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I'm not sure if this is just dated or if I never would have connected to this piece. It's well written and seems interesting but there's just not enough for me to relate to - and quite a few things that are just pissing me off (like the obsession with women's weight) - to keep reading. Ugh.

Among Others by Jo Walton

Hm. I'm not really sure what to say about this book. I was 3/4 of the way through it when I said to myself, "Huh, but, is anything going to happen, or...???"

And it's not that things don't happen. They happen. Mostly as a framework on which to hang nods to favorite books, ostensibly of the main character but obviously also of the author. I'm not sure if having read EVERY one of the books referenced would make the book better? I kind of doubt it, I've read a great lot of the books referenced and it didn't deepen my experience.

Overall I'm not sad I read it, per se, just not sure what it was ultimately FOR. Found myself mostly "meh" about the thing once finished.

Rating: 6 of 10

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Picked this up from a sale table - the cover, title, and description appeared to offer a fun little read. No. It was too stupid to even really start. I pushed, shoved, and fought myself to get a quarter of the way through it and finally gave up today. It's really goofy, not in a fun way, and kind of poorly written. No. Can. Do.

Ancillary Mercy by Ann Leckie

So I totally screwed up and read this right after the first book, skipping the second book entirely. Oddly, I still really enjoyed the series. The story was the "same" story consistently enough that I wasn't lost, even having missed out on a ton of stuff from the second book.

I am more than a little in love with Translator Zeiat, she reminds me of Delirium from Gaiman's Sandman more than anything. Overall the story was good, really interesting (what IS Significance, anyway, and how is Breq forging a new path in the universe?), I love some of the subtle touches (like, the whole dominant gender language, really interesting stuff going on there). I'd recommend this as a good read, indeed.

Rating: 8 of 10

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BOOK FAIL: Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie

I'm marking this as a book fail because I seriously screwed up, thinking that Mercy was before Sword. Whoops. So I read Mercy, then realized I'd finished the series without reading the middle bit.

Oddly, it worked out OK, so...good?

Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie

This was on Lance's Kindle, which he loaned me for our trip, so I thought I'd give it a try. Not my fave book ever but a solid, interesting series. It's a slow start, it takes awhile to get the "voice" making sense in your head, but once you do it's an engaging storytelling framework.

I liked!

Rating: 8 of 10

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Uprooted by Naomi Novik

I can't believe it's taken me a week to post about this book! OMG, it's so good!

This book is everything I always WANT a fantasy book to be when I pick it up but that it so rarely is. Well written, nuanced characters with an interesting plot-line, engaging world, and enough excitement that it's hard to put down at night. Novik hit that all spot-on. Not a lot more to say, just a darned good read.

Rating: 10 of 10

The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi

If you're looking for the Scalzi light humor, this book isn't going to bring it. This is not to say there aren't funny moments, there are, but this book is much more space opera, much less humor, than Scalzi sometimes is.

It's an interesting concept all the way around and it's obvious that there could be follow-up books after this one, which I would read. Overall not my favorite Scalzi but a good book nonetheless.

Rating: 8 of 10
This is a compendium of the first three books of the Awake in the Dark series (Fade to Black, Bled White, and Red on the Inside) which someone recommended to me (can't recall who). On the one hand, I'm glad I bought the box set because I doubt I would have read past book 1 if I hadn't. On the other hand, I've now read three books into a series that I don't find hugely compelling or engaging.

So there's that.

The good:
The fact that Grobnagger suffers from what appears to be a combo of anxiety and depression is interesting. The world McBain and Vargus create is engaging enough that I went ahead and finished the box set.

The bad:
None of the characters ever make it to "fully realized" for me. The plot doesn't really go anywhere...and three books is a long time for that. If I had purchased each book singly I'd be PISSED because they don't seem to end so much as just stop, and that includes the last book. It has more of an ending than the previous two but, well, yeah...they all just kind of stop and leave you there.

Overall I found myself feeling pretty "meh" about the whole experience. It was OK. I doubt I would recommend this series to anyone.

Rating: 6 of 10

Invisible Planets translated by Ken Liu

I bought this book on a total whim on Independent Book Sellers Day after taking a friend into Carmichael's (not knowing it was IBSD). Not sure what even drew me to the shelf it was on, but I'm glad I picked it up. Chinese SF (interestingly, this editor/translator uses SF to cover the wide bands of both Science Fiction and Speculative Fiction) isn't something with which I have a great deal of experience but the little I am familiar with (mostly through the Drabblecast) has been stuff I've quite liked.

This collection of stories was no exception to my other limited experiences. A few stories were true stand outs for me ("The Fish of Lijiang," "The City of Silence," and "Invisible Planets" were my top three) and, as with any collection, there was one that I truly didn't enjoy ("The Circle" - I think I need to be "mathier" for that one to speak to me) but the collection as a whole is well curated, well translated, and an enjoyable read all the way around. Plus, it's really good to get exposure to a broader world of writing, culturally as well as just because good reading is good.

Rating: 9 of 10

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