Book review: The Iron Hunt by Marjorie M. Liu

By day, Maxine Kiss is a super-powered demon hunter with inhuman strength and intricately tattooed, armor-plated skin. By night, the tattoos peel away and become a pack of deadly demons standing between Maxine and the creatures from across the Veil. When the veil drops, it’s up to Maxine and her demon “boys” to round up the horrors that slip through before they can gather enough strength to destroy the world.

With prose that alternate between being poetic and fragmented, Marjorie M. Liu builds a secretive, hypnotic plot around a realistically flawed woman who holds onto her humanity by sheer force of will. Although not particularly endearing, Maxine is oddly familiar, giving voice to very normal and human fears in a world made up of demons and magic. Though the language can get a little tough to slog through at times, keep reading, if only for the chance to watch Zee and the boys enjoy the human world they’re bound to protect.

Fans of The Iron Hunt might also enjoy Ill Wind by Rachel Caine. Although there are no demons in Caine’s novel, there are djinn, which are even cooler.

Off The Map

“William Gibbs’ first painting was twenty inches high and thirty-one feet wide,

one foot shy of the perimeter of my room.

The dimensions suited the subject, the ocean’s horizon.

He hung it so that when I lay on my bed,

I could stare out fourteen miles to the horizon any way I looked.

Encircled by water, I would turn and float on my back,

arms outstretched, chin up,

and feel in the small of my back the rounded curve of the planet,

supporting me like a buoy.

Like faith.”

Based on the graceful and thought provoking play by Joan Ackerman the movie version of Off the Map challenges our idea of what is ideal and will have us remembering a time when things for ourselves began to change.

Sometimes when you look back on your life there is one moment that stands out above all others, the one moment that changed the way you saw the world. For Bo Groden it was the summer of her eleventh year. Continue reading “Off The Map”

The Blurb King

A couple of summers ago, I checked out the novel Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn, seduced by the cover and a glowing endorsement from Stephen King. “To say this is a terrific debut novel is really too mild. I haven’t read such a relentlessly creepy family saga since John Farris’s All Heads Turn When the Hunt Goes By, and that was thirty years ago,” began Mr. King in a rather lengthy endorsement. The next week I picked up The Ruins by Scott Smith, also with a King blurb (“the best horror novel of the new century”).

“How many ‘favorite books of the year’ can he have?” asked my friend and co-worker Hayden, who had just encountered three new teen novels, all with glowing endorsements from King.

The answer, apparently, is: a bunch. So Hayden and I gathered a few of Continue reading “The Blurb King”

Okay, where is all the ‘free money’ for college?

I’ve always heard that there’s money for college—if you know where to look. My son still has three years until college, but recent headlines about tuition going up as the economy goes down (Cost of higher education heading up, Washington Post) and indentured college grads (Graduates drowning in debt from high cost of college, Seattle Times)  have me freaked out. I’m hoping to attend a free presentation, Scholarships and College Admissions, at the Central Library this Wednesday, November 19, at 6 p.m., featuring admission experts from Kaplan Test Prep. I’m most excited to hear Sam Lim, founder of Scholarship Junkies, an honors student at the University of Washington who received 18 (!) scholarships.  

I’m also keeping an eye on the College Prep articles and tips on Push to Talk, the Library’s blog for teens (and the people who like/love them). And I’m trying to not freak out.

Getting Started with Downloadable books: NetLibrary

Welcome the wonderful world of digital books. Watch this video to learn how to use our NetLibrary collection. You’ll be able to download books right to your computer. No waiting in line and better yet, no driving around to get the books you want. As with any new technology, sometimes there can be a few glitches the first few times you use it. So if you have any questions, just give us a call at 206-386-4636. We’ll help you figure it out.