I didn't like this quite as much as I had the first book but it was still a good read. This begins soon after the end of the first book. Gwen has estaI didn't like this quite as much as I had the first book but it was still a good read. This begins soon after the end of the first book. Gwen has established herself as a superhero vigilante and is working in secret with a member of the police force to solve some murders -- that end up being linked to Rosamund Granger.
The gang's all here and it's great to see Magda and Taog again. It's also really interesting to see Gwen figure out how to balance Shrike and her normal life, and how the two begin to bleed into each other.
Things happen in this book. Many things. (view spoiler)[I was not expecting Gwen's secret identity to be exposed so early in the series -- it's only book two, after all! But I'm actually really interested to see what happens next. Because it's so odd in superhero-land for the superhero to be exposed early in his or her career. A really interesting choice on the part of Mears, and I'm eager to see where she takes us next. Especially since she never did tie up the loose end of Ross being in jail. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
This novella blended the themes of both being your own person, and remembering where you come from, because both of these are strengths. This is a shoThis novella blended the themes of both being your own person, and remembering where you come from, because both of these are strengths. This is a short read but a powerful one. Okorafor has a gift with language which makes this story very intense.
The title character, Binti, is a young woman from a small and insular community on Earth. Traditionally, she would learn her father's trade and marry another Himba and raise Himba children. They don't travel and they definitely don't leave the planet to study at a far-off galactic university. Only Binti is doing just that, without the permission of her parents. Away from her people, her dreadlocks and skin covered in otjize, a paste made from the soil of her people and the oil of flowers, mark her immediately as other, but it is that exact uniqueness which might save her life.
This is a science fiction story very different than most of the science fiction stories out there. It's a story that is steeped in a tradition and culture that is not not white and not Western, and just like Binti, it's uniqueness is powerful and important. And hopefully one day, it won't be so unique because the genre will be more diverse....more
This is an interesting novella. I honestly wasn't sure what to expect when I started this, and I'm not sure I fully understood what I found.
First, itThis is an interesting novella. I honestly wasn't sure what to expect when I started this, and I'm not sure I fully understood what I found.
First, it was so utterly refreshing to find a science fiction story based on a non-Western culture. The futuristic empire is Asian-based and despite growing up steeped in the tradition, it still took my Western-acclimated brain a bit to get myself mentally situated in the story.
There's a lot going on in the background that involves war and politics, and I need to explore some more of the stories that de Bodard's written in this universe; it's fascinating. This novella, however, focuses on one space station which is seeing an influx of refugees thanks to the war overtaking nearby planets. The family that controls the station is aided by an AI which has the memory of a family ancestor and is treated as such.
Such cool world-building.
There's also a lot of inter-familial politics in addition to the external politics going on. It's a really dense story with a lot crammed into it....more
I first heard about Saga a few years ago when the first two volumes were included in a graphic novel Humble Bumdle I purchased. I remember flipping thI first heard about Saga a few years ago when the first two volumes were included in a graphic novel Humble Bumdle I purchased. I remember flipping through the first few pages and didn't feel compelled to continue, so it has sat languishing on my harddrive since then.
When Volume 3 got nominated for the Hugo, I had made up my mind to not vote for it since I had not read Volumes 1 and 2, and thought there was no way I could vote for something that isn't a stand alone. So I made my way through the rest of the other Hugo noms and had pretty much decided on my vote when I borrowed this book from a friend.
And it blew me away.
So sorry, Sex Criminals. You lost my vote to Saga.
There is so much going on in this story. It's a bit strange to have this truly alien world peppered with things that are 100% human and meant to be recognizably human, and if the story had been a little less well done, would have seriously annoyed me. But I fell headfirst into the story and loved every second of it. I loved the characters. I loved the utter ridiculousness of parts of it. And I loved the bits about morality and ethics and war and peace.
Now I know why everybody had been talking about how amazing Saga is for years. Because it truly is amazing and worth every word of praise it's received....more
OH MY GOD. I just finished the eARC of this and it is now 4 AM and how the hell am I going to go to sleep after THAT?!?
Loved it. Adored it. Wanted itOH MY GOD. I just finished the eARC of this and it is now 4 AM and how the hell am I going to go to sleep after THAT?!?
Loved it. Adored it. Wanted it to never end. More coherent thoughts after some sleep and reflection.
A few days and a re-read later, my reactions are still overwhelmingly positive, though more nuanced and thought-out than my initial screams of joy. This book feels like coming home again, like meeting old friends and the pleasure in catching up and learning new things about them.
This book is also deeply subversive, and not just in the obvious ways. It's different than almost anything else on the market and if she hadn't already had a large and dedicated fanbase, I doubt that any publisher would have touched this with a ten-foot pole. Because this is a story about living, not about action or great things. Rather, it's a celebration of life and love, and that life emphatically does not stop after the end of youth or death.
Now on to the spoilers: (view spoiler)[My mind had always shied a bit thinking about Cordelia post-Aral because I didn't want to imagine a life for her, with potentially another half-century to live, without him. But Lois addresses that and shows that one can always find new love, new life, and new happiness no matter the age.
The revelation that Cordelia-and-Aral had been for twenty years Cordelia-and-Aral-AND-OLIVER was not nearly a surprise as it should have been thanks to the Internet spoiling that for me months ago. But in the book, that revelation was handled subtly and deftly so that my mind just made sense of this new configuration of their marriage.
I remembered first meeting Jole in The Vor Game and later wondering why he was never mentioned again, given how close and loyal he was to Aral and his supposed intelligence. And I remember coming across him again as pallbearer at Aral's funeral during the Cryoburn Aftermaths (which I read through tears) and remembering him as Aral's disappeared assistant and wondering what had happened in the intervening years. Now I know.
It was lovely to have Cordelia as a central character again, and especially as a POV character. She is my favorite character and while I love her son, I did miss her inner voice. I had not realized just how much I missed it until this book. She had become this larger-than-life character, a wise matriarch because for upteenth number of books, I had seen her through Miles's eyes. This was a reminder that even our heroes are still human, no matter how tall the pedestal we raise them on. Miles got that lesson with Cordelia's usual manner.
This book was also a reminder that nothing exists in a vacuum, particularly life. The little things that Lois sprinkled through the book were wonderful, from Oliver's past encounter with a certain Captain Thorne, to Miles naming one of his daughters Taura (and did my heart spasm a bit when I read that). Everything--everyone is connected and our past shapes our future as our future shapes our past.
When I first heard what this book was about, I was scared that many fans would hate it because of the revelation of the secret third in the Vorkosigan's marriage. I'm therefore heartened that most of the reactions I'm seeing so far are overwhelmingly positive. (hide spoiler)]
I really want to do another series re-read now, particularly of Shards of Honor and The Vor Game. I want to revisit Sergyar before it was Sergyar, and remind myself about the Hegan Hub War, which was such a large part of the backstory of this book.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
This is a book I find myself re-reading every few years. Even if I don't re-read others in the series, I will pick up this one. It has the distinctionThis is a book I find myself re-reading every few years. Even if I don't re-read others in the series, I will pick up this one. It has the distinction of being the first Vorkosigan book I've ever read, despite it being 12th in the series. It says something about Lois's ability to hook a reader that despite the obviousness that there was stuff that happened before, I was fully invested in the characters now.
Re-reading this, I fell in love with it again. This was Bujold at her finest. There is political machinations, romantic intrigue (of a sort), Miles being Miles, and Ivan shines and proves he is not nearly as incompetent as his much more competent relatives see him as.
As an aside, poor Ivan. He's always seen as the slow one, but that's slow in relativity to those around him: Miles, Aral, Cordelia, his mother for heavens sake! I'm sure Ivan is actually quite brilliant by ordinary standards but he doesn't often has a chance to shine given his much brighter relations. This book allows the reader to see him coming into his own.
Also, butter bugs. Gotta love the butter bugs. And Roic....more
Honestly, I was a bit disappointed in this volume of the further adventures of Kamala Khan, aka Ms. Marvel. It started off well enough and I sped throHonestly, I was a bit disappointed in this volume of the further adventures of Kamala Khan, aka Ms. Marvel. It started off well enough and I sped through her meeting Wolverine, learning that the teenagers were basically batteries for the Birdman's machines. What threw me out of the story, however, and made me grit my teeth, was Kamala's speech to the Birdman's teen minions about how they weren't a lost generation and had value etc. etc.
It just felt so completely forced and unnecessarily preachy.
I understand this title is meant for a younger audience, with Marvel trying to bring in more teen readers. But seriously?
I'd been hearing good things about this title for a while and finally borrowed the first volume for a friend. Honestly, I wasn't blown away. It was reI'd been hearing good things about this title for a while and finally borrowed the first volume for a friend. Honestly, I wasn't blown away. It was refreshing to see a non-white main character of a non-Judeo-Christian background. However, I guess I wasn't expecting this to read as young as it did. This is much lighter than some of the other titles and is definitely geared towards the YA crowd.
The story moved along nicely and there was some good plot and character development, but I wished the volume was longer. (After reading volume 2, I think the two should have actually been combined).
A solid comics title. I look forward to seeing more of Kamala. ...more
This was the first Delany I've ever read. I enjoyed this. It's interesting to see how the field of SF has evolved. This is a much more cerebral and inThis was the first Delany I've ever read. I enjoyed this. It's interesting to see how the field of SF has evolved. This is a much more cerebral and introspective than I'm used to in my science fiction novels, but that is not a bad thing. In fact, I enjoyed it very much. I loved thinking about how language and culture and thinking intersect as well as trying to parse out the plot at the same time.
The reason I rated this book 3 stars though is that as much I enjoyed the first 90% of the book or so, the last 10% veered into some strange territory and felt half-finished - like there should have been more story but there wasn't....more
What a delightful and unique story! This has the heart and soul of a fairy tale or a fable. This is a children's story for every child and for every aWhat a delightful and unique story! This has the heart and soul of a fairy tale or a fable. This is a children's story for every child and for every adult who was once a child. I had read this on Oyster but think I'll be picking up my own copy to keep.
There is just so much in this book. It's a coming of age story, of finding the specialness in yourself. It is a story of always looking at the world with wonder and curiosity instead of listening and believing what you are told blindly. It is a story of friendship and loyalty and that sometimes, you have to break the rules because if you always follow the rules, your life is boring and you never have any adventures.
Lastly, I loved the world Okorafor's created, where plants are the basis of human civilization and ingenuity. The society in the book is a lot like the modern society on earth, though computers are plants that evolve to fit the user, lilies are lights, and doctors use a stinging insect for injections. There are fantastical creatures, ordinary creatures who can do fantastical things, and a some plants that are pretty horrifying as well. And to these people in this fictional imaginary world, Earth is a strange and mythical place talked about only in stories.
I loved this book. I enjoyed watching Zahrah go from a quiet and meek girl who was scared of danger and had a fear of heights to a adventurous young woman who forged her own path to touch the sky....more
This was 100% fun. I'm a sucker for superhero fiction. Slap some masks and some superpowers onto a book and I will read it, no questions asked. So wheThis was 100% fun. I'm a sucker for superhero fiction. Slap some masks and some superpowers onto a book and I will read it, no questions asked. So when a friend recommended this to me, I knew I had to pick it up.
Was this the best superhero book ever? Nope. Did I love every second of it? YOU BET.
This was so much fun. The characters were likeable, the plot moved along at a fast clip, and it was at the perfect level of cheesiness. The ending was a good and satisfying, though not perfectly happy.
I really hope to see a book two sometime in the near future....more