Shadowplay was published by, the YA imprint of ‘Angry Robots Books’, ‘Strange Chemistry’, who have kindly given me the Arc of this book in exchange for an honest review. It is the second book in a series; the sequel to her earlier work Pantomime. This book continues the adventures of Micah, as she continues her attempts to; find a place in the world, and accept/understand her identity. The story begins where the first book left off. The two main characters are suffering the consequences of the explosive events of the previous work. They find themselves seeking shelter from an old friend, a mysterious illusionist with secrets of his own, who once performed an act that seemed to consist of a series of tableau played out with very advanced automatons. They find that he owns a theatre. However, due to a pact with a former colleague, punishment for real or imaginary sins, the building has remained silent and lifeless. Needing work, they ask him to teach them his skills. They plan to get his old theatre working again. They plan to make money through new shows. However, The re-emergence of old secrets and old rivals put their plans in jeopardy. An old rival challenges Jonah, and his new company, to a duel. They must compete with his rivals new company to create the best show. As they prepare, and Micha comes to terms with her ambiguous identity, she discovers that there is more to that identity than she first thought. She must fight historical foes, in order to save; herself and the world.
When I ordered this book from Netgalley, I had forgotten that this book was part of a series. Being a completest, I had to track down a copy of the first book. But, to my disappointment, I wasn’t really excited by the first book Pantomime. It was an interesting book, but it didn’t really speak to me. It seemed to echo other works of this type. Therefore, I was not excited by the prospect of reading Shadowlands. But, as soon as I started to read, this book really grabbed me and wouldn’t let go. This book gives us a greater exploration into both; the world in which the book is set and the identity of its main characters. It explores sexual identity and what happens when individuals can’t, or won’t, fit into existing sexual categories. Therefore, It is an interesting work and I am interested to see where this author goes next.
Angry Robot books just sent me the following news;
Kameron Hurley, Angry Robot Author!
Hail the Robot Army!
Following yesterday’s Rod Duncan acquisition news, we did say we had another author announcement due. The interwebs have been abuzz with mutterings and rumours aplenty, but here’s the news-blast on our signing of Kameron Hurley:
[press-release-style data-drop follows]
Angry Robot is excited to announce the signing of Kameron Hurley – the award-winning author ofGod’s War – for at least two books in the Worldbreaker Saga. Book 1, The Mirror Empire, will be published worldwide in September this year, with the sequel to follow a year later. The worldwide rights deal was negotiated between Senior Editor, Lee Harris and Hannah Bowman of Liza Dawson Associates.
On the eve of a catastrophic event, three unlikely champions must unite a fractured world to avert its extinction.
About: The Mirror Empire
From the award-winning author of God’s War comes a stunning new series…
On the eve of a recurring catastrophic event known to extinguish nations and reshape continents, a troubled orphan evades death and slavery to uncover her own bloody past… while a world goes to war with itself.
In the frozen kingdom of Saiduan, invaders from another realm are decimating whole cities, leaving behind nothing but ash and ruin.
As the dark star of the cataclysm rises, an illegitimate ruler is tasked with holding together a country fractured by civil war, a precocious young fighter is asked to betray his family and a half-Dhai general must choose between the eradication of her father’s people or loyalty to her alien Empress.
Through tense alliances and devastating betrayal, the Dhai and their allies attempt to hold against a seemingly unstoppable force as enemy nations prepare for a coming together of worlds as old as the universe itself.
In the end, one world will rise – and many will perish.
Kameron Hurley: “Super stoked to be part of the Angry Robot team. They’re a great group of folks publishing an astonishing range of exceptional fiction. Best of all, being among the crazy bunch of authors I see on their list makes me feel right at home. Can’t wait to see The Mirror Empire join the fray.”
Lee Harris: “I’m tremendously excited to be able to welcome Kameron to the Angry Robot conclave. She’s one of the most exciting and talented authors working in the fantasy genre, today, and a great fit for our list.”
About: Kameron Hurley
Kameron Hurley is an award-winning author, advertising copywriter, and online scribe. Hurley grew up in Washington State, and has lived in Fairbanks, Alaska; Durban, South Africa; and Chicago. She has degrees in historical studies from the University of Alaska and the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal, specializing in the history of South African resistance movements.
Hurley is the author of God’s War, Infidel, andRapture, a science-fantasy noir series which earned her the Sydney J. Bounds Award for Best Newcomer and the Kitschy Award for Best Debut Novel. She has been a finalist for the Nebula Award and the Locus Award. Her work has also been included on the Tiptree Award Honor List. Hurley’s short fiction has appeared in magazines such as Lightspeed,EscapePod, and Strange Horizons, and anthologies such as The Lowest Heaven and Year’s Best SF. Her fiction has been translated into Romanian, Swedish, and Russian. She is also a graduate of Clarion West.
So, what do you think?
Join us online and share your thoughts with us! And, do welcome Kameron to the Angry Robot Team: https://twitter.com/KameronHurley
Angry Robot Online
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/angryrobotbooks [@angryrobotbooks]
This work combines; horror with science fiction, urban fantasy and speculative fiction, vampires and aliens, Werewolves with space stations, modernity with ancient traditions; all conjured into being by the use of wonderfully descriptive prose. Myths are deconstructed, and normalised. Vampires work as carnival techs. Werewolves survive on the moon, observed by Robots. In doing this, Lee encourages the reader to examine our earth based myths and starry stories. Lee uses scientific\futuristic scenes as a backdrop for humanistic stories. Less stories allow us to explore; fantasy, identity, narrative and the future. In Lee’s world, man didn’t leave his myths behind him when traveling into space. They took them along in their emotional baggage.
I was doing really well. I hadn’t bought any books. Then I went into our local branch of a famous book/stationery chain, to buy refills for my cartridge pen, and they had Stephen King books on offer. Of course I couldn’t resist. There goes my resolution. :( I hope to get back on the horse tomorrow.
Going purely by the calendar, this post is a little late. But, since this is my first day back at my desk, this is a timely post to start my working year. My first goal is to blog and read more this year. I, also, plan on reading fewer new books. I must get around to reading more books from; my physical reading shelves, my kindle hard drive, the samples I have downloaded from Amazon, and those books dying on my Amazon wishlist and Goodreads tbr lists. When I read new books they will be; for a reading group, for a podcast that I am Reading along with, for the Australian Women Writers Challenge, from one of those writers who I wish to read their back catalogue (see future posts for future details), a classic, or a book from the history of science fiction or fantasy. In addition, I am reading the Lord Peter Wimsey books in chronological order.
READING RESOLUTION FOR 2014
These are the rules for 2014. Before I read a new book, I must read three books from my physical, or kindle, reading shelves. After I have read from my store, I can then by a book from my stock of samples. I must read three of these books before I can read a book from my Goodreads tbr list or Amazon wish list. I must read three books from this list before I read a completely new book. That book must be from one of the above categories.
READING FOR JANUARY
I am, mainly, going to focus on longer reviews. But, I will try and review every book I read. Some of these, will be essay length , others may simply be one word but they will receive a review. I will supplement these with personal and publishing news. I will also give you brief updates on my reading even when there will be nothing to review.
Next book Review _ Shadowplay (Pantomime #2) https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17694650-shadowplay
What are your goals for 2014?
More Madeline Ashby books coming from Angry Robot http://angryrobotbooks.com/2013/11/madeline-ashby-in-new-angry-robot-deal/
In a story, reminiscent of CS Lewis’ ’till we have faces’, a clan leader hires a foreign tutor to teach his son about the cultured ways of the main land. From that day, the young heir is set on a journey that forces him to face unpleasant truths, have disquieting experiences, learn about his world, and grow into a sadder, but wiser, ruler.
At first glance, this may sound familiar Epic Fantasy/Sword and Sorcery territory. And, this is, seemingly, confirmed by the presence of the now rather stereotypical map at the beginning of the book. But, the book’s surface appearance forms a skeleton on which to hang a complex and interesting work. This work uses a familiar structure to support an exploration of; binary, language, boundaries, borders, and mirrors/twins.
As Gary. K Wolfe has argued on the Coode Street podcast, the map plays an important role in a book that plays with geographic, cultural and genre borders. The book lies upon the borders between fantasy, magic realism and literary fiction; breaking down the binary structures that keep these spaces apart, and creating a space in which the; author, characters and the reader may play. This play, of form, may be seen in the very formatting of the book. The UK cover shows a young man gazing into a mediterranean/Eastern landscape. The cover could easily be placed on a mainstream, literary title. Yet, that map hints at the books fantasy roo(u)t(e)s. The work does come in the form of traditional quest narrative which sees our main character; start out seeking adventure, then finding it, fleeing it, before finding resolution for himself and those around him. However, other than a ghost, (which could be seen as a subconscious motivating delusion affecting the main character) there is a marked absence of magic, or magical creatures, within this work. There’s not a Goblin, Elf, or Hobbit to be seen in Samatar’s world.
This is also a book of Mirrors/oppositional twins. Firstly, we have two fathers, his biological parent and his tutor who act as opposites. The father is a merchant, practical man while his tutor is a man who lives by his brain; a man of books and words. His tutor, also, allows us to look at the dichotomies of master /servant; outsider/insider. The tutor is a slave but has; power,and influence. The ‘logical tutor also acts as oppositional double to, religious, inhabitants of the island.
The locations in this story also act as contrasting doubles, or indeed trebles; firstly, his home island and Olondrian. The first being a small, provisional, mercantile, island; while the second is a cultured, urban setting. We can see that both settings have an effect on Jervis. Once we get to Olondria, we get another double relationship; in the groups which he encounters. Both groups priorities differing things. The first, prioritises the written word while the second prioritises spoken, oral culture.
Samatar uses doubles in her world to allow us to glimpse how these operate within society. On top of this trend, this is a really enjoyable story. It has a engrossing world filled with fascinating characters and ideas.