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Liquid Crystal Nightingale

3.49  ·  Rating details ·  65 ratings  ·  32 reviews
A bold and clever political thriller science fiction debut

Go deeper, they said. Look closer.

Pleo Tanza is a survivor. Her father was broken by tragedy, her twin sister is dead—chewed up and spat out by the corruption and injustice of Chatoyance—but she’s going to make it, whatever it takes. She’s going to get off this rock.

But escape is for the rich or lucky. Pleo’
Paperback, 352 pages
Published March 17th 2020 by Abaddon
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Average rating 3.49  · 
Rating details
 ·  65 ratings  ·  32 reviews

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Jun 29, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction
In a far future where humanity has largely abandoned our home solar system, humans live in the solar system called the Archer’s Ring on a planet orbiting the star Gachala. On a terraformed planet there are two main cities, the wealthy and first-colonized Cabuchon and the industrial and manufacturing hub of Chatoyance. But humanity is under threat from the malevolent and encroaching Artisans, deeply alien creatures on the edge of the system, and their actions and ongoing threat is having a destab ...more
Christi M
Jul 10, 2020 rated it liked it
I really, really tried with this story and in truth I am not giving completely up on it. Going in, I knew from previous reviews that this was a story with incredibly rich world-building and a plot that needed my complete focus. And in truth it was both of those. Eeleen Lee creates a world that is dense and fascinating. There is no single word within the story that was not used to its full potential to help create the political and personal complexities the narrative presents. But while I was try ...more
Jun 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020, women-2020
4.5 Fast paced, well done world building and interesting characters. Probably worth a reread as the reader is thrown into the world quickly and explanations are strewn throughout changing my assumptions about what was happening.
Reid Edwards
Feb 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Wow - reading Liquid Crystal Nightingale feels a little bit like the first time you read Snow Crash or Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep - things are happening, you're doing your best to keep up, you start to understand that you won't understand everything, and by the time you realize how invested you are the finale, it's over. Lee does a remarkable job at tossing you into a fully formed world, where bits and pieces of the history of Chatoyance and the Tanza family come at you in fleeting comm ...more
I really wanted to like this book as it has great elements: the universe, the cultures, the variety of body augments, the politics, to name some. However, I found it hard to get into this book, despite really liking the sheer weirdness of everything. The story felt stuffed with so much, and I think that if I'd been in a slightly different mood, I may have been able to get through this book. For now, I'm walking away. ...more
Apr 26, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction, 2020
At the very end of this story is a book blurb for Tangle's Game by Stewart Hotston and I was still reeling from the end of Liquid Crystal Nightingale and it occurred to me that both these books literally end mid-scene and I was doubly peeved! How did I happen into this circumstance again?! Is this now a thing for some would-be standalones? Why is this a thing? That aside, I slashed a star off my rating.

This had all the hallmarks of a story that was right down my lane and I have to give all kind
Mark Parnell
Mar 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book isn’t for everyone. My guess is that it will split readers into two distinct camps, loved it or didn’t finish it. I fall into the former camp. Lee continues the growing trend of the emergence of female authors into what I am calling the second Golden Age of Sci Fi. Leckie, Hurley, Chambers, Martine and now Lee (I am missing a lot of authors, apologies!) are providing us with a visceral depth to their stories. At its heart, Liquid Crystal Nightengale is a murder mystery. Weaved around t ...more
Nicole Sweeney
Mar 30, 2020 rated it liked it
Review originally posted on The Bibliophile Chronicles.

Liquid Crystal Nightingale is the epic tale of Pleo Tanza a young woman living in a futuristic space colony named Chatoyance. Her father is struggling as the only survivor of an immense accident and her sister is dead, but Pleo is a survivor and to do that she is determined to escape her life. When she is unknowingly involved in the murder of one of her classmates Pleo must go on the run, but as secrets begin to unravel, life on Chatoyance m
Wayne Santos
Dec 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Liquid Crystal Nightingale gives you a big hint about what to expect right from the title. This is a dense, lyrical story that takes things and mixes them up in ways you don't expect. The story takes place in another star system, long after humanity has learned to travel interstellar distances and trace their ancestry back to fledgling colonial efforts in our solar system.

Pleo Tanza is a young woman struggling against a cyberpunk-esque inequality, corporate abuse, and an overworked legal and soc
Emma Cathryne
Jan 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, adult, space-opera
Thank you to NetGalley for providing me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Liquid Crystal Nightingale defied my expectations, doing something I hadn’t expected: being utterly unique. I am often bothered by the repetitive nature of science fiction, and while some of the tropes were familiar the backdrop of the story was cutting-edge (yes, Geology pun intended).

Most of my difficulties stem from the rapid pace of the world-building and the amount of trust in the author required of the reader
Joel Dane
May 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Finished thirty minutes ago. I fucking loved LCN. It's strange and beautiful and immersive and lyrical and gruesome and, erm, multi-faceted and beautiful and strange. This is the scifi that I'd write if I were smarter. Do I know *exactly* what I just read? No. That'll take a re-read or three. But did it sweep me away? Absolutely. ...more
Apr 06, 2020 rated it liked it
**I was gifted a copy by Rebellion Publishing in exchange for an honest review**

Liquid Crystal Nightingale takes place in a future space colony that orbits a distant star. The story centres on a young woman whose life is surrounded by tragedy and is much more influenced by the machinations of the government and aristocracy that she lives amongst than she thinks.

It's a space opera/murder mystery mashup however, the latter part is less of the "who dunnit?" type and more of a "wtf is going on and w
Mar 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is quite good. Interesting setting and characters. along with some mystery. The story kept me engaged and is written in a nice style. Recommended for space opera fans.

Thanks very much for the review copy!!
Mar 10, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction
Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an ebook copy of Liquid Crystal Nightingale in exchange for an honest review.

I honestly did not like Liquid Crystal Nightingale. It has style. It has interesting elements. I just did not understand any of it. I found it frustratingly confusing all the way through.

I wish I could provide a summary of the plot. I really cannot. I think you could describe it as a revenge plot with a mystery on top. There seems to be aliens, some class conflict, and space
Sue Chant
I'm torn by this one. It's very obviously a first novel - too many ideas crammed in without thinking them through first; jumps about confusingly in the timeline, sometimes within a single paragraph; characters who seem to have no purpose; and an abrupt ending. I coudn't really get a handle on the world-building or the plot, but there was something about the verve of it that kept me reading. For the first time ever I think that a book could have done with being longer, to give the author time to ...more
I Read, Therefore I Blog
Eeleen Lee’s debut SF thriller (the first in duology) successfully creates a future that feels very alien while also facing similar issues of unaccountable corporations, unchecked oligarchies and systemic corruption. However the thriller part didn’t work as there’s so much world building that the pacing falls away while the mystery is a little obvious but there’s a lot of interesting ideas here such that I’d definitely read the sequel.
Mar 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars.

Great detailed worldbuilding, interesting cast of characters and surreal far future tech which reminds me of Tom Toner's The Promise of the Child. You can really feel the history of the city and every character's personal backstory. Perhaps the sum of the novel's whole parts did not always add up but that was not a drawback for me.

I do not understand the other reviews that say the book required too much brainpower, knowledge of science and geology or effort from the reader. Sci-fi and
Mar 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The preview on Googlebooks kicks ass. A return to old fashioned space opera with some very original twists and stylings.
Feb 08, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
I have a feeling Liquid Crystal Nightingale is going to be one of those books that other people rave about but that leaves me cold - it's not badly written, it just didn't really do anything for me and I ended up skimming the last quarter of it to see if anything actually got resolved (which it didn't, as far as I could see).

It's written from three points of view, the first being that of Pleo, who is the child of the only survivor of a mining accident, who ends up being framed for the murder of
Eeleen Lee
Apr 11, 2020 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
"The result is a richly imagined and engrossing piece of work."
Eddie Robson, SFX Magazine ( March 2020).

"...a complex and high-paced thriller."
Ian Green, The British Fantasy Society (July 2020)

"Battle Angel Alita meets Iain M. Banks."
Nerds of A Feather, (March 2020)
Anna Tan
Well, where do I start with this one?

I haven't been reading much sci-fi lately, mostly because I don't seem to enjoy them as much as I imagine that I used to. I don't know if it's because of a shift in my reading tastes, or if it's an overall change in the style of writing in newer sci-fi books.

Liquid Crystal Nightingale is a case in point. I picked it up because it was written by a Malaysian and it sounded interesting enough; it's basically a murder mystery with political underpinnings set in
Mar 30, 2021 rated it it was ok
This story features amazing imagination and imagery, but it falls down when it comes to the story. It makes the reader sink or swim, dropping you into the middle of a foreign world with little explanation. After finishing the story, I still can’t figure out what kind of story it was. It had elements of science fiction, horror, crime, mystery, but none of them stood out as the story genre. I’m not saying that stories need to be put in boxed of a certain type, however one of the genres needs to ta ...more
Paul Holden
What a fancy mess. A proper review is difficult as I’m not really sure what was going on. An alien attack? Well we start with that and then 150 pages in there is the suggestion of a conspiracy, by the framing of our lead character. But it’s not clear why they are being framed. Then the main character all but vanishes from the narrative, for over 100 pages.

It’s hard to visualise scenes when everything is so different. So from a word building point of view it’s fantastic. But some things have bee
Apr 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: in-progress
The title reads like a young adult science fiction but I was pleasantly surprised that it is not it.

This novel reminds me of one of those "difficult" science fiction films (like 2001 Space Odyssey, Solaris) that feel very alien but so absorbing that you can't stop watching, although you may not understand everything that is going on. Characters are strong, and I can root for the protagonist just like in a young adult book. I suppose some people did not like this book because they found it hard t
Nick Seeley
Feb 22, 2021 rated it really liked it
A surprisingly light-hearted cat-and-mouse game, playing out a grim space colony, in thrall to technology and industrialism run amok. Chaotic, grotesque, deeply weird and very fun. For fans of The Expanse and The Three-Body Problem, this is chum in the water... I hope there's more. ...more
Mar 04, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This is a rush like a rollercoaster. Definitely needs time and attention to read but during the current world situation I'm looking for this kind of escapism. Not a book for readers looking for something light and easy. ...more
Mar 22, 2020 marked it as dnf
Shelves: read-in-2020
Made it about a fourth of the way through and (at least for now) it’s a DNF. There’s stuff I like but it’s so grim and I’m not hooked enough.
Susie Munro
Ambitious, very stylised debut with some great world building let down by uneven pacing and plot that is never quite greater than the sum of its (disparate) parts.
Mar 21, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Well-written and has fast pace. This book definitely doesn't stop to explain itself to the reader so it's not for those needing that. ...more
Apr 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed the strange new world in this book. Don't get the snark about it. ...more
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