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Book Reviews

Welcome 2018! (What I read in 2017 and where you can find me this year)

Posted by on Jan 30, 2018 in Blog Posts, Book Reviews, Uncategorized, Work and Career | 0 comments

During the fresh, can-do spirit of the beginning of a new year, it seems like a good time to have another swing at writing for this blog! As I expected last year, blogging hasn’t been my biggest priority, though I’m glad I was able to get some book reviews and publication announcements in last year. So what HAVE I been doing? Fair question! Two big things, mostly: reading, and being paid for reading. (That is, copyediting. And also writing, of course!) 2017 was the first year I...

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Book Review: The Unholy Consult by R. Scott Bakker

Posted by on Aug 7, 2017 in Blog Posts, Book Reviews | 4 comments

Book Review: The Unholy Consult by R. Scott Bakker

The final book in any great series has a certain weight. Often literally. When I unwrapped my review copy of The Unholy Consult (many thanks to Overlook Press), it was as substantial as I could wish. Yet a lot of that weight is appendices–including two short stories, maps, and a glossary more than 100 pages long. The story itself is just 450 pages. At first glance, this seems too short given everything that’s gone before. And it is. Alternatively, the “Second...

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Book Review: The Great Ordeal by R. Scott Bakker

Posted by on Jul 26, 2017 in Blog Posts, Book Reviews | 0 comments

Book Review: The Great Ordeal by R. Scott Bakker

The Great Ordeal–penultimate volume of the Aspect Emperor No-Longer-A-Trilogy, the conclusion of which, The Unholy Consult, was released yesterday–is not only a compelling novel but also very useful as a physical object. A nine-inch by six-inch by three-inch rectangle with the words THE GREAT ORDEAL across the front in an emphatic font is basically the world’s best portable Demotivator. I read this book at the tail end of 2016.  Which was not, by any possible standards, a...

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Book Reviews: Hear No Evil, Citizen Science, and The Grey Star

Posted by on Jan 21, 2014 in Blog Posts, Book Reviews, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Book Reviews: Hear No Evil, Citizen Science, and The Grey Star

A sort of rapid-fire round of book reviews this week, thanks to Christmas reading!1. Be the Change: Saving the World Through Citizen Science by Chanda Clarke Though short (33 PDF pages), this was very readable and informative–it’s designed to teach the principles of citizen science/crowdsourced science to people who have never heard of it before. Now, I’d heard the term before and had vaguely positive associations, but couldn’t explain it to you if you asked me....

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Review: “Collegium Sorcerorum: Thaddeus of Beewicke” by Louis Sauvain

Posted by on Nov 12, 2013 in Blog Posts, Book Reviews, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Review: “Collegium Sorcerorum: Thaddeus of Beewicke” by Louis Sauvain

Another prize from the LibraryThing giveaways program, this one even came with a courteous letter from the author himself. I’m always one to be impressed by presentation, and the presentation of this book was fine indeed: I was especially impressed by the dozen or so illustrations by Sean Bodley scattered throughout the text. The back matter was also quite impressive: 40 pages of Dramatis Personae (not as excessive as it first appears if these characters continue to play a part in this...

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Review: Serving Time by Nadine Ducca

Posted by on Nov 6, 2013 in Blog Posts, Book Reviews, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Review: Serving Time by Nadine Ducca

For this review, another thank you is in order to the LibraryThing giveaways program, and of course Nadine Ducca herself for offering the first volume of her Timekeepers trilogy. I’m a winner once again! Although I was often confused over what was going on, the original mythological background  of Serving Time was strong from the beginning. The author has clearly spent time developing this mythology and shows it by demonstrating her characters’ familiarity with its workings. I...

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Review: Heaven’s Needle by Liane Merciel

Posted by on Oct 31, 2013 in Blog Posts, Book Reviews, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Review: Heaven’s Needle by Liane Merciel

You know how I said The White-Luck Warrior became horror a few pages in? The White-Luck Warrior would take one look at one page of Heaven’s Needle and run away crying. Which is why, despite it being marketed as high fantasy, Heaven’s Needle is my review of choice for Hallow’s Eve this year. (That’s a warning, by the way, that the following review will contain disturbing imagery and if you aren’t up for that, especially if you’re currently eating tasty food,...

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Review: The White-Luck Warrior by R. Scott Bakker

Posted by on Oct 14, 2013 in Blog Posts, Book Reviews, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Review: The White-Luck Warrior by R. Scott Bakker

The White-Luck Warrior by R. Scott BakkerFifty pages in, I realized I had come to approach this as a horror story rather than epic fantasy, as if I was reading Stephen King or the Lovecraft Unbound anthology.  I read horror in a much more defensive mode, trying not to get invested in any character’s survival, and nodding my head whenever a particularly disturbing (I would say, dryly, “quite effective”) scene occurred, making terror an aesthetic observation in hopes of...

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Review: Finding Nina by Stephen Hazlett

Posted by on Oct 5, 2013 in Blog Posts, Book Reviews, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Review: Finding Nina by Stephen Hazlett

Another win from the LibraryThing giveaway program, which I highly recommend if you ever find yourself short of books to review ; ) . Finding Nina is the concluding volume to Stephen Hazlett’s City Different trilogy (“The City Different,” an in-story Jeopardy question informs me, is a nickname for Santa Fe). It’s been described variously as a mystery, a thriller, and an “edgy romance”. It’s more a thriller than either of the others–a high-stakes,...

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Book Review: Liane Merciel’s The River King’s Road

Posted by on Sep 25, 2013 in Blog Posts, Book Reviews, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Book Review: Liane Merciel’s The River King’s Road

This is  exactly the kind of fantasy I love: a potentially epic setting but with “low fantasy” focus on the actual people within it. Peasants have the chance to determine fate for a change. Like Saladin Ahmed, I also want “fewer kings and starship captains, more coach drivers and space waitresses” in my spec fic. Beyond class diversity, the spec fic genre also needs progress in racial diversity. It’s something I try to do in my own writing and also something...

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