Saturday, October 31, 2015

One Sentence Reviews: October

I started Actually Writing again, so my free time is limited--both for reading books and for reviewing them. Which is a shame, because I have read some great books this month! Please consider everything rated 3 stars and higher to have my recommendation, and pick yourself up a copy while I work on proper writeups.

Except for Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente. Wait for the review on that one. It's not a book to be approached casually.

October 2015

  • The Coyote Trilogy by Allen Steele (2002, sci-fi)
    • Political dissidents steal the first interstellar colonization ship, so that the next human-inhabited planet will be settled by lovers of freedom. -- It might have been good, if the author hadn't recoiled from any scenes of actual tension or resolution. 2.5/5 stars. (Full review here!)
  • Gifts by Ursula K. LeGuin (2004, YA fantasy)
    • Border chieftain fighting to protect his village with magical talent blinds his own son to limit his destructive capacity. - A smaller and warmer story than I expected, focusing on the dynamics of inheritance and disability rather than on magic and adventure. 3.5/5 stars.
  • A Week To Be Wicked by Tessa Dare (2012, historical romance)
    • Unorthodox spinster recruits local rake to ruin her reputation, thereby sparing her sisters, in exchange for the prize money she plans to win at a paleontology symposium; kissing ensues. - Hilariously convoluted shenanigans still turned into a charming, silly story. 4/5 stars.
  • A Lady By Midnight by Tessa Dare (2012, historical romance)
    • Birthmarked servant girl is eagerly adopted by potential noble relations; local grouchy ex-soldier suspects foul play; kissing ensues. - Apparently only every other romance I read is worth the giggles. 1/5 stars.
  • Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear (2015, steampunk)
    • House of prostitutes band together to protect their own from a cruel politician and a serial killer. - The character development never deepens past first impressions, but it's a great adventure and a fresh flavor in steampunk. 3.5/5 stars.
  • Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente (2011, historical fairy tale)
    • Traditional Russian folklore becomes even more bleak seen through the lens of Soviet culture and the siege of Leningrad. - One of the most masterfully executed novels I have ever had the good fortune to read; also the cruelest, and not for reading lightly. 5/5 stars.
  • Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch (2007, fantasy)
    • (Sequel to The Lies of Locke Lamora) After two years setting up an elaborate heist, con men are blackmailed into political schemes involving pretend piracy and real chaos. - The sequel is as fun and white-knuckle intense as the first, doubling up on the danger and the heartache (and the number of female characters!) 4.5/5 stars.
  • The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold (2002, contemporary)
    • Teenager murdered by a neighbor watches from her unsatisfying heaven while her friends and family struggle to come to terms with her death. - The sort of book that blows the mind of people who don't read very much and are amazed to find a story more interesting than their high school reading assignments, which is not to say it isn't interesting. Just not very impactful. 3/5 stars.
(Thanks for sticking around for another year of Book Grumps!)

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