Goliath by Scott Westerfeld
First things first, before I devolve into gushing over Deryn Sharp (SHE’S JUST SO DASHING, GUYS), who are these cats on the cover? I know, I know, they changed the cover style when Behemoth was released last year, but still. Given how unique Keith Thompson’s illustrations are, it’s really jarring to see two normal kids on the cover. (And Deryn doesn’t look a fig like the pointy Malfoy she totally is, but that’s neither here nor there and probably just me.) Especially since one of the accents is from the illustrations themselves. Ah, well. If the cover moves more copies, than I’m happy, because this is a fantastic series.
And the winner of gently used copies of Scott Westerfeld’s The Uglies trilogy is…
Chris of What I Run Into!
Chris has been contacted by e-mail and has two days to respond before an alternate winner is chosen. Thanks for entering!
Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd edited by Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci
Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd is one of those books I think everyone has read but me, albeit not in the massive numbers as, say, the Millenium trilogy. One of my cousins picked it up from my favorite independent bookstore the last time he visited my stomping grounds, a woman in my writing group read it ages ago, and other book bloggers have picked through it. The arresting cover—I’ve always loved pixel art—is eye-catching and the subject matter definitely appeals to someone who thoroughly identifies as a geek.
“I only spoke a prayer of my own.” Alessan’s voice was careful and very clear. “I always do. I said: Tigana, let my memory of you be like a blade in my soul.” (133)
This is me playing catch-up. You see, I was under the impression that the Tigana read-along, hosted by Memory over at Stella Matutina, began on February 28th, not February 23th. Oops. In any case, the book was checked out at the library and I had to wait until March 3rd to get my hands on a library copy. (Which for some reason doesn’t have a copyright page… hmm…) But I’ve just missed one scheduled posting, so I’m going to throw this and Part #2 up today as I dive right in. Spoilers for the novel abound, my friends, so if you haven’t read Tigana or you’re not playing along at home, I’d skip it. That said, let’s dig in.
Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld
Words cannot describe how much I love Deryn Sharp. (Not like that, she’s underage.) The female lead of Leviathan is a smart and, well, sharp, Scottish soldier with plenty of swagger–and did I mention she’s undercover as a boy to serve her country? As much as I enjoyed the alternate history steampunk stylings of Leviathan, including the remixing of political struggles, Deryn has fast become one of my favorite fictional characters. Once I finished Leviathan, I immediately put down Behemoth on my reading list. And now it looks like Goliath is going directly on my reading list, too.
When I heard Scott Westerfeld, author of the amazing Leviathan, was coming to my beloved Little Shop of Stories, I was delighted; until I discovered (or so I thought!) that his appearance was scheduled during tech week for a show I’m stage-handing. My howls of woe could be heard for miles. But when I ran into a friend of mine doing some work for that same show, she set me straight–it was last Thursday night, and we headed off to Little Shop of Stories, books in hand.
When it comes to suggested constructed languages in speculative fiction, I find there’s a very, very fine line between enjoyably believable and disappointingly, annoyingly affected. In fact, xkcd says it best.
But where is that line and why do so many speculative authors gleefully leap over it, and what can they do instead?
Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
Leviathan is one of the books that made me start book blogging, when I heard about it last year. It was featured on my very first Literary Horizon. Steampunk, World War I, a girl disguising herself as a boy to get into the military… it’s one of those novels that feels like it’s expressly designed to appeal to me. It has taken me a while to get my hands on a copy, but my hold finally came through at my local library.
And it was well worth the wait!
When I was a wee lass, I wrote extremely pretentious poetry on Microsoft Word. (This is before we got Macs, which is essentially B.C. in my household.) It was even typed in Papyrus, the most pretentious of all fonts, which should only be used to write the word Serenity and nothing else. One day, I showed my mother a poem. She approved of it, as mothers do, but pointed out that I used the possessive of “it” (its) where I had meant to use the contraction of “it is” (it’s). I shrugged it off, but my mother pressed on. “Clare, that means you’re illiterate.”