Arkady Martine

#SciFi Worth Reading: A Desolation Called Peace #BookReview #booklovers

Book 2 in the Teixcalaan series, A Desolation Called Peace by Arkady Martine, is an exciting return to the Empire.  Detailed and imaginative, her world-building is extraordinary and thought-provoking.

Having enjoyed the first book, I was keen to delve into the second. I think this book is actually better than the first. Perhaps because I didn’t have to work as hard to understand the world and people she created. I already knew them. But I also think the story is better.

Mahit Dzmare and Three Seagrass team up once again to help negotiate with an enemy that inspires fear among the most hardened war veterans.

Don’t ask me how to pronounce a lot of names, but it was easy to fill in my own pronunciations, which I’m sure are very wrong. But that doesn’t matter. The story is beautiful and the language often aching. The Empire loves its poetry, and I feel as if the story immerses me in the culture of the Empire and that I see it through the lens of their poetry. It’s quite an extraordinary feat in writing.

I definitely recommend reading this one, especially if you liked the first, A Memory Called Empire.

Here’s the official description:

An alien armada lurks on the edges of Teixcalaanli space. No one can communicate with it, no one can destroy it, and Fleet Captain Nine Hibiscus is running out of options.

In a desperate attempt at diplomacy with the mysterious invaders, the fleet captain has sent for a diplomatic envoy. Now Mahit Dzmare and Three Seagrass—still reeling from the recent upheaval in the Empire—face the impossible task of trying to communicate with a hostile entity.

Their failure will guarantee millions of deaths in an endless war. Their success might prevent Teixcalaan’s destruction—and allow the empire to continue its rapacious expansion.

Or it might create something far stranger . . .

 

The Best #SciFi and #Fantasy Books I read in 2021

These books weren’t published in 2021, but I read them this year, and I enjoyed every word. I read others but if I don’t like a book, I don’t review it.

 

 

  1.  The Empress of Forever by Max Gladstone. What an imaginative, creative, marvelous read. If you’re looking for original space opera, this novel certainly fits. Full Review

 

2.  Binti by Nnedi Okorafor.  I read this Hugo and Nebula winner cover to cover in one sitting. It deserves the awards. Full Review

 

3.  The Salvage Crew by Yudhanjaya Wijeratne. What started as a simple mission to recover ship parts became more and more immersed in problems and complexity. Full Review

 

4.  The Bedlam Stacks by Natasha Pulley.  From a realistic start, the story evolves into the more mystical and magical. The town of Bedlam is quite fantastic: glass cliffs; pollen that is bioluminescent; trees that can float on air; and stone statues that move.  Full Review

 

5.  A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine. The galaxy it’s set in is awe-inspiring and full of novelty, yet it is also very familiar, which makes it an easy read. Full Review

 

6.  Flex by Ferrett Steinmetz. Most of us love to get lost in the beauty of our daydreams, which is very much like how the magic works in this book. It’s a great adventure with a great dose of self-discovery. Full Review 

 

7.  Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse. The plot twists were fun and the action exciting. The character journey was as pivotal as the mystery of finding the witch creating the monsters.  Full Review

 

8.  Tentacles and Teeth by Ariele Sieling. Starts off at a gripping, intense pace and doesn’t let up. Full Review

 

 

 

#SciFi Worth Reading: A Memory Called Empire #BookReview

A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine was a rich and wonderful read. The galaxy it’s set in is awe-inspiring and full of novelty, yet it is also very familiar, which makes it an easy read.

The plot follows a young diplomat from a small mining station, Mahit Dzmare, on her assignment to the sprawling, consuming empire.

The empire has conquered and ‘civilized’ many worlds and Mahit fell in love with their culture as a child. She’s thrilled to get to experience it and dreams of becoming part of the empire.

Her mining colony uses technology that records memories. The technology embedded into her brain allowing her to share the experiences of the former ambassador malfunctions. Not only that, the former ambassador is dead under mysterious circumstances.

This novel has political intrigue, mystery, and a simmering tension about to break out into civil war.

The impression of the empire is beautiful and also not something I’d want to become a part of. There was aching longing intertwined with ugly reality. I eagerly returned to this novel every day, and would read more by this author. I recommend it.

Winner of the 2020 Hugo Award for Best Novel

Ambassador Mahit Dzmare arrives in the center of the multi-system Teixcalaanli Empire only to discover that her predecessor, the previous ambassador from their small but fiercely independent mining Station, has died. But no one will admit that his death wasn’t an accident―or that Mahit might be next to die, during a time of political instability in the highest echelons of the imperial court.

Now, Mahit must discover who is behind the murder, rescue herself, and save her Station from Teixcalaan’s unceasing expansion―all while navigating an alien culture that is all too seductive, engaging in intrigues of her own, and hiding a deadly technological secret―one that might spell the end of her Station and her way of life―or rescue it from annihilation.