Top Ten Tuesday: Characters I’d Befriend


Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

This week’s topic is characters I could be best friends with.  Outside of my first pick for this topic I have a hard time imagining being best friends with any of these characters, so this is more of a, characters-I’d-like-to-have-on-my-side kind of post.


Nina Zenik (Six of Crows) – Finally, a friend who doesn’t make me feel guilty for never ordering a salad when we go out to eat.

Pig Gif

Circe (Circe) – That person who cut me off in traffic?  Bam! Pig.  That person who orders $50 worth of food at the drive-thru when you just want your morning coffee?  Bam! Pig.  If nothing else, I’d never run out of bacon.

ARTtistic Cat GIF • Cat vs Squirrel soon gonna catch you naughty squirrel blah blah blah

Reichis the Squirrelcat (Spellslinger) – Listen, I just really want a squirrelcat, okay?

Legal Trouble

Ariel Corta (New Moon) – I’m going to need an all star legal team after I’m done transforming all those people into pigs…

Hold on to your butts

John Hammond (Jurassic Park) – I am actively rejecting modern science. Jurassic Park is going to be a thing in my lifetime.  And I will be first in line.

Patrick plotting

Mycroft Canner (Too Like the Lightning) – Because knowing all the world’s secrets is a super power all by itself.  This is weirdly probably also my most dangerous choice of friend, considering what happened to his other friends…

Not quite ten- but I prefer quality friends to quantity.  Who made your list this week?

Throwback Thursday: The Will to Battle by Ada Palmer


Rating:  ★★★★★

I mean you all knew where Thursday was headed right?  Next Thursday I’ll post a new old review from another series, but honestly only because book four in Terra Ignota hasn’t been released yet. (Also- spoilers ahead for books one and two if you haven’t read them yet…)

Ockham Prospero Saneer pleads Terra Ignota, I did the deed, but I do not myself know whether it was a crime. This sets the tone for the entire book. (As an aside- it really is a fascinating question all by itself.)

One of the issues readers had with Too Like the Lightning, was it’s cliffhanger ending. I’m happy to report that this does not feel like half a book. The wait for Perhaps the Stars will still be long and torturous, but I intend to fill that time with back to back re-reads prior to release (this is still true… come on release date!).

These books are, in their own special way, an art form. These pages are filled with quirky stylistic choices, narrative breaks taken to address the reader (you) who carries an ongoing dialogue both with the narrator, and ghosts of the narrators past and upbringing (primarily, philosopher Thomas Hobbes). Dual columns of text side by side are meant to tell you that multiple conversations are happening at the same time within the text. While MASON speaks, people around him object and these texts are given to you in tandem. Different sets of parenthetical are meant to indicate different languages. I’m sure this has been obvious to some of my fellow readers, but yes, I can be dense, and yes, it has taken me three books to crack the code.

We continue our philosophical search for meaning through the eyes of the Alien, God of Another Universe, filtered through the eyes of a serial killer and a genius, Mycroft Canner. This was an interesting examination of Mycroft. We see a glimpse of Mycroft before this chronicle started. We spy him for a brief moment in that time between his capture and his judgement. His own story, a mirror image of the larger story at hand.

We move away now from examinations of gender and utopia, to the meaning and purpose of war. Perhaps to the purpose of god and religion and its purpose within society. How does a peaceful society take those first few steps to war? Is war necessary to progress? How does society balance the rights of an individual against the greater good? What right does a government have to defend itself or its people against other governments and people? Is this a right we as citizens consent to? Or do we happily ignore it and pretend that peace and the right to live are god granted things that no government can take away regardless of that governments cause?

This may be the last book I have time to read and review this year (in 2017) and with everything happening within my own government I suppose it couldn’t have been more timely. It is highly relevant and highly recommended, and one of the few books I am already looking forward to re-reading because I know just how many things I must have missed.

Throwback Thursday: Too Like The Lightning by Ada Palmer


Hello friends!  Today I’m doing something incredibly lazy and sharing with you a review I wrote way back in 2017.  I’m calling it Throwback Thursday. The good news is- I promise to only share books I really loved on Throwback Thursday.  Mostly because I want to spread the love for my favorite books that never had the opportunity to be posted here on Hamlets & Hyperspace.  My hope is that maybe you’ll discover a new-to-you favorite.

Just so you are aware- I rated this book 4 stars and not 5.  It is also not a book I can blanket recommend to everyone.  I read it as part of a group (spoiler heavy discussion here).  There were many individuals who hated it, many who did not finish.  Though I love this book- I don’t fault a single one of those readers and I’m not even questioning why.

Originally posted on

This is going to be an incoherent review, so I’ll apologize right off the bat. This is not an easy book. It was 430 pages of struggle for me. There are few info dumps. The style is different. Mycroft Canner (the main character) is writing this book in the style of the 18th century (sort of- most of the book is written perfectly normally) to address someone reading it from the future. He frequently addresses the reader, breaking the flow of the narrative to address the reader in “thee” and “thou” and ask you questions and make arrogant assumptions about how you feel.

There are few info dumps about the world and how it came to be because he thinks you are reading this from 400 years in the future, or thereabouts, and would therefore, presumably know much of what he is telling you about the history of the world. So no info dumps. Sort of.

To give you a quick and dirty run down, of which I will undoubtedly miss many points, it’s like this: the book is set in the future, where people have cool clothes that change with what they think, or make them invisible, or boots that are also weapons, visors that allow them to see what other people see and have text message conversations with people, or call them directly. They have trackers which track (obviously) and call police and monitor heart beats and give or deny security clearance. There is no more talk of gender, no more he and she. Women can choose not to grow breasts if they wish and so hide their physical sex. Clothes are genderless. They have anti-aging drugs and average life expectancy is over 150. People are often adopted into familial units called ‘bash(es?) where the ba’kids might be chinese, the ba’pa european, and the ba’ma indian. When the ba’kids grow up they can choose to belong to one of several hives, based on what they desire or find important in life and start a new ‘bash with their spouse. There is no war. There is no organized religion. Religious questions may be directed to your sensayer, whose training allows them to cover questions and matters of all religions, and it is always private, and proselytizing is definitely not allowed. Most people speak more than one language, with latin being reserved for the elite.

You wouldn’t think this would be a mystery plot, but it is. It begins with a boy named Bridger, who can “miracle” things into existence. Toys and pictures come to life, cures [for illness] and food made from paper. Mycroft has some sort of master plan for Bridger, but what is it? Then this thing called the Seven Ten list is stolen and I still can’t exactly tell you why it’s important other than to expose mysteries within mysteries [this is still true for me two years and two more Terra Ingota books later]. Just as you think your’e figuring something out, some bomb is dropped on you about someone’s identity, or past events or motives. I’ll be blunt, the Seven Ten list plot was kind of boring and confusing and I just didn’t care all that much about it. It’s the mysteries within the mysteries that will keep you reading, and there are OH SO MANY.

So Mycroft, I love, weirdly, if you read it you’ll find out why that’s weird. I did like the writing, if the style of writing was sometimes off-putting. The pacing could be slow at times and very fast at others. The chapters feel long and the book dense in general. The world building was both exactly what I’d want from a meaty sci-fi book and also somehow incredibly imaginative. The setting was beautiful and I’d absolutely love to see it recreated in CGI someday.

But, the book confused me a lot. Many people have many names and many titles and Mycroft will often point out a physical sex and a gender identification while everyone else refers to them as they and it can be difficult to follow. Thanks to the sensayers, there are lots of parts where the characters are debating or relaying philosophy to the reader, Voltaire, Marx, and many others I can’t name. Some paragraphs are written in latin and translated directly after and it was just unnecessary words on the page. The parts where Mycroft breaks off to address the reader were also sometimes tiresome and I just wanted to get to the story, but in the end, I am absolutely 100% DYING to find out what happens next, so for that much, I give it four stars.

Overall- an intriguing and thought provoking read that I’d definitely recommend to anyone interested in any of the many things I’ve mentioned above.

**End old review**

Having re-read this- it isn’t exactly a glowing review.  A lot of my love for this book came through discussion with other readers.  If you had asked me while I was reading it?  I would have told you – this is a Utopia.  No pollution, no war, no discrimination on any basis, stable economy, no prison.  <— It sounds pretty utopian right?

Until another reader began to point out that a lack of gender expression, a lack of religious expression, the ability to congregate with other people who share your beliefs, all sounded a lot more dystopian then utopian.  Suddenly my understanding of this book and all of it’s contents were flipped on it’s head.

If you can’t solve the issue of religious wars by banning religion in public… how the hell do you solve it?  Suddenly I had to re-think everything I had already thought about the book.  I was seeing it through a new lens with that one question alone.  How many other questions are there for me to ask and find a completely different answer?

Those last two paragraphs are absolutely what I adored about this book (aside from Mycroft, who is an enigma all his own).  Nothing on the surface is as it seems.  Reading it the first time will be one hundred percent different from reading it a second time.  Reading it again after reading the other two (three- someday!) books in the series will make it a completely different book.

Next week I will follow up this Throwback Thursday with my Five Star review of Seven Surrenders, Book Two in the Terra Ignota series, and hopefully this review will make a little more sense.