I have a new author hero, and his name is Garth Nix.
Ok, so he isn't THAT new to me after all, but I've just finished reading the first two books of his Keys to the Kingdom series - Mister Monday and Grim Tuesday, and I kept thinking, "Goddamn, these are good books. I wish I'D written that!"
I've reviewed his Old Kingdom series before - Sabriel, Lirael and Abhorsen - and thought those were really brilliant examples of children's fantasy books, as good as Narnia and His Dark Materials, ALMOST as good as Pratchett's A Hat Full of Sky (which is still my all time favorite Children's fantasy book), and is most certainly a lot better than the Harry Potter books.
Keys to the Kingdom may or may not be better than the Old Kingdom (both series' have nothing in common with one another, BTW), but while I was looking around for a copy of Grim Tuesday to borrow (too broke to buy it you see...), I actually reread Mister Monday.
If the fact that I reread it ONE DAY after I'd finished it in the first place shows that it IS pretty darn good eh?
Nix, like Pullman and Lewis, writes in a way that makes you wish for more, and makes you sad when the book is over. It's simple, not overly detailed, and the story is engaging enough that you do not feel bored at any point of the book (certainly no pointless Christmas holidays or Quidditch matches in THESE books!).
To me, any book that makes me wish I'D written it instead is probably one that I would read over and over again. And one that I would recommend whole-heartedly.
Reviews later this weekend perhaps...