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Archive for the ‘2016 Hugo Award eligible’ Category

Hidden Huntress by Danielle L. Jensen & The Rose Society by Marie Lu

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Hidden Huntress (The Malediction Trilogy, #2)Hidden Huntress by Danielle L. Jensen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Cécile, free from Trollus now lives with her mother in Trianon. She’s living her dream of singing in the opera, even though her mother is not at all the kind woman she thought. But Tristan is still imprisoned and tortured in Trollus and Cécile would do anything to save him. Including swear an oath to the Troll King that she will find Anushka, the witch who cursed the trolls.

While Cécile searches in vain and struggles with her mother’s strange cruelties, Tristan faces a harsh awakening as he tries to help fix problems he had a hand in creating, all the while trying to stay alive.

This book is about betrayals and impostors and the terrible, terrible things family will do. It’s also about integrity and cleverness and sacrifice. I quite like this series and am really looking forward to more.

(Why is this book 4 stars instead of 5? There were obvious clues that I felt were ignored by characters in a way that seemed contrived to draw out the secret.)

See review of Book #1 in this series Stolen Songbird.


The Rose Society (The Young Elites, #2)The Rose Society by Marie Lu

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I remain fascinated with this series and with Adelina. She can’t fully control her powers and she loses more control after she kills. I’m not sure how I feel about “the voices.” I can’t decide if the author is suggesting mental illness or if this somehow ties to [redacted]. (For spoilers please see my full review on Goodreads.)

Violetta also fascinates me. She is loyal to her sister, but she is aware of Adelina’s loss of control. I particularly liked how that played out at the ending of this book.

Teren is also a fascinating character, with his self-hatred and how he wants to kill all malfettos, except for the one’s he considers useful to his cause. His relationship with Giulietta is fascinating, too, in a creepy sort of way.

This series captures me in an emotional and intellectual way. I highly recommend it.

See review of Book #1 in this series The Young Elites.

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Written by tldegray

February 11, 2016 at 9:30 am

Dark Orbit by Carolyn Ives Gilman & Planetfall by Emma Newman

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Dark OrbitDark Orbit by Carolyn Ives Gilman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I expected this book to be a story about scientific space exploration, maybe about alien contact. What I got was an enthralling book about time and travel and possibly time travel. This book always had me pausing to think about the idea it was currently presenting. I fell into it and didn’t climb out until I was finished.

PlanetfallPlanetfall by Emma Newman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Enthralling and intriguing. It’s a story about colonizing a new planet, sustainable living, grief, desperation, mental illness, and the nature of humanity, aliens, and gods.

I was absorbed by this book. All of the clues were there, but it was so subtle that I didn’t quite pick up on it–I kept denying it to myself.

This book was wonderful.

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Written by tldegray

February 10, 2016 at 9:30 am

The Core of the Sun by Johanna Sinisalo

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The Core of the SunThe Core of the Sun by Johanna Sinisalo

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So this is “Finnish weird,” huh? I like it and I want more, especially from Johanna Sinisalo.

This book is… well, it’s a suspenseful mystery set in a horrifying and plausible dystopian now with some magical realism woven between it all.

Vanna is an addict. A chile addict. In Finland in 2016 chiles, along with other dangerous and addictive substances like alcohol and drugs, are banned. Vanna is also a “morlock”–a woman who doesn’t meet societal standards and isn’t allowed to breed–except Vanna is also an “eloi,” or at least she was raised pretending to be one. Her sister, Manna, is an eloi, the type of “femiwoman” Finland has been selectively breeding for for generations. Vanna is also Vera, and Manna is Mira, because soft elois can’t have hard Rs in their names. Rs and other special things–like independence and nearly Stepford-like wives–are saved for mascos.

This story is told with letters Vanna/Vera writes to Manna/Mira, which tells their life stories from the beginning when their parents died and they moved to Finland to live with their only relative to the end where Vanna finds out what happened to her missing sister; in excerpts from fictional (and occasionally real!) books and articles about the history of Finland, which explain the history and realities of modern Finland; and through Vanna (and occasionally her masco friend Jare’s) present-day actions from Vanna’s chile highs and confused grief to Jare’s future plans and their shared chile-dealing business with a bit of capsaicin-spirituality over and above it all.

I loved this book. I was shocked by Vanna, I pitied her, her sister, and everyone trapped as they were, I was frightened by the very plausible history of Finnish society the author created, and I was always, always entertained. Also, I really want some spicy peppers now, but Vanna can keep the core of the sun for herself.

[I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.]

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Written by tldegray

January 14, 2016 at 6:55 pm