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review 2020-06-05 13:45
Winterglass
Winterglass - Benjanun Sriduangkaew

 As her homeland of Sirapirat is being conquered by the Winter Queen and it's people being fed to the ghost kiln, Nuawa is given a tiny shard of glass to swallow by her mother.  Nuawa survives the ghost kiln and is taken in by her Aunt.  Nuawa trains relentlessly to be a fighter and one day avenge her homeland and mother.  Her chance comes with a tournament where the prize is to be trained by General Lussadh, the Queen's right hand.  Nuawa easily qualifies for the tournament and moves forward, gaining favor with General Lussadh who quickly recognizes Nuawa as a glass-bearer. 

 
Winterglass is  an intriguing retelling of The Snow Queen with a science fiction spin.  The writing is beautiful and pulled me into the scenes of the brutal landscape and resilient people. I was immediately fascinated by the world that was created, the mysterious Winter Queen, the ghost kiln and the many different people now living in everlasting winter.  However, I kept feeling that I was missing something of how and why the Winter Queen came to be and why she is so destructive.  Nuawa is a very decisive character.  She has one purpose and knows she will fulfill it no matter what.  This makes her motivations clear, but also a little difficult to get to know.  I really liked the idea of the glass fragments as well as all of the other enchantments in the world, but I really wanted a little more time to get to know about them.  I also give a big kudos for this world being built with gender neutrality and fluidity.  The pronouns for some people are 'ey' as in they and sexual preference is a non-issue.  This is a shorter book and is very action packed.  There is some explanation of the Winter Queen and glass fragments near the end, but not nearly enough.  This is book one of a series, so I will definitely want to check out what happens next.  

This book was received for free in return for an honest review. 
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text 2020-06-03 23:32
Reading progress update: I've read 12%.
Scarlet Odyssey - D. RWIZI

'Scarlet Odyssey' was my pick from Amazon's First Reads offer this month.

 

It's a debut novel from a young writer, born in Zimbabwe and educated in Costa Rica and the US and now living in South Africa. I was attracted to it because I've seen some great things coming from African Science Fiction writers in the past few years. This one takes the classic fantasy quest framework and weaves in new-to-me mythologies and has some novel gender-based divisions of labour - woman are the quick-witted ones who learn and wield magic, men are the ones who attack big beasts with their bare hands.

 

It's off to an excellent start with two interesting characters (who haven't met yet) some startling magic and a lot of action.

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text 2020-06-01 22:39
Europe in Autumn by Dave Hutchinson
Europe In Autumn - Dave Hutchinson,Graham Rowat

Abandoned @ 19 %

 

This just isn't holding my attention.

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review 2020-05-30 23:11
Gives Uhura a chance to shine as a character
The Tears of the Singers (Star Trek, #19) - Melinda M. Snodgrass
When a freighter disappears into an expanding time/space warp in the Taygeta V system, Starfleet sends the USS Enterprise to investigate. With them is Guy Maslin, a brilliant but temperamental composer seconded to the mission to help the crew understand the song of the native Taygetans, who may hold a clue to the problem of the warp. When they arrive, however, they encounter a force of two Klingon vessels commanded by James Kirk's old adversary Kor, who has been dispatched on a mission similar to that of the Enterprise. Forging an uneasy agreement, the two groups work together to solve the mystery of the Taygetans before the rift consumes the system's sun — and possibly the galaxy itself.
 
Years before she became a script editor for Star Trek: The Next Generation and the writer of one of that's show's greatest episodes, Melinda Snodgrass entered the Star Trek franchise with this novel. For a first novel it's a well-developed work, with an interesting plot premised around a strong mystery. In it she makes especially good use of Uhura, one of the underutilized characters from the original series who only got a chance to flourish in the later works of the franchise. At Snodgrass's hands she develops into a strong and capable officer who demonstrates her full value as a ship's crew member. Snodgrass also does justice to the Klingons, who until that point had not always been well served by the novels (that John M. Ford's The Final Reflection was published just four months before Snodgrass's book suggests that hers was among the last Star Trek works not shaped by his influential book). Yet some elements of her story have not aged well; the idea of the Federation authorizing the slaughter of animals for the collectibles they produce doesn't fit well with Roddenberry's vision, while Guy Maslin's behavior seems particularly incongruous in the era of #MeToo. Yet these are relatively minor when set against the strengths of one of the better Star Trek novels form the 1980s Pocket Books era.
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text 2020-05-29 21:11
Reading progress update: I've read 1%.
Exit Strategy - Martha Wells

About 4 hours ago I have been told that I have to do an impromptu night shift at work. Ah, the good times. 

 

So I´m a little bit peeved. And I´m currently not reading anything light and easy. And I don´t want to start a bigger book today, because I want to throw the dice tomorrow. (As you can tell, I´m not in one of my better moods today).

 

But thankfully, I have the fourth Murderbot Novella on my e-reader. I hope it can cheer me up a little bit. Plus, I have to finish this novella before reading the full-length novel Network Effect.

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