||[Sep. 1st, 2016|08:37 pm]
Four Roads Cross - Max Gladstone
Listen to the Moon - Rose Lerner
The Geek Feminist Revolution - Kameron Hurley
Asking For It - Louise O'Neill
City of Stairs - Robert Jackson Bennett
I would never have expected to be as crazy about a series about capitalist, legalease magic as I am about Max Gladstone's Craft Sequence. I'd thought the series took a bit of a dip with Last First Snow (maybe it will hold up better if I ever reread the series in chronological order, it might seem like less of a rehash of Two Serpents Rise) but it's back on form with Four Roads Cross; we're back in Alt Columb with the characters from the first book, and I think its the best one since that first book. Anyway, I love the whole series, and would recommend.
Listen to the Moon is, I think, my favourite historical romance in a long time. First of all the hero and the heroine are a valet and maid. And, look, I know there's a lot of easy chuckles to be had off puns on aristocratic titles, but a little variety is nice, is my point. Also they get married at, like, the one third mark, and I love romances between already married couples. Highly recommended.
The first time I tried to read Kameron Hurley I bounced hard off of God's War, and I was a bit surprised because I'd heard her described as a feminist SFF writer, so when in The Geek Feminist Revolution I read her describing her fiction as being a mix of grimdark and new weird I went oh that's why I don't care for her writing, it's at the intersection of two things that are Not My Bag of Chips. Which is actually interesting, because male authors are described by the types of books that they write, women authors are first and foremost women authors. I ended up rather liking this essay collection, Hurley's kinda brash style works a lot better for me in non-fiction. Admittedly, having decided that I didn't care for Hurley's fiction I never followed links to her blog so I hadn't already read the pieces that had been published online. You always feel a bit conned when you shell out these essay collections only to discover that you've already read two thirds of the contents. Anyway, I enjoyed it.
Asking For It is a YA novel and a bloody difficult read. It's about a gang rape and subsequent internet humiliation. Think the Steubenville case transplanted into suburban Ireland. Two things in particular elevate it; the protagonist/victim is awful, she's the girl everybody hated in high school, she has no sympathy for another rape victim, and she still doesn't deserve what was done to her; and the ambiguous ending, which, yeah, was a downer, but was also closer to reality most of the time than righteous vindication.
City of Stairs is the best start to a SFF trilogy I've read in oh ages. It's set in a Russian inspired fantasy city that was decimated when their Gods were killed in an revolt by the, ahem, godless nation they'd been subjugating. Dead Gods seem to be a lucky theme for me in books; it's the backstory to the Craft Sequence too. It features a badass middle aged woman general, a lady diplomat/spy, and her viking, basically, secretary. jsyk: the one non-straight character dies, I loved the rest of it so much that it wasn't a dealbreaker, but the more you know. I almost dived straight into City of Blades, but the second book of trilogies are sometimes... you know, the third one isn't out yet, and the library called to say they've got Foxglove Summer for me, so I guess I'm reading that next.
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