Nightrunner - Seregil and Alec

All Our Hidden Gifts by Caroline O'Donoghue

All Our Hidden Gifts by Caroline O'Donoghue was fascinating. Maeve finds old tarot cards. Things quickly start to go wrong.

I loved how the book went from a small magic vibe to full-on witchcraft. I can't wait for the sequel, but don't worry, it doesn't end on a cliffhanger.

There's major f/nb and minor f/f, a Filipina character and a teenager with a hearing aid.

I've read this novel in English, but it's already been translated into French (La Martinière Jeunesse) and several other languages.

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I used to lurk on Tumblr, but I'm now using my account. I only post/reblog about books: mainly LGBT SF/F, as usual. However, if you're curious and go through my Likes, you'll get to see some prettiness from Word of Honor and Snake Eyes.
inverarity

Words of Radiance, by Brandon Sanderson

Book two of the Stormlight Archive, with big reveals, big battles, and a big hump to finish.


Words of Radiance

Tor Books, 2014, 1087 pages



Expected by his enemies to die the miserable death of a military slave, Kaladin survived to be given command of the royal bodyguards, a controversial first for a low-status "darkeyes". Now he must protect the king and Dalinar from every common peril as well as the distinctly uncommon threat of the Assassin, all while secretly struggling to master remarkable new powers that are somehow linked to his honorspren, Syl.

The Assassin, Szeth, is active again, murdering rulers all over the world of Roshar, using his baffling powers to thwart every bodyguard and elude all pursuers. Among his prime targets is Highprince Dalinar, widely considered the power behind the Alethi throne. His leading role in the war would seem reason enough, but the Assassin’s master has much deeper motives.

Brilliant but troubled Shallan strives along a parallel path. Despite being broken in ways she refuses to acknowledge, she bears a terrible burden: to somehow prevent the return of the legendary Voidbringers and the civilization-ending Desolation that will follow. The secrets she needs can be found at the Shattered Plains, but just arriving there proves more difficult than she could have imagined.

Meanwhile, at the heart of the Shattered Plains, the Parshendi are making an epochal decision. Hard pressed by years of Alethi attacks, their numbers ever shrinking, they are convinced by their war leader, Eshonai, to risk everything on a desperate gamble with the very supernatural forces they once fled. The possible consequences for Parshendi and humans alike, indeed, for Roshar itself, are as dangerous as they are incalculable.


A thousand pages of moping and scheming, ending in the formation of a Fantasy Justice League.

Also by Brandon Sanderson: My reviews of Elantris, The Mistborn trilogy, The Alloy of Law, Steelheart, The Way of Kings, Warbreaker, Skyward, and Starsight.




My complete list of book reviews.
Nightrunner - Seregil and Alec

The Unraveling by Benjamin Rosenbaum

The Unraveling by Benjamin Rosenbaum was a masterpiece. In the distant future, Fift ends up in the middle of a gender revolution.

This world has two genders: Staid (ze/zir) and Vail (ve/vem). They are not assigned based on the baby's genitals, but on the baby's personality through a few simple tests. However, it isn't an ideal culture, as people have to be very gender-conforming and can't easily demand a gender change.

Another interesting aspect is that people have several bodies (3 in average) with only one mind, though Fift has issues with having all zir bodies in the same room. People also have access to the feed, in order to see what happens in other parts of their house or in public places.

This is an excellent gender sci-fi novel, especially for fans of Ann Leckie's works. I can't wait to read more from this author.
Golden Hair

Full Steam Ahead

Full Steam Ahead: How the Railways Made Britain by Peter Ginn and Ruth Goodman

Based on a TV series and showing signs of it. Covering interesting topics, like the age of railways -- actually, they existed long before trains -- the importance of slate roofs, transportation of people and the invention of tickets (in an era where everyone gave credit, you had to pay, and prove you paid), the zigzagging effect on agriculture, the effect on leisure of feasible travel, the transportation of mail order goods, and more.
Golden Hair

Hardtack and Coffee

Hardtack and Coffee or, The Unwritten Story of Army Life by John Davis Billings

The go-to book if you want the details of army life in the American Civil War. Having discovered that boys were as fascinated by the details of army life as much as the battles, and realized that all the memoirs were about the battles, he wrote a book about the details. How they did get enough food, but quality was another matter. Regimental badges. Why it was the mark of a green soldier to be ashamed of lice. What they did in camp in down time. Why mules were only used behind the lines. And a lot more.
inverarity

Medusa Uploaded, by Emily Devenport

A homicidal protagonist in a YA novel pretending to be adult SF.


Medusa Uploaded

Tor Books, 2018, 317 pages



My name is Oichi Angelis, and I am a worm. They see me every day. They consider me harmless. And that's the trick, isn't it?

A generation starship can hide many secrets. When an Executive clan suspects Oichi of insurgency and discreetly shoves her out an airlock, one of those secrets finds and rescues her. Officially dead, Oichi begins to rebalance power one assassination at a time and uncovers the shocking truth behind the generation starship and the Executive clans.


A girl and her tentacled murderous deux ex machina.




My complete list of book reviews.
inverarity

Black Mountain, by Laird Barron

Isaiah Coleridge #2: our heavy hitter runs into a heavier hitter.


Black Mountain

G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2019, 308 pages



Ex-mob enforcer Isaiah Coledrige has hung out a shingle as a private eye in New York's Hudson Valley, and in his newest case, a seemingly simple murder investigation leads him to the most terrifying enemy he has ever faced.

When a small-time criminal named Harold Lee turns up in the Ashokan Reservoir - sans a heartbeat, head, or hands - the local mafia capo hires Isaiah Coleridge to look into the matter. The mob likes crime, but only the crime it controls...and as it turns out, Lee is the second independent contractor to meet a bad end on the business side of a serrated knife. One such death can be overlooked. Two makes a man wonder.

A guy in Harold Lee's business would make his fair share of enemies, and it seems a likely case of pure revenge. But as Coledrige turns over more stones, he finds himself dragged into something deeper and more insidious than he could have imagined, in a labyrinthine case spanning decades. At the center are an heiress moonlighting as a cabaret dancer, a powerful corporation with high-placed connections, and a serial killer who may have been honing his skills since the Vietnam War....

A twisty, action-packed follow-up to the acclaimed Blood Standard, Black Mountain cements Laird Barron as an inventive and remarkable voice in crime fiction.


Grim humor, monsters from the past, and maybe literal monsters?

Also by Laird Barron: My reviews of The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All, The Croning, Occultation, and Blood Standard.




My complete list of book reviews.