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Sunday, February 21, 2010

In My Mailbox 2010/02/21

Each week I will post a list of the books I've borrowed, received, or bought. I will keep a weekly tally in each post, as well as a yearly one on the sidebar. All books with PoC themes/authors will be listed for the "New Crayons" meme.
All prices are listed in Canadian dollars.
(hosted weekly by The Story Siren / The Printed Page; New Crayons by Color Online)

Tally for 2010/02/21
Borrowed: 2
Received: 1
Bought: 1
Total Cost: $4.72

First up, something I ordered from the Book Depository a while back:

Ash ⇒ New Crayon!
by Malinda Lo
In the wake of her father’s death, Ash is left at the mercy of her cruel stepmother. Consumed with grief, her only joy comes by the light of the dying hearth fire, re-reading the fairy tales her mother once told her. In her dreams, someday the fairies will steal her away, as they are said to do. When she meets the dark and dangerous fairy Sidhean, she believes that her wish may be granted.
The day that Ash meets Kaisa, the King’s Huntress, her heart begins to change. Instead of chasing fairies, Ash learns to hunt with Kaisa. Though their friendship is as delicate as a new bloom, it reawakens Ash’s capacity for love—and her desire to live. But Sidhean has already claimed Ash for his own, and she must make a choice between fairy tale dreams and true love.

I was quite expectant of this when it first came out because I thought it would feature an Asian Cinderella (the author being Asian, and the characters having Asian-like names), but also because Kaisa sounds amazing and I'm really tired of the "girl marries the prince in order to live happily ever after" formula. I've seen mixed reviews, but I'm wholly optimistic if only for the Kaisa/Ash ending =D
This is the paperback edition...the cover is actually literally shiney lol
Bought on sale at ($4.72)

Another one came in the mail while I was away for the first few days of the week:

Parasol Protectorate #1:
by Gail Carriger
Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations. First, she has no soul. Second, she's a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette.
Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire -- and then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate.
With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London's high society? Will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Finally, who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart?

You can probably tell from the summary that this is one of those novels that relies on pokerface etiquette humour (is there a special word for it?). That basically means it will be hilarious in all the right ways, or end up falling flat since the style is expected to span the entire book. I'm obviously hoping for the former lol
Won from Katrina @ Stone SouP

And then, since Ah Yuan has been shoving her entire shelf at me (semi-literally in fact), I've borrowed two more books from her collection (and she has three of mine):

Salt Fish Girl ⇒ New Crayon!
by Larissa Lai
"Salt Fish Girl" is the mesmerizing tale of an ageless female character who shifts shape and form through time and place. Told in the beguiling voice of a narrator who is fish, snake, girl, and woman - all of whom must struggle against adversity for survival - the novel is set alternately in nineteenth-century China and in a futuristic Pacific Northwest. At turns whimsical and wry, "Salt Fish Girl" intertwines the story of Nu Wa, the shape-shifter, and that of Miranda, a troubled young girl living in the walled city of Serendipity circa 2044. Miranda is haunted by traces of her mother's glamourous cabaret career, the strange smell of durian fruit that lingers about her, and odd tokens reminiscient of Nu Wa. Could Miranda be infected by the Dreaming Disease that makes the past leak into the present? Framed by a playful sense of magical realism, "Salt Fish Girl" reveals a futuristic Pacific Northwest where corporations govern cities, factory workers are cybernetically engineered, middle-class labour is a video game, and those who haven't sold out to commerce and other ills must fight the evil powers intent on controlling everything. Rich with ancient Chinese mythology and cultural lore, this remarkable novel is about gender, love, honour, intrigue, and fighting against oppression.

I've heard stories about the Chinese Earth Mother, Nu Wa since I was a kid, and I love the fact that she's been incorporated into this story. A few other factors I highly approve of: reincarnation, shapeshifting, technological dystopia, and of course Asian characters. I thank you Ah Yuan for shoving this at me persistently ♥
Borrowed from Ah Yuan

Keturah and Lord Death
by Martine Leavitt
Keturah, a beautiful young woman of sixteen, lives with her grandmother in a cottage near the forest. A captivating storyteller, Keturah tells her friends of being lost in the forest and of her eventual meeting with a dark figure on horseback -- Lord Death himself.
She bargains with him for her life -- and for the lives of the villagers who are threatened by the onset of the plague. But her pact with Death isolates her from the very people she seeks to protect and makes her dreams of love and family increasingly remote. Only by succeeding in the impossible task of finding her one true love before the sun sets will Keturah escape the cold clutches of Death. However hopeless her situation, Keturah must try. If she gives up, it means death not only for her, but for everyone she loves.

I'm totally rooting for Keturah and Lord Death to end up together ;D
Borrowed from Ah Yuan
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Kathy Martin said...

Good books this week! I really liked Soulless and can hardly wait for the sequel. I have been wanting to read Ash for a while too. I hope you enjoy your new books. Happy reading!

Ah Yuan // wingstodust said...

your cover of ash is SHINY?! Clearly you have the superior version. *grabby hands*

Mwuahaha Salt Fish Girl pimpage FINALLY WORKED. GO, READ IT LIKE THE WIND. You still have time to use it for the Feb GLBT challenge. 8D

P.S. LAWL at word verification (the word is angst.) LAWLZ

Melissa said...

oooooh soulless! I won this one, and I can't wait to receive it and read it! :)

Rebecca said...

Great books you got this week. Ash looks really interesting. Hope you enjoy reading all your books.

The Library Lurker said...

All of those look great! I'm looking forward to seeing what you say about Ash! By the way, you got an award on my blog:

Little Miss Becky :) said...

Oh WOW! I love the new cover for Ash! I have the hardcover edition home from the library, but I definitely will seek out this cover when I look to buy it! Keturah and Lord Death looks really interesting. Will have to look for that one. And Souless is already on my reserve list at the library! Enjoy all these great books!

Book Monster said...

All look amazing! Happy Reading!!

Ryan G said...

Fantastic books this week, and I'm going to have to get Souless one of these days.

Dazzling Mage said...

I love the new covers for Ash and Keturah and Lord Death!

Happy reading!

Swimmer said...

I havn't heard of any of these but they all look great.

Lizzy said...

I love the cover for Ash! At first I didn't recognize it haha. Enjoy your books.

BrittLit said...

I love that cover of Ash and those other books look pretty good. I still have to read Soulless. Happy Reading!

Lori said...

Nice selection of books. That Ash looks promising. Here's Mine.

Melissa (My words and pages) said...

Ash does sound interesting. Almost like a redo of an old fairy tale. I will look for your review when you get to it.

Happy Reading!

NatalieSap said...

Is that Ash by Malinda Lo? What a cover transformation! I think I need to have it... I'd re-read it just to hold the pretty cover in my hands! Hope you enjoy it!