Monday, October 28, 2013

Book Review: Firebird by Kathy Tyers


Bethany House
286 pp.

I wanted to give Firebird a chance, really I did. I have a fondness for Lewis’ Space Trilogy and will always have a soft spot for Zenna Henderson. I honestly wanted to give this book a chance, even though the preface did not impress me very much. (It offers a solemn disclaimer that this is an imaginary story about God having created multiple planets instead of Earth. The disclaimer also states that this is basically New Testament fan fiction, and is about an Evil Religion and a Good, Real Religion.)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Book Review: The Cloud Roads by Martha Wells


Night Shade Books
278 pp.

The Cloud Roads is a fantasy adventure of the improbable yet awesome geography variety. There are floating islands, multiple sentient species and ships that fly. This book reminded me a great deal of Laurie J. Marks Delan, the Mislaid and its sequels, mostly for the multiple sentient species, but also because our protagonist is an outsider alien to both his own kind and also to the people with whom he keeps trying to make connections.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Book Review: Protector, by C.J. Cherryh


DAW
384 pp.

Protector is a direct continuation from where Intruder left off. As such, it is a tangled mess of the continued “Shadow Guild” arc plus some additional crises. Tabini and Damiri relationship has become extremely strained as a consequence of the events of the previous book, yet despite the continuing familial and political strife, Cajeiri finally gets permission for his human friends to visit him. This visit turns out to have some serious political ramifications, due in part to the atevi political climate and also due to increased tensions between Mospheirans, the ship, and the refugees from Reunion station.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Book Review: The Goddess Chronicle, by Natsuo Kirino, translation by Rebecca Copeland

Canongate Books

309 pp.

The Goddess Chronicle does not go anywhere, and I am pretty sure it is not supposed to. Our protagonist is a young woman named Namima. She is dead and has been dead for a very long time. She serves a goddess who is dead and has been dead for a long time. Both our protagonist and her goddess have a lot in common besides being dead; both were betrayed by the men in their lives, and this book is mostly about how they were betrayed and what they did about it. (Spoiler: This is a very literary fantasy by which I mean there is nothing but ennui all the way down and no one cares.)

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Book Review: Emilie & the Hollow World, by Martha Wells


STRANGE CHEMISTRY
301 pp.

Martha Wells is one of my favorite writers. I enjoy her characters and worldbuilding, which tends toward fantasy of the magic-fueled technology variety. (There is really not enough of this kind of fantasy out there.) You will get airships, adventure and sorcery, and enjoy every minute of it.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Book Review: Eight Million Gods, by Wen Spencer

BAEN
355 pp.

Eight Million Gods has a slightly manga-plot feel to it, only partly because it takes place in Japan. (And it is also not because the cover features a pink haired character in a crop top sailor suit. Maybe.) Our Heroine is a writer named Nikki, who has spent most of her adult life on the run from her mother, who keeps sticking her institutions. Nikki has OCD, which tends to manifest as a compulsion to write. Her favorite genre is horror, and she has a loyal following of fans who are more than willing to help her escape her mother’s clutches.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Book Review: Steadfast by Mercedes Lackey


DAW
298 pp.

This installment of the Elemental Masters series is a retelling of Hans Christian Anderson’s “The Steadfast Tin Soldier.” Our “ballerina” is a circus acrobat and dancer named Katie who is on the run from an abusive spouse. Our “tin soldier” is a former soldier named Jack Prescott who is an elemental magician of Fire. Our “goblin” is Katie’s husband, a ne’er-do-well named Dick, who was the Strong Man at the circus where Katie was previously employed. Since this revamp is not a precise retelling of the fairy tale, we also have Jack’s friend, Lionel Hawkins. Lionel is an elemental magician of Air, who works as a stage magician at the music hall where Jack works as a doorman. There are also a number of other helpful individuals.