I believe in writing reviews, but like most people, unless I write one the moment I finish reading, I tend to forget. As a result, I do catch-up reviews. These are some of the ones I’ve reviewed on amazon.com recently.
The Corfu Trilogy, by Gerald Durrell. Fell in love with the TV series, loved the books.
‘This must be one of the few times when a visual representation of a work actually complements that work of prose. Both endearing and beautiful.’Amazon link
p.s. There are over 4,000 reviews of this trilogy on amazon.com so mine was more of an ‘I loved it too!’ than an actual review.
For those who’ve never heard of the Durrells of Corfu TV series, or the books on which they’re based, the author, Gerald Durrell was the brother of Lawrence Durrell of the Alexandria Quartet fame.
All four of the Durrell siblings lived on the island of Corfu in the years leading up to WWII. The Corfu trilogy was written by the youngest Durrell, Gerald, and details the glorious, golden years he spent growing up there. The books are funny and snarky and make you want to go back in time and share that life with them.
If you get the chance, read the books and watch the TV series. You won’t be disappointed. Promise.
Val Hall: the even years, by Alma Alexander. Shorts with Heart
‘I’m not usually a fan of short stories because they end just as I’m getting into them but… Val Hall is like snippets of the same, glorious song. Each story showcases a different resident with a different 3rd class superpower, but the gentle caring of Eddie the orderly weaves all the disparate stories into one narrative. And I literally fell in love with each superhero. On to book two. :)’
p.s. As with the Corfu trilogy, my review is kind of superfluous, but I thought I’d explain that the premise of the stories is that there are three tiers of superpowers.
The top tier is godlike, the second is like Superman,
while the third is made up of almost ordinary humans who have one special power that they can use in special circumstances. That’s why they’re only third class. Each story talks about one of these third class powers and the person who wields it.
Cage of Souls, by Adrian Tchaikovsky. Papillion at the end of the world.
‘The time is some unimaginable point in the future when our sun is starting to die. The place is the Island, a prison for those that Shadrapar, the last city on Earth, rejects. The story is told in the first person by Stefan Advani, an intellectual sentenced to the Island for…helping to write a book that the powers did not like.
I’m not a fan of first person POV because what we learn of the character is generally unappealing. It’s like seeing someone naked with all their warts and saggy flesh exposed. That said, however, I can’t stop thinking about the story and the world it portrays.
I’m a voracious reader but much of what I read disappears soon after I finished reading. It’s not memorable. The Cage of Souls is different. It’s tunneled into my imagination and won’t let go.
To me, that is the defining characteristic of a great story.’
I have a stack more reviews to publish so I’ll try to do a post a week. In the meantime, have a great weekend. 🙂