Monday, January 09, 2012

The Mortal Engines series

Let's save some time and assume I'll read all of these eventually, although now I've only read the first two. I got Maxima the first one for Christmas and she liked it so much she used her Christmas gift vouchers to buy the next two. I'd have read the third except she's plodding through them slowly herself. In an hilarious aside, we learnt yesterday that Minima has struggled through book one when she was in Tunisia last summer - you could've knocked us over with something quite light when she told us. She's normally so anti-fantasy and science-fiction. But she had nothing else to read when her friend had dropped off for the night, so she succumbed. And hated it.

I'm not completely sold either. It reminds me of a bunch of other stuff, ideas slightly cobbled together, and it lacks a little bit of that character depth you need in books of this sort, otherwise it's just cool imagery. Cool here means, like, steampunk. Which is so wow. Second book gets better though. Bonus points for author not being afraid to kill characters. And of course for concept, which is municipal darwinism in extremis and literally so.

It's being filmed, apparently - what isn't, these days? It'll probably end up loud and annoying. 

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

2 x Diana Wynne Jones

Borrowed two children's books to read during my Christmas holidays - The Magicians of Caprona and Eight Days of Luke. Alright. The former could make a great film in the right hands. It would have to be in Italian, and it would be so much fun with a good Italian fantasy film for kids wouldn't it? Make a change from the anglocentricity of the genre. The latter was amusing with its take on Norse mythology. I liked the open, slightly ambiguous ending.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

End of the world

What better way to start 2012, after such a long hiatus, than with the myth of Cthulhu? Apparently (I read this somewhere) the alleged Armageddon of this year as "foretold" by the ancient Mayans has been linked by some to the entirely fictional Cthulhu monster. Who'd have thunk.

So, The Call of Cthulhu by Howard Phillips Lovecraft then. I'd never read this before, and I must say that I expected more given how influential the concept became in popular culture. The short story is written in that sort of documentary fashion of somebody piecing together notes and snippets of information. I think it workable in say Dracula, but it's not very scary here. Didn't grab me, didn't scare me. A little dull, in fact. Also, don't really see why the freed Cthulhu should so easily be re-imprisoned by a mere earthquake. Hrmpf.