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Finally getting round to answering The Book Meme! moonlightmead gave me the letter G.

I'm a Christian. I believe in the spirit/soul and a Sixth Sense or whatever you want to call it - largely because my Grandmother (half London-Irish, half London-Scottish), Mother (her daughter - who has green eyes as well as a Celtic inheritance) and younger brother have all known things they have no logical way of knowing (when your eight year-old brother comes into your bedroom in tears and announces that your favourite uncle has just died and it later that day transpires to be fact, you have to think about this - he had no idea *how* he knew, he just *did*) and all get "feelings" from places and people. I can therefore buy into elements/energies/powers and even some "magic" in heroic or epic Fantasy - in many ways it's like pre-scientific History, or Myth, or even some of the things accounted to Religion: one way - among several - of explaining the world. (If you want to be scientific, then all the healing miracles, for example, that Jesus performed in the Gospels were on conditions that *can* have somatoform or psychogenic origins; does it lessen the miracle if the person's faith in Jesus allowed them to recover from crippling conditions, even if the causes were in their minds, rather than organic in nature?)

But I can't take ghosts, demons or vampires or any of that sort of supernatural horror seriously. I have watched Buffy and Being Human - because they did not take it seriously either - but, as a rule, I don't read horror or dark fantasy.

Only, I discovered that one of my 'Net friends, whom I love after long conversations on Gchat, is Narrelle M Harris and that she has had several books published. So I bought the first of her vampire novels The Opposite of Life. Loving Relle might have made me buy it, but that couldn't - wouldn't - make me read and finish it

And... well it's not my genre, so I can't comment on originality etc but I loved it. I loved that I could *know* Melbourne through it, because my younger brother, his wife and their son live there as well as Relle - the placing and the setting as character really, really work for me. I love Lissa, the heroine, and Gary - Socially Awkward Vampire - and their interaction. (Relle and I have had conversations about them, and she's reviewed vampire films/books/tv *as* them on her blogsite, so they are fully real and padded out to *us* at any rate.) I love the worldbuilding of how Relle thought her vampires through - and thought them through from an agnostic viewpoint, so you don't *need* to believe in demons or souls, just another form of (un-)life. I really love the *limitations* she places on her vampires.

And when she sent me an autographed copy of the second book in a mooted trilogy, Walking Shadows, I liked it even better. I've lost count of how many times I've re-read it.

SO glad I gave this a chance.

Slightly less pluggy - when I did Teacher Training, I had to read and review at least one children's book a week, as part of the course. As a result of that, I read Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials Trilogy and The Breadwinner and Parvana's Journey by Deborah Ellis. Highly recommended (particularly the Pullman).


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Sep. 16th, 2014 07:36 am (UTC)
Thank you! I enjoyed reading this, although I do not think I would enjoy the book you mention. (But then again, you didn't expect to either, so...)

I remember running across Phillip Pullman years ago, when as a teenager I found his Sally Lockhart series. I wasn't sure I liked them at the time, centring as they did on a young woman in Victorian London meeting all the barriers that a young woman in Victorian London would have met in reality. But they stayed with me, and I like them hugely now and was delighted when they came back into print. I think he's a great example of a writer where categorising his fiction by age doesn't entirely work - the complexity of His Dark Materials is not at all what you expect when you say 'children's book', nor even 'young adult fiction' (silly term, that, mutter mutter :))
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )


Dee Natsuko

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