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Joined 2 years, 10 months ago

I read only nonfiction for years. Now, I'm getting back into fiction. (he/him)

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sifuCJC's books

To Read (View all 6)

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reviewed Authority by Jeff VanderMeer (The Southern Reach Trilogy, #2)

Jeff VanderMeer: Authority (2014) 4 stars

"In the second volume of the Southern Reach Trilogy, questions are answered, stakes are raised, …

A respite, then a continuation

3 stars

I was definitely engaged in the beginning. The confusing nature of the first book gave emotion to the investigation of Area X. This second book also ended well, a nice cliff-hanger toward the final story. But in the middle I got lost twice.

In plot, you can have confusing or dream-like parts. Similarly in the text, you can get poetic. VanderMeer tries both at the same time, walking a thin line. Of course I think this is done on purpose, mirroring the border line of Area X, amorphous and drifting. But when I as a reader cross it, this means I have lost communication. I then have to skim past words until I can pick up the narrative again.

I will continue on to see how the trilogy ends though.

Alix E. Harrow: Starling House (Hardcover, 2023, Doherty Associates, LLC, Tom, Tor Books) 4 stars

A grim and gothic new tale from author Alix E. Harrow about a small town …

Creepy house, downtrodden town...

4 stars

Creepy house, downtrodden town. Got to be a curse of some sort, right? Wonderful exploration into this set up.

Harrow also has a knack for putting her protagonists in inescapable peril. Which works only if you care for them, which you do. The path out of it is satisfying.

reviewed Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer (The Southern Reach Trilogy, #1)

Jeff VanderMeer: Annihilation (Paperback, 2014, Farrar, Straus and Giroux) 4 stars

Area X has been cut off from the rest of the world for decades. Nature …

Hmm, what to say

4 stars

Um. I will continue on in the series. It was interesting. But let's see; the prose was... relentless. Like a pressure squeezing my temples. I can't say it was pleasant.

But now I feel obligated to continue. Like in homage to those traveled before.

Alix E. Harrow: The Once and Future Witches (EBook, 2020, Redhook) 4 stars

In 1893, there's no such thing as witches. There used to be, in the wild, …

A view on current issues through a story on women's suffrage

4 stars

Well crafted story and magic and women's rights. What's not to love?

(The rest of the review is super personal; I wonder if it has the same effect on others.) I was angry for and with the characters, not at them. Which was the point of the book, sure. But it was relentless. By the end of book I was exhausted. And I realized that I need that energy for issues in the real world; I need to save my anger energy these days.