@sohkamyung Heh, I agree, and I bet it would be more distracting if "Tan" were a common name in my milieu. I love the cover art imagery, but this detail is distracting. At least the spines spell the whole names out straightforwardly.
I'm currently the coordinator of the #SFFBookClub so a lot of what I'm reading is suggestions from there.
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I don't think I liked this book quite as much as the previous two, but it still sucked me in and I'm not sure how better the trilogy could have been wrapped up. There are a lot of still unanswered questions at the end, which feels fitting but something about the style of this one felt like a tease, where the previous two volumes felt more convincingly like the answers simply weren't there to be had.
I still love and strongly recommend this trilogy overall.
It's funny how of all the books I've read by Le Guin, the one that's set on a baseline plausible Earth-in-my-lifetime would turn out to be the weirdest. Also funny how in what starts as a pretty reasonable extrapolation from 1971 to ~2000 has one repeated glaring error: multiple references to the perfect cone of Mount St. Helen's.
Against that background, we get a story of a man running away from his dreams because they give him a power he doesn't understand and can't control. And another man who wants to channel that power, setting up a modern Daoist fable about the hubris of trying to control too much.
The "Finnish Weird" label that I've seen bandied around fits but also doesn't quite - it had me expecting a bit of a lighter quirkier book than this turned out to be. The first scene or two definitely feels like that, but it quickly becomes apparent that a more serious dystopia is being spun, along lines set out by the cover.
Actually I should praise the cover more: it's one of the best book covers I've ever seen, because it tells a lot of the story but without spoilers since none of it made sense until I had reached the relevant parts of the book.
I'm eldang on cohost too. To be honest I have as yet to see anything really compelling about it, but until I find the Perfect Social Network I'll always be interested in new attempts.
The financial model is interesting, but I have concerns about switching one monolotihic company-run moderation policy for another. And I get the sinking feeling when I read the staff account that they haven't actually used Mastodon and its forks... but that can't be true, can it?
This collection of stories explores some interesting territory around mental illness and sense of self, but ultimately the standoffish tone of almost all the narration grated on me. For any one story I think it was a reasonably effective device, but across the whole book it really limited my emotional engagement.
Content warning major spoilers
This is kind of two books, of which the first half was fun but frustrating, and the second half generally better.
In the first half, we're introduced to two main characters in separate worlds. Nahri the orphan who has some strange powers and turns out to be at least partly Djinn-descended, possibly the last survivor of an important dynasty. And Ali a prince in a brutal dynasty that murdered most of Nahri's ancestors, and who is determined to do something about the cruelty. Nahri has to flee her old life for Ali's city. The writing is clunky at times, Ali's a little too good, and it's too obvious that Nahri's flight will succeed, so the epic battle with every kind of magical demon feels more farcical than exciting. But the book's great strength is that this "conclusion" is only halfway through it.
What made the second half work better for me is that Nahri's arrival is such a complicating event in everyone's life, most definitely including her own. Ali ends up thoroughly compromised in ways that make him a much more believable character, and the interwoven strands of everyone lying to and scheming around each other get much more interesting. And I think Chakraborty just took a while to hit her stride as a writer, which makes sense given that this was her first book and not originally written with publication in mind.
At the end I was still a little frustrated. The hooks for the sequel are slightly too obvious and undermine the completeness of this (already long) book, and there are a few too many deus ex machina. But considering how much better the book got as it went along, I am excited about the sequel.