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Showing posts from November, 2015

Review: The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

High fantasy dealing with gods is always tricky, but NK Jemisin makes it work. Sort of. Her writing is beautiful without being overly flowery and her world-building is solid without dwelling on silly details. Unlike the majority of fantasy heroes/heroines, Yeine's quest is mostly for information, rather than any physical journey. Why did her grandfather, who so disdains her, call her to Sky to compete to be his successor? Why do the imprisoned descendants of the gods have such an interest in her? This lack of physical action does not bother me as it does other reviewers, but I did find various aspects of the book to be lacking. There were some logical issues with Yeine's homeland of Darr. A warrior race that is matriarchal... okay. A warrior race that relegates the admittedly stronger males to child rearing instead of aiding in the warrior culture... silliness. Her construction of Nahadoth and the godlings w…

Dystopia: Why the definition is wrong

This is a guest post done for SFFWorld.com


Dystopia: an imagined place or state in which everything is unpleasant or bad, typically a totalitarian or environmentally degraded one
This is the accepted definition of a Dystopia, one writers and readers alike have embraced. However, since Dystopia has become such a popular genre thanks to the YA explosions of the Hunger Games and Divergent, as well as older staples like 1984 and The Handmaiden’s Tale, it’s important to have a discussion on why the accepted definition is wrong, or at least why it should be.

In order for a dystopian society, or more specifically, the characters living within that dystopia, to be believable, there must be upsides. Why is the common citizen, and possibly your protagonist, delighted to live in this society, at least initially? Of course we can blame it on indoctrination. We saw that approach in The Giver. We can blame it on military might as in The Hunger Games or a secretive police faction that makes dis…