Books – September 2019

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The Hound of Justice by Claire O’Dell
We Are All Completely Fine by Daryl Gregory
Second Hand Curses by Drew Hayes
Sourdough by Robin Sloan

The sequel to Study in Honor, the story of Janet Watson and Sara Holmes continues in The Hound of Justice. Watson is making progress at gaining the skills she’ll need to resume her career as a surgeon. Holmes get access to all her augments back. But something isn’t right Adler who supposedly died in the last book is perhaps still alive and working on behalf of Brotherhood.

We get more background on who Watson and Holmes were before they met. We get to see their families.

All in all a satisfying second book. Ready for book three!

Love the covers for this series.

I thought We Are All Completely Fine was going to be a horror book, but it turned out to be dark fantasy. It’s a quick and enjoyable read.

Several people who have experienced supernatural related trauma have all been talked into group therapy. Each week they meet up and share their stories. Gregory does a fine job of unspooling their stories. It was fun to watch how things began to mesh together and interrelate. Things get twisty which is always fun. And throughout the Doctor who brought them all together remained a mystery. Until the very end.

In the fairy tale world of Second Hand Curses, the narrative rules all. The Bastard Champions slip in around the edges of the narrative with brute strength, cunning, sword, and gun powder, to carve out the story their clients pay for. Each chapter is its own self contained adventure, and there is an underlying thread weaving them all together. This is a twist on classic fairy tales.

I really loved some of the inventive ways the Campions dealt with immortal fairies, witches and toad cursed princes.

I remember there was quite a bit of buzz around Sourdough when it came out. Not sure how it ultimately got on my TBR pile because there are no aliens, no zombies, no dragons. But in spite of that I couldn’t put it down. Read it all in one weekend.

Before I was diagnosed with a gluten intolerance I was just starting to learn to make bread. And now I’m learning to make gluten-free bread, a different process but they hold many things in common. But sourdough! That’s a crazy aspiration. I can barely remember to feed my plants, but feeding starter every day? Wow.

The MC takes a job working for a company working on making and programing robotic arms. At first, it is fine, but slowly she loses her joy. She’s eating a lot of something they call Slurry in the story but sounds an awful lot like Soylent in the real world. This is interesting to me because I’ve gone through Soylent phases myself. It’s basically a nutritionally complete beverage that is designed to have a neutral flavor. It’s popular among the MC’s workmates.

Anyhow, learning to bake changes the MC’s world view and by the end of the novel, she is transformed into a happier healthier person. A really uplifting read. Lots of smart problem solving along the way.