Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

I thoroughly enjoyed this, though I must admit I found it less satisfying than the original seven. The story line is great; it’s lovely to get to know some of these characters as adults, and I’m interested all the way through. However, I miss the inimitable style (and punny humor) of the originals, to say nothing of the rich descriptions. I dare say that like most scripts, it’s better seen than read. Even as it stands, however, the book is well worth the fairly short time it takes to read.

Hunter’s Run

Ramón Espejo isn’t the kind of character I usually take to.  He’s gritty, foul-mouthed, uneducated, and violent.  But I liked him. And I liked the way he figures out who he is and what makes life worth living for him.

The world is rich in detail, the aliens true aliens–in thought as well as look, and the plot both surprising and inevitable.  A great story.  Not quite good enough to make my keeper shelf, but excellent nonetheless.

Dust

Dust is the third book in Hugh Howie’s Silo series, and while it continues to have the detailed world-building, interesting characters (Juliet and Donald are both fascinating), and suspenseful, fast-paced plot of the first two, I found myself less invested in this one.  I spent much of the book with the nagging feeling that something was missing–important bits of the complicated groundwork laid in the first two books dropped away, leaving a much less complicated dystopia, with loose threads (characters, bits of the conspiracy) left hanging to unravel or chafe, so that the (admittedly satisfying) ending felt too easy.  Perhaps another book in this world will come and pick up the dropped threads–or perhaps I’m too picky.

Nonetheless, this was fun, and I’d probably pick up another Hugh Howie book, even in this series, if the occasion arose.

The Daemon Prism

I picked up my first Carol Berg book after hearing one of her amazing workshops on world-building (or was it revision?) at one of RMFW’s Colorado Gold conferences.  That was The Spirit Lens, the first in the series that finished off with this one I’ve just read.

The series follows a librarian/failed magician, a magic skeptic and an unorthodox mage as they unravel conspiracies and legends that threaten their kingdom, their world, and even the afterlife.  In this particular book, Dante, the mage left disabled after his fight with the forces of evil at the end of book two (The Soul Mirror), discovers that his enemies are not quite so defeated as he thought, and righting what is wrong requires facing his own past, his own demons.

As I expected from work by an author with so much good stuff to say about revision and world-building, this series boasts finely polished prose and a richly textured world.  The characters are well-rounded, interestingly flawed, and sympathetic.  I’m rooting for them all through their intricately plotted quest to save the world.  The books don’t quite make my all-time-favorite, reread again and again shelf (I can’t quite put my finger on why), but they’re thoroughly enjoyable, and I’ll certainly pick up more Carol Berg books in the future.