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review 2020-06-11 22:07
Odd and the Frost Giants - Neil Gaiman

For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

A fantastic story, perfectly crafted.

This was a great short book to read after having read Gaiman's Norse Mythology. This story nicely incorporates some of the myths, characteristics, and other qualities present in Norse Mythology. This is essentially Norse Mythology for young readers, nicely strung throughout an entirely new adventure. I absolutely loved it.

Wonderful description. Simple, yet entertaining story.

I listened to the audiobook of this (the 5th or 6th book narrated by Gaiman that I've listened to). I really enjoy listening to Gaiman's narration. He does a wonderful job reading his stories and it is always a joy to listen to them.

Great read. One of my favorites by Gaiman.

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review 2020-04-13 22:26
A Plague of Giants by Kevin Hearne
A Plague of Giants - Kevin Hearne

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I ended up really enjoying this book. I have had the book for a while but was a bit intimidated by its size. Since I am spending almost all of my time at home with the current health crisis, I decided that this was the perfect time to finally tackle this story. This is a very different book than Kevin Hearne's Iron Druid Chronicles and I enjoyed seeing him take on high fantasy. It did feel like a very dense story and I felt like it took me longer to read than a lighter story of the same length might have. I had a good time with the book in the end.

I liked the way the story came together. There are a lot of points of view in this book but they are all shared through the tales from a bard. The bard, Fintan, takes on the persona of each individual as he shares their story. I will admit that it was a lot to keep track of at the start of the book but as I continued to read, I got to know each character and started looking forward to learning more of their story. I did like the way that all of the different points of view came together to tell a story that stretched across more than one group of people.

This story is set in a very interesting world. We actually get the opportunity to see more than one realm in this story and I found it interesting to see what each group shared and how they differed. The different lands had individuals with special abilities. Those abilities changed from place to place but each required anyone seeking the power, or kenning, to risk their lives. If they survived, they would be blessed with a special ability. Each land had its own kennings which were often closely related to the terrain in which they lived.

I found this book to be quite exciting at times. There was quite a bit of action spread throughout the story. I also enjoyed getting the chance to see the political workings of each of the groups. I found the personal journeys of some of the characters to be the highlight of the book. I really wanted to see things work out for these characters as they faced incredibly difficult challenges.

I would recommend this book to fans of high fantasy. This book transported me to a world of unique people with extraordinary abilities. I grew to care for many of the characters as they worked to keep their people safe. I cannot wait to read more of this exciting series!

I received a digital review copy of this book from Random House Publishing - Del Rey via NetGalley.

Initial Thoughts
I am so glad that I finally got around to read this book. It is very different from The Iron Druid Chronicles and I enjoyed getting to see this author tackle a bit of more serious fantasy. This story is told through the stories shared by a bard. This bard takes on the persona of each individual as he shares their story. There are a lot of different points of view to juggle in this story and I have to admit that it was slow going for me at the start. Once I felt a little more settled in this world and knew each character a little better, I found that I was enjoying the story a lot more. I did enjoy the magic and world-building in this book and loved the way everything came together in the end. I do look forward to reading the next book in the series very soon.

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review 2020-01-09 00:51
Good Book about shires
Breed of Giants - Joyce Stranger

I discovered this book because one of the people I follow (Clara, I believe) has it shelved so I noticed it.

 

Stranger's book is about a change in British lie as the modern world encroaches on the rural areas. The focus is mainly on the Shire breeder Josh, but there is enough about other members of the village that Stranger paints a lovely picture. And modern life/city dwellers aren't painted with a board brush either, as showcased by the new school teacher.

It is a true read, not cute and fluffy animals, but unlike some books that are supposedly about animals and only use the death of the animal to install a lesson or make someone cry, Stranger's death can be bleak but they feel nature, so they hurt a bit less. It's like watching a BBC Earth show with less wild animals.

I will be reading more by this author.

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text 2019-07-28 17:31
Suggestions for a $10.00 booklikes-opoly book?
Fall of Giants - Ken Follett
The Luminaries - Eleanor Catton
Iberia - James A. Michener,Robert Vavra
The Priory of the Orange Tree - Samantha Shannon

I am looking for suggestions for an epic, more than 800 pages, book to read for booklikes-opoly! This might be last book - and I'm playing my cat. So far, I've come up with:

 

 

Fall of Giants by Ken Follett: It is 1911. The Coronation Day of King George V. The Williams, a Welsh coal-mining family is linked by romance and enmity to the Fitzherberts, aristocratic coal-mine owners. Lady Maud Fitzherbert falls in love with Walter von Ulrich, a spy at the German Embassy in London. Their destiny is entangled with that of an ambitious young aide to U.S. President Woodrow Wilson and to two orphaned Russian brothers, whose plans to emigrate to America fall foul of war, conscription and revolution. In a plot of unfolding drama and intriguing complexity, "Fall Of Giants" moves seamlessly from Washington to St Petersburg, from the dirt and danger of a coal mine to the glittering chandeliers of a palace, from the corridors of power to the bedrooms of the mighty. 

 

The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton: It is 1866, and young Walter Moody has come to make his fortune upon the New Zealand goldfields. On the stormy night of his arrival, he stumbles across a tense gathering of twelve local men who have met in secret to discuss a series of unexplained events: A wealthy man has vanished, a prostitute has tried to end her life, and an enormous fortune has been discovered in the home of a luckless drunk. Moody is soon drawn into the mystery: a network of fates and fortunes that is as complex and exquisitely ornate as the night sky. Richly evoking a mid-nineteenth-century world of shipping, banking, and gold rush boom and bust, The Luminaries is a brilliantly constructed, fiendishly clever ghost story and a gripping page-turner. 

 

 

Iberia by James Michener: Here, in the fresh, vivid prose that is James Michener's trademark, is the real Spain as he experiences it. He not only reveals the celebrated Spain of bullfights and warror kings, painters and processions, cathedrals and olive orchards; he also shares the intimate, often hidden Spain he has come to know, where toiling peasants and their honest food, the salt of the shores and the oranges of the inland fields, the congeniality of living souls and the dark weight of history conspire to create a wild, contradictory, passionately beautiful land, the mystery called Iberia.

 

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon: The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction—but assassins are getting closer to her door.

Ead Duryan is an outsider at court. Though she has risen to the position of lady-in-waiting, she is loyal to a hidden society of mages. Ead keeps a watchful eye on Sabran, secretly protecting her with forbidden magic.

Across the dark sea, Tané has trained all her life to be a dragonrider, but is forced to make a choice that could see her life unravel.

Meanwhile, the divided East and West refuse to parley, and forces of chaos are rising from their sleep.

 

Any other brilliant ideas for a novel that is more than 800 pages? Has anyone read these four, and can you recommend/not recommend? For now, I am going to go finish Sarum and check back when I'm ready to select the next book!

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review 2019-06-24 13:18
Rhinoceros Giants: The Paleobiology of Indricotheres by: Donald R. Prothero
Rhinoceros Giants: The Paleobiology of Indricotheres - Donald R. Prothero

TITLE:  Rhinoceros Giants: The Paleobiology of Indricotheres

 

AUTHOR:  Donald R. Prothero

 

DATE PUBLISHED:  2013

 

FORMAT:  HARDCOVER

 

ISBN-13:  9780253008190 

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DESCRIPTION:

"A book for everyone fascinated by the huge beasts that once roamed the earth, Rhinoceros Giants: The Paleobiology of the Indricotheres introduces a prime candidate for the largest land mammal that ever lived--the giant hornless rhinoceros, Indricotherium. These massive animals lived in Asia and Eurasia for more than 14 million years, about 37 to 23 million years ago. They had skulls 6 feet long, stood 22 feet high at the shoulder, and were nearly twice as heavy as the largest elephant ever recorded, tipping the scales at 44,100 pounds. Fortunately, the big brutes were vegetarians, although they must have made predators think twice before trying to bring them down. In this book for lovers of ancient creatures great and small, Donald R. Prothero tells their story, from their discovery by paleontologists just a century ago to the latest research on how they lived and died, with some interesting side trips along the way."

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REVIEW:

 

Interesting and thorough overview of ancient rhinoceroses, starting from the biographies of all the fossil hunters who dug up ancient rhino bones to rhino evolution, location, habitat, and speculation of their eventual demise. I found the 3 chapters dealing with the fossil hunter biography tedious, but the rhino portions of the book were interesting, if a bit bland. Sketches and an extensive bibliography are present.

 

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