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review 2018-04-20 19:29
Warrior's Apprentice by Lois McMaster Bujold
The Warrior's Apprentice - Lois McMaster Bujold

This is an enjoyable science fiction caper. As a rule I don’t like sci-fi, so if it sounds like the sort of book that will push the right buttons for you, you should expect to like it better. Warrior’s Apprentice seemed like a good choice for me because its focus is on the characters rather than the technology, and it’s better-written than a lot of genre fiction. As these books tend to go, it is mostly lighthearted – with a plot driven by the protagonist’s prowess at social engineering, with which he digs himself deeper and deeper into a hole – but there’s war involved so there’s also some death and gruesomeness.

At age 17, Miles Vorkosigan flunks the imperial officer exam in a disability-related accident. But he soon finds a new adventure when he picks up a couple of desperate men in need of work, and a dated spaceship providing exactly the kind of work they need. The small crew tangles with a mercenary army and things escalate from there. It’s a fun and fast-moving adventure, with reasonably well-defined characters. Miles fits a lot of sci-fi and fantasy stereotypes: the boy who’s a native military genius; the physically disadvantaged, snarky guy who runs mental circles around everyone else; you’ve all seen this before. I think he’s a good example of the type though, perhaps because Bujold is writing less from her id than other authors with similar protagonists. Miles was born with his disadvantages, but he also has a lot of advantages, and the book doesn’t try to engineer sympathy for his circumstances in place of making him a sympathetic character. Some authors will have a character treated absurdly badly for no fault of his own and use that to justify anything, in place of giving the character a moral compass; Bujold doesn’t take that shortcut. Miles is also more explicitly defined as a disabled character than I’ve seen in spec fic before.

Overall, this was fun but I wasn’t over the moon about it, likely in part because this simply isn’t my genre of choice. I might read the sequel someday, though it’s hard to tell which book in this complicated series picks up where this one leaves off.

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text 2018-04-01 05:35
March Reading
The Lost Plot - Genevieve Cogman
Endurance: My Year in Space, a Lifetime of Discovery - Scott Kelly
Nelvana of the Northern Lights - Adrian Dingle
Medicine Walk - Richard Wagamese,Tom Stechschulte
The Prey of Gods - Nicky Drayden
Out Standing in the Field: A Memoir by Canada's First Female Infantry Officer - Sandra Perron
City of Light, City of Poison: Murder, Magic, and the First Police Chief of Paris - Holly Tucker
Ester and Ruzya: How My Grandmothers Survived Hitler's War and Stalin's Peace - Masha Gessen
Lavinia - Ursula K. Le Guin
Penric's Fox - Lois McMaster Bujold

Fourteen Books Read:

The Lost Plot - Genevieve Cogman 

Endurance: My Year in Space, a Lifetime of Discovery - Scott Kelly 

Nelvana of the Northern Lights - Adrian Dingle 

Medicine Walk - Richard Wagamese

Beyond Band of Brothers: The War Memoirs of Major Dick Winters - Dick Winters, Cole C. Kingseed 

The Prey of Gods - Nicky Drayden 

Out Standing in the Field: A Memoir by Canada's First Female Infantry Officer - Sandra Perron 

Place to Belong - Claire Boston 

City of Light, City of Poison: Murder, Magic, and the First Police Chief of Paris - Holly Tucker

Ester and Ruzya: How My Grandmothers Survived Hitler's War and Stalin's Peace - Masha Gessen 

The Girls in the Picture: A Novel - Melanie Benjamin (DNF)

Lavinia - Ursula K. Le Guin

The Covert Captain: Or, A Marriage of Equals - Jeannelle M. Ferreira (DNF)

Penric's Fox - Lois McMaster Bujold  

 

Women Writers Bingo: 10/25

(Personal take: Finish 25 books by new-to-me female authors in 2018*)

Finished in March: Nicky Drayden, Sandra Perron, Claire Boston, Holly Tucker, Masha Gessen**

 

Gender Balance:

Fiction: 7 by women, 2 by men, 0 by non-binary

Non fiction: 3 by women, 2 by men, 0 by non-binary

 

Format:

Paper books that I own: 1

Paper books from library: 4

E-books that I own: 2

E-books from library: 1

Audiobooks that I own: 5

Audiobooks from the library: 1

 

March Goals:

Read two Hugo nominated novels and all of the short stories.

 

*Women Writers Bingo Bonus Points:

5 of those books in translation: 1/5

5 of those books are non-fiction: 4/5 (Warmth of other Suns, Out Standing in the Field, City of Light, Ester and Ruzya)

 

Bingo Companion Round:

5 books by non-binary authors: 0/5

 

**As per this essay, I'm not completely sure about listing Masha Gessen under female authors, but it seems at the moment the best option.

 

Previous months:

January Reading

February Reading

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review 2018-03-30 00:46
One of the best so far.
Penric's Fox - Lois McMaster Bujold

I must say I'm enjoying the books set mid-series more than the adventures of older Pen and Des. Pen here is still figuring so much out. He's excited about the world, working out how he fits in, and generally pretty happy with how things are going, except he keeps getting dragged away from fishing trips to solve murder mysteries.

 

The actual murder mystery element was straight forward, but I liked how it explored the world, and the interaction between shamanism and sorcery was well done. I'd be happy to read a dozen low-stakes stories like this.

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review 2018-01-25 19:27
Storm of Desire - Bec McMaster

Book two in Bec McMaster’s new series set in Norway, where dragons thrive and where it is deadly to be royalty, especially when you are one dragon princess who fled her human husband several years ago and is now being hunted by that very husband turned dragon slayer. Ardis left to protect the man she loves from her mother the queen, but she left in such a fashion that has left Haakon thinking a dragon stole her away, at least until Rurik sets him straight. Now Haakon wants vengeance and answers from his lying and deceitful wife. What he doesn’t expect is for that wife to seek him out and ask him for help to get her to her brother Rurik. Along the way, he starts to realize that there is more to why Ardis left all those years ago and when he discovers the truth, he is even more certain that he will fight for her and so they set out to find peace and to escape her vindictive mother and uncle. I loved their story. It was well written, strong, entertaining, action packed and passionate. It definitely left me wanting more. Can’t wait for Malin and Sirius’ story. So exciting and this one was definitely better than book one and book one was good.

A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book and my comments here are my honest opinion.

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review 2018-01-24 20:56
Myths and Magic: An Epic Fantasy and Speculative Fiction Boxed Set @_TerriBruce
Myths and Magic: An Epic Fantasy and Speculative Fiction Boxed Set - K.N. Lee,Bec McMaster,Calinda B,Jayne Fury,Lori Titus,Jessica Cage,Jeffrey Bardwell,LC Ireland,Kara Jaynes,Jessica West,Alex H. Singh,Alledria Hurt,Caroline A. Gill,Mary Bernsen,CI Black,Terri Bruce

Myths and Magic has16 Science Fiction and Fantasy Novels by 16 New York Times, USA Today, and Award-winning and Break Out Authors!

 

With there being 16 stories by 16 authors, it will take me some time to work my way through them all, so I wanted to give you a taste of what is in store for you.

 

36643231

Goodreads  /  Amazon

 

MY REVIEW FOR IRENE BY TERRI BRUCE

 

Irene and the Witch – Afterlife Book 3.5

 

Irene is dead, stuck in Purgatory, trying to return to Earth as a guardian angel.

 

Her traveling companion, Andras, is a 12th century Spanish knight, dead since 1911. Most of the time he is invisible. It takes tremendous effort for him to appear in ghostly form. Makes me think of when Bobby was a ghost in the Supernatural TV show.

 

They have a psychic link.

 

Are there things worse than death? You betcha.

 

Ya want to know what it’s like being in a crystal ball? Ask Irene. Even dead, her impatient recklessness has her in trouble.

 

Can a ghost burn, feel pain, be tortured, die again?

 

Irene worked through her fear, knowing they would all die if she didn’t persevere, push through, overcome.

 

I have been loving this series ever since I read Hereafter. I knew it would be a different kind of ghost story and Terri Bruce’s imagination and creativity have taken me into a world both wondrous and frightening, and I am so happy I am only here as a visitor.

 

I voluntarily reviewed a free copy of Irene, which is included in the Myths and Magic: An Epic Fantasy and Speculative Fiction Boxed Set. I will be reviewing more of the books, so keep in touch and we’ll talk more.

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos   4 Stars

 

Read more here.

 

MY REVIEWS FOR TERRI BRUCE

 

Hereafter

 

 

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Source: www.fundinmental.com/myths-magic-epic-fantasy-speculative-fiction-boxed-set
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