Reviews and Comments


Joined 2 years, 6 months ago

Some SF, fantasy, and obscure LGBT, mixed with travel, photography theory and women authors, in French and English.

This link opens in a pop-up window

reviewed The Tainted Cup by Robert Jackson Bennett (Shadow of the Leviathan, #1)

Robert Jackson Bennett: The Tainted Cup (2024, Del Rey) 4 stars

An eccentric detective and her long-suffering assistant untangle a web of magic, deceit, and murder …

Very enjoyable fantasy-mystery

5 stars

I enjoyed a lot this classic and convoluted mystery, set in a magical empire that has enough weirdness to grab you from the start. Many authors try a bit too hard to be light or funny, it feels effortless here. All in all, a very enjoyable book.

Sorj Chalandon: La légende de nos pères (French language, 2009, Grasset, GRASSET) 4 stars

J'ai laissé partir mon père sans écouter ce qu'il avait à me dire, le combattant …

Un roman qui se lit d'une traite

4 stars

Un roman court et sinueux où l'auteur convoque à nouveau son père, la vérité, celle que l'on se dit, celle que l'on raconte et l'écriture. J'ai eu envie de me replonger dans ses romans après avoir écouté cette émission de France Culture : Il y parle, comme dans ce roman, de trouver le mot adéquat, le mot juste, et c'est passionnant.

Sofia Samatar: A Stranger in Olondria (EBook, 2013, Small Beer Press) 4 stars

Jevick, the pepper merchant's son, has been raised on stories of Olondria, a distant land …

A wonderful novel

5 stars

This is an ode to books, the power and poetry of words and stories, and it's gorgeously written, without pretention, in a way that takes the reader seriously and transports them instantly into the maze of the author's imagination. The world created isn't a typical western-middle-age fantasy world, it's strongly influenced by south asia, and north and east africa. If you're longing for something poetic and vivid, it's a rewarding read.

reviewed The Warden by Daniel M. Ford (The Warden, #1)

Daniel M. Ford: The Warden (2023, Doherty Associates, LLC, Tom) 3 stars

There was a plan.

She had the money, the connections, even the brains. It was …

A fun light read

4 stars

It feels like the author took his dream RPG and wrote it as a novel. There's magic, and of course, dwarfs and half-elves, wizards who need to sleep to recuperate all their capabilities, small side-quests leading to the big one, an engaging heroin and queer flavours added here and there. All in all, not revolutionary, but entertaining.

Céline Minard: Le dernier monde (French language, 2009) 4 stars

Cosmonaute, Jaume Roiq Stevens accomplit diverses missions dans une station spatiale en orbite autour de …

Un roman inclassable

4 stars

Un roman en forme de WTF frénétique, improbable, brillant, traversé d'un humour subtil, sans doute moins accessible que les autres romans de l'autrice.

Alex White: A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe (Paperback, 2018, Orbit) 3 stars

Furious and fun, the first book in this bold, new science fiction adventure series follows …

A weird mix of space opera and magic

3 stars

I wasn't sure what to expect, but the mix of classic space opera and magic was weird. There were fun moments, some action and a few relatable characters, but the worldbuilding was lacking (when you can't say for sure if a place is a planet or a city at the end of a book, maybe something is missing). Some characters were flat, and it also felt like there were discrepancies, notably with the vilain(s), their goal and motivation.

J. S. Dewes: The Last Watch (Paperback, 2021, Tor Books) 4 stars

The Divide.

It’s the edge of the universe.

Now it’s collapsing—and taking everyone and everything …

Not a bad space opera, but...

4 stars

There are a few interesting elements in this classic premise of "a bunch of different people are stuck at the edge of the universe and must save it", and while the worldbuilding and powers at play aren't bad at all, there's just something missing. It isn't badly written either (although writers need to ban the words groaning/grunting forever), but again, it isn't very special. Not sure I'll dig in the second volume.

reviewed Paname Underground by Johann Zarca

Johann Zarca: Paname Underground (Paperback, Français language, Goutte d'Or) 3 stars

Où s’arrête le réel, où commence la fiction ? Zarca raconte les coulisses du guide …

Virée underground qui reste en surface

3 stars

Je voulais lire un livre qui parle de Paris mais pas de St Germain des Prés et effectivement... Il y a le côté authentique de l'auteur, son maniement de l'argot et le goût de l'expérience vécue. Mais le trash fait aussi un peu épate-bourgeois.

Alix E. Harrow: Starling House (Hardcover, 2023, Doherty Associates, LLC, Tom, Tor Books) 5 stars

A grim and gothic new tale from author Alix E. Harrow about a small town …

Haunted house in a haunted town

5 stars

Another little gem of a book that brilliantly plays with the tropes of the haunted house, a small town with too many sins and secrets and the power of stories and dreams. Gothic and lovely at the same time.

Rachid Laïrèche: Il n'y a que moi que ça choque ? (Paperback, Français language, Les Arènes) 4 stars

Dans les rédactions, les journalistes politiques forment une communauté à part qui se retrouve tous …

Le journalisme politique vu de l'intérieur

4 stars

Une collection de moments, d'anecdotes et de réflexions personnelles tirée des 8 ans de journalisme politique de l'auteur. S'il n'y a rien de vraiment "croustillant" sur les politiques, l'auteur offre un point de vue intéressant sur ce monde en vase clos, chacun se renvoyant l'ascenseur ou se faisant des petites crasses, loin du quotidien des gens. Ce n'est pas un scoop, et probablement rien ne va changer après ce livre, mais c'est déjà un petit coup de pied dans la fourmilière.

Arkady Martine: Rose/House (EBook, Subterranean Press) 4 stars

Basit Deniau’s houses were haunted to begin with.

A house embedded with an artificial intelligence …

A haunting novella

4 stars

It starts like a whodunnit and wanders off to (almost) horror, revisiting the genre of the haunted place. An entertaining read.

Raja Shehadeh: Palestinian Walks (Paperback, 2008, Scribner) 5 stars

“A rare historical insight into the tragic changes taking place in Palestine.” —Jimmy Carter

From …

A poignant love letter to a land

5 stars

As heartbreaking and enraging as it is beautifully written, it is a must-read to understand the profound changes in the West Bank and occupied territories over the years. It had been on a sort of books-to-check-out list for years, I almost regret that I didn't read it sooner...