Two very different books, but I found them both entertaining. Excerpted here are my reviews of them from Goodreads.
In reviewing Have Bags, Will Travel I must first confess that I have never been a woman, at least in this lifetime. That, not to put too much of a sexist spin on it, means I don’t have the shopping gene. Still, having watched countless movies and TV shows over a lifetime—and read a few books as well, I am familiar with the whole shopping zeitgeist. Then too, I have had the experience of traveling hither and yon. Not having the shopping gene has saved me from some of the travel travails that D.G. Kaye humorously recounts. The need for a travel scale to weigh suitcases. Customs enforcers frequently finding fault, or at least doubt, with her attention to limits on the value of goods brought into the country.
Whether you’re a shopper or not, there’s no doubt that flying is not as much fun as it once might have been for many. The seats get smaller, the aisles narrower, the allowable luggage more compact and of course the security checks have become over the top. Ms Kaye covers it all in a breezy book, reminiscing on her adventures around the globe with friends and fellow shoppers. It’s a fast and funny read.
I liked this book very much. Why? Relatively fast paced, develops interesting cultural artifacts in the realms in which Nicholas, the main character moves. He is the familiar (but well done) reluctant hero, at first bewildered but eventually growing into his magical powers. Russo does a good job of sketching the mental gyrations of someone developing magic that requires interactions with forces both living and dead within the world he is unexpectedly transported to. The only improvement that could be asked for is some additional development of secondary characters. But as this is basically an action-oriented thriller within the speculative fiction genre that is not something to be expected. I assume we will see more development of the other characters in the following books in the series, which I will be reading soon.