Review: Of Noble Family

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Of Noble Family
Of Noble Family by Mary Robinette Kowal
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is a heavyweight – and not just because it’s almost twice as big as the earlier ones.

(mild spoilers follow)

Whereas Valour and Vanity was a historical heist novel, Of Noble Family could be seen as a psychological thriller. What should have been a simple engagement or even a relaxing vacation turns soon into horror, and Jane and Vincent have to bear the effects of … (Read more)

Review: The Goblin Emperor

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The Goblin Emperor
The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book was… nice? OK? I really have a hard time finding much about it that I didn’t like, but there isn’t much of particularly exceptional either. (Except for Csevet. Csevet rules.)

(mild spoilers follow)

Maia is a particularly nice main character who main characteristic is being nice. Granted, I’m extremely glad that he has enough political knowledge not to be the stupid kind of nice who makes … (Read more)

Review: Conservation of Shadows

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Conservation of Shadows
Conservation of Shadows by Yoon Ha Lee
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

All right, the important bits first: if you haven’t read this book yet DO IT DO IT NOWWWWWWW. Ahem.

The only word that comes to describe this collection of short stories by Yoon Ha Lee is “astounding”. The author’s prose is rich and succulent, each phrase a meal in itself, at times reminding me of Borges and Cat Valente.

Most of the stories in the collection are … (Read more)

Review: The Bread We Eat in Dreams

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The Bread We Eat in Dreams
The Bread We Eat in Dreams by Catherynne M. Valente
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a wonderful anthology, and a perfect starting place for those who want to delve into the writings of Catherynne Valente without committing to a full novel.

I have read most of the stories in this anthology before and, on a second read, they don’t come as strong or shocking, but more like long-time friends or forgotten lovers with which to share a … (Read more)

Review: The Melancholy of Mechagirl

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The Melancholy of Mechagirl
The Melancholy of Mechagirl by Catherynne M. Valente
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I had already read most of these stories separately, so reading them again together was like visiting a distant country for the second time: though the overall panorama has not changed, some things have moved, some have changed, some touch you in different ways.

I will leave judging the poetry to someone else, as that is not really my usual field. I liked Tsukayama Park better … (Read more)

Review: Newt’s Emerald

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Newt's Emerald
Newt’s Emerald by Garth Nix
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book is a fun, fast read but as, other commenters have said, the best word to describe it would probably be “cute”.
The plot is set into an alternate-history regency with magic, and is pretty much a fast-paced action romp with simple but relatable characters.

The most distracting issues is that, because of its macguffin nature, one of the main plot points (the main character disguises herself as … (Read more)