Go read this ASAP; I really feel like I need to make at least one other person read this. Chess features heavily in the plot, but I had never played before reading (though it convinced me to learn) and still found it engrossing. It has a strong female character, plenty of development, and the sense of action is consistent.
The Hustler - Walter Tevis
Reading this because it's by the same author. Similar themes and sense of action/development. Apparently the movie is supposed to be good, and seeing as it has Jackie Gleason in it, I'll probably actually watch it.
1Q84 - Haruki Murakami
I enjoyed this book. Probably more so in the beginning than near the end, but it's about 1000 pages long...so it had a good amount of time before it started to drag. The plot was intriguing enough to keep me reading leisurely, but you have to have at least a decent appreciation for descriptions of the mundane to get through Murakami. And a tolerance of things that just won't make sense anywhere else.
I’ve just, finally, finished “God’s War” by Kameron Hurley. Hurley does some interesting things in this book, and a lot of things that start off looking interesting but end up being good costuming for well-worn tropes, but ultimately I felt she wrote well, had some interesting ideas, but not a story I enjoyed much. I didn’t especially care for it because by the end I didn’t feel that either plot or character had completed a journey that I found worth the extreme abuse that the reader is dragged through via the characters.
It is a science-fantasy world dominated by women (most of the men are sent to the front in a never-ending war, most of them never come home), bugs (which do everything from transmit messages to power vehicles), magicians (whose greatest powers are in controlling the bugs), and violence (lacking men, the women have to do everything from box to bounty-hunt, most of it in exceedingly brutal fashion). The main character is a bounty-hunter of sorts, and it turns that a desperate, violent, woman ends up boring me just as much as a desperate, violent, man. The jacket blurb suggests that she might be able to end the war, but the actual plot is far more sordid and less soaring than that would suggest (perhaps that was the point). I slogged through to the end hoping for redemption, but what the author gave seemed pretty weak to me—opportunities to do things differently, but no indication (in my reading) that the characters would actually do much differently. In some ways it reminded me of Tess of the d’Urbervilles, after all that misery….. the whole cycle might just start over again?
Having said that, there are a lot of reviewers who liked this book, and there is certainly good stuff in here, and at the least having a female dominated novel is different from much of science fiction, so if you like characters who win by being able to take more punishment than the other guy or worlds in which nobody even thinks much about right and wrong anymore, you may really like this book. It wasn’t for me, but I think there are people who will enjoy it.
[FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]I just finished The Silencing by Kirsten Powers. She is a self-described liberal that in the past was involved in several campaigns by Democrats. She says the term liberal is about people that are open minded. She wrote this book about people she described as illiberal liberals. People that are not tolerant of any other viewpoint.[/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]So for example these people assume that African-Americans and any other persons of color must support the Democratic Party. Otherwise, they are traitors to their race. [/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]I would recommend this book.[/FONT]
Prudence (The Custard Protocol #1) by Gail Carriger. I love her books, they are fantastical steampunk Victorian mysteries with strong female characters, along with a few werewolves & vampires for good measure! Fun reads (and the protagonist of the Parasol Protectorate series is even pleasantly plump!)