Book Notes: Twelfth Knight

Football and tabletop games. Shakespeare and MMORPG’s. Fandom, feminism and the perils of falling in love. Alexene Farol Fallmuth's new YA, Twelfth Knight, has all this and more in its pages.

Viola (Vi) Reyes would like it if she lived in a world where no one questioned her abilities in ConQuest, a tabletop game, or in the MMORPG Twelfth Knight simply because she’s female. Since that isn’t the case, and Vi spends enough of her time fighting to be taken seriously in real life, she’s crafted a male alter-ego, Cesario, for Twelfth Knight, so she can simply play the game.

Jack (Duke) Orsino is ready to have the senior year of his dreams, leading his high school football team to state championships. But when an injury sidelines him indefinitely at the beginning of the season, Jack’s friend introduces him to the diverting world of Twelfth Knight. In the online game, Jack has a body that isn’t restricted by injury, and he quickly becomes engrossed by the challenges and quests. Before long, Jack encounters Cesario in the game, and the two team up to take on the most epic quest in Twelfth Knight-- the quest for Camelot.

Book Notes: Ocean's Godori

I am not the biggest sci-fi reader. I did adore Becky Chamber’s Monk and Robot novellas (Psalm for the Wild-Built and Prayer for the Crown-Shy), though I have yet to try her full-length novels. I have a soft spot in my heart for all things Star Wars. I do my best when people ask for recommendations, but I have much more knowledge (and opinions) in fantasy. So here are the features that initially sold me on Ocean’s Godori by Elaine U. Cho:

The gorgeous cover.

A misfit crew.

The promise of humor.

When I then found out the author of this debut novel is also Pacific Northwesterner and a former bookseller at Elliott Bay Book Company, I was even more interested to give it a try. I am so glad I did.

Ocean Yoon is a disgraced pilot who is part of a crew in the lower echelons of the Alliance space program. She’s Korean, and from a long line of the famed female free divers of Jeju, but she’s never felt truly a part of the culture she comes from. When a job her captain takes on goes sideways, and Ocean’s best friend Teo is accused of murder, the stakes suddenly climb very high. Ocean is torn between loyalty to her friend or obedience to her captain. With a diverse cast of characters and a plot packed both with action and quiet pockets of introspection, this was one fantastically wild ride.

Summer Book Bingo 2024

Even though the weather can’t seem to make up its mind in the Pacific Northwest, we are at the very end of May, tipping into June, and that means that Seattle Arts & Lectures and the Seattle Public Library has put out their Summer Book Bingo cards for this year!

Every summer I grab a Book Bingo and start off with great enthusiasm. I look over the categories and imagine the variety added into my reading life. Doing Book Bingo will push me out of comfort reads or get me to pick up a book from my TBR I keep meaning to start. But to be honest, after about a month I begin to struggle. I have more and more internal resistance to the books I have self-assigned to my summer reading. I can't resist all the new romance or YA or fantasy that catches my eye as I'm shelving. Then my library books are nearly due, and I read those. I'm still reading, I'm just not reading to fill Bingo squares.

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