logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: cultural
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-05-09 04:24
Review: Shadowshaper (Shadowshaper #1) by Daniel Jose Older
Shadowshaper - Daniel José Older

Initial reaction: One of my favorite reads this year so far. I loved this book so much. The MC had a strong voice and the overarching storyline was imaginative and exciting. I'm definitely looking forward to the sequel.

Full review:

I'll admit I saw this book on the shelf at my library and was completely taken by cover lust. If you also want a different experience than reading the physical book, the audio version is wonderfully read by Anika Noni Rose (I ended up purchasing this from Audible because I loved the book so much.)

I think one of the things that I can say off the bat about this book's collective experience was that it was so much fun to read and very imaginative. I haven't read any of Daniel Jose Older's work before this point, but my experience with "Shadowshaper" makes me want to read more. The story revolves around a young woman named Sierra who descends from a long line of "Shadowshapers": those who can magically manipulate the art they create. Sierra's ill grandfather suddenly snaps out of his near comatose state, begging Siera to finish a mural that she notices has come to life and is quickly fading away. She doesn't understand what it means at first, but a rich history and harrowing adventure unfolds as Sierra discovers not only her hidden abilities but a rich and dynamic family history that was kept hidden from her because of the rising conflicts between members of her family. I really enjoyed Sierra's strongly asserted voice and the dynamic characters that I came to know in this book. Even the romantic angles of the story were well-developed and in a dynamic I was rooting for throughout the story. It's the kind of tale that I wish more YA novels had the depth and development to tell. Plus, the multicultural cast, lore and history really sets this book apart from many of its peers.

I'm definitely looking forward to the next book in the series.

Overall score: 4.5/5 stars.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-05-03 03:18
Whispers Under Ground
Whispers Under Ground - Ben Aaronovitch,Kobna Holdbrook-Smith

Still fun. Still funny. Sort of cozy for an UF series. I never really feel like there are any actual stakes, of the Mr. Pointy variety or the life-threatening variety. This is more like Murder She Wrote with ghosts. 

 

Peter's still a swell bloke, and I'm really liking Leslie's role and her confidence in her ability to do her job and learn magic despite the ongoing effects of what happened to her in the first book. 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-04-29 04:27
THE BAD-ASS LIBRARIANS OF TIMBUKTU by Joshua Hammer
The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu: And Their Race to Save the World’s Most Precious Manuscripts - Joshua Hammer

The title is a little misleading. While this does deal with the collection of the ancient manuscripts hidden in and around Timbuktu and through Mali, it deals more with the cultural and social history of Timbuktu as well as current events.

The story of the manuscripts is interesting--how they were gotten, preserved, hidden from the jihadists, removed from Timbuktu, and saved. The cultural history of the area and the manuscripts was more interesting. I learned a lot. The current history of the area was extremely interesting. This book opened my eyes to so much. This is only a drop of what I don't know. It makes me want to read more about African history, colonialism in Africa, the French Foreign Legion, whatever more whets my appetite to learn.
 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-04-22 02:57
Standing Alone - DNF @ 28%
Standing Alone: An American Woman's Struggle for the Soul of Islam (Plus) - Asra Q. Nomani

88 pages all saying about the same thing: radical Islam hates women. Which I didn't even need to read one page to know that. There are certainly a lot of interesting things here, and I enjoyed what I learned, especially about the roots of Islam and how it's changed. The issue is that while this is technically well-written (the author is a journalist and knows her grammar), it's not very absorbing. It's repetitive, and reads like an article rather than a book. Half of these 88 pages could have been trimmed out without losing anything essential.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-04-07 03:09
Moon Over Soho
Moon Over Soho - Ben Aaronovitch,Kobna Holdbrook-Smith

"For a terrifying moment I thought he was going to hug me, but fortunately we both remembered we were English just in time. Still, it was a close call."

 

 

I'm confused by what this series is doing with its vampires. On the one hand, they don't sparkle and that's always a good thing. Aaronvitch is definitely doing something different with them than the same-old, same-old, which is also good. But... jazz vampires? That's either really brilliant or really lame. But they're still not sparkling, so they're several points ahead of some other vampires I could name but won't. ;)

 

If you're familiar with The Dresden Files, I'd liken these vamps more to the incubus vamps in that series. It's certainly interesting, but it also sets up an rather contrived series of events that leads Grant to the whodunit and it just doesn't really get me throwing up the jazz hands, if you get my drift. It also raises some questions that I'm hoping get answered in the next book.

 

And while Peter continues to be a darling, I have to say, I can't get terribly choked up about some vampires getting dusted. (And now I'm wondering if the creators of Grimm are fans of this series. That show can certainly be described as a cross between Supernatural and Peter Grant/Rivers of London.)

 

I'm pleased to say that the narrator does a much better job here than he did with the first book. He must've gotten some coaching tips between books because none of the constant asthmatic breathing is present here. It's a very smooth narration, and despite his voice still being sexy as hell, I was actually able to concentrate on what he was saying. :D

 

This was still loads of fun, and I'm looking forward to continuing the series.

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?