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text 2017-03-24 12:30
Reading progress update: I've read 15 out of 591 pages.
Hôtel Olympia - Elisabeth Vonarburg

« Toomi s'est laissé glisser dans le sofa, où les deux chatons se sont approprié ses cuisses pour s'endormir aussitôt, ventre offert et pattes en désordre. »

This image amuses me, with the two kittens sprawled on their backs with their legs every which way (kinda like my cat does).

 

"ventre offert et pattes en désordre" = "belly offered and legs in disorder", more or less.

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review 2017-03-24 02:57
Semper Fidelis by Ruth Downie
Semper Fidelis - Ruth Downie

Series: Gaius Ruso #5

 

I'm not sure why, but I found this one more engaging than I remember the other books in the series being. Of course, it still seemed to go on a while and some of the events seemed a bit ridiculous, but it was still mostly fun.

 

Ruso and Tilla found themselves back in Britain and Ruso is back in the army. He finds himself investigating some funny goings-on with the native recruits and Tilla gets involved, naturally.

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review 2017-03-16 00:38
Brother’s Ruin by Emma Newman
Brother's Ruin - Emma Newman

Series: Industrial Magic #1

 

Brother’s Ruin is Emma Newman’s brand new fantasy novella set in a Victorian world where mages form a kind of guild, the Royal Society of Esoteric Arts. They owe service to the Crown and can’t have a life outside of the Society. Charlotte (or Charlie) is a young woman with magical and artistic talents who chafes at the confines of her life but is desperate to remain free of the Royal Society. Unfortunately, plot happens and Royal Society mages get invited into her home by her father.

 

It’s an interesting world, and I liked Charlotte (her brother Ben is harder to like), but I think this is Emma Newman’s weakest work that I’ve read so far. The suspense gets lost in a lot of convenient happenings where too many things just seem to work. I also felt that a lot of the happenings were a little too well telegraphed. That said, I still enjoyed the book, and I’d definitely pick up a sequel to see more of this world and Charlie. I can see the sequels getting much better as the world gets better established and the plot thickens. Although the immediate story is resolved, this really is just a lead into a larger story.

 

Here’s hoping for more!

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text 2017-03-14 23:45
Reading progress update: I've read 48%.
Brother's Ruin - Emma Newman

I'm not sure I understand the logic behind not being able to pay the debt.

 

Charlie's father was relying on a commission to pay back the debt, which he lost to Charlie, who used it to pay for her brother's schooling, so we were still keeping the funds within the family and her brother would have needed more money anyway, so I don't see how things were supposed to come out ok. I know there was another commission or two in there, but still.

(spoiler show)
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review 2017-03-11 20:41
The Stars are Legion by Kameron Hurley
The Stars Are Legion - Kameron Hurley

I needed this book. It is pure escapist fun. Brutal, but fun.

 

Hurley throws you right in the deep end with Zan, a warrior who has lost her memory. She explains the minimum amount required for the narrative to make sense, so you’re basically forced to just to accept things until they get explained in bits and pieces, generally much later on. I’m ok with that, and I find it to be a much better world-building experience than info-dump after info-dump. Also, everything that I thought needed an explanation got explained. I’ll admit that some of the background information is only implied and I had to fill it in myself, and I think that’s what drove some people crazy who didn’t like the book. Because the whole idea that the worldships have been orbiting in Legion for so many generations that they are just literally starting to fall apart was pretty clear, I thought, although I suppose it’s never actually spelled out.

 

You should just ignore the summary because it’s hard to summarize this book without giving away spoilers, and the summary won’t prepare you for the book. We have massive organic worldships run by various clans at war with each other. The Katazyrna, the Bhavaja, and the Mokshi are the big players in the novel. They’re at war for resources, basically, and Zan and Jayd (mentioned in the summary) are trying to break away from the past destructive cycles. Of course, this naturally entails a lot of death and destruction.

 

All the characters are female, but this makes sense in the context of this universe. If this is too unbelievable for you, this probably isn’t the book for you.

There is literally no biological function for men to perform in this world, Legion, so just consider them all post-humans rather than your traditional humans. It would have made no sense to shoe-horn males into this world, so get over it if that’s your beef. Actually, it’s never confirmed that they are our descendants, so they could all be aliens instead. It doesn’t matter to the story. They’re trying to escape Legion and its decay but they’ve lost too much knowledge to do it easily.

(spoiler show)

 

I’d call this space opera, but you can tack on the fantasy label if the advanced technology seems too much like magic. Be forewarned that there’s a lot of violence and moral grey zones, but I thought it was great.

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