Review: Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman (Tess of the Road #1)

Image result for tess of the road by rachel hartman

goodreads

There are many, many stories about roads and journeys in fantasy, and just as many sayings. Does the walker choose the path, or the path the walker? Journey before destination. The Road goes ever on and on. So in a way, Tess of the Road is a story in the oldest of fantasy traditions.

The road was possibility, the kind she’d thought her life would never hold again, and Tess herself was motion. Motion had no past, only future. Any direction you walked was forward, and that was as must be.

Walk on became her credo; she repeated it to herself every morning upon deciding to get up and exist for one more day.

At the same time, it’s also a fresh take. There’s no grand objective to work towards. And instead of the world, Tess saves herself.

Continue reading “Review: Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman (Tess of the Road #1)”

Advertisements

Review: The Vela by Yoon Ha Lee, Becky Chambers, S.L. Huang, and Rivers Solomon (The Vela: Season #1)

Image result for Yoon Ha Lee

goodreads

ARC received from the publisher (Serial Box) in exchange for an honest review.

I pounced at the opportunity to read this barely holding back the squeeing. You mean a story written by Yoon Ha Lee, Becky Chambers, S.L. Huang, and Rivers Solomon? YES PLEASE   I haven’t read any serials before (I have been planning to poke into Tremontaine, but, well, Mt. TBR), but just from the line-up, this was bound to be good. And it was! As I hoped, this turned out to be exactly the sort of sci-fi I love the most – character-focused, with a side of social commentary. Honestly, I can’t wait for the sequel.

Continue reading “Review: The Vela by Yoon Ha Lee, Becky Chambers, S.L. Huang, and Rivers Solomon (The Vela: Season #1)”

Reread: The Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold (World of the Five Gods #1)

Image result for curse of chalion by lois mcmaster bujold

goodreads

This is not the first time I have read this book. Not even the second. My best estimate would be about fourth or fifth – it’s simply one of those comfort reads I keep returning to again and again when I need a pick-me-up. The familiarity, the characters…it’s one of those books that never grow old and I feel I owe it at least a short review.

Any man can be kind when he is comfortable. I’d always thought kindness a trivial virtue, therefore. But when we were hungry, thirsty, sick, frightened, with our deaths shouting at us, in the heart of horror, you were still as unfailingly courteous as a gentleman at ease before his own hearth.

Continue reading “Reread: The Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold (World of the Five Gods #1)”

Review: City of Saints and Madmen by Jeff VanderMeer (Ambergris #1)

goodreads

I delight in books that piss on convention and pull it off. The plotless, the strange, the experimental. City of Saints and Madmen makes all that I read so far sound perfectly ordinary and reasonable. Of all the books I’ve ever read it is, by far, the oddest and the most experimental of them all. It very slightly resembles The Gray House in the sense of slowly discovering a world while reading (and that was the recommendation that made me pick it up), its use of unreliable narrator, and surrealism, but only a bit, in the most general of senses. The structure and the setting itself are entirely different.

Either way, I fucking loved it.

The window looked down on the city proper, which lay inside the cupped hands of a valley veined with tributaries of the Moth. It was there that ordinary people slept and dreamt not of jungles and humidity and the lust that fed and starved men’s hearts, but of quiet walks under the stars and milk-fat kittens and the gentle hum of wind on wooden porches.

The best words to describe it would be “delightfully insane.” Because it is. Utterly batshit and utterly fascinating.

Continue reading “Review: City of Saints and Madmen by Jeff VanderMeer (Ambergris #1)”

Review: Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire (Wayward Children #3)

Image result for Beneath the Sugar Sky

goodreads

I forgot how much I loved this series.

This was Confection, land of the culinary art become miracle: land of lonely children whose hands itched for pie tins or rolling pins, for the comfortable predictability of timers and sugar scoops and heaping cups of flour. This was a land where perfectly measured ingredients created nonsensical towers of whimsy and wonder—and maybe that was why they could be here, logical creatures that they were, without feeling assaulted by the world around them.

Continue reading “Review: Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire (Wayward Children #3)”

Review: City of Lies by Sam Hawke (Poison Wars #1)

city of lies.png

goodreads

Great book with one hell of an ending (warning: partial cliffhanger). I have finished it at a complete loss for words. Still, I must try.

Honor. […] How is it you are all so obsessed with one half of our creed and you apply it so strangely? You have twisted it into yet another system of rank, a way of measuring who is more valuable than whom. Honor is not a score in a game, Jovan. It is how you show yourself to other people and the regard in which you hold them, which in turn feeds the regard in which they hold you.

Silasta is a prosperous, safe city, seemingly a haven for artists and craftsmen. But when the chancellor is poisoned and the country’s populace starts besieging the city, they slowly learn that the comfort came at a terrible price. It’s quite rare to have a political intrigue mystery that’s both nuanced and has characters who are genuinely good people trying to do their best, but Hawke manages it wonderfully. Neither side is unsympathetic, the story could have been written from the rebels’ viewpoint just as easily. And the themes of xenophobia, honour, religion, family…it manages to be relevant without feeling preachy.

Continue reading “Review: City of Lies by Sam Hawke (Poison Wars #1)”

Review: Everfair by Nisi Shawl

Image result for everfair nisi shawl

goodreads

Everfair is yet another book I could call brilliant but flawed.

The settlers of Everfair had come here naïvely at best, arrogantly at worst. Due to the orders of the king they had found the country seemingly empty. In the fight against Leopold, their assistance had been most valuable, and they had also brought to the cause the help of Europeans and Americans who would never otherwise have cared for any African’s plight. 

But by their very presence they poisoned what they sought to save. How could they not? Assuming they knew the best about so many things—not even realizing they had made such assumptions—they acted without considering other viewpoints and remained in ignorance in spite of the broadest hints.

Continue reading “Review: Everfair by Nisi Shawl”