Silver in the Blood – Jessica Day George
Silver in the Blood was an interesting take on Victorian-era historical fiction married with the supernatural. Two girls find out that they’re shapeshifters, having inherited a legacy from their family to protect and uphold a certain ruling family. Though this novel was a little too full of clothing descriptions and the ramblings of teenage girls for me (partly things I have issues with in most historical fiction), it also had some unique takes on the whole vampire, werewolf, and general shapeshifter legends. I also quite appreciate the changes the girls undertake as people and how they don’t immediately bow to tradition or ignore it. These were strong female characters that were actually written as females, rather than having to take on more masculine traits in order to be written as strong (a pet peeve of mine). So, if you’re into the supernatural of that sort and you enjoy historical fiction, probably of a young adult-type variety, I could say you’d enjoy this book. I would call it a READ WITH CAUTION, because there are a few considerations to be made before you’d decide to read it.
The Gracekeepers – Kristy Logan
I picked up The Gracekeepers because it was recommended as a similar work to Station Eleven, which I enjoyed. It was more of a young adult take on that type of world, though. While I agree that there were similarities in the novels, such as a sort of literary fiction take on a speculative fiction novel and a traveling troupe theme, The Gracekeepers fell short of being more than mediocre. The writing was decent, but many of the characters felt flat. While their motivations and personalities should have been interesting, they just sort of melded together into this blob the color of a stormy ocean. The settings and ideas behind the novel and its story aren’t bad, and could have been a lot more interesting if the tone of the book hadn’t been so lackluster. Definitely a READ WITH CAUTION.
Howl’s Moving Castle – Diana Wynne Jones
I bought Howl’s Moving Castle long ago on a Kindle Daily Deal, but hadn’t read it. After starting a run of watching Miyazaki films, I saw the film version and was intrigued to read the book. Howl’s Moving Castle follows eldest-child Sophie as she gives up her boring life and seeks out adventure after having been bespelled by a witch. The writing is done well, with charismatic characters and intriguing places. Sophie is quite fun to adventure with, and the world itself feels vibrant. I cannot, however, truly say if I would feel this way about the book without having seen the visual interpretation. Miyazaki did an amazing job at capturing Sophie’s character, and while the two storylines do differ, I feel like I had a very precise image of many things in my head which may have caused me to enjoy the story more than I would have otherwise. Unfortunately, I don’t feel like I can really give it much of a critique because of this, but I do think it was a very enjoyable READ, suitable for all ages.