Food writer travels through Tuscany on a bulldozer — such a bizarre and hilarious image this premise painted. It sounded so ludicrous and I have to admit, it made me think of The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson. That set the bar of absurd humour unfairly high but I couldn’t help it. Perhaps it’s a good thing then, that My Italian Bulldozer wasn’t filled with tall tales, even if that slightly disappointed me.
You know the year is coming to an end when the number of book releases also winds down. November is the month that publishers push out the last big titles just in time for Christmas. This years, that includes the highly anticipated Renegades by Marissa Meyer last week and the sequel to The Diabolic, The Empress by S.J. Kincaid the week before. December then becomes really quiet on the publishing front.
Explorations of good versus evil that are firmly cemented in the grey zone often give rise to the best works of fiction. They also are the types of books I live for! So when I learnt that Marissa Meyer decided to venture there with her latest series, of course I was intrigued. Renegades has much to offer and despite some flaws that made me raise an eyebrow, is a promising start to the series.
My problem with space operas is that usually not much happens besides the characters floating through space. On that front, I felt The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet fit squarely fit that trope. Conflicts outside of the spaceship didn’t arise as often nor as intensely as I had liked, even with their unpredictable mission and the threat of war looming. The reason I enjoyed this book anyway were the characters. They were absolutely wonderful!