muccamukk: Woman sleeping in bed, surrounded by books. (Books: Ballycumbers)
[personal profile] muccamukk
What I Just Finished Reading
Beguilement (The Sharing Knife #1) by Lois McMaster Bujold, narrated by Bernadette Dunne
Bit of a change of pace from say Chalion, but I enjoyed it anyway. It's a slow, sleepy romance novel, in which the odd demon is killed but the main problems are things like meeting each other's parents and realising that changing names on marriage is a problem when one of you comes from a matrilineal culture and the other from a patrilineal culture (to say nothing of who should make the first move). It's all set in summer in a secondary world version of rural New England (or something of that kind) following the downfall of civilisation. I'll read at least the next one for sure.

(Frankly, if the idea of a romance where the hero is much older and martial, and the heroine is young and domestic is not your thing, don't read this series. I'm fine with it, but I know it drives some people nuts.)


The Stone Sky (The Broken Earth #3) by N.K. Jemisin
I think the best compliment that can go to this book is that it didn't let my expectations down. All the complications and ambiguities and history in the first two books are extended and to some extent explained, and I was left feeling content in the ending. I thought it would break my heart, but in the end it was just really, really satisfying.

I loved how the three (four by the end) character plots worked together, and how the many ends of the world tie together and we learn who everyone is. I especially liked Essun's developing relationship with her new comm, and all the characters there. Plus there are a couple set piece scenes that are flat out stunningly written. Should start over from the beginning once I have time.

(I was to some extent reminded of The Book of Phoenix, especially in the backstory segments. Hoa and Phoenix have a lot in common, it turns out.)

(I liked this review for NPR by Amal El-Mohtar.)


What I'm Reading Now
Paper: Cyberpunk: Malaysia edited by Zen Cho, which I've been meaning to get to for ages. First story is good so far.

Audio: Flying Close to the Sun: My Life and Times as a Weatherman by Cathy Wilkerson. Which I'm also just starting, but the intro was promising.


What I'm Reading Next
Probably Moonglow by Chabon. Or something from the library, depending on the mail.

Date: 2017-08-23 04:15 pm (UTC)
tavella: (Default)
From: [personal profile] tavella
Honestly, the Sharing Knife books just *bored* me. I'm fine with low-key books, but the main characters actually seemed to get less and less personality as it went on. I think I gave up somewhere in the third book.

Date: 2017-08-23 06:36 pm (UTC)
tavella: (Default)
From: [personal profile] tavella
The boat trip was where I gave up, yeah, and checking wikipedia it was indeed book 3.

For me, you can get away with somewhat dull characters if the writing and plotting is interesting enough, and you can definitely get away with dull plots if I enjoy the characters and want to hang with them, but you can't get away with both. And the boat trip to nowhere with boring passengers and main characters who seemed to be having what life they had drained away page by page... yeah, no.

Date: 2017-08-23 07:02 pm (UTC)
schneefink: River walking among trees, from "Safe" (Default)
From: [personal profile] schneefink
I didn't read the second and third Broken Earth books yet because the first one was so sad and I assumed they would all be similar in tone, but if the ending isn't (too) tragic I might give it another shot because I saw so many recs. Would you say the ending is at least hopeful?

Date: 2017-08-25 09:39 pm (UTC)
nenya_kanadka: quality content: Gregory Peck with his shirt off (@ Gregory Peck shirtless)
From: [personal profile] nenya_kanadka
"Several of the main characters survive"!

I see why you said it's probably not my thing! 😂

Date: 2017-08-24 04:56 am (UTC)
scintilla10: glasses resting on book creating a heart-shaped shadow (Stock readerly - hearts in eyes)
From: [personal profile] scintilla10
Oh, thanks for linking to Amal El-Mohtar's review! What a great review. I haven't read The Stone Sky yet, but I'm really looking forward to it.

Date: 2017-08-24 08:59 am (UTC)
sparowe: (Bookwyrm)
From: [personal profile] sparowe
I just found out that The Stone Sky was out the other day! (Second time that's happened, randomly happening across the third book in a trilogy that I couldn't pre-order at the time, for whatever reason.) So... didn't actually read what you said, because I don't want to spoil myself. But I popped for seeing someone who knows an author and book I do. LOL
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