Thoughts on 2 Books #8

Happy Friday, y’all!  Are you as ready for the weekend as I am?  Not that I’ll get to rest or relax much; The Girl, The Boy, & The Boss keep me as busy over the weekend as the job keeps me during the week.  Hell, often even more so, to the point where I’m eager to return to the probation office on Monday just to catch my breath!

I already posted these reviews on Goodreads.  If y’all’re interested in reading either of the synopses, just click the linked titles below.  And if you’ve read either of these books, I’d love to hear what you think in my Comments section.  You know, way down yonder at the bottom.

Essex Serpent

The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry, audiobook read by Juanita McMahon.  I rated it 3 of 5 stars, ‘liked it’, on Goodreads and shelved it there as British, fiction, literary, & novel.

Great characters, good story, and remarkable setting. Perry has a gift for infusing her characters and events with a palpable sense of their landscape and environment. I couldn’t help but feel the story and everything in it were the inevitable result of the place in which they’re set.

Juanita McMahon does a fine job of narrating. Although I occasionally grew annoyed by her sometimes-halting style, she has an uncanny range of voices, accents, and vocal mannerisms, so she brings every character to life.

I enjoyed the extended interplay between religious belief and science and think Perry dealt with that tension generously, refusing to condemn or praise either approach too highly. There’s much about The Essex Serpent that I really like, but I was a little disappointed by the ending, so I can only give it 3 stars. I may eventually read the actual book. If I do, I might reconsider my rating.

Obelisk Gate

The Obelisk Gate (The Broken Earth #2) by N. K. Jemisin.  I rated it 3 of 5 stars, ‘liked it’, on Goodreads and shelved it there as dystopian, epic fantasy, fantasy, fiction, novel, post-apocalyptic, sci-fi, & series.

My only criticism of The Fifth Season, Book 1 of The Broken Earth series, was that, because its world is so thoroughly developed, the plot occasionally dragged just a bit. Since The Obelisk Gate is a little shorter and is more fast-paced, that criticism doesn’t apply here. We get to know Jemisin’s wonderfully flawed, complex characters and their motivations and intentions even more thoroughly as their struggles intensify, their relationships deepen, and more history of the world of The Stillness is revealed. I enjoyed The Obelisk Gate a wee bit more than The Fifth Season and would rate it 3.5 stars if Goodreads allowed me to.

Have y’all read either of these books?  What’d you think?


7 thoughts on “Thoughts on 2 Books #8

  1. Lovely reviews! I love that you’ve pointed out how Perry refuses to give an opinion, she just shares the stories of these characters. I think the bond between Stella and Clara’s daughter was so well done and really quite beautiful. Stella was my favourite character, she was so simple, straightforward and kind. I did not like Clara, there was something about her that I didn’t like, but I can’t quite put my finger on it. I do think if the reverend was unmarried, he would choose Clara, but he is quite grounded and she’s very free-spirited, so I can see how they would clash. The characters were fleshed out. One more thing, I love the first few pages where Perry was able to capture London, the London I know, so well, I was right there with them.


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