Starfinder by John Marco is, according to my son, "a quest story". I don't know the details because I haven't read it, yet, but it's at the top of my "Want to Read ASAP" pile. My copy is an ARC in which the author made a mistake on an autograph and he offered it to me when I declined a poster won through his now-defunct blog. I love books that I can share with my teenager (and Starfinder was already on my wish list), so I said yes and probably peppered my thanks with numerous exclamation points.
When the book arrived, I handed it to my son. He took one look at it and said, "Put it on my bed, please." That night he read it from cover to cover. Last week kiddo said, "I can't wait for the next Skylords novel!" I told him he'll have to wait, since the first just came out in hardback. I thought his enthusiastic recommendation was worth sharing. I'm supposed to ask John Marco to write faster, also. I think I'll skip that bit.
All of that effort was worth it. Just like SLOB, Olivia Kidney tells the story of a youngster who is strong-willed and has a sense of humor but is dealing with turmoil from loss. Olivia has just moved to a new apartment, where her father is the superintendent. After losing her key, she meets some oddball neighbors, including a ghost, and goes on a somewhat surreal romp through her apartment building. Talking lizards, a vicious pirate, a princess, a woman whose apartment is entirely made of glass and a medium who wants to talk about her shopping are just some of the characters Olivia encounters. This is a 5/5. I think next time I'll just place an order for everything else Ellen Potter has written.
Gossamer by Lois Lowry is a huge departure from her dystopian series, which began with The Giver. Littlest One is learning her job as a Dream Giver. She and Thin Elderly have been assigned to the home of an older woman. They gather memories from objects and give the woman pleasant dreams. When an unhappy young boy comes to live with the older woman, he is followed by the Sinisteeds -- dark creatures who plague people with nightmares.
The Sinisteeds won't harm the dream givers as long as they stay out of sight, but Littlest One and Thin Elderly must hide whenever the evil creatures arrive to give the little boy nightmares. Together, Littlest One and Thin Elderly decide to combat the Sinisteeds by finding the best possible dream material to strengthen the old woman and young boy while, across town, another dream giver helps a young woman get her life in order.
I just loved Gossamer. It's a sweet, touching book in which little creatures watch over humans and try to make them happier by giving them pleasant dreams. Just after I closed the book, I read Nymeth's post about Feeling Like a Kid by Jerry Griswold, which describes the five areas that are essential parts of the childhood experience and how those become elements in children's novels. I realized Gossamer touched on all 5 of those areas: Scariness, snugness, lightness, aliveness and smallness. The dream givers sleep together in a heap (very snug); Sinisteeds and nightmares are scary; Littlest One wishes she had wings (lightness) and is very small; dreams are created by actual creatures (aliveness). Fascinating! Another 5/5.
I liked the book, but I felt like The Dead and the Gone was missing something -- chiefly, I felt like the true dangers of having food to eat while others were starving was watered down. I expected a little more violence and terror. Life As We Knew It made my heart pound. The Dead and the Gone did not. I just love that cover, though, don't you? I want to frame the cover.
3/5- an average read. I like dystopian novels a lot or I'd probably give it an even lesser rating. I don't regret reading it and might even reread it someday, so I still recommend the book but it's not a favorite.
Next up will be a sneak peek and review of the second book in Dr. Carl Werner's evolution series: Living Fossils.
Right now:I have to do housework. Bummer. Happy Father's Day to the daddies out there!