Today's book review features Keeping It Real by Justina Robson.
I bought this book out of desperation for something to read, since none of my favorite authors have anything new out. (Elizabeth Moon's next book comes out next month.) I also liked the cover art which featured a kick-butt woman in black leather sporting lots of weaponry.
The back cover copy was a little off-putting. The binding identified the novel as science fiction, but from the description, it seemed to be a combination of both sci fi and fantasy--elves, demons, high tech, AI's. This one was difficult to categorize.
And I think that was my problem with it. I'm really not into fantasy for the most part. I'm not familiar enough with the genre to appreciate or understand its standards, quirks or even all of its vocabulary. Therefore, while this book was clearly popular enough to spawn several sequels, I just couldn't get into it and don't think I'm qualified to adequately judge its worth.
I liked the two main characters for the first half of the novel. The woman is bad a** while still maintaining a fragile side that attracts the reader's sympathy. The "rock star elf" is attractive and intriguing with his demon tendencies. But as soon as they travel to the "elf homeland" I find myself lost. The magical elements and multiple levels of relationships are difficult to follow for someone not thoroughly versed in the fantasy genre.
It was definitely a worthwhile experiment to step outside my science fiction comfort zone. I'm about to do it again with Kat Richardson's Greywalker (labeled as fantasy but really more paranormal). But I've decided that cross genre science fiction/fantasy isn't my thing.