The Last Page - Anthony Huso 2.75 to 3 stars

A entertaining steam-punk fantasy novel that (despite the promise of a concluding book) can stand quite well on its own. For the plot summary, I'll refer you to Stefan's review.

It didn't make a great impression on me one way or another but I'll jot down some stray impressions:

1. Huso can write believably complex characters, particularly Sena, who's torn between her loyalty to the Shradnae and her love (if real) for Caliph.

2. I liked the Cthulhu-esque nature of the creatures behind the Cisrym Ta and thought Huso handled their surreality well.

3. The Shradnae Witchocracy read a lot like the Bene Gesserit of Dune.

4. Huso does have a tendency toward baroque prose that reached its apogee (nadir?) with "They sucked floods down an ineluctable network of straws like a fat girl at a soda fountain..." (p. 148). Most of the time, however, the writing worked (for me). (Always on the look out for opportunities to recommend him, for those who want to see baroque done right, check out E.R. Eddison's The Worm Ouroboros.)

Recommended for Mieville, steam-punk, and Cthulhu fans primarily. I will be watching for the next volume because Huso does show promise.
Impulse check-out from the library -

1. Got a nod from Glen Cook (favorite author)
2. Interesting dust jacket blurb
3. Positive review from GR Friend Stephan
4. Four stars from Matt, whose reviews I follow
5. Cool maps in front; pronunciation guide in back (trust me, that's a plus in my book)

The eHarmony profile looks promising; we'll see how the first date goes.

Actually, I'm not going to start this until Monday (4-Apr-11) at the earliest. I just finished The Crippled God and Constance Garnett's 13 volumes of Anton Chekhov's short stories so I'm "fictioned-out" for the next few days.