Books read, May 2015

Read a good deal less than I expected to last month, mostly because my free time on tour was devoted much more heavily than usual to actual writing. I did get through a few things, though!

The Pauper Prince and the Eucalyptus Jinn, Usman Malik. Novella on I liked it well enough while reading it, but just a few weeks later I can’t remember much about it. I’ll note that I’m making an effort to read more short fiction this year, though (including short stories, which won’t get logged here), so I can have some idea of what to nominate when the Hugos roll around next year.

The House of Shattered Wings, Aliette de Bodard. Read for blurbing purposes; this will be out soon. The blurb I sent in was “If you think the image of Lucifer sitting on a throne in the ruins of Notre Dame sounds awesome, this is a book for you.” 🙂 Post-apocalyptic angel war fantasy in Paris. First, I believe, of an intended series.

Writing Fight Scenes My own books don’t count. Skimmed back through this one as a refresher for my own brain.

Hostage, Rachel Manjia Brown and Sherwood Smith. Sequel to Stranger, which I posted about here. This one moves somewhat away from the decentralized nature of the first one, which gave equal weight to something like half a dozen different pov characters; the structure of this one means there’s a stretch where the focus rests heavily on just two. Which entirely isn’t a bad thing; as I said about Stranger, having to shift between characters every chapter often risks losing my immersion in the story. It does give this one a different feel, though. I liked how Hostage was about the characters learning to live with the scars of what happened to them, and I also liked the ways in which Voske’s kingdom is dystopian without being wholly awful: the ruler is a terrible person, and terrible things happen there, but the residents also have things like electricity. I can look at that and see the possibility of major improvements in the future, if the cities start working together.

Pandemonium and Parade: Japanese Monsters and the Culture of Yokai, Michael Dylan Foster. Academic book on the supernatural creatures of Japan, and the changes in how they’re viewed between the Edo/Tokugawa period and the present day. Read for research purposes, and interesting, but way less about the details of actual yokai than I anticipated; he tends to pick out a couple of examples and explore them in depth, mostly through the lens of “here’s how this fits in with the zeitgeist.” Fortunately, I have other books headed my way that will take care of the other aspect.

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