Children of Blood and Bone (Tomi Adeyemi)

Children of Blood and Bone is the first novel in the Legacy of Orisha trilogy by Tomi Adeyemi.
Finished on: 25.4.2018

Plot:
In Orisha, there are two kinds of people: the maji and the kosidán. The latter rule over the former, keeping them firmly under thumb even as they fear their magical abilities. But ever since King Saran killed almost all maji, magic hasn’t really been an issue anymore. The remaining maji like Zélie are maji in name only, recognizable by their white hair, but without magic powers. As fate will have it, Zélie, her brother Tzain and none other but the princess Amari find themselves on their way to restore magic to Orisha, in possession of a magical scroll and pursued by Amari’s brother Inan.

I enjoyed reading Children of Blood and Bone but I’m a little torn about it. I wanted it to be a little more revolutionary than it was.

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Goldenhand (Garth Nix)

Goldenhand is the fifth novel of the Old Kingdom series by Garth Nix.
Finished on: 20.4.2018
[Here are my reviews of the other books in the series.]

Plot:
Lirael is the Abhorsen-in-Waiting, having found her place in life and no longer hiding as a shy librarian. But then things go haywire when she finds Nicholas Sayre, unconscious and tainted by Free Magic. She saves his life, but that is only just the beginning. Lirael needs to return to the Clayr to figure out what’s going on. Meanwhile, Ferin desperately tries to get to Lirael to deliver a message of utmost importance.

Goldenhand is a long waited for sequel to a book series I love a lot, so as you can imagine, my expectations were high – and that can easily go wrong. But fortunately, it didn’t go wrong, not even the tiniest bit. I loved it.

[Mild Spoilers follow.]

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Die Flut (Ulrike Schmitzer)

Die Flut is a novella by Ulrike Schmitzer. As far as I know, it hasn’t been translated, but the title means The Flood.
Finished on: 12.4.2018

Plot:
Red mud has flooded the land, covering pretty much everything. Any human who touches it, turns black, as if coated in paint. Fearing an epidemic, that the blackness might spread, not knowing whether it has an effect apart from the change in looks, hard measures are being taken to control and quarantine the affected. In this situation, a farmer is looking for his grandson. And he has to hurry – not just because the situation becomes increasingly dangerous for everybody, but also because his skin has started to change and if anybody realizes that, he’ll be in big trouble.

Die Flut is a slim volume and gives us a taste of a very unusual worldbuilding and a generally interesting writer. It’s the first thing I read by Schmitzer, but I’ll be sure to check out what else she’s done.

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The Hate U Give (Angie Thomas)

The Hate U Give is a novel by Angie Thomas.
Finished on: 7.4.2018

Plot:
Starr lives in the rather poor, mostly black neighborhood of Garden Heights. But she has been attending the richer, white prep school a little outside of Garden Heights for a while, so she has been out of touch a lot with her childhood friends. So when she attends a party in Garden Heights and she runs into her former best friend Khalil, she is overjoyed. When the police come to break up their party, Khalil gives Starr a ride home. And then the police stop them for a traffic check – an encounter that Khalil doesn’t survive: he is shot by the police officer. Starr is left traumatized and the only witness – and she has to figure out how to deal with both facts.

The Hate U Give is an impressive book – a vibrant story with great characters and many small, important and big, important details that dissect racial relations and racism in the USA way beyond police killings of black people.

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Acceptance (Jeff VanderMeer)

Acceptance is the third novel in The Southern Reach Trilogy by Jeff VanderMeer.
Finished on: 4.4.2018
[Here are my reviews of the other two books in the trilogy.]

Plot:
Area X is still as much of a mystery as it ever was. But there is hope in one final expedition to at least gain some insight. Or stop the Area from growing. Or maybe the answers lie in the past of the Area, in the time where the lighthouse was still being taken care of and the Southern Reach didn’t exist yet.

Acceptance is an excellent conclusion, or rather lack of conclusion for the trilogy that ends as weird as it started.

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Superheldinnen (Barbi Marković)

Superheldinnen [translates as Superheroines] is a novel by Barbi Marković:
Finished on: 20.3.2018
[Here’s my review of the stage adaptation.]

Plot:
Every Saturday, three women come together in a Viennese café to pool their powers and send good vibes to the people who deserve and need them. They have strict rules for that which means that they’re able to keep working together, even though they couldn’t be any more different. In fact, the only things they seem to have in common are that none of them were born in Austria, and that they all have powers. But on this particular Saturday, all three of them have some kind of deviation from their usual procedure in mind.

Superheldinnen is an ambitious novel that captured my attention. Albeit it not succesful in everything that it attempts, it is an enjoyable read that has interesting things to say.

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Snuff (Terry Pratchett)

Snuff is the eighth of the Discworld novels about the City Watch by Terry Pratchett [reviews of the others here].
Finished on: 15.3.2018

Plot:
Sam Vimes needs a break. Or at least that’s what his wife Lady Sybil is convinced of. And since she’s very persuasive and has Lord Vetinari’s support, Sam Vimes finds himself carted off to the country with Sybil, their son Young Sam and their butler Wilikins. But despite the tranquility of the Sybil’s country mansion it doesn’t take very long for Vimes’ police instincts to kick in: he is convinced that there is something going on there and he is sure to find out what it is.

It’s been a while that I read a Discworld novel and I don’t know if it was too long, but in any case, Snuff didn’t work all that well for me, unfortunately. It does have its strengths (and Sam Vimes), but yeah, I would have liked to like it more.

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Authority (Jeff VanderMeer)

Authority is the second novel in The Southern Reach Trilogy by Jeff VanderMeer.
Finished on: 4.3.2018
[Here’s my review of Annihilation, the first novel.]

Plot:
John Rodriguez, who likes to be called Control, has recently taken over the Southern Reach agency. It’s a disorienting agency and Control has trouble getting his bearings. People seem to keep things from him. His handler, called The Voice, isn’t happy with him and his progress. His assistant Grace might be plotting against him. And anyway, what is the deal with Area X in the first place?

Authority gives us an entirely different perspective on Area X than Annihilation did and I loved it in all its fucked-up weirdness.

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Spell Games (T.A. Pratt)

Spell Games is the fourth of the Marla Mason novels by T.A. Pratt.
Finished on 25.2.2018
[Here are my reviews of the other Marla Mason novels.]

Plot:
As usual, Marla has her hands full, even with Rondeau by her side and while training B. But then her brother Jason makes an appearance to make her hands even fuller. Jason is charming, smart and a con artist. And he and Marla have a difficult history. Now he’s there and he is planning something. Still, if it had just been Jason, Marla could have probably juggled things easily. But in a city like Felport, there is never just one thing going on.

Spell Games is an exciting entry into the series that has me anxious to learn what will happen next. I enjoyed reading it a lot.

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Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Tennessee Williams)

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is a play by Tennessee Williams.
Finished on: 22.2.2018

Plot:
Southern plantation patriarch Big Daddy is celebrating his birthday and the remission of his cancer, and his son Brick and his wife Maggie are getting ready for the party. More or less. Brick has a broken leg and is drunk already. Maggie worries about Brick’s brother Gooper and his wife Mae who she believes are trying to cut them out of the estate. And that’s not the only tension in the family. And things aren’t exactly great between Brick and Maggie either.

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is a fantastic play with strong characters that give you an intense look at human relationships. And since we’re talking Tennessee Williams, it’s also depressing as fuck.

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