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text 2017-08-17 17:23
Bookclubs on Booklikes -- some September group reads that fit Halloween BINGO 2017 squares
The Germanicus Mosaic - Rosemary Rowe
Dhalgren - Samuel R. Delany
See How They Run - Ally Carter
The Tar-Aiym Krang (Pip & Flinx Adventures, #1) - Alan Dean Foster

Just from the bookclubs I've joined, some September group reads that could also work for Halloweeen BINGO 2017 squares.

 

 ? - whatever classic mystery gets selected (nominations currently underway here) for the Booklikes Bookish BINGO Club.

 

 The Germanicus Mosaic - Rosemary Rowe  for the More Historical than Fiction bookclub.

 

 Dhalgren - Samuel R. Delany (spot on for magical realism and other squares) for the Virtual Speculation bookclub.

 

 See How They Run - Ally Carter  for the YA BOOK CLUB.

 

 The Tar-Aiym Krang - Alan Dean Foster  for the Adventures with Pip & Flinx book club.

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review 2017-01-18 16:22
Relics - The Sucker's Tale
Relics - Pip Vaughan-Hughes

England, 1235 (then Iceland, Greenland, France, Italy and the Greek islands)

 

The Murder

There was a ghastly whistling sound, and then the deacon's blood burst from his neck in a thick roiling jet that hit me full in the chest. I staggered back, burning liquid in my eyes, in my hair, my mouth, running down inside my habit. There was a full-bodied reek of salt and iron and I gagged, spinning away in my soaking robes, the hot gore seething against my skin as it trickled down my back, under my arms and into the hair between my legs. The dead man in Sir Hugh's arms whistled once more, an empty squeak that ended in a forlorn burble. I could see, as if through a red gauze, Sir Hugh still holding the deacon under the chin so that the weight of the corpse dragged its slashed throat apart into a vast wound in which secret things were revealed, white, yellow, red, like the inlaid patterns in the altar steps. I thought I saw the flap between head and torso stretch like dough in a baker's hands, then I was running down the nave half-blind, blood squelching between my toes at every step. Behind me I could hear Sir Hugh's voice echoing in the cavernous shadows. He was laughing, a great, warm laugh full of ease and pleasure. 'Stop,' he called, happily. 'Come back, Petroc! What a mess you've made! What on earth made you do such a thing?'

 

This novel could have been titled "The Sucker's Tale".

 

When the book opens, a villainous ex-Templar now employed as a bishop's steward (which, here at least, means minder/enforcer) is looking for someone to be the patsy. He finds one in the innocent and naive young student priest, Brother Petroc.

 

Next thing we know, Petroc is on the run accused of committing a horrifying murder. Everywhere he turns he finds people either already involved in the scheme or swiftly drawn into it by his presence.

 

Yet Petroc proves, under pressure, to be less of a sucker tham the one-time Templar Sir Hugh de Kervezy had anticipated.

 

He escapes on board a ship, and Sir Hugh is obliged to pursue him across the cold, dark North Atlantic (the Sea of Darkness) then back and down to the Mediterranean and eventually to the Isles of Greece, where the final confrontation between them occurs.

 

It is not just a page-turner though, it is well set in its period and also often made me stop and think. Like when Petroc's more streetwise friend and fellow-student observes that the bishop "is no priest, he's a lord, and a rich one. Interests, brother. They need to be protected. By people like the steward."

 

Or speaking of Greenland: "A sad place, too near the world's edge for people to settle comfortably. In times past it was safe and green, but this age of the world is turning cold, and they freeze, little by little, year by year. [...] The chill is creeping over the land ..." We are usually informed that the name "Greenland" was Lief Ericsson's way of conning people into going there as settlers. But what if that were not so? That Greenland did use to be green ... Climate change I believe in, of course. I'm just not so sure about global warming ...

 

But back to the book. Yes, it's a great read. The copy I have here in front of me has been on my bookshelf for years, but I notice second-hand copies are going cheap, and it is now also available on Kindle.

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review 2016-10-27 17:15
Where it All Began: For Love of Mother-Not | Review
For Love of Mother-Not: A Pip & Flinx Adventure - Alan Dean Foster,Stefan Rudnicki,Audible Studios

An interesting YA prequel to a long running (though now complete) NA SF series.

 

He was just a freckle-faced, red-headed kid with green eyes and a strangely compelling stare when Mather Mastiff first saw him an the auctioneer's block. One hundred credits and he was hers.

 

For years the old woman was his only family. She loved him, fed him, taught him everything she knew - even let him keep the deadly flying snake he called Pip.Then Mother Mastiff mysteriously disappeared and Flinx took Pip to tail her kidnappers. Across the forests and swamps of the winged world called Moth, their only weapons were Pip's venom . . . and Flinx's unusual Talents.

 

Buy Now | +Goodreads

Whispersync Deal Alert*: Kindle + Audible = $6.48 (must purchase Kindle first, prices may change)

Disclosure: GMB uses affiliate links, clicking and making a purchase may result in a small commission for me.


BOOK DETAILS:

For Love of Mother-Not by Alan Dean Foster, read by Stefan Rudnicki, published by Audible Studios (2009) / Length: 8 hrs 15 min

 

SERIES INFO:

This is (chronologically) Book #1 of 14 in the completed "Pip & Flinx" series, all of which are available on audio. If you prefer to read in publication order, it is #5.

 

SUMMARY:

This is probably my favorite of the Pip & Flinx adventures that I have read (I am currently a little over half way through the series.)

 

CHARACTERS:

Flinx: His ethics aren't what I would consider acceptable, specifically regarding other people's property. But considering his lack of true parental guidance, I guess it's to be expected. He is such a complex yet essentially likable character though.

 

Mother Mastiff: Very interesting as a fictional character, but not someone I would entrust with an actual child. She does really love him, and makes some unselfish decisions to try and protect him.

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review 2016-08-07 04:57
Cute, Cuddly, Captivating story
Pip Bartlett's Guide to Magical Creatures - Maggie Stiefvater,Jackson Pearce

 

 

 

Pip Bartlett can talk to magical creatures, and they talk back to her. Unfortunately, no one believes her. After a magical creature incident at her school, her parents decide she should spend the summer with her aunt. Aunt Emma is a veterinarian for magical creatures, so Pip isn't too disappointed about going.

 

 

 

Pip is 9 years old and her favorite book is a guide to magical creatures. Here is a picture of Pip from the book:

 

 

 

Along with the picture of Pip, throughout the book, there are pictures of different magical creatures which will really appeal to kids. Other characters in the book include Tomas, Pip's friend who is allergic to everything and a bit of a hypochondriac; Regent Maximus, a neurotic unicorn who is afraid of everything; Bubbles, a grouchy Miniature Silky Griffin; and a bunch of Fuzzles who are constantly setting things on fire.

 

 

 

 

Pip is determined to find out why the Fuzzles are suddenly appearing in town before Mrs. Dreadbotch from the Supernatural/Magical Animal Care, Keeping, and Education Department (S.M.A.C.K.E.D.) finds a way to get rid of them permanently.

 

This is a Grade 3-5 Sunshine State nominated book. I predict the kids will love this one. :) I read it in a couple of hours and really liked it.

 

Recommended to:

Grades 3-5, readers who like fantasy, adventurous girls, and cuddly creatures.

 

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review 2016-07-17 14:32
Book Review: The Ghost Rebellion
The Ghost Rebellion - Pip Ballantine,Tee Morris

Okay. I have to stop and bring my thoughts together. There is, once again, much we learn here as our Agents fight the best battle they can.

We follow two missions through this book. First and foremost in many eyes is what Wellington Books and Eliza Braun are up against. Following the trail of the isotope Blackwell created for in Dr. Jeckyll, Wellington Books and Eliza Braun find themselves in India where a person Jeckyll had been in contact with was heading.

Books and Eliza are trying to track down all on the list that are working with Dr. Jekyll. It's going a bit...rough. They are trying to clean up Dr. Jekyll's work and mess of super-enhanced people who go a bit mad and grow in size along with other abilities. This leads them to where one of Dr. Jekyll's patients had worked, and shared secrets with military in India. Not only are the medicines that Jekyll experiment with an issue, but there are experimental equipment that is now in the hands of the Ghost Rebellion forces. And this brings a new battle for Wellington and Eliza to battle, trying to get to Jekyll.

But reinforcements come! Well, one assassin that is, and the agents that remain in India. Yes, you guessed it by the mention of assassin. We get to see Sophia again. I really do love this woman, and seeing her personality clash with Eliza's is fun. I believe we will see her more in the last book to come as well - you'll come to the same conclusion in the end.

The second mission we follow is with Bruce and Brandon. They are sent to the arctic cold winter of Russia to find and obtain a Firebird feather to help cure the queen after the effects of Dr. Jekyll's serum in the last book. I have enjoyed the bold Bruce in previous books, but here I have started to see another side to him. Bruce seems to have a softer side here, a genuine person.

We get to see inside the House of Usher meetings too! And they are behind so much that Books has unknowingly stopped. Oh and a bit more on our dear Wellington too. There are major points shared with us that I just can't share because I don't want to spoil the book for you.

While the remaining agents are on their missions we see them deal with the great losses, and losses of those that were dear friends as well. There are connections to those we knew and the losses are still fresh in many hearts. The Ministry is reforming after the great losses felt preciously. It's a lot of work, and being in the state The Ministry is, anything can happen...

I want to add, I love that we have a couple that still function and interact as individuals paired together. They are who they are and love each other for that reason. Eliza and Wellington still banter and make me smile as they go through their missions, but they are more to each other as well. I enjoy writing of couples in this way.

For me steampunk is all about the gadgets. And Tee and Pip don't let me down! I love the gadgets created and used or seen with other agents. Awesome! But they also drew in the emotions from lose to love and blooming friendships into the book as well as the adventures and dangers continue.

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