Monthly Archives: February 2018

Review of Incarceron, by Catherine Fisher

I purchased a copy of Incarceron, by Catherine Fisher.

Description from Goodreads:
Incarceron is a prison so vast that it contains not only cells and corridors, but metal forests, dilapidated cities, and wilderness. It has been sealed for centuries, and only one man has ever escaped. Finn has always been a prisoner here. Although he has no memory of his childhood, he is sure he came from Outside. His link to the Outside, his chance to break free, is Claudia, the warden’s daughter, herself determined to escape an arranged marriage. They are up against impossible odds, but one thing looms above all: Incarceron itself is alive . . .

Review:
Soooo, what to say about Incarceron? It’s good. The writing is stellar. The idea is big and interesting. I appreciate the world-building and the characters. But I felt like I’d been reading this book for 15 years, instead of a week. A lot happens, don’t get me wrong. But it just felt really slow. I’ll read book two at some point. I want to see what happens. But I’m gonna give myself a break from it first.

 

Review of Binti, by Nnedi Okorafor

I borrowed an audio copy of Binti, by Nnedi Okorafor, from my local library.

Description from Goodreads:
Her name is Binti, and she is the first of the Himba people ever to be offered a place at Oomza University, the finest institution of higher learning in the galaxy. But to accept the offer will mean giving up her place in her family to travel between the stars among strangers who do not share her ways or respect her customs.

Knowledge comes at a cost, one that Binti is willing to pay, but her journey will not be easy. The world she seeks to enter has long warred with the Meduse, an alien race that has become the stuff of nightmares. Oomza University has wronged the Meduse, and Binti’s stellar travel will bring her within their deadly reach.

If Binti hopes to survive the legacy of a war not of her making, she will need both the gifts of her people and the wisdom enshrined within the University, itself – but first she has to make it there, alive.

Review:
Really wonderful. I enjoyed this a lot. I liked the way the author created so much of a world (universe) with so little. I loved Binti and the slow(ish) trust that develops between her and her enemy. But I was a tad bothered that despite her skill as a harmonizer, her success ultimately depended on chance, on something she randomly found years earlier. And I thought the ending came about far too easily. But mostly I adored this.

Robin Miles did a wonderful job with the narration too. She had a whistle on her hard S that was painful in headphones, but that was my ONLY complaint.

Review of Zoo City, by Lauren Beukes

I bought a copy of Lauren Beukes‘ Zoo city.

Description from Goodreads:
Zinzi has a Sloth on her back, a dirty 419 scam habit, and a talent for finding lost things. But when a little old lady turns up dead and the cops confiscate her last paycheck, she’s forced to take on her least favourite kind of job – missing persons.

Review:
A friend of mine saw that I was reading this and warned me that it gets quite dark toward the end. She wasn’t kidding. Though I admit I really like the last little tidbit of a chapter, do not go into this expecting a happy ending. I kind of did and had to readjust my thinking.

Having said all that, I liked the book. I liked the African setting and characters (They are from several African countries. I don’t mean to reduce a continent of peoples to a single, geographic designator.), the world and magic system, the plot and the writing. I got a bit thrown by some of the non-English words. I could have done with a glossary, but it was followable.

All in all, I liked it. I’m undecided about if I’ll read the next one in the series, but mostly I ended this one happy.