Published Date: October 24, 2016
Publishing Co.: Self published
Pages: 109 (Most of it is a peek at Beyond Redemption.)
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
If a story starts with a character tearing strips of his rotting flesh off and tossing it overboard to feed the fish, you know you’re in for a good time. A good time if you like dark, disturbing things. Which, I do.
One man who burns people alive at a small release of his power and another man, his flesh slowly rotting away while he never dies, travel by ship at the King’s command. One must destroy the other if he becomes too insane. But when both of you are losing your grip on sanity, how do you decide who is more insane than who?
This is a short story of depression, insanity and unstable power, set in the world of Beyond Redemption. This is a good place to decide whether you can handle the dark world Michael R. Fletcher has created.
Published Date: April 13, 2010
Publishing Co.: Del Rey
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
The Warded Man – Book Review
Yeah, I’ve never done that in a review. Ever. It needs to be done though because dear God was there a lot of rape in this. In the first 275 pages, rape either happens to someone or a past rape is mentioned at least six times. About half way through the book I almost quit, despite everything else being very well written and intriguing with a kick ass magic system, because man was I tired of reading about rape.
If I pretend like I didn’t have to read about all the rape, the world building continues to be incredible in this series. In this book, we’re given a look at another character’s world at the beginning. (Granted it’s this character’s POV that provides the majority of the rape.) While a lot of readers complained about not liking Jardir’s POV and wanted to get back to their favorites, I enjoyed this side of the world. (Minus all the rape.) I had the luxury of having read the first book almost two years ago though, so I wasn’t itching to be back with the OGs. I can understand the irritation if you jump right from book one to book two. This side of the world provided an Arab-infused fantasy style that was truly different to read.
Here, both sides travel closer to war. One side believing themselves divine and uniting the tribes in order to destroy all demons together in the coming ‘holy’ war. The other side is trying to avoid war with a people who believe them all lesser because they don’t commit their lives to destroying demons. (Although thanks to Arlen, are becoming much more proficient in dealing with demons, not just hiding behind wards during the night.)
I’m invested. Despite my complaints, I need to know what ultimately happens in this world. Hopefully next time I don’t have to read through a bunch of rape to find out. Seriously, this book would have been so much stronger without all of that. Using rape as a plot device for character growth (for almost every main character) just screams amateur hour.
Published Date: September 20, 2016
Publishing Co.: Ace
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
“Good man. Only two kinds of people drink their coffee black: cops and serial killers. Sit, sit.”
I wanted fun, adventurous and snarky to start the new year off right and as usual, a Kate Daniels novel always delivers.
The witch oracle is seeing visions of the future. A dark future that Kate is willing to do anything to stop. If she marries Curran, her father kills him. If she doesn’t marry Curran, her father kills their future son. Adding to her stress, her father is frequently poking their uneasy truce. Kidnapping people when they leave Atlanta, teaching Julie how to become a Herald and eventually a Warlord for Kate, making demands on the wedding, etc. The presence of war is a constant companion to Kate, all the while her best friend is about to give birth and Roman is constantly bugging her to pick things out for the wedding. Kate is a volcano of anxiety.
As the saying goes, desperate times call for desperate measures. Which means, doing some things that Curran won’t approve of and can’t know about because they’re so dangerous, he would definitely try to stop her. There are no lengths that Kate won’t go to to save his and their future son’s lives, and this means testing the magnitudes of her power while almost being consumed and controlled by it. She has to hang on to her humanity while fighting with every ounce of strength to stop her father.
As if that isn’t enough for one person to handle, there is also the personal truth that she wishes she didn’t have to kill her father, but when it comes down to him versus Curran, she’ll choose Curran every time. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a deep seeded sadness around the decision.
The emotional turmoil embedded with the happiness of the ones you love surrounding you and willing to come to your aid is real in this installation of the series. I can’t imagine the punch the last book in the series is going to have, while at the same time, I never want it to end.
Published Date: October 26, 2016
Publishing Co.: Dey Street Books
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
This was a fun, easy informational read. There were SO many women I had never heard of that were true BOSS bitches. I’m glad this book exists so that more people may learn of their adventures and inspire women to be fearless.
I liked the author’s humor that was added to each little chapter and the art was fun as well.
Published Date: November 6, 2018
Publishing Co.: Avon Impulse
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
This was a fun little dip into the character Catalina. She’s become the to go-to person to make sure everything runs smoothly for Nevada and Rogan’s wedding. Unfortunately, this means being treated like a servant by Rogan’s crazy ass family. To top it off, someone has stolen Rogan’s mother’s antique tiara that she wants Nevada to wear at the wedding.
I loved this look into what Rogan’s family is like, especially his mother. I was surprised that Nevada was being such a bridezilla but that just added another layer of drama and fun.
Catalina proves that there’s no push overs in the Baylor family.
Published Date: July 25, 2017
Publishing Co.: Avon
Rating: 5 out 5 stars
Grandma is coming to town.
Grandma is coming to town.
And she’s a mean ol’ bitch.
When we last left Nevada, she was considering forming a House in order to protect her family. This jumps right into the drama as they have a family meeting and decide how to move forward. The family’s biological, homicidal grandmother has found them and she’s demanding they join her house. Grandma is the last of the Tremaine line and she’s determined to force them to join her to save her own house. If there’s one thing you don’t do, it’s demand that anyone in the Baylor family do anything.
So with middle fingers firmly flipped in Grandma’s direction, they file to form their own house. At least two people must pass the trials and be determined as Primes, then they’re theoretically safe for three years while they form their power base. It’s the best plan to this particular problem.
But as is the life of Nevada Baylor, that’s only one problem. To add to the heaping platter that is the troubles of her life, she has fallen for Mad Rogan and his ex-fiance has hired her to find her missing husband. Oh, then there’s always the secret society that is trying to overthrow the current political climate of the Prime world to usher in complete anarchy. Let’s add to that, trying to keep her sisters growing powers under wraps and how to best explain to her cousin his peculiar magic. Add a dash of interest from other Houses for Nevada’s hand in marriage and you have Rogan fit to be tied.
The drama llama came to town and crapped all over Nevada’s life and it made for a fantastic, gripping read. I was so into it, I finished it in one sitting.
I have to note that when I reviewed book two, I mentioned that this was going to be the last installment in this series. I’m thrilled to announce (if you haven’t seen it yet already) that that is no longer the case. I don’t know how many are now planned but I’ll take everything I can get.
Burn for Me review
White Hot – Book Review
Whew! It’s already December? How did that happen?? I hope everyone enjoyed NanoWrimo that participated! And if you didn’t get to the word count goal, you’re still a star because some progress in better than no progress and writing is hard! I dabbled myself a few years back and there’s always the hope that I’ll get inspired again.
Anywho, Science Fiction November! I think mine was pretty successful considering how busy I’ve been. I had hoped to convince Mr. Cupcakes & Machetes to watch some sci-fi TV shows together but that didn’t happen. We were fully involved in Netflix’s Mindhunter. (We’re always behind on the good things.) If you’re into True Crime, I highly recommend giving it a go.
Parasite (Parasitology #1) – Book Review
After the Crown (The Indranan War #2) – Book Review
Foundation (Foundation #1) – Book Review
Gotham City Sirens Vol.3 Strange Fruit – Comic Review
Leviathan Wakes (The Expanse #1) – Book Review
Vox – Book Review
Did you participate in Sci-Fi month? If so, how did it go for you?
Published Date: August 21, 2018
Publishing Co.: Berkley
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
Whenever there is a novel about the subjugation of women, it almost always immediately draws comparisons to Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. Once you actually read it however, the only commonality is the subjugation of women. Vox begins as an almost complete rip off of Atwood’s tale. Replace the same concepts with different names, slight variations here and there but add a wrist device that counts women’s words, subtract the handmaids andsplash on a massive helping of current society references and you have the major workings of Vox. If you’ve never read or watched The Handmaid’s Tale, you’ll probably be able to read it without much fuss.
I had a hard time finding much respect for the main character, Jean Mc-whatever, I’ve already forgotten. This is largely due to her cheating on her husband and this is probably a personal point of view preventing me from connecting. If you don’t love someone anymore, woman up and break it off. Cheating is weak. Now, you might be thinking, “But she has to depend on a man in this new society!” Sure, that’s true but she’s basically just runs from one man to another for protection anyway.
This was very closely going to be a one star read but the ending did drag me and keep me interested in how the story falls out. It was cleaned up fairly neatly but when I sit back and think about it, I wouldn’t really care whether the story had a good or bad ending for the characters. There are some important messages to society in this so it gets points for that but I was largely unimpressed.
Published Date: June 2, 2011
Publishing Co.: Orbit
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Holy space battles, Batman!
If there is one thing this book wasn’t, it was boring. I felt like there was hardly a moment when something important wasn’t happening. Something was either getting blown up or about to get blown up and barely escaping. Not to mention the introduction of a bioweapon to change the entire game.
James Holden worked a small ice hauler until the day the crew he was on found an abandoned ship in the far reaches of the Belt. They learn the hard way that sometimes, you shouldn’t play with lost things that aren’t yours. It could just start an interplanetary war and when you’re the one that accidentally starts it, you feel obligated to help stop it.
Holden and crew race from situation to situation in attempts to set things right and save all of humanity. Helped along by a down-on-his-luck detective and a rebel organization, they just might be able to pull it off, if only they’re fast enough and smart enough. And since there is more than one book in the series, I’ll leave you to your own conclusions.
Or that might be a red herring.
You won’t know until you read the book.
This book was fantastic. I enjoyed all of the characters while also not being particularly drawn to anyone specific. I loved the non stop action. Somehow, I didn’t quite fall head over heels in love with it but I foresee future books changing that. I have the feeling that this series is going to go to the top of my favorite Science Fiction list.
Published Date: 1951
Publishing Co.: Del Ray
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
When this began with the talk of mathematics and using it to predict the future, it almost lost me. Math has never been my subject, but luckily that part was short lived. There never came a point where I was absolutely hooked into the story but this is at the very minimum, one of the classics that I understand all the reasons why it is considered a classic. It still won’t be hopping on my favorite sci-fi list but it is one I would encourage other sci-fi fans to give a try. I like character driven stories and this is almost completely plot-driven and riddled with political intrigue.
The basis is that the Empire is going to fall in three hundred years and the scientists are attempting to save all possible knowledge on an unpopulated planet. The plan is to store the knowledge so that it is not forever lost and it can be redistributed to the galaxy. At least on the surface that’s the plan, in all actuality there is much more than just saving knowledge. There are mathematical projections and psychohistory theories about the challenges predicted to come and hidden messages to help the remaining humans of the empire along.
The story jumps from crisis to crisis in the first hundred years after the fall. Each crisis features a different character and details how they solve the problem presented to them.
I’m glad that I read it but I don’t think I’ll be continuing the series.
I did however end up with a copy of this from 1986 and had the gleeful pleasure of finding an old library card in the back from 1989.