Read this because it was nominated for a Nebula and I'm glad I did but I also wish it was more. As a novella it just feels like the start of an intereRead this because it was nominated for a Nebula and I'm glad I did but I also wish it was more. As a novella it just feels like the start of an interesting story, and the resolution, while earned, doesn't really wrap up the rest of the threads of story. ...more
Soooooooooooooooooooooo this book was not what I was expecting and also kind of f'ed up, but good? It's an interesting premise and a good start to a sSoooooooooooooooooooooo this book was not what I was expecting and also kind of f'ed up, but good? It's an interesting premise and a good start to a series. I've read Seanan McGuire writing as Mira Grant, and she always seemed to strike only one note with those books, so I was interested to see how the characters would read in this. I was really pleased to find that the voice and tone she uses as Mira Grant were distinctive to those books and not at all present here. ...more
About 7% of the way through this book I just didn't like it. The prose was purple, the linear timeline was confusing, was this the real life, was it jAbout 7% of the way through this book I just didn't like it. The prose was purple, the linear timeline was confusing, was this the real life, was it just fantasy . . .
It all got a lot better when I realized the author was writing a magic realism coming of age and that she was incorporating transgendered issues and immigrant issues as well. The story ended up being a beautiful one I cried over at 12:30 am because I needed to see its resolution before I slept. ...more
In the realm of m/m romance novels, this was upper echelon, but not truly amazing, if that makes sense. Like. It was very readable, but there were somIn the realm of m/m romance novels, this was upper echelon, but not truly amazing, if that makes sense. Like. It was very readable, but there were some cringeworthy moments of dialog and it was written in the dreaded first person. ...more
I liked parts of this a lot, but I also got impatient with a few chapters that had their schtick go on too long. Notably, the one where she lost her iI liked parts of this a lot, but I also got impatient with a few chapters that had their schtick go on too long. Notably, the one where she lost her iphone. Listening to her say "wake up wake up wake up" got old after the first two times. ...more
The fact that this is essentially fan fiction of a public domain sci fi novel is pretty great, actually. I haven't read the book it's based on (yet) bThe fact that this is essentially fan fiction of a public domain sci fi novel is pretty great, actually. I haven't read the book it's based on (yet) but had no trouble reading it blind. The main character was interesting if somewhat unlikeable, and the fuzzies were SO ADORABLE, which actually made parts of this really hard to read. But still, a fun quick read about mining rights on alien planets. Think Avatar but without the giant blue people. ...more
I finished this book about a minute ago and the words out of my mouth when I flipped the last page on my kindle were "really? that's it?"
Because yeahI finished this book about a minute ago and the words out of my mouth when I flipped the last page on my kindle were "really? that's it?"
Because yeah, that's the taste this book leaves in my mouth. Let's do this the old fashioned way.
Things I liked:
I liked the construction of the book, that we started with the plane crash and worked our way backwards from there, with the snapshots of what each of the passengers and crew were like, and their backstories. There are a few that I would have liked to know more about, like the Israeli bodyguard, but still. Interesting.
The politics felt timely? I guess?
Things that were meh:
Liiiiiiike. I didn't really feel like the characters had a lot of internal consistency. Scott in particular felt really wishy washy to me, just a foil for whatever the scene needed at the time. And his conversation with the press after he's found at Mueller's house was just . . . weird? I had no idea what to think of that.
Things I couldn't get behind:
The politics. Bateman, one of the men who died on the plane, was so clearly a stand in for someone like Bannon. Cunningham was hard to take at many points. And the fact that, in the end, the plane crash didn't have anything to do with any of it.
And the plane crash itself? Like I guess this is billed as a thriller/mystery, but the mystery of the plane crash isn't really even built on until you find out the door of the cockpit was shot at, and that doesn't even happen until 70% of the way through the book. Until then it's just this circle jerk of character introductions for people I don't particularly like. I know I said the construction of the book was a point in its favor, but it wasn't particularly well executed.
I don't know. This took me forever to read because I just didn't want to come back to it. But I wanted to know what happened, so I persisted, and finding out that in the end it was literally just (view spoiler)[this scary stalker who was obsessed with the flight attendant (hide spoiler)]was disappointing, to say the least. ...more
The main character of this book is a half black, half Comanche heroine who self-identifies as a dude and likes both ladies and dudes, and that isn't eThe main character of this book is a half black, half Comanche heroine who self-identifies as a dude and likes both ladies and dudes, and that isn't even the story of the book. The actual story of the book is a hero's quest to kill something unkillable, a monster called the Cannibal Owl.
Nettie/Nat/Rhett starts the book in abject poverty, slave in all but name to a white couple who raised her from infancy to hate herself and not expect anything from anyone but pity and hatred. The journey he takes from that point to a (spoiler) ending is fascinating. So fascinating that I can forgive the book's shortcomings.
Because it does have shortcomings. Nettie self-identifies as a boy, but the text solely refers to her with feminine pronouns and using the name Nettie, though other characters call her Nat (when she's still in her home town and wrangling horses) and then Rhett (after she's run away and has to assume a new identity). I'm continuing to do so in this review because the author did and Nettie is a fictional character, but I think it's something that could have been addressed in the text.
To its credit, the book does a good job of setting this conflict in context to the main character's search for her own history, her tribe, and the Cannibal Owl. It causes conflict with another Ranger she likes, which was also an interesting point of tension.
I can't tell if I like the concept of this book more than its execution or not, but I think both are pretty solid. And the prose reads like poetry, some of the descriptions are just so good.
On meeting another Indian for the first time: "He was probably twenty to her sixteen but carried himself like he was forty and the president of a goddamn bank."
On seeing the Cannibal Owl: "It was everything she’d never hoped to see, a collection of wrong parts put together as if by an angry child with a hammer and a box of bent nails."
So yes. More good than bad, I'm intrigued and going to read the next one, for sure....more
Y'all I just don't know about this book. I think I want to like these books better than I actually do? But like, I read this all in three hours (withY'all I just don't know about this book. I think I want to like these books better than I actually do? But like, I read this all in three hours (with some breaks for checking twitter) and it wasn't because I was devouring it. It's because that's how hardcore I was skimming through it.
But like. You've got this love triangle (kinda?) and god forbid a young adult author write a novel and not incorporate some love shape that involves people not wanting to hurt other people's feelings but also I'm sorry I just CAN'T love you also I maybe sorta might still be in love with the person who is trying to kill us but NOT ACTUALLY HIM just the person I thought he was in the beginning??? Honestly, how is that even a THING THAT HAPPENS.
I like YA lit because it's often more daring, adventurous, interesting, and self contained than adult lit, if any of that makes sense? But I'm kinda getting tired of what it's become since the rise of books like Hunger Games and Twilight and Divergent. These ladies all ready to throw themselves in front of moving trains for these dudes because they feel so bad for not loving them. Or for the dudes they do love. Or the ones they can't accept that they DON'T love anymore. Honestly, this book had all of that.
You know what else it had? A frickin dead baby. (view spoiler)[Spoiler warning about half way through for an actual dead infant. Did I think that was actually pretty unnecessary in a book that isn't actually all that graphic otherwise? Yes. I mean, this is a book about a war but like one of these dudes she's still torn up about (AND IS TORN UP ABOUT AFTER THIS BABY) is the one that kills the baby. Maybe not directly, but he did write a note that is placed in the dead infants hand (there's really just no way to make this any less horrifying than it is) that explicitly takes credit for killing this baby and then telling her it's her fault for not surrendering to him. So you've got gaslighting and infanticide, that's always fun. (hide spoiler)]You know what, I'm going to throw a spoiler warning around this paragraph.
Idk, I just don't really love Mare. I literally just typed Tris though because that's how much she reminds me of Tris. SEE THEY ALL BLEED TOGETHER because the only thing that changes is the wrapping. I can't actually think of a character in this book that I'm like "yep I'm reading this book for this one person." Even in Twilight I always had Charlie.
I'm leaving it at three stars because for all that I'm complaining about it I do like the world building, the characters are at least somewhat interesting if not entirely like able, I like the magic thing it has going on, and I do want to see how the coup ends up turning out. If she actually takes a page out of Veronica Roth's book and kills main characters though, we're gonna have to have words. ...more
I had started this book before and gotten stalled. I love the subject matter and find this book incredibly interesting and readable, I just get distraI had started this book before and gotten stalled. I love the subject matter and find this book incredibly interesting and readable, I just get distracted. Having it read to me was awesome.
The end of it is kind of heartbreaking? It's so sad to me that humans have stopped looking for the horizon. Why haven't we colonized the moon yet.
Now that it's not the middle of the night.
Things I liked:
I like the readability. I've read histories about things that should be interesting before and found them dry and boring. This wasn't that. Chaikin did a great job of letting the quirky personalities of the astronauts drive a lot of the story he was telling about their flights. I left every single mission feeling like I knew the men involved as well as anyone.
And you know, I read this thinking I'd learn a lot about the missions and the astronauts, but I was also re-introduced to the moon. It was fascinating reading about the theories of the moon's formation from before we'd ever visited it to gather evidence. The moon was its own character.
And this isn't really a thing I like, but it isn't the book's fault. It makes me unutterably sad that by the third time we'd walked on the moon the general public thought it was so boring they didn't bother tuning in on TV. It makes me sad that the future of space exploration is in jeopardy because of funding. It makes me sad to think that Mars expeditions will probably have to be privately funded, and the people that go on them will be the ones who paid the most for the opportunity, and the mission will be something more profitable than "we came in peace for all mankind."
The entire second half of the book was about this funding problem that cancelled Apollo 18-20, that saw the demise of the shuttle program and the exploration beyond the moon. The epilogue and the afterword updated what NASA is doing now, and how exploration is currently in the hands of unmanned probes and telescopes that can show us what it looks like on the surface of other planets, but can't tell us how it feels. The rover on Mars takes several days to do what an astronaut could do in one afternoon on the surface, and the one thing it can't do is come back and tell us what the experience was like.
And I don't know, y'all. That just makes me sad. It feels like the death of the human spirit. ...more
I'm grading this on the sliding scale I have for m/m romance, and this was a lot better than most. For one thing, it didn't fall back on tired stereotI'm grading this on the sliding scale I have for m/m romance, and this was a lot better than most. For one thing, it didn't fall back on tired stereotypes and tropes. Yes, one character was younger than the other and needed help fitting into polite society (it seems like cross-class romance is a thing in this series) but it wasn't a case of one strapping dude having to constantly take care of some waif.
Other pluses: it was laugh out loud funny in parts. I genuinely liked Julius as a character, and Harry was fun to get to know. I'm interested in the romances I know are coming in this series, mostly because I got to know the characters so well in this one. The little society is fun.
Detractors? The anachronisms. I know that Victorian era romance isn't everyone's bag and it's fun to have fun with it, but it really threw me out of the story when one character sarcastically said to another "no, really?" There also didn't seem to be a clear understanding of how peerage works in England, but that's probably more forgivable, especially in a genre that isn't nearly this well researched normally.
Still, definitely would recommend this book and I'm excited to read the rest. ...more
This is a super interesting short history of Haden's disease told in interview format, like World War Z. Quick read, but super interesting informationThis is a super interesting short history of Haden's disease told in interview format, like World War Z. Quick read, but super interesting information. Really enjoyed some of the quandaries Scalzi introduced here, like the two Haden's patients that wanted to get married and have kids. ...more
Okay I really enjoyed this. I've read her before but never listened to her audiobooks. I've always loved the way she writes about history, and the wayOkay I really enjoyed this. I've read her before but never listened to her audiobooks. I've always loved the way she writes about history, and the way she connects it to modern day and what's going on now. But listening to her read is an EXPERIENCE. I knew she voiced Violet in the Incredibles but it just didn't prepare me. I also loved that she had actors doing the voices. So good. Loved this. ...more