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I read widely and in most genres but romance and westerns. Here you'll find my reviews since 2007, with a few reviews of previously read books as well.


In 2012, I completed an "authors of the world" challenge, reading a book for every country (and a few other entities) by someone who'd lived there for at least two years. I expect to tag these books by challenge and country in the near future. I'm still refining my list by adding books that better meet my challenge criteria.

Partials - Dan Wells, Julia Whelan While reading:Oh, dear. About 10% in and I already have several world-building concerns, most based on the author's sloppiness. I'll name the most egregious now because it illustrates exactly the kind of error that makes me wary when I read. When Kira returns home, we learn that "Nandita was working in the garden, and Kira could smell the exotic mix of aromatic herbs: rosemary, nutmeg, cilantro, basil, marjoram...." This would be an exotic mix indeed, since nutmeg is not an herb (though, O Best Beloved, you might think so if you only ever saw it in a jar). Nutmeg is a seed of a tree that grows no further north than, I think, Grenada. Unless there has been unremarked and profound climate change since the Break, and unless Nandita, realizing she could grow seasonings native to India, found a viable, wayward seed and planted a nutmeg tree within a few years of the Break, there would be no nutmeg in the Long Island garden.Alas, I must also mention that Kira is unlikely to smell this hypothetical nutmeg. The nutmeg is inside the mace, which is inside a shell, which is inside a fruit. I don't remember the fruit smelling like anything much (the flower is supposed to smell good), but please do correct me if I had a cold that day in Grenada.Sadly, like the poor protagonists of Partials, the nutmeg has a little reproduction problem. Only female trees bear, and there's no way to tell which are female until several years in. Even then, reproduction is spotty. Speaking of spotty reproduction, I'm surprised the military hasn't already hauled Nandita off as an agent of the Partials. Nutmeg is not benign vis a vis fertility, a major difficulty for the humans here. Once thought to induce abortion, "it inhibits prostaglandin production and contains hallucinogens that may affect the fetus if consumed in large quantities," says our friend Wikipedia, which still exists in our time because the Break has not yet occurred, dragging down with it the World Wide Web (and apparently every copy of every book or other source of information that would tell you how to read a clock, or suggest that when a teen locks herself out, you can change the lock rather than pilfering and installing a new front door). Haul Nandita away as a bio-saboteur!Will the author return my investment of time and emotion with a conclusion that lacks internal coherence and logic? The odds look pretty good. After reading:This picked up pretty well, with a mix of action I did and didn't anticipate. It resolved the immediate crises while opening up a bigger problem, which seemed fine to me. The denouement seemed too rushed and easy, and the twist and teaser too predictable. There were plot echos of Niven's A Gift from Earth, Westerfeld's Uglies series, and Roth's more recent Divergent. Not to mention, of course, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?Wells, whose strong suit is not botany, seems to know only about kudzu. Honeysuckle and English ivy also grow in New York and would also do a good job of obscuring and wrecking buildings. As to character development, there are more ways to show Kira's puzzlement or anger than having her frown. I didn't enjoy the audiobook reader's voice characterizations. The young women sounded squeaky/perky, people with accents didn't maintain them consistently, and the males sounded like a woman pretending to do a male voice. Might be better to stick with a written version.