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Search tags: Naomi-Novik
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review 2017-07-24 04:34
Review: League of Dragons (Temeraire Book 9 of 9!)
League of Dragons: A Novel of Temeraire - Naomi Novik

Well, that’s it.  The last book in the Temeraire series!  I thought the ending was satisfying.  It wasn’t particularly surprising, maybe, but I was happy with how things ended up and I enjoyed the last book as much as I had enjoyed the previous books.  The rest of this review consists of general, spoiler-free comments on the series as a whole.

 

I really enjoyed the whole series even though, in retrospect, it lacked some of the things that are most likely to earn my enthusiasm for a book.  In particular, Novik used a straight-forward and consistent story-telling style.  There were surprises here and there, but this isn’t a twisty story with an intricate plot that keeps you confused and anxious to learn what the heck is going on.  I do normally prefer a twistier story, but it held my interest well anyway.  I would be surprised though if somebody who isn’t crazy for the books from the beginning were to change their mind if they tried to keep reading.  The things that made the series enjoyable for me from the start are mostly the same things that sustained my interest through to the end.

 

Novik writes action scenes well, and she also does very well with making characters likeable and sympathetic.  She writes the interactions between characters well too.  I was happy that there wasn’t much romance in the series; I think that would have taken away from the more interesting relationships and been more a source of annoyance than anything.  There isn’t anything too deep here, but I liked the theme of duty versus morality that showed up throughout the series, forcing our characters to decide which should take precedence when those two things were in conflict and to deal with the consequences of their choices.  Even though the series is set during a war, it has a fairly light tone.  Bad and discouraging things happen, but there’s also a decent amount of humor and optimism. 

 

I plan to keep an eye out for future books the author publishes, and I’ll read the new anthology (Golden Age and Other Stories) sooner or later.  Right now I only see a $25 hardcover available for pre-order so I’ll either borrow it from the library if it’s available, or I’ll purchase it when there’s a reasonably-priced Kindle edition available.

 

Next Book

A standalone fantasy book from the 80’s called Weaveworld by Clive Barker.  This is one of those books on my list that I bought on sale a while back and know absolutely nothing about, so I look forward to being surprised.  Hopefully in a pleasant way, but we’ll see. :)

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review 2017-07-22 15:55
Review: Blood of Tyrants (Temeraire Book 8 of 9)
Blood of Tyrants - Naomi Novik

Blood of Tyrants is the eighth and penultimate book in the Temeraire series.  I enjoyed it equally as much as the previous books, although a little more unevenly.  I was fully engrossed for the first 75% or so, but I occasionally felt restless toward the end.

 

Some of the early events, though occasionally frustrating, really highlighted Laurence’s character growth throughout the series, and Temeraire’s too.  I was also happy to see my favorite secondary character show back up.

 

This book doesn’t exactly end on a cliff hanger, but it did feel a little less wrapped-up than the previous books, setting the stage for the final events coming up next.  I look forward to finding out how the series ends.

 

Next Book

League of Dragons by Naomi Novik, the last book in the Temeraire series, not counting the anthology due out next month.

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review 2017-07-20 15:38
One of my favorite tropes is included
Blood of Tyrants - Naomi Novik

And man, I just loved this novel.  I know that this isn't for everyone - amnesia trope, by the way - but I've loved it since I fell in love with the X-Men, and Wolverine in particular.  I also love how well Novik does hurt/comfort, two tropes that are well used in fanfiction.   It should be noted that Novik is very open about starting out writing fanfiction, realizing she didn't like those confines, and never wanting to write fanfiction, filing off that serial number, and replacing names before publishing.  Oh, no, she uses fanfiction to get somewhere original, to eventually create a wholly original world. 

 

But I'm not surprised to see so many tropes that I enjoy and are used in fanfic so often in her writing either. 

 

Laurence, shipwrecked in China, has to find his way back to Temeraire, without use of his memory.   Meanwhile, everyone around Temeraire is convinced that Laurence is drowned, and tries to let him get on with it - mostly by allowing him to believe that Laurence is alive and to keep looking for him until he wears himself out with that searching.   

 

I find it very telling when they're apart and what they're willing to do for each other: it's touching, and I couldn't help but hurt for Temeraire every time someone tried to tell him Laurence was dead. 

 

Love, love, love.   This one moved really quickly for me, and I tended to resent having to put it down.  Looking forward to the last novel.

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text 2017-07-19 22:00
So, B&N cancelled my preorder.
Golden Age and Other Stories - Naomi Novik

Uh-huh.   Pre-ordered it via Amazon now, because I didn't want to have to deal with shipping and handling on separate packages if I wanted Well's All Systems Red in paperback, too. 

 

Golden Age is something I definitely want in paper for the illustrations, by the way.  I was going to skip this.   All side characters from what I'd read, and none of them interest me as much as Temeraire. 

 

None other than Novik herself claimed this was like 90% Temeraire.   So, I immediately pre-ordered it after Readercon.  I tried from B&N because I could have gotten it with my employee discount.   I don't want to have to wait and remember - which I'll end up flaking on, especially since it's coming out soon before school - thus the Amazon pre-order.  

 

By the way, she's turning a fairy tale short into a novel, too, but not sure when that'll be ready/out.  

 

 

I also need to pre-order Akata Witch 2, and Binti: Masquerade both by Nnedi Okorafor.   Sadly, this will be the last Binti for a while, but she said she loved this world so it might come back in the future.   Fingers crossed. 

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review 2017-07-19 09:54
Golden Age and Other Stories
Golden Age and Other Stories - Naomi Novik

by Naomi Novik

 

I wanted to read something by Naomi Novik, but didn't realise this collection of short stories was fan fiction related to the Temeraire series, which I haven't read. Never mind, it's a good test of a story collection like this to see if it can stand on its own.

 

The first story, Volley's Cow, did leave me a little bewildered. I think there was an assumption of familiarity with the characters, both human and dragon, as well as adventures they had been through in the series. The second story, Planting Season, was more self-contained and stood on its own well.

 

This was followed by Dawn of Battle, which I think probably reflected the sort of military battle atmosphere of the series and gave me a taste of the dragons and how they work in this world.

 

Then there is the title story, Golden Age. This one is longer than the others and rather good. My impression was that it was an alternative history using the characters from the first book of the series and focused very much on the nature of the dragons.

 

The next story, Succession, takes place in China and tells about how the French came to have a Celestial egg. This is followed by Dragons and Decorum, about a young woman being recruited into the air Corp, because female dragons will only have female handlers. Although I haven't yet read Pride and Prejudice, the use of the names Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy suggest there might be a nod to that book in this story.

 

The book wraps up with a section of Drabbles, 100 word stories. These were amusing and gave me some snippets of the world in which this series manifests. thought it was a nice way to finish up the collection. The artwork alone is worthwhile.

 

Over all an enjoyable read that I'm sure will be indispensable to readers of the Temeraire series.

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