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Month in review

Reviews:
Angus and the Cat by Marjorie Flack
Another Life by Charles Oberndorf
Austenland by Shannon Hale
Castway Cats by Lisa Wheeler
Chicka Chicka ABC by Bill Martin Jr. and Lois Ehlert
City of Light, City of Dark by Avi
Clifford the Small Red Puppy by Norman Bridwell
Constellation Chronicles: The Lost Civilization of Aries by Vincent Lowry review copy
Day of the Dragon-King (Magic Tree House #14) by Mary Pope Osborne
The Digital Plague by Jeff Somers
Dino-Dinners by Brita Granstrom
Dinosaurs Before Dark (Magic Tree House #1) by Mary Pope Osborne
Don't Say Ain't by Irene Smalls
Do You Want to be My Friend? by Eric Carle
Emmaline and the Bunny by Katherine Hannigan
Esoteric City by Bruce Sterling
Evolution's Shore (aka Chaga) by Ian McDonald
Harriet and the Garden by Nancy Carlson
I Spy Fun House by Jean Marzollo
I Wish That I Had Duck Feet by Dr. Seuss
Jin Jin the Dragon by Grace Chang
Lizzi & Fredl: A Perilous Journey of Love and Faith by William B. Stanford
Logicist by Carol Emshwiller
Madeline and the Cats of Rome by John Bemelmans Marciano
The Mammy by Brendan O'Carroll
Minifred Goes to School by Mordicai Gerstein
Miss Pickerell and the Geigor Counter by Ellen MacGregor
The Napping House by Audrey and Don Wood
Nightwings by Robert Silverberg
One Yellow Lion by Matthew Van Fleet
Opera Cat by Tess Weaver
Queen Vernita Visits the Blue Ice Mountains by Dawn Menge
Riding High by John Francom and James Macgregor
Sassy by Gloria Mallette
The Stars Down Under by Sandra McDonald
Strange Reading by Grant Uden
The Sunless Countries by Karl Schroeder
Tarot Cafe Volume 1 by Sang-Sun Park
Tepper Isn't Going Out by Calvin Trillin
Tiger on a Tree by Anushka Ravishankar
Vacation Under the Volcano (Magic Tree House #13) by Mary Pope Osborne
The West End Horror by Nicholas Meyer
Where Is the Green Sheep by Mem Fox
Yoko's Paper Cranes by Rosemary Wells

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Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



Comments for Evolution's Shore (aka Chaga)

Evolution's Shore aka Chaga (Link goes to Powells)Evolution's Shore (aka Chaga): 01/22/10

A funny thing happened on the way to write this post. See I remember reading a short story that feature the Chaga or something very similar to the Chaga. I even remember writing a review of the story. There's just one problem; I can find no evidence of having done either. Further more, I can't prove that such a story exists! The existence (or not) of a short story set in the same universe as Evolution's Shore (aka Chaga) by Ian McDonald has no bearing on the strengths and weaknesses of the novel.

In 2002 over the rings of Saturn something weird happened. Meanwhile an object has crash landed on Mount Kilimanjaro and that something is forever altering everything it touches. How exactly it's altering things is kept a closely guarded secret. Gaby McAslan and her SkyNet news team to Africa to report the story. Evolution's Shore is mostly her story.

Here's where things get a little muddled. The book is presented as a disaster novel. Whatever the Chaga are they represent the potential to forever alter or destroy life as we know it. To keep things in the disaster genre the book is mostly "real to life" with a large cast of characters, an over abundance of details and a romance for Gaby. That sort of thing works great when the threat is something tangible: earthquake, flood, drought, hurricane, and so forth.

Weird ass evolution from space, in other words, something unknown, something "other" brings the book into the realm of horror. It's the fear of the unknown. With that expectation, things need to happen early and with building frequency. People need to disappear, or mutate or eat other people or something. In this regard Evolution's Shore fails.

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Comment #1: Sunday, January, 31, 2010 at 09:51:15

Gabriel Mckee

The mystery story you're thinking of might be "Tendeleo's Story," which is set in the same universe. For my money it's quite a bit better than Evolution's Shore— it captures the alien weirdness of the Chaga quite a bit better. Other possibilities: the novel Kirinya and the story "Toward Kilimanjaro," both set in the same universe.



Comment #2: Tuesday, February 2, 2010 at 10:08:58

Pussreboots

I keep very good records of what I read and Evolution's Shore is the only thing by Ian McDonald I've read. Whatever is reminding me of his Chaga universe was written by someone else.