Category Archives: Wen Spencer

Book Review: Eight Million Gods, by Wen Spencer

BAEN
355 pp.

Eight Million Gods has a slightly manga-plot feel to it, only partly because it takes place in Japan. (And it is also not because the cover features a pink haired character in a crop top sailor suit. Maybe.) Our Heroine is a writer named Nikki, who has spent most of her adult life on the run from her mother, who keeps sticking her institutions. Nikki has OCD, which tends to manifest as a compulsion to write. Her favorite genre is horror, and she has a loyal following of fans who are more than willing to help her escape her mother’s clutches. Continue reading

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Filed under fantasy, Review: Book, urban, Wen Spencer

Book Review: Elfhome by Wen Spencer

Baen
376 pp.

In Elfhome, Pittsburgh continues to be a warzone as the elves attempt to eradicate the invading oni and tensions grow between the city’s residents. With Pittsburgh now stranded on Elfhome, the elves are attempting to enforce their cultural norms on the population, much to the resentment of the half-oni and human portions of the population. Also adding to the tension is the continuing presence of the Stone Clan, which is definitely in the political dog house after the events of the previous book. In this book, Tinker dodges an intrepid news reporter, searches for elven children who have been kidnapped by oni and uncovers evidence of a Stone Clan and oni joint conspiracy. (She also has to deal with cranky paranoid bodyguards and suddenly having a mother.) Continue reading

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Filed under anomaly/nexus, fantasy, non-earth, Review: Book, Wen Spencer

Book Review: Wolf Who Rules, by Wen Spencer

Baen
480 pp.

Wolf Who Rules (Elfhome, Book 2)
Available on Amazon.

In this sequel to Tinker, Our Heroine has to figure out how to deal with the very large mess she made in the previous book. Tinker has managed to permanently strand Pittsburgh on Elfhome and has also managed to turn Turtle Creek into a mushy dimensional discontinuity that’s been dubbed “the Ghostlands.” On top of that, she has to pick more sekasha for her “Hand” of bodyguards, something she isn’t particularly looking forward to doing and she’s receiving urgent messages and apologies from Riki, the tengu who had betrayed her to the oni in the previous book, and trying to learn magic and receiving “how to be an elf and married to Windwolf” lessons from various sources.

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Filed under book, faerie, fantasy, Review: Book, science fiction elements, urban, Wen Spencer

Book Review: Tinker, by Wen Spencer

Baen
448 pp.

Tinker (Elfhome, Book 1)
Order on Amazon.

I first read Tinker when it came out in 2003. It quickly became one of my favorites because of the heroine Tinker (who is an engineer who runs a junkyard), and a great deal of the world building. The setting is Pittsburgh, which has had a variable location between Earth and Elfhome since the Chinese built an interdimensional gate in orbit. Tinker has lived her entire life in Pittsburgh and many of her inventions take advantage of the magical energy available on Elfhome. Continue reading

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Filed under book, faerie, fantasy, Review: Book, urban, Wen Spencer

Book Review: A Brother’s Price, by Wen Spencer

Roc
310 pp.

A Brother's PriceWen Spencer does some interesting things with the “female dominated society” trope that appears in science fiction and fantasy from time to time in this book. From my reading of The Shore of Women, Glory Season, The Gate to Women’s Country etcetera, whenever this story appears, it is usually clear that the writer has an axe to grind about gender politics. Spencer is mainly attacking the “females are not innovative” meme and the “females are naturally more peaceful and nonaggressive” memes that occasionally appear in these works. A Brother’s Price seems to be mostly a response to the axe grinding, than to gender politics. It is at its base a historical romance fully of derring-do and plucky heroes, and there is no sense that the society is “superior” to a male dominated society–it is just different from a male-dominated one. Continue reading

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Filed under alternate history, book, gender wars, political intrigue, Review: Book, science fiction, Wen Spencer

Book Review: Endless Blue, by Wen Spencer

Baen
495 pp.

Endless BlueThis book gave me a deep nostalgic feeling for the works of Jo Clayton. (There might also be some of Niven’s Known Space in the flavor, but I’m mostly reminded of the patchwork anomaly worlds and environments within Clayton’s paracosm.) Despite the feeling of nostalgia, it was a difficult book to read due to deep knee jerk hatred for certain plot points and social mores. (In other words, I was in a bad position of loving some of the characters while wanting most of their world/universe/society to die in a blaze of napalm. This is not a comfortable feeling to have, most of the time.) Continue reading

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Filed under anomaly/nexus, book, distant future, Review: Book, science fiction, space invaders=negative, Uncategorized, Wen Spencer, xenocidal aliens