November 2017 archive

Nov 29 2017

Night Watch by Terry Pratchett

In a long-running series there is often a problem with escalation. Characters that started in a low station move up in the world. They face new challenges as they rise; the stakes are implicitly higher for the fictional world, as their actions can now affect more people. At some point, though, the character rises as …

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Nov 27 2017

Akata Warrior (Akata Witch #2) by Nnedi Okorafor

Definitely enjoyed this better than Akata Witch, especially since the magic is explained a step better than in AWitch. I really wish Nnedi Okorafor wasn’t so laser-focused on having the third-person narrative stay strictly from Sunny’s point of view, though. I felt like Akata Warrior missed out on so many cool dramatic scenes, particularly in …

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Nov 26 2017

Ganymede by Cherie Priest

Ganymede, the third of Cherie Priest’s five Clockwork Century novels, follows the efforts of some free people of color to tip the scales of the American Civil War, ongoing for more than 20 years at the time of the book’s events, in favor of the Union by bringing it an experimental Confederate submarine that sank …

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Nov 20 2017

The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents by Terry Pratchett

At the Unseen University in Ankh-Morpork, magic leaks into all sorts of things, including the scraps from the wizards’ sumptuous dinners. Some of the rats who were helping themselves to leftovers got an unexpected dose of intelligence as part of the magic in the cooking. And a cat, Maurice, got it too when he ate …

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Nov 17 2017

The Daughter of Time (Inspector Grant #5) by Josephine Tey

The premise of this novel is so inherently flawed that the fact that it convinced me of Richard III’s innocence by the end is quite the achievement. Essentially a re-examining of the history of one of England’s most vilified regents, it begins because a bedridden Inspector Grant refuses to believe that such a “sensitive” face …

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Nov 16 2017

Wilhelm Tell by Friedrich Schiller

Wilhelm Tell, a five-act drama in verse, was Friedrich Schiller’s last major work. It tells the story of the start of the Swiss Confederation as the people of four inner cantons — Uri, Schwyz, Unterwalden and Luzern — joined forces, swearing an oath to drive out a Habsburg ruler who is intent on limiting traditional …

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Nov 15 2017

Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson

In just over 200 pages, Neil deGrasse Tyson takes his readers, who are presumably in a bit of a rush, on a grand tour of the cosmos, with a refreshing emphasis on what scientists don’t know. He’s bumptious, conversational, unafraid of including personal opinions about people in the field and commendably clear even when describing …

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Nov 13 2017

Kill 6 Billion Demons, Book 1 by Tom Parkinson-Morgan

My husband got me this last Christmas and I’ve just now gotten round to reading it and, er, what? The best thing about it was Allison deciding she needed to suck it up and go save her idiot boyfriend, even if he’s kind of a crap boyfriend, because she’s a badass and that’s what badasses …

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Nov 13 2017

Bonfire by Krysten Ritter

I don’t think it’s weird of me to have a girl crush on Krysten Ritter after reading this book, given how phenomenally talented she is in the fields I care most about professionally: acting and writing (I would be completely unsurprised if she was also terrific at waitressing and corporate training, but then I’m just …

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Nov 09 2017

Binti (Binti #1) by Nnedi Okorafor

So for real, Binti is a terrific character and the setting is amazing and the way Nnedi Okorafor builds a whole universe and sci-fi system is breathtakingly good considering the novella doesn’t even break a hundred pages but Jesus fuck, I was not okay with how the Meduse were deferred to. They did something to …

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