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Search tags: fantasy-and-sci-fi
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review 2017-08-02 17:06
King Rat - China MiƩville

This urban grunge fantasy is Mieville's debut novel and the first of his works I've read. This is a riff on the Pied Piper of Hamlin and is imaginative and fast-paced. The language is delightful as is the imagery. The plot, however, is entirely predictable and there is one clear flaw in the plot, having to do with the protagonist's ability to resist the Rat Catcher's tune when no one else can. Still, it's a fun and fast read, and shows Mieville's developing talent. I'll read more of his work. 

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review 2017-06-07 23:37
Chocky - John Wyndham,Margaret Atwood

Wyndham. What a visionary. And this is a wonderful story, in part mystery, in part psychological thriller, in part family story, in part sci-fi, and in all ways, utterly hopeful, well, almost utterly.

 

And did I mention timely? Given the threat we pose to the planet, this book remains pertinent.

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review 2017-04-06 00:11
Kindred - Octavia E. Butler

The first book of Butler's I've read. A fascinating writer who breaks new ground, especially for the time in which the book was written. She brings a black feminist aesthetic to her work and uses it to expose cultural, sexual, and racial biases, all the while offering the reader a gripping tale.

While this work might not be as shocking now as it was in 1979, it's well worth a read. Classified as a 'science-fiction' work due to the time travel, it stands equally in 'literary fiction', as does the work of Ursula LeGuin, and 'African-American literature'.

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review 2017-01-14 18:06
Frostblood
Frostblood (The Frostblood Saga) - Elly Blake

From time to time I always enjoy looking for a new YA series to start. I received an email from Netgalley about this book and it interested me so much that I thought it would be the next YA series that I'd try. I really enjoyed this through most of the book but for me the events towards the end of the book really lessened my enjoyment. In fact the ending seemed so wrapped up to me that I don't see how or why this would continue as a series.

 

Ruby was a really good character to follow and I enjoyed reading about her. I liked that her eventual romance with Arcus did not overwhelm the plot. She was going to get her revenge and nothing was going to stop her.

 

Ruby was definitely the bright spot of this book but events towards the end just left me a bit bored. Everything just works out too easily and everything is pretty much wrapped up at the end. I will not be continuing on with this series unfortunately.

 

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the galley.

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review 2016-11-24 10:39
The Black Prism - Brent Weeks

I started reading The Black Prism because one of my English students recommended it to me. I’m a big fan of fantasy, and I had been in a book funk lately. Anything I tried, I just couldn’t get into. However, I started to read this book. I put it down, and kept thinking about it, and that was when I knew, I had a series to read. Finally!

 

The story itself in a way is standard fantasy. There are rich and poor people, a coming war, feuding, magic users vs non-magic users. What sets it apart partly is the magic system. It was very interesting, though at first a bit hard to comprehend. It’s common nowadays to not actually explain stuff, but just have the reader gradually find them out. It did make it hard to understand in the beginning. I often wish people would just have a foreword to explain these things. It makes it a bit hard to get into the story, because you spend your brainpower trying to work out a complicated fantasy magic system. Once I got it though, I do like how it works.

 

The main reason why I really got into the story was one of the main characters, Kip. An overweight, kind of a loser, barely teen boy with a mouth on him. Usually, the main characters are special. He is kind of special, but he’s also really terrible at most things. I’ve never been a teen boy, but I find it immensely funny how he keeps having inappropriate thoughts in the worst moments possible. I also love how he’s not skinny. Most of my life, I’ve been overweight. He is a lot like me in that he hates his fat, but it’s not really something he can help. So while Kip is special, like most main characters nowadays, he still has qualities that make him more relatable.

 

My other favourite character is Gavin. Now, my student looked at me kind of funny when I said this, so I may come to not like him so much in the future, but for now, I do. From the first moment, he is kind of a mystery. There are hints that some things are going on in the background that we don’t know about. There had been one big reveal in the book, and I really loved it, since I never saw it coming. However, there are still some unanswered questions. It keeps the reader really engaged, because you just want to find out the answers.

 

My one problem with the book was the battle scenes. Honestly, after a while, they were dragging on, and I was having a hard time following in my head. It could just be me, because I’ve had a similar problem with other writers. I’m just not a big fan of battles.

 

Overall, I really liked the book. I recommend it to fans of fantasies with good magic systems, or with big battles. I’m definitely reading on, and already snuck a peek at the next book, even though I should be doing other stuff. It’s on my Kindle now though, so I’m definitely reading more today. I only gave it 4 stars, because 5 stars go to books like Harry Potter. The kind where I never want to let go.

 

Cross-posted at Unapologetic Reviews, where you can find more reviews.

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