April 25th, 2006


The Shadow Thieves

timprov asked me if I was going to write about The Shadow Thieves on lj, because if I was, he wouldn't have to. So I guess I am: I read Anne Ursu's The Shadow Thieves this weekend and enjoyed it immensely. I think it's one of those books that can be enjoyed from the time one is old enough to read it (maybe 7 in my case? probably by the fourth or fifth grade at least) until...one's deathbed, maybe. It's an all-ages book. Some children's books are patronizing or very developmentally targeted, but The Shadow Thieves is not on that list.

There are cats, and Greek gods, and doors in Bigdale, and kids who play soccer and kids who wouldn't dream of playing soccer; there are wise grandmothers who can't fix everything but are awfully good to have anyway; there are creepy teachers and best friends who need saving.

It is good fun. You should read it. Also, while it indicates that it is the first in the Cronus Chronicles, they're not the kind of chronicles where it's multiple volumes of one story: this story has an ending. Also a beginning and a middle, in some order. It's not one of those series books where you have to read the next book to figure out whether the story works or not. The next book will be a different story. I'll be excited to read that one, too.

(Local baseball fans may know Anne as Batgirl, the source of bat_girl_twins, the best baseball blog in the area -- or at least the only one I bother to read. While there's no baseball in The Shadow Thieves, Batgirl's sense of humor comes right on through.)


Backbrain vs. Frontbrain

Backbrain: Sometimes it's good to take a break from writing to make bread.
Frontbrain: Yes, because then you have time to mull over the parts of the book that aren't working!
Bb: Naw, because then you have bread.
Fb: Oh. And the old church cookbook reminds you to appreciate your predecessors!
Bb: Naw, reminds you how much baking powder to put in.
Fb: Okay, okay...but the oven, the oven is the revision process, where input from smart readers and editors makes the whole thing --
Bb: The oven is the hot place where you put the bread to bake.
Fb: *sighs*

Fb: *perks up* You know, you're right.
Bb: Yep.
Fb: It doesn't all have to be about the writing.
Bb: Darn tootin'.
Fb: In fact, I bet the bread could be symbolic of lots of stuff in life.
Bb: Oh, probab--hey! Sometimes I hate you, you know that?
Fb: Yes, but without me you wouldn't have the accidentally magic puffins with the salted tails.
Bb: The salted tails were totally because of the guy at coffeeem's lj.
Fb: The rest is the writerbrain, though. And you know you love the puffins.
Bb: It is not fair to bring the puffins into this.