I like how even French authors think that fallen angels would want to hang out in Paris, cause that makes sense to me after I visited there
Dear Reader, first, some full disclosure. While I was at Worldcon this year, I went to the r/Fantasy ‘Drinks with Authors’ event (which is awesome, and if you ever go to a Worldcon, I can’t recommend it enough) where I ended up sitting at a table with Kate Elliott, Gail Carriger, Wesley Chu (before he announced his candidacy for President after winning the Campbell Award) and the author of my book this week, Alliette de Bodard.
I would like to say that I was dazzlingly witty and charming beyond words, but dear Reader, I was tired, so I’m sure that my conversation was rather similar to the conversation skills of a drunken army private. However, I have met the author in question, which you should know. I didn’t tell you I had met Kate Elliott which is a shocking lack of journalistic integrity or something. In fact, from now on, let’s just assume I’ve met all of these authors at a swanky party where I dazzled them with my charm, good looks, and slyly subversive conversation. Yes, that’s how I want to be remembered.
In fact, from now on, let’s just assume I’ve met all of these authors at a swanky party where I dazzled them with my charm, good looks, and slyly subversive conversation.
Anyway, that was a very long aside. Let’s get back to the book.
My feelings about The House of Shattered Wings are complex. Partially because I adore a good Gothic novel (I’m sure you’re not surprised) and in some ways, this book is fabulously Gothic. It’s like a post-apocalyptic Gothic murder mystery, and how can you not LOVE that? But there’s more to the book than that.
It’s like a post-apocalyptic Gothic murder mystery, and how can you not LOVE that?
This is a case of a book that almost always works, and I think that most of the blame for where it doesn’t actually lay with the editor, as there are places where I had to go back a paragraph because it wasn’t clear, or the narrative jumped and wasn’t clear, which can be rather frustrating. But when it’s working, especially the ENTIRE middle half of the book, oh my, it’s riveting; de Bodards style is fantastic, and her ear for dialogue and human motivation is fabulous.
The last part of the book was, for me, the best and worst parts of it. I adore that she gave me an ending I could never have anticipated, but that flowed PERFECTLY from what had come before. However, there are several things that are never explained, and a few motivations that are never clear. I didn’t see anything saying this will be a series, but if so, this makes sense. If not, I am just left feeling like the book is unfinished.
Do I recommend it? Dear Reader, did you read the part where I said ‘post-apocalyptic Gothic murder mystery’? How can you not read this? I mean really, priorities! In more seriousness, while it’s not a perfect book, it’s absolutely delightful, and has a delightful cast of wonderfully complex characters.
The House of Shattered Wings can be purchased at Amazon or your favorite book retailer.
I took a little rereading time this week and read both Dragonsong and Dragonsinger by Anne McCaffrey. Which are the type of comfort reading I just adore.
I also reread about half of Lies of Locke Lamora, but stopped before, you know, that part.
I’m going to branch out here, and recommend a scifi book. I know, I don’t ever talk about it, but I do love a good scifi book every now and then. And there are few scifi books I love more than Daniel Keys Moran’s The Long Run. It’s one of those books that has everything. Tight plotting, great characters, and a heist. Cause seriously, who doesn’t love a heist? I love this book so much that my email address for many many years has included the name of the main character.
It’s been out of print for over a decade, but it’s now available as an eBook, and honestly, it’s well worth buying a Kindle just to read it. It’s technically the second book in his Continuing Time series, reading the first one ‘Emerald Eyes’ isn’t needed to enjoy this one thoroughly.
And now dear Reader, I am off to start Laura Anne Gilmans Silver on the Road which I have been waiting for YEARS to read (actual years, she read a snippet at a SFWA Readers event a couple of years ago and I’ve been dying to read the book. The book comes out on October 6th, but I’ll have my (spoiler free of course) review up for you all next Friday.
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