Jenny's Library

Reading Round-up 2013: Week 13

Posted on: May 11, 2013

cover image for HuntressHuntress by Malinda Lo

When a never ending winter threatens the kingdom, it’s clear to everyone why the oracle stones have chosen Taisin, one of the most promising students at the Academy of Sages, as part of the envoy sent to the Fairy Queen for help.  What’s less clear is why Kaede, the very unmagical daughter of nobles, is chosen to go along as well.  But Kaede’s addition to the small group makes Taisin nervous for an entirely different reason; Taisin has been having disturbing and prophetic dreams about Kaede.

The pacing here was much better than in Ash, the characters deeper and full of life, and the plot had more purpose and direction.  Where Ash was interesting and angsty in a mellow sort of way, Huntress was much more complex and immediate, and the action moved more quickly and came with more tension.  There was still room for improvement, but it’s a good story overall. And yes, the romance between Taisin and Kaede is a big part of what makes it enjoyable.

cover image for The ChaosThe Chaos by Nalo Hopkinson

The volcano that appeared out of nowhere in the middle of Lake Ontario is the least of Scotch’s problems. She’s more concerned with finding her older brother, getting rid of the tar-like rash she’s picked up, and dealing with the disembodied horse heads that have started following her.

This was an odd story.  Not necessarily in a bad way; much of the oddness was fun even if it didn’t make any sense most of the time.  The problem came, as it often does in Wonderland stories, in wrapping everything up.  Lessons were Learned, Relationships Grew, and Nothing Was Ever Going to Be the Same – but how exactly does one return from Wonderland when the problem is that Wonderland has come to you?

That said, I suspect much of the story not making sense to me has to do with my ignorance of various myths and tales from non-Western, so I may have to reread it after having done some more research.

Also, may we have more YA characters like Scotch please?  In speculative fiction in particular.  All too often the Scotches of YA, when they exist, get relegated to realistic fiction; I, for one, would like to see more of them taking on volcanoes, Baba Yaga, and whatever else the universe might want to throw at them.


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