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Worlds Without End Blog

RYO Review: Range of Ghosts by Elizabeth Bear Posted at 10:44 AM by Nadine Gemeinböck

Linguana

Range of GhostsRYO_headerI’m voting for the Hugo Awards this year (for the first time – yay!) and, in order to make informed decisions, trying to catch up on some of the best 2013 titles. This, however, means that I sometimes have more than one volume of a series to catch up on. But Elizabeth Bear has been on my finally-read-something-by-that-author list for a while, so I gladly dove into this epic fantasy.

RANGE OF GHOSTS
by Elizabeth Bear

Published by: Tor, 2012
Ebook: 336 pages
Series: The Eternal Sky #1
My rating: 8/10

First sentence: Ragged vultures spiraled up a cherry sky.

Temur, grandson of the Great Khan, is walking away from a battlefield where he was left for dead. All around lie the fallen armies of his cousin and his brother, who made war to rule the Khaganate. Temur is now the legitimate heir by blood to his grandfather’s throne, but he is not the strongest. Going into exile is the only way to survive his ruthless cousin.

Once-Princess Samarkar is climbing the thousand steps of the Citadel of the Wizards of Tsarepheth. She was heir to the Rasan Empire until her father got a son on a new wife. Then she was sent to be the wife of a Prince in Song, but that marriage ended in battle and blood. Now she has renounced her worldly power to seek the magical power of the wizards. These two will come together to stand against the hidden cult that has so carefully brought all the empires of the Celadon Highway to strife and civil war through guile and deceit and sorcerous power.

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Nadine Gemeinböck (Linguana) has been reading fantasy for as long as she can remember. She started blogging about books on SFF Book Review in 2012, hoping to keep track of what she read and how she liked it. The book blogging community has since helped her open her literary horizons and thanks to WWEnd, she is currently working her way through NPR’s Top 100. Her blogging resolution is to review more foreign language books and finally take the plunge into a big, swooping space opera.

WoGF Review: Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie Posted at 12:15 PM by Nadine Gemeinböck

Linguana

WWEnd Women of Genre Fiction Reading ChallengeNadine Gemeinböck (Linguana) has been reading fantasy for as long as she can remember. She started blogging about books on SFF Book Review in 2012, hoping to keep track of what she read and how she liked it. The book blogging community has since helped her open her literary horizons and thanks to WWEnd, she is currently working her way through NPR’s Top 100. Her blogging resolution is to review more foreign language books and finally take the plunge into a big, swooping space opera.


Ancillary JusticeThis debut novel is making waves on the internet like none I’ve ever seen before. It’s difficult to find a single negative review of this title, and – if you ask me – Ann Leckie is doing that whole promotion thing rather well. I came across her on many of my favorite online hangouts, doing interviews, guest blogs, tweeting and giving away signed books. But she always has interesting things to say, so buying the book was a no-brainer.

Boring as it may seem, I join the legions of new Ann Leckie fans. What a remarkable, memorable, thought-provoking novel.

ANCILLARY JUSTICE
by Ann Leckie

Published by: Orbit, October 2013
ISBN: 0356502406
Paperback: 432 pages
Series: Imperial Radch #1
My rating: 9/10

First sentence: The body lay naked and face down, a deathly gray, spatters of blood staining the snow around it.

On a remote, icy planet, the soldier known as Breq is drawing closer to completing her quest.  Breq is both more than she seems and less than she was. Years ago, she was the Justice of Toren – a colossal starship with an artificial intelligence linking thousands of corpse soldiers in the service of the Radch, the empire that conquered the galaxy.

An act of treachery has ripped it all away, leaving her with only one fragile human body. And only one purpose–to revenge herself on Anaander Mianaai, many-bodied, near-immortal Lord of the Radch.

Ancillary Justice is a fantastic book for many reasons, and these reasons change throughout the reading experience. I can only tell you how it was for me, although what I’ve seen on the internet so far, other people are intrigued by the same ideas.

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WoGF Review: Wild Seed by Octavia E. Butler Posted at 7:30 PM by Nadine Gemeinböck

Linguana

WWEnd Women of Genre Fiction Reading ChallengeNadine Gemeinböck (Linguana) has been reading fantasy for as long as she can remember. She started blogging about books on SFF Book Review in 2012, hoping to keep track of what she read and how she liked it. The book blogging community has since helped her open her literary horizons and thanks to WWEnd, she is currently working her way through NPR’s Top 100. Her blogging resolution is to review more foreign language books and finally take the plunge into a big, swooping space opera.

Editor’s Note: This review counts for November.


Wild SeedThis year’s Women of Genre Fiction Challenge has led me down many new paths. At first, I was only looking for female SFF writers that I hadn’t read before. One name kept coming up: Octavia Butler. Later, especially with events like A More Diverse Universe happening, I looked into SFF writers of color. Again, Octavia Butler was mentioned probably more than anyone else. So, once again, I have the internet hivemind to thank for discovering an amazing writer.

When two immortals meet in the long-ago past, the destiny of mankind is changed forever

For a thousand years, Doro has cultivated a small African village, carefully breeding its people in search of seemingly unattainable perfection. He survives through the centuries by stealing the bodies of others, a technique he has so thoroughly mastered that nothing on Earth can kill him. But when a gang of New World slavers destroys his village, ruining his grand experiment, Doro is forced to go west and begin anew.

He meets Anyanwu, a centuries-old woman whose means of immortality are as kind as his are cruel. She is a shapeshifter, capable of healing with a kiss, and she recognizes Doro as a tyrant. Though many humans have tried to kill them, these two demi-gods have never before met a rival. Now they begin a struggle that will last centuries and permanently alter the nature of humanity.

When I picked up this book, all I knew was that it was going to be the first Octavia E. Butler book I would read and that I liked the cover (my entire basis for choosing this one over her other novels). I didn’t know I would come out at the other end full of emotions and wanting more.

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WoGF Review: The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes Posted at 12:19 PM by Nadine Gemeinböck

Linguana

WWEnd Women of Genre Fiction Reading ChallengeNadine Gemeinböck (Linguana) has been reading fantasy for as long as she can remember. She started blogging about books on SFF Book Review in 2012, hoping to keep track of what she read and how she liked it. The book blogging community has since helped her open her literary horizons and thanks to WWEnd, she is currently working her way through NPR’s Top 100. Her blogging resolution is to review more foreign language books and finally take the plunge into a big, swooping space opera.


The Shining GirlsI’ve wanted to read Lauren Beukes for a while now but I always thought I’d start with Zoo City, whose description somehow spoke to me the most. Then I listened to the book review and interview with the author on Speculate! and the decision was made. “Time traveling serial killer” sounded too good to be left on the TBR.

The girl who wouldn’t die, hunting a killer who shouldn’t exist… A terrifying and original serial-killer thriller from award-winning author, Lauren Beukes. ‘If you’ve got a Gone Girl-shaped hole in your life, try this’ Evening Standard “It’s not my fault. It’s yours. You shouldn’t shine. You shouldn’t make me do this.”

Chicago 1931. Harper Curtis, a violent drifter, stumbles on a house with a secret as shocking as his own twisted nature – it opens onto other times. He uses it to stalk his carefully chosen ‘shining girls’ through the decades – and cut the spark out of them. He’s the perfect killer. Unstoppable. Untraceable. He thinks…

Chicago, 1992. They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Tell that to Kirby Mazrachi, whose life was shattered after a brutal attempt to murder her. Still struggling to find her attacker, her only ally is Dan, an ex-homicide reporter who covered her case and now might be falling in love with her. As Kirby investigates, she finds the other girls – the ones who didn’t make it. The evidence is… impossible. But for a girl who should be dead, impossible doesn’t mean it didn’t happen…

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WoGF Review: Midnight Robber by Nalo Hopkinson Posted at 3:05 PM by Nadine Gemeinböck

Linguana

WWEnd Women of Genre Fiction Reading ChallengeNadine Gemeinböck (Linguana) has been reading fantasy for as long as she can remember. She started blogging about books on SFF Book Review in 2012, hoping to keep track of what she read and how she liked it. The book blogging community has since helped her open her literary horizons and thanks to WWEnd, she is currently working her way through NPR’s Top 100. Her blogging resolution is to review more foreign language books and finally take the plunge into a big, swooping space opera.


Midnight RobberIt is entirely thanks to the book blogging community that I have discovered Nalo Hopkinson. I have spent the last few months actively looking for female SFF writers that I didn’t know yet (thanks again to the WWEnd Women of Genre Fiction Challenge) as well as writers of color, stories about people of color and LBTQ characters. Because, as much as I read, there are very few non-American or non-European writers to be found on my reading lists and I wanted to remedy that. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s speech also served as an eye-opener and I found it extremely inspiring. There is so much diversity out there and I want to experience it. Nalo Hopkinson and Octavia E. Butler‘s names kept coming up and all of their books sounded so good that there was no reason for me to wait any longer discovering them. Thank You, Internet!

MIDNIGHT ROBBER
by Nalo Hopkinson

Published by: Warner Aspect, 2000
ISBN: 0446675601
Paperback: 336 pages
Standalone

My rating: 8,5/10

First sentence: Oho. Like it starting, oui? Don’t be frightened, sweetness; is for the best.

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WoGF Review: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood Posted at 8:30 AM by Nadine Gemeinböck

Linguana

WWEnd Women of Genre Fiction Reading ChallengeNadine Gemeinböck (Linguana) has been reading fantasy for as long as she can remember. She started blogging about books on SFF Book Review in 2012, hoping to keep track of what she read and how she liked it. The book blogging community has since helped her open her literary horizons and thanks to WWEnd, she is currently working her way through NPR’s Top 100. Her blogging resolution is to review more foreign language books and finally take the plunge into a big, swooping space opera.


The Handmaid's TaleFirst sentence: We slept in what had once been the gymnasium.

It is the world of the near future, and Offred is a Handmaid in the home of the Commander and his wife. She is allowed out once a day to the food market, she is not permitted to read, and she is hoping the Commander makes her pregnant, because she is only valued if her ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the years before, when she was an independent woman, had a job of her own, a husband and child. But all of that is gone now… everything has changed.

How does one go about reviewing a book that is not only considered one of the best ever written but was published a full year before one’s own birth? I suppose one doesn’t. Then again, what I do here in my little blogeress haven is really only putting my impressions into writing, not fully reviewing books (I believe that’s only possible with spoilers and I avoid them so you guys can enjoy the books I recommend in full). It took me a long time to finally read Margaret Atwood‘s probably most well-known book, The Handmaid’s Tale, and I’m happy to say that, again, the WWEnd Women of Genre Fiction Challenge gave me that last push.

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WoGF Review: Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan Posted at 10:21 PM by Nadine Gemeinböck

Linguana

WWEnd Women of Genre Fiction Reading ChallengeNadine Gemeinböck (Linguana) has been reading fantasy for as long as she can remember. She started blogging about books on SFF Book Review in 2012, hoping to keep track of what she read and how she liked it. The book blogging community has since helped her open her literary horizons and thanks to WWEnd, she is currently working her way through NPR’s Top 100. Her blogging resolution is to review more foreign language books and finally take the plunge into a big, swooping space opera.


Tender MorselsTender Morsels
by Margo Lanagan

First sentence: There are plenty would call her a slut for it.

Tender Morsels is a dark and vivid story, set in two worlds and worrying at the border between them. Liga lives modestly in her own personal heaven, a world given to her in exchange for her earthly life. Her two daughters grow up in this soft place, protected from the violence that once harmed their mother. But the real world cannot be denied forever—magicked men and wild bears break down the borders of Liga’s refuge. Now, having known Heaven, how will these three women survive in a world where beauty and brutality lie side by side?

I grew up on fairy tales. They were my very first contact with stories. I used to listen to Grimms’ Fairy Tales on cassette (yeah, I’m old enough for that) and I knew them all by heart – and would tell them to my entire family – by the age of four. Snow White and Rose Red was never my favorite but I still associate strong memories and vivid pictures with the tale. Margo Lanagan put quite a twisted spin on the old story and completely blew me away.

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WoGF Review: The Boneshaker by Kate Milford Posted at 11:34 AM by Nadine Gemeinböck

Linguana

WWEnd Women of Genre Fiction Reading ChallengeNadine Gemeinböck (Linguana) has been reading fantasy for as long as she can remember. She started blogging about books on SFF Book Review in 2012, hoping to keep track of what she read and how she liked it. The book blogging community has since helped her open her literary horizons and thanks to WWEnd, she is currently working her way through NPR’s Top 100. Her blogging resolution is to review more foreign language books and finally take the plunge into a big, swooping space opera.


The BoneshakerThe Boneshaker
by Kate Milford

Published by: Clarion Books, 2010
Illustrated by: Andrea Offermann
ISBN: 0547487436
ebook: 384 pages
Series: Arcane #1

My rating: 7.5/10

First sentence: Strange things can happen at a crossroads.

Thirteen-year-old Natalie Minks loves machines, particularly automata — self-operating mechanical devices, usually powered by clockwork. When Jake Limberleg and his traveling medicine show arrive in her small Missouri town with a mysterious vehicle under a tarp and an uncanny ability to make Natalie’s half-built automaton move, she feels in her gut that something about this caravan of healers is a bit off. Her uneasiness leads her to investigate the intricate maze of the medicine show, where she discovers a horrible truth and realizes that only she has the power to set things right.

Set in 1914, “The Boneshaker” is a gripping, richly textured novel about family, community, courage, and looking evil directly in the face in order to conquer it.

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