A small community is isolated when the world blows up, and only a few enclaves are saved by aliens. Did the aliens cause this? What are the survivorsA small community is isolated when the world blows up, and only a few enclaves are saved by aliens. Did the aliens cause this? What are the survivors to do?
The enclaves are somewhat protected from the toxicity of the rest of the world, but not entirely; radiation in groundwater makes all their water and crops dangerous... and yet, one must eat.
What did the aliens do? What do they think they're doing now? Everyone wonders, and diverse people react very differently to the situations.
This is not a save-the-universe sort of novel; it's more meditative and human-scale. Characters grow and change; the aliens may or may not be more comprehensible; and the plot threads weigh different factors with understandable flaws all around.
In short, I guess I'd call it a novel about curiosity and compromise....more
4.5 stars here. I really loved the world-building, especially the magical system, which relies on communicating with the spriits of anything from moun4.5 stars here. I really loved the world-building, especially the magical system, which relies on communicating with the spriits of anything from mountains to a speck of soot. For me, this was one of the high points of the novel.
The plot is pretty basic, but the characters are different and well-drawn. Even when they work together for a particular good, they are doing it from diverse motivations which will inevitably also cause conflict. Great! I am weary of the trope "we are all on the side of Good (or Evil), and thus have no differences amongst us!" Of COURSE they will. (This is one of the big issues I have with Stirling's "Changeling" books; all the Good Guys are way to agreeable with each other, even when they are allies but with wildly different motives.)
I don't want to make this sound heavy- it's more of a romp. I have enjoyed it a lot, though, and am looking forward to reading the next volume! Comment Comment | Permalink ...more
I adore Penzey's spices, and I have been a huge fan of their recipes for years- the ones in their catalogs. Several of these have become firm favoriteI adore Penzey's spices, and I have been a huge fan of their recipes for years- the ones in their catalogs. Several of these have become firm favorites in our family.
I was delighted when they started a cooking magazine, and sad when they stopped publishing it. When it was ongoing, they used a great combination of favorite recipes from their catalogs, and new ones from their own people and from other customers. Many were very inspirational!
I was thrilled that they published maybe a third of the recipes from the magazine in this cookbook. I wish it had been more! but the book does keep the flavor- friendly and chatty- of the magazine.
It is more of a browsing sort of cookbook than something like "Joy of Cooking"- that's both its strength and its flaw.
I have been assured by Penzey's staff that if I have lost a recipe from their files, they will send it to me if I ask.
I really wish they had an online database of the recipes they've published- in the catalogs and in the magazine- but until we can get that, this book will have to stand in. And it does keep the tone of the magazine, though it can be hard to find something in particular therein.
I'm really glad to have it, though, especially since they stopped publishing the magazine. ...more