The tagline for this book could very well have been "Men destroy everything, women pick up the pieces: a tragedy".
Last First Snow is different from thThe tagline for this book could very well have been "Men destroy everything, women pick up the pieces: a tragedy".
Last First Snow is different from the other novels of the Craft Sequence: less of a procedural/murder mystery and more of a train wreck in slow motion, where we already know how the pieces are going to fall, but not exactly how they got there.
The book starts a few years after Deathless: The City's Thirst (mentioned in passing) and tells the story of the Skittersill riots we heard about in Two Serpents Rise: Temoc versus the King in Red, old faith versus Craft, people versus corporations. The story expands on that and gives us a personal dimension to the fight, although we spend a lot more time with Temoc and the rioters than with the other sides.
I must admit, when I saw the first lines of the book open with Elayne Kevarian I was totally ready for a story from her point of view. I was quite disappointed when the point of view switched to Temoc, a character I disliked and disagreed with in all of his appearances. And then the pov kind of... remained there. Even when we go back to Elayne, Temoc is there most of the time, in body or in spirit.
However, in a surprising turn of events, Gladstone manages to write Temoc in a way that doesn't make me dislike the character more than I did before I started reading. I can't say that I like him more, and I do seriously hope he's finally out of the picture for good (well, as much as it's possible for a story set in the past), but there is now more depths and understanding to his actions - even if they still make little rational sense. (Not that Kopil is more rational when it comes to the old gods; in fact, it seems that both men's brains stop working where gods or the other are concerned.)
My only other complaint is that, by focusing so much on the key players, and especially on ticking all the plot boxes that were mentioned in TSR, the human rioters remain mostly in the background of a revolt started by them to safeguard their houses and their way of life. They are a crowd we're meant to sympathize with but, apart from a few names, still a crowd with little individuality. There could have been a little more time spent there, to give the events of the last part of the book a more personal impact....more
It's a wild ride, it's challenging, and it's brutal. It's also a middle book, with all the complications of the case: it follows straight from the firIt's a wild ride, it's challenging, and it's brutal. It's also a middle book, with all the complications of the case: it follows straight from the first with little re-introductions and, if you forgot who the thousand characters in play are, it'll take a while to get back in the game; and while it does bring some plot lines to an end, it does not have the 'small closure' feel that Mirror Empire had. Also, this is Hurley we're talking about, so try not to get too attached to characters....more
I remember watching the movie with Jodie Foster when it came out, but I'd never read the book before, so I ordered it in preparation to watch ArrivalI remember watching the movie with Jodie Foster when it came out, but I'd never read the book before, so I ordered it in preparation to watch Arrival (which is kind of Contact but for linguists rather than radio astronomers).
The final rate is a 3.5 but pointing upward. The novel is a bit clunky at times, very important in its message but kinda muddled in its handling of characters apart from Ellie. I got a really sour note towards the end, when it's revealed that (view spoiler)[Ted is not Ellie's biological father. The text keeps saying that Ted's not her real father from that point on, and no, no, sorry, nope. A father is someone who raised you, not just someone who donated some DNA to a fertile egg. Ellie is not really a people's person, but even her should know this. Plus, her actual bio father was against her STEM studies and (along with her mother) never told her the truth until after her mother died, so it's not like the story or her family gave Ellie any reason to like him in the first place (hide spoiler)].
In a way I think the movie depicted the wormhole travel part best, although it evened it out by completely bungling the final message from the book in favour of a more religious approach. I prefer the book best, on that front. If there is proof of a creator, it will not come from blind faith, but from the universe itself, and science....more
Uno spaccato di una famiglia palermitana, di una madre e dei suoi cinque figli, e delle assenze che minano i loro rapporti - in primis l'assenza del pUno spaccato di una famiglia palermitana, di una madre e dei suoi cinque figli, e delle assenze che minano i loro rapporti - in primis l'assenza del padre, sparito vent'anni prima. Ma Basilicò è anche un giallo, e un libro di cucina, e un salto nella memoria, il tutto legato appunto dal basilico di Maria Morreale, la figura che nel bene e nel male permea tutto questo volume.
Non si può dire molto altro di questo volume senza svelarne la trama, se non che è un'altra ottima prova del bravissimo Giulio, nonché un'evidente lettera aperta alla città della sua infanzia....more
A nice regency romance in the style of Georgette Heyer. It doesn't really stand out in the genre, but it's a fun, good read - or good listening, in thA nice regency romance in the style of Georgette Heyer. It doesn't really stand out in the genre, but it's a fun, good read - or good listening, in this case, since I got the Audible version.
I really loved Heath Miller's characterization of the various characters, but I'll admit I still got lost a couple times with who was who, as the narration swaps several times from first names to surnames even inside the same paragraph. (On the other hand, I listened to most of the book while driving, so it's probable I was just distracted at the time.)
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the audiobook as part of a giveaway....more
Will I ever stop adoring everything Ursula writes? Probably not. This is a portal fantasy with a girl who is wise beyond her years but still gets scarWill I ever stop adoring everything Ursula writes? Probably not. This is a portal fantasy with a girl who is wise beyond her years but still gets scared and doesn't know how to fight and has to rely on her friends and the goodwill of others for most things. This is a story where the bad guy razes villages to the ground but also wants the time to read some more books before the end. This is a story with a frog tree and antelope women and phoenix hedgehogs and a glorious wolf who turns into a house at night. This is a story that must be read....more
A suspenseful, atmospheric horror set in the Himalayas in the 1930s. The story follows Doctor Stephen Pearce, a last minute replacement on an expeditiA suspenseful, atmospheric horror set in the Himalayas in the 1930s. The story follows Doctor Stephen Pearce, a last minute replacement on an expedition to climb Kangchenjunga, back then believed to be the highest peak in the world.
A malaise seems to follow Stephen, in the beginning seemingly only due to the bad weather, his love/hate relationship with his brother Kits, and troubles he left behind in London. But as the story progresses and the group climbs higher, to where the air is rarefied and the mind starts playing tricks, the doubt starts creeping that something else seems to be following the expedition - something dark, and malevolent, and tied to the fateful expedition that preceded them.
Michelle Paver spins another wonderful tale of natural and supernatural horror, where the hardship of climbing an indifferent, dangerous mountain is interspersed with the horror of a mind that starts doubting itself.
My only niggle is that, due to the time, setting, and first-person narrative, the cast list ends up being a bit of a "Boy's own adventure"/white dude fest: the only named female character of significance is a memory, and the Indian and Nepalese natives are treated by the "sahibs" as little more than superstitious children, despite that they do most of the actual work. The text name checks the deeds of female Alpinists and mountaineers, and Stephen himself takes baby steps towards understanding his own racism, but Paver herself acknowledges this historical limitation in the afterword. ...more