RaveFantasy Literature...an entertainingly informative mix of popular science, memoir, and even some fiction. Parcak does an excellent job of bringing the rarified field of remote sensing down to earth, in both literal and metaphorical fashion ... The author’s imagination comes into play, as well, in several relatively long interludes where she imagines the life of a family in ancient Egypt to highlight how archaeology isn’t just an examination of artifacts, of things, but is a way to learn more about people ... Moving back and forth between space and the Earth is both a good structure and also reinforces one of her constant points of emphasis — that whatever is discovered via remote sensing can only be verified by actual boots on the ground and trowels in the dirt (or sand). These more memoiristic scenes add a nice touch of the personal to Archaeology from Space, and also do a great job of conveying just what is involved in both excavating and being a dig director ... Archaeology from Space: How the Future Shapes Our Past has an engaging voice throughout ... Strongly recommended.
K Arsenault Rivera
MixedFantasy LiteratureThe novel starts slowly, and I almost gave it up several times in the first 100-150 pages...but things did pick up at about the halfway point as Shizuka moves more into the story of her being forced into the role of General by her uncle, tasked with leading what her uncle hoped would be a suicidal march into the north against land controlled by demons ... Beyond plot, character, and pacing, I had mixed feelings about the worldbuilding. On the one hand, I quite like the mythology that underlies much of the story even if it still feels a bit amorphous. The question of cycles of gods and demons and ascendancy may actually be the most interesting facet for me at this point. I still don’t find either story as told or the characters as presented particularly compelling, while pacing, POV, structure, and the over-wrought romance elements have been obstacles more often than not. But Rivera can turn a sweet phrase, offering some lovely single lines or segments of description. At this point, I wouldn’t recommend the Thier Bright Ascendacy series, having not liked The Tiger’s Daughter at all and having only a middling response to this one.
RaveLos Angeles Review of BooksIs it the ironic tragedy of Birkerts’s spot-on observations that in the distracting cacophony of this noisy, noisy world, most will not pay heed to a necessary treasure like Changing the Subject?