HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE was a charming little book. I purposely didn't read the back cover blurb, and as such wasn't sure what to expect when I began the story. (I just had some vague recollection of all positive comments on the site.) So I was continually surprised by the plot twists and turns in the story. It's been far too long since I've read something that was pleasant through and through. I enjoyed Sophie's go with the flow attitude (can't say as I'd be nearly as accepting and pleasant as she initially was with her transformation!) and her sense of humor. Howl, the cad, was a great character. Very selfish and self-centered and almost childishly funny at times, he managed to worm his way into my good graces by giving Michael and Sophie a home without conditions or questions. As I was reading, a few things didn't seem to make a lot of sense to me, but eveyrthiing was skillfully tied together in the end. A very fun read. Are her other books this good?--Laurie
I just love these books set in future Pgh. :-) In TINKER, a hyperphase gate had been made by the Chinese from stolen technology. Since they didn't have all the information needed, this gate has a glitch: it does open dimensions so that Elfhome and Earth can interact, but for some reason there is an overlap in Pgh. An area of Pgh is actually on elf territory part of the time and then changes over to being back on Earth. During the changeover, Shutdown occurs, and for a short time, the inhabitants are without electricity, phones, magic, etc.
The heroine, Tinker, lives in this area and owns a salvage business. She's young (18 years old, I believe) but quite a genius. She runs her business and invents things. Just before Shutdown, she spots an elf entering her junkyard, followed by and being attacked by a couple of Wargs. She actually recognizes the Elf as Windwolf, an elf she had an encounter with in her childhood that had marked her (literally). Windwolf had put some kind of spell on her which she doesn't completely understand. She tries to save him, and in the fight for life they manage to save each other, but Windwolf is critically injured. An elf can usually heal with magic but now Shutdown occurs and magic is gone. Luckily Tinker has a few inventions that she rigs up to help save him, and a race occurs to save his life. Someone is trying to kill Windwolf, but now they've also become aware of Tinker. And this is only the beginning.
There is not a dull moment. Between learning about her past (fascinating), the past connection with Windwolf, the romance (though it happens very fast) between Tinker and Windwolf, the history of how the elves came into magic, and trying to find out who the enemy is, you are totally caught up. I highly recommend this book!!--Linda
The November 2003 Locus contains reports and photos from Torcon 3, this year's World SF Convention in Toronto
Some news: - Nina Kiriki Hoffman will write two as-yet-untitled YA books for Sharyn November at Viking via Matt Bialer of Sanford J Greenburger Associates, Inc. - Tanith Lee's high-seas YA adventure PIRATICA went to Lucia Monfried at Dutton Children's via Andrew Sharp at Hodder Children's, who are doing the UK edition. - Cecilia Dart-Thornton's new fantasy trilogy "Crowthistle Chronicles" -- THE IRON TREE, THE WELL OF TEARS, and FALLOWBLADE -- went to Claire Eddy at Tor and to Pan Macmillan Australia for the UK, Australia, and New Zealand via Martha Millard. - Annette Curtis Klause sold historical YA FREAKS [see earlier news item] to Kary Wojtyla at S&S;/McElderry Books via Tracey Adams of McIntosh & Otis. - Laurell K. Hamilton handed in the next "Merry Gentry" novel, SEDUCED BY MOONLIGHT, to Shauna Summers at Ballantine and Simon Taylor at Transworld, and is working on the 12th "Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter" book for Ginjer Buchanan at Ace. - "Elizabeth Haydon" turned in book one of YA fantasy series "The Journals of Ven Polypheme" to Jonathan Schmidt at Starscape. - Speaking of YA fantasy series, a big ad for a new one by a Jonathan Stroud was also in this issue. The publisher seems to be hyping this Bartimaeus Trilogy. Some of you may be interested.
My one tidbit from WFC: news of new romantic SF anthology
I only attended a few hours of programming at this year's World Fantasy Convention but managed to pick up one good tidbit, nonetheless. Berkley will release an anthology featuring two fantasy authors--Patricia McKillip and Sharon Shinn--and two romance authors--Lynn Kurland and Claire Delacroix--in July 2004. Format is trade pb. Cover will be by Kinuko Craft. Title: TO WEAVE A WEB OF MAGIC.
I had the chance to hear both Patricia McKillip and Sharon Shinn read from their stories for the anthology. Although I kept zoning out of McKillip's narration of her story, Shinn's was riveting. Shinn's story takes place eighteen years after ARCHANGEL. It's about a highborn young Manadavvi girl, Eden, who, when the story begins, is fascinated with bad-boy angel Jesse. She has a thrilling, stolen moonlit flight with him during a pre-wedding party at which they're both guests...shortly before he scandalously hies off with the bride-to-be. We'll have to wait until the anthology comes out to find out what happens when the story then skips ahead a couple of years. Shinn apparently was inspired to write about Jesse based on the press Russell Crowe used to receive. Archangel Gabriel and Angelica Rachel's son, Gideon, makes a cameo in the portion Shinn read.