When trying to summarize this, my first attempt came out to “What even is I don’t even but whaaa…” But it is essential to note that this confusion feels masterful and intentional. This is not a lack of skill, this is Lee and Miller throwing together a surreal world and, through excellent execution, getting you to care about it and want to figure it out. Sharon Lee and Steven Miller produce fascinating cultures/societies as always, with stellar writing and amazing, evocative turns of phrase does a great job at submersing you into this weird little universe. If you have read books from their Liaden series, then this will feel familiar, but strange.
I honestly could not figure out how to define this as I was reading it. In the jacket description, Gem is named a wizard – literal description or metaphorical description of his mechanical training? Spaceships, communicators – science fiction? Houses and clans, powerful artifacts – fantasy? Action, drama, and advanced medical tech – sci-fi? Speculative fiction? Science fantasy? Mythos? I quickly decided that whatever it was, it felt magical and I liked it. This may sound inconsequential, but often knowing the genre you are reading sets a certain mood and expectation, and here nothing was certain.
The Tomorrow Log is also on a treadmill of crazy. It starts out fairly reasonable, but then slowly picks up craziness and gets crazier and more cray until it’s just blasting along and you don’t even care that it feels incoherent because it’s such a strange and evocative adventure and your brain is spinning hard to connect pieces to make sense of it.
Cover Art Review: This is a pretty great depiction of feeling of the novel. Dark, mysterious, but with playful elements. Additionally, it’s hilarious to me that this rendering of Gem ser’Edreth looks a little like Neil Patrick Harrison.