November 2018 archive

Nov 30 2018

Crosstalk by Connie Willis

Connie Willis at her best tells tales of engaging characters in surprising situations and then lands an emotional blow that can still be felt a decade or more later. I can’t, offhand, think of another author who has done what Willis does two-thirds of the way through Passage. When she’s merely very good, Willis can …

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Nov 29 2018

Maria Stuart by Friedrich Schiller

“Will no one rid me of this turbulent queen?” is something that Elizabeth I of England does not ever quite say in Schiller’s five-act verse drama, Maria Stuart, but the sentiment lurks behind practically everything that she does say. The play begins with Mary, Queen of Scots, under house arrest in Fotheringhay, the place that …

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Nov 28 2018

The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps by Kai Ashante Wilson

Oof, I did not expect The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps to end as a tragedy, nor when it did. Looking back, though, I am not at all sure that the ending is a tragedy, at least from the perspective of the principal characters. Glancing at my review of Kai Ashante Wilson’s other novella set in …

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Nov 28 2018

Firefly: Big Damn Hero by Nancy Holder and James Lovegrove

First, can I talk about just how beautiful this book is? Titan sent me a hardback copy which, as always, has an incredible cover. That dust jacket needs to be felt to be believed. And it comes with a ribbon bookmark! I don’t usually go gaga over the physical format of a book, but this …

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Nov 18 2018

Three Dark Crowns (Three Dark Crowns #1) by Kendare Blake

So I’d been avoiding this book for a while, despite owning another of Kendare Blake’s acclaimed novels (Anna Dressed In Blood, one of many on my To-Read pile) because, while the premise is interesting and the author’s reputation confidence-inspiring, I thought Queen Katharine’s power incredibly lame compared to the other two. She can ingest any …

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Nov 08 2018

An Interview with Aliya Whiteley, author of The Arrival Of Missives

aliya whiteley. copyright Sebastian Lister

Q: Every book has its own story about how it came to be conceived and written as it did. How did The Arrival Of Missives evolve? A: It started with the voice of my main character, Shirley, and grew entirely from there. I loved her straight away; she’s a teenager who is both naïve and …

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Nov 08 2018

Vicious (Villains #1) by V.E. Schwab

Or, as I like to think of it, A Tale Of Two Sociopaths. In a world where people with superpowers are called ExtraOrdinaries (or EOs, for short) two brilliant college students decide that it isn’t enough to study them and try to figure out how they came to be. Eli Cardale and Victor Vale are …

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Nov 06 2018

The Arrival Of Missives by Aliya Whiteley

This is a volume that is dead set on subverting our expectations of science fiction, and succeeds at that goal brilliantly. Packaged together with the short story The Last Voyage Of The Smiling Henry, the title novel (I know that some might argue that its 133-page length renders it more of a novella, but I, …

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Nov 03 2018

Traitor to the Throne (Rebel of the Sands #2) by Alwyn Hamilton

I am so glad I decided to read this book! I had a bunch of misgivings after the overall good but uneven first in the series, Rebel Of The Sands, and had prepared myself for more of the same here, but Traitor To The Throne far surpassed my expectations. There were several annoying lapses in …

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Nov 01 2018

In A Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

I kinda don’t remember why I placed this on my library hold list, but I finally got around to reading it and, hmm. It’s very readable. I tore through the last half really quickly, almost compulsively: it’s written in such a way that I just had to keep going to find out whodunnit. Unfortunately, it …

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