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[Emissaries of the Dead - Adam-Troy Castro] (2008)
A murder investigation on an artificially created space station habitat.

I'm sorry, but with a title like this, I feel comparisons to O.S. Card's Speaker for the Dead are nearly inevitable. Here, too, an outsider slowly digs into a pretty close-knit and closed-off society, and here, too, the aliens are uh aliens.

Andrea being a notorious war criminal doesn't help. Andrea being cynical, jaded, 'just here to do my job' and pretty badass when not angsting does help.

Not recommended if you're looking for rainbows and unicorns, but if you don't read a lot of SF, and are in the mood for a whodunnit IN SPACE (well, kinda), this might be a good one.

Read for: angsty first pov whodunnit in space, alien aliens, alien AI
Don't read for: comedy (absent), hope (negligible), the idea that most humans are decent at heart (they aren't)

[Rouse a Sleeping Cat - Dan Crawford] (1993)
A murder investigation in a castle full of suspects, villains and just plain awful people.

If Game of Thrones had been a black comedy and also included more murder, more sex, a child king who was actually likeable and a PG-13 rating, you might have gotten something like this, maybe? Or not.

The thing is, I loved this book. People may be awful, but they're very cheerful while also being sociopathic, homicidal and immoral, with the exception of a few sour grapes and, of course, our main character who needs to solve this one specific murder for Reasons. (She's less sociopathic, more homicidal, mostly because this is not a world where you survive by being, well, nice.)

Read for: people being awful, people being sneaky, gray and grey morality, a sort-of cute boy king who does his best and the (female) bodyguard who's the biggest badass in the castle
Don't read for: angst (absent), kind gestures (rare), romance (absurd notion)

[The Wild Hunt: Vengeance Moon - Jocelin Foxe] (1998)
A murder plot in a country full of nobles, commoners and other people.

Yup - this time, the guys doing the murdering are 'the good guys'. Kind of. They're actually a group of people who've been cursed by their loved ones and now doomed to aid those in need as members of 'the Wild Hunt' until such time as they can be redeemed by - well, that's up for debate.

I liked this one, but I didn't quite love it. (I suspect that I would have loved this as an anime or manga, because, well, thirteen guys with angsty pasts and redemptions arcs and a compulsion to help the one who summoned them? I think that I could shallowly be into that. A lot.)

Read for: small-scale politics, justified homicide, action-consequence connections, making murder plans that consist of more than 'walk, stab'
Don't read for: closure (only some characters('s pasts) get really fleshed out; others need to wait for the sequel), light-hearted romance (har, har)


I also finished Ready Player One (Ernest Cline) recently and was a bit disappointed at the lack of f/f ficlets. Tsk.

This entry was also posted at Dreamwidth.


( 4 flourishes — Tell me stories )
Mar. 21st, 2016 06:37 pm (UTC)
Rouse a Sleeping Cat sounds intriguing! Emissaries of the dead might, too, though I wonder if I remember Speaker for the Dead well enough to be distracted by the parallels...

I'm currently trying to read Ready Player One, but not sure I'm the target audience... The 80s-stuff-for-the-sake-of-80s-stuff is going over my head (I actually did grow up in the 80s, but not in the West, so none of this means anything to me), and I haven't found anything else to read for, so far...
Mar. 23rd, 2016 04:09 pm (UTC)
Part of me spent most of Ready Player One going: 'but that's not how you do fandom! you don't just get a list and decide you're into everything some other person was into, simply because they were rich and you want to find their treasure!'.

... I suspect that I wasn't really the target audience, either, although I have, in fact, seen Ladyhawke. Several times. (Not in the 80s, though.)
Mar. 21st, 2016 07:06 pm (UTC)
Oh, that 2nd book definitely sounds interesting and like something I'd enjoy :D :D
Mar. 23rd, 2016 03:35 pm (UTC)
It's great fun - although I think you'd have to get lucky in a second-hand bookstore to find a copy.
( 4 flourishes — Tell me stories )