Year Zero by Rob Reid was published in 2012 and is a fun, satirical SF book
about the music industry. While I’ve seen a few comparisons to Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, I
think that really doesn’t stack up, as Year
Zero really aims to tap into musical nostalgia of the late 1970s and 1980s.
Think something more along the lines of a combination of John Scalzi’s Agent to the Stars and Cline’s Ready Player One with music.
The ultimate premise is rather goofy where a galactic society of
advanced alien species discover the music of Earth, becomes crazy addicted to
it, and incurs unimaginable debt to humanity due to piracy and copyright laws
in the music industry. Reid actually pulls it off with an appropriate amount of
humor and just enough reality to keep things grounded.
And of course it is full of nostalgia with music references
But, Year Zero is also a
satire where humor doesn’t always distract from the acrid bitterness of Reid
himself. Reid has a long history in the real world in technology and music,
where he was essentially the founder of the first musical streaming company –
Rhapsody. From this point of view, the bitterness and anger of Reid’s
experience as a tech entrepreneur somewhere between the rampant piracy of the
Napster era and the mega music corporations and their legal teams.
I keep saying bitterness because it literally drips from this book.
I think it’s safe to say that Reid holds true contempt for lawyers and executives
of the music industry and the politicians that they own(ed). I really hope that
writing this book was therapeutic for Reid and that he has managed to move past
all this, because man…the bitterness. Note: judging from the bio of Reid on
his webpage and the description of his latest SFF novel, After On, the therapy of writing is an ongoing project.
Anyway, there is just enough humor and nostalgia keeping the
bitterness from taking over the book. It’s fun and gets in a few really great
shots (such as the Bill Gates cameo), and some really fantastic music
So…looking for satirical science fiction full of musical
nostalgia? This book is absolutely for you. And it’s pretty fun for the rest of
Agent to the Stars by John Scalzi: Amazon
I am a child of the 1980s and 1990s, and like many, the first
movie I remember seeing is Star Wars: A
New Hope. I was that kid wore my VHS copies of those movies out, I played Star Wars with my friends, I had action
figures, I had Empire Strikes Back sheets
on my bed, etc. Later in life I read all the books in the Extended Universe
(through the whole Yuuzhan Vong thing) and somewhat tolerated Lucas’ shenanigans
with updating movies and the whole prequel thing.
But I had largely given up on Star
Wars. Part of it was age and simply moving on in life. Part of it was
realizing that all that came after just couldn’t live up to the magic of
original. But then something unexpected happened: my children started watching Star Wars and loving it. Suddenly I was
experiencing the wonder of Star Wars
through them – yes, even the prequels are wondrous to young kids. We’ve watched
the Clone Wars together and Star Wars Rebels, and my oldest and I
went to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens
together. That was it, that was when I decided that Star Wars was back for me – in part because I wanted to support my
kids’ love of it, but a large part was that it reawakened that wonder for me as
Of course life now is a lot crazier for me, so it’s a slow
process, but I have copies of audiobooks for several of the new canon Star Wars books and I started listening
to the Star Wars Aftermath Trilogy by Chuck Wendig.
First, I have to comment on the production of the audiobooks,
because it really impacts how I reacted to these. It is terrible in all the
worst ways of audiobooks. The voice acting narration by Marc Thompson is so
overdone that it’s nauseating and then they top that off with sound effects and
alien language, making the whole experience rather horrible. I barely made it
through the first chapter before stopping and swearing I couldn’t continue
because the production was just that awful. But Star Wars and all that…so I gave it another shot.
I learned to tolerate the production. That was the best I could
do. Sometimes I simply rolled my eyes at it, and sometimes I had to take long
breaks because it is really bad.
All this is very unfortunate, because I know that it influences
what I feel about the content of the stories. I can’t help but wonder how much
more enjoyable I would have found them if I read the books rather than listened
to the audio. But I can’t get that back, just know that my opinions of the
stories are heavily influenced by audio and not in a good way.
Basically, the books play out with a major imperial remnant in the
Outer Rim gathering its power and other remnants for a final confrontation with
the New Republic. Through this we see the liberation of a few planets, we see
the fledgling republic forming up its government, and we see old favorites like
Wedge, Han and Leia. We see that Palpatine had plans for the eventuality of his
death and how those come to shape, and we see a few very big battles. And
through all of the imperial happenings, a strong sense of mystery is present. I
believe that we get many hints of what is to come and how things shape up for
new movies we are getting now. We see some of the origin for the First Order
and maybe even the Knights of Ren. We see a lot of unrelated interludes that
don’t add anything to the actual events of the trilogy, but seem to setting
Easter Eggs for fans to feast upon. We notably do not get any hints of Luke
Skywalker and what he’s up to.
And of course Aftermath
introduces us to a new group of characters through which we see the end of the
imperial remnants after the events at Endor. My first reaction is that I found
it a bit hard to really become very emotionally invested in any of them – would
I have cared if they didn’t survive? I chalk this up mainly to the audio
production that I mention above. How can one become invested with such horribly
over-read dialogue and annoying sound effects?
Norra is a character that was always hit or miss with me through
the trilogy, Temmin is mostly an annoying teenager, but its overall a good
origin story for him and I hope we see something focused on him in the future. Mister
Bones is genuinely amusing and perhaps the one place where sound effects weren’t
absolutely horrible. Sinjir and Jas really steal the trilogy as the most
interesting pair – the way their friendship develops and plays off of each
other was by far my favorite parts of these stories.
I guess there is some controversy over the books among the insecure
Dudebros of the world and their objection to having a diversity of sexual
identity for the characters in these stories. I have zero sympathy for that
position and I’m very happy to see Star
Wars start to take its problematic misogyny, xenophobia, and shocking lack
of diversity for such a vast creation more seriously. The new movies take
things further, though there still remains a long, long way to go – hopefully the
movies can finally man-up with a nice LGBTQ star and relationship.
Overall, I enjoyed the further exploration of the Star Wars journey through this trilogy
as I loathed the audio production of it. In terms that I deal with, I would
place Aftermath as pretty decent
quality in relation to old Expanded Universe – better than a lot of it, but not
as good as the best of it.
I do plan to continue exploring the books of the new canon as I
have audio copies of several. I’m currently listening the audiobook of Bloodline by Claudia Gray and I plan on
either Thrawn or Ahsoka next. The audio production Bloodline is much better if still annoying at times. The audio
narration is orders of magnitude better, the sound effects are still there to
drag things down. So I think that this production will be less of a barrier as
Wars Aftermath Trilogy
Star Wars Books I Mention
By day I am a mild-mannered engineering geologist and by night I
read fantasy and science fiction once the rest of the house has gone to bed. So…the
word geomancer is the only part of the description of Breath of Earth by Beth Cato that matters. Once I read that word I
knew that I had to read this book. I was not disappointed.
Blah Blah Blah. Yeah, I’m a geologist and this isn’t the first
time I’ve written a review where that is the lens through which I (at least
initially) view a book and focus my review. Magic derived from the energy of
the earth, specifically in the form of the earthquakes – sign me up. Set in San
Francisco at the time of the infamous 1906 earthquake – keep it coming. Throw
is a provocative look at the society of the time, a view not from the ‘winners’
of society, but from those that the winners oppress – excellent.
I have read (and reviewed) The
Clockwork Dagger by Cato and it can clearly be seen that Breath of Earth is its decedent. ‘Victorian-type/regency’
society with a young woman on the outside, a bit naïve to the world and thrown
into a serious situation. Plus, a dashing young man who both saves the day (and
is saved by her) complicating things. A woman who struggles to break the chains
society has placed on her. A woman who awakens to her own power within. I
enjoyed The Clockwork Dagger, and Breath of Earth takes that solid
foundation and improves it, adds experience, and has geomancers (hey, I would
never claim objectivity in a review).
How does the geology stand up? Frankly, it doesn’t matter. It’s
not gotten into. The alternative world that Cato creates is one where most of
the myths of origin of nature are true to some degree. There are magical
creatures in the world – unicorns, selkies, etc. There are giant magical beasts
that live in the earth where earthquakes happen. And a select few people have
magical powers of various sorts. As a fan of fantasy, as a fan of myth, as
someone who has a great curiosity of other cultures and how they came about, I
found Cato’s approach to be wonderfully creative and simply a lot of fun. And
there are geomancers.
Another fun aspect of Cato’s alternative world is her rewriting of
political powers. It is a world of great superpowers, often at war with each
other, in various states of conquest and rivalry. Wars are cold, hot, and just
waiting to happen. Geomancers play their role, so do other magical people, dirigibles
and other ‘steampunk’ engines of war. The US is aligned with Japan, currently
bent on destroying China, the British have an empire focusing on the conquest
of India, the Russians are out there and others. Being set in San Francisco,
the main players are the Chinese, Japanese, and Americans in this (partial) exploration
of some dirtier realities of actual history.
So, whether you are looking for a super-powered woman of color
coming finding her power and kicking ass, a bit of a Victorian/regency Romance, an
interesting alternative history of San Francisco, or the awesomeness of
geomancer, I strongly recommend Breath of
Earth. And I am very much looking forward to the sequel – Call of Fire. Bring on more geomancers!
Call of Fire: Amazon (Will be released in August)
This post is something that
I’ve always resisted: a single post with a bunch of short reviews in it. Some
of these were read nearly a year ago and it’s just time to pass by. I think the
main reason that they have languished is that I don’t have that much to say
beyond things like ‘I enjoyed them’ and ‘others have said a lot about this book
and I don’t have much to add’.
So…enjoy my brief thought
on a wide range of books I’ve read lately.
The Immortals (Book One of the Olympus Bound series) is a fun urban
fantasy based on the idea of Greek Gods still hanging around, if a bit reduced
in power, and being up to no good. I enjoyed it. It’s tempting to say something
along the lines of Percy Jackson for adults, which is horribly cliché, but not
entirely a mischaracterization either. I’m tempted to pass it along to my
friend who is a bit of a Greek Classicist. I imagine that I will read the
sequel, Winter of the Gods, at some
The Grace of Kings is the
first book in the epic fantasy series: The Dandelion Dynasty. I very much
enjoyed this Asian-inspired fantasy epic and I encourage you to look up much of
the more in-depth commentary out there about this book and its sequel. Good
stuff and I look forward to reading the rest of the series.
I read the first book in the
Percy Jackson and the Olympians series
at the same time as my son. I think it is a very fun book and I enjoyed it a
lot. I look forward to reading the rest of the series with him (though he’s
buried himself in Harry Potter for the moment). We recommend the book to a
friend who is a philosopher and a bit of a Greek classicist and she and her 3
boys devoured them and then started an Ancient Greece Club at school. Which I
think is a pretty positive endorsement.
Percy Jackson and the Olympians
The Battle of the Labyrinth: Amazon
A bit of an urban fantasy
about a dragon in human form, living on the fringes of modern society. The book
was fun, though there was a bit too much of the ‘maiden in distress’ who needs
a man to rescue her going on. Some troubling ideas about possessive
relationships as well – if it was trying to be subversive, it didn’t work well.
The book was good enough to finish, but I’m reluctant to recommend it.
This is a mythic fiction
book about an American musician who travels to Ireland and gets caught up with remnants
of the fay. Very much in the style of Charles de Lint in the way it integrates
music into the modern world and impacts from the ancient world. Basically I
found it to be a very pale imitation of de Lint's work. The music parts of the
book felt like a plot device rather than the underlying binding of the book –
it lacked any real emotional connection.
I picked this up since it’s
been so highly regarded around the web. I can certainly say that I enjoyed it
and look forward to its sequels, though I expected to enjoy it more based on
the opinions I’ve seen about it, which left slightly disappoint. I did pass the
book on to my wife who really enjoyed it, and she quickly moved on to the second
book and is not reading the third. Anyway, there’s a lot out there that’s been
written about this series (and how it’s coming going to be adapted as TV show),
so search it out.
A Darker Shade of Magic: Amazon
A Gathering of Shadows: Amazon
This is a YA level book
about a young woman coming of age in a world of gods and societies living in
giant trees. I gave up about half-way through the book. It didn’t really
connect, the main character was more annoying than anything, and I simply got
bored. So, a did-not-finish (DNF) for me.
The Last Adventure of
Constance Verity by A. Lee Martinez is an
outrageous series adventures and take on the life of a superhero. These
adventures, with seemingly no real rhyme or reason or even a sense of logical
design through in everything and the kitchen sink – if kitchen sink is an evil
cyborg alien musical pirate magician and maybe Yakuza enforcer as well, or just
Verity’s grade school teacher. Every ridiculous form of an ‘evil antagonist’ is
possible, likely, and quite possibly combined in some improbable match with
another to make things more interesting and humorous.
Constance Verity is said superhero – magically endowed at birth to
have adventures, she’s good at them and repeatedly saves the world. But…she’s
tired, and it becomes almost a buddy adventure when Connie teams up with her
(mundane) best-friend for her ‘last adventure’.
But, through all of the wild, over-the-top fun of this book, I
couldn’t help but begin viewing it a metaphor for women in modern American
society. Perhaps I’m reading into this book too much, but stay with me for bit.
The entire universe is literally throwing ‘adventure’ after ‘adventure’ at
Constance Verity. She can’t get a cup of coffee without some Yakuza ninja
enforcer getting in the way. Or maybe a lizard alien magician. Etc. She never
gets a break. The universe is literally a machine designed to make sure she has
no close attachments, distractions or anything else in her life that could keep
her from doing what it want her to do. She’s exhausted, she’s tired. She just
wants a ‘normal’ life and some rest. She was literally cursed to this life this
by a sadistic fairy godmother working on behalf of the machine of the universe.
Hell, the book opens with us learning that the earth is nothing more than a
giant monster that a cult wants to feed Constance Verity to as a sacrifice of
appeasement. Yes, the whole world is literally out to eat her.
Then I take a look at my wife, all the shit life has thrown at her
lately. All the responsibilities that the machine of society throws on her. All
of the asshole men of the world who make it that much harder. The impossible
expectations that society forces up on her. To not be too assertive, but not be timid. Too appear how society views is appropriate, but not to be too much. Etc. Etc. How completely beat down she can
get by it all. How she so often just wants to give up on all of it. And how she
gets out of bed the next morning (after not getting enough sleep since sometime
in the ‘90s), and saves the world…again.
Once I captured this vision of The
Last Adventure of Constance Verity, I couldn’t see it any other way. It
transformed the outrageous, fun adventure into something more – bitter, angry,
and intensely sarcastic satire. Which is right where my warped sense of humor
Further, take a moment to think about what the name Constance
Constance: Firm of purpose, constant
And then my sense of humor kicks in and I laugh for 5 minutes.
Look, I don’t know Martinez and from what I gleaned from a quick
bit of reading blog posts and the like, Constance Verity gets its origins more
from superhero lore with a good bit of discussion of free will, determinism,
and agency in life. Plus you know, fun, humorous, and completely over-the-top
adventure. It doesn’t look like Martinez set out to write a dark, satirical
feminist manifesto about women ‘having it all’. And I’m sure with a close look
the metaphor would probably break down in some troubling ways. It for sure
breaks down toward the end of the book – a happy ending plus some nice balance
in life achieved? That only exists in Hollywood, self-help books, and mommy
blogs. But I simply cannot un-see my view of the book, and I think it’s better
So…most readers will joyously take The Last Adventure of Constance Verity at face value – and more
power to them, because it is completely ridiculous in all the best ways. You
can feel the fun that Martinez had in writing it, and that fun is contagious. Or
maybe you’ll see it through a similar lens as I do and your own sense of humor
will allow for a different level of amusement. Or maybe something entirely
different. But do read this book, because however you choose to filter it, it’s
outrageously fantastic. Oh...and my understanding is that this was not actually Verity's last adventure and more are to come with Constance Verity Saves the World expected in 2018.
The Last Adventure of Constance Verity: Amazon
Constance Verity Saves the World: Amazon
John Scalzi begins a new space opera with The Collapsing Empire which is sure to please fans of science
fiction. In short it is fun, fast-paced and very accessible. Or…just the book I
was needing to read when I read it.
The set-up is a 1000+ year old empire spanning multiple space
systems that utilize a sort of parallel energy called the flow to travel
between systems where standard travel would never be possible because of the
true distance between stars. The empire has been intentionally designed to be
interdependent, where no single system will have the ability to survive
independently of the others. A few individuals learn that the flow that ‘connects’
systems is about to shift over a period of only a few years, fragmenting
humanity into isolated worlds that are doomed to tragic ends.
Along the way we learn that the entire socioeconomic structure of the
empire with its monopolistic guilds, strict societal class delineations, and dynastic
rule is all just a con job to further enrich the powerful and keep the masses
just content enough to not cause too much trouble. In an entrenched, bureaucratic
society the will to actually meet an existential threat simply doesn’t exist,
and often the will to even acknowledge the possibility that such a threat could
be real is lacking.
The Collapsing Empire largely serves as an introduction to the empire, to the physics
of Scalzi’s created universe, and to the characters who personalize the story.
In this, there is a lot of exposition, but not so much that I was ever bothered
by it. Scalzi writes with a brisk pace and a slight irreverence that sets a
nicely balanced tone for the book (and presumably the rest of the series).
Humor is a big part of it, but it’s more a sense of levity in the face of what’s
to come that drives the story. The end result is that things feel more hopeful
than anything, making the story fun to read, even in the face disastrous
consequence for humanity. And through all the levity, Scalzi still manages to
set the stage well for an empire that has stagnated or even regressed, where innovation
and flexibility is stifled by tradition and economic interest in the status quo.
It is often said that Scazli writes some of the most accessible
science fiction, and I certainly agree. Concepts are not that difficult for
someone on the outside of the science fiction world to enjoy, yet they are
thought through enough to satisfy (most of) those who are long-time fans. It’s full
of high adventure and fun with consequences that matter to story.
For all of this to be successful, it comes down to the people of
the story, and Scalzi excels in this. Three main characters are built up as the
protagonists of The Collapsing Empire
– the newly ascended Emperor, the scientist son of the researcher who
discovered the impending collapse of the flow, and familial representative of
one of the largest trade guilds. Or the inexperienced political outsider who
unexpected ascends to the most powerful role in the galaxy, the naïve young
scientist from a remote backwater, and hard-edged and exquisitely foul-mouthed
business person who doesn’t take shit from anyone. Even the antagonists of the
story are somewhat likable as they are really more self-interested in the extreme
than actually evil – cutthroat is perhaps the better term.
The two most powerful characters in the story are women – and I
could probably write an entire review just on Kiva, the foul-mouthed trade
representative mentioned above. She steals every single scene she is in, and is
only briefly upstaged when we meet her mother. It’s choices like this that help
make Scalzi’s writing so accessible, or to put another way, consistent with
modern sensibilities as it projects some progressive advances for a far-future
civilization (contrasted with the stagnation discussed above). For example, sexual
identity and gender are subtly shown to be accepted for what they are and
normative for the society. And it really is important when a popular science
fiction novel that will likely land itself on multiple best-seller list makes
Given what I’ve said above, as I close out this review, I really
feel the need to emphasize something about this novel: FUN. It is fun to read.
Scalzi’s humorous, fast-paced, and slightly irreverent writing takes over this
book. I raced through this book, finishing in a just a few days, at a time when
I typically take a few weeks to read a book. Call it escapism or just simply
fun readying, The Collapsing Empire
delivers. But damn it, a cliff-hanger* ending? That’s not cool, because I want
the sequel now!
*Cleverly, the cliff-hanger moment is more intellectual and not
action-based. Which is a nice bit, though not really solace when I want to read
the sequel now.
I love books, which really isn’t much of a surprise coming from
someone who has a blog about books. So, it’s not much of a stretch for me to
love libraries too – after all, they are huge collections of books, and I do
have my daydreams of one day having a perfectly snobbish private library for all
of my books, but I digress.
So…fantasy stories about libraries…I’m rather predisposed to
liking them. The Invisible Library by
Genevieve Cogman is just that, a fantasy adventure centered on a great library
where librarians have magical powers that they use to cross between worlds to
collect books. Yes, there’s a greater struggle across all the worlds between
order and chaos, full of fantastical beings that fall on various ends of that
spectrum – chaotic fae, orderly dragons, etc. But it all comes back to magical
librarian doesn’t it?
The story is pretty basic…a mid-level librarian is assigned a new
apprentice and a new task that should be pretty straight-forward. Collect a
book in a mildly chaotic world and bring it back. Of course it turns out to be
more complicated, of greater importance and way more dangerous than
anticipated. There are mixed loyalties, betrayals, mysterious origins and all
that jazz. Even a nice hum of romantic tension is thrown about as it mingles
with Victorian-style propriety and modern ideas of sexual freedom.
This is Cogman’s debut book, and it sometimes reads as such with a
bit too much exposition and pacing difficulties. But then I can forgive pacing
issues when librarians are the stars – how many librarians have you known have
a tendency to go off on a tangent right in the middle of the search for that
I quite enjoyed The
Invisible Library and heartily recommend it for a bit of bookishly fun
diversion. I haven’t yet made it to the sequels, though the beckon from the
shelves of my want-to-be library.
Tad Williams returns to the world of Osten Ard after 20+ years in The Heart of What Was Lost. In part,
this short novel serves as a reintroduction of Osten Ard in advance of the
forthcoming trilogy: The Last King of
Osten Ard. But more than a simple reintroduction, I found The Heart of What Was Lost to be a very
meta coda to the Memory, Sorrow, and
Thorn series – a response coming 20 years later, in part admitting the
shortcomings of the previous series and state of epic fantasy fiction of the
times, a message of leadership and the future for today, and what I suspect is
a tease of changes to come in The Last
King of Osten Ard.
The Heart of What Was Lost is set in the aftermath of the events that end the Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn series, and
feature dueling perspectives of a human army pursuing the remnant forces of the
Norns with intent to eradicate them and that of the Norns themselves. One of
the strongest aspects of the Memory,
Sorrow, and Thorn series was its portrayal of the horrors of war, rather
than the traditional glorification often seen in fantasy (or at least fantasy
of the 1980s and 1990s). This is the core of The Heart of What Was Lost as the army of the Northmen seeks
genocide in vengeance to the horrors the Norns brought upon people and the
world. This is balanced by the perspective of the Norns fleeing, only thinking
of the survival of their race and doing everything they can to achieve that
The Heart of What Was Lost is the story of two leaders of their people, how they fight to
survive, and ultimately, the sacrifices they will make. One leader serves as
the heart of their people, the other people have lost their heart and are
seemingly directionless in their efforts to survive. Both are forced to look at
the traditions of the past and confront what the future can be. Are the
traditions and actions of the past going to bring about a future they can be
While it’s not the focus, the weight and responsibility of
leadership is on full display. True leadership is not an act of the
selfishness, but one of sacrifice. Leadership is about the people and the
future, it doesn’t relish in the past, and it makes the hard choice. In The Heart of What Was Lost, the balance
of life, death and survival brings focus and immediacy to it all. Can the leaders
do what is needed?
A third perspective is brought in, not only as a balance, but to give
those of us who aren’t leaders something we can directly relate to. An
everyman, a plain soldier far from home. This third point of view isn’t a
portrayal of grand sacrifice or such, but this is basic survival. In the
survival rivalries of the past and home are discarded as unimportant, basic friendship
is the mean to survival, and continuing when death arrives. Of course there’s
plenty of ‘war sucks’ to all this, but the way things end is tear-jerking
tragedy. The journeys of The Heart of
What Was Lost feel like interwoven Greek Tragedies, but none more than that
of our every soldier. And the tragic end, is also the challenge that Williams
sets for us all. For the sacrifice of leadership is not enough. The every person
must step as well, and it isn’t easy. For the sake of the future, you may be
asked to cut off the head of the reanimated corpse of your only friend. Over
dramatic? When I look at the world around me today, I think not (but I sure
wish it was).
For all of the powerful ideas on display in The Heart of What Was, I must admit that it took me time to really
get into the book, even though it’s a relatively short novel. I think that this
is in part due to it being over 10 years since I read the books in the Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn trilogy, so
while I don’t think it’s needed to be familiar with those books, a lack of
familiarity may make it a bit more difficult to connect with the story initially.
Though I also believe that bleak, dark, horrors of war basis was also a barrier
for me as it’s just not the sort of story I gravitate toward right now.
However, as indicated by my thoughts above, perseverance is rewarded.
At the top I mentioned some of the meta feeling I got from The Heart of What Was Lost. Yes, much of
this is routed in a message of fighting for the future that resonates with me
right now. But it’s more – let’s be honest, some of the world and society in Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn feels dated
in the context of the epic fantasy being written today. So, how does one deal
with that dated feeling that is so obvious in a sequel? Most obvious is that The Heart of What Was Lost is man’s
story – men are everywhere, with only a couple of token women. It’s striking
and it was one of the barriers to me getting into the story. But in the end,
Williams acknowledges this shortcoming, and further mocks the concept of ‘women
and children’ not standing up for themselves. My hope is that this is his way
of clearing the page for changes to come in the forthcoming trilogy.
In short, after a slow start, I very much enjoyed The Heart of What Was Lost. In spite of
a few shortcomings, it resonates deeply with what I see in the world around me.
It encourages and shows of view of hope, hope that we’ll need to fight for.
of Osten Ard:
The Heart of What Was Lost (Amazon)
The Last King of Osten Ard
The Witchwood Crown (Amazon, coming June 2017)
Empire of Grass (forthcoming)
The Navigator’s Children (forthcoming)
*These reviews were written near the beginning of this blogging adventure,
and I like to believe that I’ve gotten a lot better through the years. So,
enjoy these ‘early years’ reviews.
for Some Personal Indulgence
Feel free to ignore the following as it’s more about me than The Heart of What Was Lost….
The Heart of What Was Lost brought about another reaction in me that I feel like writing
about, even though I suspect it matters to very few. It brought back a passion
for reviewing. It’s no secret that I review far less these days than I once
did, and the vast majority of the few reviews I do put up are ‘Mini-Reviews’
that say little more than ‘I liked this book, you should read it’. It’s rare
for me to really dive in, fully review a book, and explore my response to it.
Reality is that this is likely more of a one-off than a trend.
Life keeps landing punch after punch these days, meaning I don’t have the time
or emotional capacity for much deep reviewing. And the backlog of reviews I
still plan to write shows that even the short, basic reviews will come at a
rather slow pace. But, it was nice to be reminded that I do have ideas that I
want to share, that I feel I can add to the conversation about a book beyond ‘read
it, it was good’. And that is another reason why I really enjoyed The Heart of What Was Lost.
I could go on about ‘The Heart of What Was Lost in Reviewing’, but
that level of wankery really isn’t necessary J