Mar. 14th, 2017

Mar. 14th, 2017 12:00 pm

My tweets

redheadedfemme: (Default)
  • Mon, 17:55: It's sad that this West Virginia townhall is putting such faith in Donald Trump, & pleading for healthcare. #inners #uniteblue #fb
  • Mon, 17:56: It's sad that this West Virginia townhall is putting such faith in Donald Trump, & pleading for healthcare. #inners #uniteblue
  • Mon, 17:57: Well, hell, everyone from West Virginia (and everywhere else) should know that Mitch McConnell is worthless. #inners #uniteblue
  • Mon, 18:02: Jeezus. No wonder Paul Ryan wanted to push this through in middle of the night. 24 million people to lose health care under Repubs. #maddow
  • Mon, 18:22: This A-block is fascinating. #maddow #uniteblue
  • Mon, 18:27: RT @JoyAnnReid: Journalists absolutely have to stop letting Republicans get away with this "Obamacare is collapsing" talking point, as it i…
  • Mon, 18:38: Cripes.Dean Heller will only hold a townhall if no one boos him? What an oversensitive weenie. He must need a safe space. #maddow #uniteblue
redheadedfemme: (one more chapter)
Revenger by Alastair Reynolds

5 of 5 stars

I've heard this book called "young adult," and the first thing I'd like to say is that it most definitely is not. Yes, the protagonists, sisters Adrana and Arafura Ness, are eighteen and seventeen respectively. That does not matter. This book is too dark, and its first-person narrator far too ruthless, to qualify for the young-adult designation, at least as far as I'm concerned.

What this is is a far-future space opera, of pirates and creepy aliens and ancient skulls, of a solar system (possibly ours) where the planets seem to be smashed into rubble, and the human race has built tens of thousands of habitats out of that rubble. Built them over and over again, as a matter of fact, because we're on the Thirteenth Occupation (now known as the "Congregation"), and the history of the Occupations stretches millions of years into the past. The past is the driving engine of the story, as ships search "baubles" for tech and/or artifacts no one can now understand or duplicate, and one never knows if that tech will make you rich or drive you insane. This idea has obvious parallels with Andre Norton's "Forerunners," which are some of my favorite books of all time.

This is some marvelous worldbuilding (and very artfully done, with nary an infodump to be found), and I hope the author writes more books in this universe, whether or not he continues the story of the Ness sisters. But this book is the tale of Adrana and Arafura Ness, who sign on to a "sunjammer" (a ship riding the solar wind on giant sails that visits the baubles as they open, to scavenge the loot sealed inside) in an attempt to help their father, who just lost all the family's money. They are qualified to be "bone readers," linking to the giant alien skulls on the sunjammers that serve as long-range communications devices. (These are also creepy as heck, with the implications that for all there is no brain tissue left inside, they aren't...really....dead.) However, on their very first voyage they run into the pirate Bosa Sennen, who kills nearly the entire crew and takes Adrana hostage on her ship.

This starts the story, and a dark and bloody one it is. Arafura changes from a naive young girl to an obsessed and ruthless woman, and if in the end she finds her sister and kills Bosa Sennen, her triumph comes at a very high price. To hunt a monster, she basically becomes one. The last few pages of the story shows she realizes this, and if there is a sequel, I hope the consequences of what she's done are dealt with. (I also hope the second book is told from Adrana's viewpoint.) There is so much more that could be done with this universe and characters, and so many questions that deserve answers. 

October 2017

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Words To Live By

There is no frigate like a book to take us lands away. ~Emily Dickinson

Being a writer is a very peculiar sort of a job: it’s always you versus a blank sheet of paper (or a blank screen) and quite often the blank piece of paper wins. ~Neil Gaiman

Of course I am not worried about intimidating men. The type of man who will be intimidated by me is exactly the type of man I have no interest in. ~Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

The road to hell is paved with adverbs. ~Stephen King

The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read. ~Mark Twain

I feel free and strong. If I were not a reader of books I could not feel this way. ~Walter Tevis

A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one. ~George R.R. Martin

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