Tag Archives: Gods

Review of The Raven Tower, by Ann Leckie

I borrowed an audio copy of Ann Leckie‘s The Raven Tower through my local library.

Description from Goodreads:

For centuries, the kingdom of Iraden has been protected by the god known as the Raven. He watches over his territory from atop a tower in the powerful port of Vastai. His will is enacted through the Raven’s Lease, a human ruler chosen by the god himself. His magic is sustained via the blood sacrifice that every Lease must offer. And under the Raven’s watch, the city flourishes.

But the power of the Raven is weakening. A usurper has claimed the throne. The kingdom borders are tested by invaders who long for the prosperity that Vastai boasts. And they have made their own alliances with other gods.

It is into this unrest that the warrior Eolo–aide to Mawat, the true Lease–arrives. And in seeking to help Mawat reclaim his city, Eolo discovers that the Raven’s Tower holds a secret. Its foundations conceal a dark history that has been waiting to reveal itself…and to set in motion a chain of events that could destroy Iraden forever. 

Review:

This had a slow, but consistent pace. But I found that I continued to find chores I could do to keep listening to it. I enjoyed that the narrator was utterly unexpected and that the main character was just a tad off-centre from power. If you’re looking for a rollicking, fast-paced novel, this isn’t it. But it you like interesting, thought-provoking narrations it very well could be. This was my first Leckie book, but it won’t be my last. And Adjoa Andoh did a great job with the narration. In fact, while I’m sure I’d have liked the book regardless, I wonder if I’d have loved it as much as I did had I not listened to it.

Review of LieSmith, by Alis Franklin

LieSmithI was granted a copy of Alis Franklin‘s LieSmith from Netgalley.

Description from Goodreads:
Working in low-level IT support for a company that’s the toast of the tech world, Sigmund Sussman finds himself content, if not particularly inspired. As compensation for telling people to restart their computer a few times a day, Sigmund earns enough disposable income to gorge on comics and has plenty of free time to devote to his gaming group.
 
Then in walks the new guy with the unpronounceable last name who immediately becomes IT’s most popular team member. Lain Laufeyjarson is charming and good-looking, with a story for any occasion; shy, awkward Sigmund is none of those things, which is why he finds it odd when Lain flirts with him. But Lain seems cool, even if he’s a little different—though Sigmund never suspects just how different he could be. After all, who would expect a Norse god to be doing server reboots?
 
As Sigmund gets to know his mysterious new boyfriend, fate—in the form of an ancient force known as the Wyrd—begins to reveal the threads that weave their lives together. Sigmund doesn’t have the first clue where this adventure will take him, but as Lain says, only fools mess with the Wyrd. Why? Because the Wyrd messes back.

Review:
I thought that this was quite clever. That alone would be enough for me. But paired with how darned CUTE Sigmund was, makes it’s a real winner for me. I just wanted to grab all his über-geeky, low self-esteem (what he would call realistic self-appraisal), hipster envy, good boyness and hug it and love it and call it George. I adored him. Plus, he’s a not a cookie-cutter, Ken-shaped, white main character. He’s plump and dark. Maybe with some Maori ancestry, but that’s never clarified. I loved it, even more since this was played all sorts of cool, as if it wasn’t some rare gem to be treasured when found in a book.

The story itself is quite convoluted and, honestly, readers would be well served to have at least a basic understanding of Norse mythology. I’m not saying that it’s not understandable if you don’t, but I think it will be more enjoyable if you do. But beyond the story of the machinations of the gods there is a lot to enjoy here. The romance is slow and sweet. It never progresses beyond a kiss, but it’s obvious the end goal is love not lust. *sigh* And there is just tons and tons of Gamer/Trekkie/Trekker/Ringer/comic book/Star Wars/DnD/etc nerddom to revel in. It’s glorious in its own way, but not over-played. Plus, Sigmund is never disparaged for his interests. In fact, he’s quite comfortable in who and what he is.

With the tangled plot, I did find it a little hard to keep up with on occasion, it seemed to slow down and drag for a while in the Helbleed, friends accepted the impossible with aplomb, and the ending is left a little ‘we’ll figure it out eventually’ open. But for the most part I found this a really enjoyable read.