Sep. 8th, 2009
An Exchange of Hostages, Susan R. Matthews
Didn’t somebody want a Magical Sadist book, to go along with the Magical Masochist Kushiel books? Here you go!
Andrej Koscuisko, a brilliant young neurosurgeon fresh out of medical school, is ordered by his father to join the military and enter training to become a Ship’s Surgeon. But a Ship’s Surgeon’s primary occupation is not to heal the sick - it is to torture confessions out of prisoners. The idealistic Koscuisko is initially disgusted by this, as well as his discovery, upon entering training, that he has been assigned a slave, the stoic warrior Joslire, whose obedience to him is enforced via a cybernetic implant. However, as he gets deeper into his training, he discovers in himself a less-than-wholesome fascination for his work.
This book is an exercise in the clinical deconstruction of a fetish. ( Read more... )
This is an well-written book, but also a very, very unpleasant one, both because of the material and because of the way it decides to deal with it.
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, Agatha Christie
This is only the second Agatha Christie book I’ve ever read - I’d heard of it before I read it, forgotten the title, and realized which one it was very quickly. (Shouldn’t have read the back cover blurbs.)
This is another book that feels a lot like an exercise to me. It’s a very tight book, with no real space to develop an emotional attachment to any of the characters. I don’t think my opinion matters here, but for what it is, I think it’s great - there are only a couple of places that don’t feel “fair” to me, and I don’t usually care whether a mystery’s “fair.”
I, uh, can’t talk about this book any more specifically without spoiling it, sorry.