What I’ve Been Reading – November 2017

Where did November go? In fact, what happened to the first week of December?

Given how busy I was in November – I was traveling 17 days out of 30 – I’m not surprised it went quickly, or that I got very little reading done. I also didn’t win NaNo. But I did get writing done. Which is wha counts.

So the few books I did end up reading in November were all new. A contrast to October‘s binge on rereading a single author.

New Books
Neogenisis (again) by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
Lagoon by Nnedi Okorafor
The Prisioner of Limnos by Lois McMaster Bujold
Changling’s Fealty and Interstellar Mage by Glynn Stewart

Mini Reviews

Neogenisis remains good. There’s so much happening in this book that it’s hard to take it all in without a reread or three. That’s ok though, because the text still sparkles with wit and dry humor. This book will be published soon, so I’ll try to have an analysis to coincide with its release.

I selected Lagoon for book club in November because I wanted us to read something by Nnedi Okorafor but her other books were all either too short, or impossible to get from the library in time. Overall I’m glad I selected it, we certainly had enough to talk about, but the book had some major flaws I’m not sure how to attribute. I both loved and hated the setting. It needed more detail, but her selective use of dialect kept kicking me out of the story to puzzle out what was being said. For future reference, there’s a glossary in the back, which I’d have known if there had been a gosh-darned table of contents at the front. The map was also less than useless, actually confusing me about the locations of events. The aliens could also have been more developed. They had no motivation and acted on no clear or unclear desires. In fact they acted very little, beyond landing and immediately mucking about with the ecosystem. At least the mucking about gave me some of my favorite passages in the book. Overall it was disorganized and chaotic. Kind of like Lagos. Which I can only hope was the point.

The Prisioner of Limnos is another Penric and Desdemona novella by the ever wonderful Lois McMaster Bujold. This one hauls Penric around to rescue his hopefully mother-in-law while his lady-love comes to term with the Demon living in his head. There’s no major resolution, which I am content with because it means we’ll get another one of these delights.

Changling’s Fealty was a pretty good start to an urban fantasy series. It wasn’t innovative, but it wasn’t awful. It did have the patented Glynn Stewart almost instant power-up I’ve come to expect (his characters come in “overpowered and kinda annoying almost-gary-sue” and “super-overpowered but loveable gary-sue”).  Basically it’s Dresden in Canada, if Dresden was an elf. I’ll read more of them, but I’ll reserve judgement until I see another one on whether it shows real promise. It took his Starship’s Mage series a while to warm up, but that was worth the read (seriously, go read that one). Which, given that he seems to be publishing a novel every two months (the bastard), shouldn’t be that long of a wait.

Speaking of Starship’s Mage, the other book I read of Stewart’s was Interstellar Mage, the start to a follow-on series that catches us up on what happened to the other crew of the Bluejay. Which is basically that they attract trouble even without Damien on board. Read it if you were wondering what happened to Damien’s first crew. Otherwise I’m going to reserve judgement on this one too, until I see where the plot’s headed.

That’s it for November. Next time I write one of these it will be 2018, and probably a long one since I’ll also wrap up for the year.

Leave me a comment below if you got this far. What should I read next? Seriously, I’m running out of books here. Someone give me a new series. Please?

3 comments

  1. Have you read much Mercedes Lackey? I forget. I enjoy her Elemental Masters series, for the conjunction of fairy-tale inspiration/historical urban fantasy/dealing with some sort of historical issue, like Women’s Suffrage, or the injured and traumatized soldiers of WWI. I’ve got a shit ton of them, too, if you’re interested. Also, have you read Anathem by Neal Stephenson?

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    1. I’ve read a few of the Elemental Masters books, but she just keeps writing them! Let me take a look at them next time I’m over? I read Ananthem, but it always takes me forever to read Neal Stephenson books. Ananthem is amazing, but so dense.

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