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review 2017-10-20 23:50
Where Loyalties Lie by Rob J. Hayes - My Thoughts
Where Loyalties Lie - Rob J. Hayes

I'm of two minds about this book.  There were parts I really loved, but there were also parts that I really disliked.  Most of it was an enjoyable read if you're able to get your head around characters that really aren't one bit heroic - even the likable ones are rather horrible at times. 

Where Loyalties Lie is a very apt title for this first book in the series.  We meet a bunch of pirates, mostly captains, some more wicked than others.  Most of the book, in fact, sets up whole over-arcing plot, I assume, since the pirates we meet don't do much of substance other than cross into each others' orbits and on some occasions work together and others... not so much. I know this is in the same universe as some of Rob's earlier books, but I don't think one needs to read them first.  

So I'm reading a book about pirates, there's going to be lots of violence and blood and gore - I'm aware of this. Maybe it's the atmosphere of the week with all the Weinstein stuff, but I find I have little patience or tolerance for the violence against women in this book.  There's not a lot on the page, but there is some, including one awful scene were the Big Bad Pirate Captain feels he must teach his daughter a lesson.  I think I understand why the author chose to include this, but I question the need of it really. 

Another problem I had was a couple of times, the author made a point of showing (as opposed to not telling) something - how awful a character is for instance - and then a little later on in the book having a need to tell (as opposed to show) us again.  In case we missed it probably.  *eyeroll* 

In the end, as I said, there were parts I loved, parts I hated and many readable parts in between.  :)  Will I continue in the series?  Most probably.  I like Hayes' way of writing.

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review 2017-10-08 14:10
Legend of Love: Muse of Epic Poetry - Callie - Lisa Kessler

*Disclaimer: I received an eARC of this book from Netgalley and Lisa Kessler in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence my rating or the content of my review in any way.

 

I'm completely in love with this series, and I'm waiting anxiously for each and every book in this series. The second book in this series takes the story further, by introducing a new Guardian, Hunter, but also by making the villains more evil and scarier, maybe even a little bit deranged.

 

Hunter is an interesting choice for a Guardian. I like how his military career was portrayed and how it played into his role as a Guardian. I also liked the fact that he didn't have the same gift as Nate, so I'm assuming each Guardian will have different gifts. I'm also assuming that their gifts are somehow tied to what the Muse they're protecting.

 

Callie was a great heroine. I like how she dedicates herself to working with military men and women, to help them heal from traumas from being in war zones. The thing I liked most about her is that she's not perfect, she has a little bit of a wildness in her, due to her Muse, that she tries a lot to keep under control.

 

I liked Callie and Hunter together, they make a great team, and I liked the little glimpse into Mel and Nate's future. The pacing was great, and there were a few developments in the overall story, that of some really deranged people trying to keep the Muses from opening up the Theater of the Muses, that I'm very curious to see how it will play out in the future books.

 

All in all, a great book and one that any urban fantasy lover should add to their TBR piles.

Source: rubys-books.blogspot.com
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review 2017-09-30 01:04
No Quarter by Tanya Huff - My Thoughts
No Quarter - Tanya Huff

I really enjoy reading Tanya Huff's Quarters books.  They're great fantasy fun, filled with engaging and diverse characters who go on adventures and end up saving countries and kingdoms.  :)  There are bards and assassins and nobles and the common man, someone for everyone.  And there is romance woven into the adventures and scheming. 

No Quarter is filled with all of those things.  It's really very much of a continuation of book 2, Fifth Quarter, as opposed to just taking place in the same universe with the focus on different characters.  We find out what happened to the twin assassins, Vree and Bannon, Karlene the bard, and Gyhard, the man who is looking for a body of his own.  It's also the story of Magda and Garrett, children of the main characters of book 1, Sing the Four Quarters.  We even spend some time with Prince Otavas (I may have that spelling wrong), another of the characters from #2.  Their paths intertwine to give us a wonderful solution to the simple problem of a man without a body. 

As I said to an author buddy of mine as I was reading, even though I enjoyed my read, I found myself wishing that maybe I had read these books when I was a teenager.  I'm pretty sure all the sexual identity diversity and openness would have left a positive mark on an impressionable me.  As it is now, at 60 years old, well, I sit and nod and think that these kids have the right idea.  *LOL* 

I'm looking forward to reading the 4th book, The Quartered Sea, at some point and seeing which of my friends from the first three books come along for the ride.  :)

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review 2017-09-16 01:54
Camber of Culdi by Katherine Kurtz - My Thoughts
Camber of Culdi - Katherine Kurtz

Book One of The Legends of Camber of Culdi

 

Every once in a while I get the urge to revisit old favourites and Katherine Kurtz's Deryni novels are definitely faves of mine.  I think the Camber books and the Heirs of Camber books are some of Katherine's strongest work.

Yeah, there's stuff in here that might be problematic these days - I mean, it was originally published in 1976 - but I can deal with that.  I'm happy to say that although I notice the problems over 40 years later (with a few rereads between), they don't impinge on my enjoyment of the book. 

Magic, intrigue, memorable characters, tension, humour, tragedy, it's all here.  I still cry at certain passages and chuckle out loud at others.  (More crying than chuckling in this one.)

Yeah, still faves, even 40+ years later.  :)

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review 2017-09-15 05:19
Wholeness, duality, I and Thou
The Left Hand of Darkness - Ursula K. Le Guin

I did not want this to end. I feel a bit bereft, and very emotional, and somewhat fragile (even if Rokkanon's World had prepared me for the possibility). And in awe. Dazzled in awe of how Le Guin can weave this beautiful settings to address concepts, limitations, canons of society, give them new perspectives and lead into discussions well before their time.

 

She did warn in a way, in that introduction. Because, it might be that I had late access to the Internet, and so was somewhat cut out from the world-dialogue, but it looks to me that talk of gradients and varieties of sex and sexuality (beyond the ever polemical homosexual, bisexual or trans-gender, and those as isolated phenomenons at that), is pretty recent. Yet here it is, served as a "fait acompli" in the form of a world where gender has always been a fluid thing, when it's even a thing, and the protagonist just has to deal, get over and past it, once and for all. Let me tell you, I had some fun mocking the MC over his inability to accept, because at some point, it annoyed me. Which is exactly the point of the book, I think.

 

Tied to that, all the issues of friendship, love, miss/understanding, acceptance, and what have you, in an epic sprinkled with back-ground myths and wrapped up in a sci-fi package. And by all the literary muses, I loved it.

 

 

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