Books of the Week: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Alina and Mal were orphans together growing up in ducal orphanage. As teenagers they went into the army together and together they set out in an armada heading across the Unsea. Attacked by volcra in the pitch dark of the Fold (called the Unsea on maps) Alina summons a force she did not know she possessed, saving Mal. Back in the Russian inspired country, Alina is found to be a Grisha, a class of people with special abilities and sent to a palace for training. Her talent is unique and may hold the key to end the war that has beleaguered their country for a century and eliminate the Fold. The twisty twining plot goes to unexpected places in this beautifully crafted world.
In John Scalzi’s article, “Who gets to be a geek?” he states ”It’s the sharing that makes geekdom awesome.” Which as a librarian, makes me think geekdom and librarianship go hand in hand. He talks about hipsters who don’t want to share the cool they’ve glommed onto in contrast to geeks. The joy in librarianship is in sharing and in discovery. We don’t hold the knowledge we hunt down tight, we share it. It is kind of like a book. If it sits on a shelf it is just a chunk of paper. When it is being read it can be magic. Most, not all, but almost all reader’s advisory librarians are story geeks. We don’t care about the format, hardcover, paperback, audio, ebook, whatever, we delight in stories and live to share them with others. I am proud to be a story geek.
I will be reveling in geekdom in a little over a month when I’m at Dragon*Con. There will be gorgeously arrayed cosplayers there along side folks who look like they’ve just climbed out of the basement after days of non-stop gaming. I’ll be mostly hanging out in the YA Track with geeks of all stripes who love reading science fiction and fantasy.
Book of the Week - Dead Reckoning by Mercedes Lackey and Rosemary Edghill
Book of the Week - A Confusion of Princes by Garth Nix
In a far distant future an enormous empire controls countless worlds inhabited by the descendants of Earth. It is ruled by an emperor and overseen by ten million Princes. A Princes has “vast power and seemingly limitless authority” but may never know his or her parents. Imperial Prince Khemri spent the first ten years of his life in a vat of Bitek gloop where he was bioengineered and educated via downloads. The next six years he was educated by priests and finally on the sixteenth anniversary of being selected as a Prince Candidate he was assigned an assassin priest and discovered the possibility of dying was much higher than that of safely linking with the Imperial Mind. From that point on his life is filled with danger.
This fast paced coming of age adventure pits Khemri against other Princes, powerful families, academy politics, and alien dangers, throwing him into situations that require a rare combination of skill, intelligence, heart, courage, and intuition to survive as he discovers what being a Prince really means and who he really is.
This is outstanding space opera. Not to be missed. The world building is superb with the combination of bitek (biological technology), psitek (psionic technology), mektek (mechanical technology), and multiple deaths with rebirths. The space battles are cinematically real.