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Month in review

Reviews
Amulet 8: Supernova by Kazu Kibuishi
Baddawi by Leila Abdelrazaq
The Benefits of Being an Octopus by Ann Braden
Bluecrowne by Kate Milford
Bluff and Bran and the Snowdrift by Meg Rutherford
Cloudette by Tom Lichtenheld
The Doughnut Fix by Jessie Janowitz
Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire
Echo's Sister by Paul Mosier
Elementary, She Read by Vicki Delany
Foe by Iain Reid
Hold The Cream Cheese, Kill The Lox by Sharon Kahn
Holiday Grind by Cleo Coyle
How to Say Goodbye in Robot by Natalie Standiford
Lavender Lies by Susan Wittig Albert
The Legend of Korra: Turf Wars Part Two by Michael Dante DiMartino and Irene Koh
Louisiana's Way Home by Kate DiCamillo
Lowriders Blast from the Past by Cathy Camper and Raul III
The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl by Stacy McAnulty
No Fixed Address by Susin Nielsen
Once Upon a Spine by Kate Carlisle
The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall
Personal Demons by Nimue Brown
The Reader by Traci Chee
Secret Coders 4: Robots & Repeats by Gene Luen Yang
Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Sodom Road Exit by Amber Dawn
The Shadow Cipher by Laura Ruby
24 Hours in Nowhere by Dusti Bowling

Miscellaneous
Cybils Update (November 06)
Cybils Update (November 13)
Cybils Update (November 20)
Cybils Update (November 27)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (November 05)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (November 12)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (November 19)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (November 26)
October 2018 Sources
October 2018 Summary

Road Essays
FFCC99: FF99CC and FF9999: orphans in the wildlands by maze and labyrinth
FF9933: orphan wildlands blue highway
From 00CC33 to 33CCCC: a road narrative analysis of Haunting of Hill House, book and Netflix television series
A Map to the Road Narrative Spectrum
Road Narrative Update for October 2018
The three faces of Eleanor

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Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish



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The Shadow Cipher: 11/23/18

The Shadow Cipher

The Shadow Cipher by Laura Ruby is the first of the York series. It opens with a man following a woman to her brownstone at the close of the 18th century. It's set up as if she's going to be his victim but then she isn't. It's at this moment that New York as we know it and New York as Laura Ruby imagines it, diverge.

The remainder of the book is present day, present time. But it's not our New York. Imagine if you will, a modern day steampunk New York. Imagine if a pair of eccentric brothers had bought the majority of the city and rebuilt it as a living, breathing, clockwork maze. Imagine Kate Milford's Nagspeake on the scale of a city of eight and a half million.

Imagine it's the current day and still no one has solved the Moringstar cipher. Imagine entire subsets of society built around studying the clues.

The main characters, Tess and Theo Biedermann are the children of the current super the most famous Morningstar building. Now there is a developer who has plans for the building and everyone has been given eviction notices. Besides their own apartment, they have their grandfather's apartment, full of a lifetime of research on the cipher (as well as a hoarding issue)

In terms of the road narrative spectrum, The Shadow Cipher is a 3300CC, or family in the city trying to solve the maze (that is their city). Although Tess and Theo and their friends do the heavy lifting in this book, I'm downgrading it to a "family" protagonist because of the work older generations did. Theo and Tess aren't working blind or from scratch.

The next book in the series is The Clockwork Ghost which comes out on May 19, 2019.

Five stars

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