shinyjenni: Alicia from The Good Wife, seen from behind, wearing a red coat, in front of a wall of bookshelves (alicia books)
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Courting Magic - Stephanie Burgis
Witches of Lychford - Paul Cornell
Binary - Stephanie Saulter
The Ships of Aleph - Jaine Fenn
The Blackmail Blend - Livia Day
Robin: Triumphant
Rubyfruit Jungle - Rita Mae Brown
The Bullet-Catcher's Daughter - Rod Duncan
Shadow Scale - Rachel Hartmann
House of Secrets - Stephanie Burgis
Cuckoo Song - Frances Hardinge
Star Wars: Honor Among Thieves - James S.A. Corey
Chaos Choreography - Seanan McGuire
The Case of the Missing Moonstone - Jordan Stratford
Shadowshaper - Daniel José Older
The Raven King - Maggie Stiefvater

I wasn't completely in love with the first book in this trilogy, and I wasn't completely in love with this one either - I feel like the writing isn't quite as good as I want it to be. But I did really enjoy it overall - the world it's set in feels really coherent, convincing and thought through, and I really enjoyed how it built on the previous volume. I also appreciated the fact that it fixed my biggest problem with the first book by having two major queer characters. I didn't quite buy the development of their relationship - they seem to skip a few steps between their initial flirtation and becoming a 1000% committed couple (though it must be said that the realistic development of romantic relationships is not exactly my area) - but I liked them together nevertheless and was very glad their relationship was there.

The Bullet-Catcher's Daughter
This was a fun read, about a girl in a vaguely alt-Victorian Leicester who pretends to be her (non-existent) twin brother in order to work as an intelligence gatherer, but it lost a star for being pretty aggressively heterosexual. All the relationships are het and there's a few sentences along the lines of "that feeling that a woman has for a man" that made me go :|. It doesn't even go for the "male love interest meets heroine when she's dressed as a boy, has ~confusing feelings~" trope which, let's be honest, I hate, but does at least acknowledge that queerness exists. Instead, the male love interest character only ever meets our heroine when she isn't pretending to be her brother. And it makes sure to note that the girl who thinks she's in love with the brother... has never actually met him. SIGH.

Star Wars: Honor Among Thieves
I loved basically every page of this book - I described it on twitter as "the Han Solo book of my HEART", and I stand by that. It starts with Han being sent on a simple mission to retrieve a Republic spy from Imperial territory but things, as they tend do, get out of hand, and suddenly he's involved in a desperate mission to stop the Empire from getting their hands on a weapon that could win them the war. It's a really fun action adventure story that's laugh out loud funny a lot of the time, and the characterisation is EXCELLENT - there's some really great stuff with Han thinking about why he's with the rebellion (other than, he thinks to himself, to keep an eye on Luke, of course. READER, I DIED) and wondering if the future they want is the future he wants, or a future he could find a place in. He never quite finds an answer, but it really felt like an important step in his journey from the guy who wouldn't save the princess in ANH unless there was something in it for him to the guy who'd volunteer unprompted for a crucial, dangerous mission in RotJ. (I love Han Solo SO MUCH, friends.) There was also some excellent stuff with him and Chewie, bickering, working together, having each other's backs. ♥ I also really loved Scarlet Hark, the Republic spy, and how she and Han worked together - she likes complicated plans and having all the right gadgets for the job, he likes making it up as he goes along, together they're unstoppable. (Also, "we're bantering, it's what you do when you're not capable of having a grown up conversation." ♥) And for all Han's assumptions that probably she and Leia will be jealous of each other, they actually hit it off and work together excellently. (Obviously I ship it.) Leia herself also did pretty well characterisation wise - there's some post-Alderaan stuff that was really good. And the dynamic between her and Han was perfect - they bicker, they have genuine conflict based on their different priorities and experiences, but underneath it all they respect and care about each other.

tl;dr this was glorious and I want to read it forever.

Didn't finish:
City of the Beasts
Possibly I was just really tired when I read this, but it made me disproportionately cranky. It wasn't terrible, but I didn't really care about any of the characters, the plot didn't grip me and the writing (or possible the translation) wasn't that good, so noping out seemed like the best plan.
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shinyjenni: Wonder Woman deflects bullets with her bracelets (Default)
incorrigibly frivolous

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