This week, I finished two (2) of the five (5) nominees for this year’s Best Novel Hugo Award. I started a third one immediately, which leaves me just one left after that.
I enjoyed reading Uprooted by Naomi Novik until I surpassed the halfway point. From then on, it became a chore and a struggle to continue listening to what seemed like the never-ending tale of corruption in the forest and the protagonist’s slow discovery of her power and identity.
Only a couple of the characters appealed to me and most of them just frustrated me with their actions. This can probably be attributed to its intended audience (young adult).
If it had not been nominated, I might have just given up shortly after reaching the point in the story where the focus moves from the hinterlands to the capital, and all the political intrigue that comes with that relocation.
I would give this book 3 or 3.5 stars and it will land in the middle or lower standings in my voting for Best Novel.
On the other hand, I couldn’t put down The Fifth Season by N.K. Jimisin. Well written, some of it using second person point-of-view. Compelling characters and a plot that moves fast on multiple timelines and fronts. Interesting new magic (or science, not sure which yet) and a lot of social commentary (but that’s to be expected from this author).
As an author, I’m very impressed with how Jemisin has honed her craft since I first read The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. In fact, I’m probably going to read her duology as soon as I finish reading the other Best Novel Hugo award nominees.
I gave The Fifth Season 4 to 4.5 stars and it may get top honors when I make my final vote for Best Novel later this month.
As soon as I finished Fifth Season, I started listening to The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher. That audiobook is close to 24 hours long and I’ve managed to squeeze in over three hours of reading in the last couple of days. If the heat wave breaks soon, I’ll be able to get a few more hours of listening in when I go back to walking the dogs.
I’m not going to start reading Seveneves yet. I’m going to give myself a break and work through some of the short fiction selections in the other categories. Some of those stories can be finished over a lunch hour.