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Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Flame (Awaken Online: Tarot #2)Flame by Travis Bagwell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Honestly, there's nothing outrageously original about this, but it *is* perfectly adventure, adventure, adventure. No complaints at all. It has all the spells, fighting, competition, and sacrifice that anyone who wants fantasy usually dies for.

This one does fit in as the middle book of the Flame trilogy. As an offshoot and blend of the Darkness, it's all basically a build-up to a massive collaborative effort in the virtual game. It's all story, baby.

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Tuesday, November 29, 2022

UnravellerUnraveller by Frances Hardinge
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hardinge has probably written her best novel in this one. The worldbuilding is dark and Kellen and Nettle are some rather complicated characters with a problem.

Unravelling -- and curses -- fill these pages. If a book could be a dark bog and if the magic comes about through hate, then this is the fully realized, fully fleshed-out result.

To be entirely honest, I was flowing along with this for a while, sometimes wondering how it could get better, but no worries... it does. It has a great ending, which is kinda surprising because it got really, really dark.

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Monday, November 28, 2022

Starry Messenger: Cosmic Perspectives on CivilizationStarry Messenger: Cosmic Perspectives on Civilization by Neil deGrasse Tyson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

As I was reading this, I didn't expect to learn anything new, but that wasn't really the point. Even the title hints at its true purpose: to inspire awe.

To be very sure, it's awe in the pure-reality sense, the scientific sense, and a measured analysis of who we are, what we might be capable of, and how we fit in the rest of the universe.

This is NOT, however, dull, pedantic, or dry.

I quickly came to the conclusion that this nonfiction is, in fact, a prose poem.

It's quite short, it's tiny data points all trying to express the magic, and it lightly flits over so many areas in a charming way.

Who is this written for? People who haven't lost their sense of wonder, or people who might be a bit too disgusted with humanity but haven't quite given up on the whole rotting carcass just yet.

In short, if you need a reason to remember that science is real, that all is not lost, that those who would drag everything down to the lowest level have not won, yet, then this might be the book you need.

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Sunday, November 27, 2022

Eon (The Way, #1)Eon by Greg Bear
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Rest In Peace, Mr. Bear.

I decided I had to re-read at least one of his better works right after I learned of his passing. The moment I learned of it, I was in shock. I've been singing Bear's praises for many, many years.

Eon is one of those bigger-than-life Hard SF books that never slow down with those big ideas. It eases us into the WOW factor, the awe, and then changes tacks several times in the telling, giving us more... so much more. And then it gives us even more.

It's easy to point a finger at Clarke's Rama or high-level topography math/physics or any number of alternate universe novels or time-travel tomes, but it's something else entirely to pull all of these rabbits out of a single hat. And not only that, it includes a version of the Singularity, a vast space battle across a vast number of realities, a closer-to-home apocalypse, and massive geo-political rivalries right here on Earth.

When I look for SF, it's BECAUSE of this book that I found a love of SF as the literature of IDEAS. The characters, not even poorly drawn, inevitably take a back seat to the IDEAS. It's overwhelming the way I love to be overwhelmed by authors like Stephen Baxter, Kim Stanley Robinson, Cixin Liu, and even Adrian Tchaikovsky. There are more, of course, but for me, personally, Greg Bear blew my mind first.

Rest In Peace, king.

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Saturday, November 26, 2022

Bring the JubileeBring the Jubilee by Ward Moore
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Here's a book that shouldn't be forgotten. Especially for fans of Connie Willis or Jodi Taylor, fans of historians going back in time because -- COME ON, WHAT HISTORIAN WOULDN'T WANT TO GO BACK IN TIME?

More importantly, the time this came out in the early 1950's should be an interesting fact. The kinds of time travel that had come out before were more adventure and less introspective. This one is very introspective. It's also very imaginative, rather dystopian, carefully philosophical and skeptical, and massively bookish. The main character is a serious observer and reader, and this is great because most of the book takes place in a world where the South won the Civil War.

The world is very different. Darker, rather horrible. And yet, intellectuals and skeptics do tend to find their way, even if it is in poverty and uneasy circumstances.

I'll say this for certain: this is one of the best great-grandaddy of all alternate timeline books. It's not an adventure. It's a philosophical discussion and an ultimate show/don't tell careful exploration of what might have been.

I'm very impressed.

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Friday, November 25, 2022

Children of Memory (Children of Time, #3)Children of Memory by Adrian Tchaikovsky
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This one offered up some pretty great SFnal surprises.

From the start, I had some suspicions that this would be something like a culture-shock kind of novel in a poor human colony world meeting the long list of truly fascinating alien (ish) races that were serendipitously uplifted in the previous Children of Time novels. (All fantastic, clever, philosophical, and well-explored.)

This one, however, takes a right turn to the others. My expectations had to swerve and were nicely pummeled by Tchaikovsky.

Now, as for the new alien race we get to explore, it's a classic Sentience problem with some great Corvids, as conducted by an actual AI, with lots of opinions carried by a slime mold, octopus, spiders, and some human memories. :) I mean... to say I'm intrigued is to say very little at all.

That being said, the author continues a dialogue with older SF but writes it in a great modern way with lots of attention to detail and description. I still say this series is a must-read for any fan of SF.

That twist... whew.

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Thursday, November 24, 2022

The Uplift War (The Uplift Saga, #3)The Uplift War by David Brin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this book nearly as much as I loved Startide Rising.

Back in the day, I read both of these, or indeed, any David Brin, with nothing short of awe. Not only were the books full of wonderful stories and characters, digging into my chest and pulling my still-beating heart out of my chest, but they were also some of the most amazing world-building achievements, rocking such wonderful imagination, that I frankly held them up as some of the most glorious examples of SF that SF could offer.

In short, I was a total fanboy, but for many great reasons that I could enumerate, ad nauseam, without ever falling back on a silly, "but I enjoyed it" argument.

The irony was glorious. The language play was superb. The pure SFnal discussion about intellect/heart/will and how it applies to a highly complex form of Darwinism and its questioners was glorious. And on top of all of this, I was rocking a "I really enjoyed it" adventure featuring guerilla warfare, species adaptability, and a long-form joke in the form of a full novel that worked on so many levels that I can't stop chuckling, even now.

In short, this book not only deserves all the awards it got back in the day, but it STILL deserves massive praise for being one of the best-crafted SF of all time, along with Startide Rising.

It's not just my fanboy-ism about David Brin. These books should not be swept under the rug of SFnal history. The '80s were a fantastic decade for SF. The writers all raised the tone, pushed so many envelopes, and added so much to the genre. Not only were they becoming literature, but they were also pushing the envelope of pure imagination and speculation and doing it in brilliant ways.

I'm still shocked at how complex and beautiful these two novels are. It rather puts most modern SF to utter shame.

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Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Ember (Awaken Online: Tarot #1)Ember by Travis Bagwell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

After the previous book that introduced Finn as a fiery antagonist, I admit I was fascinated. Knowing that there are three books following it that followed Finn as a lowly player to the monster he became in the previous book was all gravy to me.

Did I love seeing a side-tale of the fiery avatar of a fire god? Yes, as a matter of fact, I did.

Was it kinda predictable? Sure, but school and tournament stuff is pretty standard stuff. Plus, we get to see a lot of burns. :)

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Monday, November 21, 2022

To Fire Called (A Seeker’s Tale, #2)To Fire Called by Nathan Lowell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Still enjoyable, but frankly not as enjoyable as the previous volumes. We're out in the boonies making creds and hunting down some vital information. That being said, our intrepid Ishmael is kinda out of his depths and I frankly don't like to see him that way.

He's always been one to take careful preparation, cover all his bases, dot all his I's. So this little jump off into ignorance kinda grated on me.

It all worked out pretty well, all told, but my confidence porn got pummeled a bit. Alas.

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Sunday, November 20, 2022

In Ashes Born (A Seeker’s Tale, #1)In Ashes Born by Nathan Lowell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

After reading the previous book with Ishmael, I thought it was rather a downer, even if it was fairly realistic, and it hit a different kind of tone with me from all the previous Share books. I discovered that I wanted to take a break, and did, and was entirely unsure whether I would want to continue on with what appeared to be a side tale.

I’m VERY glad I went ahead and picked this up. It came back to the good ole competence porn I had first loved about these books. The formula? A fixer-upper, some sticky people problems, and the need to cut some red tape with a blowtorch.

What we get is a very satisfying tale that gets us putting one foot in front of the other and lemons into lemonade. That old tone is rather gone and something fresh has taken its place. No complaints.

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Startide Rising (The Uplift Saga, #2)Startide Rising by David Brin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Re-Read 11/20/22:

The kids are alright. Or rather, the Wolflings. Sure, a bit of atavistic regression, but damn, what a pressure cooker they’re under. :)

Honestly, I’m still amazed at how well this book holds up. I mean, across the board, it’s so intelligent, overflowing with alien species, great worldbuilding, amazing subtext on galactic-level slavery and racism, and above all… it’s deeply, deeply fascinating. I must have read this 6 or 7 times now and I’m always shocked at how rich it is, from the dolphin goddess to the blind idiot chimp scientist, to the great friendship from the young mel and fin to Gillian and Orley to our tragic dolphin captain.

It feels so personal to me, so rich, and endlessly enriching. As I keep reading this, I keep building upon it in my own imagination. It never really ends.

This is a sign of a true classic.

Now if only James Cameron or someone with his talent and bankroll could turn THIS book into a movie. THAT would be something for the ages. :)

Original Review:

I've been reading this book over the decades and I can still honestly say that it's both timely and timeless in its ideas, its story, and its characters. That's even taking into account that most SF eventually dates itself or becomes a humorous example of just how much we all eventually learn.

This one doesn't suffer at all. Since the eighties this still remains a mind-blowing and fantastic space opera of the kind I still have yet compare anything else as favorably. Even among Brin's other Uplift novels.

It's simple, really. It's a chase novel. The particulars, however, are wildly divergent from anything else I've ever read. Uplifted dolphin crew with a chimp geologist and a handful of humans made an accidental discovery of galactic proportions and after sending a brief description of fifty world-sized ancient spaceships belonging to the first galactic race to have begun the uplift process for the many, many alien races filling the galaxy to the brim, Earth replies, "Oh Shit. Run. Run!" All the races have their own legends about the progenitors and their eventual return, and most of the vilest are religious fanatics that warp reality or cruelly alter genetics of their subordinate races to atrocious effect. And since they picked up on this little tidbit, they're ALL after the humans. Besieging Earth, all our colonies, and sending the weight of entire armies after the poor hapless dolphin crew.

What an epic setup, and this is where the novel begins. :)

They've already escaped a few close calls but crash land on a fallow world and pray that the battling aliens in the system above wipe each other out. And in the meantime, we've got great dolphin and human characters and one asshole geologist who may or may not be redeemable, assuming we take away his mini atom bombs and tell him he may NOT study the new planet's structure while they're trying to hide from the galactic crazies. :)

There's so much to say about this novel and so many great things happen, but I do want to mention a few things. The whale songs and the poetry of the hybrid human/dolphin speech: It's all poetry. How often do we get poetry in our space operas? :) We've got serious ideas about uplfting our earthly relatives, too. Even dogs are on the docket. The dolphins have waldos for delicate work with arms and fingers. Mr. Dart may climb trees, but he's from a widely respected school. And the captain of the Streaker is a really brilliant dolphin. I feel the most sorry for what happens to him.

The action in this tale may be as small as simple survival on a rough world, the reveals about the strange state of this planet or the creatures living there, or even a great deal of action breaking down the basic decency of some of the dolphin crew until they revert to a slightly less civilized state. Or we could focus on the big action with spaceships blowing up and crashing into the planet. Either way, the novel is great on all levels.

It's stood the test of time, being a great tale with great characters, fantastic language and conflicts, and especially an absolutely amazing amount of beautiful world (or galaxy) building. :)

I always thought of this one as the gold standard for all big-idea and action SF. And it still is.

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Friday, November 18, 2022

Here and Now and ThenHere and Now and Then by Mike Chen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So far, Mike Chen has been a solid, imminently readable SF author. The topic (time travel) is full of humanity and necessary quandaries full of heart.

There's nothing really unique about this, but that's okay if all you want is a good story time travel that basically makes the best of a bad situation, eventually loving everything about your life, losing it, trying to make things right, then back again.

The emotional bits are appropriately heart-wrenching.

I thought this was pretty great. In every way, it's a tale that's great because it's told great, not because it breaks any conventions at all. It's a comfort read.

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Thursday, November 17, 2022

Blood of Empire (Gods of Blood and Powder, #3)Blood of Empire by Brian McClellan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have to say this was quite satisfying. It has everything I've come to expect from McClellan's epic fantasies. Truly excellent and engaging characters -- I'm looking at you, Ben -- lots of great war action, amazing stakes, and the same kinds of feels we got at the end of the first trilogy. Godlike action to top the craziness.

So why only give it four stars? It delivers on what it promises, but no more than that. I had fun, but I won't be screaming from the mountaintops. It was solid.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Einstein: His Life and UniverseEinstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This turned out to be a wonderfully accessible and well-written account of Einstein's life.

He has warts, to be sure, but he's quite human. He was also a superstar for his time. A real rockstar. E=MC squared, you know?

I've seen documentaries, too, even read his General Relativity when I was young, and I've had a grand ole time listening or reading about all his colleagues and all the things they had to say about Einstein -- and it's all a hoot.

At least in the realm of quantum physics, Einstein is viewed as an embarrassment and all my classes kind of rolled their eyes at him, but for the time he championed field dynamics, it deserved all his accolades... not that the real world was all that easy on him.

For while WE have seen him in the media as a rockstar, in reality, he was victimized out of quite a few well-deserved accolades for his being Jewish. The whole thing about GENERAL RELATIVITY, for example, has still never been properly stamped.

On the other hand, Einstein, being a rockstar, was one of the few people who could have said anything they wanted and often did. I admire him for that quality. I think he was a genuinely good dude. The questionable things he DID do were all in his family life and they were limited to cheating, sometimes ignoring his family unless they gave him the total freedom to come to it on his own, or just staying out of their lives entirely, aside for setting them up with funds, but that's about the full extent of it.

What he had to deal with, on the other hand, was a lot of antisemitism, McCarthy Era BS, and a lot of stodgy tools keeping him back in the science community.

The fact is, aside from that short period when he was working as a Patent Clerk and being super productive with his thought experiments, his talents were kinda wasted, but one thing is abundantly clear: he was a rockstar whose dedication to personal freedom, following his personal compass, allowed him to perform some truly amazing feats.

Fortunately for the rest of us who want to sift through all the BS the media wrote about him versus what ACTUALLY happened, this book is a fantastic resource.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Hellion (Awaken Online #5)Hellion by Travis Bagwell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I admit I'm rating this series of books entirely on how much fun I'm having. It's not the only way to rate, of course, but it is quite genuine.

I never guessed how down the LitRPG hole I'd fall or how much sheer pleasure I'd have, standing around with a goofy grin on my face. This particular book had me standing around with that look a lot.

I mean, between trying to live up to a chaotic evil role while being a real softy is fun all by itself, but when you try to raze a desert city with undead gigantic ants and sandworms, play a long con-game featuring quite a bit of awesome military chicanery and lay full siege to a fully fortified city ... TWICE... matching epic action on the same level as any epic fantasy tome, I have to tip my hat.

The imagination, tactics, and strategy is awesome. Using the quirks of one's undead army on the playing field

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Sunday, November 13, 2022

Saga, Volume 10Saga, Volume 10 by Brian K. Vaughan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I would like to say that a break of a few years would make me more inured to trauma, but it just isn't so. I'm so invested in Saga, with its revolving-door characters, its truly tragic foreshadowing and its drop-kick reveals, that I will keep coming back for more and more abuse.

Why do I keep coming back? Because I love them and I love it. I feel like I'm a part of the family and there are just no two ways about it. You don't abandon family.

And then, I just went up in flames again. God damn it!

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Saturday, November 12, 2022

City of Last ChancesCity of Last Chances by Adrian Tchaikovsky
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a really good book as long as you take a few things in mind before you read it. For one, it is an epic fantasy -- full of a long list of characters and a setting that is vast even if it mainly takes place in a single city. For another, its magic, while quite present, takes a back seat to the totalitarian regime, rebellion, and a bit of worldbuilding mystery.

That being said, I followed the tale with some decent interest and appreciated the layered approach to the city's ongoing history.

Did always fall in love with the characters? No. But a few were consistently great.

I suppose my main concern or complaint is a purely personal one. I have always fallen absolutely in love with Adrian Tchaikovsky's SF and tend to find something a bit off about his Fantasy. I can't quite put my finger on it but it's still true. The places where I want exploration were shunted off track and while I DID like the social commentary on poverty and fascism and even the importance of language to frame the issues properly, I found myself wanting a different kind of book that has nothing to do with the quality of his writing.

I'm entirely certain that other people will get a lot more out of this novel than I did.

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Friday, November 11, 2022

Gun, With Occasional MusicGun, With Occasional Music by Jonathan Lethem
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

All right. So.

This IS a tribute to Chandler -- if you didn't already know that -- but its focus on the wonderful things that Chandler did with language is rather lacking. What we have, instead, is a plot that keeps hopping about and the misdirections are as good for any novel of the usual gumshoe variety.

What makes it a bit oddball is the SF elements. We have forced evolution animals and quickly-grown babies taking the part of the downcast and hard-biting underclass city types, a class of drugs that go straight for the jugular when it comes to psychology-related aspects, and a rather convenient use of stasis-pods in an otherwise 1930's LA type setting that keeps the life-blood pumping in an otherwise rather forgetful Noir.

I think I would have fallen hard for this novel had it had Chandler's use of language.

As it is, however, it is a serviceable Noir with all the usual suspects and creeps. The SF saves it, though, and it was enjoyable.

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Thursday, November 10, 2022

Forged (Alex Verus, #11)Forged by Benedict Jacka
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Re-Read 11/10/22:

I'm almost finished with my full re-read of the entire series and it has still been as fun as ever --some books more than others.

But this one is one of the better ones.

Why? It's about power. Power and pressure and more power.

Sometimes it's the only way to work through your problems. Alex has simply had too many and no one is listening to his request to be left alone.

Satistfying. :)

Original Review:

Ah, to me, these books are pure candy. Having journeyed with Alex Verus for so long, to see him change, even fundamentally, is quite heartbreaking.

Fortunately, I can't fault him at all. He may have been a bit too understanding and accepting and conciliatory with the White Council. Hell, the more I keep reading, the less sure I am about all sides, including the Black Council. Obviously, this is intentional, even from the first book, but to see Verus take his independence this far... with a correspondingly high death-toll... is pretty amazing.

I feel his anger. I understand it. I also reveled in the full import of the decisions he made in this novel. They were visceral and bloody and heartbreaking, though perhaps not as heartbreaking as some of the previous novels.

This is the time to wrap up so much. I can feel it coming. Indeed, after reading through the massive amounts of awesome divination/action magic, fate weaving, and close call after close call, I have to admit this is one of the most cinematic UF's I've read, right up there with Jim Butcher on the close-contact scenes. In some small ways, it might even be better. Suffice to say, it's close.

I frankly can't believe what Jacka pulled off. It's definitely angry and viscerally satisfying, but underneath it was a deep and abiding call for peace.

I wonder if all of us might eventually get it.

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Tuesday, November 8, 2022

A Memory of Light (The Wheel of Time, #14)A Memory of Light by Robert Jordan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is one of the most daunting tasks I'll ever have to take.

How can I properly review a book that made me go through so much amazement, turmoil, rage, relief, laughter, utter despair, more despair, uncalled-for laughter, and appreciation for some truly awesome and surprising twists?

Seriously. I have to say that any book that can make me break into tears this often, this hard, and make me want to drown out the rest of the world around me so I can wrap myself in its pages this utterly has got to be either a book of the devil or a truly brilliant book in its own right.

Hands down, this book follows the Rule of Cool to its utter end.

This is a re-read for me and I can tell you right now that it hits just as hard now as it did the first time, and as good as the first time. So much happens. So much many totally awesome things happen.

There's no real way to say, "This book is brilliant" without sounding inane and generic. So I'll just have to say that it kicked my ass in a way that VERY few books can. In fact, I might just go ahead and put this whole series in my top ten book category and say fuck it.

It rocked me to my core and makes me beg for more. Even after I just finished the last book, I'm sitting here dreaming about starting the whole series again. Picking up EVERY single foreshadowing event (thank you, Min) and going, "OH LORDY I JUST EXPERIENCED THAT" yet again.


I can't even tell you how satisfying this is. It's beyond satisfying. :)

So, uh, Brad, did you like it? Uh, the book?

*stares daggers at you*

You wool-headed sheep herder!!! Blood and bloody ashes!

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Sunday, November 6, 2022

Invent (The Completionist Chronicles, #7)Invent by Dakota Krout
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Reductionism class quest -- initiated. :)

We've got a little hamlet to build and fill and a ton of low-level class quests to blast through. Breaking all records has got to be the best feature of this novel. LitRPGs have a certain specific target audience, of course, and I admit I'm totally and completely snagged by them.

Level up! Skills, basic defense and offense ritualist magic, building creation, and blowing through extremely late class quests? Yep. This kind of thing, although it may seem rather grindy, is a pure joy to read. Gamers gotta game, and this kind of novel gives me all the satisfaction without the huge game cost. :)

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Friday, November 4, 2022

Time and Again (Time, #1)Time and Again by Jack Finney
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I really only wanted to read this because it used to be well-beloved and the author wrote one hell of a great rip-roaring SF/Horror, Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

As a romance, it was slow, very mild, somewhat contrived, and beleaguered by a ham-fisted 1880's villain.

As an SF, it spent a lot of time setting up the psychology of time travel in a way that I found quite appealing, almost as if historians and proper mindsets are necessary to inject oneself into a new time. I liked that part. As for the actual science... we can ignore that.

As a historical novel, it spends almost all of its time on average, everyday things.

For the time this came out, I'm sure it was very charming and an extremely mild, armchair romance with a little adventure, a little social commentary, and a little culture shock.

As for a veteran time traveler, I guess I got rather bored.

If you don't like your novels spicy, but firmly middle-class and middle-of-the-road, then you might like this just fine.

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Thursday, November 3, 2022

Tread of AngelsTread of Angels by Rebecca Roanhorse
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This has some solid enjoyment factor going on.

I've seen this newish trend returning to angels and demons as characters in stories and I always tend to like the idea of it more than the actual execution. Of course, the same thing is true for this one, and the angels are mostly jerks and so are the demons, but that's just flavor.

In reality, the world is pretty much hardcore Victorian-esq and it has a lot of skewering of cultural mores on top of the actual mystery.

This doesn't have huge epic things going on in it and that's okay. I might keep wanting huge things and I have to just EXPECT less. Maybe someday, lol, but in the meantime, this WAS enjoyable.

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Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Unity (Awaken Online, #4.5)Unity by Travis Bagwell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

For being such a lawful evil shapechanging quasi-druid alpha werewolf, Frank is a real softie.

Indeed, Frank's side story was rather great, learning more about himself and his new abilities, but what is best is the great mind-reading extra abilities that gives one's RAGE abilities the corresponding COMPASSION abilities. :)

It's a great juxtaposition to pair such caring understanding with the ability to tear people's limbs off.


Loving this LitRPG.

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Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Dominion (Awaken Online, #4)Dominion by Travis Bagwell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Oddly, I didn't mind focusing on the main Twilight kingdom and the focus on shoring up the defenses before a major invasion. Leveling up in both the game and the real world is not an unwelcome occurrence.

The secrets were really beginning to get annoying. I like how the defensive measures are dovetailing with the sharing of hearts. :)

I'm still enjoying this LitRPG quite a lot. Let darkness win! :)

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The Color Out of SpaceThe Color Out of Space by H.P. Lovecraft
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This might be one of my all-time favorite Lovecraftian stories. It really rolls off the page smoothly, creepily, and with such otherworldly terror.

Not only does it capture that essence of an undescribable color and how it gets into the water and -- does things -- to the plants and animals on this farm, but Lovecraft outdid himself with writing simply pleasing pages and tight prose.

That color! That undescribable color!

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