Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Review:: Infidel, by Kameron Hurley

Title: Infidel
Author: Kameron Hurley
Series: Bel Dame Apocrypha, #2
Format: Paperback
Rating: ★★★☆☆

Previously: God's War

Action. Tasty worldbuilding. Nihilistic tendencies. Diversity. Politics. Magic and science. Plus, a lot of fun. It'd be hard for me to hate a book with all of these qualities. Needless to say, I really enjoyed Infidel.

Kameron Hurley mentions in her acknowledgements that writing Infidel was far easier than God's War. I think more might have been involved in that than simply getting the first novel out of the way; where God's War felt like it wanted to tackle more Issues, Infidel was more interested in taking you for a good ride. That's not to say Infidel didn't have its moments where it tackled difficult things, or had statements to make.

But mostly, it was about the action. You get fewer dramatic character reveals, fewer overtly political statements that tie into our meatspace's political issues, and fewer attempts at redemption.

Infidel takes the few loose ends of God's War and starts pulling on them, showing you where the fabric starts to fail. Once again, you get to see Nyx work at an impossible task, claiming not to care that she's putting everyone she's working with or knows in a position where they will most likely die. Or at least get injured badly.

The in-world political structures get further defined, and while the world-building has consistently felt a little hazy so far in the series, it's clear that Kameron Hurley knows the rules of the world because they certainly seem consistent. Also... science fantasy makes me happy. Politics make me happy, especially when they deal with the fact that not every culture is a monolith with the same aims and ideas and desires.

There are a lot of my fiction kinks tugged on in this series... unfortunately, there's just something lacking from the works for me. They're fun. They're enjoyable. They have so much of what I like. But they're still slightly ephemeral. They didn't stick with me, like I'd like them to.

So, unrelated to the review, but related to me reading this book... I'd been wanting to read God's War for a while. Since I saw it when it was newly out in a brick-and-mortar bookstore, actually. But I never managed to. So when I saw a copy of it at the library, I happily checked it out. I didn't realize at the time that it was the first book in a trilogy. And I definitely didn't realize that none of my libraries (I'm a polybibliophile... I have many cards) actually had either of the two other books.

Sigh. So for a while, I just resigned myself to my fate. The series wasn't so riveting that I could justify purchasing copies of the book, unless I happened upon them. But then I remembered. It's okay if my library doesn't have it. Because... Link+!

If you're familiar with InterLibrary Loan, Link+ is basically that, but more localized. Pretty much all California libraries are part of the system (as well as some in Nevada, I think?) and as long as one of them has a book, I can get it. So yup. So glad I remembered this, and was able to get Infidel. I also have the last book already... so you should see a review for Rapture soon enough!


  1. I really need to read Hurley's fiction. I loved her non-fiction collection (and she's totally the reason why I am not allowed to say I have writer's block: as she points out, a boss wouldn't accept that as an excuse).

    1. I highly suggest this series. It has so many things I love in it... and they're a fantastic read. Her writing's really good. If I gave half stars, she'd definitely have gotten 3 1/2 stars on all her books. I'm not entirely sure what they're missing for me... But yes. Do read them.