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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: Emperor's Shadow

Emperor's Shadow - Yi Zhu

If you are looking for a good story in in an interesting non-steampunk industrial age setting, and don't really care about craft, give this a try. There's some great characters mixed with cool concepts - alchemists derive power from a pollutant! - but the prose lacks sophistication. Not just at the sentence level, but the way scenes are executed and the construction of the plot and how information is revealed all come across as underdeveloped work. This stuff matters to me, but I won't pretend it's important to every reader.


This is interesting enough that I'll likely read the sequel when it's out. I hope he continues to develop his writing skills. He's got good ideas, clearly.