Thursday, September 17, 2015

Ancillary Sword

Ancillary Sword (Imperial Radch, #2)Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I do love the world Leckie creates...she does a great job inventing languages, customs, and religions that are never fully explained but that she never forgets about...(only proper to wear gloves, brooches that are worn for status,etc.).  And yet in such foreignness, she still creates recognizable allegories about imperialism, racism, and justice.  The story continues with Breq, only now she is a commander.  I miss some of Breq's confusion, impetuousness, and growing realizations about herself that I remember from the first book.  This Breq is always sure of herself, always fixing others problems, almost always unruffled.  Her relationship with Sevarrdiaan is also largely missing in this one...they are separated for most of the novel.  Still, I loved Leckie's writing style...she describes multiple things going on at once, yet I am never confused.  And love the little bits of humor sprinkled throughout...


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Wreckage

WreckageWreckage by Emily Bleeker
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a better than average kindle first reads choice.  The premise was interesting...after a woman and man are rescued after spending almost 2 years on a deserted island, they decide to alter the version of the truth to the rest of the world.  Interesting concept...no one can verify their story or catch them in a lie if there are no witnesses.  Better yet, what did they do when there was no law, no one to save or stop them?  Can the laws of civilization exist outside of civilization, and what if you are suddenly thrust back into these laws and constructs of a society you thought was dead to you.  Do you lie or tell the truth and justify it?  I thought the story was provocative enough.  It would have been better if we could have seen into the minds and secrets of the spouses who thought their partner was dead.  Also, the ending was abrupt, tied up too nice.


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Thursday, September 3, 2015

A Fall of Marigolds

A Fall of MarigoldsA Fall of Marigolds by Susan Meissner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book based on the description of two women in two time periods united by a scarf.  Sounded trite and over-sentimental, but it turned out to have more depth and development than I thought.  Clara is a nurse on Ellis Island, (a setting which I have always found terribly fascinating) who is using the island to hide from feelings of depression and guilt after seeing her new love jump to his death to avoid a fire.  Taryn too is recovering from the death of her husband who died during the 9/11 attacks.  Both are dealing with survivors guilt, scared to fully love and live again.  Through truth, strength, forgiveness, and love they are able to overcome their paralysis.


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The Story of Edgar Sawtelle

The Story of Edgar SawtelleThe Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

As a retelling of Hamlet, Wroblewski does a fairly good job modernizing and looking at it through new eyes.  The new eyes being that of Edgar, who is mute, but has a gift working with dogs in his fathers kennel.  As a stand alone story however, it struggles to make all of the characters actions linked with plausible emotion or motivation.  Some characters and actions seem put there solely to match up with Hamlet and does nothing to reveal or change the existing characters.  The ending especially seems forced and Trudy's motivations, sketchy throughout, are dumbfounding.  The writing, while lyrical and penetrating at times, tends to get muddled especially during action scenes.  Several times I had to reread scenes to understand the sequence.  It was an interesting read, something I would recommend as a companion to Hamlet, just to illustrate what an adaption/retelling might be like, and hopefully trigger  a better retelling someday.


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