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review 2018-03-22 01:48
Storm Front - Jim Butcher

It started off slow, got really good around the middle and then fizzled out at the end. I did like Harry but I think the way his character was written, was not enough to draw me into his world. When the murderer was revealed, I just shrugged as there was no investment for me. There was not enough explanation of how wizards came to be, the White Council, his guardian Morgan, Harry's supposed crimes, etc. I know this is the first book in the series but it left too many unanswered questions. I may read the second book, but I'm in no great hurry.

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review 2018-03-22 00:38
Master of the House of Darts by Aliette de Bodard
Master of the House of Darts - Aliette de Bodard

Series: Obsidian and Blood #3


In this conclusion to the Obsidian and Blood trilogy, Acatl has to investigate a possible plague after a warrior collapses during the Revered Speaker's return ceremony. Acatl is High Priest of the Dead and the whole trilogy is a historical fantasy based on the Aztec Empire in the 15th century. It's pretty neat, although somewhat bloody (you know the Aztecs and blood sacrifices).


The only bummer was that I found that the text had a higher number of mistakes than I like (a few missing words and typos).

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review 2018-03-22 00:21
Frankenstein in Baghdad: A Novel - Ahmed Saadawi
“Because I'm made up of body parts of people from diverse backgrounds - ethnicities, tribes, races and social classes - I represent the impossible mix that never was achieved in the past. I'm the first true Iraqi citizen, he (the Whatsitsname) thinks.”

I'm completely gobsmacked after finishing FRANKENSTEIN IN BAGHDAD. I didn't really know what to expect. I'm not usually a big horror reader, but this sounded so interesting, I decided how could it hurt to try? So I borrowed the fairly short library book, telling myself I could just give it back if I wasn't into it. Not only was I into it, I read it quickly in two sittings and I've been talking about this and one other book to anyone who will listen for days.


The large number of characters are fully realized and formed. It's incredibly complex and has a deep, twisty narrative with various interwoven storylines. It's satire, dark witty humor, and on a surface level both funny and freakish. Then the minute you think for a second about what's going on, this horror novel is deeply disturbing on myriad levels. It's allegorical, it's a straight-up retelling of Shelley's Frankenstein, it's a government spoof, and a few other things.


In US-occupied Baghdad, we start off with classified documents about a "story." It involves all the usual nonsense the US government is fond of doing, and my first thought was "I can see the government classifying everything and arresting people for a story." Seemed highly realistic to me. 


It may be a substandard horror novel. I wasn't scared. It may be a poor translation, or it may simply be that the terror is found in a different reading. I was disturbed and slightly tortured about the underlying message and circumstance being satirized -- the American occupation of Baghdad, the constant drones, the literal blowing-apart of both people and a country. 


There is some true brilliance of social, political, national, religious, human, etc commentary offered.Some people found it "slow." I'd guess they were looking for a horror novel only, not one that integrates the many facets this novel brings. 


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text 2018-03-21 23:22
Reading progress update: I've read 20%.
The Hazel Wood - Melissa Albert

So far, this book is much more than I thought it would be. Well, that's not entirely accurate. I actually picked this book up without reading the synopsis because LOOK AT THAT COVER. Yes, it was a case of cover love. No, I'm not sorry. It's actually genuinely good so far.


I'm on a Fantasy kick again. I can't shake it. I'm going to assume it's because it's what I need to read right now, and just roll with it. 

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text 2018-03-21 19:58
Reading progress: 10%.
Too Like the Lightning - Ada Palmer

What's up with all the references to 18th century stuff? Is it eventually supposed to add something to the story?


Oh, okay, fine -enough of a scholar they know such things but already excusing self from writing as if from our century while pointing out (sometimes slipping into) the style of own century.  I get it; this is in the future where of course language has changed along with gender roles/perception/usage.


It's wearing thin having reader addressed constantly supposedly moving between three styles.  If this book will be breaking the fourth wall to address me the entire story length rather than letting story progress and immerse me, it may not be for me.  


Get on with the story already; you've set the scene, the atmosphere and hinted at lots of complex politics and worldbuilding.  Now follow through and stop narrating subserviently to us ignorant readers who must be spoonfed 18th century philosophers with the utmost apologies for doing so.  It ain't an apology or an accident if you keep doing it.


How on earth did this get so highly rated and awarded?  The "what if" of ditching gender and nationalism -- while here -- so far isn't well done.  The writing has yet to flow well into story unless this is one long-ass foreword where not yet into the story part.

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