What I read in June 2023
I have not read any non-fiction this month! Well, I actually started an audio book called “A Thousand Brains: A New Theory of Intelligence” by Jeff Hawkins but I stopped at 42% because it wasn’t catching my attention anymore. It could be I didn’t like the narrator’s voice. I’ll give up trying audio books, it’s not really my favorite format.
Legendborn (The Legendborn Cycle #1) by Tracy Deonn, 511p: This one was intriguing: a secret society that hunts creatures from another dimension, in which the members are descendants of King Arthur’s knights, with magic. The Arthurian legend lore of the book was the least interesting to me. It had a well done representation of feeling of grief by the main character (Bree), who is a smart black young lady. She has just gone to university and she experiences a lot of stuff: joining a secret society, fighting demonic creatures, magic powers, discrimination, grief, learning about her ancestors struggles. I didn't see the plot twist at the end coming and it actually a delightful surprise! But it is still a YA book with its genre tropes, so it felt a tad longer than it should be to me.
A.I. Apocalypse (Singularity #2) by William Hertling, 262p: I didn't like this one as much as the first one in the series. It is still a sci-fi thriller, with lots of insights into how a virus that turns into a powerful A.I. would start evolving and basically take over all digital systems in the world, from smart devices to cars and computers. The chapters describing how the virus developed intelligence and its communication with each other were a bit boring.
A Lady's Formula for Love (The Secret Scientists of London #1) by Elizabeth Everett, 336p: This was a perfect summer read. Delightful romance with a smart scientist protagonist in Victorian 1800's trying to fight patriarchy. Lady Violet Hughes is a widow who founded a secret society composed of brilliant female scientists. I love women in STEM stories! It was super fun with all these women in their 30's/40's blowing things up and inventing new things! Lady Violet is working on a confidential mission for the Crown and she needs some professional protection. That's where the body guard romance comes in: Arthur Kneland, hot scottish dude. It's more of an instant attraction trope, not slow burn at all, and it was great. They were both mature and open with each other, I enjoyed that! There were some fun dialogues of Lady Violet explaining Avogadro's law to Arthur (or whoever was close by). I want to read more from this author.
The Mimicking of Known Successes (Mossa & Pleiti #1) by Malka Ann Older, 169p: Cozy space mystery set in Jupiter. The setting is interesting: humanity has fled a dying Earth and has build rings around Jupiter with interconnecting platforms. All transportation is made through rail cars that connects to stations. A university professor mysteriously disappears: did he jump off the rings? Was it murder or suicide? It has Sherlock Holmes vibes with Investigator Mossa and her scholar girlfriend Pleiti. Intertwined with the mystery, there are discussions about ecosystem's equilibrium and the hope to transform Earth into a habitable place again. There is also some romance but it's very subtle. The language was a bit over the top to me, too formal. It made the dialogues seem unnatural. One thing bothered me: Jupiter is 10 times bigger than Earth in diameter, and building rings going around the whole planet seems....impractical? almost impossible? It wasn't clear if those rings were actually surrounding the whole circumference of the planet.
By Noisy Deadlines Minimalist in progress, nerdy, introvert, skeptic. I don't leave without my e-reader.