Monthly Review on MapleBooks - Book Reviews

MapleBooks seventh month was quite, quite busy. First, I finally got the books I needed for the Science-Fiction & Fantasy World Tour so we’re back on track! Soon, I’ll stop-over in China with The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Lui. If you wish, grab a Sci-Fi or Fantasy book from a Chinese author and come and share about it on December 15th!

I also started to read the five nominees of the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust of Canada Prize for Nonfiction in 2014 since I’d like to read more non-fictions. I got two of them: Shopping for Votes and Extreme Mean. If it goes well, I might share a review of them too… if I can manage!

I fell behind with my reviews (or rather: I was already late and it didn’t get any better!). Reading too much, writing too slow! I have four reviews at different stages of completion. Three literary fictions and a really cute post-apocalyptic novel from Quebec. Coming soon!

Two of these literary fiction are part of the CBC 100 books, which I’m still planning to read. Life of Pi and Late Night On Air are waiting for me on the shelf. Not sure which one I’m going to pick next!

Books reviewed this month

My Real Children by Jo WaltonThe Geography of Pluto by Christopher DiRaddoThe Leopard (Marakand #1) by K.V. Johansen

My Real Children by Jo Walton, an (dual) alternate history fiction
The Geography Of Pluto by Christopher DiRaddo, a reflection on loss and grief < my favourite this month!
The Leopard (Marakand #1)  by K.V. Johansen, a hard-core epic fantasy adventure

Other reads this month

United States of America Flag (USA)Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline 35-stars

Orphan Train by Christina Baker KlineEven though Orphan Train was a lovely read, I didn’t like it as much as I wanted to.
The book unfolds through two timelines: the first one begins in the late 1920’s with Niamh, an Irish little girl who become estranged from her family after arriving in US. The second one is set up in 2011 with Molly, a rebellious teenager who was separated from her parents and sent from one foster home to another her whole childhood.
The story of Niamh is fascinating: I was interested to learn about this sad episode in history. It triggered me to learn more online. The book is nicely written and is really easy to get into. I felt a lot of compassion for Niamh and grew fond of this character.
On the other hand, I didn’t click with Molly, probably because her situation felt less desperate compared to Niamh’s. There were a few interesting elements about her, especially about her native roots and her loss of identity when she was taken away from her parents.
Unfortunately as a whole, Molly’s story felt weak and in the end, I wished the book had focused on Niamh’s only.
Nevertheless, Orphan Train was a very moving, nicely written and instructive read.

United Kingdom (Great Britain)The Girl With All The Gifts by M.R. Carey 3-stars

The Girl With All The Gifts by M.R. Carey The beginning of The Girl With All The Gifts is stunning: it slowly introduces you to a grim military lab through the eyes of one of its young residents: a little girl called Melanie. Through her candid perception of the world, the reader progressively understand the true nature of her confinement: she’s an experimental subject in a dystopian UK.
Then, the book turns into something way more classic: it’s a zombie story with its too-usual share of food hunting, running away, hiding, fighting, and tensions within a little group of survivors. It’s an easy read, written in a casual tone, that will offer little surprise if you’ve already read I Am A Legend by R. Matheson and watched the movie 28 days later….