&Read Book ✕ Ninefox Gambit ☠ Ebook or Kindle ePUB free

Update 5 15 17 Re read I got the ARC of the sequel and now that this novel has made it to the finals of the Hugos for this year, it behooves me to do a re read since I enjoyed it so much the first time.Does it hold up after a year and a re read Absolutely Knowing what s going to happen with all the twists I can expect does not reduce its enjoyment Indeed, it only deepens it This is indeed a beautiful work of the imagination, running wild and free like a raven across the universe Yes, this is a Mil SF novel, and yes, this is also a quantum imagination novel, but it s also one hell of wild ride when it comes to all the intrigue and the bloodbaths and the sheer wicked delight I get in switching sides among the factions I totally recommend this to everyone who has even a smattering of interest in reading SF, least of all so you can see what a wild ride it can really become if we allow our writers to go the full distance, to push all the quantum envelopes Original Review I expected a deep space and deep time Space Opera, and I sure as heck got just that, but here s the great and wonderful exception I also got a deep character exploration of both Cheris, a mathematical genius and warrior, and Ninefox Shuos Judao, an imprisoned immortal General who also happens to be so quite excellent at killing that he s also considered insane Fortunately, he s also the heptarchate s pet Or is he What s even interesting is how these two interact, but saying much than that is telling, and I seriously don t want to spoil anything It s simply too delicious.I should warn you all that there is a kind of heavy learning curve at the opening, with lots of strange terms that seem like english, but have contexts and combinations that are very strange indeed What s a calendar, you ask Oh, it just happens to be a society wide mental and mathematical consensual reality engine that requires, I believe, the rigid mindsets of all the people under it to alter reality I had to figure that one out for myself The author does not intend to pretend that you, dear reader, are dumb Fortunately for a lot of us, we readers like challenges and like to work out so many, many terms I mean, what s a cinderhawk, you ask I can only give you a vague conceptualization, but it s one hell of a spaceship that can improve its reality warping effects in conjunction with others like it.So cool The tech is pretty damn wild, and the world killing tech seems to be even wilder.So what could hold against such amazing weaponry Oh, an entirely heretical calendar, of course, with all the people who believe that reality works a different way, and so it does.Oh My Goodness Well, I m doing a little happy dance right now This is WILD and FANTASTIC SF Didn t I mention that the novel holds together almost entirely through a few great characters Oh, yes, I did I m going to be thinking about strategy and tactics for quite some time, and it applies to all game theory fields, whether we re talking space battles, long games against entire calendars, or interpersonal manipulations and sweet, gloriously satisfying endings I was never bored, but this book took me through some rather difficult times because it is so dense with information Fortunately, with a close eye and a stout heart, it is very worth the read and most things become obvious in their nature or there s enough visualization and idea building behind it that it all becomes clear later I won t say this is a difficult book, but I will say that it is challenging and very, very rewarding, almost as if we re playing a long and impressive game with the author.Which is fitting, since we re dealing with the Ninefox, Jedao Can you guess who s gambit this is I think I ll be thinking about this book for quite some time It s just that interesting and clever It s also a great story My only hate at this point is in waiting for the next book I CAN NOT WAIT There s a very long game coming, even if this one was very satisfying on it s own, and I am entirely hooked.Thanks goes to Netgalley for the ARCUpdate 9 20 16 And since I m also a big fan of recursive maths to go along with calendrical rot, I m linking back to a Tor review that linked to me We re well on our way to establishing a consensual reality, here, folks. One of my Hugo Award nominees, novel, 2016 Intelligent, challenging Military SF Space Opera.I d read a few of Yoon Ha Lee s short stories, so had every expectation of liking this debut novel and I was not disappointed I m fairly certain that at least one of the short stories is set in this universe, although I can t quite place which one Captain Kel Cheris is a respected soldier in an extremely regimented, authoritarian and militaristic society Her talent for mathematics part of the underpinnings of how this world works distinguishes her But when she achieves a stunning victory by a not by the book strategy, her unconventionality may be the end of her career However, she proposes a shockingly bold plan to her superiors she asks them to let her try to re take a contested fortress by letting her team up with one of her empire s greatest generals and strategists of all time The problem General Shuos Jedao is imprisoned, accused of treason, and is possibly insane.On the face of it, that plot setup sounds fairly straightforward And on one level, it is The military tactics and action progress in an exciting manner, with good character development and a really interesting dynamic between Cheris and Jedao However, the setting of the book has a whole other level, which is the nature of this world s reality Everything here is calendrical, meaning in the context of this book that it works based on advanced mathematical formulae A calendar is like a computer program that determines the rules, physics, and nature of the surrounding reality This is why this society is so strictly regimented violating the calendar heresy can have severe, fabric of reality affecting repercussions Competing calendars cannot be tolerated, as they cause something like bit rot at the edgesOf course, it s quite questionable as to whether of not Kel Cheris Hexarchate is really the necessity it presents itself as There seem to be plenty of heretics who disagree Like Ann Leckie s Ancillary Justice, this is very much a from within the Evil Empire tale The nature of this universe s physics is in keeping with some of Yoon Ha Lee s short works, in which, for example, art, or language, can affect the physical reality Here, it s mathematics It s still undeniably challenging for the reader to wrap one s head around at first For myself, I found that everything went a lot smoothly after I realized that, as physical as this world seems in its depiction, the way everything works makes perfect sense and seems entirely possible if you think of it as happening inside a computer generated virtual reality.Many thanks to Solaris and Netgalley for the chance to read this excellent book As always, my opinions are solely my own Year of the SlothMonth of the Candied YamDay of the Engorged MarsupialHour of the Mollusc Dear Mr Yoon Ha Lee,I was particularly excited to read your story Ninefox Gambit as it has outstanding reviews from many smart people who s opinions I respect It is clear from your prose and concepts that you are a very good writer and had a clear idea of what you wanted to do, then you went out and did exactly that.I have respect for the giant middle finger you waved at the show don t tell school of writing by neither showing nor telling I admire the punk rock aesthetic of not bothering to describe almost anything or anyone I kind of appreciate that far from hand holding your reader you left us alone in a dark room with a disassembled flashlight and no instructions These were gutsy choices Mr Lee.I like that people seem to think this is a Science Fiction book when we both know it is a work of Fantasy Every time you say mathematics you really mean wink magic Right I like how you made your universe work on the principle of The Secret The magical thinking that if people believe in something really, really hard then it will become true This made me imagine an army of Fascist Oprah Winfrey s bludgeoning Heretics with magical weapons to maintain the consensus reality of The Secret I must admit an army of fascist Oprah s was a completely original idea no Science Fiction author has ever made me think of before.To me your book is like a Sonic Youth album where they play amp feedback for 40 minutes instead of gritty pop songs or when Neil Young did that animal noises album These are bold, artistic choices but not something I could get crazy about The way you gave us a sweet blast of familiar pop in the last minutes of the album made the previous artsy part seem even artsier.Best of luck with the Hugo next year, view spoiler But don t stray too far from actual reality and think you are taking it from Too like the lightning hide spoiler RE READ DEC 16 I never re read books I am not a fast reader and I have so many books I want to read that I simply don t have the luxury of re reading I was just so bugged that I couldn t figure this book out the first time I read it, I knew I needed to try again Two months later Well second time s a charm in this case The trick taking a full two weeks to read it a little every day to make sure I m getting everything My first read went quick because I basically resigned myself to being too stupid to understand, so I rushed and lost a lot of content and basically ended up screwing myself over Going in the second time with exposure to the language helped just as repeated exposure to any foreign language encourages acquisition and I can now truly appreciate the innovation and talent on display here It s still not my favorite book The middle third especially was rough going, but mostly because it s a boring siege and we get all sorts of uninteresting viewpoints from random characters It felt completely unnecessary So while my original review is still very valid, I can honestly say I ended up enjoying this after putting in the requisite time and effort I think I ll even continue with the series Final rating 3.5 stars ORIGINAL REVIEW 2ish stars I d classify this as hard sci fi not because of its scientific accuracy or technical detail, but because it s just hard work to read it The closest thing I can compare this reading experience to is trying to read in Spanish My oral Spanish is proficient enough for me to carry on a conversation with a 5 year old Seeing it written, I can understand than that Honestly, I could probably get the gist of a simple novel if I had a Spanish English dictionary to consult There would inevitably be a lot of content lost on me but I d understand enough to know whether it was a good or bad book Reading in a different language is just hard work Naturally, Spanish language books are not written with the intent to accommodate non native Spanish speakers They are written under the assumption that the reader has a sufficient grasp on the language.Unfortunately, the only apparent human native in Lee is Lee himself Everyone else needs to learn quickly or give up And there s no dictionary The book was mind blowing in the sense that my mind blew up shortly after starting And I, without a mind, was thus unable to understand anything further It s super cool I can recognize that much I love the parts with Jedao and his relationship with Cheris They have some great banter There are some decent revelations and payoffs at the end The creativity and inventiveness is beyond impressive, the worldbuilding is all encompassing I can t stress enough the ingenuity on display here I respect it, I m impressed by it, I can see why many people love it I wanted to love it and feel slightly guilty that I don t I just came away feeling like I didn t understand enough to really enjoy it Onto the not for me shelf it goes along with Uprooted and American Gods Posted in Mr Philip s Library DNF I I d say I m not smart enough to appreciate this highly acclaimed Fantasy novel, but it would be dishonest at 30% I ve come to the conclusion that Ninefox Gambit is obscure for the sake of being obscure, and that s not something I enjoy reading Look, I understand the need to create an original world, and perhaps certainly there are thousands of readers out there who happily dive into books without having a damn clue what the story is about and what the fuck are all these things described with invented or pseudo mathematical words And I mean, great Good for you I m not that reader though I actually need to connect with the world and the characters and all that lexicon stuff is slowly crushing all the interest I could have felt in the first placeIf it had fallen to calendrical rot, the hexarchate s exotic weapons would be of limited use there The hexacharte lagged in invariant technology, which could be used under any calendrical regime In particular, too close to the rot voidmoths primary stardrives would fail Without the voidmoths to connect the hexacharte s worlds, the realm would unravelAlright, after 30% I did get a sense of what all that meant, but It s way too much work and meanwhile I m not able to connect with the characters So sorry if I m losing the opportunity to get to some epiphany, but nah, definitely not a book for me Perhaps It gets better but at this point I don t give a damn Maybe I should apologize for that, but heh. Final Review Rant WarningTruly toxic in so many ways I found the perfect word for this crap Logorrhea book is a painful and completely zero star waste of time.AHA Big Clue YHL went to college at Cornell University, majoring in mathematics but no degree , and earned a master s degree in secondary mathematics education to teach High School math from Stanford University Perhaps YHL s idea of math wasn t disciplined enough in school Lee s lack of any kind of discipline or skill shows repeatedly in the writing of this book At first, I thought the author was scamming readers on purpose with this confusing word salad crap But no, by the last half of the book, you realise It s not a scam, the author really IS deluded and talentless.Summary 1 2 star Some clever plot ideas and world building imagination2 5 star wasted potential3 5 star verbal diarrhoea dialogue4 5 star masochistic neologism overload5 5 star a thousand dull, unsympathetic characters6 5 star abuse of the words science and math 7 5 star factions racism throughout8 5 star plodding pace9 5 star who the f cares about this mess10 5 star I only finished this upchuck due to actual in person recommendations by two of my favourite and famous authors I simply cannot believe they liked it It is nothing nothing like the extraordinary quality of their own work Godzilla Facepalm By the end of chapter 2, I realised either I was badly confused, or not paying sufficient attention, or the author was crap or worse So I stopped, and yes I re read Chapter 2 with the two arrogant blowhards, full of complete nonsense I advise others to skip the first half of chapter 2 It s crap constipated word salad and 95% irrelevant Even without chapter 2, the book so far is pretty dull politics buried in word salad abused info dump UghWord salad machine gunThere s no real math or science anywhere in this book It s not science fiction at all Just fantasy spells bullcrap and tedious dialogue dressed up pretentiously as math and science There is also a quite repulsive and clich d discussion and justification of Jedao killing a million people, and his morally bankrupt masters still keep him around, just like the Trump and the GOP Pretty disgusting Did I mention Rant warning 30% in and so far I really hate this book I honestly think the author is scamming everyone with confusing, masochistic word salad neologisms Ugh I m told that Lee s prose clears up at the end after getting much worse in the middle , including backstory, to give readers the giant end of word salad, pain orgasmUpdate Nope It gets worse and worse ALL the way to the end Ugh.I was going to recommend you keep notes on the characters and objects mentioned, especially those with several names, but why bother YHL continues to spew new characters and places at an increasing rate, often for a single page only before discarding them, all the way through the end of this mess.It seems the author here uses a random fake word generator to blow smoke at you I was sure YHL was intentionally making the book as obscure and unapproachable as possibleLee often twists the meaning of words we do know in English into zombie pseudo science soldiers of confusion However, now, I just think the Lee is completely deluded and without skill.It could be that this book is just a masochistic, word puzzle pain orgasm for some readers who enjoy that I don t enjoy jigsaw puzzles or fake word games much, card games or word tricks, but some people do I understand the satisfaction of putting together the pieces of a detective mystery, just not trying to assemble pseudo word puzzles and tongue twister names into coherent sentences and thoughts that advance the very thin plot Also, the book is pretentious and pedantic again and again Example Why add the and twelve minutes here Jeexusthe fact that Hexarch Nirai Kujen s silver voidmoth call indicator had been blinking at him nonstop for the past four hours and twelve minutes. It s like a gnurd bragging about phone tech support hold times to his buddies Facepalm A thousand years in the future, they can put General Jedao alive in Cheris head, and they still use their eyes to read reports FacepalmWe spend most of our time destroying our eyesight reading reportsThroughout the book, there is complex minutiae about pretentiously clever systems and events that are INFO DUMPED without any explanation, ever Make it stop, please I m told by a 5 star reviewer that this prose actually gets WORSE and then better once you figure out the cod magic calendar psychosis But no, I disagree, it does not get better If you look at the GoodReads quotations pages for this book, you will see not a single quote of any humane feeling or real value Most of the quotes listed are just forgettable, inhumane crap And this book is NOT Science Fiction It s a hideously convoluted magical fantasy, pretentiously using the word mathematics instead of spells The author blows lots of big Bull Sh t at you to disguise the fact that Lee hopes his readers will not see the truth, and will struggle with this intentionally obscure crap for hundreds of pages 55% through My god this is dull Page after page of crap like thisI need you, soldier, Isaure said You re a lousy excuse for a Kel, but you re all I have left74.0% interesting twist here, finally We saw it coming half the book ago, though Now I bet there s an intensification in the enemy s author s machine gun word salad assault on us Facepalm 75.0% I was right The plot twist was immediately buried under pages of blather, far too many new characters and places per page, etc I m sure this all makes sense in YHL s head Too bad the prose is crap.Many reviewers say the last 10% is so good and we ve been rewarded so well for our word masochism for 90% of the book And they then have some kind of orgasmic epiphany and suddenly award it 5 stars Feels so good to stop bashing your head in with an iron bar, eh There is falsely claimed an orgasmic ending for this book, that this ending is written in clear, approachable prose and fully explained back story and conclusions This smacks of praise only for the cessation of pain, not for epiphany Besides, the end is just as bad as the rest Worse, even Ugh.Oh, and the end of the book is not the end There s another book which picks up where this one leaves off Maybe For , please see my discussion with my very kind and indulgent friend, Lindsay I am definitely not a word puzzle person and that is probably an insurmountable obstacle for me with this book My discussion with Lindsay towards the end of Comments on his fine review Thank you, Lindsay See also reviews by my eloquent and forebearing friendsStuart Stevie Alienor NathanielHexarchate faction cheat sheet Hexarchate faction cheat sheetNote My IQ is rated at 140 150 and I spent ten years at MIT doing ground breaking computer graphics and humane, approachable interactive systems research in the 1970s I m not stupid on anyone s scale This book is the antipathy of my whole life s work. 3 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum ll admit, I was somewhat torn on this one On the one hand, there were parts in this book that gave me a real struggle, but on the other, there s no doubt Ninefox Gambit is one of the most fascinating sci fi novels I ve ever read.Step into the incredible universe of Yoon Ha Lee s Hexarchate, a civilization whose way of life is entirely dictated by an intricate calendar system Mathematics is king, the governing force behind everything in this reality including physics and warfare However, there s also another side to this and here s where the lines between science fiction and fantasy start to blur because in order for the calendar to function, the Hexarchate also requires belief Throw enough calendrical heretics into the mix who observe a slightly different calendar, for example, and reality can suddenly go all awry Say, the people might start acting erratically Or your weapons might not work As a result, the Hexarchate enforces its calendar with the utmost ruthlessness, bent on preventing such unpredictability from wreaking all kinds of havoc.Thus explains how a Kel soldier named Cheris receives her next assignment Expecting to be dismissed after a misconduct on the battlefield, Cheris is instead given the mission to recapture the Fortress of Scattered Needles, a star base recently taken over by a population of heretics To aid her in breaking the siege, Kel Command has extracted the digital ghost of a brilliant general and tactician named Shuos Jedao, grafting his consciousness to hers so that the two can work as one to deal with the situation The only problem is, in life Jedao was a madman, recognized for his victories but also notorious for having killed than a million people including his own soldiers While the general has never lost a battle, can Cheris really trust this manipulative genius not to make her his next victim First, just let me first state unequivocally that this book contains some of the freshest, most inventive ideas I ve ever encountered in sci fi Story concepts rooted in mathematics are often tricky, and they ve never really been my strong point But when your math is virtually indistinguishable from magic Then yeah, I can definitely get behind that Ninefox Gambit is no doubt breaking new ground in combining elements from multiple genres, and it is extremely clever.However, I also mentioned feeling conflicted about the novel, and this is in large part due to its inconsistent pacing In the beginning, the reader is dropped into this strange universe and left to flounder, and it s easy to become confused and overwhelmed if you re not paying close attention It makes this one a rather challenging read, especially since the story goes nowhere fast After all, we are talking about a siege here, and the fact that it happens in space doesn t change the basis of this long and drawn out process Still, bursts of action occur do here and there, probably just enough to keep me going, so that in the end I found myself in the awkward position of alternating between not wanting to put the book down and wanting it to be over already.Still, irked as I was with this book at times, I have to say both Cheris and Jedao were brilliant In my opinion, their relationship is where this novel shines, and not least because of their unique psychic connection both characters come from interesting backgrounds, and their combined strengths and talents make them a force to be reckoned with However, by that same token, their individual foibles also result in multiple clashes As a Kel soldier, Cheris has been trained from the start to follow her formation instinct , an urge that encourages obedience, loyalty, and conformity Giving up that compulsion in favor to another authority like Jedao is a challenge to everything she feels is natural and right, and it s a struggle that gradually threatens her sanity.Then there s Jedao, whose mind I find both alluring and downright frightening It s no surprise that the story got interesting as soon as he entered the picture He may spout things about war that make a lot of sense in a twisted and horrible kind of way, but that doesn t change the fact he s a merciless, stone cold hearted bastard And yet, despite being a complete psycho, the general s character is also delightfully intriguing and complex Many of my favorite scenes involve the conversations between him and Cheris, and perhaps against my better judgement, I wanted her to let him in.Overall, I think I would have enjoyed this book a lot if the beginning had eased me into the setting gently, as opposed to throwing all its confusing concepts in my face While I enjoyed the story itself, my patience was also tested by the pacing, which was all over the place These issues aside though, I have to applaud the fantastic world building and character development Both these aspects were extraordinarily well put together, not to mention the concept of a Hexarchate that uses mathematical calculations and a calendar to govern itself is one of those things that make you gawp in wide eyed wonder at its ingenuity Ninefox Gambit might not be an easy read, but there s also a lot to like if you re willing to invest in it As such, I probably wouldn t recommend this book to everyone, but if you re a sci fi fan interested in something innovative and unusual, then this might be exactly what you re looking for. &Read Book ✐ Ninefox Gambit ☞ The First Installment Of The Trilogy, Ninefox Gambit, Centers On Disgraced Captain Kel Cheris, Who Must Recapture The Formidable Fortress Of Scattered Needles In Order To Redeem Herself In Front Of The Hexarchate To Win An Impossible War Captain Kel Cheris Must Awaken An Ancient Weapon And A Despised Traitor GeneralCaptain Kel Cheris Of The Hexarchate Is Disgraced For Using Unconventional Methods In A Battle Against Heretics Kel Command Gives Her The Opportunity To Redeem Herself By Retaking The Fortress Of Scattered Needles, A Star Fortress That Has Recently Been Captured By Heretics Cheris S Career Isn T The Only Thing At Stake If The Fortress Falls, The Hexarchate Itself Might Be NextCheris S Best Hope Is To Ally With The Undead Tactician Shuos Jedao The Good News Is That Jedao Has Never Lost A Battle, And He May Be The Only One Who Can Figure Out How To Successfully Besiege The FortressThe Bad News Is That Jedao Went Mad In His First Life And Massacred Two Armies, One Of Them His Own As The Siege Wears On, Cheris Must Decide How Far She Can Trust Jedao Because She Might Be His Next Victim I don t think I ve read an SF novel quite as inventive as this one since the last time I read Hannu Rajaniemi.The Heaxarchate is an interstellar empire that makes use of exotic physics enabled by broadcast nodes seeded throughout their empire The exotic physics are enabled by calendars and are referred to as calendrical effects , and a key part of them is that they are directly affected by the belief structures of the people living within the areas covered by the nodes So for instance, there are remembrance days throughout the year where the horrific ritual torture of prisoners is a required facet of maintaining the Hexarchate s calendar Individuals living in this society have religious rituals that must be performed to maintain overall calendrical integrity.So minor things like political opposition actually have major effects on the reliability of technology within the empire and are ruthlessly put down Ideological differences are actually referred to as calendrical rot.In this setting we have Kel Cheris, a military commander with a strong affinity for mathematics Strong enough that she can modify her tactics mid battle to make use of heretical calendrical effects, which puts her in a difficult situation with her Hexarchate commanders Some of them appreciate inventive thinking though, and they deploy Cheris against a massive heresy in a huge calendrical node called the Fortress of Scattered Needles enlisting the help of an undead military genius named Shuos Jedao Jedao s major claim to infamy is that he s never lost a battle, but his last battle as a living human he killed everyone omnicide as the book calls it , both the defending army and everyone in his own army other than himself.This is an amazing view into what may be the oppressive empire I ve seen in fiction along with the sort of structure and thinking that would be required to maintain it The nature of this empire pretty much dooms them to eternal war, both inside the empire to deal with heresy, and at the borders of empire to maintain their calendar and technology The empire society is based around this with whole sections of their society devoted to the military, military intelligence and re education.At the heart of this is Cheris and Jedao Cheris is a brilliant mathematical thinker who as a Kel has been mentally conditioned for loyalty and she is deliberately connected with the supposed madman Jedao who s motivations and machinations make a corkscrew look straightforward Their relationship and characters are a delight and make the story sing even when they re largely off stage most of the middle part of the book That s fairly important as much of the book is structured as a siege, which can get very dull.There s also lots of interesting stuff here that s not said about sexuality and gender The only relationship that Cheris has is with a female and Jedao had relationships with both male and female while alive All of it is unremarked on When a female body hosts a male intelligence later in the book there s absolutely no hesitation from the people dealing with that in referring to the combination as male as an acknowledgement that the sentience is what s most important All very seamless and a lot subtle than in the Leckie Ancillary series Powerful though.This first installment of the trilogy is very satisfying and I m really looking forward to the rest of it. Ninefox Gambit is my favorite book.It s the kind of novel I could reread over and over and still get something new from this was the sixth reread in two years for me, and I m still discovering things about this world.But let s get to what Ninefox Gambit is This is a story about sieges Cheris siege of a space fortress, and Jedao s siege of view spoiler Cheris values, beliefs and mind hide spoiler