the Little Red Reviewer

Posts Tagged ‘Kage Baker

We’re in the home stretch now!  Yes, I’m talking about Kage Baker’s Company series, a series that spans all (literally, all) of human history,  a story of romance, star crossed lovers, betrayal, immortality, the best of intentions, the longest game in the history of ever, some of the best historical fiction you’ll ever read, black humor and sarcasm, and of course, time travel.

 

the most unbreakable rule of time travel being that recorded history can not be changed.

but what about those idyllic afternoons where no one wrote down what happened?

and what the person writing the stuff down, what if they, um, missed some stuff?

if the future is known, because the Temporal Concordance has all of recorded history, what does that do to Mendoza’s free will?

Doesn’t that sound like the most fascinating thing ever?    The Company books are my ideal binge read.  I’m stuck at home for a while, so I’m reading comfort books, stuff that will keep my attention, stuff I really want to read.

ok, so there is plenty of discussion on the proper reader order for this series.   Do you read it in publishing order? Do you read the main Mendoza and Joseph novels first and then go back and read the  novellas short stories later? As time travel ramps up, and things become wibbly wobbly timey wimey, it stops making sense to read these in any kind of chronological order.   I’m using the reading order list from Goodreads.  I’m missing some of the novellas in the middle, but hey, I’ll be rereading this series and/or dipping my toes in again in the future, so there’s plenty of opportunity to pick up those missing books.

 

I’ve been blogging my way through the series.  these aren’t book reviews, they are old fashioned blog entries, where I’m talking about what I’m reading, what else I’m up to, what I’m watching on TV (lots of Star Trek: Discovery), what I’m making for dinner (lots of home made bread), how I’m doing (it’s very quiet outside), etc.

 

Here’s the posts that have gone up so far, and the titles I’ve talked about:

 

It is sorta like Outlander meets Twilight, minus the WerewolvesIn the Garden of Iden #1 and Sky Coyote (#2)

One non-sequiter after anotherSky Coyote #2

Books to Escape IntoMendoza in Hollywood #3

Who is Writing this Story, Anyway?The Graveyard Game #4 and The Life of the World to Come #5

The Children of the CompanyThe Children of the Company #6

Whiskey and Book Club Ep 1The Machine’s Child #7,

 

I have finished Gods and Pawns #7.5, and Rude Mechanicals #7.75.  Both of those books are short stories that were published  in Asimov’s and other magazines, and give a lot of background on characters, and show some other adventures.  In my opinion, about half of Gods and Pawns is required for the big picture, and tbh you could skip the other half and skip Rude Mechanicals and be OK.  are all of these stories enjoyable and beautiful written and full of snark and humor?  hell yeah they are!  If you missed them (like, if you couldn’t find a copy of the book), will you still be able to follow the main story? Abso-freaking-lutely.

I really loved the first story in Gods and Pawns, where Mendoza and Lewis spend a week in ancient Central America. Mendoza is, of course, obsessed with figuring out the super compost, and Lewis is mistaken for a God’s servant.  You know how it’s easy to assume that ancient peoples weren’t as smart as we are today, because they don’t have steam engines and computers and airplanes and ipads?  This story turns that theory on it’s head.  the family that Mendoza and Lewis meet,  these people know exactly what they’re doing, they know why and how to do it, and most importantly they know how to spin science as religion/magic.

The Kalugin story was hard to read. He’s talking about a global plague. I nearly put the book down, didn’t finish it, and just went right to the next novel. I don’t want to read anything about sickness right now.

Rude Mechanicals was (please don’t kill me) just okay.  Was it fun? absolutely. Will I do just about anything to hang out with Joseph and Lewis? omg hell yes!  Believe it or not, I think Rude Mechanicals was the first Company anything I ever read, way back when.  I had no idea what the hell was going on, but I knew whatever this was, I liked it, and I wanted more.  I think my beef with Rude Mechanicals is that I’m getting itchy for “what happens next”, and while this super fun romp through 1930s Hollywood is very fun, it doesn’t move the story forward.   In a few years, when I want to dip my toes into this series, without getting sucked into the main story line, Rude Mechanicals will probably be the perfect novella to read!

Which brings us to The Sons of Heaven.  I’m nearly half way through The Sons of Heaven and holy shit is there buckets upon buckets of fuckupery happening in this book!  just some absolutely trippy shit.   Aside from that,  this novel is exactly the dessert buffet I’d been wishing for – it’s all my favorite characters, together at last.  And Lewis!   He’s like the  Neville Longbottom of the series.  He’s meek, he’s quiet,  but he’s going to save everyone, isn’t he?

At this point in the game (and we’re getting pretty close to end game), nearly all the factions are spying on each other,  the mortals of the 24th century mistakenly think they run the place,  and no one is asking the important question of “where the hell is Mendoza and Alec?”.  I also want to know – the story line with Lewis and Tiara, when exactly is this taking place?

Hard to talk about much else without giving away epic spoilers!

 

 

I ever so slowly getting through The Children of the Company, Kage Baker’s 6th Company book.   The horrid cover art continues.    Much of this novel started out as short stories that were published in Asimov‘s,  which is very cool because it means Baker wrote these parts first.  She backwards engineered the whole thing!!   but wait a minute, does that mean this book is a fix-up novel??

 

This is the first book in the series that has felt like a slog.  Labienus is my least favorite character, so watching him go through his files and remember people and places doesn’t sound like my idea of a good time. Also? no Mendoza or Joseph, so far.

 

The biggest benefit of this book, is that it’s everyone’s origin stories.  I love how much we get of Budu.  Victor’s origin story!  the truth behind his childhood memory that he “was saved from a bear”, or something.  That immortals felt sadness in the minutes leading up to the 1906 San Francisco earthquake!  That they did truly care for their mortal friends.

 

and OMG, the line about how “recorded history can not be changed”, but who is doing the recording? what if they lied?  what an oh shit moment!

 

I meant for this blog post to be a ton of fun links for you,  neat stuff you can check out.   I do not have the mental energy for that today.  I’ve re-written this post now three times,  trying to keep it positive, because reasons.  Anyway.

 

You don’t need me to post a bunch of links of things that I think are worthy. You know what you’re interested in, you know what is worthy of your time.  Go buy a bunch of e-books from an independent bookstore or a humble bundle or a small press.  Learn how to bake bread. Can’t find any yeast? there is suddenly tons of helpful info online on how to do sourdough if you don’t have any yeast. Don’t like bread? Make pasta or cookies or mashed potatoes or whatever it is that you enjoy eating.  Watch some movies.  Watch everything on Netflix.

 

I started watching Community last night, and oh hello to my crush on Joel McHale, you tall sarcastic cutie! I may have to watch that Halloween episode from the first season, oh, I dunno, ten more times.  And Donald Glover, he is SO ADORABLE!  I need a supercut of just Donald Glover being cute in that show.  I first saw Alison Brie in GLOW,  does she have any acting abilities other than chewing the scenery?      Oh shit,  now I’m not sure who I have more of a crush on, Joel McHale or Donald Glover!  can I have both of them?  (lolz, where is that Road to El Dorado “both. both is good” gif when you need it?)

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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.