Review: Summer in Orcus

posted in: Blog, Reviews | 0

Summer in OrcusSummer in Orcus by T. Kingfisher
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Will I ever stop adoring everything Ursula writes? Probably not.
This is a portal fantasy with a girl who is wise beyond her years but still gets scared and doesn’t know how to fight and has to rely on her friends and the goodwill of others for most things.
This is a story where the bad guy razes villages to the ground but also wants the time to … (Read more)

Review: Ghost Talkers

posted in: Blog | 0

Ghost TalkersGhost Talkers by Mary Robinette Kowal
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really liked this book. I liked the characters, and the historical backdrop, and the plot, and the mystery, and the cyphers, and the cure for details (especially the importance of women and people of colour in the war).

And yet…

Ghost Talkers is not just a historical fantasy thriller, but also a love story. A love story in which one of the two lovers dies at the … (Read more)

Review: Laser Moose and Rabbit Boy

posted in: Blog, Reviews | 0

Laser Moose and Rabbit BoyLaser Moose and Rabbit Boy by Doug Savage
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Laser Moose and Rabbit Boy protect the forest with the power of, well, lasers, and unending optimism. Alas, they’re likely to cause as much trouble as they prevent.

The book contains three stories and a short adventure, full of improbable happenings and a mix of dark and goofy humour. It’s a very short read for adults, and I think kids will find it funny as well. … (Read more)

Review: Ninefox Gambit

posted in: Blog, Reviews | 0

Ninefox Gambit (The Machineries of Empire, #1)Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ninefox Gambit is the first full-length novel set in Yoon Ha Lee’s complex hexarchate universe, previously explored in several short stories. It’s also one of the best military sci-fi (heck, any sort of sci-fi) books I’ve read lately, sporting a compelling mix of espionage, intrigue, space battles, and ground fights.

In this universe, the hexarchate rules the day-to-day celebrations of its star-spanning empire with an iron fist, because … (Read more)

Review: Full Fathom Five

posted in: Blog, Reviews | 0

Full Fathom Five (Craft Sequence, #3)Full Fathom Five by Max Gladstone
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’m reading this series slightly out of order, though luckily the stories are mostly self-contained. Having just finished it, my feeling is that FFF is a better story than Three Parts Dead, though of course the first volume has the added weight of having to introduce world and characters from scratch, while FFF doesn’t bother too much explaining gods, Craft, and walking skeletons to first time readers. Only … (Read more)

Review: The Girl Who Raced Fairyland All the Way Home

posted in: Blog | 0

The Girl Who Raced Fairyland All the Way Home (Fairyland, #5)The Girl Who Raced Fairyland All the Way Home by Catherynne M. Valente
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Endings are tricky things. They don’t really exist, as the narrator helpfully reminds us, and yet, at the same time, the point where you do stop talking does create a rift between before and after, said and unsaid, known and imagined. September and her friends will have many adventures after this book is closed, but a cycle has been ended, a … (Read more)

Review: Forest of Memory

posted in: Blog, Reviews | 0

Forest of MemoryForest of Memory by Mary Robinette Kowal
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The story plays with the themes of memory, recollection, and authenticity. Did something really happen if no one was there to record it? Is an account true if filtered by our fallible memories? If someone tells a story, can we ever be sure they’re not lying?

Some people found an anti-technology message in this story. I really don’t. It just asks some important questions about a technological … (Read more)

Review: Word Puppets

posted in: Blog, Reviews | 0

Word PuppetsWord Puppets by Mary Robinette Kowal
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A good collection, with many strong (and some less, but still enjoyable) pieces that showcase Kowal’s evolution as a short fiction writer. Most of these I had read before, either on the author’s website or on different magazines, but they didn’t lose anything on a second read.

The last three stories of the volume, including Rockets Red, original to this book, share the same universe as the extremely … (Read more)

Review: Speak Easy

posted in: Blog, Reviews | 0

Speak EasySpeak Easy by Catherynne M. Valente
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have mixed feelings about this on a first read. While Cat Valente’s writing style is always luscious and overflowing like a fountain, perfectly capturing the slang, essence, and style of the 1920s, I don’t think it helped favourably the pacing and narrative of the story. Barely over 140 pages, it felt enormously longer to read. What seemed to be the story of Zelda turned out to be … (Read more)

Review: The Shepherd’s Crown

posted in: Blog | 0

The Shepherd's CrownThe Shepherd’s Crown by Terry Pratchett
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a good book. This is a more than decent final book to Discworld. This is a book as written by a man who has been fighting for years with an illness that threatened his own mind. And it’s actually an excellent draft for a finished novel.
It is not, sadly, a very good Terry Pratchett book.

It is a done story. As the afterword says, it … (Read more)