First post of the new year and, hopefully, bringing to a conclusion a lot of work from last year. First, Accidental Warrior: The Unlikely Tale of Bloody Hal is now out as an audiobook. You can find Hal’s story in audio on Audible, Amazon, and iTunes. This has been a while coming but I hope you will agree that it’s been worth it when you listen to it. Narrator Alex Freeman, who also narrated Starman’s Saga, did a terrific job with this.
On a not quite there note, Complicated: The Interstellar Life and Times of Saoirse Kenneally looks headed for an early February release with the e-book ahead of the paperback. There will be an audiobook as well, but this will be in the spring. Too many things happened in 2020 and, in the end, it has led to a bit of a delay.
On the reading side, I’d like to mention The Once and Future Witches by Alix Harrow. This, on the surface, the story of three sisters trying to reclaim the power of witchcraft in an alternate history where witchcraft is real, but has been suppressed by men. Instead of the witchcraft trials in Salem, Massachusetts, the whole city (along with its inhabitants) had been burned down and a New Salem built. On a deeper level, the book can be read as an allegory about gender and racial inequality and is blunt about the issues of violence against women. Given the events we have witnessed in the real world in 2020, it is both topical and timely. The author’s prose is enjoyable, a pleasure to read. My one concern with it is that too many things and places have elaborately described scents. A little too much olfaction. The characters are well described and distinctive. Each of the sisters has a particular role to play and their desires and actions fit the characters. The plot moves along smoothly with intensity building gradually. A minor issue for me was that the book starts with a focus on the women’s suffrage movement, but that mostly fades away and seems little more than a plot device later on. The one point I really did not like was a major twist that comes in late (and would be a spoiler if I go into it). Suffice to say that I have a problem when a main character abruptly takes an action that does not fit who the character is and one that has significant ramifications. That put a dent in my enjoyment of what was, otherwise, a very good read.