Saturday, February 12, 2011

Paul Doiron, Marie Lu: Trespasser and Legend

Sunrise at 71:9 , sunset at 5:29. Stormy tonight, windy and rainy. The sun's going down and there is a strip of clear, lemony light between the Olympics and the rest of the sky. The lights have been flickering and the radio's done that static-y thing that scares the bird. The rain is pummeling the windows.

It's been a long couple of reading days and night. Yesterday was the first day of my weekend, tomorrow's the first day of the next week.

I got up early and took D to the doctor and then to work; I love the drive back down Rainier Avenue South toward home, anchored in the way, way south by Mount Rainier. Every so often, mostly when the air is clear, I can feel the gravitational pull of having something that big at the southern horizon. It is the horizon.

Once, years ago, my friend Jo and I got off the bus in Banff, long before daylight, probably around 4 am, and spent the hours waiting for morning just wandering around looking in windows and deciding where to eat when things opened up. Just as the sky began to lighten, I got really dizzy. It felt like I was walking with a decided lean. When we could finally actually discern the difference between the sky and everything else, I realized that I must have felt the absolute massiveness of the mountain that loomed over the place we were in. It felt like the world had tipped a bit, the mountain was so big and straight up that, even though I thought I was standing upright, I was actually leaning at a slight angle to make the sidewalk seem flat. Bizarre. I think that was the first time that I realized that mass has pull.

I read off and on all day yesterday. It was a good day. I watched the Food Channel (Jamie Oliver is my very FAVORITE!), surfed through old photos, and read.

I absolutely loved Paul Doiron's next book in his series about Mike Bowditch, Maine State Game Warden, Trespasser. Trespasser is about a young game warden dealing with all the crap of trying to hold a relationship together while investigating the disappearance of a woman who hit a deer and then left her car. Great descriptions of the Maine woods in the middle of winter, great descriptions of the Maine folk who live on the edges of those woods and on the edges of society.

The first book in the series is The Poacher's Son. It is still only in hardcover (and well worth the money, in my opinion) but will be available in paper in April, 2011. Trespasser will be out in June. (Minotaur Books. $24.99)

I got to meet Paul at an author dinner here in Seattle last year. Good food, good company, good wine, good book, and then he wolf howled on the corner of 4th and Virginia. Absolutely fabulous night.

I finished Trespasser at midnight and was still not too sleepy so, quietly and with great stealth since every floor in our house squeaks, went into the next room to rummage through the stash of Winter Institute books that I have squirreled away. I found Legend, by Marie Lu.

Legend is a huge deal at Penguin. They rushed out a Special ABA Winter Institute Edition, bound in shiny black paper, with an exciting paragraph on the cover. Sometimes you have to kind of laugh about the serious discussions that people have about the books they are selling us. As booksellers, we hear SO many intense descriptions about certain kinds of books that they all begin to sound alike. And right now, anything that is in anyway about the future world, and not a particularly nice view of the world, is described as a little like Hunger Games, but with a twist. It isn't a very good way to get started with a book that should be read with new eyes.

It is a really good book; great characters, great themes, not so much a utopia gone wrong as a world in decline. It's the story of Day, a boy with issues, smart, caring, and worried about the health of his family. He's also on the run, the government's been looking for him, as he's been taking from the rich and giving to the poor. He's also supposed to be dead. Most of the poor have different versions of plague and he's been secretly stealing money and medicine to help his family.

It's also about June, a wealthy 15 year-old girl who has perfect scores, the highest scores on the youngest person ever allowed to join the military. Her brother has been training her to be the best officer ever, and it seems that most of their time is spent checking to see who hast he plague and looking for Day.

One fateful night, June and Day's worlds collide and their lives will never be the same.

Great read for everyone. It's exciting, well-written, sad and hopeful. I am really looking forward to telling everyone about it when it's published in NOVEMBER! AND it has to be a series because there are certain things in the story that aren't resolved. It ends in such a way that it could be finished, but I hope it does go on! Age 11 and up. (Penguin. Due November '11. $17.99.)


  1. So excited for "Legend!" And I totally agree about all the sales reps who kept saying, "This is the next 'Hunger Games.'" I called one on it. I said, "Really? It has a girl in a big dress on the cover and you said it's about 'sister-wives.' I don't think that's going to have the crossover appeal I'd expect from the next 'Hunger Games.'" Maybe I was a little burned out by then...
    Have you read "Divergent" by Veronica Roth yet? I enjoyed it very much as a butt-kicking, post-apocalyptic start of a trilogy.

  2. Oh, this sounds right up my alley. When might we be expect ARCs? Are they putting out ARCs? I'd love to read it!

    tsquared: I loved Divergent!! Absolutely loved it! I hope there are more...

  3. Annie: Rene H has Legend and you can borrow it when she's done;

    Tegan: I LOVED Divergent-It's so hard to read books so far ahead of even the publication date, knowing what's coming soon and then later. And so totally butt-kicking.

    And the sister-wives book, Wither? Really good and very interesting. Not Hunger Games-ish in the least, but very good. Like the whole Twilight inspired vampire trend, at least there are some really fabulous books out there looking at what our futures might be if things don't change.

    There's some good stuff out there!