Over at Tor.com, Sleeps With Monsters: Martha Wells’ The Element of Fire:
Many critics, many reviewers, I think, find it difficult to talk plainly about the things that they love and the reasons why they love them. The temptation exists to direct your attention primarily to its flaws, to minimise or to justify the ways in which it falls short of objective perfection. (Not that objective perfection is a thing that exists, except theoretically.) It is possible to speak of flaws objectively, and of technique. Speaking of what you love and why you love it—speaking honestly—exposes yourself. It’s a form of intellectual nakedness.
This lengthy preamble is my way of talking myself around to confronting Martha Wells’ first novel, The Element of Fire.