I signed up for Kameron Hurley’s newsletter because I’ve been following her on Twitter, and I like the essays that she’s written. I’m interested in reading Mirror Empire, but haven’t gotten to buying it yet. One of the most interesting things about the newsletter was the offer of a book blind date. I wasn’t quite sure what that meant.

I mean, it seemed to mean that she would send me a book, if I asked. A random book, in a loose genre category. I love books. I love free things. So I signed up.

And, mid-June, pictures started showing up on her Twitter of books that other newsletter receivers had gotten in the mail. They were even wrapped, just like a present.

I began to be anxious, because mine hadn’t arrived yet. Had I messed up in submitting the form? Put a typo in my mailing address?

I texted my husband each day, asking whether my package had arrived in the mail.

And on the day it arrived, what did he do? He tore open my package and opened my book blind date present.

I had a momentary sad face. Because, of course, I wanted to open it!

And once I saw it, I was perplexed. I had received Adrian Tchaikovsky’s Empire in Black and Gold . This is the first book in the Shadows of the Apt series. The cover, to me, evokes an ancient Greek battle, and the rear cover copy also brought the comparison to mind.

If this had been a blind date, then I wouldn’t have had a second date. But this, for me, was more like living in an apartment building when a new tenant moves in across the hall. You might smile at each other in the hallway a few times before you even know each other’s names. And once you do, you find yourselves talking every time you meet. It becomes something that you look forward to.

I’m reading this book in pieces. It isn’t sucking me in as some books have. But I want to keep reading it. I’m not sure if I have it in me to commit to the next nine books in the series… at least, not right now. But it might be something that I continue to read.

This series will be like the neighbor that moves away, that you keep in touch with on an irregular basis, always having great conversation whenever you meet.

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