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All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation
Rebecca Traister
The Alchemy of Stone - Ekaterina Sedia This is a novel about a clockwork girl struggling to free herself from the mechanic who created her in a city haunted by whispering gargoyles and in the midst of a violent revolution. Its strange and intricate and emotionally resonant and I found myself rooting hard for the ticktock girl and her fight to stand on her own. I loved the odd city filled with even odder people - the man who cares for ghosts, and the immigrant alchemist shunned by the local guild, the revolutionaries in their underground lairs, and the parading aristocrats who have lost touch with the people they supposedly govern.

It’s a strange and lonely place. People don’t really have friends so much as they have allies and competitors. Nobody really trusts, and for good reason. Mattie tries to navigate as honorably as she can and against some considerable odds. I love that she didn’t just lie down and whine oh poor victimized me, I can’t be held accountable. I really respect her for that.

Also, although it is a dark place it isn’t an irredeemably bleak one. There is kindness. Nor is it simplistic. None of the characters are one note mustachio twiddling villains or hapless innocents who only serve to get ground up in order to demonstrate how bad some other character is and justify heroes running heroically amok.

All of that made this a very enjoyable book for me. If it sounds interesting to you I’d definitely say check it out. The only niggles that stood in the way of this going from a four star really liked it to a five star absolutely loved it, is that there were a couple of places along the way that I got a little bit lost, and had to go back and re read to try to make sense of something.