Book Bingo Journey – Row 5 Thoughts & Plans

Welcome to the fifth in a five part series of posts looking at each row in the r/fantasy Book Bingo, looking at how I feel about each square, and what books I might read to fill each of them. If you want to learn more about Book Bingo, or see my previous posts, go to my Book Bingo introduction/hub post:

Book Bingo Journey – Introduction/Hub

Row 5:

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Collection Review: I’m Waiting For You and Other Stories

Two worlds, four stories, infinite possibilities 
One of South Korea’s most treasured writers explores the driving forces of humanity—love, hope, creation, destruction, and the very meaning of existence—in two pairs of thematically interconnected stories.

In “I’m Waiting for You” and “On My Way,” an engaged couple coordinate their separate missions to distant corners of the galaxy to ensure—through relativity—they can arrive back on Earth simultaneously to make it down the aisle. But small incidents wreak havoc on space and time, driving their wedding date further away. As centuries on Earth pass and the land and climate change, one thing is constant: the desire of the lovers to be together. In two separate yet linked stories, Kim Bo-Young cleverly demonstrate the idea love that is timeless and hope springs eternal, despite seemingly insurmountable challenges and the deepest despair.

In “The Prophet of Corruption” and “That One Life,” humanity is viewed through the eyes of its creators: godlike beings for which everything on Earth—from the richest woman to a speck of dirt—is an extension of their will. When one of the creations questions the righteousness of this arrangement, it is deemed a perversion—a disease—that must be excised and cured. Yet the Prophet Naban, whose “child” is rebelling, isn’t sure the rebellion is bad. What if that which is considered criminal is instead the natural order—and those who condemn it corrupt? Exploring the dichotomy between the philosophical and the corporeal, Kim ponders the fate of free-will, as she considers the most basic of questions: who am I?

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Weekly Roundup

It’s hard to tell if it’s been a good reading week for me or not. I’ve finished two books that I’ve been meaning to read for quite some time, and made a good start on two more, as well as starting an audiobook for the first time this year! I’ve also done three blog posts. Read on to find out more.

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Quick Book Review: The Just City

‘Here in the Just City you will become your best selves. You will learn and grow and strive to be excellent.’

One day, in a moment of philosophical puckishness, the time-travelling goddess Pallas Athene decides to put Plato to the test and create the Just City. She locates the City on a Mediterranean island and populates it with over ten thousand children and a few hundred adult from all eras of history . . . along with some handy robots from the far human future.

Meanwhile, Apollo – stunned by the realization that there are things that human beings understand better than he does – has decided to become a mortal child, head to Athene’s City and see what all the fuss is about.
Then Socrates arrives, and starts asking troublesome questions.
What happens next is a tale only the brilliant Jo Walton could tell.

The Just City by Jo Walton is a strange beast. Figures of myth, scholars of the ages, futuristic robots and a slow ponderous story about coming together to create Plato’s Republic. It is a study of human nature as much as anything else, a story that draws you along inexorably to what feels an inevitable conclusion.

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Book Review: The Shadow of the Gods

After the gods warred and drove themselves to extinction, the cataclysm of their fall shattered the land of Vigrið.

Now a new world is rising, where power-hungry jarls feud and monsters stalk the woods and mountains. A world where the bones of the dead gods still hold great power for those brave – or desperate – enough to seek them out.

Now, as whispers of war echo across the mountains and fjords, fate follows in the footsteps of three people: a huntress on a dangerous quest, a noblewoman who has rejected privilege in pursuit of battle fame, and a thrall who seeks vengeance among the famed mercenaries known as the Bloodsworn.

All three will shape the fate of the world as it once more falls under the shadow of the gods . . .

Summary: Shadow of the Gods by John Gwynne is a brutal, action packed epic set in a blood soaked, Norse-inspired land with a mythic feel. It’s a distillation of the best of action-epic fantasy.

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Weekly Roundup

This week I’ve been all over the place! I finished one book, continued reading another, and started a third. Alongside that I read two novellas from start to finish, and put out four blog posts! Read on to find out the details!

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Book Review: Children of Ruin

Potential Spoilers Ahead: Children of Ruin is the sequel to Children of Time. As such, the blurb for this book and the following review will inevitably have some level of spoilers for the previous book. I’ve tried to keep those spoilers to a minimum, but you have been warned.

It has been waiting through the ages.
Now it’s time . . .

Thousands of years ago, Earth’s terraforming program took to the stars. On the world they called Nod, scientists discovered alien life – but it was their mission to overwrite it with the memory of Earth. Then humanity’s great empire fell, and the program’s decisions were lost to time.

Aeons later, humanity and its new spider allies detected fragmentary radio signals between the stars. They dispatched an exploration vessel, hoping to find cousins from old Earth.

But those ancient terraformers woke something on Nod better left undisturbed.

And it’s been waiting for them.

Summary: Children of Ruin by Adrian Tchaikovsky is a thrilling and intelligent standalone sequel. Tchaikovsky astounds me with his ability to imagine vastly alien beings, and the book bounces deftly along between past and present before reaching a powerful conclusion.

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