Browsed by
Tag: novella

Book Review: Across the Green Grass Fields (Wayward Children, #6) by Seanan McGuire

Book Review: Across the Green Grass Fields (Wayward Children, #6) by Seanan McGuire


Across the Green Grass Fields by Seanan McGuire
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher, Tor.com, in exchange for an honest review.

Over the past few years, I’ve come to love Seanan McGuire’s Wayward Children series fiercely. And thanks to the wonderful people at Tor.com, reading the newest installment a bit ahead of its publication date has become something of a Christmas tradition for me. These novellas are all beautifully written and poignant and full of heavy topics handled with a light but respectful touch. Across the Green Grass Fields is no exception to this rule.

“Girlhood wasn’t destiny unless you wanted it to be, and she had accepted her destiny wholeheartedly. Anything to be normal.”

Read More Read More

Book Review: Tower of Mud and Straw by Yaroslav Barsukov

Book Review: Tower of Mud and Straw by Yaroslav Barsukov


Tower of Mud and Straw by Yaroslav Barsukov
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

I received a galley of this book from the author via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

There’s something about the novella as an art form that is so different from its bookend siblings, the novel and the short story. Not as sharp and snappy as a short story, but without as much room for deep dives into development as novels, it can be a difficult and strangely unwieldy medium, for both author and audience. That being said, novellas can also pack an incredible amount of power into a scant few pages when done correctly. It’s a medium full of both promise and pitfalls. In the case of Tower of Mud and Straw, I think that the promise is that Barsukov himself shows a lot of promise as an author, and the main pitfall is the lack of development that would have deepened the story he penned.

Read More Read More

Audiobook Review: The Original by Brandon Sanderson & Mary Robinette Kowal

Audiobook Review: The Original by Brandon Sanderson & Mary Robinette Kowal

ARC received from the publisher, Recorded Books, in exchange for an honest review.

 

The Original by Brandon Sanderson and Mary Robinette Kowal

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Genre: Science fiction

Published: 14th Sept 2020 by Recorded Books (in collaboration with Mainframe)


The Original is a fascinating yet chilling look into a possible future where a person can be cloned into a replicant used to hunt down his or her ‘original’. This science-fiction collaboration between Brandon Sanderson and Mary Robinette Kowal thoroughly engages and satisfies with its solid characterisation and worldbuilding in a novella spanning just over 3hrs long of audio narration.

Read More Read More

Book Review: Dust & Lightning by Rebecca Crunden

Book Review: Dust & Lightning by Rebecca Crunden

Review copy received from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Dust & Lightning by Rebecca Crunden

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Genre: Science fiction, space adventure, novella

Published: 5th February 2020 (self-published)


Dust & Lightning was an enjoyable science fiction adventure that packed just enough character development and worldbuilding to make the plot work in novella form.

Read More Read More

Book Review: The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water

Book Review: The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water

 

The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water by Zen Cho

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Genre: Fantasy

Published:  23 June 2020 by Tor.com Publishing


Zen Cho is an author whose previous work I have enjoyed a lot, but in all honesty, what first drew my attention to this book was not the author or the title, but the beautiful, captivating illustration done by Sija Hong for the cover. Add in that blurb teasing a found family, wuxia fantasy story involving a nun joining up with a group of bandits in order to protect a sacred object but finding herself in a situation far more complicated than she expected and yes, my tbr mountain found itself one book higher.

Read More Read More

Book Review: Come Tumbling Down (Wayward Children, #5)

Book Review: Come Tumbling Down (Wayward Children, #5)

Come Tumbling Down by Seanan McGuire
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the publisher (Tor.com) in exchange for an honest review.

Seanan McGuire’s Wayward Children novellas have quickly become one of my yearly highlights. I love having them to look forward to. I’ve been eagerly anticipating Come Tumbling Down since I read the final page of In An Absent Dream this past January. While I didn’t adore it as much as I have some of the previous installments, Come Tumbling Down is a fast-paced return adventure spanning two of McGuire’s worlds that I’ve come to love in recent years. It was an action-packed read that had me flying through its pages in one sitting.

“…the fact that I’ve been damaged doesn’t make me broken…”

Read More Read More

Book Review: Down Among the Sticks and Bones (Wayward Children, #2)

Book Review: Down Among the Sticks and Bones (Wayward Children, #2)


Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Some adventures being easily.

It is not hard, after all, to be sucked up by a tornado or pushed through a particularly porous mirror; there is no skill involved in being swept away by a great wave or pulled down a rabbit hole. Some adventures require nothing more than a willing heart and the ability to trip over the cracks in the world.

Other adventures must be committed to before they have even properly begun. How else will they know the worthy from the unworthy, if they do not require a certain amount of effort on the part of the ones who would undertake them? Some adventures are cruel, because it is the only way they know to be kind.

Portal fantasy is among my favorite things, and Seanan McGuire excels at creating new realms. This book was just as good as Every Heart a Doorway, and yet managed to be completely different in tone and the method in which the story was told. This is the story of Jack and Jill, the identical twins from Every Heart a Doorway, before they were cast back through their door and relegated to Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children. The novella can be viewed as a prequel or a standalone story in the same series. It should most certainly be read, because it has much to say in its less-than-two-hundred pages.

Read More Read More

Book Review: Every Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children, #1)

Book Review: Every Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children, #1)


Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

There was still something unfinished around her eyes; she wasn’t done yet. She was a story, not an epilogue.

This was my third time reading this, and I have loved it even more with each rereading. Seanan McGuire created something magical with this novella. I’m not one to judge a book by its cover, but that’s exactly what attracted me to this book in 2016. A random door in the middle of a forest is the stuff of daydreams, and I had to see if the story inside was as captivating as the cover. It was. Everyone who has every felt like they didn’t fit in should read this book. It’s a love letter to dreamers and outcasts, and a declaration that everyone should have the freedom to be exactly who they are, without worrying about the disapproval of others.

Read More Read More

The Emperor’s Soul

The Emperor’s Soul

(I read this in Arcanum Unbounded: The Cosmere Collection)

The Emperor’s Soul by Brandon Sanderson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Absolutely incredible novella. Apparently, 105 pages are sufficient for Sanderson to craft a fantastic story with a strong beginning, wonderful characterizations, memorable climax scene, and a satisfying conclusion. The Emperor’s Soul has become my favorite novella of all time; it has qualities that surpassed a lot of other fantasy novels I’ve read.

I won’t go into any details on what the plot is, it’s only 100 pages long, try to jump into this story without knowing anything about it as I did. The plot dances upon several themes such as the nature of humanity and what truly defines art. There was a lot of beautiful philosophical contemplation to be found here and the novella was utterly well-paced. The Emperor’s Soul doesn’t waste any time getting into the plot; there’s no info dump, the magic system and world building were introduced gradually together with the plot and character development. Have I mentioned that the main character Wan ShaiLu (or Shai in short) is a lovable and intelligent heroine?

“There was rarely an obvious branching point in a person’s life. People changed slowly, over time. You didn’t take on step, then find yourself in a completely new location. You first took a little step off a path to avoid some rocks. For a while, you walked alongside the path, but then you wandered out a little way to step on softer soil. Then you stopped paying attention as you drifted farther and farther away. Finally, you found yourself in the wrong city, wondering why the signs on the roadway hadn’t led you better.”

Read More Read More

One Word Kill (Impossible Times, #1)

One Word Kill (Impossible Times, #1)

One Word Kill by Mark Lawrence
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

One Word Kill is my first experience with Lawrence’s science fiction and, while it didn’t resonate with my soul as deeply as his Book of the Ancestor, it was a solid, fun, fast-paced read that I very much enjoyed. Here we have a nerdy group of friends, similar in dynamic to the crew that has taken the world by storm in Netflix’s Stranger Things. This group finds themselves facing external strife through contact with a plot that could have come straight from the pages of Blake Crouch’s Dark Matter. But just as harrowing is their internal turmoil as they learn that one of their number is currently in a battle for his life against the grimmest of foes: cancer.

In hospital they ask you to rate your discomfort on a scale of ten. I guess it’s the best they can come up with, but it fails to capture the nature of the beast. Pain can stay the same while you change around it. And, like a thumb of constant size, what it blocks out depends on how close it gets to you. At arm’s length a thumb obscures a small fragment of the day. Held close enough to your eye it can blind you to everything that matters, relegating the world to a periphery.

Read More Read More

%d bloggers like this: