Guilty Pleasures (LK Hamilton)

Latest book: “Guilty Pleasures” by Laurell K. Hamilton

This book was kind of scary. In a good way, I mean. And not really what I expected at all. I knew it was contemporary horror, so I figured it was something resembling The Dresden Files or Buffy. Which it was. Except I didn’t expect it to be so…dark. From what I’d heard, I’d expected Hamilton’s book to be the kind of horror that’s so sex-drenched it takes the edge off things that *should* be scary to anyone that’s sane. And with one of those wise-cracking snarky protagonists like Harry Dresden or Buffy. Only I didn’t find it particularly sexy at all, and Anita Blake doesn’t do much snarking. None of this is in the way of criticism, mind you. I like a heroine who takes her situation seriously and is intelligently frightened by it and keeps her head and gets the job done. And having her be genuinely menaced by “friend” and foe every other page doesn’t inure you to the dangers she’s in. The book’s not long enough for that. Plus, the main character is herself pretty dark. Re-animating the dead for a living? How icky is that? In an intriguing way, I mean.

The one thing I was not fond of in the Blake-o-verse: the fact that everyone’s aware of vampires and other supernatural creatures. When it comes to my fictional “kinks”, I want a world where the supernatural is considered debunked and its dangers lurk in the shadows, only known to a select few. In other words, I want a fictional word that by all appearances is the scientifically skeptical world we all live in. Because I read these kinds of books (fantasy, horror) so I can imagine that the supernatural exists around me in the world I see everyday. And I don’t live in Anita Blake’s America. I know that for certain.

I had another book from my shelf lined up to read next, but after getting to the third page, I realize it’s *yet* another vampire story where the whole world knows vampires exist. I think I’ve had enough of that for the time being. I will have to consult my recs list for the next book up.

“A Wizard of Earthsea”, Ursula Le Guin
“Proven Guilty”, Jim Butcher
“Dreamchild”, Hilary Hemingway and Jeffry P. Lindsay
“Guilty Pleasures”, Laurell K. Hamilton

Dreamchild

What do people do when they’re done reading a book they’ve purchased?

(1) Do you put it on the shelf like a trophy, “See, I read this!” perchance to read again?

(2) Or, if the book was all right, but not really your thing, do you donate it to a library or second-hand store, or trade it in for credit at a used bookstore, hoping it will end up with someone who might like it better?

(3) Or maybe the thing is absolute drivel and you can’t believe someone actually killed a tree to bring it into the world. So you take the book and say, “No more trees shall die on thine account! I cast thee into the recycle bin!”

(4) Or maybe the damned thing is so offensive, it’s not even worth that, and you dump it right in the trash hoping it ends up smooshed with dog shit in some landfill where it will ROT!!!?

Well, this last book I finished yesterday, “Dreamchild”, almost got the number #4 treatment. It wasn’t a badly written book, it was even sort of intriguing. It was definitely pulp fiction–someone’s take on the whole Roswell/Dreamland/alien/Majestic mythology, explored from the POV of people involved in the whole aliens-are-among-us events in different ways. So I was eating it up like movie popcorn until they introduced the villains of the piece, the Evil Lesbians. Oy. Basically, these two women are conspiring to kill the aliens who are, as it turns out, the saviors of mankind, and killing any humans that get in their way/whom they need as Guinea pigs. Eventually, one of the pair (’cause they’re usually a pair who of course use remorseless killing as foreplay) sees the error of her ways and betrays her lover. The only reason this drivel isn’t going in the trash is they didn’t take the Evil Lesbian cliche to its usual end point and get the redeemed woman together with a man.

But it’s already in the recycle bin.

Now I’m hankering to watch “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” and Steven Spielberg’s “Taken” to get the taste of this out of my mouth.

Next up on the list: Laurell K. Hamilton. I know, I know, but it’s early Hamilton, and I’ve never read her before.

“A Wizard of Earthsea”, Ursula Le Guin
“Proven Guilty”, Jim Butcher
“Dreamchild”, Hilary Hemingway and Jeffry P. Lindsay

Proven Guilty

Finished The Dresden Files “Proven Guilty” yesterday (which reminds me, note to self: remind brother to tape first TV ep tomorrow!!!!). I have to admit, I do love this book series. The action! The snark! The supernatural coolness! The morally ambiguous arciness! Thanks to buffyannotater for reccing it.

I am moving on now to a book called “Dreamchild” by Hilary Hemingway and Jeffry P Lindsay. It’s one of those little paperbooks I found in the basement of some used bookstore somewhere–either Guerneville or Santa Cruz–that’s been sitting on my shelf for a while. I thought I should read those before getting into any of my flist recs.

This weekend, I’m in. Polishing up TD 206, contemplating talking to the Mom about the Phoenix thing. And at some point, starting my L Word season 4 reviews. But right now, I’m off to Walgreens. Later, dudes.

Books of 2007:

“A Wizard of Earthsea”, Ursula Le Guin
“Proven Guilty”, Jim Butcher

Reading progress notes

I finished “A Wizard of Earthsea” yesterday, so check one book on the books-of-2007 list. I’m wondering if 52 books is a reasonable goal. “Wizard” was only 182 pages and it took me WEEKS to read it. But then, I only read it on the bus to work because I found it a bit tedious. Two-dimensional. Anyway, made-up Medieval-style lands, not really my thing, although I may put a Tolkien book on my list just for the sake of the classics.

Next book, already half-read but needing to be finished, The Dresden Files “Proved Guilty.” I can whip through those books like butter, because I enjoy them. Now I need to sit down and decide on a few more books for the coming weeks and, if necessary, find them in the library.