Naomi Novik
Uprooted Cover



Nebula Awards voters made an excellent selection for best novel of 2016 - Uprooted by Naomi Novik. This fantasy features highly believable magic and a dread menace that threatens to engulf the world. The spells were praised by none other than Ursula K. Le Guin, a master whose wizard school predated Hogwarts by several decades.

The sense of dread is palpable here. Novik is very good at building suspense, gradually ratcheting up the tension as the plot rises toward its climax. In counterpoint, the rite of passage story of a novice magician learning the craft is heart-warming. This tale is told with a light touch and much humour.

I found the ending rather over-complex. In my opinion, we could have reached an equally effective conclusion without such a tortuous sequence of explanations and meandering backstory. This, however, is a small quibble - it's well-nigh impossible to navigate several hundred pages without the occasional quibble.

My review re Robert Silverberg novel ("with Isaac Asimov") "The Ugly Little Boy."

This review does NOT refer to this book - cannot find the book in their database.

Note that the classic short story of the same title is VASTLY superior.

Although this book was officially a "collaboration", it is my very strong hunch that is was essentially all written by Robert Silverberg. He has made an effort to write it in Asimov's style, as he did for both Nightfall and The Bicentennial Man. All three of these novels are OK - but the original stories are so much better that you really owe it to yourself to read them.

I gave the novel 4 stars because I rated it "A -" when I read it.

Also please note re my rating system: 1 1/2 stars in my rating means that I gave this novel a "C" when I read it I start at one star meaning c -, and proceed one half star at a time up to 5 stars meaning A+. One half star is reserved for BOMBS - D+ and lower.