Reading inbox-outbox: Week of 16 February

I had a busy weekend up in Portland celebrating a family and a close friend’s birthday, and catching up with old friends I haven’t seen in way too long. I got so wrapped up in the festivities that I neglected my weekly inbox/outbox blog post… but I didn’t forget! Here it is, a day late!

Inbox (books acquired)

  • Honor’s Knight by Rachel Bach (Kindle) — I had to buy this so I could continue the series after I finished the first book (more below), even though I had to pay full price.

Outbox (books finished)

  • Wolf Winter by Cecilia Ekbäck (signed hardcover) — I finished this over the long weekend. This was a good, and surprisingly (for literary fiction) fast-paced debut novel, featuring some really nice descriptive writing, about a family that moves to the wilderness on the side of a mountain and has to survive their first, harsh winter. They also get mixed up in some “settler drama” and help solve a murder mystery. The book is historical fiction that takes place in the late 1700s in Sweden.
  • Fortune’s Pawn by Rachel Bach (Kindle) — I was really torn on this one… it checks all my boxes for the perfect mix of military (mercenary) heroine in space action / adventure drama — one of my all-time favorite sub-genres of science fiction. When this book came highly recommended by a friend whose bookish opinions I trust, I added it to my list. Then, looking for something new to read, I re-read the blurb, read a few of reviews (including one that compared the heroine in this book to Starbuck from the Battlestar Galactica TV series), and knew I had to read this right away. The heroine is everything everyone promised she’d be — she’s an excellent, kick-ass character. But…. I have some problems with the plot and the romance. My thoughts really deserve a much longer and more thoughtful review than I have time for right now. The bottom line is, I still think that both the Planet Pirates series that starts with Sassinak (by Anne McCaffery and Elizabeth Moon) and the Vatta’s War series that starts with Trading in Danger (by Elizabeth Moon) are better for a variety of reasons that I don’t have time to get into tonight. And yet, despite what I see as some fundamental flaws in the story construction, I want to know what happens next, and while I’m reading, part of my brain is making notes about what I do and don’t want to do in my writing. So, on to book two…

Queue (what I’m reading next)

  • I started Honor’s Knight on the plane ride home. I’m already almost half done…

It’s been a very long day and I’m about ready to crash… So, stay tuned for a longer, more thoughtful post on Rachel Bach’s Paradox series… Until then, happy reading!

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