This little bit of fluff was fun to read, but not really one of the abiding classics of romance.
It's just terrible how the wealthy young bachelors of...moreThis little bit of fluff was fun to read, but not really one of the abiding classics of romance.
It's just terrible how the wealthy young bachelors of the world are so oppressed by their responsibility for their beautiful wards that they are forced to visit ladies of a certain reputation for the release of their needs.
In this case, the whole thing is complicated by a mis-delivered scandalous dress made out of magical wish-giving cloth. I hate it when that happens.
Also, Lady Worth ends up looking like a slightly sinister fairy godmother.
On the other hand, I thought the romance, however improbably it started, was not as inequitable as I thought it might be at first, so that's something.
Read if: You want a bit of candy-floss romance.
Skip if: You're in it for the character development.
A solid little short story with an amazingly poetic premise and some nicely-worked prose. It's hard to talk about a short story without giving half of...moreA solid little short story with an amazingly poetic premise and some nicely-worked prose. It's hard to talk about a short story without giving half of it away in a paragraph. I think this has some of the really brilliant language and imagery that I love about Nix, without some of the nihilism that I don't find as appealing. In the end, this is a story about environmental homeostasis, and I love that about it.
Read if: You love dragon mythos. You like a good hidden-secrets story. You wonder about the reasons behind secret societies.
Skip if: You are looking for emotional connection/satisfaction. This is very much a what-happened story.
This book ate a couple hours of my evening without me even noticing, which is high praise. Laura's story is especially compelling, and I thought her t...moreThis book ate a couple hours of my evening without me even noticing, which is high praise. Laura's story is especially compelling, and I thought her toughness was hard-won and believable.
The Rapunzel-retelling was subtly done and did not start right away. This story is 3/4 historical fiction and 1/4 fairy tale, and the fairy tale doesn't really start until halfway through the book. I especially loved the subtlety of the prince-character.
I liked the contrasting mother-figures in this story. They all love their children, but react in different ways to the natural way children break rules as they grow up. Cressia never defines her plans or rules (as a parent, this overprotection-through-ignorance made me flinch.) Laura is attempting to live out her childhood in a better way through her own daughter, and not listening to what the kid wants. And Sibela says, "“And I did not raise a living son to cast him off at the first time of trouble.” Even the Traveller Nonna, and the companion-sister are mothers of sorts. This book is so full of mothers -- good and bad, present and absent, sympathetic and harsh. I think that may be the best thing about it -- women in so many different ways.
I would happily read more stories set in this world.
Read if: You would love your fairy-tale retellings with more history. You like a multi-generational story. You love period details.
Skip if: You are looking for another book featuring Robins' sassy Regency heroines. This is period-appropriate but less banter-y.
This book was equal parts delicious gaijin-in-Japan-whodunit, and madness-or-magic creepiness, and I thought the mix was really interesting. Nikki's m...moreThis book was equal parts delicious gaijin-in-Japan-whodunit, and madness-or-magic creepiness, and I thought the mix was really interesting. Nikki's mental illness and her experiences are vastly different when viewed through a different cultural filter, and it makes you think about how many things we know are true are actually just our own culture talking.
Nikki is charmingly pop-culture, as is most of the book. She says that quoting laws to police officers is like their kryptonite. Toward the end of the book, there is a Lilo & Stitch quote which just killed me and was deeply appropriate.
This book was full of women, all types of women, doing all types of things. Very seldom do the women feel like victims, and even the one who is killed off screen is a person, with her own interests, and not just a girl to avenge. Nikki is working extremely hard to not be a victim of her mother's power and manipulation. She has a strong network of women helping her. I really liked that.
I didn't feel like it had the deep thematic structure of some of Spencer's books, like A Brother's Price or Endless Blue. It was more on the Ukiah Oregon end of her writing spectrum. But there were still some moments of genuine creepy horror, mostly in Nikki's relationship with her mother.
I bought this as an e-ARC, and as usual, there are some typos, probable about 10 or so of them. Other than that, it is obviously well-edited.
Read if: You are content to let a story carry you along at its own pace, and to not really overinvest in knowing what exactly is happening all the time. You have liked previous Wen Spencer books. You have a mental catalog of anime movies other people might like.
Skip if: You have mommy+mental health issues of your own. You are tired of OCD as the catch-all detective disease. You are not sure about spending a whole novel in Japan.
Suddenly I understand why serials in magazines were part of the golden age of science fiction. I am dying to know more.
Scalzi has strung me along for...moreSuddenly I understand why serials in magazines were part of the golden age of science fiction. I am dying to know more.
Scalzi has strung me along for a quarter of a year, and interesting, exciting things have happened, and there is a varied and engaging cast of characters, and the geopolitical situation has changed, but oh, the story is not over.
So in this final installment, we have solved the problems presented in the initial stories, and realized that there is a much bigger challenge coming up. Whee!
Read if: You've read the previous 12. You were waiting for the conclusion of this arc.
I appreciated that the head-cracking in this story is both literal and metaphorical. We end up following a character who is back on Earth after some a...moreI appreciated that the head-cracking in this story is both literal and metaphorical. We end up following a character who is back on Earth after some adventures on the Clarke, and we get another piece of the jigsaw puzzle that is this story.
Read if: You are breathlessly awaiting the last installment.