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Foundation and Empire
Isaac Asimov
Animal Wise: The Thoughts and Emotions of Our Fellow Creatures
Virginia Morell
The Unnaturalists - Tiffany Trent Almost equal parts good and bad. The bad: some really cheesy, awful writing (lots of bad similes and metaphors, ugh) at times. I would be sailing along through the story, and then the writing itself would jar me out of it. The romance part (if you can call it that) was also a little irritating because it was so random and a little cliched/ridiculous. The first ~30 pages were difficult for me to get through; I felt the beginning could have used some smoothing.

BUT. The good parts: once you get into the story, things really start cracking. Trent built an amazing alternate world. The little details and surprises pulled me in and kept me coming back for more. I did like the strong female lead attempt (although there was a bit of angst-y wallowing). I really liked Syrus as the secondary protagonist. Some of the magical elements leaned heavily on the influences the author mentioned at the end of the book (one scene is all but lifted straight from The Last Unicorn), but some of them were really original and refreshing. Even with the novel's shortcomings, I was still engrossed and managed to get through it fairly quickly. It was such a different and peculiar experience, and for me, that can make up for a lot of shortcomings. Overall, an enjoyment. Not sure who I could confidently recommend this book to, however; definitely a unique read.