Reading Diary #02: WebGenii's Reads

This is WebGenii, with an installment from my "Reading Diary".  So what have I been reading lately?

First up, Ian McDonald's Planesrunner published by PYR. This is the first in a young adult series from Ian McDonald and I found it a hugely enjoyable fast paced read. Everett Singh's father is a scientist who has invented the Infundibulum -- say that five times fast. The Infundibulum is a map of all the alternate worlds.  But Everett's father is kidnapped by evil forces in an attempt to capture the Infundibulum. Everett leaves our world in a quest to rescue his father. I really liked this book and I'm sure that young boys and girls who love adventure and airships will love it too.

Next, I bought a copy of Ransom Riggs Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Quirk Books.  This was another one of the books recommended by “The Year in Fantasy” book panel. The book is structured around a series of lost and found photographs borrowed by the author as inspiration for the book.  The pictures are creepy, mysterious and just plain weird. I just saw on BoingBoing that the cover photo sold on eBay for $600.00.  This is a book that I couldn't imagine reading in e-format, since you'll want to study the pictures for clues to the plot. I really hope that Summer and the guys are able to interview Ransom Riggs about his writing process for this book, since I'm sure it would be fascinating. The plot -- well our hero Jacob travels to Wales to investigate Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. And anything else would be too spoilery. It's recommended.

I'm currently reading Carol Berg's The Daemon Prism which is her third novel in the Collegia Magica series and I am enjoying very much. But -- and it's a big but, Roc books the publishing house behind the novel is doing it no favours with the eBook conversion.

I'm calling out whoever is responsible for the conversion. I'm betting that you, never actually bothered to read the book in eBook format. Just like the previous book in the series The Soul Mirror, the book suffers from fanciful inset text THAT ISN'T SCALABLE.  In The Soul Mirror, the text (which has a hand-lettered appearance) was used to format the letters that the characters sent each other.  These letters held important clues to the plot and character motivation. And they just weren’t readable in eBook format.

No matter how the text was scaled in my Kobo reading software I couldn't read them. Perhaps if you are a 20-something with eagle vision it worked, but for other audiences it meant that there were huge holes in the novel. In The Daemon Prism a similar font is used for the first 4 to 5 words in each chapter.  It's an elegant effect I suppose -- but completely undercut by the fact that I'm missing the meaning of the first sentence in each chapter.  And I'm dreading that again, I'll find letters and other clues have been formatted this way. Roc Books you need better quality control. I’d love to review the The Daemon Prism but if there are chunks missing I don't think it will be fair to Ms. Berg, a writer whose work I really enjoy.

Sitting in the To Be Read pile beside my bed are the remnants of a book buying spree from last year:  Template: A Novel of the Archonate by Matthew Hughes, which was published by Planet Stories. I really enjoyed Matthew Hughes' Henghis Hapthorn series where I felt he channelled Jack Vance in his own unique way. Also in the pile; The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan, published by McElderry Books.  I bought this solely on the strength of Sarah’s very witty blog posts -- I figure if she brings half that wit to her novels I should be in for a good time. However, I may have to go back and buy the first book in the series before I try this one.

And look what just came in through the mail -- Boneyards b Kristine Kathryn Rusch from Pyr. This is the third book set in her Diving Universe.  I haven't read the first two, so I may have some catching up to do. And Expedition to the Mountains of the Moon by Mark Hodder -- also from Pyr. This is also a third book in an alternate history series featuring Sir Richard Francis Burton and the poet Swinburne.  Again, I may have some catching up to do – since I haven't read the first two books in that series either.

Boneyards Book Cover Book Cover Image

Just to recap, the books that I mentioned today were:

Ian McDonald's “Planesrunner
Hardcover: 269 pages
Publisher: Pyr (December 6, 2011)
ISBN-10: 1616145412

Ransom Riggs “Miss Peregrine's Home for  Peculiar Children
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Quirk Books; Book Club edition (June 7, 2011)
ISBN-10: 1594744769
ISBN-13: 978-1594744761

Carol Berg's The Daemon Prism
Paperback: 496 pages
Publisher: Roc Trade; 1 edition (January 3, 2012)
ISBN-10: 0451464346
ISBN-13: 978-0451464347

Carol Berg's The Soul Mirror
Mass Market Paperback: 544 pages
Publisher: Roc; Reprint edition (January 3, 2012)
ISBN-10: 0451463994
ISBN-13: 978-0451463999

Template: A Novel of the Archonate by Matthew Hughes, published by Planet Stories.
Publisher: Paizo Publishing, LLC.; First Edition Thus edition (August 17, 2010)
ISBN-10: 1601252641
ISBN-13: 978-1601252647

The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan, published by McElderry Books
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books; 1 edition (April 27, 2010)
ISBN-10: 1416963804
ISBN-13: 978-1416963806

>Boneyards By Kristine Kathryn Rusch
Publisher: Pyr (January 24, 2012)
ISBN-10: 1616145439
ISBN-13: 978-1616145439

Expedition to the Mountains of the Moon by Mark Hodder
Publisher: Pyr (January 24, 2012)
ISBN-10: 1616145358
ISBN-13: 978-1616145354

This has been WebGenii, letting you know what is on my reading list.