Athena and Apollo try to create Plato's Republic. They pull together philosophers and dreamers from all eras of history to set the city up, then peoplAthena and Apollo try to create Plato's Republic. They pull together philosophers and dreamers from all eras of history to set the city up, then people it with ten year old Greek slave children. The book follows two of these children, Simmea and Pythias (actually Apollo reincarnated as a mortal), as they grow and learn within the system Plato's intellectual descendants have hammered out.
The characters are wonderfully well crafted. Their minds are so perfectly described that it was only about two thirds of the way through the book, when one character describes another, that I realized I had no idea what they looked like, and hadn't cared at all. But of course physical appearance does matter, and from that point on I was able to interpret the characters and their relationships with each other with that added knowledge. Simmea was my favorite, but Socrates shows up near the end of the book and is a wonderful trouble maker.
The book is also quite frustrating. I was continually arguing with it, or with characters, and I really enjoy that aspect of it. I think engaging the reader in that way was deliberate on Walton's part, and it definitely worked on me. I swallowed this book whole in a matter of hours, so involved was I. But Walton and the philosophers she draws on touch on so many ideas and points of contention that I often felt that I'd been ripped away from one before I was quite done with it and forced to move on to the next philosophical question. Too, the main theme or question of this book seems to be that of freedom, volition, and consent. Walton uses robots and historical systems of slavery for part of this question, but again and again rape comes up as well. (POV characters are raped on-page three times in this book, and a lot of other rapes are mentioned as well. It's disturbing, and something you might want to brace yourself for.) The book ends abruptly, after a debate between Athena and Socrates. I look forward to reading what comes next!...more
Syd is the punishment proxy for a rich boy, Knox. When Knox breaks a family heirloom, Syd gets tased. When Knox skips class, Syd gets beaten. And whenSyd is the punishment proxy for a rich boy, Knox. When Knox breaks a family heirloom, Syd gets tased. When Knox skips class, Syd gets beaten. And when Knox kills a classmate in a car accident, Syd has to serve his life sentence.
But this is one step too far for Syd, who has always played by the rules in hopes of ending his debt slavery early. He breaks out of prison, takes Knox as a hostage, and forces him on the run with him. The boys are hunted by Knox's father, bounty hunters, the Guardians, and the crazy rebel group that thinks Syd's blood has the power to destroy all DNA-linked debt.
Deals with tough issues but is a little light weight...but that's probably appropriate for a younger audience than me. ...more
Peter Grant, wizarding apprentice and London cop, is sent to the countryside to investigate a missing persons case. Within a few hundred pages, he's bPeter Grant, wizarding apprentice and London cop, is sent to the countryside to investigate a missing persons case. Within a few hundred pages, he's being chased by a carnivorous unicorn, thus satisfying all of my hopes and dreams....more
When this series began, all the characters seemed fairly ordinary. Now (view spoiler)[Noah has been revealed as a ghost, Ronan is learning to use hisWhen this series began, all the characters seemed fairly ordinary. Now (view spoiler)[Noah has been revealed as a ghost, Ronan is learning to use his dream magic, Adam is on the path to becoming Cabeswater's magician, and Blue has realized that her ability to amplify psychics' powers stems from her mirroring magic. (hide spoiler)] And in the background there is always Gansay, gentle and hard by turns, but always supporting them to be their best selves. In earlier books I had favorite characters, or thought that some characters' plots were more interesting than others. Now I like them all, and can't distinguish one from the other. My feelings are echoes of the characters' own: like most teenagers they were desperate to show themselves as individuals, but as their adventures continued they realized how much they wanted to stand with each other instead of apart. Independence is not the only virtue. This brings me to the romances: despite there being romantic and sexual tension between many of the characters, I don't feel torn between them. I like the characters all together, not split into dyads, and I hope the strong links of friendship and belonging between them maintain.
The adult characters are involved in the plot now, and I'm glad: I love Mr.Grey and the psychics. They're just as unique and delightful as ever. The antagonists are, as usual, less important than the magic and personal growth going on all around them. But the very unexceptionalness of their selfish blase entitlement is part of their horror. And the magic in this book is wonderful, with dream logic that twists and turns and may bite at any moment. I particularly loved the cave full of animal skeletons poised in flight.
The book ends on a huge cliffhanger, because of course it does. Curse you Stiefvater!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Gabriel Lacey prevents a mugging, and to his surprise discovers that he has saved a fine lady. The next day she summons him to her and asks him to invGabriel Lacey prevents a mugging, and to his surprise discovers that he has saved a fine lady. The next day she summons him to her and asks him to investigate her husband's recent murder. Lacey is already half in love with her and adores mysteries, and immediately begins his detective work. He uncovers a conspiracy stranger and darker than he had bargained for.
I love Captain Lacey, who is very competent, very self-contained, and prey to fits of severe melancholia. His relationships with Lord and Lady Brandon, his former mentors/protectors/friends, are tangled and fascinating. And I love the way other characters react to him, like how Grenville and Denis view him as something strange and slightly disturbing. It makes me wonder how he appears from the outside, instead of from his internal monologue.
I look forward to the next installment of this series! ...more