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Book Review: Middlegame by Seanan McGuire

middlegameMiddlegame
Seanan McGuire

Tor.com, 2019
★★★☆☆

This was definitely very good, no doubt about it, but I think I liked the idea of it far more than I liked the execution. The idea, at its core, is just so, so very cool! It’s all about alchemy and incarnating ideas into human bodies and trying to control the universe. It’s awesome! Very confusing at first, but not so much that I couldn’t follow along, and things (mostly) make sense at the end, even if some ideas remain rather abstract.

I just am not sure that I am a fan of which parts of the story were prioritized: Roger and Dodger’s lives. There was just so much time spent on them growing up and getting to know one another and this book is so long. Continue reading “Book Review: Middlegame by Seanan McGuire”

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Book Review: The Mermaid & Mrs. Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar

The Mermaid & Mrs. Hancockthe mermaid and mrs hancock
Imogen Hermes Gowar

Harper, 2018
★★★★☆

I think the best way to describe The Mermaid & Mrs Hancock would be: uneven, meandering, and unbalanced, in terms of both pacing and genre. It’s almost as though it can’t quite decide what it wants to be. Somehow, it is too long and yet not long enough.

Oddly enough, a book with this kind of pacing normally wouldn’t be able to hold my attention, but I was never once bored! I think that is to do with two factors. One is my own personal interest in Georgian London as well as the history of prostitution. Harlots is one of my favorite shows. The amount of historical detail Gowar displays here is simply astonishing. It stops just shy of being too much, but because of this detail I could picture everything so, so clearly; I felt like I was inhabiting this time period. Continue reading “Book Review: The Mermaid & Mrs. Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar”

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Book Review: Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Mexican Gothic
Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Del Rey, 2020
★★★★★

The Guardian describes Mexican Gothic as “Lovecraft meets the Brontes in Latin America,” which is rather apt. Moreno-Garcia has written a delectably Gothic, deliciously weird, and appropriately horrifying tale of a young woman tasked with rescuing her cousin, allegedly imprisoned in a dilapidated old mansion, potentially being poisoned by her husband’s family.

Continue reading “Book Review: Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia”

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Book Review: A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine

a memory called empireA Memory Called Empire
Arkady Martine

Tor, 2019
★★★★☆

It’s taken me some time to craft a review for this book because I’m not entirely sure how to review it; do I write something purely based on the book’s merit or do I write something based on my own experience of the book? The eternal question. The thing is, I’m not really into sci-fi/space opera. I don’t know what it is. Something about the worldbuilding and aesthetics of space opera just doesn’t really click with me, so that’s already a hurdle to overcome when picking up a space opera novel.

That definitely colored my experience with A Memory Called Empire, but looking at it objectively, it’s a rather superb novel. I can completely understand why it’s been nominated for a Hugo, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it wins, frankly. It’s really a superb accomplishment on so many level. Continue reading “Book Review: A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine”

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Book Review: The Black Prism by Brent Weeks

The Black Prismthe black prism
Brent Weeks

Orbit, 2020
★★★☆☆

At its heart, The Black Prism is a spin on the classic fantasy Farm Boy trope. Kip, our farm boy, is just an ordinary 15-year-old kid living in a humble little village, when destiny suddenly comes a-knockin in the form of an army that slaughters his entire town. In the ensuing chaos, Kip discovers he is the illegitimate son of Gavin Guile, the Prism, who is a sort of religious/political figure, kind of like a Priest-King. Prisms are one in a generation; they alone are able to draft seven colors with no negative effects, making them extremely powerful; they also use this power to maintain “color balance” in the world. This particular Prism, though, is marked by a war from sixteen ago, when Gavin fought against his brother, who was seemingly also a Prism, leading the war to be known as the False Prism’s war.

There’s kind of a lot going on in this book, but also very little at the same time, so let’s break this down into categories. Continue reading “Book Review: The Black Prism by Brent Weeks”