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Joined 1 year, 2 months ago

I read largely sff, some romance and mystery, very little non-fiction. I'm trying to write at least a little review of everything I'm reading this year, but it's a little bit of an experiment in progress.

I'm elsewhere.

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Meru (EBook, 47North) 4 stars

One woman and her pilot are about to change the future of the species in …


3 stars

When a post-human spacecraft and a human love each other very much...

Overall, I had mixed feelings about this book. The writing is from the third perspective of Jayanthi (the human) and Vaha (the post-human Alloy pilot/spacecraft), but is very much in each of their thoughts. Subjectively, it felt like a matter of fact writing style that just didn't quite grip me. I wish I could pin down more why I struggled here with this prose. That said, there were a bunch of things I enjoyed about it:

This book played with some neat ideas. One is that "all matter possesses some level of consciousness" and thus people are encouraged to change themselves rather than environments were possible (big To Be Taught, If Fortunate feelings). Jayanthi has sickle cell anemia, and the book uses this as a prime example of talking about how bodies are not good or bad but …

The Angel of the Crows (Paperback, 2021, Tor Books) 4 stars

"Doyle, are you still mad at me?"

"Yes," I said, because all the folktales say you should not lie to an angel. And, because I was still mad.

"If..." He broke off. I was halfway down the casualty lists when he blurted, "If you have sexual congress with me, will you stop being mad?"

Tea went everywhere. If I'd had a mouthful of toast, I probably would have choked to death. As it was, I wheezed and gasped and finally said, "WHAT?"

The Angel of the Crows by  (38%)

The Angel of the Crows (Paperback, 2021, Tor Books) 4 stars

The Angel of the Crows

2 stars

Don't get me wrong, I love Katherine Addison in general. I love a good novel that comes from the realm of fanfic (hello, Winter's Orbit!). I love mysteries and a Sherlock pastiche. I love gender stuff! With all of that, I enjoyed the writing itself, but the book tried to do too much structurally and it didn't come together for me.

The Angel of the Crows is a Sherlock story, but the setup here is that Crow (Sherlock) is an angel and Doyle (Watson) took an injury in Afghanistan from a fallen angel that left them partially a hell hound (in a werewolf sort of way). Crow here is awkward but also kind, and so the relationship between Crow and Doyle where they each help and care for each other in their own way works for me. (I personally am alienated by "jerk Sherlock" and don't quite understand why …

Lost in the Moment and Found (Hardcover, 2023, Tordotcom) 4 stars

A young girl discovers an infinite variety of worlds in this standalone tale in the …

In that moment, in a strange market on a different world, contemplating an assortment of treats she'd never tasted before, about to be escorted through a market by a talking cat-person, Antsy's heart desired nothing more than to stay here forever, and to never, never, ever go home.

In that moment, she was finally sure.

Lost in the Moment and Found by  (39%)

replied to enne📚's status

Content warning spoilers for Lost in the Moment and Found

Lost in the Moment and Found (Hardcover, 2023, Tordotcom) 4 stars

A young girl discovers an infinite variety of worlds in this standalone tale in the …

Lost in the Moment and Found

5 stars

I love the concept of the Wayward Children series as a whole, but individually a few of the books have been hit or miss for me. If I had to pick, In an Absent Dream and this book have been my favorites out of the whole series, largely in that they both focus on a single character and so the plot and theme can be a lot more tight in the short space of a novella.

Lost in the Moment and Found follows Antsy, who runs away from horrific step-dad, finds herself lost, and steps through a door into the Shop Where the Lost Things Goes. (I also deeply appreciated the Author's Note which precedes the book and content warns for grooming and adult gaslighting, but also gives the reassurance that "before anything can actually happen, Antsy runs.")

In this book, the reader gets teased with larger worldbuilding hints about …

Sweet Bean Paste (Paperback, 2017, Oneworld Publications) 4 stars

Sentaro has failed. He has a criminal record, drinks too much, and his dream of …

Sweet Bean Paste

5 stars

This was a sweet little book about dorayaki and unlikely friendship. Thematically, it also deals with social stigma, being trapped, and listening more closely to the world around you. This was definitely on the sentimental side, but it was a breath of fresh hopeful air.

The Scout Mindset (Hardcover, 2021, Portfolio) 4 stars

The Scout Mindset

4 stars

I saw this book get mentioned on fedi a while back, so got around to reading it. Its goal is to help people "see more clearly". The main metaphor of the book is to that we are often stuck in a "soldier mindset" (motivated reasoning to defend your beliefs, where being wrong feels like a mistake) and that we should try to have more of a "scout mindset" (finding the lay of the land and seeking truth, where being wrong means updating your map and is always a positive).

We use motivated reasoning not because we don't know any better, but because we're trying to protect things that are vitally important to us--our ability to feel good about our lives and ourselves, our motivation to try hard things and stick with them, our ability to look good and persuade, and our acceptance in our communities.

Some of this I'd heard …

The Genesis of Misery (Hardcover, 2022, Tor) 4 stars

An immersive, electrifying space-fantasy from Neon Yang, author of The Black Tides of Heaven, full …

"If I wanted to be imprisoned on the Imperial Capital, I would have found better ways," Misery snaps. She can't hear the holystone through all this nagging. Can't believe she sat through thousands of hours of sermon and not one second of it covered getting a faux-aspect of the universal force to shut the fuck up.

The Genesis of Misery by , (2%)

reviewed The Genesis of Misery by Neon Yang

The Genesis of Misery (Hardcover, 2022, Tor) 4 stars

An immersive, electrifying space-fantasy from Neon Yang, author of The Black Tides of Heaven, full …

The Genesis of Misery

4 stars

"Is there one among us who has not behaved badly in this tale?"

I would pitch this book as Gundam Joan of Arc. It follows the course of the life of Misery Nomaki :drum: who believes they are sick with the same void madness that claimed the life of their mother and causes them to hear the voice of an angel telling them what to do. They lie their way into being the foretold ninth messiah to try to get themselves out of larger trouble, but everybody believes them (and eventually they begin to wonder if maybe they're not lying to themselves after all).

I love Neon Yang's worldbuilding and characters. This book is set in the far future where humanity's exodus into the stars took them into a realm where a "nullvoid" epidemic warped people's bodies; they were saved by the Larex Forge who teaches them how to use …

I didn’t appreciate how it impacted the feel of the story though, that it allowed tension with money while still being cozy, which feels so discordant.

This is such a good way to put it. I think I wrote some of this off while reading the story, in the vein of "money for survival is just not a concern that this book wants to think about", but the book wants to both be about money and not be about money at the same time. I think that's why all times where Viv talks about paying for things stuck out to me; it is discordant and I couldn't stop thinking about how Viv was affording all this.

I am mostly thinking about what might have made this better. One possibility could be a note about Rackam paying off more than just a few days at the inn (as a kindness? …