Tag Archives: book reviews

Red Sister – Book Review

3.5 out of 5 stars

I hope he comes back full of devils and they eat his heart.”

Where to begin? I hate trash talking an author I consider an auto buy but this one just didn’t quite do it for me. It was enjoyable but I felt sure that there would be a plot twist to surprise me at any moment, that there were red herrings galore and I would be dumbfounded when the truth was unveiled. These are things that I’ve come to expect from a Lawrence book. Turns out, things were pretty much exactly as they seemed.

I had a hard time believing that the older nuns were very deadly. They pretty easily overlooked an obvious villain in their midst. I had a hard time keeping their double names straight as well. I still don’t entirely understand why it’s necessary for them to have two names to begin with.

Can I complain that is wasn’t dark enough? Because it wasn’t, at least not for me. The ending didn’t quite quench my thirst either.

Okay enough bitching. There ARE reasons to read this. Despite my list of complaints, it’s still better than 90% of the garbage out there about girls in special assassin schools. The characters were great, their relationships interesting. They had good personal growth. I’m definitely interested in learning more about the world building in future books. I’m undecided if this is a distant Earth or another planet altogether. Just what kind of lives will our tiny assassins lead in the future? It was a good first installment but I’m hoping for a more fleshed out and coherent sequel.

All that is given to you is choice: meet it with open eyes and peace in your heart, go gentle to your reward. Or burn bright, take up arms, and fight the bitch.”

Top 5 Books of 2017 So Far

All the cool kids are mentioning their favorite books of the first half of the year, so I might as well jump on that dandy little train because who doesn’t like good book recommendations?!

In no particular order:

  1. Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames
  2. Royal Assassin by Robin Hobb
  3. Queen of Darkness by Anne Bishop
  4. The Shotgun Arcana by R.S. Belcher
  5. Morning Star by Pierce Brown

 

I’ve been going hard at epic fantasy this year and I hope to continue. Usually this time of the year and into fall I start hitting Urban Fantasy hard. Not there is anything wrong with that but I have a lot of series I need to catch up on before I begin new ones. (This is what I tell myself but it never works out that way.)

Kings of the Wyld – Book Review

5 out of 5 stars

Goblins, wyverns and manticores, oh my!

This novel hit me with some serious World of Warcraft nostalgia.

“Matrick plied his knives like a parade drummer, his rhythm so fast his enemies didn’t know he’d murdered them until their god asked them if they took milk in their tea.”

I’m stretching the classes with this but bear with me:
Clay = warrior
Gabe = paladin
Ganelon = death knight
Matrick = rogue
Moog = mage

A melee heavy group of friends quest together through the dangerous Heartwyld, fighting in dungeons, gearing up for the big raid. At times they faced vicious creatures of the horde, but by working together they conquered their enemies and won new friends to their side.

If you’ve ever played World of Warcraft, you’ll never un-see this comparison now. You’re welcome.

garrosh-hellscream-for-the-horde

*cough cough* Just had to sneak that in there.

This story literally had it all. Bizarre creatures, princesses, kings, treacherous lands, mercenaries, airships, gladiator arenas, giants, bounty hunters, friendship, love, disastrous relationships, adventure and humor.

“They do look like trouble, at least until the wizard trips on the hem of his robe. He stumbles, cursing, and fouls the steps of the others as he falls face-first onto the mud-slick hillside.”

There is not a single good reason to not read this book. In fact, if you don’t, we can’t be friends anymore.

New House Book Haul

I penny pinched for seemly forever to get this house, so I splurged a little and bought myself some new books as a house warming present. I still don’t have much time for reading but that should be changing in the next week or two, I may as well have a mighty selection to choose from. Of course, after a weekend of doing things, I’m kind of regretting my splurge, but I cannot undo the past. >:D

On the Kindle:

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Physical copies:

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I’m about to finally finish Kings of the Wyld and then I’ll be picking up Red Sister as it’s my Goodreads group’s Book of the Month. Super excited to start it though because I love Mark Lawrence.

Bad-Ass Librarians – Book Review

The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu: And Their Race to Save the World’s Most Precious Manuscripts

3 out of 5 stars

Somehow the jacket of this book thoroughly confused me in the beginning. Did anyone else think that this was going to be fiction based on the summary? It sounded like a make believe romper about librarians fighting Al Qaeda. Turns out it’s a true tale of librarians resisting and rebelling against Al Qaeda. Perhaps I was just far too sleepy when I first read the synopsis.

Anywho my darlings, it was definitely interesting. I learned a lot about Timbuktu, something I honestly knew very little about, and also about the war fighting Islamic extremists. To be perfectly honest, most of the time it felt like the story focused solely on the hostile takeover, with librarians peppered in here and there. That doesn’t subtract from how awesome the librarians are, however I do think it takes away from the magic of the subject that the book is supposed to be based on.

Middle of the ground read. You need to be interested in books/manuscripts, history, war, and rebellion to enjoy this one. I’m coming away from this informed but in no way exhilarated about what I just read.

Strange the Dreamer – Book Review

5 out of 5 stars

Laini Taylor is the master of gods and monsters. I read her Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy years ago and loved it (aside from the last book), but in that time, as a reader, your tastes develop. So, I was a little apprehensive that this wouldn’t live up to all the hype for me.

Then, Taylor laid the smack down on me.

She could have wrote gibberish and as long as she did it in her own poetic way, I would still have read the whole damn novel. The writing is only a small portion of the epic that danced across the pages. Lazlo Strange may have just taken rank as one of my favorite male characters. The plot line was alluring, with an ending that is satisfying yet leaves you desperately wanting more. Holding out for the next book is going to be a bitch.

It seems a disservice to regale you with a summary of the story. This is to be tasted by each and every person on their own, sipped like a fine wine. (I don’t drink wine but this is how people have been telling me you do it. You get the description though.) I firmly believe this, I’m not just being a lazy reviewer.

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The Goodreads Book Tag

The Shameful Narcissist shared this lovely little book tag and I just couldn’t resist. One more reason to talk about books! I’ll also take this opportunity to openly invite, if you so choose, to add me as a friend on Goodreads here.

What was the last book you marked as read?

Midnight Riot by Ben Aaronovitch

What are you currently reading?

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor. Almost finished though.

What was the last book you marked as ‘to-read’?

The Shadow of What Was Lost by James Islington. (Who can resist a FAT epic fantasy novel? Not this girl!)

Are you doing the 2017 reading challenge?

Yes. My goal is 67. I usually surpass my goals but with buying a house this year, I’m glad that I didn’t set the goal too high.

Do you have a wish list?

Yes. I mostly just use it to watch for good Kindle sales on authors I haven’t tried yet.

Who are your favorite authors?

Oi vay. George RR Martin, Robin Hobb, Pierce Brown, Patricia Briggs, Anne Bishop, Chuck Palahniuk, Kevin Hearne, Patrick Rothfuss, R.S. Belcher, and Mark Lawrence.

Have you joined any groups?

Dragons & Jetpacks. A spectacular sci-fi, fantasy group. I’ve been in it a couple of years now and it’s definitely responsible for the growth of my TBR pile. (We’re currently a featured group on Goodreads as well.)

How many Goodreads shelves do you have?

29 and always growing.

I Tag…

Everyone who dwells in books! (Yeah, I took the cheap way out.)

Midnight Riot – Book Review

3 out of 5 stars

Peter Grant is pretty damn chill for someone who just had their first conversation with a ghost and found out that there is a whole paranormal division of the police department. Is it an Englishmen thing? That seems to be the implication but I don’t know any Englishmen to ask.

It took me 14 days to finish this book. For a period of time, I kept telling myself that it was me, not the book. Life has been distracting and other things have been more important that sitting down and finishing a book. As much as it hurts me to say that, it’s true. However, eventually, I had to admit that it was partially the book’s fault as well. It feels much like a set-up to future installments. There isn’t anything necessarily wrong with it, it just failed to pull me back in for more. It was missing that riveting factor. At no point did I need to sit down and find out how the story was progressing.

A new cop, learning magic, while being thrown directly into the paranormal action obviously peaks ones interest and I’m sure I will continue with the series in the future. As of right now, I sit firmly on the “meh” fence. Many a great urban fantasy series begin with mediocre books so the potential is definitely there for something epic.

Cannibalism – Book Review

Cannibalism: A Perfectly Natural History

4 out of 5 stars

“I also learned that normal behavior or not, sometimes cannibalism in the animal kingdom can get downright weird.”

Is anyone else a little hungry right now?

No?

Hmm.

Ninety percent of my reading is fiction but every once in awhile I get an intense itch to learn something and the weirder, the better. Problem is, sometimes I know way too much about the weird things to learn anything new. When it comes to cannibalism, this was not the case.

While highly informative, I was never bored and for me, that is an important factor in a non-fiction novel. I enjoyed the scientific research in every aspect of the book, even when bringing to light that sometimes, scientists can be a little too close-minded.

This probably isn’t for the queasiest of stomachs, I’ll admit to only getting nauseous over one section, human placenta eating. To be fair though, I have a pretty iron stomach and the subject matter doesn’t skeev me out like a lot of people.

So the moral of the cannibal story is, if you like facts and taboo subjects, this is definitely for you.

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A Closed and Common Orbit – Book Review

4 out of 5 stars

This was a masterful study of artificial intelligence and for that reason alone it was beguiling.

If you noticed that it took me a little longer than usual to finish, it is not the book’s fault. Life has been hectic and that is the only reason I didn’t sit down and devour it in one go.

Here we follow Lovey after she has made the transition into a body kit and scrubbed her previous memories clean. Now Sidra, she finds discovering her new purpose difficult. Adapting to other cultures, lacking the ability to lie about ones origins, and trying to find a way to connect with her new body has been a bit of chaos for someone used to being in total control.

At the same time, we explore Pepper’s peppered past. (Yeah, I went there.) Raised by an AI on an unfair planet, she struggled to rebuild a broken ship and get herself far away from a dying planet who had been nothing but unkind to her.

The two stories intertwine and dance apart across the novel and blend back together in a wholly satisfying ending.

I look forward to many more space operas to come from Becky Chambers. (Secretly, or not so secretly, hoping to see into the past and present of other characters from the Wayfarer in future editions to the story.)