Ugh. I’m currently reading a book – a sequel to one I loved – in which a main character is, to be blunt, a bit of a naive bumpkin who is arriving in a larger, much more populated and sophisticated place, and, of course, everyone can spot her lack of streetsmarts from a mile off.
It’s awful. Not just for her – she doesn’t understand yet what’s going on or what’s being done to her – but for me, too. This is probably my biggest non-genre-specific reading turn-off; I hate having to follow a character through lengthy, painful descriptions of events in which I know exactly what’s going to happen, even if the character doesn’t. I know, it doesn’t mean the writing is bad, but I just can’t tolerate it. My cringe-reflexes are too strong!
Sooo that’s problematic. I have to suffer through this, which already feels like it’s been going on for hours (I’m doing the audio copy of this book), before the plot can move on, and presumably grow into the greatness of the previous book in the series.
But, oh my gosh. This is just 100% unpleasant.
(I’m like this with all kinds of storytelling, though, TV/film included. I cannot watch those “comedies” where the comedy is based on just… prolonged, painful awkwardness or stupidity. Shudder…!)
The Nebula awards 2014 have been announced, I’m happy to see Annihilation getting the limelight (and remind myself to read the other two Area X novels). The rest of the novels/novellas list is mostly familiar to me, but I hadn’t come across the Andre Norton award winner before – Love is the drug by Alaya Dawn Johnson – and I think I have to add it to my to-reads, because it looks like a combination of two of my favourite things in the world, which are terrible epidemics and the horror film The Faculty. (Not because I’m convinced this book has bodysnatching going on in it, but, well, your friendly drug dealing genius? I think I just identified a favourite trope. I’ll call it the Zeke.) This is the amazon blurb:
From the author of THE SUMMER PRINCE, a novel that’s John Grisham’s THE PELICAN BRIEF meets Michael Crichton’s THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN set at an elite Washington D.C. prep school.
Emily Bird was raised not to ask questions. She has perfect hair, the perfect boyfriend, and a perfect Ivy-League future. But a chance meeting with Roosevelt David, a homeland security agent, at a party for Washington DC’s elite leads to Bird waking up in a hospital, days later, with no memory of the end of the night.
Meanwhile, the world has fallen apart: A deadly flu virus is sweeping the nation, forcing quarantines, curfews, even martial law. And Roosevelt is certain that Bird knows something. Something about the virus–something about her parents’ top secret scientific work–something she shouldn’t know.
The only one Bird can trust is Coffee, a quiet, outsider genius who deals drugs to their classmates and is a firm believer in conspiracy theories. And he believes in Bird. But as Bird and Coffee dig deeper into what really happened that night, Bird finds that she might know more than she remembers. And what she knows could unleash the biggest government scandal in US history.
Unfortunately, it isn’t available to me as a kindle book, but I found it on audible, so I’ll throw a credit at it this month.
In other news?
I read, finally, The goblin emperor by Katherine Addison, and I loved it. It was pretty much one continuous sitting of a read, only reluctantly interrupted by undergoing minor surgery. (It was just a diagnostic peek inside, and I now have it on paper that most of my insides are, quote, unremarkable. Isn’t that something!) Having said that, I also read and loved the bazooey out of Naomi Novik’s Uprooted, and both of these novels come together in my mind as representatives of, well, pleasant fantasy. Uprooted is forest-dark, and The goblin emperor is steeped in thorny politics, but both of them left me feeling, well, good. This has caused me to move Novik’s Temeraire series way up in the TBR-pile, and I’ve added a bunch of Sarah Monette titles to my radar, aswell. (Sarah Monette is, of course, Katherine Addison.)
And now, in my post-op happy drug&bandage-rashes party, I’m finally well immersed in long awaited Seveneves by Neal Stephenson. I love this too. Awesome things are awesome.