Thursday, 10 September 2009

Holiday Books

So, anyhow, while on Holiday in Italy I read a bunch o’ books.

World War Z

My God, this is brilliant. This is the fictitious account of the Zombie Uprising, told as an oral history. Recorded as a series of interviews from after the Zombie War, we hear first hand stories of how real people dealt with what was occurring, and damn is it spectacular. Because we hear from so many different people, there is a real feeling of how this apocalypse affected individuals, and how societies responded. It is really amazing.

Artemis Fowl VI

Artemis Fowl was one of my favourite books growing up. The basic premise is that a criminal mastermind, who also happens to be a teenager, discovers the existence of fairies, and captures one to hold her to ransom. And it was so very awesome! And so, over the years that one book has become a series of books, the sixth of which came out recently. And so I picked it up for holiday reading. Artemis Fowl and the Time Paradox is its full name, the plot of which involves Artemis travelling back in time a few years to rescue the last of a, now extinct, animal. In doing so he competes against a past version of himself, and has a fast paced, humourous adventure along the way. This is great fun. The Artemis Fowl books have always been brilliant to read, tho’ they do suffer sometimes, now for and older me, from being children’s books. That can be forgiven, but I am just not sure that the idea of a time plot was such a great way to go. The way it isolated our heroes, Artemis and Captain Short, meant that the majority of the brilliantly wonderful characters in the series were excluded; seriously, why would they make an Artemis Fowl book with almost no time given for Foaly or Butler!? I was also kinda annoyed that the two big revelations from the last book where swept aside as Artemis travels to the past, and then bringing a villain back from a past book was decidedly underwhelming. Still, it is new Artemis Fowl, and I loved every page of it.

Scott Pilgrim III

Scott Pilgrim is an incredible comic book series, the third of which is still brilliant. In Scott Pilgrim & The Infinite Sadness, Scott must continue his mission to defeat the seven evil ex-boyfriends of his new girlfriend Ramona, in order to keep dating her. Whilst not as good as the first book in the series, the characters continue to develop, leading to a thrilling conclusion, which made me exited to read the next instalment. Oh, and it is still hilarious.


There is something wonderful about Terry Pratchet, and the way he has created the Discworld. In that world, one of the most interesting characters is DEATH, who turns up for wonderful scenes in moments of extreme peril. So giving an entire book over to DEATH seems like a wonderful idea. Except that developing DEATH does not work quite as well as it should. He may be scene-stealingly brilliant, but as a character he is hard to work with. The story of his apprentice, Mort, while it starts strongly, becomes sadly forgettable by the end. And yet I would still say that the first half of the book is one of Pratchet’s best, just for how incredibly it is written.


OK, so I am only about half way through, but this seems really to be a collection of four short stories by Bernard Cornwell along the same campaign, so it was a decent place to stop for a while. Introducing us to Nick Hook, a man who ends up as a mercenary archer, it has been good so far, really immersive into the world, and giving me a far greater respect for archery, and a great thanks that I live in the modern age, and don’t have to worry about my home town being under siege.

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