Books: 2019-02

February was the first month in my new job, so the time I had for reading was limited due to my brain adjusting. Five books, and three short stories is all you get.

Reading list length: 460


Sansûkh by determamfidd is an incredibly well-researched, detailed, well-written Lord of the Rings fanfiction, telling the whole story from the perspective of the dead dwarves keeping watch over their relatives. Its protagonist is Thorin Oakenshield, and in addition to all the plots told by the primary books, it also features Erebor and Mirkwood. The writing is very appropriate and well-done, and I enjoyed every part of it tremendously. It's funny, and it's epic, and it's very much as it should be. It is available here.

Surface Detail

Surface Detail by Iain Banks is a true Culture novel. Complicated action, backstabbing actors, different civilisations, matters of life, death, and life beyond death, and witty Minds. Well. The beginning was a slow burn (but Culture novels tend to have weird pacing), but this was still very enjoyable.

The Stone Sky

The Stone Sky by N.K.Jemisin is a great ending to a great trilogy. I kind of dislike books where the ending is clear ahead of time, but the amounts of good storytelling and additional context we got made up for it. Nassun's development felt a bit heavy-handed at times, but she still makes a good character, and contrasts well with her mother Essun. I enjoyed getting the true backstory for the breaking of the earth!

Persepolis Rising

In many ways, Persepolis Rising by James S.A. Corey was a gamble. How do we react to our heros having grown older together, all of a sudden? How do we treat non-standard story arcs? How do we react when we don't have a whole lot of movement in this huge space opera 'verse, and the characters we get to see are … very human, and not always appealing?

For me, this gamble paid off tremendously. The Expanse continues to write to my tastes and standards, and Persepolis Rising, with all its discontinuities, and defeats, and character development overtaking plot pacing, was a great read.

The Final Empire

The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson is good Fantasy, no more, no less. In comparison with Sanderson's Stormlight Archives it feels much more YA-y (not in a bad way, though). I enjoyed that I wasn't able to predict the plot too far ahead, aside of generalities. This book didn't shake my perception of the world – it's too generic for that, but it's genuinely touching in enough places to keep it from feeling boring/overly generic/as if I had read it already.

Short Stories

  • On the Day You Spend Forever with your Dog is a short story that tries to roll heart-breaking dog love and (emotional) time travel into one, but fell flat for me.
  • The Ghoul Goes West may be nice if you're an Old Hollywood buff, but otherwise it falls flat.
  • The Nine Billion Names of God is a short story fairly typical of the Arthur C. Clarke times of scifi. Doesn't hurt to read, but by now it's fairly predictable, and the premise was new then, but is kind of ehhh today.

Do not recommend

The advantage of reading not much is that with luck, you don't read any bad books at all!