Title: Burial Rites
Author: Hannah Kent
The writing in this book was as beautiful as all the reviews say. Hannah Kent has the rare skill of finding new metaphors which speak right to the soul without relying on the familiarity of a cliche. The emotions, the tension, and the scenery were all very vividly brought to life. I was less impressed with the plot. Although I knew to expect this to be sadder than my typical fare, I was surprised by just how bleak things got. I was also unimpressed by the main characters’ naivete and inability to escape the bad situation which led to her present plight. Finally, while I loved the inclusion of “primary sources” and the real feel they gave the book, the author’s use of a report to unemotionally wrap up the ending felt very anticlimactic. The writing impressed me enough that I would still be happy to read more by Hannah Kent.
Title: The City & the City
Author: China Mieville
The description of the book made me excited about the world building right away. The set-up of the story met all my expectations. The world Mieville has created is one of the most unique concepts I’ve read about in a long time. Sadly, the world building mostly stopped there. I would have loved to learn more about why the city and the city are the way they are. No explanation is ever given. The plot surprised me far more pleasantly. The basics of the plot could belong to just another thriller. In this creative, clever world, it became so much more. I particularly loved the way the plot relied on the unique configuration of the world Mieville created. Again, I was impressed enough that I would certainly read more by this author.