Miscellaneous Chatter > Literature

Yearly Reading Targets 2021

<< < (11/12) > >>

The P:
A Door Behind a Door by Yelena Moskovich (18)

I picked this up on a whim.  It's not sff, but the guy who recommended it said it had some David Lynch vibes, which was enough for me.  I liked it quite a bit.  It has a strange style.  It's almost like very tiny chapters, sometimes only a sentence, with a bold-caps title that sometimes is part of the body itself.  The style makes it feel a little like stream-of-consciousness, but actually readable.  It reads very quick.  Under 200 pages, it could and probably should be read in one sitting.  I understand the Lynch comparison, in things get weird, but where Lynch goes for absurdia with the appearance of meaning, the weirdness here means something (I think, and I'm sure I don't get it all).

It is rare for me to read outside my choice genre(s), but I'm glad I did in this case.  Being short helped its pitch.  Definitely worth the time if you want to try something more capital-L Literature.

The P:
Beneath the Twisted Trees by Bradley P. Beaulieu ( :'()

I think I'm giving up on this series.  It's not bad.  I've mostly enjoyed it so far, but....  It just lacks some undefinable quality that would compel me to keep reading.  The writing itself is fine, the story is fine, the characters are fine.  Maybe I'm at the point in life where I really need something special to get me to read in the midst of constant interruptions and chaos (kids), I dunno.  But this series is not it for some reason.  It's like there are great ideas and possibilities lurking on the edges of where the story actually goes.  The whole time I'm waiting for that awesome something to break in and reshape the story, but it inevitably goes somewhere less exciting.  And it's not like nothing happens or the plot doesn't advance, we've come quite a way since the first book.  So a third of the way through book 4 I decided I was tired of it.  Quitting this far in leaves a bad taste in my mouth, but there it is.  I liked Beaulieu's earlier trilogy; he's not a bad writer.

I'm moving on.  Next is a KJP novella that I somehow missed a couple years ago.

The P:
Mightier than the Sword by K. J. Parker (19)

It's great of course.  Set in the Parker-verse, we get mentions of places and people we've seen before (Saloninus, of course, Permia).  Sometimes I think I want to comb through his work and compile a geography and history of everything he mentions, but worldbuilding isn't what he's about, so maybe it would be a futile exercise.  It at least has the appearance of consistency, and that's probably all Parker is going for.

This one follows the nephew of the Emperor, who's in a bad way while his wife runs the show, sent out to deal with a series of raids on monasteries.  The Empire is the Robur, who figure in the Siege trilogy, this is probably set after those events, but it hardly matters.  It has the typical twists and obfuscations, musings on literature and empire, wry takes on monastic orders, standard Parker fare.  Thoroughly enjoyable, I will never not recommend a Parker novella.

The P:
Empire of Silence by Christopher Ruocchio (20)

I really liked this one.  It has some very heavy Dune-inspired world/galaxy building.  Other people say it's like the Kingkiller Chronicle in space.  I haven't read that one, but it has similarities from what I know. It's basically a dude recounting his life and how he got to where he is (infamous, maybe incarcerated, for doing a big bad thing).  There are nice bits of flavor like "everyone tells the story this way, but this is what really happened," or "I didn't know it at the time, but the guy next to me was so-and-so that you know as having done such-and-such."  They aren't frequent, but I like that it reminds you of the frame and that we know where the story is going.
It's good, highly recommend.  Best space epic I've read in a long time (i.e. I like it better than the Expanse).

Well I'm glad that one worked out for you. Those are some interesting comparisons, and I'll try to remember it later when I'm looking for a book. I've been struggling to finish a Peter F Hamilton book, which is a space opera that started out fun but has really dragged towards the end. Empire of Silence might be something I read in the future to make up for it.


[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

[*] Previous page

Go to full version