But it's a bit annoying!!!
As I've said in my last post, I've shelved Catton for the time being, and moving on. I did manage to finish Tregillis and Chesterton, so I'll be tackling them today. There were quite a few interesting novels released recently, and I'm chomping at the bit to get to them too, so I feel as though my formerly tidy reading list has reverted back into its pile phase. It was a lot more manageable before, when I was actively scheduling things around reading, but I promised that I'd be less hard on myself this year, and while that's paying dividends in the other parts of my life, well, what can one do (but complain about it on their blog).
Anyway, moving on.
City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare is the last book in The Mortal Instruments series. I started reading the series in 2007, as soon as it touched down here, with every intention of hate-reading it (hate-read: similar to hate-watch, to partake in something more out of a desire to mock than to actually derive pleasure from it) but ha-ha, the joke is on me, I became attached and I couldn't stop reading the series over the past seven years DESPITE some truly low points. (I feel as though I must explain myself here, as I am ordinarily not the kind of person to waste time hating something, but I lived through the whole Draco Trilogy kerfuffle back in the early aughts and it was truly something that scarred a person and it warped me irrevocably. Harry Potter fandom, man. It was different then. I was different then.) I even got into The Infernal Devices series (AND I REALLY ENJOYED IT, OKAY) which is this companion-prequelesque trilogy.
Cassandra Clare is definitely a different woman from who she used to be back in the day, and it shows in her writing. While the first half of the series felt like it was populated by expies of her fanfiction characterisations of HP characters, the succeeding volumes really came into their own. The world building has always been a bit tenuous and still remains confusing and handwave-y though. I still enjoyed this last book, and I think it did an adequate job of wrapping up most of the series and fills in the blanks in the last volume of The Infernal Devices. It also managed to do double duty by serving as the springboard for her next series, The Dark Artifices (2015), which is still set in the same 'verse, and it has sufficiently piqued my interest enough that I AM TRAPPED HA-HA. This is what happens to people who hate-experience things, or do them ironically: you become attached!
Something More Than Night by Ian Tregillis was described as noir angelic murder mystery and by gum, does it deliver. We get two PoV characters, one of which does all the noir stuff and who I have privately dubbed "the noirrator" to separate him from the second PoV, a female mortal-turned angel, who is delightfully hard as nails. Since it's all in first PoV, I honestly felt as though we were getting shortchanged. There a lot of interesting details about the world that I feel weren't explored all too well, as both the mortal and divine planes are in interesting states of disrepair. However, Tregillis managed to turn this around to the advantage of the plot, so good on him. Not all too jazzed about it in general, but it's definitely a cool read.
Bone: The Complete Edition by Jeff Smith collects all nine volumes of Bone in one, relatively lightweight, package. I say relatively lightweight as the paper is rather thin, almost to the point that it's a bit annoying. However it works well enough, so I suppose that's just me nitpicking. I picked this up at Kinokuniya, and I wish I'd gotten the huge, coloured 10 year anniversary hardback instead because Bone is so amazing that I'd like to have the best copy of it available. I went into Bone knowing nothing about the story, and I enjoyed it so thoroughly that I re-read the whole thing immediately after I finished it. It is a fucking delight, and a gift to the world. The story and characters are so unique that I kept pausing to shake my hand at the ceiling in admiration and envy. I honestly do think that this is one of those books that ought to be taught in school; I would have gladly spent a semester on Bone and my life would have been so much richer for it. It's definitely a fantasy, but such a subtly constructed one that I didn't feel the weight of the world's story or even the author's worldbuilding on my mind, it is just so elegantly done that I would sigh with relief and satisfaction every time I ended a chapter.
The Man Who Was Thursday: A Nightmare by G. K. Chesterton has long been on my to-read list because of the urgings of Terry Pratchett. However, it took Kay's prodding to actually get my ass in gear and get to it. I didn't know that the book was subtitled "A Nightmare", and in hindsight it is the perfect description for the almost surreal, dream-logic flow of the plot, and the obvious repetition of motifs. A lot of the book had me laughing and reading bits out-loud (to empty rooms and staircases) and the writing and phrasing is so expertly done. Kay told me that she found it reminiscent of a specific Discworld novel, one I won't disclose here because it would be spoil it completely, and it is so true and the allusion, perfect. I have to read that book again, and consume a great deal more Chesterton, because the man is a solid writer.
Next 20 Reads:
1. S by J. J. Abrams and Doug Dorst
2. Countdown City by Ben Winters
3. Adaptation by Malinda Lo
4. The Flight of the Eisenstein by James Swallow
5. Iron Council by China Mieville
6. A Highly Unlikely Scenario -or, a Neetsa Pizza Employee's Guide to Saving the World by Rachel Cantor
7. Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein
8. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
9. A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemmingway
10. A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
11. Lighthousekeeping by Jeanette Winterson
12. Mr. Fox by Helen Oyeyemi
13. Off to be the Wizard by Scott Meyer
14. Marina by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
15. Fortune's Pawn by Rachel Bach
16. The Witch Queen by Jan Siegl
17. Sous Chef by Michael Gibney
18. Dancer by Colum McCann
19. The Little Friend by Donna Tartt
20. Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson