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4.0 out of 5 starsMachineries of Empire fans rejoice!
Reviewed in the United States on June 30, 2019
Yoon Ha Lee gives us some additional content to chew on from his critically acclaimed Machineries of Empire series. This collection is meant to be enjoyed after the original trilogy and I would discourage fellow readers from using it as an entry point into Lee's work. There are 21 separate pieces represented here, ranging from a handful of paragraphs describing Shuos cadets squirrel-fishing to an 100+ page post-Revenant Gun conclusion titled 'Glass Cannon.' The latter provides a fantastic, satisfying ending as well as a potential jumping off point for future works. Additionally I quite enjoyed the 'Author's Notes' following each work. Lee's musings, justifications, and writing exercises somehow endeared me to the series and author more than I already was. There is much to love here and I would definitely recommend reading it if you are already invested in the adventures of Shuos Jedao and Ajewen Cheris. 4.1/5
My only real complaint about this collection is that many of the short stories aren't even what I'd consider stories. Rather, I'd call them "glimpses", as they're like two or three pages and don't actually have a narrative at all, instead just providing a look at an important moment in a character's life. Some of these are interesting, most are boring. The final story here, however, is worth the price of entry all by itself. Wanna know what happens after the trilogy ends? Look no further.
I loved the Machineries of Empire series, and I appreciate the chance to see more of their world. However, many stories in this anthology are extremely short - just a few pages - and it's difficult to get invested in such a short time. Although it's cool to see the characters at different stages in their lives, it's been a while since I read the novels, and I wasn't familiar enough with the characters to really enjoy the glimpses into their backstories. However, the last story is relatively long, and I really enjoyed it.
4.0 out of 5 starsThe "other" Machineries of Empire stories
Reviewed in the United States on March 29, 2020
If you've read Lee's Machineries of Empire trilogy (Ninefox Gambit, Raven Stratagem, and Revenant Gun), then you know what a wonderful writer he is and these stories provide some background to the central character of the trilogy.
If you haven't read Lee's work, this is a great introduction.
My only complaint is that there wasn't more to read.
Yoon Ha Lee is currently one of my favorite sci-fi authors, his work as inventive as that of any others working today. I enjoyed this collection, but much of the contents is brief sketches of what Lee may be intending on expanding in future. I didn't appreciate that format as much as the structure of his other works, otherwise I would have given this book five stars.
5.0 out of 5 starsWonderful short story collection!
Reviewed in the United States on July 11, 2019
I really enjoyed this collection of stories set in the Machineries of Empire universe (and I loved seeing more of Jedao and Cheris)! The stories included are beautiful and wonderfully wrought, even when they're also devastating.
Labelling this as book 4 of the series is deceptive. This is a set of novellas and thrown together... expository prose(?), loosely tied to the series, and supplemented with "author's notes" that read like poorly dashed together blog posts. Might have been enjoyable if I'd been looking for that, but massively overpriced, and definitely not what I'd expected.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 2, 2019
At first I was disappointed with this book - the early chapters struck me as slight and whimsical. However the second half of the work is a much more meaty and involving continuation of the series, full of rapid developments and perilous predicaments. The quiet humour continues, and there are additional insights into the histories of Jedda o, Cheris and other characters, as well as the features of the universe they inhabit. The end of the story leaves plenty of scope for further galaxy-shaking emprises. Please read Ninefox Gambit and other preceding volumes in the series in order to make sense of this book.
Un scénario incompréhensible, il faut avancer quasiment à la fin de la trilogie voire pour certains aspects aller jusqu'aux nouvelles alliées pour arriver à le comprendre en détail, des personnages antipathiques, pervers, dégénérés, et ça se dégrade de livre en livre ou du moins on entre dans des descriptions de plus en plus détaillées, bref ces livres m'ont profondément déplu. J'ai néanmoins voulu lire toute la série pour voir si ça allait s'arranger, ou même bien finir à l'américaine, mais non. Vraiment je déconseille fortement la lecture de ces opus.