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Apr 12

Cuckoo Song by Frances Hardinge

Posted on Sunday, April 12, 2015 in Books, Children's books, Fantasy, Reviews, Young Adult Books

“When Triss wakes up after an accident, she knows that something is very wrong. She is insatiably hungry; her sister seems scared of her and her parents whisper behind closed doors. She looks through her diary to try to remember, but the pages have been ripped out.

Soon Triss discovers that what happened to her is more strange and terrible than she could ever have imagined, and that she is quite literally not herself. In a quest find the truth she must travel into the terrifying Underbelly of the city to meet a twisted architect who has dark designs on her family – before it’s too late.”

This book was a little creepy, as the author herself puts it, but it never gets too scary for the age group it’s intended for (that I imagine might be about 9-12 and of course, all the rest of us who are young at heart). Despite all the weird details you learn about Triss, you find yourself being sympathetic to her. She is in a very frightening situation and as she uncovers more and more about the secret of what’s happened to her, things go from bad to worse. Fortunately, she manages to find a few (to begin with) reluctant allies along the way.

Frances Hardinge turns out to be quite a versatile author. She showed up just in time, for me to discover her books, when Diana Wynne Jones passed away. Not that I’ve stopped loving her books and will continue to read them, but sadly now there won’t be any more from her. Hardinge’s books remind me a bit of Diana Wynne Jones’ books. I’ve been quite surprised at how varied Hardinge’s stories are, especially when it comes to the setting. They’re all quite ‘serious’ and dark, but not too much so. Fortunately there’s always a happy ending, at least to some extent.

If I’m going to mention something that didn’t quite work out, it’s the fact that the atmosphere in the story didn’t ‘feel’ like the 1920’s – at first I couldn’t guess what time the story was set in – anytime before the 1970’s? I also have a bit of a question – did the newspapers really publish photos of missing people back then? It seems a bit too modern, but then I’m hardly an expert.

This book, that I initially thought might be a bit too dark to be a real favorite for me, actually turned out to be among my very favorites, among Hardinge’s books. In fact, I love them all, though I found the last book I read (Face of Glass) a little too bleak and depressing. As for Cuckoo Song, I can recommend it to anyone who likes low fantasy YA books. I rate it 4 out of 5.

Nov 20


Posted on Tuesday, November 20, 2012 in My life

Yesterday afternoon/early evening as it was beginning to get dark, I went out for a walk. After a while, I noticed that I was being followed. By a green plastic bag! LOL. It was filled with air so it was almost like a balloon and it rolled along behind me for a while. I kept looking over my shoulder because it looked a little odd but after a moment it just stopped and lay there. Odd.

Oct 28

Creepy… Cemetaries and weird guys

Posted on Wednesday, October 28, 2009 in Books

This afternoon, I went to pick up some books I had ordered. Not that we can afford them, but just this once, we decided it would be alright. When I got to the store – no post offices anymore, which is such a shame, considering that we (Sweden) used to have the oldest postal service in the world, as far as I know – I made a total fool of myself, by not being able to find the text message with the package number. Very embarrassing. Fortunately, the woman behind the counter was familiar with Nokia phones.

On my way back I had a bit of a scare. As I was passing a goldsmith’s shop, I noticed that two young guys were standing around, talking. This is a small town, but it was getting dark and I was on my own, so I was wondering what they were up to. Suddenly they said hi to me with sort of an undertone, that made me wonder. It was like ‘don’t look at us, we’re not up to anything’. I said hi back, thinking maybe they were trying to sell something or had a sort of survey, but apparently that was it. So I began to walk a little faster – I would have anyway, it was pretty chilly – but I couldn’t help glancing over my shoulder, just in case.

Just my luck that the only people passing by, other than these two, were an older woman on her bike heading in a different direction and someone walking with an invalid’s cane – blind and most likely something else – brave person. Then after a while I passed a church and a cemetary (not theirs, an older one, from a cholera epidemic in the 19th century). A gang of younger guys were hanging around there. After that there were a couple of different people. Besides, it didn’t take me more than five-ten minutes to get home.


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