The Game (A Novella)

The Game is a children’s novella of fantasy with the story set in Ireland.  It’s also the book I’m highlighting for the letter “G” in my alphabetical listing featuring novels released in 2007.  (Which I’d better hurry and finish before 2007 is gone!)  Scifi Dimensions recently reviewed this book:

“Living on the outskirts of contemporary London, Hayley is a normal if timid girl, browbeaten by her grandmother but nurtured in spirit by her grandfather…

It doesn’t take long for Hayley to seriously put out grandma, and to be shunted off to never-before-met cousins in Ireland.  But what’s meant as punishment turns out as liberation as Hayley, an orphaned only child, is caught up in the embrace of her numerous aunts and cousins, who induct her into The Game, a scavenger hunt across the mythosphere…

The Game is perfect for young adult readers and all fans of high fantasy.  Jones’ knack for showing young people facing extraordinary challenge in magical worlds is on full display here.  Alternate worlds are always nearby in the works of Diana Wynne Jones.  It’s where you get to by going in the direction of the corner of your eye.” 

Read the entire review here.  Or you can read a biography of the author at Harper Collins Children’s Books, which begins:

“Diana Wynne Jones was born in August 1934 in London, where she had a chaotic and unsettled childhood against the background of World War II. The family moved around a lot, finally settling in rural Essex. As children, Diana and her two sisters were deprived of a good, steady supply of books by a father, ‘who could beat Scrooge in a meanness contest’. So, armed with a vivid imagination and an insatiable quest for good books to read, she decided that she would have to write them herself.  She was extremely dyslexic, so when she told her parents she wanted to be a writer, they just laughed.

Diana Wynne Jones is also the author of Howl’s Moving Castle, which was adapated into an anime movie.

Daughter of Hounds

As I make my way through an alphabetical list of 2007 novels, the book I’ve chosen for letter “D” is sci-fi/fantasy novelDaughter of Hounds, by Caitlin R. Kiernan.  Robert at Fantasy Book Critic had this to say about it:

“…the story itself is a beautiful amalgam of gothic horror, urban fantasy and mythological fiction that transcends genre restraints, and is, at its core, a powerful tale of self-discovery and living with the choices that we make… 

Undoubtedly, I have become an avid fan of Ms. Kiernan and highly recommend her novels to anyone who likes their books full of ambitious ideas, poetic wording, compelling characters, and open-ended conclusions that challenge the readers’ own imagination.”

Kelly Sedinger at Green Man Review says:

“Erudite discussions and entrancing descriptions (such as describing worn gravestones as marking the resting places of people so long forgotten that not even their tombstones know who they are anymore) intertwine with snappy, punchy dialog that is as often as not laced with Tarantino-esque rhythmic profanity. All of this adds up to a pretty explosive and captivating read.”

From here, you can visit Kiernan’s Low Red Moon Journal, which appears to be an older blog last updated in December of 2006, visit her up-to-date livejournal blog, or subscribe to Sirenia for $10 an issue, a monthly magazine in PDF format which features “wierdly fantastical dark erotica” by the author.