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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 Goblin Emperor

The Goblin Emperor - Katherine Addison

This one was an audiobook, because there is no way I was going to get to the first 1/3 of a novel that is mostly proper nouns otherwise. This had the downside of making it nearly impossible to remember who anyone was in the last half. I, seriously, only learned 4 names. The narrator deserves so many awards for this. For all the crazy names, for so many of the important characters having distinct voices - I can't imagine how I would have made it through this at all if not for the amazing Kyle McCarley to carry me through.

 

I feel like this book is the solution to a problem I don't have. I've read a lot of the praise, and I sort of get it, but I just cannot get into high fantasy or manners fantasy. I am just not able to sympathize with how hard it is to have all the wealth and power in the world. Nor do I generally feel that polite suffering will lead to living happily every after. 

 

Fortunately, the second of those two, where manners fantasy is the message fiction of the tone police, doesn't pan out. When Maia finally stops silencing himself, he finally starts to make progress. 

 

Unfortunately, there are only two times in this whole book that anyone tries to stab anyone.

 

Clearly, I am a bloodthirsty monster.

 

Really, I think this is a very good book for a very different reader. It's on the Hugo ballot this year, and I see why, even if it isn't even a little bit my kind of thing.