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review 2019-07-16 03:52
The Tombs of Atuan (Earthsea Cycle #2) (Audiobook)
The Tombs of Atuan - Ursula K. Le Guin,Rob Inglis

This was a great improvement over The Wizard of Earthsea. Since it wasn't trying to set up the entire universe and the rules in it, there was much less info dumping and less meandering. Le Guin narrowed in on the titular plot, following along with a young priestess name Arha (which sounded like Aha in the audio, lol) and the ancient underground vaults she's in charge of. The use of language here is lush and vivid, even more impressive that so much of it takes place in complete darkness. 

 

This follows up on some things set up in the first book, though I won't go into details, and adds a new dimension to it as we get to see another part of this world. The legend of the Priestess of Atuan is neat and the tombs sufficiently creepy. I thought the climax was a little too pat, though.

 

Rob Inglis continues to be a great voice in fantasy narration, and I found that listening to him at 1.4x was just right. Of course, every time I listen to one of these, I want to relisten to The Lord of the Rings. :D

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review 2019-07-16 02:05
FORTUNA SWORN BY K.J. SUTTON
Fortuna Sworn - Kelsey Sutton

AHHHH I have so many burning questions! I can definitely say Fortuna Sworn will leave you wanting more in a wonderful (MADDENING) way.

 

I really enjoyed Fortuna and her journey into the world of the Fae. She was a good leading lady, strong, smart, audacious and stubborn as all get out. My kinda gal! It's everyone else I'm so unsure of! Every time I thought I had one of them figured out I was thrown for a loop and the story went in another direction I wasn't expecting. The men in Fortuna's life are quite puzzling. I was hoping to get a little better of an understanding of at least a few of them by the end but alas I will have to wait until the next book.

 

The pace is pretty consistently steady which makes for a quicker read. I thought the Fae politics were brilliant! The trials were very interesting but I did feel like the end of them was rather anticlimactic, which was surprising as they seemed to start of really strong.

You'll find many familiar mythical beings in this one, and even a few unique ones! I liked that the author really made the familiar ones her own though. With some subtle and some larger tweaks.


All in all an enchanting start to a magical tale. I'm looking forward to more...and really figuring out these mysterious men!

 

I received an ARC of this book from the author and this is my honest review.

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review 2019-07-15 20:52
A Study in Sable / Mercedes Lackey
A Study in Sable: An Elemental Masters Novel - Mercedes Lackey

Psychic Nan Killian and Medium Sarah Lyon-White—along with their clever birds, the raven Neville and the parrot Grey—have been agents of Lord Alderscroft, the Elemental Fire Master known as the Wizard of London, since leaving school. Now, Lord Alderscroft assigns them another commission: to work with the famous man living at 221 Baker Street—but not the one in flat B. They are to assist the man living in flat C. Dr. John Watson and his wife Mary, themselves Elemental Masters of Water and Air, take the occult cases John’s more famous friend disdains, and they will need every skill the girls and their birds can muster!

Nan and Sarah’s first task: to confront and eliminate the mysterious and deadly entity that nearly killed them as children: the infamous Haunt of Number 10 Berkeley Square. But the next task divides the girls for the first time since they were children. A German opera star begs Sarah for help, seeking a Medium’s aid against not just a single spirit, but a multitude. As Sarah becomes more deeply entwined with the Prima Donna, Nan continues to assist John and Mary Watson alone, only to discover that Sarah’s case is far more sinister than it seems. It threatens to destroy not only a lifelong friendship, but much, much more.
 

 

***2019 The Summer of Sherlock*** 

This is one of the weirder tributes to Sherlock Holmes that I have read. I really enjoyed Lackey’s The Last Herald Mage series and was hoping that I could jump into this Elemental Masters series at book number 11 without any problems. It is easy enough to get the hang of this world, but I couldn’t help but think that Mr. Holmes and John & Mary Watson could have been swapped out for other characters without hurting the narrative one bit. I am not sure why the author used them, but she must be a fan.

This is mostly a paranormal adventure story, not something that one would expect to find Sherlock Holmes at all interested in. (In fairness, he isn’t interested at first and only gets drawn in close to the end). It’s not a particularly complex story and is mostly about the ghost-contacting and psychical skills of the two main characters, Sarah and Nan. They each have what I would call a familiar, an African Grey Parrot and a Raven. The birds were an interesting touch, and made more sense than the horse-shaped Companions of The Last Herald Mage series. 

I already have the next book, A Scandal in Battersea, signed out of the library, so I will probably read it, but I wouldn’t have been ready to search for it if it wasn’t readily available. Not the greatest Holmes pastiche, but unlikely to the worst either. Sherlock Holmes aficionados should stay well away, this is for paranormal fantasy readers!

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review 2019-07-15 20:24
Broken Homes by Ben Aaronovitch
Broken Homes - Ben Aaronovitch

Broken Homes takes our special task force members into the 1960's concrete architecture of London, putting Peter and Leslie 20 plus stories up doing undercover work to find "The Faceless Man".  The architect of this particular building turns out to be a suspected magician that fled Germany before WWII and designed this building with a special feature that nobody knew about. 

 

Aaronovitch does a lot of good research for his books so he can tackle his subjects and themes of his books with strong knowledge.  All I can say without spoilers is that this book leaves you like a batter facing that aging pitcher that puts a 100+ fastball over the plate and the batter just watches it with his mouth wide open.  Not that slow curveball but a fastball that just makes you wonder where that came from.  Really a great ending and a what will surely be a great subject for the 5th book, Foxglove Summer,

 

I rate this 4 out of 5 stars.

 

Broken Homes by Ben Aaronovitch,

Book 4 of the Peter Grant (Rivers of London) Series

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2019-07-15 17:54
Review: Sophia, Princess of Beasts by Emily Raymond

 

A princess who has lost her mother and father finds herself in a terrifying world that urgently needs a queen.

Sophia is smart, beautiful, and accomplished, a beloved princess devoted to the people and to reading books. The kingdom is hers, until she is plunged into a nightmarish realm populated by the awful beasts she read about as a child.

The beasts are real. And so is the great army marching on her castle. The people look to Sophia for protection. They will all perish unless she can unlock an ancient secret as profound as life and death itself.

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