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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-01-17 07:36
War Robot-Manning Persons, Fighting Dukes, and Bioengineered Religious Soldiers — A Review of The Warriors Anthology Edited by G. R. R. Martin
Warriors - George R. R. Martin (Editor), Gardner Dozois (Editor)


Originally published at midureads.wordpress.com on January 17, 2018.



The King of Norway by Cecelia Holland


3 Stars

A Viking adventure with all the gore and blood that you could ask for. If only I could have been made to care for the characters…


Forever Bound by Joe Haldeman


3 Stars

Soldiers learning to maneuver robots in the war have to do as part of a hive mind. Pretty soon, real life cannot compare with the virtual one that they lead with the other members of the hive.


The Triumph by Megan Lindholm/Robin Hobb



4 Stars

A retelling of the myth of Marcus Atilius Regulus, a Roman Consul. In the story, he is tortured by Carthaginians before his death. Everything in the story is actually setting up the reader for the way he dies.


Clean Slate by Lawrence Block


3 Stars

An abused child grows up into a sociopath. You can guess what happens next!


And Ministers of Grace by Tad Williams


3 Stars

It isn’t that bioengineered soldiers haven’t been done before. Here though the author makes it all about religion.


Soldierin’ by Joe R. Lansdale


4 Stars

A black man joins the army in the eradication of Native Americans. The story remains localized and makes no claims about the big picture.


Dirae by Peter S. Beagle


3 Stars

A coma patient becomes an avenging spirit with a special soft place in her heart for kids.


The Custom of the Army by Diana Gabaldon


4 Stars

I have been wondering if I would like Gabaldon’s writing and I wonder no more. This story is based on a skirmish between the French and English soldiers on Canadian soil.


Seven Years from Home by Naomi Novik


4 Stars

Nature and “people” come together in this story to save the land. I liked this one because plants featured in it.


The Eagle and the Rabbit by Steven Saylor


3 Stars

POVs change as we see Carthage fall and a Roman general plays mind games with the Carthaginians he will be selling off to slavery.


The Pit by James Clemens/James Rollins


4 Stars

Canine gladiators and sibling love made this story one of my faves!


Out of the Dark by David Weber


4 Stars

An alien race tries to take over the planet and humans band together to stop that from happening. They also have help from the unlikeliest of sources.



The Girls from Avenger by Carrie Vaughn


3 Stars

Women have faced discrimination whenever they have dared to step into a profession. Flying planes during a war isn’t any different.


Ancient Ways by S. M. Stirling



4 Stars

A mercenary is hired to rescue a princess who didn’t really need to be rescued. The princess was a pleasant surprise.


Ninieslando by Howard Waldrop


3 Stars

A utopian dream to unite the world while a war goes on outside. Didn’t take too long for it to unravel.


Recidivist by Gardner Dozois


4 Stars

AIs rule the world. Humans don’t stand a chance against them yet they won’t give up fighting back or remembering how life used to be.



My Name is Legion by David Morrell


3 Stars

Sometimes, the enemy on the other side of the border is your friend. In this story, soldiers who trained together are forced to fight against each other when France daren’t go against Germany.


Defenders of the Frontier by Robert Silverberg


3 Stars

Soldiers have been manning an entry point into their empire for years now. No reinforcements have arrived for some time. The absence of enemies starts to make them think. Does the empire they have been defending even exist anymore?


The Scroll by David Ball


3 Stars

A bully of an emperor keeps an architect alive just to torture him. The ending was a letdown.


The Mystery Knight: A Tale of the Seven Kingdoms by George R. R. Martin


3 Stars

A tale of Egg, the squire who isn’t a squire, and the knight he serves.


I’d say, you won’t be missing much if you didn’t read this anthology. But that’s just me…

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review 2017-12-31 10:19
#83 - Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
Outlander - Diana Gabaldon

I’d been wanting to read this book for ages and I’ve had it on my shelves for more than a year. I finally decided to read this monster and it took me an entire month to do it. It was really a great and interesting read nonetheless.


I loved the historical references in this book and the differences between how Claire and Jamie see the world; they come from completely different times. It was interesting to see Jamie changing his opinions about things thanks to Claire, but also the other way around. We often think we have evolved from our ancestors but we have many things to learn from them still. I’m not particularly fond of time travel but it was not that important in the book (weel, it’s the main theme of the book but it is not too dominating) (And I just noticed I wrote weel instead of well, which is my next topic about the book).


I took me ages to read it because it’s huge, but also because I was not used to Scottish language. I’m not a native English speaker, my first language being French, so I really had some difficulty understanding the dialogues at first. But then I got used to it and I was so invested in the book that I started to write words the way they are written in Outlander (I mainly use English at work). It was a really fun experience!


I did not particularly like the romance between Claire and Jamie at first; I thought it was going way too fast. But then I found that their relationship (and not only the sexy times) was really developing into something strong and it was interesting to read about it (the sexy times were interesting as well).


I’m not going to develop too much because this book is way too long and too full of interesting developments and I don’t have a lot of time (I really want to post this before the New Year). In brief, I enjoyed how realistic this book was, with a lot of humor and also a lot of not so funny events. I definitely recommend it.

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review 2017-11-05 22:36
Review of Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon
Dragonfly in Amber - Diana Gabaldon

The last two hundred pages of this book saved it from being a two star read for me.  I know this book and this series has incredibly high ratings, but I am not feeling it after two books.  This novel was a nine hundred page book that could have told the story in less than half of that.  There were far too many stretches in the book that simply dragged and did not add very much to the story.  I enjoyed the history and the writing is solid, but it just took too long to get to the best parts of the plot.  

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review 2017-07-21 16:57
Seven Stones to Stand or Fall
Seven Stones to Stand or Fall: A Collection of Outlander Short Stories - Diana Gabaldon

A few of these I've read already, so I'll be lazy and link to those reviews. ;)


The Custom of the Army - 2 stars



The Space Between - no rating


I didn't bother getting this when it was originally released solo and I'm glad I didn't. I don't have much interest in Joan, and even less interest in the Comte St. Germain, nor did I ever once wonder what happened to the guy or what his backstory was. So this was one long bore and I skimmed a lot of it to get to the important plot points. It was nice to see Mother Hildegard, but her role here is pretty much just cameo and doesn't make up for the rest.


A Plague of Zombies - 4 stars



A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows - 5 stars

(No review for this one though. Sounds like a good reason for a reread.)


And reread I did and loved it just as much as the first time. Roger's father, Jerry MacKenzie, is unexpectedly launched back in time when his plane crash lands, and he goes through hell and back to get back to his time and his family. We get a few scenes of what's going on with Marjorie and baby Roger, but most of this is focused on Jerry. It's beautifully and heartbreakingly written, because if you've read the Outlander books you already know what everyone believes to have happened.


Virgins - 3 stars


Jamie and Ian are mercenaries in France. There's a lot of anti-Semantism in this one, as Gabaldon doesn't shy away from the prejudices of the time, and even our protags are guilty of it. The Jewish characters themselves though do not appear - at least to me - to be caricatures or stereotypes. Some of the Scottisms seemed strange - Ian's constantly referring to Jamie as a "wean" - I didn't think their age difference was all that great, so it felt odd. There's also this whole subplot with one of the other mercenaries who makes Gregor Clegane look like a fluffy kitty.


A Fugitive Green - 4 stars


Minnie and Hal's first meeting! I was intrigued by the backstory we got about Minnie in The Scottish Prisoner, so getting to see a more detailed telling of it was great. Minnie's wonderful and resourceful, and we even get a brief (too brief, I thought) subplot of Minnie's mom and her quest to find her. That was rather melodramatic - the mom's backstory that is - and I kept feeling like there was something more there going on than we heard

because nuns getting pregnant is not exactly unheard of so why exactly did Minnie's mom go mad because of it?

(spoiler show)


The ending also felt a bit rushed, so I hope this isn't the last exploration we get into these characters' backstories.


Besieged - 4 stars


Man, John can't even leave an assignment without getting pulled into a war. :P This is an interesting follow up to A Plague of Zombies, as John's still temporary military governor of Jamaica and trying his darnedest to resign that post. Enter his stepfather with some harrowing news. Loved seeing Tom Byrd again, and it was neat to see how Rodrigo is dealing after being zombified. There's your ingrained racism of the time, what with the slavery and all. I've never liked John's pragmatic view of slavery, but it is what it is, I guess? At least here, that pragmatism is a help to them.

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review 2017-07-03 00:00
Virgins: An Outlander Novella (Kindle Single)
Virgins: An Outlander Novella (Kindle Single) - Diana Gabaldon I love JAMMF, and I love a good bromance. This short has both. It's a look at Jamie and Ian before everything that has happened in the Outlander universe. Of course the author throws in plenty of historical events to keep things interesting also.
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