Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe was beautiful! I’ve had the hardcover on my bookshelves for over two years. I also knew that Lin-Manuel Miranda was an excellent narrator. But the more people told me to read it, the more I put it off. Yes, I blame my irrational brain. I wanted to read it but then I refused because others encouraged me to. Thankfully, Hazel picked it for our June Epic Recs, so I couldn’t deny her pick. I went on to alternate between print and audio.
The Square Root of Summer is such a quirky book. It contains little illustrations and while it starts off like a contemporary read, it plunges into science fiction through time travel. Time travel in this case doesn’t pertain to fantastical notions of visiting another era. Here things are grounded a bit more in physics, incorporating discussions of the space-time continuum, the speed of light and the effect of gravity on one’s ageing process. If there’s one thing to be said, the main character is exceedingly smart and prides herself in her intelligence.
If I could only use one word to review The Final Empire, I would pick brilliant! Indeed, it is a brilliant book. The world building was impeccable and the laws of nature in this world were very exacting. What set it apart was the impact of metals and how they could be controlled through Allomancy and Feruchemy. These two systems had such logic and were so consistent that by the end of the book, I instinctively knew the outcomes of manipulating various metals.
Time travel in books is my weakness. I used to actively seek them out as a kid. Nowadays reading about such stories feels like visiting old friends. Sadly, The Girl from Everywhere didn’t quite have enough of it. The setting of The Girl from Everywhere was predominantly Honolulu 1884. There were glimpses of India, New York and China from various eras but not a lot happened in these places. Being stuck in Hawaii for so long gave rise to a slower moving plot than I had anticipated.