Wednesday 17 May 2023

#bookreview: Old Man's War | John Scalzi

Old Man's War (Old Man's War, #1)Old Man's War by John Scalzi
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Gonna keep this review short, because this is mostly just for records. And also because I am tired and lazy.

I enjoyed it. I skipped some sciency bits, but those were actually quite few and far between. Overall an interesting premise and I would love to read the rest of the series if I find them!

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Wednesday 10 May 2023

#bookreview: Tales of Polynesia: Folktales from Hawai'i, New Zealand, Tahiti and Samoa

Tales of Polynesia: Folktales from Hawai'i, New Zealand, Tahiti, and SamoaTales of Polynesia: Folktales from Hawai'i, New Zealand, Tahiti, and Samoa by Yiling Changues
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a somewhat frustrating read. I went in hoping to really like it because I generally like folktales. I like reading old origin/creation myths, finding out what makes a culture gel together, what kinds of stories they tell each other, and how these make up who they are as a nation.

Most of the stories were fascinating, but they were a really hard, dry, and boring read. I mean, these are pretty much fantastic and fantastical stories, but struggling through unending sentences just made me want to give up. I feel like... pulling together a bunch of old translations into one book and giving them really fancy illustrations wasn't enough to keep my attention.

Maybe I lost out a little on the reading experience because this was an ebook ARC and the formatting really sucked (footnotes that only appeared several pages later instead of as a pop-up; illustrations that were somehow split into multiple images; Kindle only shows black & white images instead of colour; fancy drop caps don't show up; random line breaks, page numbers, headers and footers appearing haphazardly in the text) but... that really shouldn't change the experience of the stories themselves?

I just felt like the stories needed someone to edit them for a better flow, and probably to slightly more modern English, instead of just using centuries-old versions. I don't think these need a "retelling" in the way everyone is retelling folktales and making them into whole novels, but they do need a bit of a rewrite for readability's sake.

Or maybe I'm somewhat at the end of my interest in the folktale style of storytelling.

Note: I received a digital ARC of this book from the Chronicle Books via Edelweiss. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Wednesday 3 May 2023

#bookreview: Namesake (Morningstar: Destiny #2) | A.C. Williams

Namesake (Morningstar: Destiny Trilogy #2)Namesake by A.C. Williams
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So following on from Nameless, things get really, really dark. I mean like super dark. So I guess content warnings for rape and suicide ideation.

After the losses in the first book, things started to look up a little, at least at the start. After all, they did manage to find what they were looking for. Their sacrifices were not in vain. And their trip to McLeod's home forces some deeper conversations and discussions about their pasts - not just Xander's, but just about everyone left on the Prodigal.

The core of this book is the discovery of who Xander really is. And whilst it was amazing and mindblowing, Williams did a good job in laying down enough clues and hints for that delicious tension of ooohh I think this is what happened! and but how would it actually work? leading up to the reveal. (I was almost right about what happened, but am obviously not science-y enough to guess how lol)

But things don't stay peaceful for long...

I mean, who expected it to? They've got syndicates on their tail after all.

But coming back to the Morningstar: Destiny Trilogy's underpinnings of faith, where Nameless explores personal convictions, Namesake goes so much deeper into holding onto faith in dark times. Xander keeps asking the questions Where are you, God? and Why me? Why is all this happening to me? as she struggles through everything that has happened to her, everything that has brought her to the Prodigal, especially all the deaths she leaves in her wake. Because of her. Because of who she is. Because of the people who are trying to get her. And it culminates in the big one: Can I still then believe?

Namesake ends on another cliffhanger, and I'm excited to head into New Name when I have the time!

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