Tag Archives: multiple narrators

Perdido Street Station by China Mieville

I had The Scar on my TBR list, but it turns out I’d already read it. This is the first book in the New Crobuzon series.

Published: 2000

Genre: fantasy

Length: 710 pages

Setting: New Crobuzon, in a pre-Industrial Revolution-technology world

Summary: Short version: Isaac feels responsible for releasing slake-moths on the city Continue reading


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The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

This was our book club choice for June

Published: 2014

Genre: historical fiction

Length: 359 pages of story, 373 pages total

Setting: mostly Charleston, SC, but also Philadelphia, PA, 1803-1838

Summary: Short version: The life of Sarah and her slave, Handful, in 1800s Charleston Continue reading

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The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi

Tor gave out a copy of this book one month as their free ebook. I was in the mood for some science fiction to break up the Chinese epic historical fiction I’m reading.

Published: 2017

Genre: science fiction

Length: 336 pages

Setting: mostly End and Hub within the Interdependency, far future

Summary: Short version: The Flow is collapsing and so with the Interdependency Continue reading

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Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve

My husband picked this up as an audiobook for the family because Peter Jackson turned it into a movie.

Published: 2001

Genre: science fiction

Length: 373 pages

Setting: a post-apocalyptic, barely recognizable future Asia

Summary: Short version: London’s attempts to gain power causes many deaths Continue reading

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Sticks and Stones by Sarah Mlynowski, Lauren Myracle, and Emily Jenkins

It’s the second book in the Upside-Down Magic series. It was in the house for Miss Adventure to read. Since the books only take an hour or so to read, I decided to read it.

Published: 2016

Genre: middle grade fantasy

Length: 193 pages

Setting: mostly around Dunwiddle Magic School, soon after the events of Upside-Down Magic

Summary: Short version: Lacey starts a petition to get the Upside-Down Magic kids kicked out Continue reading

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The Solitude of Prime Numbers by Paolo Giordano

This was a random book from the library I picked off the shelf because it mentioned prime numbers. I brought it home because it was an Italian book and I’m actively looking for books set somewhere other than the U.S.

Published: 2008 in Italy, 2009 in the U.S.

Genre: fiction

Length: 271 pages

Font: Adobe Garamond Three

Setting: Italy (although you could never tell from the story), present day

Summary: Short version: Two traumatized kids grow up broken Continue reading


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Smoke and Iron by Rachel Caine

This is the fourth book in the Great Library series. We borrowed it from a friend because the library only has the first three books.

Published: 2018

Genre: YA alternate history/fantasy

Length: 448 pages

Setting: Alexandria, immediately after the events of Ash and Quill

Summary: Short version: Jess and his friends make their move to remove the Archivist

Long version: Jess and Dario have put into play a scheme to get them back to Alexandria. They put it into lace without telling anyone else but Morgan, since she’s critical to its success. Morgan is sent back to the Black Tower where she makes contact with Eskander, a powerful Obscurist. Wolfe is sent back to prison and he works hard to not allow the setting to break him. Jess is impersonating Brendan, his twin, in order to have some freedoms in Alexandria. The others are prisoners on a ship, being taken back to Alexandria by Anit. They hijack the ship and get support from the King of Spain. In Alexandria, the goal is to minimize bloodshed and encourage Scholars to support a regime change. The Archivist has planned a Feast of Greater Burning and developed a dragon automaton to hold onto power. Jess and his allies disrupt those plans, although the Archivist escapes.

Final thoughts: Delightful, if not quite as compelling as the first few. I certainly devoured the book since I needed to know what happened next. The book is chock full of peril. It’s a constant driving to a final confrontation. Perhaps that’s why I felt a little let down at the end. There was so much build up that the conclusion felt anticlimactic. It didn’t help that the Archivist escaped. That felt like a cheat to require one more book. Also, I didn’t appreciate Brendan’s death at the end. I felt like the author knew someone important had to die, but it couldn’t be than main characters. Therefore, Brendan is elected to be the sacrificial lamb.

This book was told from everyone’s point of view. That differed from the previous books but was necessary because the characters were split up. I enjoyed Morgan and Khalila’s chapters best. Morgan continued to rail against the restrictions placed on Obscurists. She does learn there are limits to even her great powers. I was happy Eskander was able to fix her so she was no longer an energy vampire. Khalila’s arc went the other way. She kept moving into leadership roles without actively seeking them out. I fully expect her to become the next Archivist. I still wonder what Jess’s role in the Library hierarchy will be. Everyone else is wonderful at their field (perhaps excessively so – I get annoyed when all the wonderful people come together. Where are the average people?), but Jess doesn’t really have a specialty.

Title comes from: It follows the naming convention of the series. Otherwise, I’m not really sure.

Reading challenges fulfilled: book #29 for 2019

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