Review: Siren Queen, by Nghi Vo

Siren Queen by Nghi Vo My rating: 2 of 5 stars Nghi Vo is a new writer to me, apparently an award-winning author. I am not sure what constitutes worthiness of awards these days, but it would seem wandering plot, predictable characters, and seedy settings are the criteria. I delved into Vo’s novel, intrigued by the premise, and reassured by the fact this wasn’t some indie erotica which proliferates publishing these days. I was rather…

Review: The Cat’s Table, by Michael Ondaatje

The Cat’s Table by Michael Ondaatje My rating: 2 of 5 stars I do have to say I have enjoyed most of what Ondaatje has written. He demonstrates a craftsman’s skill in his art. In The Cat’s Table, for me, that skill seemed laboured, even tired. What had been touted in promotional blurbs as a spellbinding story which promised to be poignant and electrifying, for me stuttered through endless exposition, predictable characters, and ponderous prose….

Review: Spinning Silver, by Naomi Novik

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik My rating: 4 of 5 stars Spinning Silver was my introduction to Naomi Novik, and a glorious introduction it was. It has been a very long time since I have been so captivated by a story, by writing, by the beauty of language that it silenced my inner critic and editor. This is a charming and captivating story drawing upon Eastern European mythology and sensibilities, a very female story, which…

Review: The Kingston Cycle, by C.J. Polk

Witchmark by C.L. Polk My rating: 3 of 5 stars A refreshing take on fantasy, set in a world of an aristocratic ruling class which holds not only social and economic power, but secretly magic, while all others are outcasts, and should they show any signs of magical abilities, are consigned to asylums to apparently languish. Polk creates some interesting characters caught in both family and political power struggles, while examining morality. Altogether an entertaining…

Review: Ship of Theseus, by J.J. Abrams

Ship of Theseus by J.J. Abrams My rating: 3 of 5 stars More of an artifact than a literary work, a choose your own adventure for Generation X and Millennials, I found reading the novel as a literary work difficult because there was so much else going on with postcards and maps and memorabilia, lots of distractions which took me away from the primary narrative, and as a result, to my great shame, I found…