Wednesday, December 31, 2008

All the Windwracked Stars - Elizabeth Bear

Something like a cross between The Broken Sword, Hardwired, Dark Angel and Shadowrun.

This particular flavour of Ragnarok is only survived by Muire, one of the Valkryie analogues, the Serpent, the Wolf, and one of the outre steeds that the Valkyries/angels ride. Saving the horse makes him sort of a cyborg, too.

Norse angels of course possess magic swords, too.

The horse's Terry Pratchettesque style of talking in bold (not capitals) may also be annoying to some.

While stylish and managing to combine Norse poetry with a bit of the down and out cyberpunkish flavour the story does meander a bit in between the punchy starts and finishes.

Multiple cycles of Muire meets Wolf with aggro posturing, arm wrenching and sado suck face sessions get a little tediously predictable.

The same with the multiple declmations of 'me shortarse historian, not fighter, here's a quote to prove it', likewise.

Those are minor issues though, with an inventive book giving another look.

This particular city setting is kept from destruction by magic - and of a not nice kind, so Muire and friends decide to do something about it.

'Maybe it wasn't a very good plan, but it was the only one Muire had. Considering her resources--two magical swords that weren't much use for anything practical except cutting through anything in their path; a spell-casting, mechanically inclined rodent; a catgirl with a whip; a retired cyborg tavern-keeper; an animate steam engine; and a deeply depressed nineteen-year-old--she thought she had done as well as could be expected."

Or time to Ragnastop and roll.
Blending all this into something that makes sense is well done, and worth reading.

4 out of 5

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