One day, I will publish these on the last day of the month, but it is not this month. And it won’t be next month either (because New Year’s Eve). But I discovered a few new favorites and the foray into audiobooks continues.
Finished in November
What I Learned: Putting the Science in Science Fiction
Read as an eARC received from NetGalley 2018. Came out November 2018. Kang is a medical professional and the science in this science fiction feels all too realistic. All the ways the ship worked fit together with things I vaguely recollect from my undergraduate studies. It makes the story so immersive.
The Traitor Baru Cormorant
What I Learned: A Different Side of War
In many fantasies I’ve read, the focus seems to be on big battles, epic heroes, rampant magic, and fierce sword play. The focus here, however, is the bureaucracy in the background. And if you thought a rebellion worked by math and accounting wouldn’t be exciting, Dickinson packs this book to the brim with betrayals and intrigue. A page-turner from start to finish.
Read Cover-to-Cover in November
Devilman: The Classic Collection Volume 1
What I Learned: Adaptations That Work
The Netflix show Devilman: Crybaby has climbed the list to being one of my favorite anime of all time. The original text, Devilman, had been on my to-read list ever since and the influence on almost all others of my favorite anime are all there. The changes the anime made to the manga really work because, well, the manga goes in unexpected places no one warned me about.
The Light Between Worlds
What I Learned: Post-Narnia Stories Are My Favorite
After having read the Wayward Children series by Seanan McGuire, stories about the aftermath of returning from a portal fantasy really struck my interest. The way Weymouth chooses to explore this return through the lens of depression has stayed with me. I just wanted both the sisters to be happy and the book provides no easy answers and it hurt in all the best ways.
A Line in the Dark
What I Learned: Delivering on the Premise Far Too Late into the Story
While I greatly enjoyed the characters and their relationships, the edgy experience suggested by the cover and back cover copy came at around the 60% mark. This pacing, ultimately, did not work for me. The mystery started too late and there was too much time spent on things that served as character development and not much more.
Beasts Made of Night
What I Learned: Vignetting to World Build
The plot to this book does not follow any kind of flow until maybe the last 20%. The rest of it is told in these vignettes and stories building up Taj’s journey and the world of Kos. It really worked for me because understanding how the sin eaters work is so integral to the true meat of the story. And the narration was just enthralling.
Her Body and Other Parties
What I Learned: Making the Familiar Terrifying
Surreal speculative fiction at its finest with this collection from Carmen Maria Machado. Many of the experiences outlined in the novel have a sense of familiar, but it’s the specificity of the vocabulary added the punch. Like, something as brief as episode descriptions for invented Law & Order episodes tell of something thoroughly unsettling in a small space and I want more of it.
In December, I’m taking a bit of a Twitter break to take care of myself and do some introspection about end of the year. I hit my reading goal, but I need to re-evaluate everything else.