March 2021 book blog

Ah yes, Rotherweird. I spent half of March reading Lost Acre. I admit it, I struggled. I’ve been wondering what went wrong, for me, with the Rotherweird trilogy, because it all started off so promisingly. Don’t get me wrong, it’s staying on the shelves because I want to re-read it again in a few years to see if it’s an easier read when I don’t wait a year or two between book 1 and book 2. I love the concept of Rotherweird, as a town. It’s got Gormanghast written all over it, and I bloody well love Gormanghast. I love the idea of secret places where those in the know can move between dimensions. I love the idea of the mixing place, and of the near immortal mixed. The villain and his plots are genuinely horrifying, and the idea of taking over a life by shapeshifting is great. There are lots and lots of intriguing characters. And I think that was my problem, the ‘lots and lots’. There were just too many irons in the fire and too many fires, and I really shouldn’t have left that gap between Book 1 and Book 2, because I lost the momentum and my grasp of the story. I’ll try again in a few years, because I do think it’s worth another go.

So, on to one of my book token impulse buys, ‘We Have Always Lived In The Castle’ by Shirley Jackson. I read it in 24 hours, and finished it with a feeling of elation at how great the story was, and mounting fury that NOBODY has ever told me to read it. Nobody. You utter bastards. There needs to be a foundation somewhere that gives copies to everyone on their fifteenth birthday.

The rest of March’s reading was filled out a little by the urge to read the pile of magazines that had piled up over the months, so I was only reading Becky Chambers ‘Record Of A Spaceborn Few’ for a few minutes every night, and it took a while to hit that spot two thirds of the way through where I just could not put it down. If you’ve not yet read any of the Wayfarers series, and you like SF, then I respectfully suggest that you save some pennies or make an order at the library, and treat yourself. The books are all set loosely in the same time period, with a human diaspora scraping a living in a multi-species galactic culture that has only recently voted to admit us as members. If you like guns and battles it’s probably not for you, but if you’re interested in exploring ideas of what it means to be a person and how a fractured race with little to offer can survive in a largely indifferent galaxy, then Wayfarers is for you.

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