Wednesday, 24 June 2015

What is Evil?

This month, my reading has taken up a fantasy theme that, in part, questions our perceptions of evil. With these three books, I've completed a goal from The List:
050. Read 3 books per month for 1 year
36 books between July '14 and this June!'s actually 41, but I only ever blogged about the first three read each month ;)

With all that reading, you'd think I would have sandwiched in some more Doing, but I digress. Here are the books I read in June, rated, as is the norm, according to my overall enjoyment.

Angelology - Danielle Trussoni (4/5)
A book I picked up after it was heartily recommended by a friend, this is yet another one that spent a fair few months sitting on my shelf, waiting for the right moment.
The right moment came, and I enjoyed all 650-odd pages of it.

Angelology is set in a world where a silent war rages between the human Angelologists and the Nephilim, a race descended from Angels but muddied through millennia of Human-Nephilim hybridisation. For the most part the story focuses around Evangeline, a young nun who knows little of her family history, but discovers the existence of the Angelologists, and of her family history, after finding an old letter in the convent archives. The closer she comes to finding out the full truth, the closer danger comes to laying its hands upon her--and a long sought-after artefact of extreme power that lurks just out of sight.

My only real complaint about the book was that some plot twists were predictable. However, they were delivered at the right moment in the storyline for it to drag on too long.
I liked how the novel took ideas from religious texts and wove them into a story that brings angelic beings into the modern world, with an explanation of how they continue to walk among us. I also liked the way the Nephilim and lesser angelic species were portrayed, as it made a change from the expected behaviours!

Honestly my writing about this book cannot do it justice, not without writing a whole bunch of spoilers.
I recently discovered that there is a sequel, and have, of course, wish-listed it ;)

Hollow City - Ransom Riggs (5/5)
Remember that I read Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children back in March? This is the follow-up.

It picks up in September 1940, where the previous book left off. The Peculiar Children are leaving the island they have been living on and heading for the mainland. They journey into London, which is stricken by war, in search of someone who can help Miss Peregrine, their headmistress. Through their travels they meet more peculiar children, and also peculiar animals, and find there is more to their old stories than meets the eye. Once again the children face danger and adventure, and once again this book ends on a cliff-hanger!

The book is scattered with strange vintage photography, and the story is woven around the images. There are a number of unexpected plot twists within the storyline and yes, yes indeed, I have wish-listed the sequel, which is to be published later this year.

Wicked - Gregory Maguire (4/5)
This one has been around long enough that I suspect enough people who read this know at least the bare bones of what it's about!
Wicked is the novel about the Wicked Witch of the West, which inspired the musical of the same title. Set mostly before the happenings of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the novel follows the life of Elphaba, a green girl born to a devout priest and his wife. Of course, Elphaba eventually becomes the Wicked Witch of the West, but this novel puts on an altogether different spin on the Oz story. In just under 500 pages it presents an alternative version of events, and shows just how a strange little green girl can go from neutral to being perceived as evil, all through misunderstandings and unfortunate twists of fate.

Some of the book really does make you think about the real world as it exists today, with its prejudices and politics and ideas of good and evil.
I did struggle to read this at first, I think as I've never read the book upon which it's based (or even seen the film all the way through...).

Once again, this one has a sequel. A whole series of them, in fact...

Well, now I've finished this month's reading, that's a goal completed from The List!
At some point I'll do a little look back at all I read for this goal, and highlight my absolute favourites.

Rest assured, I will continue to read, though perhaps not at the same pace ;)

To see more of the books I've read for this goal, check out my books tag.

No comments:

Post a Comment