walkitout (walkitout) wrote,

Weber, Jemisin reviews

_A Rising Thunder_, David Weber's latest Honor Harrington novel, is the 13th book in the main series. The first one -- _On Basilisk Station_ -- came out in 1993, which means I've been reading these books for slightly less than half of my lifetime. When I first started reading them, I was looking for more science fiction ideally written by female authors, but, at a minimum, with strong female characters by which I meant goes-out-and-commits-mostly-appropriate-violence-with-gusto-with-a-strong-moral-core/integrity. I'm still reading, for basically the same reasons.

According to the wikipedia entry for this latest entry, it ran long and was split in the middle, with the second half (possibly _Shadow of Freedom_) lacking a release date, at least in the rumorverse I have access to.

As I note with many series books I read, this isn't a good one to drop in on. It _might_ work as a standalone novel, but I frequently wish I'd reread some of the earlier (and ancillary!) books to refresh my memory of the characters when a new one comes out so I have my doubts.

The action in this entry largely pursues implications of Haven and Manticore discovering the shenanigans of Mesa/The Mesan Alignment and the Solarian League starting to creakily implode. As long-time enemies, Haven and Manticore have lots in common. As long-time friends, Beowulf has more in common with Manticore than the Solarian League. And everyone who believes in the threat of the nano-tech zombie thingie is quite happy to turn on a dime to address The Real Danger.

Conspiracy plots are always a little tricky, but if you've made it this far in the series, you really have no excuse for complaining about them at this point, amirite? Have fun; I always do.

_The Broken Kingdoms_ is the second book in the Inheritance Trilogy by N. K. Jemisin and, as one of my kind readers pointed out, is not a let down. No it is not. Wow. Blind painter's dad is

HEY! If you are here from google, I believe in SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS RUN AWAY ARGH!

stoned on that fateful day when Yeine died/sort of ascended (not Jemisin's terminology but sort of hard not to adopt) to fill the goddess-hood formerly occupied by Enefra. Ten years later, Oree is in Shadow (that city below Sky) and pulls a man she eventually names Shiny out of the muck. Shiny's a lot weird: he dies frequently, but always resurrects and he glows every morning at dawn. And when he defends mortals, he acquires a shit-load of powers. Guess who Shiny is. Yes, and he's every bit as much of a jackass as we all suspected, which is tough thing to depict and, stupendously, Oree is genuinely appealing without becoming an idiot, a cartoon, or a tool, even as she continues to protect? Help? Try to befriend? Shiny. Oree's motives are consistently unpredictable without feeling contrived.

Oree's life started out pretty weird and it just gets weirder as it goes along. Godlings die. Lord T'vril attempts to enslave her (in a really nice way). A creepy sect worshipping Bright Itempas keeps killing Shiny (oh, that is so strange). We learn more about the continent destroyed by the Nightlord AND about demons.

As a person who has written a (thankfully never attempted to publish) fantasy novel in which the protagonist can "see" magic (my protagonist wasn't blind, tho), I have a small idea of how tough it is to do this without hollowing out the character and depriving of her of any real self: such a character is a persistent temptation to infodump, to jeopardize, a persistently valuable pawn, blah, blah, bleeping blah. Jemisin handily avoided all the problems AND resisted what must have been a powerful temptation to goddess-ify (I was going to use incarnate and decided against it) Oree. I am very much in awe, and looking forward to the next book (altho a little bummed by the idea that this is a trilogy, rather than an open ended series) and, after that, trying some of her other books.

Jemisin has a nice touch with attachment issues, so it's more or less inevitable that I like her work, even when she's totally creeping me out. I hope you enjoy it as well, but it's hard to be sure.
Tags: book review, sf

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