Tag Archives: novella

Review of Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach – by Kelly Robson

I borrowed a paperback copy of Kelly Robson‘s Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach from the local library.

Description from Goodreads:

Discover a shifting history of adventure as humanity clashes over whether to repair their ruined planet or luxuriate in a less tainted pass.

In 2267, Earth has just begun to recover from worldwide ecological disasters. Minh is part of the generation that first moved back up to the surface of the Earth from the underground hells, to reclaim humanity’s ancestral habitat. She’s spent her entire life restoring river ecosystems, but lately the kind of long-term restoration projects Minh works on have been stalled due to the invention of time travel. When she gets the opportunity take a team to 2000 BC to survey the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, she jumps at the chance to uncover the secrets of the shadowy think tank that controls time travel technology. 

Review:

Not bad, and I liked it a lot more by the end than I did the beginning. I thought the way the two narratives were interspersed and eventually intersected was really clever and I liked the world with it’s generational differences and integrated tech. (And I love that the main character is an 83-year-old woman.) But honestly I was bored for a lot of the time while reading this. So, my overall experience was middle of the road.

Review of The Haunting of Tram Car 015, by P. Djèlí Clark

I borrowed a copy of P. Djèlí Clark‘s The Haunting of Tram Car 015 from the local library.

Description from Goodreads:

The Haunting of Tram Car 015 returns to the alternate Cairo of Clark’s short fiction, where humans live and work alongside otherworldly beings; the Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments and Supernatural Entities handles the issues that can arise between the magical and the mundane. Senior Agent Hamed al-Nasr shows his new partner Agent Onsi the ropes of investigation when they are called to subdue a dangerous, possessed tram car. What starts off as a simple matter of exorcism, however, becomes more complicated as the origins of the demon inside are revealed. 

Review:

This was only a novella. So, here’s a short review for a short book. I basically loved this. I adored Hamed and his new partner Onsi. I loved the setting and the world. I thought the dialogue was sharp and the story satisfying. My only complaint is that on occasion I felt like the tone of the dialogue was inconsistent. But for the most part I just loved this.

There is also a free short story called A Dead Djinn in Cairo, on the Tor website, that is set in the same world, with a minor crossover of characters. I loved it and recommend reading it.

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.