Friday, February 18, 2011

Hooray for the To-Be-Read Pile!

Dear Black Rose Readers,

This time of year, when Spring lurks just around the corner but we keep getting blasted back into Winter, is always a time when I sort through my to-be-read pile of books. I read all of them, no matter the genre, to see how the author dealt with character, plot and setting. Many grab me by the throat and pull me in so I can't put them down. So cool!

Mostly, work expands into all areas of life and the to-be-read pile gets way out of hand! Years go by before I can even sort through it.

However, recently I had the opportunity, when illness laid me out flat, to delve into my tottering to-be-read pile and just read and read, since I was too weak to sit at my laptop or go to work.

I unearthed a treasure from "conferences past": The Fallen Host series from 2002 by Lyda Morehouse. Of course, all I have is the middle book, Who is the Liar, and now ordered the rest! Do you ever do this? I remember the first Laurell K. Hamilton book I read was Burnt Offerings. When I finished reading it, I went out and got ALL her back list, and every book since then.

This sci-fi-fantasy by Morehouse takes place in the future and is filled with glorious characters: a complex, feisty woman Inquisitor commanded to search for Artificial Intelligences on the LINK to determine if they have a soul; Archangels galore, including Michael, Gabriel, and that bad-boy Morningstar; a neo-punk-thrash band titled The Four Horsemen, with their achingly vulnerable Cellist, Mai; and the Artificial Intelligences (AI) themselves - Page ibn Mouse and the Dragon of the East.

The AIs are infused with such personality that they are palpable. For example, when separated from his Muslim programmer, Page seeks to honor Ramadan by refusing to "eat" during sunlight hours. Of course, he does not eat, so he forces himself into a Russian factory to avoid partaking of data, which for him is eating. The AI Dragon of the East adores her friend Page. When Page is rescued from an anti-virus program by Morningstar, the AI runs away and hides. Morningstar wants his soul, of course, and after this encounter Page begins to believe he himself must be evil. The Dragon frets about Page and enlists the aid of the Inquisitor.

And of course there are the angels. Morningstar, while such a glorious bad boy, yearns for "Mom" and "Dad" and his brothers, while at the same time reveling in his rebellion. Gabriel is adorable, taking on a black body to conform to the angel's connection with Islam. Michael has become insane but makes a brief appearance to convince the Inquisitor that she may well be facing the "end times."

As I was reading this book, I was following the situation in Egypt, as I have a friend whose young son and husband were in Cairo. They had to be airlifted out to London. Now I'm listening to the actions in Libya - the Middle East is certainly exploding. Scary times. End times? This is Black Rose, after all. We don't flinch here.

Please share treasures from your to-be-read pile (or electronic documents on your E-Reader!) with us.


Carolina Montague


  1. Great post! My TBR pile's too high right now and regrettably I've no time to get to it at the moment. And yes, scary stuff in the Middle East... but now it's Libya. :-(

  2. Hi Sky,

    Even scarier since Friday's earthquake and tsunami. Prayers for all in the affected areas!

    A friend who is a quantum physicist and whose tenant works for Space Science Lab told me that we are not imagining it - time indeed is "speeding up" as the earth passes through an area of the "galactic center." I don't understand it, but he said there is a slight speeding up of the rotation of the planet. He also said that this also puts the planet under stress, so for people (like those on the "Ring of Fire" in the Pacific - including me *gulp*) there will be earthquakes, volcano eruptions, all that scary stuff.

    However, according to some, the so-called "crystal children" (born after 2000) will help the world through this time. I have an Indigo kid - very Gen-Y (Why do I gotta do this/Why do I gotta do that . . .) so I would not know, but friends who have grandchildren born after 2000 tell me they are different.

    Do you have a crystal child or a sense of what all is happening now (anyone for moving out of the Kali Yuga cycle into a better time?).

    Love to all,