Monday, October 22, 2007

This weekend, I finished Gardens of the Moon by Steve Erikson and Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones.

Gardens of the Moon is the first book of a large fantasy series that I first ran across on my last trip to Canada. Most of the books in the series were prominently displayed in the fantasy sections of most bookstores I went to, which was a little bit of a surprise since I had never heard of the series before. I spend enough time in bookstores, both here and back home, that I couldn't figure out how a whole series of books could come out between my visits. None of them had the first book of the series, but they looked a little interesting, so I found it at the library here.

Overall, it's a weak start to a series. By the end of the book, the various plot strands got a little more interesting but nothing in the book inspired me enough to actively seek out the rest of the series, unless I'm looking for long books to read on a flight. If this series looks interesting to you, I'd recommend that you check out Glen Cook's Black Company books instead. They have a similar feel but are a lot more compact and the writing is of a higher quality.

I also read the kid's fantasy book, Howl's Moving Castle. I saw the animated movie version by Hayao Miyazaki a few weeks ago. The movie is pretty confusing and I thought reading the book might help me make sense out of it. The movie and the book differ a fair amount but it did help me sort out some of the plot in the film.

It's a nice, short book so I'd recommend it.

Amazon Links: Gardens of the Moon, Howl's Moving Castle

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