drcpunk (drcpunk) wrote,

Recent Reading

60. Troubled Waters, by Sharon Shinn.

61. The Dervish House, by Ian McDonald

62. Schlock Mercenary: Massively Parallel, by Howard Taylor.

63. The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, by M. K. Jemisin

60. Troubled Waters, by Sharon Shinn. This was a pleasant read, but a little heavy on the combination of romance and heroine powerful enough that nothing bad is ever allowed to happen. Castle Waiting can get away with that sort of thing (the lower power level helps), but this book can't. On the other hand, points to Shinn for not having everyone in the world be heterosexual. On the third hand, there's a land of Nasty Bad People. On the fourth hand, this is probably the first of a series, and, if so, the Land of NBP will likely be explored. Since the only people we meet from there are powerful nobles, there might be plenty of good and neutral folks there. I'm not interested in a sequel, but I found this a pleasant break from books with obligatory abused children and rape, rape, and more rape. I also liked that the heroine's beloved and recently deceased father was a morally complicated man, and that, as the novel opens, her entire village is ready to help her through the grieving process rather than go into cast-her-out mode.

61. The Dervish House, by Ian McDonald. I liked this better than River of Gods, possibly because it's more upbeat. I am not comfortable with this book, possibly because of the gender issues, and it is very hard for me to tell how much of this is simply because the novel is set in a very alien place to me, Turkey. It takes place in the 2020s, but some of the older characters remember events of the 1980s. There's a lot going on in this book, and I don't think I have the breadth of knowledge, either historical or scientific, to comprehend all of what the author's doing, but I had no trouble following the story.

62. Schlock Mercenary: Massively Parallel, by Howard Taylor. This will be volume eleven, when it gets published. It is my first encounter with the comic, and I had no trouble figuring out what was going on. All I needed to know was revealed in due course, and the parallel storylines helped me get familiar with one subsection of a very large cast at a time. There was a definite point somewhere between 50 and 100 pages in to this 400+ page book where I realized I now grokked the language of the comic and was no longer having to work hard to absorb the information I was getting.

63. The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, by M. K. Jemisin. The world building is quite good, and the gods are awful and awe-ful. I'm already as tired of black / dark = good and white / light = bad as I am of white / light = good and black / dark = bad; fortunately, the book isn't so simplistic. The ending indicates that the next book in the series can't be a rehash of the same plot, and the teaser for the second book confirms that it is quite a different story than the first.

I wish this were better written, though. Terry Pratchett and Karen Lord can probably get away with "Okay, here's this thing, and here's a digression, and, in case you might not have noticed or trusted me, Hey! It isn't Really a digression!" Judging from the teaser for the second book, this isn't a matter of the first person narrator being in a particularly odd situation (though she is) or being a bad storyteller (in which case, I'd still want the author to pick a better storyteller character). And, while I understand why the romantic elements are critical, I could have done without the "OMG, sex with the Nightlord is totally terrific" bit.

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