Thursday, 22 December 2016

2016 Top Ten Lists - #4

We are in the throes of our West Coast winter. We've had our big dumping of snow, followed by a few days of warm, sunny weather and now, today, it's windy and rainy. Just the way we like it... lol

Today I'm moving on to my #4's in 2016 favourite books and songs.

Number 4

Song Selection

David Grant & Jaki Graham - Mated
Jaki Graham is a British R&B singer. I found her music first on Sara Cox's Sounds of the 80s show on BBC 2 Radio with Breaking Away. I've since listened to more of her music. She has such a pure, lovely voice. Mated was her second single with English singer, David Grant, after they had previously released Could It Be I'm Falling in Love in 1985. Mated also came out in 1985. (Click on the song title under their photo if you wish to listen to it.)

Book Selection

I bought Perdido Street Station by English fantasy writer, China Miéville, in February and pretty well started reading it immediately; the story sounded so interesting. Now, for the life of me, I can't think why I came to hear about Miéville, because I went out and searched for it online and ordered it from Atlanta Books. I'm presuming I read a summary in another of my SciFi / Fantasy books and the plot grabbed me right away. It's been so much fun getting back into Science Fiction and Fantasy. I do love the worlds that these writers create, the interesting characters and beings and just the fantastic stories. Perdido Street Station was excellent and I've since found a couple of other books by Miéville to explore. I hope to read one, at least, next year. My review of Perdido Street Station is below.

"Wow! My first exposure to China Miéville's writing and I'm so very impressed. Call it a combination science fiction/ fantasy. China has created such a unique world in New Crobuzon and has peopled it with wonderfully described and written characters and species. New Crobuzon is a city that is built beneath the ribs of some ancient creature. It is filled with humans, other species and also remade creatures (a form of punishment) and also mechanical creatures. It's basically a dictatorship masked as a democracy.
Crime is rife, the city is a maze of districts and it's all so interesting. The story is a slow - burn at first; rebel scientist Isaac is asked by a Garuda (a flying creature) to help him get his wings back, as they had been removed as a punishment. Isaac's girlfriend, a Khedri (an insectoid - type creature) is an artist who has been commissioned by the city's biggest criminal, to do a statue of him/ her (he is a 'remade' to the extreme). Isaac, while exploring theories of flight, has a petty thief find him specimens of as many flying creatures as he can, including eggs, so he can explore flight and see how he can help the Garuda. Unfortunately, one of the eggs contains a Slake Moth (one of the most horrific fictional beasts you will ever read about, I think) and when it hatches, it escapes and sets in motion the rest of the story.
The City governors have had 4 other adult slake moths as prisoners. When they all escape, the whole city is in danger. This leads to the 2nd half of the story, a fascinating chase by Isaac, Derkhan, another friend and my favourite character, and the Garuda to try and stop the Slake Moths. I hope I haven't told too much of the story; just suffice to say it's fascinating and worth the read. 5 stars (I've since ordered the next book about the New Crobuzon world, Scar (although it's supposedly not necessarily a sequel). I can't wait!!"

I can't recommend this story enough. If you like exploring different worlds, this is the book for you.

Tomorrow, I move on to my #3's.

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