Posts in category 'books'

  • Review: Leviathan Falls

    Review of Leviathan Falls (The Expanse #9.0) by James S. A. Corey (9780316332910)★★★★

    A review of the last book of The Expanse series, which brings to a satisfying close one of the finest sci-fi series I’ve ever read.

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    The Laconian Empire has fallen, setting the thirteen hundred solar systems free from the rule of Winston Duarte. But the ancient enemy that killed the gate builders is awake, and the war against our universe has begun again.

    In the dead system of Adro, Elvi Okoye leads a desperate scientific mission to understand what the gate builders were and what destroyed them, even if it means compromising herself and the half-alien children who bear the weight of her investigation. Through the wide-flung systems of humanity, Colonel Aliana Tanaka hunts for Duarte’s missing daughter. . . and the shattered emperor himself. And on the Rocinante, James Holden and his crew struggle to build a future for humanity out of the shards and ruins of all that has come before.

    As nearly unimaginable forces prepare to annihilate all human life, Holden and a group of unlikely allies discover a last, desperate chance to unite all of humanity, with the promise of a vast galactic civilization free from wars, factions, lies, and secrets if they win.

    But the price of victory may be worse than the cost of defeat.

    Disclaimer: This review is coming about a week since I finished this book, and I neglected to take notes right after I was done. So note to my future self, my memories are a bit fuzzier than usual with this one. This is exacerbated by the fact that I chose to re-read Persepolis Rising and Tiamat’s Wrath prior to reading this book, so the narrative has definitely blended together in my head.

    With all that said, to get it out of the way: if you haven’t read The Expanse and you’re at all a science fiction fan, just a quick note that you need to go out and start reading Leviathan Wakes right now! The Expanse is undoubtedly one of the finest hard science fiction series out there (and has been adapted into an utterly fantastic TV series as well). I could go on and one about why I feel that way, but quite frankly, that’s pretty well-trod ground at this point.

    But, after a ten-year-long journey, this incredible series of books and novellas is finally coming to a close.

    Now, full disclosure, I will attempt to avoid major spoilers for this specific book in this review, but it’s going to be tough to avoid that with the previous two books in this trilogy. As a result, if you haven’t read this series at all and think you might, or if haven’t gotten around to reading books seven and eight, then it’s probably best to stop now.

    Alright, with that disclaimer out of the way, let’s get right into it!

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  • Review: Dawnshard

    Review of Dawnshard (The Stormlight Archive #3.5) by Brandon Sanderson (9781938570261)★★★★

    A novella in the Stormlight archives, we’re taken on a wonderful journey starring Rysn and Lopen, uncovering more mysteries of the Cosmere.

    (https://b-ark.ca/8YwEy6)

    When a ghost ship is discovered, its crew presumed dead after trying to reach the storm-shrouded island Akinah, Navani Kholin must send an expedition to make sure the island hasn't fallen into enemy hands. Knights Radiant who fly too near find their Stormlight suddenly drained, so the voyage must be by sea.

    Shipowner Rysn Ftori lost the use of her legs but gained the companionship of Chiri-Chiri, a Stormlight-ingesting winged larkin, a species once thought extinct. Now Rysn's pet is ill, and any hope for Chiri-Chiri’s recovery can be found only at the ancestral home of the larkin: Akinah. With the help of Lopen, the formerly one-armed Windrunner, Rysn must accept Navani's quest and sail into the perilous storm from which no one has returned alive. If the crew cannot uncover the secrets of the hidden island city before the wrath of its ancient guardians falls upon them, the fate of Roshar and the entire Cosmere hangs in the balance.

    Shipowner Rysn Ftori lost the use of her legs but gained the companionship of Chiri-Chiri, a Stormlight-ingesting winged larkin, a species once thought extinct. Now Rysn's pet is ill, and any hope for Chiri-Chiri’s recovery can be found only at the ancestral home of the larkin: Akinah. With the help of Lopen, the formerly one-armed Windrunner, Rysn must accept Navani's quest and sail into the perilous storm from which no one has returned alive. If the crew cannot uncover the secrets of the hidden island city before the wrath of its ancient guardians falls upon them, the fate of Roshar and the entire Cosmere hangs in the balance.

    When Mr. Sanderson’s Rhythm of War came out, I made the decision to go back and re-read the Stormlight Archives from the start in order to really immerse myself in the narrative before starting the new book. After months of re-reading (and once again loving every minute of it!) I finally did it! I was finally ready to start the new book!

    I didn’t get very far before Navani made mention of a certain voyage upon which they discovered some new fabrial technology, and I realized, damnit, there was a novella and I should probably read this one (I have to admit I didn’t get around to fitting Edgedancer into my re-read… next time!) I guess I was gonna have to take a detour.

    Well, I’m glad I did! Dawnshard really was a delightful little story in its own right, centering on a couple of side characters that really deserved some time in the spotlight. In the process, the book also introduced some important lore that I have no doubt will play an important part in the overall Stormlight narrative and the Cosmere more broadly.

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