About This Blog

This blog was started as a place to post book reviews. The books reviewed here will be mixed. Science Fiction, Fantasy, Romance, General Fiction, NonFiction and more. Both positve and negative reviews will be posted, as well as reviews for books written for all ages and all reading levels.

Many of the books reviewed here are ones that I have purchased for my own reading pleasure. Some, I receive free in exchange for reviews. Beginning in December, 2009 you will know which are the free ones if you read the final paragraph of my reviews.

Also of note: I choose what I will read, attempting to avoid the books on which I would end up writing a negative review... but I have been known to make mistakes. Thus you see some one and two star reviews here. Since I don't enjoy writing negative reviews, I only write them if the review was promised, or if the book was so exceedingly bad, I just had to say so. Regardless of the percentage of positive to negative reviews on this blog, I give my honest opinion each and every time, and have never received financial compensation for posting my reviews.

Note that, except for fair use portions quoted from some of the books reviewed, all copyright in the content of the reviews belongs to Lady Dragoness.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Experience Two Sides of One Author

The Inheritance: And Other Stories
By Robin Hobb and Megan Lindholm
Harper Voyager (2011)
Paperback, 400 pages
Rated 4 stars of 5 Possible

I like to review anthologies on the basis of each story, especially when the stories bear little or no relationship to each other, aside from having been written by one author. That means I review each story on its own merits and then rate the book as a whole.  I'll start by giving a one-line synopsis of each story with my rating for that story alone. At the end, I'll give the reasoning behind my rating of the book as a whole, which is based on the story ratings taken together.

Megan Lindholm:

A Touch of Lavendar - a coming of age story about a young boy and the aliens in his neighborhood
3 stars - interesting but not altogether enchanting as I had hoped. Might be one of the better Lindholm bunch, but still not 4 star quality.

Silver Lady and the Fortyish Man - A romance, of sorts. It seems to have no ending, as if the romance is still ongoing.
3 stars - interesting with a few points that almost reach that elusive 4th star.

Cut - Mercifully short, bizarre and somewhat forgettable tale of mutilation and individual rights.
2 stars - definitely not my thing.

The Fifth Squashed Cat - The key to immortality for select people?
3 stars - definitely weird. Interesting, in a way, but lacks something I can't put a finger on.

Strays - An abused girl cares for stray cats.
5 stars - clearly one of the best of the Lindholm selections.

Finis - Fear of Vampires?
5 stars - Well done story and unique twist on an over-done theme.

Drum Machine - Getting your own way does not always lead to happily ever-after.
2 stars - Confusing. Three characters in the story. Two people who interact with each other in one scene, one from their mutual past. Each of the three characters seems to have or once had his/her own agenda. Seems to be multiple plot lines, but the story is too short to pull off that sort of multiplicity successfully.

First half of the book - While there are a couple of gems in the Megan Lindholm bunch, most stories are average or fall short of their potential. Two of the average stories stand a bit above the rest, but not so far above as to rate another full star. 

Robin Hobb:

Homecoming - Political exiles sent to establish new colony.
5 stars - some surprising twists; interest doesn't lag.

The Inheritance -  Cerise's inheritance isn't what she expected.
4 stars - not quite as interesting as other stories about this world.

Cat's Meat - Cats speak to whom they wish; we humans should listen sometimes...
5 stars, Justice is served from an unexpected source.

Second half of the book. These stories are longer, more elaborately plotted than those in the first half, as well as being more polished and among the most interesting in this collection.

The entire collection has some interesting bits and some that might have been better left in the desk drawer... taken as a whole, I'm not sorry I read this and was grateful to experience a side of the author I had not previously encountered.  A definite recommendation for the authors fans.  Those looking for something new may also find a few gems here, but should be aware that the collection is variable in quality.

An advance review copy of The Inheritance: And Other Stories was provided to me free by the publisher in exchange for this review.  This review has been posted on Dragon Views, LibraryThing, Amazon.com and wherever else I may deep appropriate.

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