here are my opinions on some books i've read recently, for anyone who is even remotely interested.
1. The Shadowmarch Trilogy (books 1 and 2)--Tad Williams
these two books were great fantasy. they juxtapose three completely different worlds against each other as they all converge in an all out war. i don't really know how to describe the story except to say that it was great and i can't wait for book three to come out.
2. Brisingr--Christopher Paolini
i have to admit i'm pretty jealous that a kid could start writing a series like this while a teenager. it's certainly not proust, but it has its merits. even though i like sci-fi and fantasy i've never been a dragons and elves kind of girl. but i find eragon and saphira a pleasantly flawed, interesting couple of characters that make the trilogy--oh wait, it's a CYCLE now--fun to read.
3. Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell--Susanna Clark
i love, love, LOVED this book. it started off a trifle slowly, and at first i couldn't wrap my head around the period style of writing--very austen or doyle-esque, despite the fact that it was written recently. also, each chapter is very episodic and it takes some time to build up the disparate stories so that you can see the cohesive whole begin to emerge. but then it completely sucks you in. the story is about two different magicians in the 1800's who are trying to bring the magic done in medieval times back to england. sounds weird, i know, but it was seriously great. the magic done is very vague, so there is no hocus-pocus cheese involved which is good.
4. twilight--stephanie meyers
okay. go ahead and laugh. i just wanted to see what all the fuss was about. it took me a day to finish, and most of the time i was snickering at the ridiculous obviousness of the target demographic: screaming adolescent girls who will cry out ridiculous things like, "edward cullen can suck my blood!" right before swooning.
that being said i sort of liked it. despite the way it reminded me uncomfortably of confusing, silly teenage thoughts and emotions of yore, the characters are pretty likeable. and despite the fact that it was (again, obviously) written to titillate teens and tweens with thoughts of forbidden love, etc., it was pretty clean. i'd read the next one if it wasn't sold out at every single store (see the screaming adolescent comment above. they must have their vampire romance, i suppose).