Jul. 27th, 2015

cymry: (redwitch)
The world of books is my getaway, my way to live vicariously through characters and work through emotions. It's why I write, too - the full gamut of emotion and experience, lived and felt as if it were me.

It's amazing how one small sentence can tear out your guts, how one death can leave you crying your eyes out in public (not me this time, ha!), how one story can get so far under your skin that I found myself in a city I had only ever dreamed of, half a world away, and all I wanted to do was sit in my hotel room and READ MY DAMN BOOK.

The best books surprise you: I bought the first volume on a whim, based solely on the fact that it was a pocketbook (I wanted something small to carry in my bag while I was on vacation) and was written by one of my favorite authors (under a pseudonym). I had low expectations: I don't like zombie novels, I'm tired of all the post-apocalyptic nonsense, I'm not a fan of suspense, and I read so much horror when I was a teen that I just got bored of the entire genre. But, I told myself, it's Seanan McGuire. At least it'll be funny.

So I sat on the plane for hours and hours and hours, and I started reading. I laughed out loud at the very first paragraph. I reserved judgment on the zombies. And, by the time I landed in Athens, I was thoroughly hooked. It was suspenseful, it was witty, it was snarky, and the characters were great. There was a refreshing lack of a love story, there were strong female characters, and there was a man who loved to poke zombies with a stick. It was entertaining and I was thoroughly enjoying it.

And, as I took a train from the airport to my hotel, I couldn't stop thinking about it. The storyline haunted me. I wondered what would happen. I pondered the characters. They stayed with me as I walked the streets, as I felt that wonderment and awe that I always feel when I travel abroad. I stared up at the Acropolis, I wandered the Greek ruins, I eyed the orange trees that threatened to brain me with their fruit warily, and I thought about the zombies, and about Shaun, and about Georgia. And I told myself firmly that I was not going to sit in my hotel room, in bloody Athens, and read my book.

I finished the first volume (the only one I'd bought) a few days into my stay. I cried and I walked around in a state of shock. And I railed against the unfairness of not being able to pick up the second volume then and there, to see where this was all going. I felt like my heart had been wrenched around in my chest and it hurt. And I thought, damn. If Seanan McGuire wasn't one of my favorite authors before this, this has cemented her at the top spot.

I worked in a bookstore for ten years. I've read thousands of books, good and bad, and enjoyed so many of them. I've loved books intensely before. These ones are currently at the very, very top of my list.

The author doesn't just hit you with everything she's got: she does it three times (for me, at least). Three good, solid punches to the gut, knocking the wind out of me and bringing tears to my eyes. Three times. And one small sentence that sits in my brain for hours and days, weeks and months. I won't repeat it here, just in case I managed to convince someone they need to read this series. It would spoil things. It's nothing special, just five small words. But they pack that punch to the gut, that wrenching. Little words, not fancy or even very special, but together...

The Newsflesh Trilogy, by Mira Grant. Read it. Go on, just read it. Hell, just read the first one, I dare you.


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