August 24th, 1998

Books

(no subject)

Jance, Judith A. Skeleton Canyon. ISBN 0380724332. 371 pages.

Right now I am ambivalent about this book. Jance's writing skills have certainly imnproved, but there are some glaring problems yet. For the first time in any of her books, I believed the characters, with two exceptions. Brady's leaving her daughter at camp scene, and her magically having a bean for her mother's wedding when she was ambivalent just days before. The nice part of her plotting is that she doesn't rely on the good guys being mistaken for the bad guys. But she does rely way too muchon coincidence. There were at least four major coincidences necessary for the sotry. One connection which was a seeming coincidence was not. No problems with that, but the other four were tow much. Spoiler: 1) Smugglers connected to David O'Brien stumble upon Bree O'Brien's campground. 2) Smugglers pick Hacker to take hostage. 3) Smuggler attempts to sell to local, which Joanna makes connection. 4)

Books

(no subject)

The Prestige. Christopher Priest. ISBN 0 312 85886-8. PR6066.R55P74 1997. 404 pages.

An interesting tale of a feud between two magicians in the late 1800s which continues to confound their descendants. It all starts when one of them takes a member of the other's family for a sucker. The other retaliates by exposing the former. It escalates. Angier must figoure out how Borden does The New Transported Man. Borden fails In a Flesh Revealing the fantasy aspect would reveal the punchline.

The iteresting take was the he said/she said aspect of it. (Except not she.) That was expertly done.