title: The Unicorn Crisis
author: Jon Rosenberg
Genre: modern fantasy
Another e-book, and to begin with it was such a massive leap in quality after Shimmerspell that I was fully expecting to really love this book. And it's not bad, but I certainly wouldn't have finished it so quickly if I hadn't had a three hour stint waiting to meet J the other night. That might actually be why I sort of lost interest in it a bit. I finished it more because I wanted to get it finished than because I was worried about what happened. The plot got a bit repetitive - we've found what we need! Oh something's happened to stop us! We've found the next bit! Something else has happened! And it's quite a long book for such a formulaic structure. That said, it was well written, and I did like the characters. And it's set in Birmingham and Stratford on Avon, so it gets bonus points for being local as well.
author: Gail Carriger
genre: Steampunk, Romance, Vampire
This took me way too long to read. I kept getting distracted by the Big Bang Theory, my art, and cute desks on eBay. The final Parasol Protectorate book! Follows on nicely in tone, and manages to avoid the usual pitfalls that some series have when introducing a baby as a major character. I have mixed feelings on the ending, but perhaps that might be just end-of-series mopes on my part. I've never been very good at parting with well-loved characters and series I've enjoyed. I'm not inclined to do it with good grace usually either.
Another year to wait until the next series starts!
title: The Magician's Nephew
author: C. S. Lewis
I wanted to dabble in Narnia again, and I have misplaced the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe after my last attempt to read it. There was a lot more humour than I remember in C.S. Lewis, but that might just be because I've seen what feels like a hundred adaptations of LWW, and it gets a bit trying after a while. I might try 'The Horse and His Boy' next, working through the ones that don't tend to get adapted.
title: How the Whale Became and Other Stories
author: Ted Hughes
genre: short stories
A collection of creation stories by Ted Hughes. It's like 'Just So Stories', but messed up. The very first story in the collection has all the birds contemplating mass suicide because they've been tricked by the owl and area miserable. And then there's the bee made by a demon, and the poor old whale from the title. I read it so many times as a kid, and never linked it with Ted Hughes. Re-reading it now, suddenly it all becomes clear.
title: The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists
author: Gideon Defoe
genre: pirate, comedy
The plot for this is totally different from the film, which was quite refreshing in a way because it meant that I could enjoy it completely without worrying about spoilers from having seen the film. Very wry and silly at the same time, I really quite enjoyed it. It's difficult to know who it's aimed at, because it's such a quite and silly read that I assumed it was for younger readers, but some lines and jokes really do make you wonder. I might invest in the next couple in the series at some point, because it was good fun.
Wikipedia says - "The book is not aimed at children, and much of the humour relies on an adult appreciation of cliché and irony, though children may well enjoy it."
So that answers that then.