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Dee 📖 (book aspect) Locked account

Dee@books.underscore.world

Joined 2 years, 6 months ago

Hello I'm @Dee@fedi.underscore.world. I run this instance, and I'm currently its only user.

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Dee 📖 (book aspect)'s books

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Doors of Eden (2020, Orbit) 3 stars

This really parallels my universes

3 stars

It's one of those Adrian Tchaikovsky novels that has alternatively-evolved sapient animals in it, but it also has an unexpected amount of queer characters. Tchaikovsky tends to be good at the former, and this book is not an exception; he also handles the latter well enough, though if you are not okay with bigotry exhibited by some of the more contemptible characters being part of the plot, you may want to skip this one.

The novel starts out kind of slow and takes a while to ramp up while you want to scream at the characters to figure it out already. In the middle, it may seem to be a bit predictable, although it does take some interesting twists in the last third, which subverts that impression a bit.

Overall, a fun parallel universe story, if you're into that sort of thing, even if not an exceptional one.

All Systems Red (EBook, 2017, Tordotcom) 5 stars

"As a heartless killing machine, I was a complete failure."

In a corporate-dominated spacefaring future, …

Go Murderbot

4 stars

From the plot alone, this novella would be a bit of perhaps cliche science fiction. What makes it both unique and compelling is that the story being told from the perspective of the "Murderbot" (hence The Murderbot Diaries), a cyborg generally treated by society as a piece of equipment.

Martha Wells's writing does a good job of showing Murderbot's personality, its particular anxieties, its relationships towards humans, and general attitudes towards life. Even if the plot is cliche, Murderbot as a character is the opposite.

Ancestral Night (Hardcover, 2019, Gallery / Saga Press) 4 stars

An enjoyable space opera

4 stars

Ancestral Night is a space opera, of the sort that features a crew of a small starship getting into some adventures in a universe of interesting aliens and colorful characters.

The book is written from the perspective of its protagonist, in a generally lighter tone, which works well for that character. The overall arc of the plot also does not get too dark—Ancestral Night belongs to the subgenre of space opera that features universes which, while perhaps not entirely utopian, are generally not unpleasant places to hypothetically exist in. The plot, nevertheless, involves the old favorites such as ancient mysteries of the universe and space pirates, which Elizabeth Bear utilizes to generally good effect in crafting a space adventure.

The novel is not just pulp, however. An underlying plot concerns the questions of individual autonomy versus collectivism, and the use of transhumanism to better societies as a whole. The …

A Desolation Called Peace (EBook, 2021, Doherty Associates, LLC, Tom) 4 stars

An alien armada lurks on the edges of Teixcalaanli space. No one can communicate with …

A Worthy Sequel

4 stars

There were many directions in which Arkady Martine could have taken the sequel to her popular 2019 novel A Memory Called Empire, and she has chosen an interesting and entertaining one.

The worldbuilding for which A Memory Called Empire was praised is back in A Desolation Called Peace, and while the first book focused on the Teixcalaanli capital, the second one explores more of the life onboard of the Lsel Station, as well as life in campaigning military fleets of the empire. For the most part, the worldbuilding in the sequel does not disappoint.

The bits where it does disappoint is in Martine leaning perhaps too heavily on space opera tropes in the parts of the book that take place aboard starships. While the descriptions of the capital or the palace grounds therein continue to be evocative, the descriptions of what it is like onboard of an imperial …

The City We Became (2020, Orbit) 4 stars

In Manhattan, a young grad student gets off the train and realizes he doesn't remember …

Putting "urban" in "urban fantasy"

4 stars

The City We Became is urban fantasy, in that it features a bunch of magical stuff happening in a modern day city. It's also urban fantasy in that it is about cities. People are cities and cities are people, and not in a metaphorical way, but in a more supernatural and literal way.

N. K. Jemisin manages to channel the spirit of New York City (where the novel's action focuses) through the novel's characters, without resorting to tired and popular stereotypes of the city and its people. While in a way the book is an ode to New York, it also doesn't shy away from some of its more dark and shameful aspects. All of this is wrapped up in writing that manages to be evocative and sufficiency casual to flow well. The book paints an engaging picture of both the real New York, and its fictional, supernatural, embodied New …