sarahmichigan: (kitty)
[personal profile] sarahmichigan
"Foulsham," the 2nd book in the Iremonger trilogy by Edward Carey. The series is set in an alternate Victorian-era London, where the Iremongers are a family that lives in "The Heaps," a walled off part of the city that is home to London's trash, and all have "birth objects" that come from the heaps. Clod Iremonger can hear the voices of objects and knows something is not as it seems with his family and the surrounding city of Foulsham. In the second book, the servant girl Lucy befriends an odd character from the heaps while Clod determines he needs to be brave and stop his family from turning the poor people of the Heaps into objects that can easily be disposed of. This one ends on a cliff-hanger just like the first book. They're quirky and fun, and Carey's black and white illustrations really add to the creepy but fun atmosphere of the books. I'm looking foward to reading the conclusion soon.


"The Secret Place" by Tana French, as an audiobook. In the Dublin Murder Squad novels, the first book starts with Rob Ryan as the protagonist, and in each book afterward, a minor character in the previous book becomes the main character in the present book. She breaks the chain somewhat by bringing back two characters from an earlier book in Dublin Murder Squad #5. She also breaks with her tradition of having one first-person narrator. The chapters in "The Secret Place" alternate between a first-person narrative from Stephen Moran with a series of third-person flashbacks told from the viewpoint of the girls at an all-girls boarding school who are under suspicion of knowing more than they're telling about the death of a boy named Chris Harper from a nearby all-boys school. I thought this was another really masterfully-told tale by Tana French, althought I didn't necessarily care for the fact that she introduced some possibly paranormal elements into the story. It didn't bother me too much, because I saw it as a metaphor rather than taking it literally. I also, like other reviewers, thought it could have been tightened up a bit and the pace improved, but overall, I liked it. I am looking forward to getting a hold of the next book in the series.

My full comments on both books here.
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