Saturday, February 11, 2012

Logging Books: short reviews

So far I've read only two books this month:

7. Stalking Darkness by Lynn Flewelling. Part 2 of Nightrunner. I'm very glad I kept reading after the mediocre offering of Luck in the Shadows, because this book is so much better! The writing flows better and the plot moves faster. Admittedly, it's still standard fantasy fare, with a quest (or two), not that this is such a bad thing. What I really liked is that Flewelling manages to bring the story to a satisfying conclusion that does not necessary require a sequel. The secondary plot around the events in the larger world keeps going on, but the main plot is wrapped up. I wish more fantasy authors would manage that in the scope of two not overly long novels.
There are a few things I did not like - so for example the barrage of misogynistic language whenever insults were needed. It always suprises me a bit when authors try to create a society that has definite aspects of gender equality and is more open about sexuality and sex... and then proceed to use gendered, slut shaming insults when strong language is required. You'd think that such an inclusive society would not have developed these concepts and as consequence would not have this kind of language? I wish more authors would realise the correlation between language and society.

8. Traitor's Moon by Lynn Flewelling. Part 3 of Nightrunner. It just gets better. This is more a less a standalone book. The events are clearly tied to the overarching plot of the preceding novels - the war is still in full swing and drives the development of the main plot, a diplomatic mission to establish trade agreements, but stylistically this one stood out. This is mainly Seregil's story in that in explores his past and how he copes with it when being thrown right in the middle of it again. It's also a fairly straightforward whodunit mystery, and a fairly complex political tug o'war between several parties. All three elements are nicely interwoven and are again satisfyingly resolved at the end of the novel, while still leaving the door open for a sequel. There were of course some elements I'm not too happy with, but on the the whole this book was even more up my alley than then second.
I heard that the following books that were published not long ago after a pretty long hiatus from the author are not as good, so I'm in no hurry to pick them up. Maybe one day.

And reading now:

" 'The red cartridge ran out last week,' said Tommo. 'We expect the yellow to dry out any day now, and you know what that means.'
'Right,' I said, seeing the problem instantly, 'blue grass. That's rotten - no village should be without a Colour Garden.' "

Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde

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