August 2018 archive

Aug 30 2018

Dragon Coast by Greg van Eekhout

With his trilogy about a darkly magical California — California Bones, Pacific Fire, and Dragon Coast — Greg van Eekhout has created an interesting world that puts wizards and fantastic creatures into a roughly contemporary setting and spun exciting stories of adventure among the people who shape that world. Earth is home to many magical creatures, …

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Aug 28 2018

Raising Steam by Terry Pratchett

Why was Raising Steam, the penultimate Discworld novel, so much better than I expected? I had reason to worry. It clocks in at 475 pages, and for the last 10 books, I have much preferred the shorter ones to the longer ones. Both of Raising Steam‘s immediate non-YA predecessors, Unseen Academicals and Snuff, had seemed …

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Aug 23 2018

Snuff by Terry Pratchett

Snuff, the thirty-ninth Discworld book, turns out to be the last one starring Sam Vimes, who has gone a long way in the world since his first appearance in Guards! Guards! There will be one more Moist van Lipwig book, one more Tiffany Aching book (although I am still drafting my thoughts on I Shall …

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Aug 21 2018

Foundryside (Founders #1) by Robert Jackson Bennett

Hands down my favorite fantasy novel of 2018 so far. In large part because it isn’t a fantasy novel or, as I described it to Bookclub chat, is really a meaty sci-fi novel in a delicious fantasy shell. It’s smart and witty and heartfelt, and I laughed and cried and gasped in sheer astonishment in …

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Aug 19 2018

Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado

Short story collections are often hit or miss for me. Particularly when they’re the collected works of a single author: I often find myself rooting for said author to do well with each new story even as I’m quietly disappointed by the sum of the collection. This is especially true for writing that’s critically lauded …

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Aug 18 2018

The Hazel Wood (The Hazel Wood #1) by Melissa Albert

Oh yuck, this has a sequel? Not that this wasn’t an entertaining book, but I liked how complete it was on its own. If anything, I’d like to read more of the fairy tales that are mentioned, but not fully imparted, over the course of this novel. Okay, so there’s this journalist, Anna Parks, who …

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Aug 14 2018

Fiddlehead by Cherie Priest

Isn’t it great when the last in a set of books is the best of the bunch? Not only is Fiddlehead, the fifth of Cherie Priest‘s Clockwork Century novels, easily the best of the series, it’s terrific fun from start to finish, a page-turner in the best sense of the word. It races from tension-filled …

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Aug 13 2018

Too Like the Lightning by Ada Palmer

One of the hard problems of writing far-future science fiction is just how strange humans of that era are likely to appear to present-day readers. Quite apart from the changes that technology and any move of setting from the terrestrial are likely to bring, the ways that societies change over time are likely to render …

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Aug 13 2018

A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic #1) by V.E. Schwab

I nearly fainted with pleasure when I finished this book and realized, holy shit, it’s a complete book! Way too many genre authors nowadays — or at least those whose works I’ve had the misfortune of reading recently — think that writing a series means that each 300+ page novel doesn’t need to tell a …

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Aug 12 2018

Down & Out in the Magic Kingdom by Cory Doctorow

One of the niftier things that Cory Doctorow does in Down & Out in the Magic Kingdom is to show a basically sympathetic character making a series of bad decisions for reasons that I, as a reader, could understand why he was taking those actions but I wished he wouldn’t and hoped he would figure …

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