Please feel free to comment! I have not read anything by any of these writers but Johnson.

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The Sword of Winter, by Marta Randall. In the cold and dangerous land of Cherek, emerging from an era of magic and confronted by technological advancements, Lord Gambin of Jentesi lies dying and chaos reigns.

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Fling
20 (55.6%)

Marry
6 (16.7%)

Kill
10 (27.8%)

A Rumor of Gems, by Ellen Steiber. Enter the port city of Arcato: an old and magical town set somewhere in our modern world, a town where gemstones have begun to mysteriously appear . . . gemstones whose mystical powers aren't mere myth or legend but frighteningly real, casting their spells for good and ill.

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Fling
15 (40.5%)

Marry
7 (18.9%)

Kill
15 (40.5%)

Travel Light, by Naomi Mitchison. The story of Halla, a girl born to a king but cast out onto the hills to die. She lives among bears; she lives among dragons. But the time of dragons is passing, and Odin All-Father offers Halla a choice: Will she stay dragonish and hoard wealth and possessions, or will she travel light?

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Fling
21 (40.4%)

Marry
24 (46.2%)

Kill
7 (13.5%)

Nemesis, by Louise Cooper. Princess Anghara had no place in the Forbidden Tower, and no business tampering with its secrets. But she did, and now the seven demons are loose and her world is cursed, prey to the wrath of the Earth Goddess.

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Fling
16 (40.0%)

Marry
6 (15.0%)

Kill
18 (45.0%)

Racing the Dark, by Alaya Dawn Johnson. Lana, a teenaged girl on a nameless backwater island, finds an ominous blood-red jewel that marks her as someone with power, setting in motion events that drive her away from her family and into an apprenticeship with a mysterious one-armed witch.

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Fling
34 (73.9%)

Marry
11 (23.9%)

Kill
1 (2.2%)

My Soul to Keep, by Tananarive Due. When Jessica marries David, he is everything she wants in a family man: brilliant, attentive, ever youthful. Yet she still feels something about him is just out of reach. Soon, as people close to Jessica begin to meet violent, mysterious deaths, David makes an unimaginable confession: More than 400 years ago, he and other members of an Ethiopian sect traded their humanity so they would never die, a secret he must protect at any cost. Now, his immortal brethren have decided David must return and leave his family in Miami.

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Fling
23 (53.5%)

Marry
10 (23.3%)

Kill
10 (23.3%)

yhlee: Animated icon of sporkiness. (sporks (rilina))

From: [personal profile] yhlee


Louise Cooper's Nemesis is the first book of the Indigo series. I made the mistake when I was rather younger of reading the ENTIRE series out of a sense of completionism. DON'T DO IT. I can't recall details, but I do remember how much I hated the books, their tepid writing, and their characters. HIGHLY ANTI-RECOMMENDED.
larryhammer: pen-and-ink drawing of an annoyed woman dressed as a Heian-era male courtier saying "......" (dot dot dot)

From: [personal profile] larryhammer


I only read the first. I also disrecommend.
telophase: (Default)

From: [personal profile] telophase


I just want her to read them because I remember really enjoying them as a teenager but haven't read them since for fear of the Suck Fairy. XD
yhlee: I am a cilantro writer (cilantro photo) (cilantro writer)

From: [personal profile] yhlee


There may be a phenomenon where the golden age for these books is teenagerhood, actually. I only read them because one of my best friends in college gave them to me because she was destashing her books, and she'd read and loved them as a teen, but was done with them. I was no longer in high school, though, and by the time I got to them, I thought they were kind of awful. It's certainly possible that I would have liked them better if I'd read them earlier in my life. God knows, I enjoyed David Eddings, Piers Anthony, etc. in my teens.
telophase: (Default)

From: [personal profile] telophase


While I can't remember enough (well, any) of the Indigo series, I do remember juuust enough of her Time Master trilogy to know why it hit me perfectly as a teen: trapped on an island with a brooding love interest!. So tropey and so id-riffic. But again, fear of the Suck Fairy has kept me from rereading.
yhlee: Sandman raven with eyeball (Sandman raven (credit: rilina))

From: [personal profile] yhlee


Those I haven't read. If she's the same Louise Cooper who wrote The Sleep of Stone, I liked that one okay, although it was okay rather than great.
larryhammer: a low-fidelity picture of a man, label: "some guy" (Default)

From: [personal profile] larryhammer


Travel Light is brilliant. It's definitely worth reading, at any rate.

The Steiber (obDisclaimer: local acquaintance) is not technically a first novel, but shares many weaknesses of same. It may (I'm not totally sure of this) have been her first novel for adults.

Janni read Racing the Dark and liked it, but said it was clearly the work of a writer with promise that had not quite gelled.
Edited (also) Date: 2017-06-19 09:15 pm (UTC)
pameladean: (Default)

From: [personal profile] pameladean


Travel Light is a keeper. It's not like anything else; it's inventive, and wry and earnest by turns.

P.
coffeeandink: (Default)

From: [personal profile] coffeeandink


I love Travel Light and was tepid on Nemesis. I remember liking Steiber's short fiction, but never got around to the novel.
chomiji: Doa from Blade of the Immortal can read! Who knew? (Doa - books)

From: [personal profile] chomiji


I'm really, really interested in your take on Sword of Winter. It's a book that I very much like for 95% of it. The remaining 5% is some attitudes about children and adults and sex that rather squick me.

I say "some" because its not clear how many people hold those attitudes.

cyphomandra: fractured brooding landscape (Default)

From: [personal profile] cyphomandra


I love Travel Light. I like Due's writing but am a hard sell on this particular trope (outside of f/m/k, would recommend The Good House), and have not read the Johnson but have intended to. I kept running into Louise cooper's Indigo series as a teenager at the library but they never seemed to have anything earlier than book 3 and although I think I still tried one anyway I never finished it.
blueswan: (Default)

From: [personal profile] blueswan


I've only read books by Marta Randall and Tananarive Due, and the titles here are not the ones I'd read. I'd personally skip the one by due, because the description doesn't appeal, but based on what I've read by her, the book is probably not a bad read. Randall's SF family saga involving colonization and a pre-technology alien race was a quick read that I enjoyed. And I have had Sword of Winter for ages and not yet read it, so I'd love to know what you think of that one.

From: [personal profile] cat_i_th_adage


The Randall is a solid, meaty read with a lot of interesting things about it. But yes, there's a minor streak of squick regarding Janni's (I think that's his name?) relationships with his students. It's not a book with a lot of pure characters.
recessional: bare-footed person in jeans walks on log (Default)

From: [personal profile] recessional


I feel like whether the Due book is Fling or Kill depends in no small part on whether either Jessica or David is white. (I feel like this shout not be a white-people story.)
ivy: Two strands of ivy against a red wall (Default)

From: [personal profile] ivy


I believe that neither of them are. (David is definitely black, I have a less distinct memory of Jessica's background since it's less of a pivotal plot point, but I believe she is also black.)
recessional: bare-footed person in jeans walks on log (Default)

From: [personal profile] recessional


Then I would totally fling that one. The summary just suggests two VERY DIFFERENT THINGS to me based on that factor, you know? One is maybe interesting! The other is " . . . oh god the likelihood of awful fail here is so deep I can't see the bottom."

cofax7: climbing on an abbey wall  (Default)

From: [personal profile] cofax7


Oh, The Sword of Winter! I loved that when I read it, probably 25 years ago, and now I don't remember anything about it except that I never saw a sequel to it.

I also vote for keeping the Naomi Mitchison: it's such an odd book, I think you may like it.
lilacsigil: 12 Apostles rocks, text "Rock On" (12 Apostles)

From: [personal profile] lilacsigil


I only voted "kill" on Louise Cooper because I have an unreasoning grudge against Louise Cooper for scarring me with a YA book I read at too young an age, but just then I went to look up the exact title and it wasn't by her! It was by Louise Lawrence! So my apologies, Louise Cooper, I'm sure your books are great and not at all scarring.
lilacsigil: 12 Apostles rocks, text "Rock On" (12 Apostles)

From: [personal profile] lilacsigil


It was! And her little sister grows up to be a priestess and has sex with their father, who survived via a workplace shelter and thought his family was all dead.
ivy: Two strands of ivy against a red wall (Default)

From: [personal profile] ivy


I have no desire to read that book, but this thread is hilarious!
movingfinger: (Default)

From: [personal profile] movingfinger


I fear that by the end of the story they may have descended to Sabbath-breaking!

This one belongs in the post-apocalyptic WTF Hall Survival Bunker of Fame.
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)

From: [personal profile] rmc28


Children of the Dust! I had literal nightmares for weeks off that one - I didn't even read the second half with the mutant priestess incest for about half a year because of the nightmares from the first half.
boxofdelights: (Default)

From: [personal profile] boxofdelights


The only one of these I've read is Travel Light, which I love, but it is such an odd little thing it is hard to predict whether anyone else will love it.

When Johnson was one of Wiscon's GsOH, I heard several people tell her how much they loved Racing the Dark and longed for the series to be finished. She said it wouldn't be, and offered to tell them what she had had in mind. So, take the lack of an ending into account if you decide to start.
luzula: a Luzula pilosa, or hairy wood-rush (Default)

From: [personal profile] luzula


The only one I know here is Travel Light, which I very much recommend! It's a quick read, too, if you want to have a fling with it regardless.
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)

From: [personal profile] rmc28


I don't know any of these but I voted F on three things:

Racing the Dark is on my own TBR
Tananarive Due has been recced to me with enthusiasm
Naomi Mitchison wrote Memoirs of a Spacewoman which I read as a teenager and loved.
oursin: Photograph of small impressionistic metal figurine seated reading a book (Reader)

From: [personal profile] oursin


I love Mitchison so much that I am actually hesitant to recommend her, because she has a very distinctive narrative voice/style and I can see that it might not be everybody's cuppa. But Travel Light seems to have accrued a lot of fans (it is one of her few books still currently in print), so perhaps I fear unduly.

I was a great fan of Marta Randall, picking up copies of her books when this was a lot more difficult, but The Sword of Winter is one that has faded. Maybe I will revisit it myself.

I read the Steiber years ago - following, as I recall, a rec on LJ in the Old Days: and reported thus:
Ellen Steiber, A Rumor of Gems (2005). I enjoyed this and was gripped by it while I was reading, but when I put it down I realised that we had completely lost one character and their subplot well before the end and there was no outcome to their story. I quite liked the setting, even if it is set in one of those nowhere cities - although it was apparently set in something similar to the World As We Know It, from other place names and so on, Arcato itself didn't seem to be anywhere in particular except somewhere in the modern world, which might be the point, seeing that there was a certain amount of slipping in and out of different times and spaces. Interesting, perhaps, rather than entirely successful, but I'd like to see what she does next.

I can remember very little about it.

I think I read the whole of that Louise Cooper series, but it has faded considerably - the later vols had that feeling of 'I've started, now I'll finish' you get when authors have set up a carefully planned series and at some point they lose any oomph they had about the project and phone it in.
Edited (typo) Date: 2017-06-20 09:05 am (UTC)
nenya_kanadka: Wonder Woman poster (kneeling with sword) (Default)

From: [personal profile] nenya_kanadka


Haven't read any of these (I think), and DW won't let me log in to vote anyway, but the comments section is making me very curious about this Travel Light book! :D
nenya_kanadka: Wonder Woman poster (kneeling with sword) (Default)

From: [personal profile] nenya_kanadka


And, yarghh, this should have been a reply to the entry, not to you, [personal profile] oursin! (Can't log in to edit, either, pffff.)
ranalore: (dbsk boys books)

From: [personal profile] ranalore


The only one of these I've read is the Louise Cooper. It's the first of a loooong series (at least seven books, if I remember right), and when I read it, I was young and committed to finishing any series I started (unless it was really, really dreadful or scarring). The length of time between book releases stretched out so much, though, that by around book five or six, I'd figured out there were no prizes for finishing a series I didn't enjoy, and I had completely lost interest in seeing how everything was resolved. So I've voted Kill, because I really am curious of what you would think of as much as you could get through, but I wouldn't call it a book that would reward prolonged effort.
brownbetty: (Default)

From: [personal profile] brownbetty


The only one I have any knowledge of is Louise Cooper. I read her Time Master trilogy because I had her confused with Susan Cooper, and it was very skippable. I remember it only as a slog, the details are lost, but cannot recommend.
lugovskaya: (Default)

From: [personal profile] lugovskaya


Hi!
A little off topic, but.
Do you remember the conversation about the game in the world of Lovecraft - The Gift of Cthulhu?
We finished the intro now. (I'm a script writer)
Here - http://thegiftofcthulhu.com/ - you can download the first part of the game and play it (In English - naturally, it isn't my translation! ;-) ). I would be interested to know your opinion about it.
Tanda
.

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