Cover Illustrator : Chris Moore
Setting: future, space
Rated : 8 Stars
At Kel Academy, an instructor had explained to Cheris' class that the threshold winnower was a weapon of last resort, and not just for its notorious connotations.
–Yoon Ha Lee - Ninefox Gambit - c.2016
Machineries of Empire ; book 1
…the battle of wits between a disgraced captain and her undead advisor, a brilliant tactician and mass murderer who might be out to kill her next. (as described by the author on Terrible Minds)
I tend not to read/listen to reviews before I read a book. I skim the opening paragraph to get a feel for a book. And if I like the feeling I’m getting then I’ll usually add it to Mount TBR. In the case of Ninefox Gambit I saw it mentioned in a few places & added it because of this review on Lady Business, and I totally agree with the “WTF IS HAPPENING?” feeling. But also the I don’t know what’s going on but I’m liking it feeling. Because right from the start I was enjoying my read. Being thrown in at the deep end is a great way to experience a book, if1 the author is skilled enough. If they aren’t then it is just a mess and a horrible experience. Luckily, Yoon Ha Lee is a wonderful author and this book is wonderful.
I also think that, yes, there is all this mathematical2 weirdness going on, and mentioned of formations and loyalty instincts and heretics. But I’ve read enough fantasy fiction with its wizards and magical systems to go with flow of a story and learn as I read. In this case the magic is the calendar, or belief system, and it happens in space. I’m cool with that as an explanation, I don’t really need the hard science behind it. Because under all that, this story is really about Cheris, Jadao, and what it is to be a decent person.
It is also book 1 in a trilogy, so I have succeeded in reducing Mount TBR by one3, but adding book 2 Raven Stratagem4 which is due out this year, in June. Swings and roundabouts, swings and roundabouts.