Thursday, August 20, 2009

My verdict on The Lies of Locke Lamora, plus two more reviews

Posted by Simcha 3:21 PM, under | No comments

It's been a while since I last posted here and the reason for that is mainly that it took me so long to finish Scott Lynch's The Lies of Locke Lamora and then even longer to write a review about it.

The first part of the book was rather slow and whenever I put it down I didn't feel particularly compelled to pick it back up again. But about half-way through The Lies of Locke Lamora the pace accelerated and the story got exciting enough that I finished the book in a couple of sittings. But then I spent a couple of weeks trying, rather unsuccessfully, to write a review of the book. I'm not sure why this review was such a struggle, more so then any other book review I have written so far. Part of the problem was that it took me a while to pinpoint what my exact feelings about the book were. While I enjoyed the storyline and the wild schemes cooked up by Locke Lamora and his fellow thieves, the lack of character development held me back from really loving the book and the characters. You can read my review of the Lies of Locke Lamora here.

This past week I read two other books, The Eyre Affair, by Jasper Fforde and Blue Diablo by Anne Aguirre (aka Ava Gray).

The Eyre Affair is a quirky alternate history novel that I would probably never have read if it wasn't recommended by Books on the Nightstand, a weekly book blog that I follow religiously. Despite it's similarity in style to Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, one of my favorite books, the fact that The Eye Affair is also categorized as a mystery would have turned me off (I don't do mysteries). But it was a delightful and very enjoyable read that I highly recommend, if you appreciate the unconventional. You can read my review of the Eyre Affair here.

The second book, Blue Diablo, is a romantic urban fantasy that I saw described on a website that I was passing through and it looked intriguing enough that I decide to give it a try.

Blue Diablo introduces Corine Solomon, a woman who can learn the history of any inanimate object just by touching it. Corine, and her boyfriend, Chance, would use Corine's special ability to help track down missing people, but when one such case almost cost Corine her life, she decides to make a break from this dangerous lifestyle and from Chance, who only seemes to want her for the strange ability that she possesses.

Corine moves to Mexico where she reinventes herself as a redheaded pawn-shop owner and does her best to forget her past life. But almost a year later, Chase shows up on Corine's doorsteps and begs her to help him one last time, because this time it's his mother who has gone missing.

Blue Diablo is one of the better urban fantasies that I have read recently, though the constant repetition of certain phrases throughout the book really irritated me. But other then that, the story is well paced and skillfully told and I believe most fans of urban fantasy and paranormal romance would enjoy it. A review of Blue Diablo can be found here.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Posted by Simcha 1:17 PM, under | No comments

Hi, my name is Simcha and welcome to SFF Chat.

I am a 29 year old mother of four rambunctious children and I live with my husband, kids and two dogs in a wonderful little town in the Judean desert in Israel


Isn't it pretty?

I love reading and discussing books and I started this blog as an extension of my science fiction and fantasy website so that I could have a place to talk about the books I'm reading in an informal manner.

Although I love to read all different kinds of books, including memoirs and travel books, fantasy has been my favorite genre ever since I first picked up The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe when I was a kid. While I don't read science fiction quite as avidly as I do fantasy, I have been making a concerted effort lately to become more familiar with the genre. So if you have any books to suggest I read, please feel free to do so.

I love receiving comments from visitors, either in response to something I wrote or to make a suggestion about something I should read. And I always, always, love to take part in a good book discussion. So if you have read any of the books that I have reviewed, I'm eager to hear what you thought of the book as well.

And if you are an author or a publisher that would like to have your book reviewed, please mail me at


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