I think I read this wrong

Killing Gravity (The Voidwitch Saga, #1)Killing Gravity by Corey J. White
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I was underwhelmed. The world building and character development both left a lot to be desired for me. Not enough background. The plot felt sketchy, as if I had been hitting the fast forward button on my remote a few times too many.

The magic (well, for lack of a better explanation of the author) aka telekinesis (maybe?) was interesting and different. However, almost no explanations of the dynamics of it. And our MC just flung it around with so little effort and lack of reflection or emotional investment, it was almost boring.

Our MC is emotionally flat. Is she supposed to be a sociopath or is this a writing issue? I couldn‘t say. I found it impossible to connect to her.

The supporting characters are cardboard cutouts. They all have one way to behave and one emotional expression. One buddy, one character that hates our MCs guts, a token non-binary character, the farcical bad guy.

A lot of pointless, too casual, un-reflected and over the top violence. Oh, splat, there goes another head. Moving on…

The only thing I liked and actually loved: the cat-thing. I want one.

That truly was the only redeeming feature of this novella for me. And maybe the possibility that the characters might come to life in the next book. This is the first published work by the author, so I am hopeful and might be tempted.

PS: Most of my reading buddies loved this.

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Donkeys and trolleys

AI and the Trolley Problem: A Tor.com OriginalAI and the Trolley Problem: A Tor.com Original by Pat Cadigan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

“Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to perceive.“

Another AI story. How to out-logic an AI, ethics, emotions, how to apply them, the needs of the many over the needs of a few.

The story had a strange plot hole in the middle, making me check if I had accidentally scrolled past a paragraph and missed some info.

Can be read for free here: https://www.tor.com/2018/10/17/ai-and…

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And now we wait for 2020!

Exit Strategy (The Murderbot Diaries, #4)Exit Strategy by Martha Wells
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“WHEN I GOT BACK to HaveRatton Station, a bunch of humans tried to kill me. Considering how much I’d been thinking about killing a bunch of humans, it was only fair.“

If I hadn‘t been so tired last night, I would have read this in one sitting. Very good. Not as fast paced as the last one, a little lighter on humour, but still full of the expected snark and eye-rolling. Nice ending to this story arc. It lacked a little of the suspense and tension of the previous novellas in my opinion, but it was still very good.

The ending took me by surprise, it seemed a little abrupt (well, I would have happily continued for another 50 pages). However, it is a fitting set-up for the full-length novel that seems to be in the works. I am looking forward to a full novel (expected to be published in 2020, sigh!), expanding on Murderbot‘s relationship with its first family and friends from All Systems Red. That is what I am rooting for, anyway.

Have a look at this article over on Tor (Spoilers!), which I got from a goodreads friend:
https://www.tor.com/2018/10/02/book-r…

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I‘m Groot!

Nine Last Days on Planet Earth: A Tor.com OriginalNine Last Days on Planet Earth: A Tor.com Original by Daryl Gregory
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“When the seeds rained down from deep space, it may have been the first stage of an alien invasion—or something else entirely.“

Interesting. I liked it, fascinating take on evolution and alien invasion, great character development. I felt with LT and almost cried with him at the end. Not sure if I am a fan of that quasi open ending.

Can be found for free here: https://www.tor.com/2018/09/19/nine-l…

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The end

No Flight Without the Shatter: A Tor.com OriginalNo Flight Without the Shatter: A Tor.com Original by Brooke Bolander
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Very different to the last two stories I read by her. Apocalyptic, end of the world. A requiem for all the species we extinguished with our greed and incomprehension. We meet the Dodo and the Tasmanian Devil and other long gone animals. One human is there to witness it all, till the bitter end. And like she said, „it‘s…. all so…. dumb.“

Interesting. Not really my kind of thing, but full of deeper meaning, messages between the lines, maybe a little preachy. True, though. We just don‘t listen.

Here to be found for free:
https://www.tor.com/2018/08/15/no-fli…

Author‘s webpage: http://brookebolander.com

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