Reviews and Comments


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New Spring (Wheel of Time) (2004, Orbit) 3 stars

Exciting... but the writing is... questionable.

3 stars

The Wheel of Time was kind of a big deal for me: the first big fantasy series I really got into as a teenager. I never read this prequel, and I guess with the release of the TV it was time. It's strange to go back to the world.

On the one hand, this is an exciting adventure story that hooked me in and I enjoyed reading. It's great to spend time in the world, and to learn some important background.

On the other, Robert Jordan's writing is... I expected the overwrought excessive adjective, mail gaze-y descriptions. I knew the gender essentialism would be ever present.

I'd forgotten / hadn't noticed the constant ethnic stereotyping: "stubborn even for an Andorian" and the like.

Likewise the extent of the authoritarianism in the book. I mean, I knew he has a slightly obsession with characters being punished, but the extent to which …

Light From Uncommon Stars (Hardcover, 2021, Tor Books) 4 stars

Good Omens meets The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet in this defiantly joyful …

A strange book, but addictive reading.

4 stars

What a bizarre book. The mix of tones and genres is really jarring. We have a surreal mishmash of demonic, space opera, donuts... but also abuse, transphobia, racism. It also does this strange thing, where it switches viewpoint characters multiple times a page in the middle of a conversation, that I never quite knew what to make of. Overall this book is extremely readable, it drew me in completely. I'm not entirely sure what to make of it, but I definitely enjoyed it.

The Three-Body Problem (Paperback, 2016, Head of Zeus) 4 stars

1967: Ye Wenjie witnesses Red Guards beat her father to death during China's Cultural Revolution. …

Expected more.

3 stars

I really expected more given all the enthusiasm I've heard. It's a bit of a mish-mash, some great sections, but too much going on, not that engaging characters... uh... it's pretty good, but was work to get through.

The  Sandman (1991, Titan) 4 stars

Preludes and Nocturnes collects the first eight issues of The Sandman comic by Neil Gaiman …

Interesting start, but not completely sold yet.

3 stars

I've feel like I've heard forever about about how great this is. The first volume was fine, I guess! The foreword suggests that the first few issues are really figuring out what to be, and that series really finds its voice later. I'll read more and see how I get on. The last issue was by the most interesting, which is a good sign. (Now I just need to figure out how to find them.)

Autonomous: A Novel (2017, Tor Books) 4 stars

When anything can be owned, how can we be free

Earth, 2144. Jack is an …

Strange and enjoyable

4 stars

Fun action packed story, lots happening, but also a very dark dystopia. The way tech is woven into the story is really interesting, well researched and full of accurate little details. The structure of the story is cool, with the two main focal characters in direct opposition. It creates empathy with the "villains" - who have a very weird plot.

The Galaxy, and the Ground Within (EBook, 2021, Hodder & Stoughton) 4 stars

With no water, no air, and no native life, the planet Gora is unremarkable. The …


5 stars

I'm a huge of fan of Becky Chamber's work, and this absolutely lives up to expectations. It's exactly what I've grown to expect and love. On one level it's got a slow and meandering pace and not a lot happens, and on another level there's so much going on. Small personal stories woven together beautifully. Characters who approach the world with love and kindness even when bad things are happening. Rich and thoughtful world building and alien cultures. This is a story about home: missing it, building it, choosing it, and not having it. I'm so sad to this series come to an end, but I'll come back to these books.

The Once and Future Witches (2020, Redhook) 4 stars

In 1893, there's no such thing as witches. There used to be, in the wild, …

Excellent, but a bit much in places.

4 stars

There is a huge amount going on this book, probably a bit too much. It's a wonderful story about three sisters, witchcraft, and a fight against injustice. I love the half fantasy, half real world, the snippets of re-told fairy tales, the magic. The three sisters are all great characters, with very different approaches and views on the world. On the other hand this is a big book, with a bit too much going on. There's so many side stories and characters who appear and disappear that it's kind of hard to stay engaged with it all. I think there was a desire to show all the different sides of the struggle, but it's just a bit too much for one book. This is really good, but The Ten Thousand Doors of January is better.