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Time and Again
Jack Finney
This is How You Die: Stories of the Inscrutable, Infallible, Inescapable Machine of Death
Ryan North, Matthew Bennardo, David Malki, Nathan Burgoine, Toby W. Rush, Rhiannon Kelly, Ryan Estrada, George Page III, Chandler Kaiden, Tom Francis, Grace Seybold, D.L.E. Roger, Daliso Chaponda, John Takis, Ada Hoffmann, Rebecca Black, Karen Stay Ahlstrom, Gord Sellar, M
The Iron Duke -  Meljean Brook Okay, so I liked some parts of this book:

* The sea battle at the end
* The kraken (in concept, not so much in the scene's execution)
* The mech the Blacksmith had at the end
* The interesting concept of the bugs and machinery grafting

But ultimately I had too many problems with the creepy romance to really enjoy this. I thought the Iron Duke was really, really creepy. I mean, he seriously wigged me out in every page he was on, especially the way he jumped from possessive to sensitive to protective while always remaining CREEPY. There were some interesting background characters that could have been given more screen time if this wasn't a romance, shoved away in favor of the creepy rape-y dude, and I didn't like that.

I think the book itself was kind of hypocritical. Several characters point out that Mina is perfectly capable of handling herself, and has years of support from family and friends who love her, as well as an armed guard, armor, and opium darts, but the book seems to be trying to make the point that she also needs a man, despite her perfectly legitimate hangups about sex and relationships.

My other difficulty with the book was in all the names and political intrigue. I stopped paying attention to who people were at about the fifth name, and I am no good with politics and conspiracies and stuff like that, so I ended up skimming over all of those parts. Which left me with the rape and the kraken, I guess.

And UGH UGH UGH on the ending.