Sunday, December 30, 2012

2012 Fiction Favorites

Before the year 2012 slips away from me,I'd like to post my fiction favorites.

Two of the books that I was most looking forward to reading in 2012, did not disappoint me, and they are my 2012 favorites in fiction.

Starry River of the Sky

The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There

  • The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There by Catherynne M. Valente (Macmillan)  and in audio book by Brilliance Audio, is a follow-up to my favorite book of last year, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of her own MakingIn The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland, September returns to find and reunite with her shadow, Halloween, who has taken up residence in Fairyland Below as the Hollow Queen.  After having learned the complicated rules of Fairyland in her last journey, September must now learn to navigate by the rules of Fairyland-Below:
Beware of dog
Anything important comes in threes and sixes
Do not steal queens
A girl in the wild is worth two in chains
Necessity is the mother of temptation
Everything must be paid for sooner or later
What goes down must come up
 The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There is as good or better than its predecessor.  The levels of Fairyland and their inhabitants are rich and wonderful and magical and utterly satisfying.  I had the pleasure of alternately reading and listening to this one, and in an unusual occurrence, both versions were equally enjoyable.  The voice of S.J. Tucker is perfectly suited for the fantastic world of Fairyland.  Her voice has an unidentifiable quality which defies the listener's attempts to place a location on her accent.  Although she is American, she could just as easily be Fairylander.

My library system classifies this book as a young adult novel, however, as with the first in the series, I find it suitable for both younger and older audiences.

I can't wait to read the third book in the Fairyland series!

For a slightly younger audience (though also entertaining for all ages) is Grace Lin's,
  • Starry River of the Sky (title links to my earlier review) (Little Brown).  This is also a follow-up book, although in this case, Starry River is a stand-alone, "companion" book to the earlier Where the Mountain Meets the Moon (2009 Little Brown).  Grace Lin always shows herself to be a gentle and thoughtful writer, and never more so than in Starry River.
This is a captivating story that, while holding deep meaning, may be enjoyed in many layers. A magical fantasy, a Chinese folktale, a tale of a boy lost and found, a love story, a mystery, a journey of self-discovery -- all may be found in the tiny and remote Village of Clear Sky.

Enjoy them both!

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