Books I read on holiday

Ever by Gail Carson Levine

Gail Carson Levine has written some of my all time favourite fairy tale retellings, in particular Ella Enchanted. Ever has been sitting on my ‘to read’ pile for some months waiting for me to get around to it, and I figured that it would make good light holiday reading. It’s about a girl and a God who fall in love. Kinda like Eros and Psyche kinda, but in this story both the God and the girl have to endure tests and hardships to win the right to be with each other. The girl, Kezi, is both emotionally believable and kick-ass awesome. I loved that she refused to give up, even when things were beyond hopeless. The God of the winds, Olus was also very convincing. Unlike all the rest of the gods in his pantheon he was only 17 years old and for all he could control any wind he was naive. My only complaint is that this book isn’t long enough, it felt a bit rushed. I would have been happy for it to be twice the length because I enjoy Gail’s style so much.

The War of the Worlds
by H.G. Wells

In my ongoing effort to read the classics, I gave this a go. It was surprisingly beautiful. The prose is at times so stunningly visual I had to bug Lee and read him a phrase. It was also haunting, spooky, introspective and terrifying. So often the words are exactly the ones used in the Jeff Wayans musical and I would hear Richard Burton speaking them. When the war machines howled ‘Ulla’ I knew exactly how it sounded.

I recommend this one. It’s not the revelation that Dracula was, but it’s definitely worth a read if you like sci-fi. Some parts of it dragged a bit, but it was good holiday reading. And not just because I like to think that if people see you reading an orange and white Penguin classic they will assume you are an intellectual…

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith

This book is just as silly as it sounds. Of course, I love silly things so I enjoyed it rather a lot. Most of it is lifted direct from the original, but there is plenty of zombie killing, details about weapons and martial arts and some extra sexual innuendo to make it fresh. I particularly enjoyed the way one of Lady Catherine de Bough’s objections to Elizabeth was that she had studied the deadly arts in China, whereas Lady Catherine maintained Japan to be the only place worth studying.

Lady Catherine also has a hoard of ninjas. Like I said, it’s silly. If you like the sound of the title then you’ll like the book fine.

Absolute Sandman vol 3 by Neil Gaiman

Lee gave me this for Christmas, and I read it slowly, idly. It collects up Brief Lives and World’s End which I think are my favourite Sandman storylines, so it has that going for it. In regards to the format and the re-issue I can’t say I noticed much difference, but the editions are such lovely artefacts. Leather bound, black ribbon place marker, good smell. Now I am hankering for the fourth volume to end the cycle but I shall have to wait until my credit card is looking a little healthier.