Some Almost Awesome Fiction in Mini-Reviews

February 3, 2014 Fiction, Historical Fiction 23

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.

23 Responses to “Some Almost Awesome Fiction in Mini-Reviews”

    • DoingDewey

      It was gorgeous and I know a lot of people loved it even more than I did. I know I can’t wait to see what the author does next! 🙂

  1. 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.

    • DoingDewey

      “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!

    • DoingDewey

      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!

  2. 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.

    • DoingDewey

      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 🙂

  3. Jennine G.

    Yes, Burial Rites had beautiful writing. I think I used it for Sunday Sentence numerous times!

  4. 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?

    • DoingDewey

      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

      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

      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.

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