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All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation
Rebecca Traister
Dragon's Bait - Vivian Vande Velde I enjoyed this well enough. The author has a gift for drawing interesting characters and situations in a few well chosen words. Which is an excellent talent that I don't want to underestimate. However I felt like it kind of hovered between being a short story and a novel without being able to decide where to land.

Some elements I felt either needed more explanation or needed to be cut. That witch that Atherton supposedly sold his soul to in exchange for the location of Selendrile and Alys for example, who was she? Why did she want souls? Why was Alys afraid of her, and what was she doing lurking around in the background? There are simpler ways to motivate and direct Atherton than inventing a character we never actually meet.

I also had some issues with motivations. For example Alys spent the first ninety plus pages pursuing revenge, and then suddenly in the last twenty has a complete change of heart. I felt like there wasn't enough struggle, she just more or less flipped from one point of view to the other.

Then Selendrile - its implied that he has killed various people while traveling around with Alys, but for some reason he doesn't want to kill her - why is that? Did he kill the people whose farmhouse they slept at, where did he get the bloody bandages he brought her? Is he a friend or is she just a snack on the hoof? None of this is resolved at all, and at the beginning Alys worries about it but then she just decides its all okay, based on... what? That she likes him?

As I say I enjoyed it and its a fun read. I just feel it was rushed and too much left unexplored.