BOOK & BLOG
January 20, 2008
Books of the Week: THE RISING by Brian Keene, WINTERBIRTH by Brian Ruckley, BURNT OFFERINGS by Laurell K. Hamilton
THE RISING by Brian Keene is a good, old-fashioned zombie novel with a huge amount of blood and gore, as is typical of zombie fiction. A blue collar guy, Jim Thurmond, survives the initial zombie attack to face behavior just as bad by humans when he attempts the trek to New Jersey to find his son. As you might expect, there’s a lot of sadness in this trip, and lots of danger. The book ends on the cliffhanger to end all cliffhangers. I understand there’s a second book, and I wish I’d had it on hand when I read THE RISING, which finished, shall we say, abruptly. It’s rousing reading; an Indiana Jones type adventure novel with zombies as the bad guys . . . when survivors aren’t the bad guys.
I also finished the long, long, WINTERBIRTH (Brian Ruckley), which I mentioned last week. I’ll look for the sequel. It was really good and kept my interest throughout, despite the cast of thousands. Well, at least dozens. My attention span may not be as long as it used to be.
Now I’m rereading Laurell K. Hamilton’s BURNT OFFERINGS, since our publisher was nice enough to send me one of the wonderful hardbacks. BURNT OFFERINGS is one of Laurell’s best books. It’s Anita Blake at her most Anita-ish: that is to say, stubborn and loyal and defensive and lethal. She means what she says, and she says what she means. It makes me fall in love with the character all over again. No one can match Laurell’s energy and inventiveness in one of her very top plots. The Council visits St. Louis to investigate Jean-Claude, Anita’s vampire lover, and Anita has to prevent them from hurting various people she loves or claims as her own.
It’s been a week of getting rid of things.
I took all the books I’d read for the Edgar Best First committee to the library or gave them to friends with the understanding that eventually, they’d end up at the library. I’m trying to get used to having an empty bedroom corner.
The work on WOLFSBANE AND MISTLETOE is done, and Toni and I have sent the last story off to Tekno Books to the kind offices of John Helfers and Martin Greenberg. It’ll be on the shelves in October. Authors contributing to the anthology include: Donna Andrews, Keri Arthur, Patricia Briggs, Dana Cameron, Karen Chance, Alan Gordon, Simon Green, Dana Stabenow, Kat Richardson, Carrie Vaughan, Joe Konrath, Nancy Pickard, and Rob Thurman and of course, Toni and me. Toni and I work well together, and when the stories are coming in, every day is like Christmas. Once again, we have a balance between mystery writers and science fiction/urban fantasy writers. We’re big believers in cross-pollination.
I also completed the changes to the changes for FROM DEAD TO WORSE, and that’s on its way to my editor. She already has my novella about the Britlingens, Clovache and Batanya, whom you met in ALL TOGETHER DEAD. I’ll give you that pub date when I know it.
I did the ritual “cleaning of the office” that I perform after I finish a major project. The fact that it’s the turn of the year complicates matters since, like everyone else, I have to get my tax stuff together. I am the Lady of Perpetual Taxes. There’s also lots of filing to do, just stuff that accumulates when I’m too busy to put it in its proper folder. A lot of things end up in the round file folder under my desk.
So, what’s on the slate for this week? Starting the next Sookie, beginning with figuring out what the plot has to include. I drew up a sheet last time and that worked well. I’m still trying to find the best way to write a book. I figure in ten more books, I might have it down to a science.
© 2009 Charlaine Harris