Friday, October 02, 2009

Day of the Assassins review

I don't read YA. Now I know why. Though YA novels seem to be picking up popularity amongst adult readers, I don't think I'll become part of that phenomenom. There are just too many problems with the quality of the writing, let alone the storyline. I accept time travel as a sci-fi plausibility. That has nothing to do with problems with the adventure novel.

Day of the Assassins follows the adventure of the teenager, Jack Christie as he travels back in time to 1914, before the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand.

Traveling back in time, Jack first gets caught on a ship with huge crates and large guns. Why is the narrator pointing out 'fifty-eight-ton gun barrels" and the smaller "twelve-pounder guns." Does Jack know what they are? Jack doesn't like like school or history much (though he plays a WWI video game) so I don't know if he's supposed to know what a fifty-eight ton gun barrel looks like. Is the reader supposed to know what they are? I know there are teens out there with far greater knowledge of war and weapons than myself, but I wonder if they have the faintest idea.

My wife complains that I pick out the inconsistencies of movies and feel that I have to let everyone else watching, know that such and such didn't happen or couldn't have happened. Good thing she couldn't have heard my thoughts as I read this book. She would have thrown it at me.

However, I do know who would be perfect to review this 14 year old goddaughter and maybe that's the point. It was written for her and her schoolmates. Not a thirty-year old picky reader.

Library Book Sale

Last Saturday morning, my sister and I were up early to get to the quarterly Medford Public Library Book Sale. The sale, held partly outdoors (mass market paperbacks $.50 ea.) and partly in two old garages behind the library, has become a must visit for me. During my last trip, I came away with a first edition Shadow of the Wind and a few other collectible books. And since I'm not collecting much anymore, I was able to spend some cash on some paperbacks. For $10.50 I got 11 books. Nice days work.

A few of the key finds were:

The Art of Detection by Laurie King
A Monstrous Regimen of Women by Laurie King
The Darwin Conspiracy by John Darnton
The Somnambulist by Jonathan Barnes
Arthur and George by Julian Barnes
Legacy of the Dead by Charles Todd

I'm halfway through The Darwin Conspiracy and although it's Possession-lite and not nearly as enjoyable as I was hoping, it's still a good lunchtime read.