Mini-Reviews: Sushi for Beginners, Firebird, Dig, Abhorsen

Home again! The trip went well; I’ll be writing more about it here and at my travel blog later. For now, you can check out Finchagogo for some pictures I took.

As for Birdbrain(ed)– I need to catch up on reviews! Don’t want to be posting January reviews in March (again). So, here we are. Yay!

Mini-Reviews: Sushi for Beginners, Firebird, Dig, AbhorsenSushi for Beginners (reread) by Marian Keyes
Published: William Morrow (2000), Paperback, 448pg
Source: BookMooch
Genres: Fiction, Contemporary
Reading Level: Adult

Lisa Edwards
This Prada-wearing magazine editor thinks her life is over when her "fabulous" new job turns out to be a deportation to Dublin to launch Colleen magazine. The only saving grace is that her friends aren't there to witness her downward spiral. Might her new boss, the disheveled and moody Jack Devine, save her from a fate worse than hell?
Ashling Kennedy
Ashling, Colleen's assistant editor, is an award-winning worrier, increasingly aware that something fundamental is missing from her life -- apart from a boyfriend and a waistline.
Clodagh "Princess" Kelly
Ashling's best friend, Clodagh, lives the domestic dream in a suburban castle. So why, lately, has she had the recurring urge to kiss a frog -- or sleep with a frog, if truth be told? As these three women search for love, success, and happiness, they will discover that if you let things simmer under the surface for too long, sooner or later they'll boil over.

Guess what? I haven’t read a Marian Keyes book written after 2004! Which is really weird. Rereading Sushi also made me realize that I totally misremembered the ending of this book– maybe got it mixed up with another? Anyway, this was a fun, lighthearted(ish) reread that made me want to read Marian Keyes’ newer books, finally!

Reread: January 27-28, 2013

Mini-Reviews: Sushi for Beginners, Firebird, Dig, AbhorsenFirebird (Fairy Tales #1) by Mercedes Lackey
Published: Tor Books (1996), eBook, 352pg
Source: Freebie
Genres: Fiction, Fantasy
Reading Level: Adult

Ilya, son of a Russian prince, is largely ignored by his father and tormented by his larger, older brothers. His only friends are three old people: a priest, a magician, and a woman who toils in the palace dairy. From them Ilya learns faith, a smattering of magic, and the power of love--all of which he will need desperately, for his life is about to be turned upside-down.

My first Mercedes Lackey book! Unfortunately, I didn’t like it. I liked BITS of it, including the fairy tale-ness of it, but it wasn’t as magically wonderful as I was hoping it’d be. I did like the twist at the end (although it was totally obvious) and I liked the writing style, so I’ll definitely read another Mercedes Lackey book.

Read: January 29-31, 2013

Mini-Reviews: Sushi for Beginners, Firebird, Dig, AbhorsenDig (Morgue Mama Mysteries #2) by C.R. Corwin
Published: Poisoned Pen Press (2005), eBook, 250pg
Source: Bought
Genres: Fiction, Mystery
Reading Level: Adult

Maddy Sprowls gets to The Hannawa Herald-Union right at nine. She makes her first mug of Darjeeling tea and settles down at her desk to read the obituaries. The obits are the best part of her day, she admits. But not today. First she reads that her old college friend Gordon Sweet is dead. Then she learns he was murderedat the abandoned landfill where the eccentric archaeology professor was conducting his latest dig.

And just like that, the cranky 68-year-old newspaper librarian finds herself investigating another murder. No, two murders! Gordon's death just might be linked to the grisly bludgeoning of state wrestling champ David Delarosa fifty years earlier.

And so begins a harrowing, and hilarious, trek back to Maddy's old beatnik days, when she was a member of the Meriwether Square Baked Bean Existentialist Society. There's a coffee house full of quirky suspects to consider: Poet Chick Glass, saxophonist Shaka Bop, free-thinking Effie Fredmansky, snooty Gwen Moffitt-Stumpf, and toxic waste dumper Kenneth Kingzette, just to name a few. And, oh yes, the legendary beat writer Jack Kerouac figures into this satisfying caper, too.

Another dud! Which is really unfortunate, because I liked the first book in this series enough to buy the sequel in the first place. Partly my problem was the mystery itself: it was boring! The ending was, again, one of those cliche things that annoy me. And without a character like Aubrey (the sparky cub reporter from the first book) to spark things up, it was a very slow-paced and (again) boring story. Oh well.

Read: February 1-2, 2013

Mini-Reviews: Sushi for Beginners, Firebird, Dig, AbhorsenAbhorsen (Abhorsen #3) by Garth Nix
Published: HarperTeen (2003), eBook, 518pg
Source: Bought
Genres: Fiction, Fantasy, Adventure
Reading Level: Young Adult

ORANNIS THE DESTROYER HAS BEEN FREED AND ONLY LIRAEL, newly come into her inheritance as the Abhorsen-in-Waiting, has any chance of stopping it. She and her companions --- Sam, the Disreputable Dog, and Mogget --- have to take that chance. If Orannis's unspeakable powers are unleashed, it will mean the end of all Life. With the help of her companions and a vision from the Clayr to guide her, Lirael must search in both Life and Death for some means to defeat the Destroyer --- before it is too late. . . .

I have put off reading this for AGES, and furthermore I think I started reading it once before and then put it down. The first half of the story was VERY familiar, so much so that I wondered if I’d actually read the WHOLE book and just forgotten. (Spoiler: I did not. His writing is just really familiar to me now, I think.)

This is my favorite kind of Garth Nix story: excellent writing, wonderful characters, exciting and emotional storyline, and lots of interesting worldbuilding stuff! I’m sad that this is the end of the Abhorsen trilogy (though I think there’s still a book of short stories left?) but reading it was a wonderful experience! Yay, Garth Nix!

Read: February 2-3, 2013

2 thoughts on “Mini-Reviews: Sushi for Beginners, Firebird, Dig, Abhorsen”

  1. Mmmmm, it has been many years since I read any Mercedes Lackey, but I feel like Firebird was not the one to start with. Maybe be really really old-school about it and start with Arrows of the Queen? It is sort of a boarding school book so of course was perfect for me. :p

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