30 November, 2011

'Embassytown' by China Mieville

If you're a big enough geek to think about the ethics of the Prime Directive outside of the times they actually discuss it on Star Trek, AND to wonder how that principle relates to breaching the language barrier once you have actually made contact with an alien species, you might come close to understanding how China Miéville came up with the premise of Embassytown.

Others (including the inimitable Ursula K. LeGuin) have already written detailed and thought-provoking reviews of this book, so I'll try not to reinvent the wheel here. But I will say that for me, I loved this book in spite of its flaws, because it's a spectacular piece of genre fiction that is no less literature for its being housed in the construct of sci-fi. Miéville has become known for sampling classic genres and giving them his own New Weird spin, and he's done it again here. This reads like a classic piece of science fiction writing, recognizable in form, yet entirely Miéville's own. And, fitting to the running message of the book, it is the language of it that makes it not only a brilliant meld of the classic and the modern, but a truly compelling and emotive story.

26 November, 2011

'Crossed' by Ally Condie

I finished Embassytown and am working on my review. But in the meanwhile I read Crossed and wanted to toss up a quick review of it while you wait for what will undoubtedly be a longer and more detailed review of a longer and more interesting book. :)

In reviewing Matched, the first in Ally Condie's young adult trilogy about a futuristic version of America tightly controlled by the ruling Society, a friend of mine on her Goodreads page said it felt like Condie was running through a checklist of things to include in a YA book in order for it to be popular. I agree with her. But it didn't stop my friend from liking the book, nor did it stop me, and in reading the sequel I found myself with the same mixed feelings.

21 November, 2011

updated schedule

Well, I blew through Boneshaker in the reading equivalent of fifteen minutes, so I'm adding a book to the list of things I'd like to finish before the end of the year.
  • Green by Jay Lake   11/16

  • Boneshaker by Cherie Priest   11/21

  • Embassytown by China Mieville - 12/1

  • The Company Man by Robert Jackson Bennet - 12/7

  • The Stranger by Max Frei - 12/19

  • Goliath by Scott Westerfeld - 12/31
Also, I couldn't wait, I had to start Embassytown now. I'm 60 pages in and loving it so hard. (I'm kind of a Miéville fangirl... sorry in advance to anyone who doesn't like him.) So that's next. I'm putting 12/1 on the date not because I anticipate taking a long time to read it, but because I work in retail, and it's the week of Thanksgiving. :/

As for what's to come in 2012, the short answer is I have no idea yet. I have a stack half a mile tall of books I haven't read, courtesy of Borders closing sales [ :( forever] and pillaging my friend Steph's collection before she moved. I also have about fifty books on my Nook that I haven't read yet. However, I love recommendations, so please let me know if you've read something recently that you loved, no matter the genre. I will say I probably won't be reviewing any bestsellers (because there are tons of people already doing that very well) and I would love any good mystery recommendations, especially period mysteries. Love those.

Okay, time for me to go to work, and to count the hours til I can sit down and read more Embassytown. Cheers!

"Boneshaker" by Cherie Priest

Looks like setting myself a schedule has worked out well so far; here I am, back with my review of Boneshaker a few days earlier than promised, and that is because once I started reading I could not put the thing down until I'd finished it.

on spoilers

I want to just take a second to talk about spoilers. I'd started out promising myself I wouldn't give any, because to me there's nothing worse than reading a review and ending up feeling like I don't even need to read the book anymore because the review told me everything that was going to happen. And while I'm still not going to do that, I've reassessed and I think it'll be better to say that I will do my best to keep spoilers to a minimum. Any big reveals or surprises will go unspoken, but smaller plot points might, and probably will, come out in my writing. I'll try to be judicious. And in return I will ask that when I post lists of books I'm going to be reading, that you not spoil me for them if you happen to have read them already. I like to be surprised as much as the next girl. :)

Thanks, and happy reading!

16 November, 2011

'Green' by Jay Lake

I picked up Green because its description reminded me of Kushiel's Dart, one of my favorite fantasy books of all time. Upon reading the first chapter inside the bookstore, the narrative voice was so compelling I had to bring it home with me to keep reading. It's this voice that carried me through the entire book, start to finish.

15 November, 2011

take 2

I've only just remembered this blog, which... probably says something for how little time I've spent on the internet in the past ten months, rather than the amount of books I've been reading. But I've just gotten through Mark Reads the Hunger Games and it has seriously inspired me to pick this blog up and actually do with it what I originally intended.

So. A bit of a schedule for myself, since I tend to do better when I have one of those:
  • Green by Jay Lake - 11/16

  • Boneshaker by Cherie Priest - 11/25

  • The Company Man by Robert Jackson Bennet - 12/5

  • Embassytown by China Mieville - 12/19

  • Goliath by Scott Westerfeld - 12/31

What I read in what order may change, but I'd ideally like to get at least these few done by the end of the year. I don't really care if there's anyone reading this right now; what's important to me is writing on a schedule, trying to do it regularly. However, if you do happen to be reading this, thanks for stopping by, and look for my next review tomorrow. :)