Some Almost Awesome Fiction in Mini-Reviews

17333319Title: Burial Rites
Author: Hannah Kent
Source: library
Rating: ★★★★☆

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.

4703581Title: The City & the City
Author: China Mieville
Source: library
Rating: ★★★★☆

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. 

22 Comments

Filed under Fiction, Historical Fiction

22 Responses to Some Almost Awesome Fiction in Mini-Reviews

  1. Christine @Buckling Bookshelves

    I’ve been meaning to read Burial Rites — must get to that soon!
    Christine @Buckling Bookshelves recently posted…Under the Wide and Starry SkyMy Profile

    Reply
  2. Els (readingthething)

    China Mieville writes awesome books! I would really recommend “Perdido Street Station” and “Embassytown” which have really nice “alien-building” besides the world building.

    Reply
    • Thanks Els! While this one wasn’t quite a five star read for me, I could Mieville is an author I could love so I’d definitely like to give some of his other books a chance.

      Reply
  3. Andi @ Estella's Revenge

    Both books I want to read! And I have a soft spot for mini-reviews. Well done!
    Andi @ Estella’s Revenge recently posted…CoverHo Recommends: Best Textured BooksMy Profile

    Reply
    • “Almost Awesome” might have been unfair – they were almost five star reviews for me, but it’s fair to say they were pretty awesome books. I hope you enjoy them at least as much as I did :)

      I’m currently trying to polish off the last few books I didn’t review last year, so there are probably more mini-reviews to come!

      Reply
  4. Shannon @ River City Reading

    Was that your first Mieville? I’ve been really wanting to dive in, but haven’t known where to start since the worlds seem so complex. It seems like it worked out well for you!
    Shannon @ River City Reading recently posted…It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?My Profile

    Reply
    • It was my first Mieville and I’ll definitely be looking to read more. While the world wasn’t explained as well as I would have liked, it was very creative and I liked how the plot took advantage of the unique world in which it took place. You should give it a try!

      Reply
  5. Aylee

    I’ve seen these two around, but this is the first time I’ve read a review for either of them. I can see how these were considered almost awesome. I should also keep my eye out for other works by these authors.
    Aylee recently posted…Review: Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles #2) by Marissa MeyerMy Profile

    Reply
    • They were both very good and I think I only found it disappointing that they weren’t amazing because I went into them with very high expectations. I think Burial Rites was Hannah Kent’s debut novel, but Mieville has a number of other books I hope to try soon :)
      DoingDewey recently posted…Paris LettersMy Profile

      Reply
  6. Katie @ Words for Worms

    Burial Rites is sitting on my Kindle taunting me with its undoubted fabulousness. I really ought not let it mock me so.
    Katie @ Words for Worms recently posted…Saving Cee Cee Honeycut by Beth HoffmanMy Profile

    Reply
  7. Jennine G.

    Yes, Burial Rites had beautiful writing. I think I used it for Sunday Sentence numerous times!
    Jennine G. recently posted…MiddlesexMy Profile

    Reply
  8. tanya

    I’ve been sitting on the edge about reading Burial Rites and your review makes me think that maybe i should pass. That was my original instinct and then all the great reviews got to me. Argh. So many good books out there, do i read this one?
    tanya recently posted…The Missing Shade of Blue by Jennie ErdalMy Profile

    Reply
    • It’s a tough call! The ending fell a bit flat for me, but the writing was so good. I guess I’d recommend passing on this one, especially since that was your gut feel, but I’d suggest keeping an eye on the author in the future :)
      DoingDewey recently posted…Paris LettersMy Profile

      Reply
  9. Charlene @ Bookish Whimsy

    These both sound really interesting – and I’ve heard of Mieville but I’ve never read any of his books. Glad these were mostly awesome reads!
    Charlene @ Bookish Whimsy recently posted…Thoughts on Sherlock – Season 3My Profile

    Reply
    • They were both really good! For a long time, I’d been hearing good things about Mieville but this is the first of his books that I’ve tried. Although it wasn’t quite as awesome as the hype had led me to expect, I’m hoping I’ll like some of this other books even more :)
      DoingDewey recently posted…Paris LettersMy Profile

      Reply
  10. Jennifer @ The Relentless Reader

    I thought Burial Rites was near brilliance :) It was so atmospheric and definitely bleak! A sad tale for a long winter night in front of the fireplace :)
    Jennifer @ The Relentless Reader recently posted…The Relentless Weekly Wrap-Up 02/02/14My Profile

    Reply
    • I remember you liking it a lot :) I don’t typically read particular books at certain times of the year, but this does seem like the perfect book for reading while curled up next to a fire.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

CommentLuv badge