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Half-Off Ragnarok (InCryptid) by Seanan…
Half-Off Ragnarok (InCryptid)
by Seanan McGuire

I admit, I was disappointed when I first heard that this would follow Alex rather than his sister Verity, who was the heroine of the previous two books in the series. But the minute I opened my new paperback, I realized how very wrong I was.

From the opening scene, I found myself totally enchanted with crypid herpetology and of course Alex. As an amateur field-naturalist who used to be one of those teenaged volunteers wandering around the bog for the annual turtle count, I could identify with Alex right from the get-go. On top of that, as one might expect for the InCryptid series, it's still a fast paced story of magic, family, love and biological science. And, oh, it's also a murder mystery where people are being turned to stone.

To avoid any further spoilers, I'll just say that I loved it. Highly recommended if you enjoy urban fantasy... or field biology!

Embassytown

Date: May 25th, 2014 03:33 pm (UTC)
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From: [personal profile] unregisteredpseudonymspls
Not long ago, I (re)read China Miéville's Embassytown in audiobook format. SF novel, but very surreal. The protagonist is Avice Benner Cho, who as a girl growing up in Embassytown on the world of Arieka, was required to act out a simile for the native Ariekei (who cannot comprehend the notion of a metaphor and can only refer to things that they know happened), so that they can speak her: "... like the girl who was hurt in darkness and ate what was given to her". After spending decades as a hyperspace navigator ("immerser"), Avice returns to Embassytown to "floak" (it's a brilliant word for a combination of idle recreation and gossip gathering), and lands in the middle of deadly crisis of understanding to which her simile is key.

It's read by Susan Duerden, whose voice perfectly captures the strange mix of decadence and panicked fervor that characterizes the inhabitants of Embassytown.

I've now moved onto Miéville's Kraken, which is an alt-London urban fantasy "shaggy god story", as I've read it described. Male reader, does lower-class British accents.

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