Made me cry, but probably exacerbated by the fact that yesterday was a horrible election and when [that person] killed [that other person] at the end.Made me cry, but probably exacerbated by the fact that yesterday was a horrible election and when [that person] killed [that other person] at the end. Please can I have the next book?...more
Breath of Earth by Beth Cato is at once satisfying and disturbing. In a San Francisco with a subtly different history than our own, the great quake stBreath of Earth by Beth Cato is at once satisfying and disturbing. In a San Francisco with a subtly different history than our own, the great quake still happened, but for a much different reason than simple plate tectonics. We experience this magical place through a steampunk lens, while also examining the forgotten way things really happened. The author brings up feminism, racism, and lgbt rights, without being overly preachy. Yes, a genre novel that made me think.
The world is wonderfully built, using the scaffold of true history and coloring it with Asian influence, for well explained reasons. So why disturbing? As a person of Chinese descent it was uncomfortable to see “my culture” as the bad guys, or the ones that everybody looked down on. Intellectually I know that was the case in actual history, but no one talks about it. I'm pleased to hear about all the research that the author did to find the hidden history of the area, and her ability to combine the actual past with her magical world is refreshing and intriguing.
I enjoyed the characters in this novel. People acted in reasonable, realistic ways, while pushing back against the norms of the time. The worldbuilding is excellent, describing a historic place that feels true to its reality but delightfully embellished with magic and cultural elements that I could believe in. Topics that tend to fluster the less progressive among us are presented in believable context, talked about in a natural way, neither harped upon or shoved under a rug. Huzzah diversity in fiction! Highly recommended.
Received as a free digital ARC via Edelweiss and the publisher. I have also met the author at conventions but this did not affect my review....more
What more could you want? This novel has historical romance, seafaring adventure, a magic box that everyone wants, a handsome shMagic, fae, pirates...
What more could you want? This novel has historical romance, seafaring adventure, a magic box that everyone wants, a handsome shapeshifter, elemental magic, and a great secret that must be uncovered to set things right. Happy to read it....more
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
... In a good way and a bad way, because I'd like to know more about this world but I also felt like the ending was a little rusheLeft me wanting more
... In a good way and a bad way, because I'd like to know more about this world but I also felt like the ending was a little rushed. The writing is good though clearly YA. The imagery is gorgeous and the culture is nicely diverse. I loved the Asian setting, though I wish there had been more mystical/mythological involvement (I couldn't help but think "the Eagles are coming!" Like in the Lord Of The Rings at one point). It's really hard to describe the lack of a thing, and I think the author did pretty well, though it did seem like characters adapted to changed circumstances a little too quickly. A fast, pretty read....more
Huge book with really interesting world-building and developed characters, but has some points where it drags. Many characters to loIntricate but long
Huge book with really interesting world-building and developed characters, but has some points where it drags. Many characters to lose track of, but stick it out till the end and you'll be rewarded with a faster pace and lots of plot developments. Sort of abrupt ending but it's book one of a trilogy so there will be more....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
THE UNDYING LEGION picks up soon after THE SHADOW REVOLUTION, with the same cast of characters. If you liked the first book in the Crown & Key triTHE UNDYING LEGION picks up soon after THE SHADOW REVOLUTION, with the same cast of characters. If you liked the first book in the Crown & Key trilogy, you'll like this one too. It has the same action and sketches of world-building and the same moments that might make you squirm. These books don't dive into straight up horror, but there are definitely bits that made my stomach do a little roll. I didn't stop eating my dinner, but it was a close thing. The uncomfortable parts are handled well, like the instance at Penny's house, which doesn't play out the way it might in a scary movie.
As you might guess from the title, the dead rise in this one--steampunk zombies, of a sort. Our magical scribe Simon and his sometime-romantic-interest/alchemist Kate have to unravel some ancient hieroglyphic sigils found in old churches in London, and it was at this point that I wished ebooks incorporated more images. I really wanted to see these designs!
Thankfully, even though this is part of a trilogy, the story wraps up its major sequences. However, there's a completely new story started in the epilogue, setting up the third book. So I'll be looking for the next story, because I'd like to see how this ends. If you're looking for action with just a hint of romance/sensuality and a side of big pistols (and the attendant gore) check out this series.
Side note: the book I finished reading on my 35th birthday.
Received as a free digital ARC via Netgalley and the publisher....more
A musical debut. Plays a little fast and loose with time frames, but plenty of beautiful description. The way the POVs shift from chapter to chapter cA musical debut. Plays a little fast and loose with time frames, but plenty of beautiful description. The way the POVs shift from chapter to chapter can make it hard to keep up with what happened previously, but you'll keep guessing who's good and who's bad. A little rushed at the end but the bad guy gets his due, and there's a little setup for more in this world....more
3.5 stars. Takes a while to get started, but ends with a flourish. There's a prophesy ready to be fulfilled, lady protagonists, somewhat tangled magic3.5 stars. Takes a while to get started, but ends with a flourish. There's a prophesy ready to be fulfilled, lady protagonists, somewhat tangled magic (still not quite sure of the rules), politics, and the greening of a world. I'm intrigued enough to want to read the next book....more