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Arbie's Unoriginally Titled Book Blog

It's a blog! Mainly of book reviews.

Currently reading

Ack-Ack Macaque
Gareth L. Powell
Progress: 249/792 pages
Introduction to Topology
Bert Mendelson
Progress: 10/224 pages
Isaac Newton
James Gleick
Progress: 32/289 pages
Basics of Plasma Astrophysics
Claudio Chiuderi, Marco Velli
Progress: 58/250 pages
Ursula K. Le Guin: The Complete Orsinia: Malafrena / Stories and Songs (The Library of America)
Brian Attebery, Ursula K. Le Guin
Progress: 468/700 pages
A Student's Guide to Lagrangians and Hamiltonians
Patrick Hamill
Progress: 7/180 pages
Complete Poems, 1904-1962
E.E. Cummings
Progress: 242/1102 pages
The Complete Plays and Poems
E.D. Pendry, J.C. Maxwell, Christopher Marlowe
Gravitation (Physics Series)
Kip Thorne;Kip S. Thorne;Charles W. Misner;John Archibald Wheeler;John Wheeler
Progress: 48/1215 pages
I Am a Cat
Graeme Wilson, Aiko Ito, Sōseki Natsume
Progress: 410/638 pages
Darkwater Hall (Hodder Silver Series) - Catherine Fisher Catherine Fisher on top form, technically, gives us a story about a bargain for a teenaged girl's soul. Inspired by Dr. Faustus and the alchemical quest to create gold from base metal, this story's primary strength is its characters. They are flawed, sympathetic, real. Indeed I think this is Fisher's great strength as a writer; her protagonists are completely convincing human beings. (Fisher has used all sorts of mythic and religious inspirations; classical Greek, ancient Egyptian, Celtic, Arthurian and Norse for example and has generally come up with an interesting twist or interpretation - this is no exception.)

The ending became predictable too early but you certainly wouldn't have guessed it at the halfway point where everything takes a surprising turn for the more interesting.

I met Catherine Fisher once and she told me that she chose the name Lord Azrael for a character in this book, only to read Northern Lights and find Pullman was slightly ahead of her in using the name - it was too late to change it, though, and it does suit the character.