilogy could be our world in the future or could be another world entirely.  I devoured them one after another.  I worried and anguished along with Tally Youngblood and her friends and dreaded what had to come next in Tally's life.  I waited anxiously for Specials (2006) to be available.  I talked about the two books I'd read to anyone who would listen.  Specials finally arrived and again other things were shoved aside so I could read.  Do Tally and her friends win?  I don't want to spoil it for you by giving an answer, but I was disappointed with some preachiness at the very end of the book.


Go to http://www.scottwesterfeld.com to check out more books by Scott Westerfeld.

Hooked by Voice - Stuck in Neutral

Cruise Control (Harpercollins Harper Tempest imprint, 2004)

by Terry Trueman


"They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel." (Carl W. Buechner)  Terry Trueman's book Stuck in Neutral is a book which fit that adage perfectly for me a few years ago.  So it was with excitement when I discovered Cruise Control, a companion story to Terry's Newbery Honor book.  If you've read neither, start with Stuck in Neutral and be ready to be touched by Shawn McDaniel, then go on to read and sympathize with his older brother Paul in Cruise Control.  You'll be hooked by Paul's voice right from the first:  "My only brother is a veg.  Yep, a full-fledged, drooling, fourteen year old idiot.  If you were to call him that, you'd have a big problem on your hands--namely, me!"  And, then, if you're like me, you'll keep reading and be unwilling to put the book down until the very satisfying end is reached.


Read about the award winning author on his website at www.TerryTrueman.com.