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HEXED by Kevin Hearne, Excerpt

HEXED by Kevin Hearne, Excerpt

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3.88

(435)
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Enjoy this excerpt of HEXED by Kevin Hearne, available wherever books are sold.

Atticus O’Sullivan, last of the Druids, doesn’t care much for witches. Still, he’s about to make nice with the local coven by signing a mutually beneficial nonaggression treaty—when suddenly the witch population in modern-day Tempe, Arizona, quadruples overnight. And the new girls are not just bad, they’re badasses with a dark history on the German side of World War II.

With a fallen angel feasting on local high school students, a horde of Bacchants blowing in from Vegas with their special brand of deadly decadence, and a dangerously sexy Celtic goddess of fire vying for his attention, Atticus is having trouble scheduling the witch hunt. But aided by his magical sword, his neighbor’s rocket-propelled grenade launcher, and his vampire attorney, Atticus is ready to sweep the town and show the witchy women they picked the wrong Druid to hex.
Enjoy this excerpt of HEXED by Kevin Hearne, available wherever books are sold.

Atticus O’Sullivan, last of the Druids, doesn’t care much for witches. Still, he’s about to make nice with the local coven by signing a mutually beneficial nonaggression treaty—when suddenly the witch population in modern-day Tempe, Arizona, quadruples overnight. And the new girls are not just bad, they’re badasses with a dark history on the German side of World War II.

With a fallen angel feasting on local high school students, a horde of Bacchants blowing in from Vegas with their special brand of deadly decadence, and a dangerously sexy Celtic goddess of fire vying for his attention, Atticus is having trouble scheduling the witch hunt. But aided by his magical sword, his neighbor’s rocket-propelled grenade launcher, and his vampire attorney, Atticus is ready to sweep the town and show the witchy women they picked the wrong Druid to hex.

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Published by: Random House Publishing Group on Jun 29, 2011
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved

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12/23/2013

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Activity (91)

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shanaqui_1 reviewed this
Rated 4/5
Miéville's work is never easy for me -- I always have to work for it -- so I get a little contemptuous of people who just read fifty pages and give up, even though I do that plenty with other books. I always have to give Miéville plenty of leeway: he gets to a place where he blows my mind in the end, but it might take half the book before I'm starting to see it.

So it was with Embassytown, and not helped by the fact that I'm in a bit of a depressed phase at the moment and everything is Too Much Effort. But I got there eventually, and when I did, I didn't want to put the book down for a second. I stayed up to finish it, last night, and felt breathlessly excited at the twists and turns.

I can understand the criticisms that there aren't really any well-defined/sympathetic/unique characters (maybe if there'd been more of Spanish Dancer?), but in Miéville's work there's always plenty that makes up for it, for me. His cities are pretty much characters, both a collection of separate organisms and an organism in themselves, and his world-building is second to very, very few. I loved the concept of Language, and the way it became language. I just. Flail.
nmele_4 reviewed this
Rated 4/5
Until about halfway through this novel, I was haunted by a sense of deja vu: a human embassy on an isolated planet must use extremely novel and poorly understood techniques to communicate with the sentient aliens whose planet this is. A pretty standard science fiction trope, one I thought had pretty well been exhausted by now, but Mieville is not interested in simply resolving the dilemma caused by the communications obstacles. This book thoughtfully examines the intersection of power, language, culture and perception, with an emphasis on the impact changing perceptions change cultures. Along the way he also managed to throw out some ideas about dependency and addiction.
jenneb_2 reviewed this
Rated 4/5
I loved the ending of this book. The beginning was interesting intellectually, especially if you're into linguistics stuff, but it didn't engage me emotionally until later. Still, absolutely worth it in the end.
hadriantheblind reviewed this
Rated 4/5
A comment that I often make about talented writers is that they know how to work with language, and how to make it do what they want. Well, Mieville does good once again, with all of his best traits on display: world-building, creature-creating, language-twisting, and utterly bleak and fascinating stories with the faintest glimmer of hope in the end. Roaring stuff.

Real scifi, right here.
jen6e6moore reviewed this
Rated 4/5
Not as amazing as Kraken - but what the hell, it's a China Miéville book, of course it blows the top off your head. Longer review later.
jeremypreacher reviewed this
Rated 4/5
Ah, China. Always with the high-concept stuff. Not a bad thing, necessarily, and I certainly know what I'm getting into, but it's not always a perfect fit for me. This is a very good book - carefully thought-out, well-executed, and gripping - but it didn't quite grab me the way The City and the City did.

It's mostly an examination of language - the book posits an alien race that embodies the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis, and looks at what would happen as they associate for the first time with a species (humanity) who are able to lie. The central character is kind of a cipher - she has relationships, but none of them feel all that deep, and she mostly serves as a viewpoint character - and the central disaster never really made sense to me. I mean, I was able to go along with it, but given how carefully everything else was explained, it felt like this was an intuitive leap on the author's part that he never quite fleshed out.

I'm pretty much willing to read what Miéville writes these days, and this was certainly not a waste of my time. Recommended if you like nice chewy idea-filled science fiction.
bunwat_1 reviewed this
Rated 2/5
This is the first Mieville novel I have actually managed to finish, which is progress of some sort. And I know I'm exposing myself to general ire and condemnation by giving it two stars when in fact Mieville is better than that. I even recognise that he's better than that, and this book is actually quality work.

But there ya go. Its how I feel about it. I recognise that the guy can write, I recognise that his world building is highly creative and there are substantive themes and questions of real relevance being asked. I don't care. I just don't connect with it, in fact most of the time I go beyond not connecting to being actively irritated.

His prose is complicated and occult in the original meaning of occult, hinting at hidden knowledge or truths just out of reach, the whisk and whisper of someone or something moving just out of sight. He rarely just comes out and flat says anything. Its always a slightly gothic highly atmospheric mountain of extremely colorful adjectives that in the end add up to.... not enough for me.

It feels to me like obscurantism for its own sake. He frustrates and dissapoints me with his polysyllabic dance of the seven veils, because when you draw back the curtain he is not the Great and Terrible Oz. He is not the mystery of the tabernacle. He's a guy telling a reasonably interesting story in an unbelievably roundabout way. Highly literate highly intellectual shaggy dog stories.

When I was a kid and I would go with a friend to hear the Mass in Latin, or listen to music sung in a language I didn't understand, or listen to the cantor in a synagogue the fact that I didn't understand set my imagination free to conjure up magic. When I would hear the translations I would always be terribly disappointed because where did the mystery go?

To some extent I think that's what Mieville is going for. He doesn't want his reader to fully understand what's going on. He wants to make a landscape full of shadows so the mystery can creep in. Some people like that. I'm just not one of them.
chancemaree reviewed this
Rated 4/5
I enjoy Sci-Fi that stimulates thought, and Embassytown doesn't disappoint. Human interaction with alien species are perfect foundations in which to explore topics taken too often for granted. In this case, Language is key, and China does a fantastic job turning perception of it on its head. The first third of the novel is set-up. Thankfully the setup was interesting enough to set the stage without boring me with seemingly useless details. What is learned in the first third is necessary once the plot kicks in and the real page turning begins. The characters and concepts of characterization were fresh and intriguing. Certainly I recommend this novel and look forward to reading other books by China. I believe he has deepened my vocabulary, so kudos to him for that gift as well.
twopairsofglasses reviewed this
Rated 5/5
A fascinating meditation on language wrapped up in an engrossing, intricate sci-fi tale.
kevinashley_1 reviewed this
Rated 5/5
The world needs more books by China Miéville. That sums up my feelings as I finished "Embassytown." But for the sake of my own failing memory if nothing else I should say a little more about it.Embassytown is set on a world of uncertain location which contains a town, with a special environment to host the diplomats who live here in order to engage with its inhabitants, the Ariekei. The Ariekei speak Language, a tongue almost impossible for other species to master. It requires two voices speaking simultaneously (since the Ariekei have two vocal organs) but this must be done by one mind. Language, and by implications the Ariekei themselves, possesses restrictions which other languages don't. In particular it is impossible to speak of something which the speaker does not have direct experience of, and by implication it is impossible to lie. Specially trained Ambassadors are the only outsiders who can communicate in Language with the Ariekei. Exactly how special they are becomes apparent as the story progresses; I shan't say more.The author reveals these details and others of the setting to us slowly, letting the reader experience them before they are explained, if they are explained at all. The physical characteristics of the Ariekei are described in a fragmentary fashion but their overall appearance is never entirely clear. In doing so, an truly alien way of thinking and the difficulties of cross-species communication are described in ways that I've rarely seen bettered. So too are the ways in which language can be seen to constrain or shape thought and society.Inevitably there is change, change with threatens to become revolutionary. As is often the case with the author's work, the revolution is not so much instigated deliberately as something which emerges from events., It is caused by intentional action, but it was not the intent of the action. How this is so, and how those involved deal with the consequences as individuals and communities is at the heart of the story.An excellent read, combining philosophy, politics and engaging story-telling with a real sense of 'other.'

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