shaydchara: a pen and notebook (Default)
Ad Astra is this weekend. I stopped in today during their open house hours (11am - 1pm free admission), to catch up with some folks. One friend couldn't make it at all due to crazy life business, but I did chat with Adam Israel and Beverly Bambury.

I also sat in on the Criticism and Critique in the 21st Century panel, which has inspired me to at least round up the long (for me) list of things I've read since acquiring my Kobo Touch.

To the list, with commentary, even!

Witch Eyes by Scott Tracey - Read this for the Permanent Floating YA Diversity Book Club, and really should review it properly, but. In brief: I loved this book even though much of it was a mess. The characterization was inconsistent, the world-building was dodgy at times and just not deep enough at others, and the blind spot of the main character was maddening. Despite all of that, I devoured it, and will quite happily read the sequels. The gay teen protagonist was enough to keep me reading, and I wish I had had more books like this back when there was only Vanyel.

Edge of Time by Susan M. MacDonald - Canadian content! Another YA specfic, but set in Canada, which was refreshing. Starts off strong, lags a bit when the two main characters get separated, but picks up nicely at the end. A fun, quick read, and I would also read more in this universe.

The Cloud Roads and The Serpent Sea by Martha Wells - Devoured these. Adore them. Love this universe. Can't wait for the third book. And that's despite the qualm I have with a plot-driving characterization issue in the first book. (It needs its own post.) Apparently fantasy from a non-human perspective hits a narrative kink button. Or maybe it was just that refreshing to get through two entire books with strong female characters (not Strong Female Characters(TM)) without a single mention of tits or ass.

The Pattern Scars by Caitlin Sweet - I've been avoiding mentioning this, because it made me really think hard about my response to the plot and examine my expectations that led to me being disappointed by the ending. Again, needs its own post.

Napier's Bones by Derryl Murphy - A non-ebook read. Love the world-building. Love the Canadian-ness of it. Indifferent to the characters, but that didn't really hinder my reading.

And finally, for the CanLit content: Girls Fall Down by Maggie Helwig - I had read Helwig's Where She Was Standing, which was, for complicated reasons, a gut punch sort of book. Hard to read but glad I did. I was hoping for something similar with Girls Fall Down, but the main story just didn't do it for me. I guess I have exhausted my patience with straight people's relationship dramaz. It was an easy read though, and seeing Toronto through another author's eyes is always fun (this is why I want to pick up Leah Bobet's Above), even when mistakes slip through editing. (Seriously? The corner of Jarvis and Parliament? Um....)

Oh wait, one more: The Broken Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin - Love this world as well. I liked the first book better, which boils down to not liking the coda/epilogue on the second one. Need to acquire the third one.

And a short story: "The Character of the Hound" by Tony Pi, from The Dragon and the Stars (Ed. Derwin Mak and Eric Choi) - I wish this were actually a novel, because I would love to read more set in this world. It works as a short story, but I would have been just as happy to know that it was the first chapter of a novel. Hope the rest of the anthology contains more like this.

(Yes, I know, these are more opinions than reviews, but that's what you get when I try to summarize. Thinky thought posts may or may not follow.)

Thanks

Date: 2012-04-17 03:36 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] beverlybambury.blogspot.com
Hi Shay, I think it went just fine. You didn't at all seem like you were being overly assertive or anything. No worries! I was very glad you found me. :)

I enjoyed hearing your thoughts on the books. I know we touched on it when we chatted, but I look forward to your further thoughts on The Pattern Scars.

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Shay D.

January 2014

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