Notes from the Burning Age by Claire North

Notes from the Burning Age by Claire North

Notes from the Burning Age takes place in a time after the world burned. The kakuy, spirits of earth, sky, water, became so enraged at our destruction of the environment that they burned and drowned us. Those who survived became more careful of how they use resources and honor and fear the kakuy. Some people, like Ven, study ancient texts, learning from them but also labeling violent and earth-damaging knowledge as heretical. But a war is coming, when some would use the secrets of the past for their own gain. Yes, this is speculative fiction, but at heart it's a spy thriller, a tightly plotted novel with memorable characters and plenty of twists and harrowing situations. The information is being gathered from the past, leading to translation issues, research espionage, and a situation where knowledge is power, and the war rests on who can control the most knowledge and use it most effectively. The relationships in the book are believable...
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Consider Phlebas by Iain M. Banks

Consider Phlebas by Iain M. Banks

I don't really have much to say about Consider Phlebas. It's fun and the plot keeps moving forward. At the same time, the story is rather small for the length of the book, Yeah, there are sidequests that fill out time and give interesting peeks into the world, but the basic race to find the Mind is a lot of lead up to a bit of a letdown. The characters are morally grey, a bit of good and bad and a lot of violence. But don't get too attached to any of them. I guess I want a happy ending, even in my space operas, and this didn't provide one. I guess the Culture novels each pretty much work as stand alones. I'll probably read The Player of Games, #2, but I don't know that Banks will become a favorite author. ...
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DNF – 84K by Claire North

DNF – 84K by Claire North

I had to give up on 84K by Claire North which makes me so sad. I've loved everything I've read/listened to by her, but I just couldn't finish this one. I was listening to the audiobook which is 13 1/2 hours long and gave up with about 1 1/2 hours left. Peter Kenny was the narrator and I've enjoyed books he's done before. I just couldn't struggle to finish it anymore. I didn't care enough about the main character's mission to finish. Here's the info: I don't know if was too long- Theo spends a lot of time traveling, on the run but also with revenge in mind. Or was it too dark - it's a really depressing world where no one has it easy. The concept was great and the writing is typical North, which I like, unfinished sentences and all. It just didn't work for me here. Cut maybe 100 pages out, tighten it up a bit, and I may have loved it. I...
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The End of the Day by Claire North

Charlie is the Harbinger of Death. It's his job. He's a mortal, has no super powers except a support staff at an office somewhere who are great at making reservations, getting him across borders and out of jail, and paying ransoms. He meets good people and terrible people, and sometimes he's sent for ideas or ways of life and not individuals. He celebrates Life and we travel with him. That's what we do, we see what he sees, hear what he hears, including random snippets of conversation, go where he goes. We're with him when he meets people, gives them gifts, tells them he is the Harbinger and sometimes he comes as a warning and sometimes as a courtesy. We're with him as he listens to people's life stories and when he is beaten and held prisoner. After all, not everyone is happy when the Harbinger of Death shows up; some are though. Yes, sometimes we see slices of the lives of the...
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The Master by Claire North

Ah - the last of the trilogy. I'm sad to see it end. Honestly - read it. If you enjoy fantasy or games or just thrillers for that matter, this is a great set of novellas. In this last one, we even have a love story of sorts. This time around the game is chess and our narrator has become one of the players, a player in the Great Game - the game for control of the Gameshouse. His name is Silver and he's been working toward this moment for ages. He's a King in the game, of course, and has gathered forces that he can deploy. His opponent has her own resources, possibly more powerful than his. This one had even more action than the last two. Chess is a dangerous game, but it also has more meaning - for the world as a whole and for Silver personally. My one complaint had to do with a part near the end. Silver...
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The Thief by Claire North

I'm not a fan of playing hide-and-seek. When I was a kid, I was always afraid everyone else would go inside or to another kid's house and just leave me hiding. I don't think it ever actually happened, but that doesn't mean I didn't worry about it. And it was even worse if it was dark. The hide-and-seek game in The Thief is awesome though. The "board" is Thailand in the 1930s and the stakes are huge, but the game might be unfairly weighted. This is the second in the trilogy and I think they should definitely be read, or listened to, in order. Thene's game in The Serpent was not exactly fair either, but that was nothing in comparison to the disadvantages our player is dealing with here. It's a thread thoughout - the Gameshouse may not be as fair as it (she) would like you to believe. Once again, North does  wonderful job building her world. Thailand in the 30s...
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