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Entries from Nov 2011

Lawrence Watt-Evans: The Final Folly of Captain Dancy and other Pseudo-Historical Fantasies

29 Nov 2011 · No Comments

It’s a bit tricky to describe The Final Folly of Captain Dancy without sounding like I’m damning it with faint praise, so maybe I should say up front that I definitely enjoyed this enough to read more. Watt-Evan’s stories have a bit of an old-school vibe; it’s easy for me to imagine him as a [...]

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Tags: f-title · fantasy · historical · science fiction · w-author

George Mann: The Immorality Engine

28 Nov 2011 · No Comments

I read The Immorality Engine even though I didn’t think much of the first two novels in Mann’s “Newbury and Hobbes Investigations” series, of which this is the third. Somewhat to my surprise, I liked it better than the other two.
I still found the prose a bit repetitive and the plot low on surprises, but [...]

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Tags: fantasy · historical · horror · i-title · m-author · mystery · science fiction

Paul Maliszewski: Prayer and Parable

27 Nov 2011 · No Comments

The strongest stories in Maliszewski’s Prayer and Parable were terrific: precise and incisive. They reminded me a bit of David Foster Wallace in their exacting detail and preoccupation with the limitations of communication. Maliszewksi’s characters are frequently aware that something they just said came out wrong, or that there’s a “right” thing to say, which [...]

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Tags: m-author · p-title · short stories

Chris Moriarty: The Inquisitor’s Apprentice

17 Nov 2011 · 1 Comment

The Inquisitor’s Apprentice is set in a vividly rendered alternate late-19th-century New York city. Magic exists in this world, but — officially, at least — it is controlled by wealthy industrialists like “J. P. Morgaunt,” a character inspired by J. P. Morgan (some more sympathetically rendered historical figures appear under their real names) . Thirteen [...]

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Tags: fantasy · historical · i-title · m-author · young adult

Tom Perrotta: The Leftovers

13 Nov 2011 · No Comments

More than a week later, I’m still not really sure what I think of The Leftovers. In some ways its upper middle class suburban lifestyle satire struck me as thematically similar to Little Children, with the addition of its major background plot element: it takes place after a Rapture-like event caused a significant fraction of [...]

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Tags: fiction · l-title · p-author

Steve Brezenoff: Brooklyn, Burning

07 Nov 2011 · No Comments

Brooklyn, Burning is set among a community of teens in the punk scene on the edge of homelessness. This is triple jeopardy territory to write about without coming off as condescending, dated, or moralizing, but Brezenoff uses some clever tricks to pull it off. His first person narrative voice is credible: sharp about some things, [...]

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Tags: b-author · b-title · young adult

Frank Beddor: The Looking Glass Wars

07 Nov 2011 · No Comments

Mitigating factors:
I was really psyched by the elevator pitch for this book, which posits that the infamous break between Reverend Charles Dodgson and Alice Pleasance Liddell was because Liddell was angry at Dodgson for watering down her story for the “Wonderland” books. So perhaps my disenchantment with this book is a result of excessively high [...]

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Tags: b-author · fantasy · l-title · young adult