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DMS

Saturdays in Books

Reviews of speculative fiction, YA, middle grade, and graphic novels, along with stray thoughts, links, and pictures.

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The SFWA European Hall of Fame: Sixteen Contemporary Masterpieces of Science Fiction from the Continent
Kathryn Morrow, James K. Morrow

Review: The Princess Diarist

The Princess Diarist - Carrie Fisher

Definitely do the audiobook if that is an option. I mean, we're all going to read it in her voice anyway, why not get the intended inflections straight from her.

 

This was up for a Hugo this year for Best Related Work. The voting packet only includes an excerpt, but I happened to fortunately already have the audiobook waiting.

 

Is it possible to separate this book from Fisher's death? It's interesting and at times quite funny and disturbing, but less so than some of her other works.

 

She talks about getting the role of Leia, working on the first movie, and about her later interactions with fans. Mostly, though, this book is about her affair with Harrison Ford, as told both from her recollections and excerpts from diaries she wrote while on set. And it's about as far from lurid as possible.

 

I tend to not rate autobiographies. It just seems weird to give a star rating to the actual events of a persons actual life they've just told me. Fisher's writing here is lovely, even her prose from decades ago, pulled from old diaries is sharp. 

 

Even though I ended up voting other things higher on the final ballot, I'm really glad I read this book this year. 

Llamas!
Llamas!
Small Zebra
Small Zebra
White deer?
White deer?

I am behind on writing reviews. Please enjoy these pictures of animals at the local drive through safari.

Review: Gemina

Gemina (The Illuminae Files) - Jay Kristoff, Amie Kaufman

A bit of a slow start, but once this gets going, it is just as action packed as the first book in the series. This volume follows different characters with different problems, but still plenty of blood and mayhem.

 

One of the characters keeps a diary of drawings, which I'll be honest I did not love. It seems younger than she is supposed to be. But the pages are partially soaked in blood, and the mystery of who and how that happened turns out to be central to the plot in a way that is incredibly satisfying.

 

I'm a little sad to see the third volume isn't out until next year.

 

 

Review: Wayward Volume 1

Wayward Volume 1: String Theory - John Rauch, Jim Zubkavich, Steven Cummings

An interesting world with interesting characters and gorgeous art, but this somehow felt like 3 issues of content spread across 5 issues. Some of that is simply front loaded world building, though, so I'll be interested in picking up volume 2.

2017 Hugo Ballot - Summary Post

This has definitely been far more detail than I typically discuss. There are still several categories that I'm not quite sure on the order. Voting closes July 15th so I can be indecisive a bit longer.

 

Adding a sixth work to every category and adding a series category made for a lot more work this year. I think next year I may not vote in all categories. Best Editor, Long Form is one I don't typically vote in. I've given it a try this year, and have nearly convinced myself to just not vote in it ever. Fancast is the other I'm considering just sitting out in future years. 

 

And, while the rest of the rankings matter under this voting system, I'm not going to post my entire ballot. Right now, the top positions on my ballot look like this (links to my discussion posts):

 

Novel: Ninefox Gambit (link)
Novella: The Ballad of Black Tom (link)
Novelette: "You'll Surely Drown Here If You Stay" (link)
Short Story: "That Game We Played During the War" (link)
Related Work: The Geek Feminist Revolution (link)
Graphic Story: Paper Girls, Volume 1 (link)
Dramatic Long: Arrival (link)
Dramatic Short: The Expanse: "Leviathan Wakes" (link)
Editor Long: Devi Pillai (link)
Editor Short: Neil Clarke (link)
Pro Artist: Galen Dara (link)
Semiprozine: The Book Smugglers (link)
Fanzine: Lady Business (link)
Fancast: Fangirl Happy Hour (link)
Fan Writer: Abigail Nussbaum (link)
Fan Artist: Elizabeth Leggett (link)
Series: The Expanse (link)
Campbell: Malka Older (link)

 

I did finished the first October Daye novel, and the rest of it did not live up to the promise of the first 20%. I doubt I'll pick up the next one. I've also finished The Princess Diarist and am comfortable with where I had placed it after listening to the first few chapters.

  

A week before voting closed, the Hugo committee made two updates. One to note that Sarah Gailey was in her second year of eligibility for the Campbell. You only get two years, so this is her last, though I fully expect to see her work nominated in future years. The second update was to add Steam tokens for the full version of each of the Craft games. These are text based games I already own for iOS. The first was my entry point into the series, so I'm kind of excited to see voters getting access to more than the preview chapters available already. I think this may also be the first time games have been under consideration on the final ballot? That's very exciting.

 

As a result of my reading from the voter packet, I've so far purchase:

Raven Stratagem (Machineries of Empire) - Yoon Ha Lee 

Victor Lavalle Destroyer #1 - Victor Lavalle 

Victor LaValle's Destroyer #2 - Victor LaValle  

Saga, Volume 5 - Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples 

Saga, Volume 6 - Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples 

Saga, Volume 7 - Fiona Staples, Brian K. Vaughan 

 

If I had not already purchased all of The Craft Sequence, I would have also picked the rest of them up. Same with my pre-order for The Stone Sky.

 

I hope they ratify the Series amendment. And make some fucking progress on a YA category, already. And then maybe we can work on a video game category? I won't get to go and vote at this year's business meeting, though, since I'm not going to be able to attend. Looks like it's going to be a great convention!

Review: River of Teeth

River of Teeth - Sarah Gailey

There's a lot I like about this novella, but overall it's a bit not-quite-enough of something. The ensemble cast are all characters I'd like to know more about (with one exception, but that's fine, that character doesn't make it), but in a novella length work, I didn't get to spend quite enough time with any or all of them.

2017 Hugo Ballot - Best Novel

This is part of a series of posts reviewing categories in this year's Hugo ballot. I'll be discussing the entries, the voter packet, and my ballot. I've nominated and voted most years since 2011, when I figured out that all I had to do was join Worldcon to get to do so. Not only that, but if you participate in one year, you still get to nominate the next year. This year, thanks to a rule change, we nominated up to 5 entries, and the final ballot included the top 6.  

 

Novel tends to be the category everyone thinks of when talking about the Hugos. And everyone and their sister has tried to figure out what the nominees say about the state of the genre or fandom, including me. Can anyone tell me what the hell was going on in 1969 when The Goblin Reservation was nominated? This year, I'd read 4 of the finalists before the ballot was announced, and already owned copies of the other two. Below are this year's finalists, listed in the order they appeared on the official announcement, with my notes on each.

 

All the Birds in the Sky, by Charlie Jane Anders (Tor Books / Titan Books) - This book and I were not made for each other. My review is here. While it was certainly not my thing, I'm not at all surprised to see it on the ballot.

 

A Closed and Common Orbit, by Becky Chambers (Hodder & Stoughton / Harper Voyager US) - This was on my nominating ballot. I loved it. It's a sequel to another book I loved, but doesn't strictly require that book. Though I do recommend both.  They are just such wonderfully warm books.

 

Death’s End, by Cixin Liu, translated by Ken Liu (Tor Books / Head of Zeus) - I read the first few chapters, having finished the first book, but never started the second. It seems to continue both the strengths and weaknesses of that first book. So, interesting in terms of ideas, but in this year, not nearly good enough to be in contention for the top spot.

 

Ninefox Gambit, by Yoon Ha Lee (Solaris Books) - I hadn't read this before nominations closed, but I had the audiobook. It is fucking amazing. I am wild about this book. Wise and action packed with a concept that I really dig. 

 

The Obelisk Gate, by N. K. Jemisin (Orbit Books) - This was also on my nomination ballot. A great sequel that succeeds in adding depth and breadth to every aspect of the first book. Here is my review.

 

Too Like the Lightning, by Ada Palmer (Tor Books) - I tried to read this last summer and it didn't work out. I've read some criticism since then that leads me to believe I would not have come round to liking it if I'd kept reading.

 

This is going to be a tough call. Ninefox Gambit, The Obelisk Gate, and A Closed and Common Orbit are all books I love dearly. And all are doing very different things. I'm still high on Ninefox's ride, so it's at the top. But I can't not feel all warm and fuzzy when I think about Chambers' book, so it's at the top. And Obelisk Gate was so good I considered bidding hundreds of dollars to get an early copy of the sequel, obviously it's at the top. Gah. The rest I can easily sort, or just not include, but these three are all top notch.

 

Review: Lady Killer

Lady Killer - Jamie S. Rich, Joëlle Jones

This short, 5 issue run, is witty and fun and soaked in blood. I really enjoyed the whole thing. I would love to read another volume if they ever make one. The cover image is basically everything you need to know about this one. If it makes you want to know more, go right ahead and pick this up.

2017 Hugo Ballot - Best Fanzine

This is part of a series of posts reviewing categories in this year's Hugo ballot. I'll be discussing the entries, the voter packet, and my ballot. I've nominated and voted most years since 2011, when I figured out that all I had to do was join Worldcon to get to do so. Not only that, but if you participate in one year, you still get to nominate the next year. This year, thanks to a rule change, we nominated up to 5 entries, and the final ballot included the top 6.

 

Fanzine has morphed from paper newsletters to group blogs and digital resources over the years. Below are this year's finalists, listed in the order they appeared on the official announcement, with my notes on each.

 

Castalia House Blog, edited by Jeffro Johnson - Nope. 

 

Journey Planet, edited by James Bacon, Chris Garcia, Esther MacCallum-Stewart, Helena Nash, Errick Nunnally, Pádraig Ó Méalóid, Chuck Serface, and Erin Underwood. Yeah, not my kind of thing in format or content. 

 

Lady Business, edited by Clare, Ira, Jodie, KJ, Renay, and Susan - I read this blog regularly. The contributors are all great. Will be in the top half of my ballot.

 

nerds of a feather, flock together, edited by The G, Vance Kotrla, and Joe Sherry. I occasionally read things from this group blog, but don't follow it regularly.

 

Rocket Stack Rank, edited by Greg Hullender and Eric Wong - I appreciate the level of work involved here, but my heart belongs to other endeavors. 

 

SF Bluestocking, edited by Bridget McKinney - I had never heard of this prior to this year's ballot. McKinney's reviews are interesting and I'll likely check them out in the future.

 

In summary, not a lot of depth to my opinions here. Lady Business is at the top, followed by SF Bluestocking, nerds of a feather, and Rocket Stack Rank. 

2017 Hugo Ballot - Best Related Work

This is part of a series of posts reviewing categories in this year's Hugo ballot. I'll be discussing the entries, the voter packet, and my ballot. I've nominated and voted most years since 2011, when I figured out that all I had to do was join Worldcon to get to do so. Not only that, but if you participate in one year, you still get to nominate the next year. This year, thanks to a rule change, we nominated up to 5 entries, and the final ballot included the top 6.

 

Best Related Work excludes fiction, but can be anything related to the genre or fandom. Some years it overlaps Best Fan Writer, but not this year. Below are this year's finalists, listed in the order they appeared on the official announcement, with my notes on each.

 

The Geek Feminist Revolution, by Kameron Hurley (Tor Books) - I nominated this. It's solid. Per my review, it's empowering and interesting. Having a book of nonfiction, avidly feminist essays come out from a major publisher is also a pretty big deal. 

 

The Princess Diarist, by Carrie Fisher (Blue Rider Press) - I am currently listening to this audiobook, read by Fisher. The voting packet only includes an excerpt, but I happened to have the audiobook. Is it possible to separate this book from Fisher's death? It's interesting and at times quite funny and disturbing, but biography feels less relevant to today than topical essays. 

 

Traveler of Worlds: Conversations with Robert Silverberg, by Robert Silverberg and Alvaro Zinos-Amaro (Fairwood) - I didn't love this, but I'm not the target market.

 

The View From the Cheap Seats, by Neil Gaiman (William Morrow / Harper Collins) - I definitely prefer his fiction. This also fails to really have a cohesive theme. It's just stuff Gaiman wrote, so very little of it feels relevant to genre at all.

 

The Women of Harry Potter posts, by Sarah Gailey (Tor.com) - Hello relevance I've been looking for. These are quite good. You can read them all here.

 

Words Are My Matter: Writings About Life and Books, 2000-2016, by Ursula K. Le Guin (Small Beer) - This feels a bit more focused on genre than Gaiman's book, possibly because Le Guin lives on the same Earth most of us do.

 

 

In summary, the top of my ballot will be either Hurley or Gailey. Followed by Le Guin, Fisher, then Gaiman, and finally Silverberg.

Review: Rosemary and Rue

Rosemary and Rue - Seanan McGuire

Well, at least I don't have to write a long review here, since so many of my complaints have already been covered in bookaneer's eloquent review.

 

The first quarter was so promising, y'all. I almost bought the rest of the series just because of it. Engaging setting, a sense of humor and dismay! Alas, the last half was not at all good. In addition to always being saved by a man, McGuire also managed to fridge a female character in the last act, which was immensely disappointing.

 

Let's talk plot, or plotting at the very least. It's like this was written by someone who knows what kind of things happen in noir detective novels, but doesn't actually know how to build a plot with those pieces. I know this was a first novel and published forever ago, but I can name a number of first novels in this genre from the same year or a few years earlier that are loads better. I like gore and action, but give a girl something to string the scenes together with (something besides "then I woke up in a new location, a man yet again having saved my life, and stepped out just long enough for someone to take a swing at me, necessitating a rescue by a different man").

 

As for our heroine, I want to like the gender-swap aspect, but that gender-swap just doesn't work for me when my hardboiled detective still manages to be damsel-in-distress over and over. And while I'm super into unreliable narrators, I am super not into fucking abusive men. And wow does she do unnecessary and stupid stuff under the banner of investigation. The idea that she was any kind of detective, let alone one so good she was knighted, is just too much for my suspension of disbelief to bear.

 

So, yeah, in spite of a decent first impression, I'm not going to continue these.

2017 Hugo Ballot - Best Novelette

This is part of a series of posts reviewing categories in this year's Hugo ballot. I'll be discussing the entries, the voter packet, and my ballot. I've nominated and voted most years since 2011, when I figured out that all I had to do was join Worldcon to get to do so. Not only that, but if you participate in one year, you still get to nominate the next year. This year, thanks to a rule change, we nominated up to 5 entries, and the final ballot included the top 6.  

 

Novelette is a length that I always have to look up when I fill out my ballot. Below are this year's finalists, listed in the order they appeared on the official announcement, with my notes on each.

 

Alien Stripper Boned From Behind By The T-Rex, by Stix Hiscock (self-published)  - Nope.

 

“The Art of Space Travel”, by Nina Allan (Tor.com , July 2016) - Well written, but not at all my kind of thing.

 

“The Jewel and Her Lapidary”, by Fran Wilde (Tor.com publishing, May 2016) - I had a lot of trouble telling the two protagonists apart. This was interesting, but I'm not sure I liked it as much as some of the people I follow on twitter.

 

“The Tomato Thief”, by Ursula Vernon (Apex Magazine, January 2016) - Cute and warm and fun. Vernon is always a delight.

 

“Touring with the Alien”, by Carolyn Ives Gilman (Clarkesworld Magazine, April 2016) - I liked this one quite a bit in spite of not really getting invested in the protagonist. The ending is especially good. The perfect length for what it was trying to do.

 

“You’ll Surely Drown Here If You Stay”, by Alyssa Wong (Uncanny Magazine, May 2016) - Odd and unsettling in a very appealing way. I didn't like the first few pages, but was quickly brought around. Wong was a finalist for the Campbell last year, and stories like this are why.

 

This is one of the easiest fiction categories for me to rate this year. Wong's at the top, followed by Gilman, then Vernon, Wilde, and Allan.

2017 Hugo Ballot - Best Fancast

This is part of a series of posts reviewing categories in this year's Hugo ballot. I'll be discussing the entries, the voter packet, and my ballot. I've nominated and voted most years since 2011, when I figured out that all I had to do was join Worldcon to get to do so. Not only that, but if you participate in one year, you still get to nominate the next year. This year, thanks to a rule change, we nominated up to 5 entries, and the final ballot included the top 6.

 

I don't listen to podcast regularly, preferring to consume written commentaries, but I have heard a few of these before. Below are this year's finalists, listed in the order they appeared on the official announcement, with my notes on each.

 

The Coode Street Podcast, presented by Gary K. Wolfe and Jonathan Strahan - I know I've listened to this before, but I can't recall any sense of it. One of the featured episodes in the packet was "Kai Ashante Wilson and A Taste of Honey" which is on the ballot this year. I was not impressed by the interviewer, and swapped to the roundtable episode. I don't know. This feels dry and joyless. The roundtable was better, largely because the guests outnumbered the hosts.

 

Ditch Diggers, presented by Mur Lafferty and Matt Wallace - I've never listened to this podcast. The voter packet had links to recommended episodes and I picked (surprising nobody) the Kameron Hurley episode. This did not go well. The theme music was VERY LOUD and tinny, but the actual conversation was challenging to hear. I gave up after a few minutes and swapped to the Madeline Ashby episode and it had the same issue. Basically, I can't listen to this in the car or the office because of the audio quality, which means I won't listen to it.

 

Fangirl Happy Hour, presented by Ana Grilo and Renay Williams - This podcast is the closest I come to regularly listening to. Wow is that an awkward sentence. That is to say, when I decide to throw on a podcast, I check here first for new episodes. The two hosts are thoughtful and gleeful and angry and basically everything. 

 

Galactic Suburbia, presented by Alisa Krasnostein, Alexandra Pierce and Tansy Rayner

Roberts, produced by Andrew Finch - I've listened to this before, but never kept up. It's just not quite the right fit for me. They listed the New Years Eve episode as the featured episode in the packet, so that's what I listened to. The audio quality is a little uneven, but not the worst on the ballot. 

 

The Rageaholic, presented by RazörFist - I'm going to pretend this doesn't exist. 

 

Tea and Jeopardy, presented by Emma Newman with Peter Newman - The packet included an episode, so that's the one I listened to, with guest Charlie Jane Anders. I've enjoyed this podcast in the past. If I actually listened to podcasts, this would be one. The production values are good and Emma Newman has a great voice. This is a solid episode with an interesting conversation about genre and the different experience of publishing a novel vs a short story. 

 

In summary, Fangirl Happy House at the top, followed by Tea and Jeopardy. I don't even know if I'm going to rank the rest of these.

2017 Hugo Ballot - Series

This is part of a series of posts reviewing categories in this year's Hugo ballot. I'll be discussing the entries, the voter packet, and my ballot. I've nominated and voted most years since 2011, when I figured out that all I had to do was join Worldcon to get to do so. Not only that, but if you participate in one year, you still get to nominate the next year. This year, thanks to a rule change, we nominated up to 5 entries, and the final ballot included the top 6.

 

This year, series is a special award added by Worldcon 75. There is a pending amendment to add a series category, and it should be voted on at this year's Worldcon. Passage would make this a permanent category. This year's Worldcon used the amendment's definition of Series (at least 3 volumes published, at least one volume published during the eligibility period, at least 240,000 words). I'll be as interested in seeing the coverage of the vote at this year's business meeting as in the results of the award. 

 

Below are this year's finalists, listed in the order they appeared on the official announcement, with my notes on each.

 

The Craft Sequence, by Max Gladstone (Tor Books) - I've really enjoyed what I've read of this series where contract law meets magic. Including the text based games. Yes, there are games! I've not read all of them, yet, but this is a series I look forward to continuing. The setting is dynamite and the characters are great. 

 

The Expanse, by James S.A. Corey (Orbit US / Orbit UK) - I've read all but one of the novels and most of the short fiction and seen every episode of the show. The first two books were great, but then the series started to get weaker. Specifically in terms of gender representation. Book 3 would have been much better if one male POV character had instead been a secondary character and one secondary female character had instead been a POV character. Book 4 only had 1 female POV character and she had a terrible not-romance arch that was resolved by having a man explain her feelings to her. Book 5 I didn't finish because after 2 books in this series driven by finding missing girls and another book throwing in a captured woman subplot I was fucking not fucking reading a book where two women go missing. Book 6 won me back by finally making that woman from book 3 into a POV character and then being the best book in the series. So, while this is the series I've read the largest percentage of, my reactions have not been universally positive.

 

The October Daye Books, by Seanan McGuire (DAW / Corsair) - This series has been perpetually on my to-read list because so many people I know love it. I've started the first one and like the hilarious but horrible means by which the protagonist's life was destroyed. So far it is interesting and fun, but isn't catnip to me the way Kitty Norville or White Trash Zombie are. A good fun read. I'll continue the series for sure. The packet includes all 10 books, but I think I will buy them as I read them after this first one.

 

The Peter Grant / Rivers of London series, by Ben Aaronovitch (Gollancz / Del Rey / DAW / Subterranean) - I've avoided this series for reasons that have nothing to do with the actual books. Basically, I encountered this series by way of an argument that goes: women write shit and make the whole UF genre shitty, try these books by a dude if you want to read good UF. Which is a great way to get me to not read a book, tbh. I know that's not really fair and I don't care. 

 

The Temeraire series, by Naomi Novik (Del Rey / Harper Voyager UK) -  I loved the first book, but lost interest after the third. The pacing wasn't working for me. The packet only includes the first book, which I've read. 

 

The Vorkosigan Saga, by Lois McMaster Bujold (Baen) - I've read several of these over the years. Fun, funny, and generally good all around. I enjoy them, but they aren't anywhere near my favorite books out there. The packet includes a novella from the late 80's, but no other fiction. 

 

In summary, Expanse and Craft are at the top, probably with The Expanse in position one. I think the rest will be Vorkosigan, followed by October Daye, then Temeraire. And that's all I'm planning to include.

2017 Hugo Ballot - Best Novella

This is part of a series of posts reviewing categories in this year's Hugo ballot. I'll be discussing the entries, the voter packet, and my ballot. I've nominated and voted most years since 2011, when I figured out that all I had to do was join Worldcon to get to do so. Not only that, but if you participate in one year, you still get to nominate the next year. This year, thanks to a rule change, we nominated up to 5 entries, and the final ballot included the top 6.

 

The Novella length has gotten a lot more popular recently and Tor.com has responded by providing a lot of high quality ones to the ebook market. Apparently that was a good move for them as they've got 4 of the 6 slots here. Below are this year's finalists, listed in the order they appeared on the official announcement, with my notes on each.

 

The Ballad of Black Tom, by Victor LaValle (Tor.com publishing) - Lovecraftian horror from a far better writer than Lovecraft. I've never read LaValle's work before, but now I know he's a name to look out for. This is great!

 

The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe, by Kij Johnson (Tor.com publishing) - Also lovecraftian, but by an author I just don't enjoy reading. I tried, but gave up at less than 20%. I made myself finish the last Kij Johnson novella to make it onto a ballot and that was a mistake.

 

Every Heart a Doorway, by Seanan McGuire (Tor.com publishing) - A great premise and interesting characters, I really wish McGuire had trusted her reader a little more here. There is far too much exposition followed by a mystery that has an obvious motive and obvious solution. A solution that is pointed out in one scene, and then ignored. This has all the right pieces but is assembled in a way that did not work at all for this reader.

 

Penric and the Shaman, by Lois McMaster Bujold (Spectrum Literary Agency) - Penric seems like an interesting character, but I don't like this setting. I don't like it at all. I don't like the names or the gods or the social structure. But I did finish reading this one, that's something.

 

A Taste of Honey, by Kai Ashante Wilson (Tor.com publishing) - There's a scene towards the end that recontextualizes the entire story, leading to a satisfying conclusion. That said, the experience of reading up to that point was somewhat frustrating. Because there isn't really a story, just a bunch of scenes from some dude's life - made extra frustrating by how interesting the lives of some women around him seem to be. If this had been half the length, I think I'd have really dug it.

 

This Census-Taker, by China Miéville (Del Rey / Picador) - another I couldn't finish, but made it almost a third of the way into. Tedious.

 

So LaValle's entry goes at the top, followed by McGuire's or Wilson's? Bujold will be ahead of the two I couldn't finish. Or maybe I'll just leave those two off the ballot.

Review: Ninefox Gambit

Ninefox Gambit - Yoon Ha Lee

Superb, high intensity plot with wildly interesting world building and compelling characters. This audiobook is great. I bought the sequel as soon as I finished it. 

 

Based on reviews I had read, I expected to be lost for a few chapters, but this was not the case. I was hooked from page one. Maybe I'm just that one odd reader who is totally up for consensus based physics regulated by the government through a standardized calendar and locally alterable. That's a big idea for world-building if I even saw one, and damn if it isn't brilliantly executed. 

 

Dear reader, do not worry. While there are occasional lines about regression and numerical methods, this is more math as poetry than reading proofs. This book is plot and character driven. A captain who's recent campaign involved questionable, if not heretical, action proposes the use of a brilliant tactician to put down an uprising, and her proposal is accepted. The tactician was a general who never lost, but turned on his own hundreds of years ago. 

 

What follows is a harrowing campaign, largely from the perspective of the captain, who values every life lost under her command. Strategy and gore testing her sanity. 

 

I legit spent 20 minutes raving about how great this was to my spouse. He eventually asked me not to ruin the whole book for him. I WAS IN CHAPTER 4. I rearranged furniture and caught up on cardio to invent time to listen, I was that enthralled.