Libromancer's Apprentice

Libromancer's Apprentice

The reading habits of a bibliovore & Technology Services Librarian
More at libromancersapprentice.blogspot.com

goldmine
Ascension: A Tangled Axon Novel - Jacqueline Koyanagi

ok so, finding good books with diverse casts is often a bitch.

 

and then i stumbled across this one

 

queer female poc chronically ill lead

 

sign me up for the rest of this series

Review
4.5 Stars
[Book Review] The Girl in the Green Silk Gown
The Girl in the Green Silk Gown - Seanan McGuire

Previously Reviewed

 
If you're reading The Girl in the Green Silk Dress you should already know all the major players.  Rose Marshall, Bobby Cross, Apple, Emma, Gary, Laura, the Ocean Lady, and even Persephone.  They all had their parts to play in Sparrow Hill Road
 
This is in many ways the first true novel about Rose, Sparrow Hill Road being a collection of short stories.  As a protagonist Rose is a mix, she is a force to be reckoned with, but at the same time spends much of the story being pushed or pulled through obstacles (or by obstacles), while avoiding her primary goal of the story... defeating Bobby Cross.  In her defense, no one knows how to achieve that, and he's put her in a situation she doesn't have the tools to defeat him with until it's fixed.


Rose also has growing pains, at the end of the last novel she was reunited with her teenage love, and they are both learning about each other and what being together as ghosts means... and what their type of existence requires.  Her other relationships grow, change, and develop too, adding depth and filled with twists both expected and surprising.

I'm seeing this book listed in places as 2 of 2 in its series, and I'm hoping that's an error.  There is a lot unanswered, unfinished, in this story, and I want to see where this road takes us.

Advance Reader Copy courtesy of DAW (Penguin RandomHouse) in exchange for an honest review; changes may exist between galley and the final edition

Source: http://libromancersapprentice.blogspot.com/2018/07/book-review-girl-in-green-silk-gown.html
Calling all Lesbian Space Witches

Well, space witches in general, but bonus points if they're queer AF.

 

This was inspired by coming across the author review blurbs for Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir.

 

"Lesbian necormancers explore a haunted gothic palace in space! Decadent nobles vie to serve the deathless emperor! Skeletons!" - Charles Stross

 

"This crackling, inventive and riotous book from an original voice is a genuine pleasure. Also the author is clearly insane." - Warren Ellis

 

<3

 

To my new Space Witch reading list I add:
The Stars are Legion / Kameron Hurley - lesbian space witches, lesbian space warriors, weird creepy shit.  you know, the good stuff.

Voidwitch Saga by Corey J White (Killing Gravity, Void Black Shadow, Static Ruin)
 - can't remember if she's queer or not, but she's definitely a space witch

*grabby hands*
Brief Cases (Dresden Files) - Jim Butcher

So... starts off with a Weird West story featuring a young Luccio... and an introduction that Butcher now has an idea for a series focusing on her.

 

WANT!

So many red flags
HOT MESS - Emily Belden

This relationship makes me very deeply unhappy

Quote
"Faith in not rational. Do you know what a cathedral is, Chief Engineer?"

"A kind of church," she said. "A big church."

"A church that took centuries to build," he clarified. "And could cost hundreds of lives in the building. A church that represented an absolutely absurd investment for a medieval lord. And yet they got built anyway. For the glory of God."
Chill - Elizabeth Bear

Grail, p. 292, by Elizabeth Bear

Review
4 Stars
[Book Review] Tricks for Free
Tricks for Free - Seanan McGuire
Tricks for Free (InCryptid #7) / Seanan McGuire
 
Previously reviewed
 
Ok folks, I have some really bad news about this book.

There are no Aeslin mice in it.

 But they have their own novella at the end (and it's kind of adorable).

In Magic for Nothing I was a little harsh on Antimony... and what I said still holds true, she needed to grow up and she did.  So now we get an Annie who has learned in a way she never knew before what exactly it means to be a Price, perhaps still with resentment and issues with Verity, but that is tempered with understanding as well.  I like this Annie.

Hiding out from the Covenant (and her family), Antimony has donned an old identity and getting by as an employee at the Lowryland amusement park while she attempts to get her life back together.  Life, on the other hand, has its own plans for her.  Lowryland turns out to be run by a cabal of magic users who offer to teach her to control the fire insider her, friends from her past are around, and deadly accidents start occurring.

So it's up to one stranded Price, her friends, her boyfriend, and a crossroads ghost to handle a particularly unexpected threat.

Advance Reader Copy courtesy of DAW (Penguin RandomHouse) in exchange for an honest review; changes may exist between galley and the final edition.
Source: http://libromancersapprentice.blogspot.com/2018/03/book-review-tricks-for-free.html
Quote
"Don't look at me. Just because the puppeteer's hand is up your ass, it doesn't mean you know what they are thinking."
Chill - Elizabeth Bear

Gavin, p.276

Chill / Elizabeth Bear

 

[Book Review] Bingo Love
Bingo Love OGN - Tee Franklin,  Jenn St Onge
Bingo Love / Tee Franklin, Jenn St-Onge (ill), and Joy San (ill)
 
I... don't even know where to start summarizing this story or reviewing beyond this: you will cry.  This story brings all of the Feels and will rip out your heart.  And you will love it all the more for it.

Buy, read it, add it to your library, it's worth it.

From the publisher:
When Hazel Johnson and Mari McCray met at church bingo in 1963, it was love at first sight. Forced apart by their families and society, Hazel and Mari both married young men and had families. Decades later, now in their mid-’60s, Hazel and Mari reunite again at a church bingo hall. Realizing their love for each other is still alive, what these grandmothers do next takes absolute strength and courage. From TEE FRANKLIN (NAILBITER’s “THE OUTFIT,” Love is Love) and JENN ST-ONGE (Jem & The Misfits), BINGO LOVE is a touching story of love, family, and resiliency that spans over 60 years.

Advance Reader Copy courtesy of Image Comics in exchange for an honest review; changes may exist between galley and the final edition.
Source: http://libromancersapprentice.blogspot.com/2018/02/book-review-bingo-love.html
Quote
"Sometimes she felt like they were so labeled they should of collapsed under all the competing expectations."
Into the Drowning Deep - Mira Grant, Christine Lakin
Into the Drowning Deep / Mira Grant
the difference of years
Chill - Elizabeth Bear

this book definitely reads different than when i first did... and that's not a bad thing.  the theme of the struggle after survival is prevalent, and something that did not resonate so much in my younger self.

February Read: Chill
Chill - Elizabeth Bear

Dust by Elizabeth Bear is one of my favorite novels, and was one of the easy selections for when I started doing this book club thing.  But while I reread Dust with some frequency, I think I only read Chill (Jacob's Ladder #2) once, immediately after purchasing it.  There's a good chance that my reading of it was too colored by my expectations and memories of Dust, a younger me wanting the exact same thing as before, only new and different.  Similar to  my experiences with American Gods and Anasazi Boys, except Chill is a true sequel.

What I remember is that this is a story of after and of pushing through.  The Jacob's Ladder is again in motion, reduced through deliberate effort and through the abuse of its rough relaunch.  Similarly, the characters are in a state of flux, challenge, and recovery.  Perceval struggles with the unwanted mantle of Captain, the cost of power and conflict, and the ghost of Rein that now lives in the AI of the ship. Tristen and Benedick go from support characters in Perceval and Rein's quest, to a quest of their own as they deal with their own ghosts of a sort.

So, we'll see how this read goes, and I'll attempt to have my review of it up within February!

Source: http://libromancersapprentice.blogspot.com/2018/02/february-read-chill.html
Silmarillion Blues : Quenta Silmarillion : XXII. Of the Ruin of Doriath
The Silmarillion - J.R.R. Tolkien, Ted Nasmith,  Christopher Tolkien

Wherein Morgoth spreads the misery though puppetry.  Releasing Húrin to the world after years of captivity, he aims to increase strife among Men and Elves.  His reception is varied, with his own people shunning him as in league with Morgoth.  Even the Eagles state that "Húrin Thalion has surrendered to the will of Morgoth."  This reception makes me think of Gandalf speaking of how to treat Gollum, and the importance of mercy.  I wonder how this story would have changed if people had shown him kindness and acceptance, while acknowledging that Morgoth had his plans for Húrin still.  But again, that is often the beauty of the "curses" Tolkien lays against his characters, their fated doom often not of divine or infernal end, but the result of deliberate action and self-fulfilling prophesy.

We some of what could have been, when Melian speaks kindness in face of his twisted perceptions and grief, but it leaves Húrin bereft of purpose and so he passes away.  It also happens to late, for a great treasure of the Dwarves is still given unto Thingol, who has the Dwarves set within it the Silmaril.  As we have seen so far, nothing involving the Silmarils goes well, with all those who see it desiring to possess it.  Those that wished it laid claim, and Thingol responded in anger, provoking the Dwarves to rise against him.  Pursuit was given, but two escaped back to their people and reported that they were unfairly slain by order of the Elvenking.

Melian's power was withdrawn from the full realm, which allowed the Dwarves to move forward unheeded until they met the Elven host.  They win their way in and take for themselves the Silmaril they coveted, among other plunder.  They meet on their leaving Beren, his son Dior, and many Green Elves, and those that fled met the Ents, who we know from The Lord of the Rings can be quite viscous when provoked.  The Silmaril is reclaimed and given to Lúthien, Thingol's daughter, and her son, Dior, takes on the mantel of King of Doriath where he rules until the Necklace of the Dwarves with the Silmaril set within is passed onto him upon his parents death.  While Lúthien was unassailable, her son had no such protection, and Celegorm and Curufin again raise strife, assaulting Doriath and Dior, losing their own lives, ending those of Dior, Dior's wife, and his sons, and destroying Doriath.

The Sons of Fëanor and their followers fail to claim the Silmaril, secreted away by Dior's daughter and a few survivors of Doriath.

I am not sorry to see the end of Celegorm and Curufin, who again and again have acted as villains in self-interest and in following an oath made to regain the Silmarils.  As for the Silmarils, there is not so much a curse upon them as a depressing reminder of the power of avarice and greed, and that seems in line with the type of message and story Tolkien tells again and again in this saga.

Source: http://libromancersapprentice.blogspot.com/2018/01/silmarillion-blues-quenta-silmarillion_29.html
Review
2.5 Stars
[Book Review] We
We - Yevgeny Zamyatin, Clarence Brown


Several things drew me to We.  Comparison to 1984 is unavoidable, yet it predates it by several decades. A science fiction dystopia written in 1921 Russia that is still being read and discussed today seems like the type of foundation literature I should be familiar with.

The book is definitely an interesting read, pulling on themes we expect to see in any modern literary dystopia with investigation and discussion of what it means to be an individual.  It is also difficult to read, a short novel that makes use of uncomfortable descriptions and has passages that are undeniably racist.  What remains is to untangle what is relic of the environment in which the book was written, what is an aspect of the horror of the setting, and what is true bias of the author.  Philosophically interesting, but for me the discomfort rides heavy even if took minimal space in the text.

Discussion Fodder:

  • What aspects of this book are due to its dystopia setting, and what aspects are due to when and where it was written?
  • How are concepts similar or different?  In particular concepts of the beauty, rationality, logic, the soul, etc.
  • How reliable is the narrator?  Is he a metric of which we can measure the standard contentment of ciphers, or is he an abnormally content in his world of rational numbers?
  • What is the place and purpose of the arts in this story?  How does the formulaic structure of their music and poetry change the impact and role? 
  • How does the author talk about physicality?
  • The narrator describes a "past" while the author writes from approximately a century ago.  How do his descriptions match the world we live in, and how have things changed?
Source: http://libromancersapprentice.blogspot.com/2018/01/book-review-we.html
URL
Ursula K. Le Guin, Acclaimed for Her Fantasy Fiction, Is Dead at 88

heartbroken

Virtual Speculation 2018 Picks

So begins another year and another set of books to read, hopefully you'll join me.  The selections this time around include three long-overdue rereads, one a sequel to a book I picked my first year, and eight books that have popped up and looked particularly worth reading.  There were actually a good half-dozen more titles at various points I had meant to jot down for this list... and apparently never did so.  Hopefully they'll come across my desk again some time soon.  Otherwise, we'll see how this goes!  I only vaguely know what to expect for most of these.

February: Chill / Elizabeth Bear
March: A Wrinkle in Time / Madeleine L'Engle
April: The Sheep Look Up / John Brunner
May: Islands in the Net / Bruce Sterling

June: The Shore of Women / Pamela Sargent
July: The Forever War /Joe Haldeman
August: The very best of Kate Elliott / Kate Elliott
September: Infomocracy / Malka Older
October: Lovecraft Country / Mike Ruff
November: Autonomous / Annalee Newitz
December: The Gate to Women's Country / Sheri S Tepper

Master list/archive of picks can be found here.
Source: http://libromancersapprentice.blogspot.com/2018/01/virtual-speculation-2018-picks.html

currently reading

Progress: 81/257pages
Super Late Bloomer - Julia Kaye
Lovecraft Country: A Novel - Matt Ruff
Winter Tide - Ruthanna Emrys
Grail - Elizabeth Bear, Alma Cuervo