I feel I should give this rating a disclaimer. If this book were not a re-read, if I had come into it completely new, it would have been a 3 to 3.5 foI feel I should give this rating a disclaimer. If this book were not a re-read, if I had come into it completely new, it would have been a 3 to 3.5 for me. But the memories I have of this book are so pervasive and so revolutionary back when I read it that I can't give anything that formative less than five.
Honestly, these recollections were not all The Dream Master. I just started cutting my teeth on "adult" sci-fi at the time, and threw myself recklessly at anything that purported to be a classic. This is why I had the fortuitous luck of reading Zelazny's The Dream Master right up against Ursula Le Guin's The Lathe of Heaven. Both dealt with dreams, albeit it in different ways. One was a tool consciously then unconsciously wielded, the other was an unconscious wildness that others sought to tame. Both ended in a manner that was both tragic and suitable.
What I remember was the description of the son as he described how an inventor dreamed of efficient machines while he pulled off the legs of grasshoppers and how the metal gears must have sounded like the shrieks of all those murdered grasshoppers. I remembered comparing it to the Kafka-esque descriptions of lacquered shells in The Lathe of Heaven, the otherness of nature and how it is molded. I remembered cars that drove themselves and didn't stop when someone walked into traffic, and deep set eyes of a guide dog who could speak but not exactly like a human nor howl like the dogs he had been mutated from.
I remember glancing at the computer for practically every other scene, looking up things like Eloise and Abelard (which I still remembered) and enantiodromia (which I did not), fascinated at how symbols played out while the language and structure unraveled. The references and scenes helped me to better appreciate the rest of the scenes, and the narration of dreams kept my imagination going at full throttle to picture it.
So essentially what I am doing is justifying why I love this novel even though it can feel padded with the many threads and does not come qualitatively close compared to Zelanzy's other works. Because this is a book that can work like Render's machine, and it has left its mark when so many other novels are completely forgotten; although this mark may be malleable and refitted with a new awareness, it lingers the same way a particularly memorable dream will retain flashes and remnants even when you wake....more
When a girl who has been bullied for years decides to bring the three tormenters to their government class for a trial, the case exposes the frailtiesWhen a girl who has been bullied for years decides to bring the three tormenters to their government class for a trial, the case exposes the frailties of justice when the class is made to participate.
The good: with short chapters and easy to understand language, this is a good book for reluctant readers who find the premise intriguing. It's a fast read, more middle grade fare with YA subject matter. The set up premise makes sense as well. Victimized Ivy never really makes herself sympathetic and is mostly passive, which helps in setting up the reasonableness of how this longstanding abuse has gone on and why so many classmates turn a blind eye to it. The chapters alternate between different POVs, showing how the personal desires and motivations can interfere with truthful findings.
The bad: for those who wanted a more nuanced or complex story hinted from the premise, you will find the set up promising but most of the characters behind them as one-note: the space case, the painfully shy one, the self-preservationist, the upstanding serious one. The plot hinges on a lot of failures of the kids, who are either ineffective or sycophantic (and the only one who takes it seriously sounds too much like an adult to be realistic, not to mention being conveniently removed from pulling a Twelve Angry Men with the jury pool). The continued sham of a trial compiles these problems, bringing with it a suspension of disbelief that never holds enough sympathy or character development to bring about a satisfactory resolution, guilty or innocent....more
A cute supervillain how to guide, but the electronic versions of it are riddled with coding errors and typos. Get it in print for the layouts and illuA cute supervillain how to guide, but the electronic versions of it are riddled with coding errors and typos. Get it in print for the layouts and illustrations to make sense....more
Breakaway is a story that's been told many times. It's about the struggle that often happens for the children of immigrants who are ostracize2.5 stars
Breakaway is a story that's been told many times. It's about the struggle that often happens for the children of immigrants who are ostracized for being too foreign to be part of the land of their birth (in this case, Canada) and still unfamiliar with the land of their ancestors to truly claim the other place as their home.
Kwok-ken Wong is the protagonist, a young man is further isolated in his struggles because his family's demands for keeping up the farm keep him from associating in the possible refuge of Vancouver's Chinatown, so all he is left outside of his chores are his studies and soccer. Soccer is his true refuge, where he finds a sense of team spirit and meritocracy are enough to overlook how blindingly racist the rest of his school is to him.
This novel has all the elements of a book that seeks to address the topics of racism and a loss of self-identity: the brusque cultural misunderstandings between parents and children, the clear cut moments of being profoundly recognized as other, the triumph in finding some common ground with peers, all of this could be packaged into the script of an underdog sport story and do a perfectly fine job of it. But Breakaway never manages to break free of the conventions enough to be its own story. It's fairly well told but sparse, lacking moments of humanity that make this genre shine. Kwok's journey from a young man ashamed of his situation into someone who better understands his situationa nd himself isn't as rich and self-aware a transition as it is more something delivered because the book was coming to a close.
I picked it up because I love soccer stories and found it playing a minor part, but that might be a draw. Those who really love reading historical fiction that focuses on the Asian-American/Asian-Canadian experiences will not find anything new but not be disappointed....more
Review for the non-Gaiman fans:The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a story about a middle-aged man who goes back to the scene of his childhood, spurrReview for the non-Gaiman fans:The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a story about a middle-aged man who goes back to the scene of his childhood, spurred on by the memories of a girl named Lettie Hempstock who once said the pond by her home was an ocean. The closer he gets the more he remembers, when a suicide led to a darkness stealing out of somewhere unknowable, and a darkness invading his life while he is helpless to stop it. He begins to recall the summer when he was seven and that darkness tied itself to his heart, with mysterious and wise Lettie as his only hope of protection.
Gaiman writes myths and legends with a quiet sense of place, where you know those elements are greater than stated by the narration, and possibly greater than yourself. This is tied well because he can get into the essence of a child's head very well, their fears and methods of cognitive recognition, the compartmentalization of knowing a horrible evil thing wants to hurt you badly and yet the comfort of a kitten can become an immediate remedy. The child's soul is there even if he gives them a voice that is older than their age.
Ultimately, it is more a story to see the details than get to the end of it, although he ties suspense in so well that you fear what may happen to the unnamed narrator. If you have never read anything of Neil Gaiman's this is a good start for a blend of dark fairytales and wonderment mixed with dread.
Review for the Gaiman fans: A novella that retreads some of Gaiman's favorite subjects that seem to blend his juvenile work with his older novels, as indicated by the framing of the narrator as a middle aged man telling the story of when he was seven. At its heart showcases the mysteries of the universe with a keenly felt edge of childhood's perception. It is not Gaiman's strongest work, but it might be the one that is more his than any of the others; in fact, when you read about the narrator's lifelong search to make art, you might mistake it for Gaiman's own words.
At the same time, there are elements in it that he has done better in other ways. If you wanted a story that encapsulated the fears and threats of a child protagonist, his work in Coraline is richer and more compelling in its gothic horror. The Graveyard Book surrounds its child protagonist with a more consistent setup of supernatural mentors in comparison the Hempstocks, who serve as protectors to this book's narrator, but often feel too mysterious to work as opposed to being Just Mysterious Enough to be both recognizable and not. For his interesting concepts of eternity, reality and other heavy philosophical questions, his work in Sandman and The Books of Magic state their positions (or lack of ones) in a more drawn out and nuanced way than the protagonist's revelations.
However, for someone who wants a story that is equal parts fear lurking underneath your bed and wonder at what those dark alcoves mean in the sense of a greater understanding, this book is an engrossing read that you can finish in one sitting. Even Gaiman at his less than best can still deliver thoughtful and poetic narration that is a worthwhile experience, full of myth and wonder that would bring you back to his other works....more
A fascinating read about Alex Dumas, and it makes me want to find the unabridged version of The Count of Monte Cristo to see how much of his life is iA fascinating read about Alex Dumas, and it makes me want to find the unabridged version of The Count of Monte Cristo to see how much of his life is in the pages.
Freewill is a Printz honor and one of those books that you appreciate what the book is trying to do more than enjoy the execution.
Told in the secon2.5
Freewill is a Printz honor and one of those books that you appreciate what the book is trying to do more than enjoy the execution.
Told in the second person, in a sparse and almost repetitive cadence, the story is about Will, who is disconnected from life and whose only outlet seems to be strange woodwork projects that he doesn't even particularly enjoy. When the wood totems show up in a series of suicides, unwanted attention is drawn to him and he must decide if he should speak up or let himself become part of the nothing he feels he has to live for.
I think Lynch made a lot of smart choices in framing. While many people would find the "you" off-putting, it helps reinforce the reader's own questions. However, Will is still so much a nonentity and passive character that he is neither a proper cypher for the reader to insert their own desires into nor interesting enough to carry the story's odd and morbid tone the way the narrators of Silver Linings Playbook or Perks of Being a Wallflower manage.
The other characters don't work as complex or lively characters either, partially from the remoteness of Will's relationship with them. This leaves most of their discussions feeling like talking points of the plot, anti-suicide PSAs rather than their own motivations.
This novel is not without compelling moments. While the choice to make the prose simple and sparse, Lynch has passages that are vivid. One example that made me take notice was when Will was taking a shower after forgetting clean himself for three days and remarks on the wonderful feeling of scrubbing skin, reminding himself to remember it because it's a nice small pleasure that is easily forgotten.
Unfortunately, the sparseness and the vagueness work against the story more than help it. The mystery of the totems and the suicides are left unresolved or even commented it on, as the story winds off into a palatable non-ending where Will finally makes a choice not to be so passive. I do like an open-endedness to my stories, but there's not enough to structure to make the suggestion of possibilities. On the bright side, the story is a brisk novella more than anything else and there are some passages that create a thoughtful starting point for the weighty topic.
And perhaps that is all that Freewill wanted to do, was to present the reader with a choice to do so......more
Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for the book, Penguin Teen!
Seventeen-year-oldDisclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for the book, Penguin Teen!
Seventeen-year-old Samantha Reed's life is like her home: perfectly kept and perfectly cared for. She's a straight A student with two jobs, her mother is a state senator, her best friend is on track for the Ivy Leagues, so, aside from the stress of wearing a ridiculous sailor outfit for her job at Breakfast Ahoy, Samantha is about as angst free as you can get for a teenager. And yet she spends hours looking out beyond the fence to her neighbor's yard, watching the chaos of the Garretts' large family, their chaos and confusion, wondering if that is a different kind of perfect than the one she knows.
Then one day she finds one of them has climbed up on her roof to watch with her.
That's the basic premise of My Life Next Door, a story about first love and families. The interactions between Samantha and Jase Garrett have all the right beats to explain an authentic, if not enviably awesome, first love. I found it refreshing that their romance wasn't instantaneous but it also didn't take up the entirety of the novel with a "will they/won't they" dynamic. It was an interaction that was heavily laced with attraction but impromptu babysitting and other circumstances were responsible for them to getting to know each other, so when Samantha asks Jase to kiss her after a month of knowing each other you don't think it's too rushed or something dragged out for the novel's peak moment. It's the Baby Bear zone of being "just right" given the circumstances.
And while Jase is almost too good to be true: an extremely hot guy who is an all around handyman and works at his father's business when not playing the patient doting big brother or doing extensive training for a football scholarship? The only thing I didn't buy is why there wasn't a line of girls waiting to go out with him! But he shows his flaws and contradictions enough that he doesn't tip over into wishful thinking category, all the while staying firmly in the "boyfriend you dream about having" field.
There are a number of other refreshing change from most other contemporary YA romances.I love how Samantha has had boyfriends before and is able to compare the idea of dating out of convenience or "why not?" to the kind where there's intense attraction like with Jase. I love that Jase had his own previous relationships that are just there, not some specter to come up in the third act. I love that when two hormone addled teenagers get together sex is actually addressed. They talk about it, they are interested in it, discuss the timing and protection, relate their embarrassing parental advice, and both start out as virgins but sex happens during the novel. I can count on one hand the amount of YA stories I read that managed to treat such a topic in a frank way without making the story all about it, so my infinite respect goes to Fitzpatrick for going there. But people who want a "clean teen read" can considered themselves duly warned. But it was definitely going to be a topic that comes up when one of the two protagonists come from a family of eight children.
And what about the Garrett family? Oh, the Garretts are far and away the best thing about this novel. There's the four-year-old George who gets the best lines with his somber recitation of facts and marriage proposals. Hard edged older sister Alice, the girl who breaks other guys' hearts but shows her true fierceness when she realizes Samantha has the power to hurt Jase. Fourteen-year-old Andy, who is going through her own introduction to dating. Baby Patsy with her talk of boobs and scatalogical humor. Even the ones given less time are still given the space and familiarity of other characters that it doesn't feel like they exist solely for Samantha to gawk at, and the warmth and inviting insanity of their home is something genuinely appealing even as you read about snakes escaping, children running amok, and seven different things going wrong at the same time.
Fitzpatrick uses a deft hand to write Samantha's first person narration as she grows to love the Garretts alongside her deepening feelings for Jase. There are an abundance of subtle tensions between her mother's exacting standards of perfection and the strange otherness that Jase's life offers, instances where Samantha's priorities end up pushing Jase away unintentionally. However, most of these conflicts are minor hiccups compared to other drama that goes on in the novel, such as Samantha's childhood friend, Tim, dealing with his addictions, or Samantha's mother running for office with a truly despicable sleazebag campaign manager who may or may not be cheating on her.
These added complications happen, and often do provide a multifaceted existence to the characters' lives in the story. After all, even if some people do end up ignoring everything else for the intensity of their first love, other things continue to operate regardless. Unfortunately, Fitzpatrick has not yet managed the ability to blend her elements together as seamlessly as other YA contemporary juggernauts (examples of people who have nearly perfected this art: Sarah Dessen or Sara Zarr). For example, the matriachal Grace Reed comes off as more of a demonic, shrewish narcissist than the character I think Fitzpatrick wanted to portray, that of an uptight perfectionist who lets her ambitions and prejudice overshadow her daughter's well-being in spite of wanting the best for her. And although the other storylines intersect with the main one in many ways that improve the story, these side storyarcs also have their drawbacks.
(view spoiler)[Tim's character arc is the most egregious in terms of suspension of disbelief and tonal consistency. He was written this hopeless wreck who first got drunk at twelve, had done drugs for years (including a mention of coke), got kicked out of school and fired from many jobs for said drug habits, unrepentantly steals money from Samantha and his sister for his fixes, practically killing them in a terrible car accident before blacking out drunk to...suddenly becoming someone who manages to stave off his addiction with packs of cigarettes and pixy stix.
Tim at the beginning seemed to be a symbol of how class status and opportunities don't always mean the person can't be a wreck on the inside. One of the most poetic scenes was Samantha noticing that her mother's perception of the world would be to see Tim as the "upstanding" one in his nice clothes compared to Jase in his ratty greaser shirt, so she would never notice how Jase radiates overwhelming compassion and Tim casually crushes spiders underneath his heel. It was beautiful and telling, and yet... Halfway through the novel he is transformed into a fun supporting character, actually supportive too, who seemed only to need someone like Mr. Garrett to point him in the way of an AA meeting to get clean.
Do I think it's possible for a person do turn their life around that dramatically? Yes. But it doesn't work when the novel introduces something intensely complicated but then explains the journey from point A to point L with a wave of the hand. And, worse, it drags attention away from what the novel is really trying to explore by putting something weighty and problematic alongside it. For the record, I liked Tim as a character, I just wish his darkness didn't seem to come at the cost of making the rest of the character's problems less than his. It usually leads to things like this:
"I hate knowing the right thing to do and not having the balls to do it. This sucks. This is payback, isn't it? You wouldn't believe the things I've done, the tests I've cheated on, the rules I've broken, the times I've fucked up, the people I've screwed over."
"Oh knock it off already, man, with the 'nobody knows the horrors I've seen' routine. It's getting really old," Jase snaps.
Yes, exactly Jase. This is why you are my favorite. Well, that, and everything else. (hide spoiler)]
My Life Next Door provides a poignant look at the explorations of first love, especially the kind of love that develops in a place different from one's familiar surroundings. For readers who want to immerse themselves in Samantha's acceptance by the Garrets and enjoy the antics of a large family, this novel provides a humorous and nuanced read. She manages to imbue characterization into most of the eight children with only a few lines, making them memorable or at least natural to see how some are prominent and others on the periphery of Samantha's attention.
However, those who are sensitive to a story's tone may find a disconnect between the emotional tenderness of the romance Samantha has with Jase (and by proxy, his family) in comparison to the rest of the novel's weighter topics. There is an uneven payoff in the ongoing subplots, which only gets more prominent as the story progresses. These disconnects are not enough to ruin the good foundation that Fitzpatrick sets up in having the reader invested in Samantha and Jase's happiness, but it does run the risk of making the novel's end less than satisfactory. Some subplots are left in mid-conflict, and the major "choice" that the tagline hints at comes in the last quarter of the novel, which doesn't give it the time to be properly resolved after the pacing of the previous chapters. Nevertheless, the novel manages to put you in Samantha's position of being an observer to something different and unknown, drawing you into the tumultuous events in a way that entertains and keeps pages turning. Even if it's not perfect, My Life Next Door is a welcome addition most readers wouldn't mind borrowing a cup of sugary teenage romance from.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Reckless takes after its name, with one brief chapter to set up the concept of a mirror world and the two protagonists, the real story starts2.5 stars
Reckless takes after its name, with one brief chapter to set up the concept of a mirror world and the two protagonists, the real story starts in medias res, with Jacob reacting to his little brother, Will, turning into stone from a strange fairy curse. The story is breakneck, with short chapters that chronicle smaller journeys on the way to the bigger story of finding a cure for the stone curse.
Funke's writing is slightly stripped down in this one, different from The Thief Lord or Inkheart in pacing and character insight. Sometimes the translation seems awkward, joining words that sound more informal and slang to formalized, almost archaic phrasings. Nevertheless, some of the passages and concepts transcend and take on a poetic nature. It is an easy book to read through, filled with interesting takes on fairy tales that seem to be the reality of the Mirrorworld.
What really brings the book down is the characters. Mostly in the fact that there aren't personalities to go with the named people beyond one defining trait. Jacob and Will are brothers, that is enough to make readers believe they will do anything for each other, but we never see it except for the narration assuring us it's true. Will's true love, Clara, has nothing beyond her devotion to him and her gentleness. Fox fares a little better, with her split loyalties between Jacob Reckless and the shape-shifting preference to be a fox, but it's still broad strokes and generalities for all characters involved.
One could argue that these characters are pared down to better suit a fairy tale inspired story, where the characters in short fairy tales had one or two defining personality traits and were more universal tropes than individuals. Taken in that vein, it works. But those looking for a psychological or empathetic character study will be very disappointed with Reckless. There's also a habit of having the solution for a problem be presented as something Jacob ran into in his past journeys. Quick to get the action moving, but less satisfying for others who want to read more about the world and really soak in this land of children-eating witches, sovereign producing handkerchiefs, and fantastical elements.
Recommended for those who love fantasy and want plot over characters. It's quick, easy, and sometimes beautiful to read, but skips over the parts that would truly make it memorable in a race to get to the finish line....more
Eleanor & Park is one of those books that perfectly speaks to first love. It showcases every extreme; from the tentative beginnings of li4.5 stars
Eleanor & Park is one of those books that perfectly speaks to first love. It showcases every extreme; from the tentative beginnings of liking someone to the overwhelming feelings that it might end. It is also a book of other, heavier topics that interweave with the budding romance. Bullying, domestic violence, racism, all of these topics help color the motivations for why Eleanor and Park's romance becomes so white hot and intense, although there are times where the weight of other concerns threatens to overbalance the arrangement and tone.
Both Eleanor and Park are fully realized characters, and I think the best parts of the book are when it delves into their background. Eleanor's self-image in relation to her mother and the bullying are particularly poignant, and Rowell's most beautiful passages tend to be describing how she is not pretty but beautiful in ways that make it easier to sympathize with Park's intense love for her, even though she is not particularly kind and often pushing him away. Park is almost too good to be true, caring and geeky (I decided I would have to pick it up solely for the part that they initially learn to be friends by reading comics together). While it may not make everyone's heart flutter, either going too far or too far afield, Eleanor & Park has many moments of beauty and authenticity that are worth reading for it....more
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this for proof and honest reviewing!
Copper Centurion is the second book in The Steam Empire Chronicles, and follDisclaimer: I received a free copy of this for proof and honest reviewing!
Copper Centurion is the second book in The Steam Empire Chronicles, and follows the evens right after Brass Legionnaire. This means, while you can follow along well enough to what's going on in the novel, reading the first one helps set up the who and what and wherefore and I feel makes a stronger foundation for the characters. So, spoilers for the first novel: Julius Caesar--not that one, another one--is a regular Roman citizen who decides to join up with the new Legion. He meets up with another guy, Constantine, who just happens to be second in line to the throne, then first when a botched assassination attempt kills his older brother but fail to kill him. There is bonding, a large spread conspiracy, Roman steampunk galore, and a siege that leaves the city of Brittenburg flooded and Julius's family M.I.A.
Caught up? Good. Now--
We leave off with Rome preparing for war against the Nortlanders, Julius eager to spill their barbarian blood due to his personal grievances. This is good since it gives him a little more character depth, and my previous complaint about his lack of attention on his family is addressed...largely by him becoming a bit of a vengeance filled prat, who denies help to Nortlander civilians because of his bitterness. This leaves Gwendryn, his Gallic second in command and good friend to knock sense into him about not being the evil he's fighting against.
How I imagined the Gwendryn and Julius argument only with the fictional inclusion of beer. I think Gwendryn would approve, because beer.
I appreciate this flaw in Julius since it allows a real time inspection of character growth, building a small foothold of emotional investment and interpersonal development that was only covered in the first novel with broad strokes. It also allows him to change and get emotional payoff later in the novel when he deals with certain Roman slaves. Julius's half is the narrower, more human focus of the novel: with smaller stakes but more detail and investment.
The other main character, Constantine, is given the novel's political intrigue and this one is handled broadly. Again, not a bad thing, but there is less connection to his personal motives and he lacks the dynamism that Julius gained in this novel. A few transitions explaining the movements off screen that might have better served him as a character, but we do get more insight from the engaging secondary characters such as Alexandros and newcomers Gravus and Octavia.
My favorite scene was probably the one with Gravus giving Constantine a philosophical debate about the excesses of Rome's wealth. He provided a much needed conflict for Constantine to deal with by being the heir to the throne when the rest of the novel was an external conflict of bashing in barbarian helmets. Which, don't get me wrong, I love me some fighting and rousing speeches of honor and glory, but I also love political intrigue. And stories about a long lasting Roman Empire is full of ripe for the picking histories to build on. Still, this novel is more brisk adventure story and I can't blame anyone who doesn't want to take seven hundred pages to describe all the intricacies of political ramblings G.R.R.M. style. Readers who want a sense of intrigue but really want to get to the good parts will appreciate this, those that find their favorite scenes tend to be slow built exposition of "now you see how my plan has come together" may find a taste of it here, but not enough to really sink their teeth into.
See? Fight scenes! Entertaining!
Octavia Pelia, the other new character, might have actually overtaken Constantine in character dimensions with the help of flashbacks detailing her past tragedies and the reasons why she's such a hardnosed senator who insists in coming along on the campaign even though as a woman and a politician she's doubly resented by the legionnaires. This was a welcome inclusion for any possible contribution she may have to future political developments, and she's pretty practical when it comes down to plot concerns. Octavia and Constantine do develop somewhat of an instant attraction that I would have liked to have seen teased out a little more but I can't fault the reasoning for her to cozy up to someone soon to be the most powerful figure in Rome who happens to also be a decent guy.
Seriously, he's the next Roman Emperor. I can't blame her for having aspirations.
As for the main plot of Copper Centurion, with most characters established, it heads into the thick of it quickly enough. A very nice break from other second in a series books is that Ottalini allows the book to have a definite end without a major cliffhanger. Are there unresolved matters to be addressed in a third book? Absolutely! But there's also a resolution and the characters you are interested in and no attempt at gimmicky "tune in next week" dramatics. Plenty of books do the cliffhanger right, but more than not I've seen a second book used basically as a bridge from beginning to third act. It's refreshing to see Copper Centurion treated as a story of its own. I wouldn't have minded seeing the epilogue include Julius finally getting to properly reunite with his sister though. You know, when there is time for hugging and not imminent danger of an unstable coup. Is that too much to wish for?
As a whole, Copper Centurion still has moments where I wished there was more to the story: more backstory, more intrigue, more explanation of how the world works and the character interactions play out. What it does deliver is still solidly entertaining and improves upon the first novel. So if readers check out the first one and like it, this is definitely worth reading. And if you happen to like this one I'm sure you'd come back for another installment.
Because the odds of the next one involving more explosions is pretty good. Bread and circuses and explosions....more