Just finished: Updraft by Fran Wilde


Here’s the blurb:

In a city of living bone rising high above the clouds, where danger hides in the wind and the ground is lost to legend, a young woman must expose a dangerous secret to save everyone she loves.

Welcome to a world of wind and bone, songs and silence, betrayal and courage.

My thoughts:

I started out reading this in audiobook and got about 30% through before I couldn’t take any more from the narrator. It was not her voice that bothered me but the pacing and breathlessness of it. While there were certain sections for which this style worked very well, in other places it just seemed wrong. So I switched to the ebook and didn’t look back.

The writing in this book is painfully good. Just judging from other books I have read that include flight, it is very hard to describe flight and aerial battle in a way that does not make the reader feel like a cameraman in a Michael Bay movie, but this book managed to do it. The cadence of the language also lent itself to the feel of the flight in the book. It was really masterfully done.

The story itself was heartfelt and clear if a little whiny sometimes, but, I mean, come on, we were all whiny when we were teenagers so I always expect some of that when the protagonist is a teen. I thought the reactions and misunderstandings between mother and daughter were particularly well done. That relationship felt very real to me and I hope it is explored more fully as the series continues.

I can’t wait to read the next book in the series when it is released next month. I would recommend this to anyone that enjoys a good adventure story with a little mystery. If you enjoy Sorcerer to the Crown I would suggest you check this one out.

Overall: 4 stars

Just finished: Devil in a Blue Dress by Walter Mosley


Here’s the blurb:

Devil in a Blue Dress honors the tradition of the classic American detective novel by bestowing on it a vivid social canvas and the freshest new voice in crime writing in years, mixing the hard-boiled poetry of Raymond Chandler with the racial realism of Richard Wright to explosive effect.

My thoughts:

This is definitely hard boiled mystery. There is a kind of noir feel to it as well being set in 1940s Los Angeles. There is a lot of violence and overt racism that are explored but also a kind of mysticism that I think was what threw off the pacing for me. This book is definitely teeing up the rest of the series I think as well, so there is a lot that is trying to be done in one relatively slim volume.

All of this together made the story feel a bit uncoordinated. There wasn’t really a mystery to solve other than why Easy has to be such a casual womanizer (the answer apparently being that private eye tropes require it). Overall, I enjoyed the setting and mood of the book, but it was very light on the things that I really enjoy in a good mystery novel, the whodunit.

This would be good for anyone that enjoys gritty historical fiction. It was also, as I mentioned in a earlier review a good reflection on what racism looked like in American during post-WWII but before the Civil Rights era of the 1960s. So read in conjunction with Kindred, we get a taste of slavery era South, post WWII southwest, and post Civil Rights movement southwest all from the point of view of black authors and black characters.

Overall: 3 stars

Vacation/Staycation


I may finish a book in the next week, but I may not. Toledo Pride is this weekend (August 26 and 27) and I plan to spend some time on Saturday watching the parade and visiting vendors. Then I start vacation on Tuesday August 30. World of Warcraft has a new expansion launching that day so I will be primarily gaming for awhile following that release. Then off to see family for the Labor Day weekend.

Join us in Azeroth if you dare! You can find my character Arduanne on the Dragonblight server. I’ll get back to my regular reading schedule soon.