13) Stamping Butterflies, by Jon Courtenay Grimwood
Finished this on Monday night, so it just about counts as my last book of last month. I wasn’t overwhelmed by RedRobe, but really very much enjoyed Pashazade, Felaheen and Effendi, Grimwood’s trilogy set in an alternate history (but very contemporary) Alexandria where the German and Ottoman empires never fell. This latest combines present day US/western Mediterranean political interactions, a far future empire of two thousand worlds, a near future Chinese space mission, and 1970s Marrakech which is the key to the whole story.
I love Grimwood’s prose and characterisation – he stated at PicoCon the weekend before last how important it is for him to be able to experience the world he is writing, and that is very believable. For most of the book it was able to carry me past the shoals of unsuspended disbelief. I was left at the end just a bit unsatisfied, unfortunately.