The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman, illustrations by Chris Riddell
I do love this book. The illustrations are exquisite, and the story is twisted and wonderful. Plus, it’s Neil Gaiman. You almost can’t go wrong with Neil Gaiman.
I also really enjoyed the subtle hints of unhappiness from the Queen, and the fact that the Queen would remain the ruler despite planning a wedding to the prince who saved her. And then the ending! the confrontation and the way the Queen used her knowledge to fight, not any warrior skill.
That final choice is worth the entire book. I love it!
Ghost Story by Jim Butcher
In my quest to catch up with all of The Dresden Files before the latest book came out this summer, I reached this gem in February. I’ve been borrowing the audio books from my library, but I was forewarned about the change in narrator for this book. So, I won’t comment on that, because it’s already been done to death.
I liked the book. A lot. I’d been getting a little tired of the series (not including the book previous to this), and I couldn’t really tell if it was a fault of the narrator (Harry Dresden, not James Marsters) or the attitudes of the author. Harry Dresden has a lot of issues, but especially with attitudes towards women. Many times I’ve had to skip ahead as much as five minutes of the audio book, and still the character would be ogling or objectifying some female character.
Not so in this book! Harry’s had some shit go down in the last couple of books, and now it seems he finally has a chance to just take a breath and actually learn a lesson or two. (And I mean lessons in maturity and behavior, not magic.) I really, really hoped that the next book would not simply hit the reset button on all that progress. (Spoiler for a review coming later…)
The fact that he saw the consequences of his actions, how they affected every single aspect of his life (and every friend in his life), was truly wonderful to me.
Also, I loved the look into the “other side”, and how the magic worked there in a way that works well with the entire Dresden universe. Jim Butcher is really good at world building.
Realm of Ruins by Hannah West
Returning to the world of Nissera was exciting for me, because I love the fractured almost fairy tale of the last book.
This review gets only four stars, mainly because I was a little confused by the world building. The magic seemed to have suddenly exploded, and it took awhile for me to connect this novel with the last one.
However, I was carried away enough by the story to let that go till Hannah West wanted me to figure it out. And the story was good. I loved the characters and the situation and the threat. This book continued the theme of having the major events of the fairy tale happen off screen, which I really liked. There was just enough for us to know what was going down, and no more.
I also really liked the struggles the main character went through in trying to prove she wasn’t the villain. It was an interesting story choice, and West carried it off really well.
The conclusion was heart-breaking and satisfying and raised questions that I immediately wanted answered.