Well, technically, two fantasy books and a nonfiction – I do believe that fiction can hold just as much truth as nonfiction – but going for the catchier title. Here’s catching up on reviews of some more of my reading for adults.
The Raven Tower by Ann Leckie. Orbit, 2019.
Ann Leckie’s Imperial Radtch trilogy was told from the point of view of a conscious, intelligent ship, which had taken on a body. With this book, she goes even farther by making the narrator a stone – a very large stone, The Strength and Patience of the Hill, telling a human character, Eolo, aide to the Lease’s Heir of Raven Tower, about events after the death of Lease. It’s set in ancient times, and the second-person narration gives us a strange distance from Eolo. I found it fascinating, but it is out there enough that it isn’t going to work for everyone. Indeed, many of my blogging friends who usually agree on books were sharply divided on this one.
Witchmark by C.L. Polk. Narrated by Samuel Roukin. Recorded Books. 2018.This one I discovered through an interview with the author on Fangirl Happy Hour, and was happy to find the audiobook available through my library. It’s a fantasy mystery story. Miles Singer has hidden himself from his family, working as a doctor at a veteran’s hospital, where patients keep pouring in, thanks to ongoing war. When a handsome Amaranthine man brings in a patient who dies on him, Miles and the Amaranthine work to solve the mystery. The Amaranthine are something like the Fae – most people don’t believe they’re real, and this one has come by magical means. Bonus: he is extra good-looking. But romance could be dangerously distracting for Miles – he is also trying to solve the mystery of why veterans are telling him they feel like a murderous stranger is hiding in them. And we as readers need to know why Miles needs so badly to stay away from his family. The romance was a little too perfect, but I’ll forgive this because of how rarely same-sex romances are allowed happy endings at all. The mystery was interesting, and I enjoyed Miles’s knowledge of crochet helping to solve it, as well as the bicycle culture. The narrator, unfortunately, was not expressive and did not distinguish between voices at all, so I’d recommend reading this one in print.
The Library Book by Susan Orlean. Read by the author. Simon & Schuster Audio, 2018.
In 1986, the Los Angeles Public Library burned down. Though a suspect was found, the evidence is still inconclusive. Susan Orlean, author of The Orchid Thief, follows the mystery and the suspect, interspersed with stories of the history of LAPL and its directors, as well as the role of the library in modern life. She reads this book herself, her down-to-earth midwestern accent somewhat in contrast with the beautifully ornate descriptions. I waited for probably half a year for my turn on the library’s audiobook, and it was worth the wait.