Conspiracy of Ravens by Lila Bowen (Review)

TL, DR: Vultures and coyotes, railway men and Durango rangers, shapeshifters, magic, revolvers and carrion; the second in the Shadow series soars through them all, while exploring the character’s experience closely. Recommend.


Conspiracy of Ravens begins where Wake of Vultures left of, and this review contains spoilers for that book. You’ve been warned: HERE BE MONST – Uh, wait… HERE BE SPOILERS.

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The Bumper List of Books 2019

I haven’t done this for a while – I like to make a big list of the books I read or failed to finish in the year gone past and, sometimes, post it on the blog. So, here’s a rough overview of the year’s highlights and the list of what I read or failed to finish. I’ve tried to keep it shorter than last time. I’m not sure I have. HMU with your recommended reads for 2019?

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Eastern Standard Tribe by Cory Doctorow (Review)

TL, DR: Come for the nerdy futurism and its pertinent analogies, stay for the like/hateable characters, their problems and their snappy dialogue.


Art is a member of Eastern Standard Tribe, a group of like-minds that have taken advantage of widely available instant communication to form an online tribe, whose common denominator is the Eastern Standard Time zone, its geography and culture. This tribe operates like a not-so-secret society or fraternity; where once you’d intern your frat brother, ESTribe tells us, now you’d intern your tribesman. Art is an industrial saboteur for EST, and in the politics and machinations of cross time-zone espionage, Art is doing his best to cover himself in glory… and avoid becoming collateral damage.

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Coraline by Neil Gaiman (A review…)

… sort of.

There doesn’t seem to be much need for me to review Coraline. Not only am I very late to the party (only seventeen years), but Coraline seems to already have all the critical and popular acclaim it deserves. So, instead of a proper review, I’m just going to be selfish and tell you all the things I liked about it. You’ll have to excuse the fragmentary nature of these, there doesn’t seem to be a natural way to work them together.

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The Hatred of Poetry – Ben Lerner (Review)

By expecting it to live up to its platonic ideal, created by mythologising expectations of things it can supposedly do — produce transcendental feelings; change the world; speak to an individual and universal experience at the same time; restructure and reform society through shock — we learn to hate poetry.

That’s the central premise of Lerner’s monograph. It’s one I find myself broadly supporting.

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