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Saturdays in Books

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

Currently reading

The SFWA European Hall of Fame: Sixteen Contemporary Masterpieces of Science Fiction from the Continent
Kathryn Morrow, James K. Morrow
The Pattern Scars - Caitlin Sweet Oracles and blood magic? Obviously I was all over this as soon as I heard about it. I can't remember why I elected to get the audio edition instead of reading it, but I think that was the right decision. The voice acting in this is amazing. Ohmigod I'm tempted to buy Claire Christie's other available titles even though none of them sounds like my kind of thing. There's a part where her voice is on the edge of cracking while she's describing a piece of cloth that is fucking amazing. She adds this entirely new layer of information to the story that in some ways it really needs.

This isn't adventurous or epic so much as inevitable. This is a broken woman sitting alone sifting through the ruin of her life trying to figure out how much of the guilt she feels is actually her own fault and if there was something she could have done, some time she could have changes anything. She recounts the fears and predictions of her younger self in a voice thick with the dread knowledge of what horrors actually await her as she is forced into increasingly smaller prisons, until she finds herself trapped in the smallest cell of all. Way more compelling than any book that spends so much time in the head of a teenager complaining about their life has any right to be.

I've gone back and forth on how I feel about the ending and just how unsatisfying it is. I've also been thinking about just how strange a choice of POV character this is considering the world she's in. There are epic things happening around her story and Sweet could easily have written a drama about the kingdom with this girl as a minor character who's fate is an oddity in the overall tragedy of the world. This is like reading [b:Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead|18545|Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead|Tom Stoppard|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1338735611s/18545.jpg|73811] without having Hamlet as a reference point.

"Blood is compulsory" even seems like a good summary.