Book catch-up, part 2

Posted by barb on Jul 26, 2006 in Books |

The rest of my books for the past few months:

Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix
by J. K. Rowling

Wow. Just wow. With Voldemort back in the picture, Harry has more to worry about than ever. Add to that the Ordinary Wizarding Levels at the end of the school year, and it’s a wonder Harry survives the year at all. Of course, the pressure does start to get to Harry. This book sees a lot of changes in Harry’s personality – he seems to be teetering on the edge for much of the school year.

The book is as engaging as the others, and left me gaped-mouthed and wishing for someone to turn to and say, “What? What just happened? Did I read that right? AAAAAA!”

Burning Road
by Ann Benson

I was a little surprised to find that this book is actually a sequel to The Plague Tales, but there was no indication of this on the book jacket (only a sentence like, “by the bestselling author of The Plage Tales).

That said, once I got past my surprise, the book was just as engaging as the first. As The Plague Tales, this novel follows two related medical tales that are separated by 700 years in time. In 14th century France, Dr. Alejandro Canches has kept a low profile since he saw England’s royal family through the last surge of the plague. He gets pressed into helping to translate a jewish text for an alchemist. Alejandro’s journal stumbled into Dr. Janie Crowe’s hands in the 20th century in The Plague Tales. We now find Janie dealing with a possible resurgance of DR SAM, a deadly and highly infectious disease that swept the world, killing a good percent of the population, including Janie’s family. The text that Canches had been translated also came into the possession of the same depository that Janie used to store Alehandro’s journal.

This was a good follow-on to The Plague Tales; however, in some ways it’s much the same, with the two parallel stories, and a bit unbelievable that two books with writing by the same person would first of all both survive 700 years, and second fall into the same book depositotry. It was just a bit too much to swallow. I likely won’t read a third book in this series if Benson continues. However, if she decides to start with a new story and new characters, I’ll be happy to give it a try.

Deep Wizardry
by Dian Duane

This is the secon book in Duane’s Young Wizard series, and I must confess that I missed the first one (though it is now on my to-read pile). Nita and Kit have only recently fell into wizardry, and now on a vacation with Nita’s family at the beach, they discover that they are needed by the wizards living in the sea – whale wizards.

This was a fun book. Fluffy and a quick read, but fun.

The Clan of the Cave Bear
by Jean M. Auel

The novel begins with an earthquake that takes the live of young Ayla’s family. After wandering for days, unable to feed herself, and attacked by a lion, Ayla collapses, on the edge of death. She is found by members of the clan of the cave bear. The clan was displaced from their long-time home-cave by the same earthquake that took Ayla’s family, and they are searching for a new home.

The novel follows Ayla’s struggles with becoming accepted into the clan, for she is clearly not of the clan – she is blonde and tall and likes to use her voice. The people of the clan are dark-haired, short and talk mostly with their hands. The people of the clan are also very set in their ways, with men and women having very particular roles, and both men and women seem happy with those roles, not only unwillingly to change, but unwanting. Ayla, on the other hand, wants to explore, hunt, and genearlly act unwomanly. Throughout it all, one member of the clan hounds her, Broud, son of the mate of the leader.

This was an excellent book – a page turner.

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