Mini Reviews

Hey there!

In case you don't check out the Hotlist's Facebook page from time to time, you might not be aware of the reason why I aven't reviewed anything in almost a month. Well, I flew to Spain on May 22nd and I've been walking the Camino de Santiago since then. With about 335km under my belt, I now find myself in San Justo de la Vega for a much-needed day off. Understandably, walking an average of 25km under the hot sun with basically no shade every day leaves me too exhausted to write reviews.

But since I do keep on reading, usually with a cold sangria or cerveza to keep me company while I do so, I've decided to resort to mini reviews once again. Otherwise I'll be too far behind when I get back home. Things should return to normal upon my return in July.

- Perdido Street Station by China Miéville (Canada, USA, Europe) 6/10

Oddly enough, I bought this book the year it came out. But for some reason, I never read it. As it garnered rave reviews and awards, I knew I needed to give it a shot ASAP, but it never happened. I finally decided to do so earlier this spring and I'm not sure it was a good idea.

Perhaps my expectations were too high, or maybe this novel just isn't for me, yet it took everything I had just to finish it. I almost quit several times, only to persevere, hoping for a payoff that never came. Perdido Street Station is an extremely well-written novel and a feat of imagination. But the plot and the characterization are subpar to say the least.

Took me over a month to finish it, and by that time I could care less about how it ended.

Here's the blurb:

The metropolis of New Crobuzon sprawls at the center of the world. Humans and mutants and arcane races brood in the gloom beneath its chimneys, where the river is sluggish with unnatural effluent and foundries pound into the night. For a thousand years, the Parliament and its brutal militias have ruled over a vast economy of workers and artists, spies and soldiers, magicians, crooks, and junkies.

Now a stranger has arrived, with a pocketful of gold and an impossible demand. And something unthinkable is released.

The city is gripped by an alien terror. The fate of millions lies with a clutch of renegades. A reckoning is due at the city’s heart, in the vast edifice of brick and wood and steel under the vaults of Perdido Street Station.

It is too late to escape.

- Exit Strategy by Martha Wells (Canada, USA, Europe) 8/10

This is the fourth and last installment in Wells' initial Murderbot cycle and it closes the show in satisfying fashion. It goes without saying that it leaves the door open for plenty more adventures/misadventures to come.

I really enjoyed these four novellas, but too much of the plot always involved Murderbot saving a bunch of clueless and often stupid people. In the future, I'm hoping that the author elevates her game and brings this series to another level. I'm currently reading Network Effect, the first novel in the Murderbot Diaries, and it appears that Wells has done just that. Time will tell.

But if you are curious and have yet to give the first novellas a shot, I suggest you do so.

Here's the blurb:

Murderbot wasn’t programmed to care. So, its decision to help the only human who ever showed it respect must be a system glitch, right?

Having traveled the width of the galaxy to unearth details of its own murderous transgressions, as well as those of the GrayCris Corporation, Murderbot is heading home to help Dr. Mensah—its former owner (protector? friend?)—submit evidence that could prevent GrayCris from destroying more colonists in its never-ending quest for profit.

But who’s going to believe a SecUnit gone rogue?

And what will become of it when it’s caught?

That's it for now, folks. Next up will be Stephen King's Mr. Mercedes and Finders Keepers. Now I'm going to take it easy, for tomorrow is one of the most difficult stages of the entire Camino. I'm starting to climb the Cantabrian Mountains, walking up to Foncebadon. A little over 29km of walking, with an elevation gain of more than 600m. I have a feeling I'll be too tired to do much once I get there. . . ;-)

4 commentaires:

Anonymous said...

But will you visit Barcelona and find the Cemetery of Forgotten Books? :)

Shroud said...

Had the same reaction towards Perdido Street Station. I couldn't bring myself to read The Scar, yet. I barely made it through book 1.

Anonymous said...

Years ago I also tried to read Perdido Street Station, after having previously enjoyed Rat King. I gave up after about two hundred pages, when nothing had happened and I didn't care about any of the characters.

Fernando G. Orza said...

Hope you enjoy the scenery and the spiritual travel (it doesn't need to be religious to be spiritual). You will notice the geographical change and mood when you enter Galicia. Hope the food is fine and the people too!!