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Book reviews

OK, so I signed up for three monthly book clubs this year. And I want to make sure I write down reviews for all 36 books (plus hopefully any others I read). My particular challenge is that I "read" audiobooks as often as possible.

This can make citing pages and chapters quite difficult, so if I mention something about a particular scene, but seems vague, this is why. (This can also be true for Kindle books, not a whole lot of page numbers there...)

Book 1. The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N. K. Jemisin read for The Women of Fantasy Book Club of Jawas Read too! (Well, technically, it was read in November for calico_reaction's Book Club...but it still counts right? Even if I'm a touch hazy on details?)

The world of the book is amazingly developed, but in a very drips and drabs kind of way. It is quite definitely a slow build book. The character that is the point of view for nearly the whole book is very opinionated but does not give us much insight into how she got there and even how the world works. This is partially intentional because she was raised deliberately outside of the city the book takes place in and is learning as she goes, but there is no traditional exposition, "this is how it all works scene" even though the character is supposedly in the running to be the next ruler. Part of this is the absolute dysfunctionalism of how the ruling family has made slaves/servants of their gods. Yes, it is a bit clearer in the context of the book, but not much.

I was frequently frustrated by how the main character is supposedly the ruler of her province/country, but is so drippy at court. She supposedly comes from this amazingly strong matriarchy, but acts so...helpless. gah. And the few times she shows strength, I found myself questioning it because of her poor choices in how she used it. (Turning an "enemy" to diamond just because she could? Really??) Also, the ending was a bit confusing, supposedly she was going to screw up the succession ceremony somehow in revenge for her grandfather killing her grandmother and driving away her mother from the palace, but I got really confused because of all the gods wandering around and doing stuff in the middle of it all. Again, "read" on audio, so some of the confusion may have been the medium. It was an amazing read up until then, the semi-conversational tone of the narrator worked really well.

I nearly immediately placed the sequel in my queue to be read and I look forward to reading it knowing that it chronologically takes place well after the events of the first novel.

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