shinyjenni: Alicia from The Good Wife, seen from behind, wearing a red coat, in front of a wall of bookshelves (alicia books)
[personal profile] shinyjenni
(slightly belated for a variety of reasons inc. my incompetence)

Are You My Mother? - Alison Bechdel
Three Parts Dead - Max Gladstone
Jughead vol 2
SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome - Mary Beard
Black Widow: S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Most Wanted
Contact - Carl Sagan
Once Broken Faith - Seanan McGuire
The Girl of Ink and Stars - Kiran Millwood Hargrave
In the Bone-Setter's Waiting Room: Travels Through Indian Medicine - Aarathi Prasad

Three Parts Dead
This landed squarely in "first novel with potential" territory for me. There was lots of potentially interesting worldbuilding elements (magical necromantic lawyers! A pleasing jumble of different technologies!), the characters were fine, the writing wasn't bad, but overall it just wasn't quite there yet. I do have the next few books in the sequence, so I will push on eventually and see if it improves.

The Girl of Ink and Stars
I liked a lot of things about this book, including the cartography elements, the world and the emphasis on female friendship, but mostly I came away with a list of things I would change to make it a better book. For a start, I'd tighten up the characterisation - I really struggled to get a sense of who the main character, Isabella, was, and her best friend Lupe seemed to act however the plot demanded rather than evolving naturally. I'd drop the girl-dresses-as-boy-to-have-adventures aspect and just make the society not sexist, as neither element added anything. I'd either switch Isabella's parents around so her mother was the one still alive, or just make them both women. (skip slight spoiler) Cata would be the one to go missing, rather than just being a throwaway victim, and Isabella and Lupe would search for her together. (This would mean retooling the plot a bit, but I think it would be worth it.) And I'd drop the character of Pablo in order to give the others more page time. ...basically what I'm saying is I'd like this book better with all the men removed.

Didn't finish: The Sleeper and the Spindle
I saw where this was going, I liked where it was going, but I just didn't care enough about it to go there with it.

Short stories I enjoyed this month:
Some Cupids Kill With Arrows (Tansy Rayner Roberts): a delightful little confection of a story, involving speed dating and Greek gods. "Letting men finish their sentences was overrated. That was the life lesson she was taking away from speed dating night."
Light, Like a Candle Flame (Iona Sharma): Funny, moving and quietly beautiful.

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shinyjenni: Wonder Woman deflects bullets with her bracelets (Default)
incorrigibly frivolous

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