The City in the Middle of the Night
Charlie Jane Anders
The City in the Middle of the Night takes great care to develop its characters, character arcs, character dynamics, and its worldbuilding, and pretty much forgets all about having a cohesive plot. The biggest criticism of this book would be that it is meandering and slow. It’s not that it doesn’t know where it wants to go – now that I’ve finished, I can step back and see the general plot arc meant to be established here – but it doesn’t get there clearly or quickly enough. There’s a lot of waffle and pointless journey stuff in between all the important bits, and this book, already rather short, could have been way shorter. Continue reading “Book Review: The City in the Middle of the Night by Charlie Jane Anders”
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”
The Mermaid & Mrs. Hancock
Imogen Hermes Gowar
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”
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”
A Memory Called Empire
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”