I can’t recall the last time I read fiction set in the vicinity of Mongolia, so kudos to Bear for picking and sticking by it. Lots of horseflesh, a decent amount of archery, and even telling the truth! (For those of you who didn’t spend a quarter studying the history of the Persian Empire—mostly the one that tried to get the Greeks to behave—the Achaemenids especially valued three qualities in their princes: horsemanship, archery, and honesty.)
Oh, also the thing with the skies, which created a lot of opportunity to replace the standard visuals of flags, governors, and foreigners with something all the more fascinating. Depending on who’s conquered a territory, the sky over that region will literally follow the belief system of the conquerors, even when the local population keeps its own religion. Continue reading →
Remember when I was bummed about all the stuff that didn’t happen in volume 7, given the end of volume 6, which came as the ultimate shock after all the zany preceding bits (psychedelic chogs)? Continue reading →
The titular character, a member of the “world’s oldest profession,” is given superpowers by an alien who’s made a bet basically saying that anyone can be a hero.
Even a woman who just got stiffed by a john, had a minor argument with the babysitter, and is now bottlefeeding her young son on the toilet with her panties down while the alien’s watching her (and yes, the robot suggests he’s a creeper. ‘Voyeur’ if you insist). Continue reading →
Oh man this series just really hit its stride. In the first two volumes, it was hard to enjoy the central characters as much as, well, every single one of the side characters. Marko’s parents, The Will/Slave Girl/Gwendolyn (and The Stalk foreverr), Prince Robot IV—this one, though, I actually found myself enjoying the main characters’ story. Seeing more of their interactions with other people, instead of the very Romeo & Juliet bubble, was probably why. Continue reading →
I love Diamond’s approach to history: look for patterns, and apply the scientific method as much as possible, achieved here to its fullest degree with linguistics and archeological findings, and a robust side dish of evolutionary biology.
That said, I’m so biased in favor of this approach, because it’s exactly the one I like. I happen to hold a degree in biology, with a minor in Classical Civilizations and a second almost-minor in Political Science (it would have been a full minor if my school allowed classes to be counted twice for minors).
This rating is for the digital edition, although I don’t think it’d be any different for the print, much as I love glossy pages in my hands. ComiXology is decent at formatting, and I read this on my computer so I had the option of full spreads, single pages, and Guided View. The HTML5 reader is decent, if you haven’t tried it yet. Continue reading →
It’s hard for me to tell how much is filling in the blanks and how much is lifted directly from sources without having access to them, but the footnotes suggest that Castor exhausted what was available, and given her area of expertise, I’m inclined to trust her ability to comprehensively read extant sources. It would be nice to have more archeological evidence included as a counterpoint, but she worked well with what she had, as far as I can tell. (I minored in Classics, wrong era and location!) Continue reading →
In this volume, the snappier pacing I’d gotten used to, and the advancement of the main plot, take some serious brakes. The ending of the previous volume sets things up for major action times, and instead of having all of that explode here, we get more buildup. (For those of you who’ve read the Wheel of Time series, Book 9.) Continue reading →
… because the color thing is a load of surface level excuses that let people look tolerant without having to educate themselves from either side.
okay so this is cool: the teacher who owns this dog is using the meme to promote that he’s a puppy mill rescue. So there: adopt a rescue!
My next story is going to feature a protagonist named Lakeesha. Lakeesha grew up in an upper middle class suburb, her parents are lawyers. She played softball through middle school, switched to volleyball in high school, got a 30 on the ACT, and is now studying business in Michigan.