April 15th, 2010


Books read, early April

Tim Akers, Heart of Veridon. All the cogs and gears, none of the badly researched or selectively viewed Victorians. This is secondary-world steampunk, and I'm glad of it. One of my friends thought it was reminiscent of Blade Runner done steampunk, and I can see why. I didn't fall in love with anybody, although I like the spider-creature named Wilson, but the plot was headlong fun.

Gillian Bradshaw, The Beacon at Alexandria. Made me want to go out and learn more about Bishop Athanasios of Alexandria and the Nicene Council. No, no, I mean that in a good way. After my obligatory teeth-gritting at the "why does the only mode of historical adventure for girls involve them already being flat-chested?" moment, I loved the rest of this book. Historical medicine in the messy bits of the Roman Empire. Good stuff.

Ally Carter, I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have To Kill You. This is a YA school novel, and also a spy novel, sort of. It is absolutely popcorn. But it is popcorn with the right balance of salt and butter. I'm not sure I want to tell you what I was hoping to find out from reading it, except that I will continue with the series in pursuit of the same bit of knowledge.

Cory Doctorow, For the Win. Discussed elsewhere.

Tony Hays, The Divine Sacrifice. Discussed elsewhere.

N.K. Jemisin, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. Country cousin dealing with enslaved gods, among other troubles. Tore right on through this one and will definitely look for more of Jemisin's work. It is probably indicative of something awful about me that I'm hoping for more Zhakkarn, but there it is. Without spoiling too much about the ending, I think the fact that this is one of a series might lead one to make mistaken assumptions about the scope of story Jemisin is exploring here, which is far bigger than it first seems. Definitely in a good way.

Ysabeau S. Wilce, Flora Segunda. The narrative voice is superaddicted to adding the prefix super- to words superoften. I found it superannoying. But I liked the hints of the world peeking through, and I liked the way that people were not always as they first seemed to Flora, and I liked that she accepted that with as much good grace as one could really expect. I will probably go on to the sequel, which I would not have expected to say in the first few chapters, but Califa (the setting) won me over.

It's an old dance injury.

One of the hazards of enrolling your child in dance classes is that 27 years later, she may be trying to get her vertigo-induced nausea to settle down enough that she can sleep, and she may be doing other things and concentrating hard on other things and find that, without planning on it, she is singing, "All I want is a happy hippopotamus to keep me companeeeeeeeeee."

You can be forgiven for not foreseeing this terrible eventuality. But some experiences stick with you for life, and apparently the happy hippopotamus song is one of them.
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