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Familiar Diversions

I'm a librarian who loves anime, manga, and reading a wide variety of genres.

Currently reading

Against the Paw
Diane Kelly
Progress: 194/352 pages
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: Squirrel Meets World
Abigail Revasch, Shannon Hale, Dean Hale, Tara Sands, Listening Library
Progress: 67/473 minutes
The Mystic Marriage
Heather Rose Jones
Progress: 302/426 pages
Ichi-F: A Worker's Graphic Memoir of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant
Kazuto Tatsuta
Progress: 448/553 pages
The Naked Sun
Isaac Asimov
Progress: 20/187 pages
50 Girls 50 and Other Stories
Al Williamson, Frank Frazetta, Gary Groth
Jennifer Foehner Wells
Progress: 58/367 pages
The Cloud Roads - Martha Wells I enjoyed this book enough to finish it within 24 hours of starting it, although it wasn't without its issues.One of the things I found interesting about The Cloud Roads was that none of its characters are human. Some of the humanoid characters are more human than others, but that's it. Some characters have tusks, some have frills, some have shells, some have wings. Every group of beings had their own way of living, their own culture, and their own way of thinking, which Wells covered in varying degrees of detail.Moon, who had a desperate need to belong, appealed to me. He had spent his whole life hiding who he was. He had long since given up finding others like himself – the one time in the past he thought he'd found his people, the experience was horrifying and ended disastrously. Part of him wanted to belong among the Raksura, and part of him feared he wouldn't be able to.As a romance reader, I enjoyed the light romantic subplot involving Moon and Jade. Having not grown up like most Queens, exposed to various consort choices, Jade had no idea how to convince Moon to willingly be her consort. Moon, as I said, had trust issues, so he didn't exactly make things easy for her. The relationship between Moon and Jade is one of the reasons why I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series, The Serpent Sea. I can't wait to see how the two of them deal with being a mated couple, since I imagine they still have plenty of things to work through. I wouldn't be surprised if more cultural misunderstanding arise, due to Moon having spent most of his life away from other Raksura. Plus, in a rather fun bit of gender reversal, Moon seems to be more emotionally needy than Jade, so Jade will probably have to learn to deal with that.I enjoyed reading about Moon and the members of Indigo Cloud struggling to survive against the Fell. However, I couldn't help but wonder why the Fell were, by default, evil beings. Some species, like the Dwei, were known for moving in and killing other intelligent beings, but the Fell were the only ones depicted as being truly evil. At best, only the rulers demonstrated a potential for caring about individuals other than themselves, and even the rulers spread the Fell's taint wherever they went.While I liked that Moon's world was big and varied, at the same time, it bothered me a little that there was a new intelligent species/race seemingly every few miles. It seemed like the populations of most of the species/races were relatively small, and I wasn't sure how many of them could and did interbreed. I would have liked a more thorough exploration of more of the species/races Moon encountered – I feel like the book only scratched the surface of even the Raksura, which is another reason why I'm looking forward to reading the next book.Although I had some issues with the book's world, this was still an enjoyable fantasy with a nice romantic subplot. It's pretty much guaranteed that I'll be reading the next book. I can't wait to see how things go with Moon and Jade, and I imagine little Frost will be a fun character as she grows up. I was also fascinated by Chime's story (Chime, one of Moon's first Raksuran friends, was an Arbora mentor who suddenly morphed into an Aeriat, probably in response to Indigo Cloud's shortage of Aeriat warriors). I hope to see more developments involving him.Other Comments:The e-book version (purchased directly from Baen) had some mild formatting issues - some of the paragraphs weren't indented while others were. Also, I'm not sure how Baen produces its e-books, but there were a handful of things that were either typos or OCR errors. I've encountered worse, although a couple of the errors were a little distracting.(Original review, with read-alikes, posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)