Reviews tagging 'Body horror'

Elder Race by Adrian Tchaikovsky

30 reviews

laura_wska's review against another edition

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dark emotional mysterious reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

2.0


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raincloud35's review against another edition

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adventurous emotional fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.25


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yuyuv's review against another edition

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adventurous emotional lighthearted fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.0


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bluejayreads's review against another edition

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4.5

The back cover on this was mediocre, and I didn't have high expectations. But it was surprisingly good. It takes the maxim "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic" and rolls with it. But the communication struggles between the augmented anthropologist of a technologically-advanced people and the princess of a generally-primitive people were the most fascinating part. For being as short as it is, the world and characters are remarkably complex and the emotions are surprisingly deep and rich. The plot is fairly simple - go to this place, deal with the demon there - but it ended in a pleasantly unexpected way. I just can't get over how this book looked so unassuming on the outside and yet managed to be complex and interesting and have such solid characters and a well-developed world while still being so short. I almost wish it was longer just because I want more in this world with these characters.

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johnbat's review against another edition

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adventurous hopeful inspiring lighthearted mysterious fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

5.0

This is a duel-perspective narrative that is BRILLIANTLY told. I loved how the author used unique language in the perspective of each character to incite differing images of the story. 

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gilnean's review against another edition

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adventurous dark emotional tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.75


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anna_hepworth's review against another edition

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medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

5.0

Reading this was a lovely way to spend an afternoon. Warrior (Lynesse Fourth Daughter) goes to ask for help from the Sorcerer In The Tower, who is actually no such thing, but an anthropologist, left behind. And the threat, described as 'demon' for half the book, is a creeping eldritch horror that was more convincingly awful than many I've read in more explicitly horror books. And there is a strong element of body horror in the way that this presents. 

This is a novella, so there isn't anything complicated in b-plot. But there doesn't need to be. The world building is lush, and complex. The exploration of how the past/future are alien to us was done really well, particularly in the chapter where two stories are told together in separate columns--this is a stylistic choice I've seen done a few times, often to juxtapose the colonial and colonised perspectives--which really highlighted the way that language can shift. 

The characterisation is strong, but some what difficult to relate to. Given that one of the viewpoint characters spends a lot of time actively (and effectively) suppressing all sensation of emotion, this is probably a necessary side effect of an accurate portrayal of the inside of their mind. 

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laurareads87's review against another edition

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adventurous reflective fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

4.0

I am more a relic worthy of study than those I was placed to observe.

Elder Race follows Lynesse, a royal daughter eager to prove her value by vanquishing a demon threatening neighbouring territories, and Nyr, an archaeologist from the society Lynesse's descends from but whom Lynesse's people believe is a wizard. The book alternates perspectives between the two, with a single brilliant chapter juxtaposing them by including each of their perspectives side by side. I quite enjoyed this book! I will say that the interplay between the main characters, and particularly Nyr's internal struggles with his situation and the chasm of misunderstanding between himself and Lynesse, interested me far more than the demon-slaying plot did. The climax of the plot - the confrontation with the menacing force - seemed a little bit rushed, but I found I didn't mind in the slightest because I was more interested in what Nyr was thinking about. I've enjoyed everything I've read by Tchaikovsky so far, and this is no exception. Recommend for fans of LeGuin. 

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saturdayslaughter's review against another edition

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adventurous reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? N/A
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

What a cool concept and what a cool story. I have so many thoughts but idk what’s useful in a review. I thought Nyr was very compelling, and found Lynesse a lot less compelling but still fun, she felt like a window to her world first and a person second, and they were the only two real characters. Themes of isolation and cultural divide. The ‘it isn’t magic’ thread was fun to follow because how they see him ended up (mild mystery spoilers)
paralleling how he sees the demon
. Spoilers for the tone of the ending, but
it was nice to see him find a better place
. Does Tchaikovsky always write about anthropology? It’s very fun, I’m onboard. 

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mjwhitlock18's review against another edition

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adventurous medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix

3.5

Such an interesting mix of SciFi and Fantasy. Nyr is a clinically depressed cultural anthropologist living in and studying a world colonized long ago by people from earth. Because he has more advanced science and tech, the people from the world think he’s a sorcerer, and due to a failure of translation, he can’t explain to them that his science isn’t magic. A childishly naive, youngest sister/warrior princess comes to him to beg for his magic help fighting off a “demon” plague that is taking over part of her mother’s kingdom. This novella is quick, witty, genre-bending, and explores some good themes around communication, solitude, and the bravery in the face of hopelessness. 

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