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el dang Locked account

Joined 1 year ago


I'm currently the coordinator of the #SFFBookClub so a lot of what I'm reading is suggestions from there.

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A Prayer for the Crown-Shy (Hardcover, 2022, Doherty Associates, LLC, Tom) 5 stars

After touring the rural areas of Panga, Sibling Dex (a Tea Monk of some renown) …

The best hopepunk I have read to date

5 stars

Definitely the light comfort read I was looking for, and like the first in its series it has just enough moments of emotional tension and and philosophical debate to never get twee or boring. But more than its predecessor, the world this is set in is the most convincing, appealing hopepunk I have yet to read. It's clear that it had gone through some very hard times in the past, but the equilibrium that the books are set in feels plausible and inviting. I can think of many other books whose worlds I'd like to visit, but these are among the few I wish I could move to.

stopped reading The Iliad by Homer

The Iliad (2023, W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.) No rating

When Emily Wilson’s translation of The Odyssey appeared in 2017―revealing the ancient poem in a …

Bouncing off this for now. "The war almost ended but some man-children were too proud so more blood must be spilled" is a bit too close to home right now.

Siren Queen (Hardcover, 2022, Tordotcom) 3 stars

It was magic. In every world, it was a kind of magic. "No maids, no …

Didn't quite work for me

3 stars

There's an interesting world here, enough so that I did enjoy reading this book, but I never ended up caring much what happened to the characters. So it was pleasant enough but never really reeled me in.

I think this is just how I feel about Vo's writing in general, because I remember having a pretty similar reaction to The Empress Of Salt And Fortune. I can see what people who love her writing see in it, but it just isn't for me.


Siren Queen (Hardcover, 2022, Tordotcom) 3 stars

It was magic. In every world, it was a kind of magic. "No maids, no …

I'm more than halfway through this book and still not sure what I make of it. It's a pleasant read, but I'm not finding myself particularly engaged with any of the characters, so I'm also not really invested in whether things go well or poorly for them.


He Who Drowned the World (Hardcover, 2023, Tor Books) 3 stars

Zhu Yuanzhang, the Radiant King, is riding high on her recent victory that tore southern …

Couldn't hold my interest like its predecessor did

3 stars

Content warning Spoilers for all over both books

Babel (2022, Harper Voyager) 4 stars

Traduttore, traditore: An act of translation is always an act of betrayal. 1828. Robin Swift, …

Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus (EBook, 2021, Independently Published) 5 stars

Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus is an 1818 novel written by English author Mary Shelley. …

An unexpected pleasure

5 stars

I wasn't expecting to like this book anywhere near as much as I ended up doing! The story as told in the book is much more interesting than the limited image of it that's got in to popular culture, and this was my first encounter with the whole thing. It's so much more about deeply flawed Victor Frankenstein (TLDR: our reading group kept using the term "main character syndrome") than about the mad science process. And while the creature is far from likeable, his portrayal has genuine pathos, even though most of what we hear about him is secondhand through the recounting of someone who hates him.

There are several impressively strong resonances to the modern world, between the general lack of ethics in tech and the current wave of "AI" hype. And of course big self-centred men who think that extreme success in one sphere gives them licence to …