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review 2019-01-09 02:33
A Plague of Giants by Kevin Hearne - My Thoughts
A Plague of Giants - Kevin Hearne

The second read of my Christmas presents, this was a brick, but a fascinating one indeed. I'd read Kevin Hearne before, the first of his Iron Druid books, and quite enjoyed it. (I intend to continue on in that series when the budget allows it.)  This book is the first of an entirely new trilogy, set in a new world.  And I was fascinated.

The world-building is terrific.  Magic or kenning that actually takes a toll on the human body even to the point of death.  The majority of the peoples are shades of brown with the pale-skinned folk being the minority of civilizations and I think there's only one king among the bunch.  Hearne does a masterful job of getting across the atmosphere and the feel of the different 'countries' and while they mostly have a familiar feel, I never felt they were copies of other creations.

It's the characters that really sold the book for me.  The story is told almost in serial form by a bard by the name of Fintan, who takes on the appearances of different folk within the story as he tells the story, a little bit every day.  Usually two characters, maybe three.  In between these story-tellings, we get the POV of Dervan, the scribe who has been tasked with recording all the stories Fintan tells, as well as keeping an eye on him for his friend, the leader of the Brynt people.

We meet two handfuls of characters who tell the story of the initial invasions of the giants and through their telling of the story we're given the base of the bigger story to come, I'm guessing.  Lots and lots of set-up happening, but because the characters were so engaging - even the baddies - it was a pleasure to read. 

So, I really, really enjoyed it and am looking forward to Book 2 - especially the further adventures of Abhi and his bloodcat, Murr and his stalk hawk, Eep. 

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review 2018-12-05 17:35
The Scarlet Plague - Gordon Grant,Jack London

 

That was a depressing little story.

 

According to Jack London, the end of civilization comes in 2013 on the a wave of a plague no one catches in time.

 

The story is told by a survivor 60 years later, in California, where the survivors grouped up into tribes from Santa Rosa to San Francisco, with some scattered farther south if my geography is correct without looking at a map.  (my geography and spatial locations is horrible, so don't quote me on that LOL)  

 

I lived in the area for a time, so a lot of the place names were familiar.  Places I've been to, some I lived in or right next to.  I'm trying to picture Niles with no people, Hayward as farmland, and no Fremont.  Palo Alto as a small community, and the San Joaquin valley now full of horses.  Carmel as an after thought. 

 

None of the sprawl that connects most of the cities and towns in the area between Oakland San Jose.

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review 2018-11-16 18:30
THE BOOK OF ETTA by Meg Elison
The Book of Etta (The Road to Nowhere 2) - Meg Elison

 

THE BOOK OF ETTA (THE ROAD TO NOWHERE #2) is a heavy piece of dark, post-apocalyptic fiction.

 

This story picks up about 100 years after THE BOOK OF THE UNNAMED MIDWIFE. The Unnamed created the city of Nowhere and now they have developed their own way of life. Since the plague that started everything, women are scarce and children even more so. As such, Nowhere honors women and to keep the human race going, women there have created hives-a group of men/lovers who help that woman with chores and who also provide regular loving- with the hopes of childbirth as the result. According to the elders of Nowhere, this is the chief role of women now. Period. 

 

Here, we meet Etta, who feels constrained in Nowhere. Etta has no time for hives or for childbirth, and she wants no part of it. She goes out as a raider instead-looking for goods from the old world which can be made useful again. On her travels, she binds herself up to pass for a man and calls herself Eddie. There are more reasons for that other than the plain fact that it's safer to travel as a man, but I'll let you discover those reasons on your own. As Eddie, he comes across several towns, all with their own ways of doing things, (the world building here is impressive), and then he comes across the town of STL. (I see other reviews calling it Estiel, but I listened to the audio and I just assumed it was STL, so I'm sticking with that.) In STL reigns a man called "The Lion." What he has going on in HIS city is a travesty and an injustice-one that Eddie cannot let stand. Will he be successful in putting an end to the practices of The Lion? Will he survive? Will humankind survive? You'll have to read this to find out!

 

I didn't enjoy this book quite as much as the first, but I think that's because it took me a little time to get used to the voices of Etta/Eddie. Once I did, though, I settled down and let the story wash over me. As I said above the world-building here is so interesting, each town having their own beliefs about women and children and how to keep the humanity going, it provided a lot to think about. Also, it was sad to see what happened to America in the wake of the plague-how many things had been forgotten, the uses for implements lost to history, and of course, what happened to personal freedoms and choices. It's hard for women to live in this world right now, just imagine how hard it would be in a world with no medicines, no birth control, no choices at all for women in general. These were the aspects of this world that interested me the most.

 

As a note of caution to potential readers-there are all kinds of unpleasant happenings in this book. None of it surprised or shocked me, avid horror reader that I am, but it might shock some. Rapes, pedophiles, genital mutilation, child abuse and other things are part of the post plague world and if those things really get to you, you might want to take a pass.

 

That said, I recommend this book if you enjoyed the first in the trilogy. No, it's not the same as THE UNNAMED, and no, it's not even the same world as the first book because things have changed so much, but Etta and Eddie have a lot to say and I, for one, was happy to listen. I'm intrigued and excited for the last book,  THE BOOK OF FLORA, which I've already requested from NetGalley.

 

*I bought this audiobook with my hard earned cash and my opinion is my own.*

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review 2018-06-14 03:45
Nightmares, Deaths and Insects
Plague (The Gone Series) - Michael Grant

Plague is a much better 3rd sequel compare to Lies and in many ways, one that surprises me how much better in terms of where this is going. After the events in Lies, the kids in Perdido Beach is left with so much doubt and destroyed confidence towards those they can rely on. Sam is self-pitying, Astrid learns a truth about herself, Albert became a self-centered business man, Quinn found his calling and the rest is just as it is, with Caine and his crew living up on the high-end of comfort on an island they took over. When Drake escape, a new disease is getting rampant - a flu spread like wild fire that kills from inside out and... a new army of insects that is almost unkillable, not even Sam's powers can burn them. With the gaiaphage influencing its power all over the FAYZ, the end maybe near... and only Pete Ellison may be the answer to all the troubles everyone in the FAYZ is facing... if only he knew what he is doing.

 

The fourth book of the Gone series picks up its pacing with more action, suspense and thrills. Yes, for a young adult book, the content description can be a little over when it comes to gore but this has been one that really lives up to its title that promises a science-fiction fantasy series that works. I am looking forward to the last two and hopefully, Fear will lead the way to a finale that is satisfying. (yes, I took too long for this one too)

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review 2018-05-14 18:41
A Plague of Giants / Kevin Hearne
A Plague of Giants - Kevin Hearne

In the city of Pelemyn, Fintan the bard takes to the stage to tell what really happened the night the giants came . . .

From the east came the Bone Giants, from the south, the fire-wielding Hathrim - an invasion that sparked war across the six nations of Teldwen. The kingdom's only hope is the discovery of a new form of magic that calls the world's wondrous beasts to fight by the side of humankind.

 

Quite a change from Hearne’s Iron Druid series! This is still fantasy, but in a world of his own creation, not just an altered present. A world of giants, special magical talents, and storytelling.

This is a complicated world, with several nations, each of which has its own special talent or Kenning. There are masters of water or air or fire for example. Using that talent past a certain level, however, drastically ages the person wielding it.

The tale is told by a bard, who has the technology to change his appearance and tell the tale from the point of view of each character in his story. Through this means, Hearne manages to introduce us to the complexities of his new world quite painlessly and entertainingly.

There is, of course, a war because a good conflict is necessary to a good story. The major characters are facing an invasion of Bone Giants, from an unknown source, for an unknown reason. This major mystery does not get fully addressed in this volume, leaving the way open for future installments. I, for one, will be looking forward to the next book!

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