RogerBW's Blog

Morningstar, Liz Williams 20 August 2022

2014 urban fantasy, self-published, sixth of its series. A mysterious Something comes to Singapore Three and makes its home in a largely-disused temple. And the Emperors of Heaven and Hell have both gone missing…

The thing that one gradually notices here is that there is no villain: there are people (using the term loosely, as always) working towards incompatible goals, but this time nobody's setting out to rule, or destroy, the world. Of course, something like that might just happen anyway, because things have gone very wrong and everything we know could become collateral damage. It's an escalation of the stakes, but it feels well-integrated, even as the books' setting expands very substantially.

"I am a universe."

Over the last few years, Jhai had become accustomed to sentient geography, admittedly not quite as large as this. She decided to come straight to the point. "Our universe, or someone else's?"

By the time matters are wrapped up, we've looked into the future and into other worlds, and visited a pocket universe spun off by a 12th-century minor noble who just wanted to be left alone to get on with her studies. It's an ensemble piece as before, and indeed the rapid viewpoint shifts of the last few books come back here, but perhaps because this is mostly about the long-term characters of the series I found it easier to keep them straight and maintain a sense of tension from one appearance of a character to the next. It's also good to see Chen and Zhu Irzh working together, at least some of the time, rather than separately driving their own stories as they've tended to do lately.

It was not, however, as though she was summoning some random entity. She'd never literally conjured up a boyfriend before, but there was a first time for everything.

While options are left open for possible future books, there's a sense of completion here: Chen's child is born, Zhu Irzh gets married, and everything is Basically All Right by the end. If, as seems likely, this is the conclusion to the series, it's a satisfying one.

Also, there's a decent amount of badger this time. #BadgerRepresent

Previous in series: The Iron Khan | Series: Detective Inspector Chen

Comments on this post are now closed. If you have particular grounds for adding a late comment, comment on a more recent post quoting the URL of this one.

Search
Archive
Tags 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s 3d printing action aeronautics aikakirja anecdote animation anime army astronomy audio audio tech aviation base commerce battletech beer boardgaming book of the week bookmonth chain of command children chris chronicle church of no redeeming virtues cold war comedy computing contemporary cornish smuggler cosmic encounter coup covid-19 crime cycling dead of winter doctor who documentary drama driving drone ecchi economics espionage essen 2015 essen 2016 essen 2017 essen 2018 essen 2019 essen 2022 existential risk falklands war fandom fanfic fantasy feminism film firefly first world war flash point flight simulation food garmin drive gazebo genesys geocaching geodata gin gkp gurps gurps 101 gus harpoon historical history horror hugo 2014 hugo 2015 hugo 2016 hugo 2017 hugo 2018 hugo 2019 hugo 2020 hugo 2022 hugo-nebula reread in brief avoid instrumented life javascript julian simpson julie enfield kickstarter kotlin learn to play leaving earth linux liquor lovecraftiana lua mecha men with beards museum music mystery naval noir non-fiction one for the brow opera parody paul temple perl perl weekly challenge photography podcast politics postscript powers prediction privacy project woolsack pyracantha python quantum rail raku ranting raspberry pi reading reading boardgames social real life restaurant reviews romance rpg a day rpgs ruby rust science fiction scythe second world war security shipwreck simutrans smartphone south atlantic war squaddies stationery steampunk stuarts suburbia superheroes suspense television the resistance the weekly challenge thirsty meeples thriller tin soldier torg toys trailers travel type 26 type 31 type 45 vietnam war war wargaming weather wives and sweethearts writing about writing x-wing young adult
Special All book reviews, All film reviews
Produced by aikakirja v0.1