April 2019 archive

Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch

Rivers of London introduces Peter Grant, a young policeman in London who is just finishing up and undistinguished starting round of assignments when he is asked to stand guard at a pre-dawn murder site and thing go, as they say, a bit sideways. “Sometimes I wonder whether, if I’d been the one that went for …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/04/29/rivers-of-london-by-ben-aaronovitch/

A Conspiracy of Stars (Faloiv #1) by Olivia A. Cole

I’m a confirmed omnivore, but this book made me seriously sympathize with vegetarianism. But also, and especially when paired together with Hanna Alkaf’s The Weight Of Our Sky, it has a really good point about decolonization and basic tolerance and respect (tho, that said, I’m a firm believer in socio-economic progress requiring real socio-political representation.) …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/04/28/a-conspiracy-of-stars-faloiv-1-by-olivia-a-cole/

The Lady of the Lake by Andrzej Sapkowski

The Lady of the Lake brings to a close the extended sequence of novels centering on the Witcher Geralt of Rivera and Ciri the child of destiny, although Sapkowski has written another book of stories, Season of Storms set earlier in Geralt’s personal chronology. The series has its ups and downs: I thought that Baptism …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/04/27/the-lady-of-the-lake-by-andrzej-sapkowski/

The Road to Unfreedom by Timothy Snyder

I wanted to like The Road to Unfreedom a lot more than I did. The book is billed as a “chronicle of the rise of authoritarianism from Russia to Europe and America.” Snyder is a well-regarded historian with big works of synthesis to his credit — Bloodlands and Black Earth — plus a volume On Tyranny …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/04/26/the-road-to-unfreedom-by-timothy-snyder/

Frederica by Georgette Heyer

Twenty-odd years ago, I would likely have rated this novel higher than I do now. I actually only picked it up because I was recently told that it’s considered a classic of the romance genre. I’ve read my fair share of Barbara Cartland and old school Mills & Boon, and was delighted in college to …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/04/20/frederica-by-georgette-heyer/

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

The Underground Railroad is a hell of a book. Like Underground Airlines by Ben H. Winters, Whitehead’s book was published in 2016 and takes a slightly science fictional look at slavery in the United States of America. Winters’ narrative brought slavery into the 21st century and imagined what the peculiar institution would be like in …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/04/18/the-underground-railroad-by-colson-whitehead/

The Weight of Our Sky by Hanna Alkaf

I finished this book in two compulsive sittings, and if I’m being perfectly honest, I think I would have liked it better if I hadn’t had to break concentration a little past the halfway mark to go do life stuff. Because The Weight Of Our Sky is the kind of book that grabs you by …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/04/17/the-weight-of-our-sky-by-hanna-alkaf/

All My Colors by David Quantick

Every aspiring creative knows that inspiration is that most fickle of creatures. The Muse will not be forced… but what if she does show up? And what if she’s out to get you? Todd Milstead is an asshole. A literary wannabe who sponges off the fortune of his long-suffering wife Janis, his main asset is …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/04/16/all-my-colors-by-david-quantick/

Lost Kingdom by Serhii Plokhy

Having recently written a national history of Ukraine, Plokhy turns his attention to the history of the junior eastern Slavic nation, Russia. A fair portion of Lost Kingdom describes how and why my opening sentence would outrage Russian ideologues, rulers and historians. The titles of the book’s sections reveal important aspects of his argument: Inventing …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/04/15/lost-kingdom-by-serhii-plokhy/

The Everlasting Rose (The Belles #2) by Dhonielle Clayton

So on the one hand, I didn’t get anywhere near as mad at this second (final?) book as I did at its predecessor, The Belles. There were still a few moments of “oh, come on” but they faded into insignificance next to the real problem with this book: it feels entirely rushed. It’s not even …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/04/14/the-everlasting-rose-the-belles-2-by-dhonielle-clayton/