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Search tags: fantasy-and-sci-fi
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review 2018-10-15 03:03
All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders
All the Birds in the Sky - Charlie Jane Anders

This is in a lot of ways a fun, quirky book, but somehow I managed to not realize going in that it’s ultimately about the effects of catastrophic climate change. So I wound up finding it too depressing, for real-world reasons, to really enjoy.

 

The book starts with the two protagonists, Patricia and Laurence, as kids, both outcasts at school who happen to be unusually gifted (Patricia with magic and Laurence with science) and who become friends. Usually I don’t have much to say for child characters, but the third of the book following their childhoods was my favorite part of this one. It’s fun and quirky, vividly over-the-top in a Roald Dahl kind of way that doesn’t take itself too seriously. And the pair as kids are fun and relatable.

 

Then they grow up, and the middle third of the book sags a bit, as the characters meander through a near-future San Francisco without a particular sense of urgency. The characters aren’t especially deep, but they do feel like real, weird people, speaking and thinking like actual millennials; for instance, Laurence worries that he’s not good at active listening, while Patricia is concerned that she’s too self-centered (when she’s not). Then at about the two-thirds mark, we get a chapter straight out of On the Beach, and this became “that horribly depressing book that I have to finish because I’m most of the way there” for the remainder; even when depressing things weren’t actually happening, it was still a climate change book. The ending isn’t a total downer, but only because of

a fantastical solution with no real-world application.

(spoiler show)

 

And yeah, it’s important that people think about this stuff and take it seriously, but I’ve done that for years with no effect; in the end I’m one person with no particular power to effect change, and exposing myself to this kind of material depresses me without doing anyone any good. Real power is in the hands of corporations and the politicians they fund (supported by a public who will believe any message they want to hear that lets them claim moral high ground while requiring nothing of them). And the powers-that-be don’t care much about anything beyond this quarter’s profits. So, too bad we don’t have the level of magic and science that exist in this book to solve our problems for us, I guess?

 

God, this was depressing. I would read something else by this author on a different topic though.

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review 2018-10-14 23:21
City of Brass
The City of Brass - S.A. Chakraborty

First, I would like to say I am glad I had someone read this to me, because some of these names, locations and titles were incomprehensible to me.

 

Now, as for the story, I loved the imagery. The vibrant world and history. But I found this plot wordy and dense. And when it was over, I was also left with a whole lot of unanswered questions. It seemed the plot meandered and snaked, which wouldn't normally be bad. But in this case, I felt like sometimes it forgot what it was trying to convey.

 

The characters were at least varied. We had the leading man, the womanizing secretly gay prince, the uptight warrior, the political king, the snobby princess. This book covered the whole gamete. 

 

If there is a second in this series, I don't know if I will bother with it. 

 

Edit: This is a trilogy. The second is called The Kingdom of Copper, and from the blurb I'm not interested much at all.

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text 2018-10-14 03:23
Reading progress update: I've listened 104 out of 928 minutes.
Dracula - Bram Stoker,Susan Duerden,Tim Curry,Graeme Malcolm,Steven Crossley,John Lee,Alan Cumming,Simon Vance,Katherine Kellgren

Dracula counts as gothic, right?

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review 2018-10-13 23:29
Night Shift by Nalini Singh, Ilona Andrews, Lisa Shearin, Milla Vane
Night Shift - Nalini Singh,Lisa Shearin,Ilona Andrews,Milla Vane

The Secrets of Midnight by Nalini Singh

Such a cute and wonderful story. It's predictable, but so fun to read. 4.5 stars

Magic Steals by Ilona Andrews
Fantastic world, great storyline, and awesome characters. I fell in love with Jim and really appreciated that Dali wasn't "a gorgeous kick-ass heroine with amazing rack". Such a nice change. More than 5 stars

Lucky Charms by Lisa Shearin
Interesting world. There were too many characters and they weren't as solid as in the first two stories. But Mac's work sounded interesting and for the prequel novella, it was good enough to make me interested in reading the first book of the series. 4 stars

The Beast of Blackmoor by Milla Vane
Big disappointment. The story wasn't urban fantasy or paranormal romance. It was erotica and I didn't like the style or the setting. The characters were okay, but there was too much sex in it and the way these scenes were written was just creepy. 2 stars

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review 2018-10-13 22:03
Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett (audiobook)
Wyrd Sisters - Terry Pratchett,Celia Imrie

Series: Discworld #6

 

This is still an early Discworld book, so the world isn't fully fleshed out and Pratchett, although entertaining, still hasn't quite hit his groove. It's the first book with the witches (no, Equal Rites doesn't really count in my book) and we see that Granny Weatherwax isn't nearly as formidable or as wise as she becomes in later books. Greebo does feature, however.

 

It does have some great moments, which I didn't share this time around because I was listening to the audio version and it's harder to note them. I read this for the Spellbound square for the 2018 Halloween Bingo.

 

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