Monday, January 21, 2013

Divergnet by Veronica Roth

A world broken into factions with each faction having a role in society.  At sixteen youth are tested through a mind simulation and the results give them the best choice for their life choice.  At that point they either remain in their faction or leave it and their families forever.

Beatrice is Abenegation, the quiet, self-less faction that runs the goverment and puts others first.  She must chose between Candor, who see things as black or white and do not lie, Erudite who live to learn, Amity that just want to be peaceful and are in charge of farming and food, or Dauntless who show no fear and protect their world.

The problem, Beatrice gets a divergent result, no clear choice is made, this is dangerous.  She choses Dauntless because she knows she is not selfless, she is willing to lie, does not love to learn, would smoother with the thought of being peaceful, and most of all she is draw to the danger of Dauntless.

Distopian novels are dark but they also offer hope. Ms. Roth has done an excellent job of combing the aspects of a superior novel.  It is the type of novel that invades your thoughts and sometimes your dreams.

Monday, January 14, 2013

A Swiftly Tilting Planet by Madeleine L'Engle

The threat of war dims the Thanksgiving celebration of the Murray family.  Even stranger is the rune given to Charles Wallace by Mrs. O'Keefe.  As the family struggles with the news they are privy to due to Mr. Murray's high standing in the scientific field they also try to maintain normalcy as much as possible.

Charles Wallace takes a walk to the star watching rock, his favorite thinking spot.  Here he stays in touch with Meg through kything, a mental skill they have held onto for many years.  While there he meets with a unicorn who consults the wind and takes them through time and space. 

Charles Wallace goes "within" a series of boys and men and bends things just enough to change the future.

A fantastic blend of history, time travel, and fantasy.  My favorite of all of the books with the Murray's as a focus.

Bliss by Lauren Myracle

1969, Charles Manson and his Family are on trial for horrific murders, hippies live in communes and groups away from society and sometimes families are torn apart by the social changes.

Bliss is sent away from her happy place with her family who lives with a group of like minded others in Canada, away from the threat of the draft for Vietnam.  She arrives in Atlanta to live with her grandmother in what seems to be a different world. 

Coming from tolerance and acceptance she is now in an exclusive private school that has the few token scholarship students with the rest making plans for debutante balls and other like events.

There is one other little thing, Bliss "hears" a voice that propels her to open a locked door.  This opens more than a physical barrier. 

Narration from the point to view of Bliss interjected with diary entries, Andy Griffith show quotes and transcripts from the Manson trial keeps things moving right along.  A bit of mystery, a lot of coming of age and a dash of otherworld powers keep you turning pages until the end.

I really enjoyed the book

Friday, January 4, 2013

Nerilka's Story by Anne McCaffrey

Set in the same time period as Moreta: Dragonlady of Pern, the time of a great sickness which blows through Pern faster than a burrow of thread with great loss of life.  Nerilka is a daughter of Fort, but not a much loved one by any means.

As the sickness sweeps over the continent she goes out to help, leaving behind her heritage and name. By chance she ends up in Ruatha which is where the sickness hit hardest since it occured at the time of a gather.

Dragons are not the focus this time and it is a nice read to supplement the usual draconic fare.  Even though the dragons and riders protect Pern it is the people of Pern that make it the place that it has become.

If you have never read any of the Pern novels this is a good one to read, along with Moreta as they are stand alone novels.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Taran Wanderer by Lloyd Alexander

Taran finds himself at lose ends after his adventures have sent him back to Caer Dallben.  He is determined to find out exactly who he is and sets off with faithful Gurgi to find out.

To the marshes to speak with the thinly disguised fates who send them on a mad dash away from their lair.  A shepard, a smith, a weaver, and a potter all show Taran things about himself and even though he fights it at times he is gaining self-knowledge.

Greater character development and better written than The Book of Three, this is my favorite of the series.  Even better, as an adult I can still appreciate the storyline and the only pet peeve is the disregard of horse care but there are few authors that put that chore into their tales.