Sunday Books: Uncharted Territory and Dead in The Family

I was sick this weekend and confined to bed for much of the time. On the bright side, since I had no energy for anything else, it provided a good opportunity to catch up with some reading.

I began by finishing Uncharted Territory by Connie Willis. I did enjoy this little foray into Science Fiction.  Taking place on a remote planet, 2 Earth scientists had the task of mapping and exploring the land, guided by one of the indigenous life forms. They were soon accompanied by a specialist in alien mating behaviour. Not much actually happened in this story, however as it progressed, relationships were explored and mysteries were revealed. It was always humourous and moved along at a satisfying pace. I found it diverting, but also quite forgettable. I’d recommend it if you are after a quick, humourous distraction, but it is certainly not great literature. That said, the characters were entertaining and well developed, which is an achievement in such a brief novella. I am led to believe that Connie Willis is an excellent author, so perhaps this is not representative of her best work.

After I finished Uncharted Territory, I set about selecting a new book to read. Bed-bound, I decided the best choice was something I could download to my Kindle App from the Amazon Store.

I spent quite a while searching through the selection there. Amazon recommends books to me based on what I’ve bought in the past. I toyed with the idea of reading “Room” by Emma Donaghue, which had excellent reviews. It is told from the perspective of 5 year old Jack who, with his mother, is imprisoned in a single room. Its the only life he has ever known. Then I decided I really didn’t want to deal with anything that might be vageuly harrowing, so decided to read “Death in The Family” by Charlaine Harris instead.

“Dead in The Family” is the tenth in the Sookie Stackhouse series that the TV series True Blood is based on.

I started reading the series a few years ago, and they have always been a guilty pleasure. They are very trashy literature and remind me of Harlequin romances, with vampires thrown in.

Like Harlequin romances, they follow a formula. The men are all unbelievably attractive, the heroine, Sookie, is also unbelievably attractive, but of course is also modest and doesn’t understand the effect she has on all these men.

Somehow, Sookie is always  in some sort of danger and the vampires or other supernatural creatures need to protect her. In doing that, they endanger themselves and Sookie heroically rises above her human limitations to defeat the enemies and protect her men.

This novel continued nicely from the previous in the series. It tied up a few loose ends that I had been wondering about as well. The story was silly as usual, but pleasantly diverting and an undemanding way to pass the time while sick in bed.

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8 thoughts on “Sunday Books: Uncharted Territory and Dead in The Family

  1. I didn’t realise there were that many Sookie Stackhouse books… every now and then her name crops up, and I always mean to start reading about her adventures, but somehow never get around to it. Thank you for reminding me – I’ll have to do something about it this time!

    I hope you are feeling better now…

    • Thanks, I am feeling a lot better now. Be warned if you do start reading the Sookie Stackhouse books – I meant what I said about it being a guilty pleasure. Its really trashy but I love it.

  2. The only Connie Willis I’ve read is Doomsday Book, but that is a truly excellent book and I can recommend it. I found it very memorable for its depiction of the problems of communication a modern time traveller would have going back to 14th century England – even though she had learned Middle English, it was pronounced so differently it took her a while to understand what people were saying and I enjoyed the way this was portrayed. It was a long time ago that I read the book – I think it didn’t have a happy ending, so you might want to wait until you are feeling better! I keep meaning to buy myself a copy and re-read it, so maybe I will do that now.

  3. oh, hope you get around to reading “Room” – it was an awesome read, but yes, really…not great for a bed-bound kind of read.

    you are the first person i know to be reading the Sookie Stackhouse series, so very happy to know that you enjoy – something that maybe i’ll get around to one of these days.
    hope you feel better soon!

  4. After reading Doomsday Book on Edwirinia’s recommendation I am on my second Connie Willis – To Say Nothing of the Dog, which I am also enjoying as a light read. I enjoy the idea of experiencing history actually in the past, and the potential inconsistencies this can raise – nothing life changing but good entertainment.

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