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review 2019-02-21 00:22
Shattered Warrior - Sharon Shinn,Molly Knox Ostertag

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

I just devoured this graphic novel. I absolutely loved it. I started reading it yesterday morning and finished it before a went to bed last night. I just didn't want to stop reading. 

First of all, the story itself was fantastic. Really cool concept. I loved the creation of the various groups (Derichet, Valenchi, Chromatti, all those other humans) and the ways they started merging and interacting. I was hooked on the plot from the beginning. 

Also, the characters were fascinating. It was especially interesting to see the various personalities of the Derichet, although they all were pretty much creepers. Lucy was my favorite character. So adorable yet also scary fierce. 

The reason I picked this book up from the library in the first place was because I recently read Molly Knox Ostertag's The Witch Boy and am now slightly obsessed with her work. Before this, I read Strong Female Protagonist, which I thought was good, but I absolutely loved Ostertag's artwork in this book. Great detail and intriguing pictures. 

I'll admit the whole falling in love plot line was a little cheesy for me, but there was enough other stuff going on that I still really enjoyed the book. Simply fantastic read.

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review 2017-08-03 01:22
Archangel (Samaria #1) by Sharon Shinn




AuthorSharon Shinn

Title: Archangel


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Through science, faith, and force of will, the Harmonics carved out for themselves a society that they conceived as perfect. Diverse peoples held together by respect for each other. Angels to guard the mortals and mystics to guard the forbidden knowledge. Jehovah to watch over them all...

Generations later, the armed starship Jehovah still looms over the planet of Samaria, programmed to unleash its arsenal if peace is not sustained. But with the coming of an age of corruption, Samaria's only hope lies in the crowning of a new Archangel. The oracles have chosen Gabriel for this honor, and further decreed that he must first wed a mortal woman named Rachel.

It is his destiny and hers. And Gabriel is certain that she will greet the news of her betrothal with enthusiasm, and a devotion to duty equal to his own.

Rachel, however, has other ideas...





I actually had this book on my shelves at home but I couldn't remember ever finishing the book and I also couldn't remember why. So when the author was recommended to me I decided to pick it up and finish it.

I remember now.

In Archangel Shinn creates a really fantastic world by blending spiritualism and fantasy in one place. Our angels reach a sort of promotion stage in becoming archangels but there's a catch. They have to sing, and they need human assistance.

This is where readers find themselves following along the early stages of Gabriel's oncoming promotion to becoming an archangel when he has to find and convince Rachel to sing with him.

This is where my interest I think the first time around really failed to follow along to the end of the book. Rachel is one of the most god awful heroines to be paired with Gabriel. No matter how nice he is, no matter what he does, Rachel is constantly cruel, cold, rude, and completely careless of why she suddenly has this bigger purpose and why its so important.

She doesn't really care about anything or anyone outside of herself because she is still so caught up in herself that she can't think of anything outside of her own selfish self centered wants and desires even as she is so inconsistent when it comes to really investing in that self absorption when confronted with it.

Its really odd and clashes with your hopes that she will overcome her past to blossoming into this better more humble person and achieve healing but readers never really get that.

In the end I felt like the choice in heroine was completely wrong for this kind of story and it didn't mesh with me. I uprated because I liked the angels and the world that Shinn created but poor character personality kept me from rating the book much higher than that. 

I read Archangel after receiving an author recommendation from Olga Godim.





Until next time book lovers...



Krissys Bookshelf Reviews purchased a print copy for personal collection.

All thoughts, comments and ratings are my own.

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review 2017-04-09 06:30
Leah dithers
Unquiet Land: An Elemental Blessings Novel - Sharon Shinn

I liked this novel – I like everything by this writer – but it’s not her best work. In fact, the story seems an afterthought to Shinn’s latest series. It utilizes many of the characters I have encountered in the prior books.

The protagonist, Leah, also appeared before, in Jeweled Fire. There, she played a supporting role. Here, she is given a chance to shine, but sadly, her shine is a mere sparkle.

After 5 years of spying for the Regent in a foreign country, Leah returns home and tries to find a place to belong. She has a young daughter, Mally, whom she abandoned 5 years ago. Mally doesn’t even know Leah is her mother. Leah also has a former lover, but she is still resentful for his rejection 5 years ago. It seems, everything of importance in Leah’s life happened 5 years ago, but the story in this book happens now, 5 years later. Now, Leah tries to establish a new connection with Mally. Now, Leah tries to fit into the society she abandoned 5 years ago. Now, Leah tries to find a new purpose in life and a new love.

Leah’s story is quiet, as is Leah herself, and her new love grows gradually. There is no insta-lust there but lots of doubts. One of Leah’s doubts actually turned me against this book and its heroine. Her new love interest, Chandran, confesses to her early in this novel that a decade ago he killed his wife. She was a monster, or so he says, but he still feels guilty for taking her life.

After his confession, Leah is reluctant to trust him completely. She is dithering, afraid to jump full-tilt into the affair. Even though she is clearly in love with him, and he with her, she is stringing Chandran along, keeps him dangling.

The more I read about Chandran in the tale, the more I liked the guy. He is one of those men who doesn’t shy away from hard decisions but does what he feels right and then accepts the consequences, no matter how painful. He is a rare thing – a man with integrity.  

As the book progresses, the facts unfold, showing us that his former wife really was an evil bitch and deserved what she got. And still Leah holds back. Then, close to the end of the book, she gets in trouble. Her life is in mortal danger. Chandran is not in a position to help; he isn’t aware of the danger she faces, but her friend, a female soldier, jumps in and kills her enemy.

Afterwards, Leah doesn’t hesitate to feel grateful to her friend, doesn’t withhold her trust and affection the same way she has been doing with Chandran for the entire length of the book. In this case, killing is a good thing, right? If someone kills protecting her, that’s okay. But Chandran killed protecting someone else, in a situation unknown to Leah, so different standards must apply. The entire conditional approval of killing rubbed me raw and it poisoned the whole story.

Other than that one serious objection, I enjoyed this book.

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review 2016-12-14 02:40
Too close to home
Heart of Gold - Sharon Shinn

That was a powerful book, a scary book. It explored the sensitive themes of racism and terrorism under the quaint camouflage of fantasy. The action, allegedly, takes place someplace else, where people’s skins are blue and gold instead of brown and white, as they are here, but the punch this book delivers is all the more potent because of it. I read it and thought: even in fantasy, with its unlimited possibilities, the author couldn’t find a solution. How could we, in real life, do better?

There are two major races in the world of this novel: indigo (blue skin) and gulden (golden skin). The indigo race are old aristocrats. They own land and wealth. They are also a matriarchal society. The women inherit, hold government positions, get education. The men, traditionally, just serve as consorts and sperm donors, although the situation has been changing in recent decades. Some indigo men nowadays refuse to get married. They want to have an education and to hold a job, but that’s still rare.

The gulden race is the opposite. They are intensely patriarchal. The majority of them still live in their mountains. Women in the gulden society are property. They can’t even shop for food without permission – a special tag – from their husbands or fathers. Physical abuse of women and children is common in gulden families. Some women try to escape, but it is still rare. Most die in the process.

Both races look at each other as barbarians, indecent in their practices. The only place of change seems to be the city, where both cultures collide. Here, in the city, indigo men could find jobs. Here, in the city, gulden women could hide from their men-folks.

And here, in the city, a young gulden leader unleashes a string of terrorist bombings to force the indigo government to... do what? Now it gets dicey. What he really wants is unclear. He screams: “Freedom!” All terrorists do everywhere, but it feels like he wants to stop progress. Or maybe he just wants the indigo to back off and leave his people the way they are, and his women chattel forever.

I hated the guy. I hated his entire culture, but one of the protagonists, the indigo woman Kit, sees hidden qualities in the gulden way of life. A rebel in her own rich, aristocratic family, she prefers gulden, men and women, to her own people. She grew up among the gulden, as her father, a sociologist, studied the gulden race. It goes even deeper: Kit is in love with a gulden man. In fact, she is full of compassion and understanding for everyone, but is her compassion needed amid the racial hostilities and political intrigues? Is her understanding enough to make a difference?

Another protagonist, an indigo man Nolan, isn’t a rebel in the usual sense. Like others of his race, he doesn’t really accepts gulden as civilized, but he works with them. He is quiet and introspective, a man of science, a biologists, and he likes his job. He is not sure he wants to get married but he will accept life the way it is supposed to be.

When Nolan, by accident, discovers a plot threatening genocide of all gulden, his conscience pushes him to take steps, to ensure such horror doesn’t become reality, and the only one who could help him is Kit. They didn’t even know each other before their crazy attempt to save the gulden race, and Nolan makes some hard decisions along the way. He is so much out of his comfort zone, it’s hard to read, but still he doesn’t waver in his determination. Not everyone would consider his choices moral or ethical. Actually, no indigo did in the story, except Kit, and I’m not sure I do, but he did accomplish his goal: he saved the gulden from extinction, at a great personal cost. At a cost to all indigo, actually.

The terrorism stopped too, but that was in a fantasy tale. Unfortunately, the associations with the real life are too deep in this book, and the decisions and heroes of our life never go the way of Nolan and his ‘happy ending’. I don’t see a happy ending for our global terrorism threat. Things change even here, on this Earth, but much slower than in this author’s fantasy world. And not always for the better. So the reading of this story was a pretty painful experience for me, laced with disappointment and fear for the future. I wish it was as ‘simple’ for us as it was for Nolan and Kit.   

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review 2016-12-11 00:00
Powers Of Detection: Stories Of Mystery & Fantasy
Powers Of Detection: Stories Of Mystery & Fantasy - Anne Perry,Charlaine Harris,Sharon Shinn,Dana Stabenow This collection was a mixed bag. I liked about half the stories in it well enough to go out and buy more by the same authors but the other half I could have done without.

It's a nice idea, and a good sampler of fantasy writers, but not a great anthology.

"Cold Spell" by Donna Andrews is a comic confection so light, I never really got my teeth into it. I suspect it would work better if I'd read some of the novels this twenty page story of mages and magic was set in.

"The Nightside: Needless To Say" by Simon R Green. I've never taken to the whole Nightside idea: it's too self-consiously noir to be fun - a pastiche on Chandler with a dash the supernatural added to give it some spice. This tale was stylised and glib. The underlying idea was a good one but the storytelling was lazy and the characters were dull. Not for me.

"Lovely" by John Straley was original, when did you last read a story from the point of view of a crow, and well written but more an amuse-bouche than a meal. It did give me the appetite to look him up on GoodReads and I think I'll give his Cecil Younger series a try: who could resist a mystery, set in Alaska, and called"The Woman Who Married A Bear"?

"The Price" by Anne Bishop was fascinating: an intense and disturbing look into a nasty world. I'm a fan of Anne Bishop's "The Others" series. This is a LONG way from that. This is much more grown up than Meg Corbyn will ever be. It tells the story of a witch (with a rich and very dark background) hunting a killer who rips men apart, in a land where men are trained for only two things: to serve women and to fight enemies. It turns out that the main character was from Anne Bishop's "Black Jewels" series. I've just bought the first one, "Daughter of the Blood".

"Fairy Dust" by Charlaine Harris is a neatly constructed but slightly light on content tale about Sooki using her ability to read minds to discover who killed a fairy. Fun but insubstantial.

"The Judgement" by Anne Perry has the idea of witch trail as catharsis at its centre. It's cleverly conceived but I felt that there wasn't enough subtlety in how the tale was told. The authorial voice was too loud, with far more tell then show. Still, the novelty carried me to the end and the idea will stay with me.

"The Sorcerer's Assassin" by Sharon Shin was about the murder of a magic professor in a school for magic. It didn't work for me. The plot was a little light, the characterisation more so and the whole thing felt too cosy to generate and sense of thrill or threat.

"The Boy Who Chased Seagulls" is a classic fairytale, meant to warn as well as entertain. It was very nicely done, full of atmosphere and foreboding, but didn't really have anything to do with magical detective work that I could see. A nice read though.

"Palimpsest" by Laura Anne Gliman gave me a glimpse into a well-developed magical world, where "Retrievers" use their Talents to find and retrieve objects. regardless of ownership. I was intrigued, so I bought the first book in the Retriever series, "Staying Dead".
"The Death of Clickclickwhistle" by Mike Doogan lost me after a few pages. It's the kind of sci fi comedy that used to be common in the 1970s: stylised, self-consciously amusing, trying for zany and hitting embarrassing. It has its tongue pushed so hard into its cheek, I lost all interest in what it was trying to say.

"Cairene Dawn" by Jay Caselberg is a Chanler meet Cairo with a whiff of ancient magic. Strong on atmosphere but the pace dragged and the noirish parts didn't quite get there.

"Justice Is A Two Edged Sword" is wonderful. I'd read it before in Dana Stabenow's "The Collected Short Stories"but I read it all the way through again. This is a first rate sword and sorcery with a good mystery plot. I'm hoping that this will become a series of books one day.

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