shinyjenni: Tom Baker reading Doctor Who Weekly (shocking)
incorrigibly frivolous ([personal profile] shinyjenni) wrote2017-09-07 09:09 pm

Books and comics read in August 2017

All Systems Red - Martha Wells
The Bone Readers - Jacob Ross
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - JK Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany
A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal - Ben MacIntyre
Assassin's Fate - Robin Hobb
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Enigma Tales - Una McCormack
Station Eleven - Emily St. John Mandel
The World of Arthur Ransome - Christina Hardyment
Swallowdale - Arthur Ransome
Black Panther: Worlds of Wakanda
The Voyage of the Basilisk - Marie Brennan
Snowspelled - Stephanie Burgis

All Systems Red
AWKWARDEST ROBOT. <3 This is just exactly the kind of sf I want to read, funny, with a good heart and a diverse cast of characters. THUMBS UP.

Assassin's Fate
Well this was A Lot. I think I mostly want to talk about the ending, so under the spoiler bars it goes. (skip) If I am completely honest, I wanted a happily ever after, but I'm still really satisfied with the ending it got. It tied together so many plot and thematic elements from the previous books, especially the idea that sometimes the best outcome just isn't a possibility any more and you just have to go for the best that's available. So as much as I wanted Bee and Fitz and the Fool to live out their lives quietly at Withywoods... too much had happened; they'd lost their chance for that a long time ago. *pause for copious weeping* But in the end, Fitz was able to make the right choice, he and the Fool and Nighteyes could be together, and Bee could go on and build her own life. IT'S FINE I'M FINE. I also really like how much this book highlights that this is an ongoing world: when we revisit characters and settings, they're not just frozen as they were when we left. Basically this book was great but also emotionally devastating.

Station Eleven
I'm not generally a fan of post-apocalypse stories, but I loved this, maybe partly because most of the post-apocalypse sections were a couple of decades post. It was very intimate and quiet and it made me feel so involved with and invested in all the characters. And the Star Trek references were wonderful, not just because they were there, but because the book really knew and believed in what they stood for - it's a book that's quietly optimistic about humanity, and full of faith in the power of art.

Black Panther: Worlds of Wakanda
I wanted to enjoy this - it's the backstory of how the two ex-Dora Milaje women from Ta-Nehisi Coates's Black Panther run met and fell in love - but sadly I didn't think it was that good. The writing felt pretty clunky, especially the use of thought bubbles, and it really suffered from having to fit itself in around Events from the main comics universe, none of which I've read. The art on the one-shot about the villain from the beginning of Coates's rum was really stylish, though.

I thoroughly enjoyed this fantasy novella. The worldbuilding was intriguing - it's set in an alternate-history-with-magic world where magic is men's domain and politics is women's - and I'm looking forward to exploring it further in the rest of the book. Our heroine, Cassandra Harwood, is wonderful: she's the kind of woman who sees a problem, narrows her eyes and runs full tilt at it, which is exactly the type of heroine I love, and her strong relationships with her brother and sister-in-law were a delight. The thing I found most fascinating about her was her history: she fought to be the first woman allowed to learn magic, and she won that fight, but that wasn't the end of her story, and it didn't mean her society changed overnight.

Overall, this was a fun read and a great start to the series.

(I received an advance copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.)
muccamukk: Athos walking through a field, clothes dishevelled; d'Artagnan following at a distance. (Musketeers: Lost in a Field)

[personal profile] muccamukk 2017-09-07 11:26 pm (UTC)(link)
I also really loved Station Eleven. Because it was about how at the end of all things culture and art will help us through, and that Shakespeare and Star Trek are equally likely to do that.