Got lots of reading done in Hawaii! Brought a bunch of e-books on my iPod--though it turns out that e-books aren't the best choice for beach reading (the sun's too bright!) Four of the books I read were the first books of series--what was I thinking?!
I'm working on a review of Foundling, first book in the Monster Blood Tattoo series by D. M. Cornish. I'm reviewing this one first because I now have my hands on Book 2 so I want to immerse myself back into this world. Foundling is 312 pages of text with another 120 pages of appendices--so when I say "immerse" I'm talking ocean rather than bathtub. (Book 2 is even bigger--have you seen it? 500-odd pages not including the appendices.) Cornish apparently spent more than 10 years developing the world of the Half Continent, and it's a completely original fantasy setting. Everyone compares him to Tolkein (appendices, anyone?), and I think it's quite justifiable--but don't think the Half Continent is anything like Middle-Earth.
That's just to whet your appetite. In the meantime check out this photographer. I discovered him in a magazine in the hotel room, but he's Canadian. I love the balloons; they're just so random, and yet somehow right.