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Hurley, Kameron: God's War

books x 4
God's War (2010)
Author: Kameron Hurley
Publisher: Night Shade Books
Genre: Fantasy, Science Fiction
Pages: 287 (trade paperback)
Series: Bel Dame Apocrypha #1

Summary (from )

Why I Read It: This was the June selection for calico_reaction's Theme Park bookclub. This will be a non-spoiler review.

REVIEW: no spoilersCollapse )

Final Verdict: More than anything, I found this novel confusing. They were so many random disparate parts that were brought together that the world-building felt a little scatter-brained to me. A part of me feels like I just wasn't paying close enough attention and was maybe just not "getting" it, because in theory all these weird things created a really unique and interesting world -- it just wasn't to MY taste. I definitely think that people looking for a completely different fantasy should read this, because it IS a breath of fresh air. My other complaint was that I never really connected to the characters in any way, which was a little disappointing as the idea of a ragtag team of mercenaries appealed to me. All in all, this was a bit of a disappointing read. BUT, now that I'm more familiar with this world, I am tempted to read the sequel Infidel; I think that now that I am familiar with the world, I might be able to focus and appreciate the story more. I still think the world-building is confusing, but I liked the creativity behind it and I enjoyed Hurley's writing enough. We'll see. :)

Cover Commentary: I really like this cover. It took me awhile to realize that the bundle in Nyx's arms is probably a head, which reflects the content of the story perfectly. I assume the other character is Rhys, and I like that he wasn't white-washed and the bugs coming out of his sleeve is also perfect. The yellow is nice and bright and the title font is interesting.

Whitfield, Kit: In Great Waters

books x 4
In Great Waters (2009)
Author: Kit Whitfield
Genre: Fantasy, Alternative History
Pages: 405 (trade paperback)
Series: Stand Alone

Summary (from )

Why I Read It: This was the April selection for calico_reaction's Theme Park book club. You may also have noticed that this isn't actually on my review cue (over on the left). That's because I actually just finished this last night. I bumped it up and decided to review it today because I'd rather review a book club pick while it's still fresh in my mind. :) There will probably be spoilers, so read ahead with caution.

REVIEW: possible spoilers!! proceed with cautionCollapse )

Final Verdict: This book was a definite win for me. It started out really slow, but it didn't take too long for things to pick up, and when they did, they REALLY did. I was much more invested in Anne's story arc than in Henry's, but that didn't tarnish my enjoyment of the novel as a whole. Even though I wasn't Henry's biggest fan, he wasn't a BAD character and he had some redeeming qualities that added some layers to him, even though he was so stubborn and unchanging. The world-building was another great aspect of the novel where beings who are half merpeople and half human rule the courts, and it was AWESOME. It made a lot of sense to me and was so well conceived and thought out that it felt like something that could actually happen. So yeah, I really enjoyed this book and definitely want to check out Whitfield's other novel Benighted.

Cover Commentary: The cover pictured above is the one I own and I really like it. None of the main characters of the story actually have the one long fin like we typically imagine merpeople (their legs are actually apart) but I don't care -- this cover is so prettyyy! I love the blues, and the silhouettes are nice too.

Yancey, Rick: The Monstrumologist

books x 4
The Monstrumologist (2009)
Author: Rick Yancey
Genre: Horror, Young Adult
Pages: 454 (trade paperback)
Series: The Monstrumologist #1)

Summary (from )

Why I Read It: This was the March selection for calico_reaction's Theme Park book club! Even before this was selected it had been on my radar; the book club just gave me an excuse to read it sooner rather than later.

REVIEW: no spoilersCollapse )

Final Verdict: Despite my misgivings, I really did enjoy this book. The creep-factor was there, and it wasn't just because of the copious amounts of gore (warning: if you have a weak stomach you should probably stay away from this book). The main character was easy to sympathize with, even if I had some uneasiness about his relationship with his mentor and guardian. I'm still skeptical about the journal format of the novel, but I can't discount that this is a very well-written novel despite that (even though it felt unnecessarily long at times); the style was perfect for the setting and mood. A definite recommend from me.

Cover Commentary: Eh, it's all right. The hardcover is much creepier and looks like a scene pulled right out of the novel. The worst cover (though almost comically so) is easily the UK one, which is odd, considering it's the scariest looking one of the bunch and really is pulled right from the pages of the book, but if I saw this in a book, I would be like "WTF".

Lord, Karen: Redemption in Indigo

books x 4
Redemption in Indigo (2010)
Author: Karen Lord
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 200 (trade paperback)
Series: Stand Alone

Summary (from )

Why I Read It: It was the February selection for calico_reaction's "Theme Park" book club (the theme was Women of Color Writing Spec Fic).

REVIEW: no spoilersCollapse )

Final Verdict: This review is relatively short compared to my usual reviews, but I hope I've still demonstrated just how much I enjoyed this book. It's got an amazing narrator who is humourous and full of personality, a great mythology populated by interesting gods, and great world-building. The writing also blew me away; I can' believe this is a debut. It's so self-assured and skilled. If you're a fantasy fan looking for something different, look no further. If you enjoy folklore, this is also a great title to check out. I'll definitely be keeping my eye out for Karen Lord in the future.

Cover Commentary: This is the second book I've read this year that features a person of colour prominently on the cover. Yayy! I also love the indigo colour, especially the left border with the red and indigo. So pretty.
books x 4
How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe (2010)
Author: Charles Yu
Genre: Science Fiction, Literary Fiction
Pages: 239 (trade paperback)
Series: Stand Alone

Summary (from )

Why I Read It: It was the January selection for calico_reaction's Theme Park Book Club.

REVIEW: no spoilersCollapse )

Final Judgment: I'm not even entirely sure how I feel about this book. This is mostly because I don't feel *anything* towards this book: I don't like it, I don't dislike it... I just read it and that was that. I *wanted* to really like it though; it's got a really cool premise, and if you're into meta-fiction, this book has it in SPADES. It's kind of accessible too though, because the main character is very human and the father-son relationship in the book was actually really well done (and I know for sure that I liked those parts.) I'm pretty sure I just read this at a bad time, as I was swamped with a ton of reading for school and rarely had time to really concentrate on this book, so maybe a re-read in the future is in order.

Cover Commentary: I love the super vibrant orange, though I'm not sure why Ed would be wearing bubble helmet thingies like that on his head.


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