I generally look forward to reading stories by Elizabeth Bear, so I was intrigued to find a whole novel by her, All The Windwracked Stars. Plus I heard it was an example of the Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot trope. The what?
Basically the ideas is lots of Cool Stuff mingled in an entertaining fashion. Like Muire the wealcyrge and Kasimir her valraven, a winged horse with two heads, one horned, one antlered. Their world has already been through at least one Ragnarok, and a Desolation of:
their bioweapons and their radiation bombs, with their shoggoth main battle groups and their killer robots and their orbital microwave projectors, the mass projectors and combat sorceror and laser-guided death curses.
They fight the Grey Wolf and the Technomage to stave off yet another ending of the world.
There’s so much going on that I’m not going to try to describe, but it was too much for me. Four or five times in the first 200 pages or so, I put the book down wondering, Where are we going with this? It shifts from detective novel to romance to quest story to, well, lots of cool stuff on the way to the final battle. It’s an interesting world with a rich history and strong characters, but I’m still not sure what it was about.
But it’s pretty cool.