Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Two mysteries in a row, though of very different sorts. The Woods, by Harlan Coben, is more your Law-and-Order-style novel. Meant to be realistic, a bit of courtroom drama, a bit of romance, a fast-paced story, a large helping of lousy writing. I almost quit the book a few pages in when the author wouldn't settle on a verb tense, but I kept going and I did enjoy the story. There were a few moments I had to read aloud to the husband and rant over, but not too many.

Libba Bray's A Great and Terrible Beauty is the first in what I believe is to be a trilogy. Gemma finds herself at a seemingly proper English boarding school, with all the snobby, pampered rich girls ready and waiting. However, she quickly discovers not only her own magical powers but also a tremendous puzzle in the shadows (which isn't solved by the end of the book, though I briefly thought it was when I read too quickly). The portrayal of teenage girls is wonderfully realistic, and the fantasy aspect fits in quite nicely. It's a good fix for my post-Potter world.

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