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Joined 2 months ago

Queer, geek, NW England, no longer late-30s.

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penwing's books

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Skandar and the Unicorn Thief (Paperback, 2023, Simon & Schuster, Limited) 1 star

Oh dear…

1 star

These unicorns are dragons. Fly, associated with elemental magic, dangerous… dragons. There must be something else already using dragons like this because the book is so derivative in every other aspect. The book doesn’t meet a cliche it doesn’t want to blindly embrace.

It’s aimed at kids, and I am not a kid - a bit of a fantasy nerd even - so maybe those things won’t stand out to the target audience…

But the world-building, the society, just yikes. So much fate and destiny and then just casting out for no good reasons… you’re either a failure or a star sports-player…

It’s not a horrible book, it’s just a bad book…

And I have to tell a ten year old I don’t much like one of his favourite books…

Babel (2022, Harper Voyager) 4 stars

Traduttore, traditore: An act of translation is always an act of betrayal. 1828. Robin Swift, …

Good, but not without flaws

4 stars

Some frustration with footnotes (both spotting the asterix and how Kuang was using them - particularly early on - but there was a moment of clarity later on… but then Chapter 31 happened?!?) and that the queer characters were killed off and never able to tell each other they were head-over-heels (and not in a tragedy style way either)… but otherwise really good.

I love translation and the thought that goes into it - much of which is covered here.