The Post-Apocalyptic Wild West of Great Britain: a Review of Jonathan Stroud’s The Outlaws Scarlett and Browne

Jonathan Stroud is one of my favourite children and young adult writers working today, and the goodwill I feel towards him for writing the Bartimaeus books in the early 2000’s is still very much alive to this day. There is a “brand” I associate with Mr Stroud’s writing, and it is a brand characterised byContinue reading “The Post-Apocalyptic Wild West of Great Britain: a Review of Jonathan Stroud’s The Outlaws Scarlett and Browne”

The Book that Dare Not Speak Its Genre: a Review of Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake

I love Margaret Atwood. I really do. I love The Handmaid’s Tale and Alias Grace, and enjoyed The Testaments, even if it fell short of my expectations. And I think she is one of the few authors I consider to be incapable of writing a bad book because even if a story of hers doesContinue reading “The Book that Dare Not Speak Its Genre: a Review of Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake”

The Violence of the Lamb: a Review of Joe Abercrombie’s Red Country

Evil turned out not to be a grand thing. Not sneering Emperors with their world-conquering designs. Not cackling demons plotting in the darkness beyond the world. It was small men with their small acts and their small reasons. It was selfishness and carelessness and waste. It was bad luck, incompetence, and stupidity. It was violenceContinue reading “The Violence of the Lamb: a Review of Joe Abercrombie’s Red Country”

Red, Brown, and Yellow in Tooth and Claw: a Review of Indra Das’ The Devourers

I can’t remember it’s provenance, but I once heard someone joked that Tolkien characters don’t exist from the waist down. No one fucks, shits or pisses in Middle-earth. Now, it is generally true in fiction that bodily functions are never mentioned unless they are relevant to the story, something that Mitchell and Webb made funContinue reading “Red, Brown, and Yellow in Tooth and Claw: a Review of Indra Das’ The Devourers”

Murcatto’s Seven and Her Grand Tour of Revenge and Mayhem: a Review of Joe Abercrombie’s Best Served Cold

You were a hero round these parts. That’s what they call you when you kill so many people the word murderer falls short. I remember reading the entire original First Law trilogy more than 10 years ago and loving it but with the passage of time, I retained only the barest skeleton of the books’Continue reading “Murcatto’s Seven and Her Grand Tour of Revenge and Mayhem: a Review of Joe Abercrombie’s Best Served Cold”

Humanity’s Fight or Flight Response: a Review of Liu Cixin’s The Dark Forest

“Yan Yan, do you know what the greatest expression of regard for a race or civilization is?” “No, what?” “Annihilation. That’s the highest respect a civilization can receive. They would only feel threatened by a civilization they truly respect.” As with the first book in the Remembrance of Earth’s Past trilogy—The Three-Body Problem—I think theContinue reading “Humanity’s Fight or Flight Response: a Review of Liu Cixin’s The Dark Forest”

The Holy War for the Soul of Science: a Review of Liu Cixin’s The Three-Body Problem

The more transparent something was, the more mysterious it seemed. The universe itself was transparent; as long as you were sufficiently sharp-eyed, you could see as far as you liked. But the farther you looked, the more mysterious it became. Even though I am ethnically Chinese, my experience with Chinese literature is severely underfed owingContinue reading “The Holy War for the Soul of Science: a Review of Liu Cixin’s The Three-Body Problem”

The Time Traveling Sex Offender: a Review of Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveler’s Wife

I turn to look at Clare and just for a moment I forget that she is young, and that this is long ago; I see Clare, my wife, superimposed on the face of this young girl, and I don’t know what to say to this Clare who is old and young and different from otherContinue reading “The Time Traveling Sex Offender: a Review of Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveler’s Wife”

Suffragists, but Witches: a Review of Alix E. Harrow’s The Once and Future Witches

“Witching and women’s rights. Suffrage and spells. They’re both…” She gestures in midair again. “They’re both a kind of power, aren’t they? The kind we aren’t allowed to have.” The kind I want, says the hungry shine of her eyes. Once in awhile, one would come across a concept of a book that would makeContinue reading “Suffragists, but Witches: a Review of Alix E. Harrow’s The Once and Future Witches”

Chicago: Total War: a Review of Jim Butcher’s Battle Ground

I seized the tentacle that had me by the head and pulled hard enough to get enough counterpressure to keep it from snapping my neck—and it left me suspended uncomfortably, stretched out between the overwhelming opposing forces, just trying to hang on. Story of my freaking life. Harry Dresden, professional wizard. I’m a little busyContinue reading “Chicago: Total War: a Review of Jim Butcher’s Battle Ground”

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