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review 2017-09-03 02:41
Ancillary Sword
Ancillary Sword - Ann Leckie

On the one hand, Ancillary Sword is a nicely constructed small-scale SF novel focusing on injustices on a single space station and the associated planet. On the other hand, the small scale is a let-down after the sweeping scope of the first volume in this series. While characters in Ancillary Sword spend plenty of time alluding to the wider struggle established in Ancillary Justice, it seems distant and almost as if the events of this book won’t have a bearing on eventual outcomes.

 

The dominant Radchaai culture minimizes gender differentiation and defaults to female pronouns. In Ancillary Justice, perhaps because the book starts outside the Radch, the main character Breq spends a lot of time trying to decipher and assign gender.  Consequently, I spent much of Ancillary Justice, searching for clues such as broad shoulders or voice timbre that indicated the gender of the characters. I found many fewer clues to the gender of the characters in Ancillary Sword, perhaps because the events occur within the Radch and many more of the characters are speaking Radchaai. But I also found myself not worrying as much that I might have been mistakenly picturing people wrong.

 

When my husband read this series, he ended up re-starting each volume immediately after he finished his first read.  I’ve also found that I need to read each book twice before even attempting to review it, though I took a short break between the 1st gulp and the reread.

 

I'm being torn about a star rating, I think Ancillary Justice, which I initially rated 4 stars, is about half a star better than Ancillary Sword, but at the same time 3.5 stars feels low.  I’m looking forward to the last book in the trilogy, though I’m already feeling the tension between just diving right in and the pull of Halloween Bingo.

 

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review 2017-08-28 01:48
Review: The Sword of the Lictor (The Book of the New Sun Book 3 of 5)
The Sword of the Lictor - Gene Wolfe

This is the third book in the series The Book of the New Sun by Gene Wolfe.  I don’t have too much to say about it, but I enjoyed it at the same level as the previous two. 

 

The previous book had a couple things that drove me nuts, and this book did not.  Even Severian’s constant harping about his perfect memory is toned down to a more tolerable level.  The story also held my interest pretty consistently all the way through.  On the other hand, there really weren’t any secondary characters in this book that I felt attached to like I had in the previous book. 

 

I have one very spoiler-ish thing to talk about in spoiler tags:

I did really like Little Severian and the brief period in which our Severian takes on the role of his father.  The boy’s death really caught me by surprise.  I guess it was supposed to be ironic that at one point Severian muses that he isn’t sure which he was more worried about losing, the boy or his sword, when he’s climbing up mountains with both on his back.  By the end of the book, he’s lost both.

(spoiler show)

 

This book continues to create more questions, but it also answered or hinted at answers to quite a few things.  On to the fourth book!

 

Next Book

The Citadel of the Autarch by Gene Wolfe, the fourth book in this series.

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text 2017-08-18 20:29
Friday Reads - August 18, 2017
Emma And The Outlaw - Linda Lael Miller
Secret Agent Under Fire (Silver Valley P.D.) - Geri Krotow
[(Butterfly Swords)] [By (author) Jeannie Lin] published on (October, 2010) - Jeannie Lin
The Dragon and the Pearl - Jeannie Lin
The Sword Dancer - Jeannie Lin
A Dance with Danger (Rebels and Lovers) - Jeannie Lin
The Bootlegger's Daughter (Daughters of the Roaring Twenties) - Lauri Robinson

The calendar might say it is still summer, but the English weather is definitely mid-October like. This upcoming week is the last COYER read-a-thon for summer and Bout of Books cycle 20. So my plan this weekend is to get two print books done before putting aside the rest until the read-a-thon is over or I run out of e-books. In non-reading plans, this weekend will be back to school shopping and going through the kids closets so I can donate/hand me down clothes and know what they need. Ten days to first day of school!

 

Here's my list for the weekend/week ahead:

1. Emma and the Outlaw (Orphan Train #2) by Linda Lael Miller - 41% read

    I'm in a puzzle with this book; on one hand, I am not feeling the MCs and on the other hand, I am sort of interested in the plotline. The heroine is playing a dangerous game with both the hero and the villain, but she is decent otherwise. The hero is a former Confederate soldier (why am I reading this right now??), hoping for the South to rise again and who does not understand, nor respect, the heroine's boundaries (oh hi early 90s historical romance *waves hand*). I won't be reading the other two books in the series.

 

2. Secret Agent Under Fire by Geri Krotow - 15% read

    I would have gotten this book done already if it weren't for the bitchy heroine. Again, pacing issues.

 

3. Butterfly Swords by Jeannie Lin - 12% read

    I started this book in mid-July. The slowest pace of a book. Something please happen soon! This book is the first in the series, so I am forcing myself to finish it so I can understand what is going on in the later books. I could really use a dose of Li Bai Shen right about now.

 

4. The Bootlegger's Daughter by Lauri Robinson - 12% read

    I started this book in mid-July, after Butterfly Swords lulled me to sleep. I am not feeling either hero, the heroine, or the plot. I'll give it to 30%; if it doesn't move the plot or the characters get better, it is going into the DNF pile.

 

5. The Dragon and the Pearl by Jeannie Lin

 

6. The Sword Dancer by Jeannie Lin

 

7. A Dance with Danger by Jeannie Lin

 

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review 2017-08-14 15:18
Glass Sword
Glass Sword (Red Queen) - Victoria Aveyard

Ugh. I was hoping this book would get better for me than the first. Based on some reviews, I knew there was a risk it wouldn't, but a girl can hope, right?

 

Mare started out in the first book as kind of a badass. Then by the end of book one, she turned a bit whiny. Now, at the end of book two, she's basically just a cold-hearted bitch. I'm struggling to find any sort of redeeming quality for her. Yeah, she's young and been through a lot - I get that she might snap a few times and say something insensitive. But we're in her head, so it's her thoughts too. She turns on everyone - all because Julian, who she knew for only a short period of time, once told her that 'anyone can betray anyone' (and we hear that statement ALL THE FREAKING TIME). She apparently trusts what this Julian says more so than her family or Kilorn who she's known her whole life and continues to stand by her even though she shits on him all the time. Julian must have been right because Maven, the guy she didn't really know and was betrothed to out of force, betrayed her. Sure, that makes perfect sense for why she wouldn't trust the people who have been by her side from the beginning. What??

 

And I'm seriously missing why Mare is treated as the most important person in existence, by both sides. I could understand why Maven would be obsessed with getting her back under her control -- except for the fact that he tried to kill her. So if he wanted to control her why wouldn't he have done that from the start? 

 

And it was way too long. By like 200 pages. Maybe more. Just a lot of nonaction and thoughts from Mare which were the same thoughts on every other page. 

 

Ugh. I'm taking a break from this series. There's one more out right now, and I think there's a 4th coming. I hope that will be the last one. I don't know yet if I'll finish out the series. I sort of don't really care at this point.

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review 2017-08-13 00:00
Kingmaker's Sword (The Rune Blade Trilogy, Book 1)
Kingmaker's Sword (The Rune Blade Trilogy, Book 1) - Ann Marston

Great book, loved it! Loved the main three characters and their bond with each other. Definitely recommended if you want to read a wonderful AU Celtic/Scottish fantasy with a solid plot and marvelous characters. You wouldn't want to meet the bad guys in a dark alley though, unless the good guys with their swords were at your side.

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