March 27, 2012

Weekend Reading: The Scorpio Races & With No One As Witness

If you've already read The Hunger Games and are looking for a new young adult author, I think you'd like The Scorpio Races (although it's fantasy, not dystopic). But there's a plucky teenage heroine: Kate "Puck" Connolly, and a handsome, enigmatic teenage hero: Sean Kendrick. Puck and Sean are each racing in the Scorpio Races, Puck on regular horse, and Sean on a capall uisce - a magical water horse.

I was going to write a full review of The Scorpio Races, which I read thanks to Jill's recommendation. Then I went back and read Jill's post again, and I think I might as well just tell you to go read her review, because she says everything I was going to say! I really, really enjoyed this book. I sat and read it all at once on Saturday afternoon.

I also think I'm going to have to try to bake the November cakes that are often described in the book. Maggie Stiefvater has a recipe for them on her blog!

Should I recommend this to my grandma? Why not?
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Then, for something completely different, I started reading With No One as Witness, the thirteenth novel in the Lynley series by Elizabeth George, on Sunday. I really love Elizabeth George's evocative writing, and the detailed nuances of every character. For those of you who haven't read her, you definitely need to read the books in order: because there are 5 main characters who reappear in every book. I think she has done a really creative job with those characters: because a few of them are Scotland Yard detectives, and a few are friends. This means that the books in the series alternate between more amateur investigations by the friends and straight-up police procedurals by the detectives.

The only thing is that George's books are invariably dark and depressing, because her beautiful writing is usually describing horrible crimes. This is why I have to space them out, because if I read too many in a row I get all glum and depressed. This one is no exception: a serial killer is targeting adolescent boys in London. The problem is that no one noticed until the 4th victim - who was white. Now Acting-Superindent Thomas Lynley, who, in addition to working for Scotland Yard is also an Earl, is struggling to investigate in a coherent fashion with the media circling around crying of racism, since only cursory investigation went into the murders of the first three mix-raced boys.

Should I recommend this to my grandma? Sure, if she doesn't mind violent crime. Although I'm only halfway through, so this might change.
Rating: Not sure yet, but guessing around 4 out of 5

 Have you read Maggie Stiefvater or Elizabeth George? 
What did you read over the weekend?