REVIEW: “The Inexplicable Logic of my Life”, or: ohmygod Benjamin why do you hurt me so good

the inexplicable logic

Title: The Inexplicable Logic of my Life

Author: Benjamin Alire Saenz

Review by: Captain Clo

Verdict: What am I to you, Benjamin, your own personal Prometheus to torment? Your punching bag?

…Please don’t stop. Ever. 5 stars of delicious, exquisite suffering.

The funny thing about this book is that it looks like a second volume of Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. I mean, just look at the cover. Then you read the synopsis, and you understand that it’s not, it’s just Saenz’s new publisher – Clarion Books – trying to capitalize on the success of Ari&Dante with a misleading cover. Then you read the book, and you understand that it is actually Ari&Dante, remixed. A sort of Ari&Dante ver. 2.0, if you will.

If you:

  • cried reading Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
  • still cry thinking about it
  • cry at the thought of finally reading Book Two, like a martyr at the thought of the Second Coming of Christ

Why wait? Read The Inexplicable Logic of my Life!

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Linked article: “34 Books by Women of Color to Read This Year”

Searching for unicors in publishers’ catalogs“, indeed. A useful list by Electric Literature‘s R.O. Kwon. Titles that caught Mod Clo’s attention:

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Human Acts by Han Kang

Han Kang’s Booker Prize International-winning The Vegetarian, depicting a woman’s ferocious struggle with her family, was one of the most celebrated, and unnerving, books of 2016. Her new novel, which takes place in 1980 during the Gwangju Uprising in South Korea, is no less unsettling. During the ten-day protests, the military killed hundreds of unarmed students and civilians: Human Acts bears fictional witness to these dead, and to the travails of those who survived.

 

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REVIEW: “Every Heart A Doorway”, or: What if all possible fantasylands existed, and you could travel to them? (hint: you’re going to die)

every heart a doorway

Title: Every Heart A Doorway (novelette, 2016 winner of the Nebula Award for Best Novella)
Author: Seanan McGuire
Review by: Captain Clo
Verdict: imaginative worldbuilding, unimaginative plot, stilted writing in random places.

I’ve first hear about this book around the time it was nominated for the Nebula Award, since the book also features an asexual female protagonist and a transexual male side character. That said, simply having LGBT characters does not a good book make, and for all that this novelette is definitely enjoyable, it didn’t convince me. But if you:

  • are looking for a fairytale-styled fantasy with an asexual protagonist (which is, let’s face it, extremely rare)
  • like the idea of a trans boy as love interest/charming prince
  • don’t mind purple prose terribly much

this book is for you.

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REVIEW: “Rivers of London” & “Moon Over Soho”, or: so you’re a London nerd?

Title: Rivers Of London & Moon Over Soho (Peter Grant/Rivers of London series, book 1&2)

Author: Ben Aaronovitch

Review by: Captain Clo

Verdict: enjoyable, slightly bland, with a side serving of salt.

I’m reviewing these two together because I’ve read them one after the other, and I think they’re overall pretty similar. I was interested in this series because the protagonist is a biracial Londoner, and the books themselves are urban fantasy. (By the way: I understand why they do it, I understand it’s standard marketing procedure, but if I see a book advertised as any variation of “Harry Potter but edgier” one more time…)

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If you:

  • are looking for a diverse protagonist and cast

  • are a London nerd

these books are for you.

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