Sunday, April 12, 2015

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children


         I like this book in spite of the book. That's the best way I've found to say this. I've been going around and around in circles about Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, and what I liked, and what really annoyed me, and it comes down to this: I like the book in spite of what the book is. There's a great dark, atmospheric story that exists within these pages. There's also a great, creepy found-photograph novel. And as this was Ransom Riggs's first novel, and definitely the first novel he wrote with such a concept in mind, And...found document novels or works can be kind of finicky to begin with. Depending on the work, and depending on the source used, it's possible to get any number of permutations, from House of Leaves  to S. to Pale Fire to everything in between. And a novel using creepy Victorian photographs and an abandoned Gothic-novel children's home is...pretty much exactly in my wheelhouse, let's face it. You could get a more Caius book, but only by virtue of the main bulk of my reading material being "very weird shit"*. 

                            But there are...difficulties with this one. The concept needs to hang together a little better than it does, and while it's a fantastic novel, it's kind of hampered by its own premise, a premise that is good on its own, but a little awkward in its execution. But by no means should that discount that the book is full of atmosphere and weirdness, interesting world design, and a very quirky mystery at its heart. 

More, as always, below.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

The Truth


        I never really had any kind of deep relationship with Terry Pratchett, but he left an amazing impact on my life. I'd tried to write this out as a brief tribute, but as there are certain undisclosable legal implications to me posting that piece (this, folks, is one of the drawbacks with going pro-- the first steps into the professional arena are rough and couched in weird legal implications), I decided instead that I would try to reflect on Sir Pterry's life in the way that I have so many other authors that have left an impact on me: I'd write a review of the book that got me into his work in the first place, the book that led me to Discworld and got me to start telling people about books I thought they should read. 

So without any further ado, I present The Truth. The book without which, along with Neverwhere, this blog would not exist. 

And Sir Terry? I knew it was coming. That doesn't make it hurt any less.