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Joined 1 year, 6 months ago

Author of four novels, Girl on the Moon, Girl on Mars, Interstellar Girl, and Pauper, a standalone. Working on a fifth novel called Fight the Future. I read primarily SFF.

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Max Barry: Lexicon (2013, Penguin) 4 stars

At an exclusive school somewhere outside of Arlington, Virginia, students aren’t taught history, geography, or …

Review of 'Lexicon' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars


A somewhat more elaborate review: You should be in the mood for this book before you read it, so you'll enjoy it fully. There's a strong current of conspiracy/hidden power/nature of humanity hoohah running through it, and there's at least one character whose story and development you become engrossed in, and it's very well written, in terms of exposition (its narrative timeline is what you might call "serpentine," but it works), pacing, dialogue and such. But what it really is is a highly enjoyable shoot-em-up, quippy one-liner, this-town's-not-big-enough-for-the-both-of-us, who do I root for? action story. If you want to read one of those that treats you like you have a vocabulary and a brain, I think you'll enjoy Lexicon.

The premise is that each of 200 or so human personality types are susceptible to certain primal words, different and effective to varying degrees for each type, which "unlock" their …

reviewed The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon (The Bone Season, #1)

Samantha Shannon: The Bone Season (2013, Bloomsbury Publishing PLC) 4 stars

The year is 2059. Nineteen-year-old Paige Mahoney is working in the criminal underworld of Scion …

Review of 'The Bone Season' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

So. We've had the Twilight Saga and endless reheatings of same. Teenagers who learned to love reading from Harry Potter have had to gorge themselves on dystopian-and-possibly-paranormal romance after paranormal-and-possibly-dystopian romance since then. Hollywood took a masterpiece like World War Z and turned it into an Apocalypse Yawn movie everybody had seen a dozen times before. It was all leading up to this book.

OK, that's a little overboard. But: this 20-year-old (ish, when she started writingBone Season) Oxford student looked upon these works and saw that they were without form, and void, and often sucky, and mostly unoriginal. And yet there was something attractive, exciting and even edifying hidden underneath the chintzy Divergent/Aberrant/Enclave/Matched/Maze Runner/Number Four/5th Wave/Eleventh Plague wallpaper, a story our culture wants to hear today.

That story is about a young, potential-filled main character struggling to survive some combination of conditions we literally can't understand, because they only …