the Little Red Reviewer

Archive for the ‘read along’ Category

In case you ever need to talk me into doing something, the magic words are Iain M. Banks.

Kamo over at This Is How She Fight Start is organizing a read along of Banks’ Inversions for later this month. Join Kamo, Two Dudes in an Attic, and myself, as we convince the rest of the universe that Iain M Banks was the best thing to ever happen to said universe.  Because you’ll be joining us, tweet Kamo or comment on his announcement and let him know you want the deets. Come on, it’ll be fun!

The first sentence of the Wikipedia for Inversions page states

Banks has said “Inversions was an attempt to write a Culture novel that wasn’t.”

I didn’t scroll down any further, didn’t want spoilers.


I’m only about 50 pages in so far, and at least twice I have already audibly exclaimed “damn I love you Banks” while reading.  If I don’t respond to tweets or e-mails for the next 24 hours, this book is why.


Well my friends, this is it.  We’ve come to the end of our read along for The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms.  Make sure to watch Dab of Darkness for announcements about a continuing read along in N.K. Jemisin’s Inheritance Trilogy.

Will someone please make a time machine for me, so I can go back to 2010 and read The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms back when it first came out? Calling this book amazing just doesn’t cut it, because it’s also innovative, ground breaking, gorgeously written,  and I could talk for hours and hours about the characters.  Ehh, maybe I should actually write a formal review?  But before that, I better get to this week’s questions, which were provided by Lauren from Violin in a Void.  Head over to her site to see what everyone else said.

btw, let it be known: I’m an idiot. Because many of us had finished the book early, Lauren so kindly sent out questions early so we could write up our responses while it was fresh in our minds.  Was it fresh in my mind when I got her e-mail? you bet!  is it still fresh in my mind 5 days later? not so much. Lauren = brilliant, me = idiot.

Questions, answers, and buckets and buckets of spoilers (and me rambling) is after the jump!

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Hi Everyone,  we’re up to week three  of our Hundred Thousand Kingdoms read along!  The book hit incredible around page ten, so I bet everyone had as tough a time as I did stopping at the end of this week’s section.   I’m our host this week, so leave your link in the comments, and everyone can hop around and read everyone’s answers.

What everyone else said:

Violin in a Void

All I Am, A Redhead

Books Without Any Pictures

On Starships and Dragonwings

Dab of Darkness

(I will add more as I find them)

Here’s this week’s discussion questions. . .   spoilers abound!

1. T’vril takes Yeine to the servant’s party. What did you think of that party, and of Sieh’s part in it?

Well, we find out a little later how the high nobles amuse themselves, so I’m happy T’vril took her to a more fun type of party. And what a great magic trick by Sieh! It’s sobering that Sieh’s attitude is “we’re all slaves”, but it was neat to see him in a different physical body. I’d like to get more of Sieh’s point of view, he seems so confused by Yeine, he has to constantly remind himself that she’s not Enefa. I think this is the first time Yeine has seen him in anything but his child’s body? I wish Yeine had been able to have more fun at the party.

2. Yeine presents herself as such a nice, compassionate person. Did your feelings about her change after the meeting she and Nahadoth had with Gemd? Read the rest of this entry »

Hi Everyone! We’re getting into the nitty gritty of the holy-shit-WHAT that’s happening in N.K. Jeminin’s incredible The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. This week’s discussion questions were provided by Anya of On Starships and Dragonwings. Head over to her blog to link around to everyone who is participating!

As you’re reading this, I’m enroute to a work thing involving layovers in snowy cities, hotel bars, training sessions, and really long meetings. Internet access and free time will be severely limited, so I’ll catch up with everyone on Thursday morning. Apologies in advance if your comment gets stuck in moderation.

We’re in the spoilerific sections of the book already, so I’ve blotted out the spoilery bits before the jump. and then I just was having way too much fun blotting stuff out. 😉

1) We’ve started to learn about a side of Yeine’s mother that Yeine can barely believe existed. No one in this story seems all that capable of telling the objective truth, however, so who do you think Kinneth really was? A devoted mother? A traitorous schemer? Evil and cruel?

2) Wow major plot reveal Batman! Finding out about Yeine’s second soul was not something I saw coming at all. Did you suspect? Have any other theories? What do you think of this major plot development? What do you think Yeine should do?

3) We’ve gotten to know a lot more about Darr in this section and their traditions have both good and bad sides it seems to me. What do you think of their coming-of-age ritual for the women? What about women soldiers and men being left to protect the children? Any other traditions that struck you?

4) The Walking Death played a pretty big role in the past given none of this would have happened if Yeine’s father hadn’t gotten sick. There was discussion in the previous section about how the Death only infects commoners and those of high-birth aren’t affected. What do you think the Death really is? Any theories on why it infects only certain people?

5) Finally, we’ve learned a lot more about our enslaved gods between getting to know Nahadoth better, finding out what is up with Sieh, and seeing a rather bitter side of Kurue. What do you think of all these revelations? Has your favorite god changed?

Ready for some spoilers?  LET’S DO IT.

Read the rest of this entry »

Welcome to the first part of our read along of The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, part 1!  This week’s discussion questions were provided by Susan from Dab of Darkness, so head over to her blog for links to everyone who is participating.

Wow is that some gorgeous cover art!

Wow is that some gorgeous cover art!

This week’s discussion covers chapters 1 through 9. Just joining us?  Click here for the schedule, and if you’d like to be added to the discussion e-mail list, let me know in the comments. 😀

Let’s get started with our first conversation!

1) We’ve met our narrator, Yeine. What are your first impressions? Do you like the chosen form of story telling so far?

I’m usually a fan of first person POV, so I’m enjoying the way the story is presented.  Sometimes I feel like Yeine is whispering to the reader, breaking the fourth wall a little bit, especially when she seems so concerned about her own method of storytelling.  This whole thing is a giant flashback, isn’t it? She seems so sad, like this is the last story she’ll ever tell.  I know i’m reading way more into her “voice” than I should be, but I like it when authors give me those tendrils of characterization, that i can’t help but follow them, even if I’m going in the wrong direction.

That was a really long winded way of saying I really really like the chosen form of storytelling!

And I like Yeine.  This scene gave her some major brownie points:

He stared at me for a moment. “Your mother did not tell you?”

“Tell me what?”

“Of the Enefadeh”

“The Enewhat?”

Read the rest of this entry »

Wow. Where did November go?  For that matter, where did summer go?  This year flew like the devil was chasing it.

Lucky for us, December and her wintery sister months offer some excellent blogosphere and realsphere events.  Such as:

On the heels of Rinn’s Science Fiction Month is Carl’s SciFi Experience, at Stainless Steel Droppings which runs during December and January. Over 25 bloggers are already signed up, go check it out!

This week starts The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin read along, hosted by Dab of Darkness, Violin in a Void, On Starships and Dragonwings and yours truly. It’s not too late to sign up if you’d like to get the discussion questions early.

On Starships and Dragonwings has also started a most excellent friday feature, it’s called Sci-Fi and Fantasy Fridays, where bloggers are invited to post links to recently posted reviews of speculative fiction books and give aways.

I’ll be posting my top books of the year later this month. The top three or four are easy. After that, it gets a little dicey.

January brings Vintage Science Fiction Month. 1979 is the magic year, Project Gutenberg is your friend, and I’m on the lookout for Science fiction from 1938.  I have some guest posters signed up, but I’m still looking for more.  Topics are pretty open, can be books, authors, tv shows, the Moon landing, cover art  . . .  if it’s science fiction, fantasy, or real science related, and it’s from before 1979, I want you to talk about it here.

January also brings ConFusion, my favorite local Science Fiction convention. Guests at the con include Ian Tregillis, Jacqueline Carey, Cherie Priest, Mike Carey, and many, many more.  There’s not much on their website yet, but I’m hoping they’ll post some preliminary programming soon. I’ll  be cosplaying as . . .  well,  if you’re the rightest sort of Right People, you’ll recognize me.

February brings another fun bloggy project, I’m organizing the Book of Apex Volume 4 blog tour.  This anthology offers 33 original pieces that were published as part of Apex Magazine (if it counts for anything, my favorite recent story over there was a dark Sesame Street parody by Jim Hines).  Let me tell you, this is a great opportunity to read award winning authors such as Catherynne Valente, A.C. Wise, Ken Liu, Elizabeth Bear, Alethea Kontis, Alex Bledsoe, Rachel Swirsky, and more.    I’ve gotten positive feedback about this from nearly everyone I’ve e-mailed about this.  And I’m kinda curious about how many more bloggers I can get on board. Sooper Speshul stuff awaits the participants! if you’re interested in learning more or getting involved, let me know.

and after all that, maybe I’ll take a vacation.  #yeahright

Welcome friends!   This is the final post in our Republic of Thieves read along. I hope everyone had a good time? It was one helluva book, wasn’t it?  This week’s questions come courtesy of Allie of Tethyan Books. Head on over to her blog for the link list of everyone who is participating, and you’re welcome to leave your link in the comments here as well.

So many, and i do mean SO MANY spoilers abound, so questions and answers are after the jump. I can’t help but tease though. . . .

In Espara…

1. The Republic of Thieves:  It’s the first and final performance!  What did you think of the play?  Were you entertained, or eager to get on with the rest of the story?  Also, how do you feel about how the play fits in the novel, in terms of the story and the characters who play the parts?

2. The Other Performance:  Of course, the GB and company had another important performance to get through—the one that ensures none of them end up hanged!  What was your favorite part of this scheme?  Do you agree with their plan for dealing with Moncraine’s treachery?

Read the rest of this entry »

republic of thieves cover 1

You guys.

I have been waiting since like August to for THIS POST. All the stuff I couldn’t talk about the in the review? I can talk about it now! with all of you!  Why can’t all Mondays be this awesome?

We’re nearly to the end, and the reveals have been coming fast and furious.  Just, holy shit, WOW.   Now I remember why I used the phrase brick shitting in my review.  We’re not even done with the book yet, which means there’s MORE for next week!

Leave me your link in the comments, and I’ll update the post as often as I can with a list of everyone’s links.

thar be spoilers, matey, (epic, earth shattering spoilers), so questions and answers are after the jump.

Speaking of everyone else’s links, here they be:

Over the Effing Rainbow

Dab of Darkness

Tethyan Books

Lynn’s Book Blog

All I am – A Redhead

Genkinahito’s Blog

Theft and Sorcery

Joma’s Fantasy Books

Violin In A Void

Many a True Nerd

Coffee Cookies and Chili Peppers

Books Without Any Pictures

(I’ll add more links as people post, so keep checking back!)

Read the rest of this entry »

republic of thieves cover 1Welcome back to the Republic of Thieves read along! This week’s section covers Chapter 6 thru Interlude “Aurin and Amadine” and is hosted by the lovely Lynn of Lynn’s Book Blog.  If you’re just joining us, click HERE for the full reading schedule.  If you’ve been following along on twitter (#lynchmob) you may have noticed there’s some team loyalties happening. all in good fun!

Instead of torturing you with an overly long thesis on Sabetha Belacoros, I shall torture you with the world’s shittiest poetry (Lucarno I ain’t!), in a spoilery summary of where we are:

liquor license saved at last,
but for a woman from their past,
That Vordratha is a cranky git,
and Locke sees Sabetha for a bit.

The boys wake on a luxurious ship,
headed to sea at quite the clip.
Funny how Locke and Jean completely forget
they can speak Vadran.

Elsewhen. . .

Five young Camorri bastards will succeed,
as soon as they can get Moncraine freed
The find the Duke and Sabetha talks,
his crush on her is as bad as Locke’s!

It’s now the Boulidazi-Moncraine company,
and acting lessons are had for free.
The Sanza boys find their niche
and Locke may finally get his wish.

(said quickly, all in one breath) and then he completely wrecks it by complimenting something Sabetha doesn’t like about herself. Great job, assmunch. Also, Boulidazi is PISSED.

This week’s spoilery questions and spoilery-er answers are after the jump!

Head over to Lynn’s Book Blog for links to everyone else’s responses.
Read the rest of this entry »

Bad planning on my part folks, when I was chopping up the book for the read along, I did it by chapter headings in the e-book table of contents, not by actual page count. So this week was a doozy! On the bright side, we’re nearly half way through the book, so future sections will be shorter!

okay, let’s get to the discussion, this week’s excellent discussion questions were provided by Lisa of Over the Effing Rainbow, and I love that she did a question for each chapter!  My answers are after the jump. Be warned friends, I wrote a freakin’ thesis.  That Sabetha thing? yeah, apparently that hit a chord with me, just so ya know.

teh questions:

1.Blood And Breath And Water: Patience tells Locke that the ritual to save him is serious business. She wasn’t kidding… What did you make of this scene, and do you think any of it might (perhaps literally) come back to haunt Locke?

2. Orphan’s Moon: Back to the childhood of the Gentlemen Bastards, and here we get another ritual, this one in service to the Nameless Thirteenth. It looks as though it might be Locke vs. Sabetha, round two – but this time Locke seems to be a little slow on that uptake… Who do you think deserves to be given the final oath? Locke or Sabetha?

3.Across The Amathel: This chapter takes a breather for quite a bit of Eldren history, while Locke starts recovering. What do you think of the history lesson, and Patience’s ominous speculation regarding the Eldren? Is this something you’d like to know more about?

4. Striking Sparks: The gang’s off to Espara, after a bad summer and a pretty thorough dressing-down from Chains, and we finally get to the source of the book’s title – they’re bound for the stage! What are your thoughts on this latest ‘challenge’ and the reasons for it?

5. The Five-Year Game: Starting Position: The election gets underway with a party (as you do) and before it’s even over, the Deep Roots party has problems – and not just thanks to Sabetha. What do you make of Nikoros and his unfortunate habit?

6. Bastards Abroad: The gang arrives in Espara, and already they’ve got problems (nicely mirroring the Five Year Game!)… This aside, we’ve also seen some more of what seems to be eating at Sabetha. Do you sympathise with her, or is Locke right to be frustrated with her?

them is some awesome questions!

keep calm fucking awesome

Everyone else’s answers:

Over the Effing Rainbow

Dab of Darkness

Lynn’s Book Blog

Tethyan Books

Violin in a Void

Genkinahito’s Blog

Just Book Reading

Joma’s Fantasy Books

Theft and Sorcery

Many a True Nerd

All I am – A Redhead

mah answers:

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some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.