Curtsies & Conspiracies by Gail Carriger
Such games we play.... As if I didn’t have to hedge and speak in code most of the time, I must now do it as part of regular social interactions. No wonder Mademoiselle Geraldine’s has such success training the female aristocracy to be intelligencers. It’s most of our life already. ~Miss Sophronia Temminnick
The intrepid girls of Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality have returned in another completely charming YA adventure! After having possibly saved the world quite recently, the girls are back in school learning how to dance, do household accounting, speak demurely, faint properly, flutter their eyelashes, and assassinate people at the dinner table. Sophronia, our protagonist, isn’t quite sure why she’s learning these things or who she’ll be working for — all she knows is that she’s having fun and she does not want to be sent home.
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Curtsies & Conspiracies by Gail Carriger
Sorrow’s Knot by Erin Bow
Sorrow’s Knot had some big footsteps in which to follow, since Erin Bow’s debut novel Plain Kate was pretty terrific. But I’m pleased to report that Sorrow’s Knot not only lived up to my expectations but exceeded them. This is a fantastic novel, and better than Plain Kate.
Sorrow’s Knot is set in a world that feels a lot like the Pacific Northwest, and draws from (without copying anyone or anything in particular) Native American cultures. The heroine, Otter, is growing up in a village that is almost exclusively made up of women. She is the daughter of Willow, the village’s Binder, whose task it is to bind the dead — both figuratively and literally — so that they cannot return in ghostly form to harm the living. But now Willow is going mad, and making cryptic statements about the... Read More
It's the first Thursday of the month. You know what that means. Time to report!
What is the best book you read in November 2013 and why did you love it? It doesn't have to be a newly published book, or even SFF. We just want to share some great reading material. Feel free to post a full review of the book here, or a link to the review on your blog, or just write a few sentences about why you thought it was awesome.
(And don't forget that we always have plenty more reading recommendations on our Fanlit Faves page and our 5-Star SFF page.)
As always, one commenter will choose a book from our stacks.
We've got a few giveaways still current. Read More
Untamed by P.C. Cast
Untamed is the fourth book in P.C. and Kristen Cast’s HOUSE OF NIGHT paranormal romance series for young adults. I haven’t enjoyed any of the books so far and I nearly gave up on them halfway through the previous book, Chosen. However, I keep soldiering on because I’m downloading them for free from my library and they’re so silly and fluffy that it’s possible to listen to them with only 1/4 of my brain, freeing me up to do some serious multi-tasking while listening. Also, I really want to get them reviewed for FanLit. I mean, that is one of our site’s goals — to read bad books so you don’t have to.
OK, so in my review of the last book, Chosen, I gave a long list of complaints. I wonder if many previous reviewers have given the same list because, it’s really weird, but Cast actually fixes a lot of these problems in Untamed!
As j... Read More
Salute the Dark by Adrian Tchaikovsky
Salute the Dark is the fourth book in Adrian Tchaikovsky’s SHADOWS OF THE APT series. At this point, the world of the Apt and Inapt is in total war. The expansionist Wasp Empire is sweeping across the Lowlands and any outlying city that sparks a glint in Emperor Alvdan II’s eye. War Master Stenwold Maker’s agents are scattered everywhere in attempt to give the Lowlands any sort of advantage against the encroaching horde. Cities like Sarn and Myna are in open rebellion. Plots and twists are commonplace. Everything that has been building up over the first three books in the series culminates in Salute the Dark.
One of the highlights of the series is how Tchaikovsky manages to weave cultures of our world into the story and make them feel so real. The Solarnese feel genuinely like Renaissance Italians, the Wasps like the Romans or various other emp... Read More
Well, considering that it was a long holiday weekend in which I accomplished nothing, I kind of expected the rest of the world to be lolling around on their Mom’s couches too. But they weren’t. The first news is that the GoodReads Choice awards have been announced, with almost 2 million votes. The Ocean at the End of the Lane won the fantasy category, which is fun because people keep trying to label it as a “kid’s” book. Even more entertainingly, Atwood won the science fiction category with MaddAddam. This is awesome because she’s been very vocal about how nobody should call Her Great Literature “science f... Read More
The Last Continent by Terry Pratchett
In The Last Continent, Terry Pratchett sends Rincewind and the Unseen University wizards to Xxxx (Fourecks), which, the narrator explains, is not Australia.
In Interesting Times, Unseen University wizards inadvertently sent Rincewind to the Counterweight Continent (China), and now they inadvertently travel into the past of Fourecks — the Last Continent being created on the Discworld — while trying to figure out the Librarian’s name. Ponder Stibbins is the first to realize that the wizards have traveled into the past, and he warns the wizards that they must be careful to not change the future. Certainly, they must not kill one of their ancestors. But why would they want to do that? interrupts Ridcully. The Archchancellor argues that they’re already in the past, changing things, so the changes have already happened. And so a continent is created. The wizards meet t... Read More
The Plagiarist by Hugh Howey
The Plagiarist is a science fiction novella written by Hugh Howey, who recently became famous for his self-published WOOL series. The plagiarist of the title is Adam Griffey, a college professor who uses newly discovered technology at his university to visit virtual worlds where he seeks out brilliant authors, memorizes their works, and brings them back to our world. Everyone knows the works are plagiarized, but since the author doesn’t live in our world, it doesn’t count, and our protagonist gets the credit for discovering the talent and, most importantly, he gets the money for the sales. This sort of plagiarism isn’t just for literature, though. Adam has colleagues in other departments who do the same thing, and now all fields of knowledge — science, technology, art, etc. — are advancing rapidly because of the discoveries made in virtual worlds.
All is going well for Adam — his w... Read More
Forever Peace by Joe Haldeman
Despite the similarities in name, Joe Haldeman’s 1997 Forever Peace shares nothing in common with his huge success, The Forever War, save the military science fiction motif. Winning its own accolades (the Nebula, Hugo, and John W. Campbell Awards), Forever Peace is a novel less focused on the portent of war and more on the idea of universal understanding. Not without its share of action, however, readers will find Haldeman back in The Forever War form, the novel containing both depth and entertainment.
Forever Peaceis the story of Julian Class, both scientist and operator of a mechanized robot called a “soldierboy” for the US military. By jacking in to a device that collectively links operators... Read More
Bared Blade by Kelly McCullough
Bared Blade is the second book in the FALLEN BLADE series. Kelly McCullough continues the story of Aral Kingslayer, survivor of the destruction of the Goddess Namara turned petty thief and spy.
Aral is still struggling with the revelation that other members of his cult survived the fall of his goddess. His experiences in Broken Blade have started to give him an inkling that there may be more to look forward to than alcoholic oblivion. The relationship between Aral and his familiar/partner Triss has been an interesting twist on typical sword and sorcery tropes.
When a couple of oddly matched women are suddenly attacked in front of Aral, he chooses to get involved. The women have powers and skills far beyond the ordinary, which changes everything immediately. As further evidence of Aral’s re-orientation away from self-destruction via Kyle’s whiskey, Ara... Read More