Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Review: Wolf Moon

Wolf Moon Wolf Moon by Ian McDonald
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received an eARC from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Wow. I really do love the near-future universe that Ian McDonald has set up with Lady Luna. So vivid and realistic, yet one thing he really specializes in is flawed characters. I've found that I even care about the ones I don't much like on a personal level.

This does have a middle-book feel, which does make it not quite as good as the first one, but it is still very good on its own too. And what a setup for the third it's leaving us with!

I think this is going to be a great series to reread once it's all available. I can see that there are lots of small nuances that will be more interesting as the whole picture is observed rather than this one chapter. I'll definitely have the third book on my highly anticipated radar.

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Friday, February 17, 2017

Review: A Darker Shade of Magic

A Darker Shade of Magic A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a re-listen. It took me forever at 1.5 speed and I got rather bored. But it's still a decent story that just worked better the first time through. Honestly, the 4 stars I gave it the first time should have been around the 3.5 range, so this rating will average that out for me.

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Saturday, February 11, 2017

Review: Words of Radiance

Words of Radiance Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow. Now that is why I love to read. This very book captures exactly what I love about the fantasy genre. Wow...

Lame review for a fantastic book. Cannot wait for the next one!

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Monday, February 6, 2017

Review: The Policewoman

The Policewoman The Policewoman by Justin W.M. Roberts
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a free copy of this ebook from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Well, then. Just when I thought I was getting an interesting and detailed insight into a possible coalition of international police and military units working together against a drug cartel, a very human story took root and hooked me right in.

The was some info-dumping, particularly early on. There was a lot of detail and a lot, I mean a lot, of acronyms. But these things were done well, in that at just the moment when I wanted to know what something was or what an acronym stood for, there it was. I didn't have to go look it up, so that was convenient.

But then out of nowhere I realized I was attached to these characters and cared what happened to them. By the ending, I was swiping my e-reader as quickly as I could scan the page with my eyes. And wow....these action sequences are pretty amazing...

All said, I won't say much. I'm being intentionally vague on dropping plot points, as I wouldn't want to give anything away. There's plenty of unexpected here, let's say. But I will say that Roberts can spin a tale and get the reader to really feel for his characters...

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Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Review: Martians Abroad

Martians Abroad Martians Abroad by Carrie Vaughn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received an eARC of this novel from the publisher though NetGalley.

I love Carrie Vaughn’s books, and I jumped at the opportunity to read this book early. As with her Kitty Norville stories, Vaughn gives us a first-person narrative with a very comfortable and conversational tone. You can’t help but love her protagonists, in this case a teenage Martian girl named Polly Newton.

Polly learns that she’s been chosen to attend the Galileo Academy on Earth, and she’s not too happy about it. She’s perfectly content at her home of Colony One, on Mars. She’s going with her twin brother Charles, and that only makes it worse because he’s so agreeable to the proposition.
This really felt like a YA take on The Expanse, that great series by Vaughn’s friend(s) James S.A. Corey. It doesn’t have the gritty feel of that other universe, but it does seem to have a similar society and political structure. That’s certainly not a complaint, but I do wonder if there was any influence here.

My only real criticism of the book is that it ended rather abruptly. Not cliffhangery abrupt, as it had a satisfying ending, but I do feel it could have been fleshed out a little more and maybe expanded by 50 pages or so without losing anything. I did get the feeling that we’ll be seeing a series here eventually, and if so I’ll definitely be checking in on Polly Newton again.

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Saturday, December 31, 2016

Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts 1 & 2

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts 1 & 2 Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts 1 & 2 by John Tiffany
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

3.5 stars, rounding up because I found it to be such a page-turner down because it just isn't up to the same quality as the first couple of HP books.

I do feel strange with this book lined up on my shelves with 4 stars, right along with the first few HP books. Those were superior to this in every way, but I try to rate each book on its own rather than in comparison to other books in its series. Still, I might tweak it down to 3 eventually-edit: done!. What I probably should do is re-read the main series and tweak them up.

There really isn't much to say about this that hasn't been said already. I did enjoy the hell out of it. I flew through the Acts and really enjoyed the experience. No, it wasn't perfect. It was flawed in many ways. But on pure enjoyment alone, I had to give it thumbs up.

I'd really like to see the play and see how it comes across live.

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Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Review: Age of Myth

Age of Myth Age of Myth by Michael J. Sullivan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was provided an ebook copy of this novel from the publisher through NetGalley

But then I bought a first edition hardcover too :)

Well, that took me a long time to finish, didn't it? You'd think that reflects on the book, right? Except, not this time. I had my reasons.

First, this was a re-read. Yes, though it was a new book I started, it was my second pass through this particular story. As stated in my initial review of the novel I was selected to be a beta reader nearly two years ago. This time through, I was intentionally going at a slower, more leisurely pace. I didn't have to stop after every chapter and submit a survey, and I didn't have to read it with a critical eye. I got to savor and enjoy...

And then, since I was so leisurely about it, other stuff got jumped ahead in priority. I had school and work deadlines, and other reading commitments. That was okay. In between, I still had this book to savor.

One of those commitments turned out to be another beta read, for the sequel, Age of Swords, reviewed here. Well, I wasn't done with this one yet, but had a limited time to read the new beta version of book 2. What do I do? Set this aside and jump in with all fours.

So now I got back to it, having to rewind the events in my mind to get me back to where I left off. And now I've finished it again.

And...I loved it as much (or more) than the first time. There has not been a lot changed to the final product. It just felt cleaned up a lot from the edits. Such a joy to read this story, and interesting with my knowledge of book 2 for that matter.

Another thing this shows is that this book stands the test of revisiting. So many books don't seem as great the second time through. And others are just as fine on subsequent readings. This one, thankfully, is one of the latter....

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