Sweet Vernal Zephyr

Succinct Book Reviews
(aka Creating & Whit)

by Elizabeth Bear

In Old Earth’s clandestine world of ambassador-spies, Michelangelo Kusanagi-Jones and Vincent Katherinessen were once a starring team. But ever since a disastrous mission, they have been living separate lives in a universe dominated by a ruthless Coalition—one that is about to reunite them.

The pair are dispatched to New Amazonia as diplomatic agents Allegedly, they are to return priceless art. Covertly, they seek to tap its energy supply. But in reality, one has his mind set on treason. And among the extraordinary women of New Amazonia, in a season of festival, betrayal, and disguise, he will find a new ally—and a force beyond any that humans have known...
My review guidelines can be found HERE.

  • Striking
  • Dual, the back art is just as important as the front (Back is not shown, it is a female version of the front)
  • Dual meanings as well: Masks to hid behind physically, politically, emotionally

  • Science Fiction
  • Postapocolyptical
  • Alien ecosystems
  • Dragons, perhaps
  • Ghosts, perhaps
  • AI
  • Biomechanicals

  • M/M
  • M/F
  • Voyurism

  • Political & emotional machinations are the moving force throughout this story.

  • Not a light read. I fully intend to re-read this in the hopes that I will catch more of the underlying plots the second time around.

  • I found myself confused an embarrassing amount of the time and attribute it to reading outside of my usually genre. I have no problems grasping power plays between werewolves, but it has been quite a while since I have delved deep into futuristic outer space. I found I have missed it, more science fiction is in my future. It tickles a part of my brain not usually stimulated.

  • I enjoyed the challenge of figuring out what the pseudoscience meant and how the alien mechanics worked.

  • This is not a book you read minutes at a time. Set aside chunks measured in hours for I found I spent the first 10 minutes remembering what webs were spinning in which direction before advancing in the story line.

  • The love story is integral but not blatant. Sexual intimacy is striking limited, though the single encounter I remember was enticing in the way of lovers, not pornographers.

  • The thickness of this novel may be a deterrent to some, but if you brave the weight of pages you will find yourself invested in a rich world with phantom stories flanking the past and the future... an echoing call for more, the history of this strange new world she has created.

I won this book over at OCD, Vampires, and Rants, Oh My during LGBT Pride Month!
Thanks again!

This book was spotlighted on my Tuesday Teaser HERE.

Did you review this book too?
Comment with your link! (Usually at the top of this post)

Sweet daydreams...

*I intended to re-read this novel and create a sort of dictionary.
Um, I didn't get very far, but here are my current efforts.
  • protean: (as of actor or actress) able to play many roles
  • tick: a method of measuring the passage of time
  • license: authority/software to change physical surroundings/appearance
  • dispensall: a multi-purpose object that creates/disposes food conveniences
  • melanize: convert into, or infiltrate with melanin
  • wardrobes: used in combination with licenses, providing protection and an illusion of appearance/clothing through the reconfiguration of ions &...
  • neuromorphed
  • subdermal: under the skin
  • patois: a regional form of language
  • ecliptic: the path the sun, moon and planets all follow in the sky


Hmm. Being confused is probably because the book was confusing, not due to being outside your genre. :)

Awww Chris, you have so much faith in me. ;)

Hey Sweet,

was over at Cecile's - love what you guy's did with that story! So, I thought I'd stop over here to see what you had going on.

Nice blog! I like the way you do your review. Sounds like an interesting book...SiFi is a more complicated read compared to the usual romance...a lot of people don't immediately grasp psionics, kirilian photography, biofeedback, empathetic plants, quantum jumps, or the reality of our 4th demension, or the working of TIME and the hierarchy of consciousness. Antimatter or the cycling of black holes, or the 4th dimension of our parallel universes.
So reading ScFi is most assuredly a slower read....but one of fascination when the mind "gets it" and allows the fantasy world to lead them into a wonder of another reality.


Wow, that's quite some paranormality, lol. I liked that this book tickles a part of the brain not usually stimulated, as you said it. Awesome review!


LOL guess you can tell I love science!

I love books (even romance books) that make me work just a wee bit, makes me think. I don't want to be spoon-fed my entertainment...I like to guess along the way.


Janna, Thanks honey! I like stimulating long dormant parts... of my brain *wink*

Haw, You're a doll! Thanks for stopping by :D

This looks very interesting. I'll definitely keep it in mind especially as I really like this author. Thanks Miranda.

Sounds interesting although sci-fi's not really my favorite genre. I'll keep it in mind though.

Keep giving interesting reviews like this and you know I'll be by to bug you often! xox LOL

Big hugs

Whoo Whee! Looks like I did something right on this review. Thanks for visiting everyone!

Sweet, you are a devil and you know I'll be back playing here when I should be writing! ;-)


ErotROM -

I'm glad to hear there are still a few of us out there that like the mystery of a plot unfolding...the brain stimulators are the types of books I like to write...now, if I can only get one published...and that's a whole 'nuther game at the ball park! LOL


Oh wow honey... What a very interesting book and review. I can say that I have never read anything like this. Wow... simply amazing.
You pique my interest every time I come here!
Which is a good thing! =)

I have been reading reviews all morning trying to find something worth reading and FINALLY! This sounds good!

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Thanks so much for delving into my head. It's scary in here sometimes, so it is nice to have company! Don't step on the zephyr...

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