Starts off a little slow, but the mystery (involving turtles!) ramps up as the story goes along, building to a satisfactory finish.Seafaring mystery
Starts off a little slow, but the mystery (involving turtles!) ramps up as the story goes along, building to a satisfactory finish. Same main characters as the first book in the series, with deeper insight into how one family could be the crux of nationwide (island-wide) political drama. Do you like sailing, science, solving a mystery, with a splash of an entirely new (or is it old?) worlds to explore? You'll like this one....more
Disclosure: I've met the author as part of my role as the Municipal Liaison for the St. Louis NaNoWriMo region. I received the book as a free digitalDisclosure: I've met the author as part of my role as the Municipal Liaison for the St. Louis NaNoWriMo region. I received the book as a free digital ARC via Edelweiss and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
THE ROGUE RETRIEVAL brings the magic of the stage together with magic of the world. Quinn is a stage magician about to get his big break in Vegas when he's approached with a very strange job offer. The world of Alissia lies just on the other side of a portal, and a megacorporation has been studying it for over a decade. They need his help to recover one of their people who has gone rogue, because Quinn would be an unknown to the man gone missing. Oh, and magic exists in Alissia, so they need their own magician. But it's not going to be easy, especially since impersonating a true magician carries a death sentence.
It's fun to see the juxtaposition of illusions or sufficiently advanced science against true magic. Alissia is a well-developed world, and has many secrets, quite a few of which aren't revealed, so there's plenty left for other books in the series. I'm a sucker for magic, stage or actual, and I always want to know how it works--it doesn't ruin the effect for me, so I would have liked to have known how Quinn does some of his more spectacular tricks that the R&D guys at the megacorp didn't have a hand in developing (and I want to know how long they worked on that laser sword). Quinn finds something about himself in Alissia, which I would definitely like to know more about!
There's good gender representation in this novel, which made me happy. The commander of the mission to retrieve the rogue is a woman, and the science officer is a female POC (huzzah!). It just goes to show you that diversity is possible in fantasy! It's an unfortunate fact that most people's default character design is a white male, so why not give readers a chance to change that setting?
I felt like the ending was a little rushed, with a great big aerial battle that I had a little trouble picturing in my mind. But the story wraps up nicely while leaving plenty of room for a sequel. Also, I would like some Valteroni Gold now.
This book started life as a NaNoWriMo novel, so it just goes to show you that actual published books DO come from this writing program. I better get writing on mine!...more
There is a lot going on in this book. I hesitated to give out five stars because of the folks that are lost and the changes that theTrue to its title
There is a lot going on in this book. I hesitated to give out five stars because of the folks that are lost and the changes that the characters have to deal with. But the story wraps up here, there is happiness to be found, and the same humor mixed with thoughtful asides amid a few quotes from the Bard that you've come to expect from an Iron Druid novel are all here. I wish the Three Slices anthology was available through my local libraries because I'd sure like to get some of the backstory for this story; read it first if you can find it....more
Every so often I get a yen to dive into the literary side of fiction, and this book satisfied that need. This one has a bit of a fantasy element, thouEvery so often I get a yen to dive into the literary side of fiction, and this book satisfied that need. This one has a bit of a fantasy element, though it's nothing overt--it could simply be illusion, or really good breath control...It's got old books, a nicely-unfolding mystery, the threat of the ocean come to wash away everything, and interesting characters.
Our MC is a librarian about to lose his job, when he is sent a mysterious book that first seems unrelated to him--but turns out to be so much more. THE BOOK OF SPECULATION is a diary of a circus, telling the reader of the circus' performers, specifically its mute wild boy/fortune teller and his love. The actions detailed within resonate in the present, in eerily similar ways. I was reminded of WATER FOR ELEPHANTS with its similar theme and volatile romance.
There's enough mystery here to keep me reading, and the interactions between the characters are believable even though there are some fantastic elements: the MC's family is renowned for their ability to hold their breath for astoundingly long times--I'll have to look up how true that is--and the wild boy seems to fade away from spectators' notice, while a curse seems to follow the circus. There's enough research on the historical times of the circus that I was able to visualize it well, and the scenes where flooding is imminent are pretty thrilling. Plot elements and characters are nicely interwoven and turn out to be connected in ways that don't seem to be contrived. Not a book to be read if you're afraid of the water, though.
Received as a free digital ARC in exchange for an honest review via Netgalley....more