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Books Read in April, 2020

As is my standard usage of my blog space at or near the beginning of the month, I present the listing of my April, 2020 reads.

Books Read in April, 2020

The Quantum Magician by Derek Künsken

The Bone Ships by RJ Barker

February, 2020 Locus

Refraction by Naomi Hughes

The Warrior Women of Islam by Remke Kruk

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

March, 2020 Reader's Digest

The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove by Christopher Moore (r)

The Stone Girl's Story by Sarah Beth Durst

April, 2020 Reader's Digest

Fool by Christopher Moore (r)

And that was reading that I did in April of this year. I have to say that this was an excellent month of reading in terms of the quantity of material read, especially given the last couple of months of reading, though it was not the most books I've read in a month. There were a couple of good re-reads in both the Christopher Moore novels (both of which I recommend highly as well), but regardless, my bookcases are stacked with a pretty large To Read Queue (TRQ) still. The books I enjoyed the most were:

The Quantum Magician by Derek Künsken - The first book in the Quantum Evolution series by a Canadian author. Belisarius Arjona is a quantum man, an engineered homo quantus who fled the powerful insight of dangerously addictive quantum senses. He found a precarious balance as a con man, but when a client offers him untold wealth to move a squadron of warships across an enemy wormhole, he must embrace his birthright to even try. In fact, the job is so big that he'll need a crew built from all the new sub-branches of humanity. If he succeeds, he might trigger an interstellar war, but success might also point the way to the next step of homo quantus evolution. This is an absolutely delicious, hard science fiction novel, even down to the mysteries of the quantum unknowns and possibilities. The book is a science fiction heist story with immense ramifications for both the homo quantus and the other sub-races, but also to the "normal" humans that are found encountered in the story. There is some amazing worldbuilding in this book, and some fascinating relationships between some of the human sub-species, but at its heart, The Quantum Magician is a heist novel. Each of the extraordinary characters introduced by the author that Belisarius recruits is vital in fulfilling a role in the crime, and are fully realized in both behaviour and thought. There are some neat twists and turns to the heist, many unexpected, but all lead to a nicely dramatic and satisfying wrap-up to the story. The story is somewhat complex and the science convoluted at times, but fits in with the way in which quantum theory is established in the tale, but the pacing of the book and the degree of characterisation more than makes up for any of that. I highly recommend this book.

The Stone Girl's Story by Sarah Beth Durst - A truly remarkable story. Mayka and her stone family were brought to life by the stories etched into their bodies. Now time is eroding these vital marks, and Mayka must find a stonemason to recarve them. But the search is more complex than she had imagined, and Mayka uncovers a scheme endangering all stone creatures. Only someone who casts stories into stone can help - but whom can Mayka trust? Where is the stonemason who will save them? This is sone of those novels that I have to say impressed me with its whimisical nature at times, but the story emphasizes a fantastic world where the power of stories and storytelling are lord and master, and where a fundamentally good heroine becomes awesome. The story is a fable about storytelling and about the power of free will. In this world, creatures carved from stone can achieve sentience, but can still be influenced by the symbols/marks carved upon them. The reader can take this as a parable about slavery, or about the complex dealings with artificial intelligence that seem to be just around the corner for us. What this book does is a great job of showing the position of humans about how the stone folk are treated, but how reprehensible their behaviour and attitudes can also be from the point of view of a stone girl - and that's whose pov we get in this novel. This book is expertly crafted by the author, and gives the reader three characters - Mayka, the stone girl, and her two stone bird friends, Risa and Jacklo - that readers of all ages can relate to in their own way, and that change and evolve as the story goes on towards a conclusion that is at once charming and evocative of the true nature of what storytelling and continuing stories mean. This is definitely one young adult novel that I will re-read as the years go by. For now, I will say this... *Go read this book! You won't be disappointed!*

Overall, I managed to read 8 novels, 0 RPG and RPG products, 3 magazines, 0 comics, and 0 graphic novels in April. This brings the year total for 2020 to a set of numbers that look like this: 30 books, 10 RPGs and RPG products, 6 magazines, 15 comics, and 1 graphic novel.

Anyway, thoughts and comments are always welcome. :)


John Kahane

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