Hugo 2020 Reading – December

I hardly got any writing done last month, due to all the chaos around the holidays. I did get some new books, a couple of which I review below. The rest are added to my large to-read pile. I think I need to start making a “read 20 minutes every day” goal or something so I can actually make a dent in it.

Said of Angels” by Eric Del Carlo
a novelette published by Clarkesworld

I like the idea of exploring religion and prophecy that spans across galaxies. However, I found this story too slow and philosophical for my taste.

“Yellow Submarine” by Rebecca Moesta
a short story published in Writers of the Future vol 35

The underwater world was whimsical. However, I found it hard to connect to either main character. I have never had any interest in cars, so André’s insistence on a nice looking submarine didn’t click. And his mom’s letting him have so much control over negotiation seemed odd. And the prose felt dry – serviceable, but not compelling.

“An Itch” by Christopher Baker
a short story published in Writers of the Future vol 35

I liked looking at how magic ripped this family apart. The final scene felt off to me, though. The scene preceding felt like an ending on its own, and the prose switched from past tense to present. And it seemed to wrap things up without Claire having done anything.

(5 stars) Starsight by Brandon Sanderson
a novel published by Delacorte Press

I stayed up until 1am reading this book. Since my health dictates that I value my sleep, that REALLY speaks to how much this book sucked me in. I love the characters. I love the humor. The tension was great. I did feel like the setup of the plot was a bit too coincidental, but watching Spensa handle the challenges before her was quite satisfying.

(5 stars) The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed by Rich Burlew
a graphic story published by Giant in the Playground

As I’d read almost all of these comics online, I didn’t expect to get as drawn into the dead-tree version as I did. I loved the new art upgrade. The story became more epic as the gods intervened more directly in debating the fate of the world. I loved the twists. I loved meeting Durkon’s family. As a writer, I found the commentary about how Burlew planned the story fascinating. Very enjoyable.

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