Friday, 13 March 2015

Girl in the Dark by Anna Lyndsey

Fascinating memoir from a girl who develops a light sensitivity so severe that she is unable to leave a completely blacked whilst being covered layer upon layer of special clothing. Confined to this half-life of darkness she has a trusty radio and audio books for company, plus her boyfriend in whose house she is confined as she would be unable to function on her own some days.  There is an interesting psychological perspective into how she finds ways to survive her situation and to cope with those days where dark thoughts creep in and she has to decide if it is worth carrying on.  There are good times too - we have almost heart wrenching memories of the life before and holidays with her partner, and the small advances that she makes, the joy of being able to stand on her back garden at night to look at the stars.  It also made me stop and think about what I would do if that were to happen to me, how would i cope if things that I loved were suddenly beyond my ability - reading, listening to music, even the internet and gaming. Would I be as strong and resourceful as Anna?

Monday, 9 March 2015

The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison

Aaaaaaand done!  An okay story about Maia, an half elf/half goblin who is the (unwanted) fourth son of the Emperor living on a secluded estate in more or less exile, when an unfortunate 'accident' occurs which kills the Emperor plus other three sons, meaning that Maia is the heir to the throne.  From here on in his life becomes a whirlwind of protocols, servants and adjusting to court life, which was interesting, I liked this part of the story.

But, oh my, the names! So many of them and so complicated they were!  Each person seemed to have a number of names, ranging from titles, to formal, to informal, males and females would share the first part of their names but have a different suffix according to their sex and marriage status.  Plus the place names.....unfortunately I am the kind of reader who likes to be able to pronounce everything in the story so this issue caused a number of stumbling blocks for me.  My only other 'issue' was the inclusion of goblins.  Not that I am at all fantasy racist, just that I had a hard job imaging the goblins as they were represented in this novel, let alone an elf/goblin mixture...I still picture goblins as the things from the Hobbit films, or from the Goblin Banks in Harry Potter... (or David Bowie!) and also elves apparently have very animated it, you'll see!