To commemorate the jumbled chaos of getting back into the semester, Tabatha has decided to do away with the themes for today and give you a nice mishmash of book suggestions from sources long since forgotten. Enjoy!
First is a book with an unusual narrator; The Prince of Lies (as he likes to be known- personally I don’t believe a word he says).
Glen Duncan gives us a very new perspective in I, Lucifer: Finally, the Other Side of the Story. The Prince of Darkness has been given one last shot at redemption, provided he can live out a reasonably blameless life on earth. Highly sceptical, naturally, the Old Dealmaker negotiates a trial period – a summer holiday in a human body, with all the delights of the flesh.
The body, however, turns out to be that of Declan Gunn, a depressed writer living in Clerkenwell, interrupted in his bath mid-suicide. Ever the opportunist, and with his main scheme bubbling in the background, Luce takes the chance to tap out a few thoughts – to straighten the biblical record, to celebrate his favourite achievements, to let us know just what it’s like being him.
Neither living nor explaining turns out to be as easy as it looks. Beset by distractions, miscalculations and all the natural shocks that flesh is heir to, the Father of Lies slowly begins to learn what it’s like being us.
Our next selection for today includes a quick genre hop over to Science Fiction with Hyperion(Hyperion Cantos #1) by Dan Simmons. On the world called Hyperion, beyond the law of the Hegemony of Man, there waits the creature called the Shrike. There are those who worship it. There are those who fear it. And there are those who have vowed to destroy it. In the Valley of the Time Tombs, where huge, brooding structures move backward through time, the Shrike waits for them all. On the eve of Armageddon, with the entire galaxy at war, seven pilgrims set forth on a final voyage to Hyperion seeking the answers to the unsolved riddles of their lives. Each carries a desperate hope—and a terrible secret. And one may hold the fate of humanity in his hands. (Maybe our last protagonist could have cleared up some of those burning questions for him…oh well).
Staying (more or less) in the world of fantasy, next up is The Dresden Files, a series that managed to squirm its way onto my suggestion list twice (that must mean it’s good right?) and one that I just started and am excited to continue…just as soon as I can get my hands on a copy of #2.
Beginning with Storm Front, Jim Butcher’s novels of the Dresden Files have become synonymous with action-packed urban fantasy and non-stop fun. Storm Front is Jim Butcher’s first novel and introduces his most famous and popular character-Harry Dresden, wizard for hire.
For his first case, Harry is called in to consult on a grisly double murder committed with the blackest of magic. At first, the less-than-solvent Harry’s eyes light up with dollar signs. But where there’s black magic, there’s a black mage. Now, that black mage knows Harry’s name. And things are about to get very…interesting.
In Arthur C. Clarke’s Childhood’s End the story follows the peaceful alien invasion of Earth by the mysterious Overlords, whose arrival ends all war, helps form a world government, and turns the planet into a near-utopia. Many questions are asked about the origins and mission of the aliens, but they avoid answering, preferring to remain in their spacecraft, governing through indirect rule. Decades later, the Overlords show themselves, and their impact on human culture leads to a Golden Age. However, the last generation of children on Earth begins to display powerful psychic abilities, heralding their evolution into a group mind, a transcendent form of life.
An intriguing premise, but any Twilight Zone fan can tell you to never trust the “benevolent” alien visitors…
David Eddings’ Pawn of Prophecy (The Belgariad #1) presents a much more straightforward antagonist. Selected as a 2003 Popular Paperback for Young Adults by the Young Adult Library Services Association Pawn of Prophecy tells that Long ago, so the storyteller claimed, the evil God Torak sought dominion over all and drove the world to war. Now the one talisman keeping this sinister force from seizing power has been disturbed–and no one will be safe. . . .
Raised on a quiet farm by his Aunt Pol, Garion spends his days lounging in his aunt’s warm kitchen and playing in the surrounding fields with his friends. He has never believed in magic, despite the presence of a cloaked, shadowless stranger who has haunted him from a distance for years. But one afternoon, the wise storyteller Wolf appears and urges Garion and his aunt to leave the farm that very night. Without understanding why, Garion is whisked away from the only home he has ever known–and thrown into dark and unfamiliar lands.
Thus begins an extraordinary quest to stop a reawakened evil from devouring all that is good. It is a journey that will lead Garion to discover his heritage and his future. For the magic that once seemed impossible to Garion is now his destiny.
Last but not least, we return to Terry Pratchett, previously mentioned as half the brain behind (the personal favorite) Good Omens. Technically my suggestion list says “everything by Terry Pratchett” but since I have neither the space nor inclination to be that thorough, I think I’ll stick to The Color of Magic, and you can do your own investigating from there.
Terry Pratchett’s profoundly irreverent, bestselling novels have garnered him a revered position in the halls of parody next to the likes of Mark Twain, Kurt Vonnegut, Douglas Adams, and Carl Hiaasen.
The Color of Magic is Terry Pratchett’s maiden voyage through the now-legendary land of Discworld. This is where it all begins — with the tourist Twoflower and his wizard guide, Rincewind.
As a recent reader, I eagerly encourage fans of Good Omens to see where the funny bits came from, and read about a universe whose creators had more imagination than practicality (and are a little embarrassed about that).