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Sarah's Library

I read pretty much anything, from fantasy (City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett) to romance (Bared to You by Sylvia Day) to classics (Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad).  The only genres I don't read are self-help and comic books/graphic novels.

Currently reading

The Last Honeytrap
Louise Lee
Progress: 100/346 pages
Complete Works of William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare

Tithe (Modern Faerie Tales, #1) by Holly Black

Tithe - Holly Black

12/12 - I have been looking forward to reading my first Holly Black book for ages, more keenly since I saw it coming up in the queue of suspended holds at my local library.  You see I have a system (I like systems, plans, self-imposed missions, that kind of thing) where I always have a library book ready to be picked up.  I always have 10 books on hold (the library's limit), and I suspend them so that they don't arrive all at once meaning I wouldn't have time to read them all in my allotted three weeks.  I stagger the suspension end dates so that I have about two weeks to read each book as it comes in (plus any others that catch my constantly roving eye).  So, I could see the suspension end date for Tithe was coming up over the last few weeks (I'm at the library website, or the actual building as often as I am here) and I was getting excited, which lead to excited speed-reading (and a spontaneous, but not unexpected dumping) of all the books I had out leading up to today, when I borrowed Tithe.  Just out of curiosity I had a quick peek at a few of the reviews for the book here and over at GR.  They might be the anti-christ, but there are a few things they still do better (like collating ratings and reviews), so I will use them until their betrayal outweighs their usefulness (or I have no friends left there).  From the top-listed reviews I see that Black is a contentious author and I'm either going to absolutely love Tithe, or throw it in the fire in disgust.  I hope that I'm in the former camp, because I don't like to read books I don't think I'll like (or even think I'll hate).  The only time I've done that was reading FSoG and the sequels (because I had to know what happened and I hated being the only person on GR, seemingly, who hadn't read them).  Anyway, after staying up an hour past my self-imposed bedtime (which isn't strictly enforced) to get a head start on this review, I'm finally going to go to bed and get started on the actual book I've just written a long paragraph about, without having read a word.  Night, night.  To be continued...
15/12 - Not particularly impressed with this.  I really don't like Kaye.  She seems to make such selfish and personally dangerous decisions without caring about the consequences.  She's not stupid, she just doesn't care that her all-consuming desire to see what she really looks like could be dangerous for not only those around her - her friends Thistle and Spike - but herself, as well.  Even if she's unbelievably selfish, you'd think that self-preservation would make her think twice before putting herself in danger.  But no, she's determined that she must know what she looks like and damn the consequences.  I hate needless cruelty, so reading the paragraphs describing Kaye's of tormenting of Kenny, using her knowledge of the accidental love spell she placed on him to make him grovel to her whim, just made her even more unlikable to me.  She's selfish, reckless and now cruel to those she has power over - what's not to love?
What's with the little snippets of poems, or whatever they are, at the start of each chapter?  Most of them seem to have absolutely no relation to what's happening in the plot of the proceeding attached chapter.  And if they don't apply to the chapter why are they there?  Even the few that do bear some resemblance to the following chapter seem pretty nonsensical.  The lines that begin the prologue "And malt does more than Milton can/To justify God's ways to man." don't really apply to the first chapter.  I'm probably taking it all too literally, and feel free to educate me on what Black might have been trying to get across, but while Kaye's mother does quite a bit of drinking in this chapter, there is no talk of religion or justifying why God makes the choices he does (letting this person die and not that one, etc).
I'm finding the reasons and rules that dictate the swapping of an Unseelie knight for a Seelie knight convoluted and confusing enough that I couldn't relate them to you here.  I understand that Roiben whatchamacallit is actually a Seelie knight forced to work for the Unseelie Queen who makes him do the most depraved jobs in order to torture him, and that these deeds are changing him.  But why did the two courts decide that swapping the knights would be a good idea in the first place?  What precipitated that decision?  I would probably get the gist of the whole swap idea if I went back and re-read the passage that described the motivating episode, but I'm of the opinion that a reader should be able to understand the plot of a book the first time around, it shouldn't be necessary to go back and read it again.  Especially not for a YA of this calibre (this is hardly LotR, or anything like it).  I mean if it's not clear to a pretty well-read (no horn tooting intended, just truth) adult, then how on earth is a 16-year-old, whose only reading experience has been the books they've been forced to read for English, ever going to get it?  I'll keep reading to see what happens with Roiben whatshisname, but I don't know if I would be all that interested in reading any of the rest of the series.  To be continued...
27/12 - Christmas preparations got in the way, so I'm dreadfully behind with my reviewing.  I finished this around the 15th (I think) and I had a whole ton of things I wanted to say about it, but now I don't remember most of them, except to reiterate that I wasn't impressed with my first experience of Holly Black.  I might try on of her other series on the recommendation of others who have enjoyed some of her other books, but I don't think I would bother with continuing the rest of this series - especially after reading the preview that's included at the back of the copy of Tithe that I read.  From what was included (the first chapter, I think) it appeared to follow Stephenie Meyer's Midnight Sun formula of re-telling the same story but from another character's PoV - not a tactic that necessarily makes the story any better.