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review 2019-03-12 21:25
When True Night Falls / C.S. Friedman
When True Night Falls - C.S. Friedman

Two men, absolute enemies, must unite to conquer an evil greater than anything their world has ever known. One is a warrior priest ready to sacrifice anything and everything for the cause of humanity's progress; the other, a sorcerer who has survived for countless centuries by a total submission to evil. In their joint quest, both will be irrevocably changed.

 

There was never any doubt that I would read this novel—I enjoyed the first installment a great deal and it is part of my Science Fiction & Fantasy reading project. Not only that, but I found all three volumes at the popular used book sale in my city and had them on hand. If all of that wasn’t enough, last year at the When Words Collide writers’ conference, Peter V. Brett recommended it. He was on a panel about female characters in fantasy fiction and I came away quite impressed with his views. (He thinks that male and female characters should reflect reality, i.e. have equal numbers of male & female characters, among other things).

So, I was fired up to read this series and I have been enjoying it. I was somewhat dismayed, however, that Celia Friedman leaves behind one of her main female characters in this volume (Ciani) and I was left with only Hesseth, a female native of Erna, to carry the flag for women. Friedman does offer us the female child, Jenseny, but that doesn’t last all that long. By book’s end, we are left with just the guys.

I can certainly see, however, that Brett gathered some inspiration from this fantasy series. His Demon Cycle seems to owe a debt to the demons of this Coldfire Trilogy. One of my great pleasures in reading my long list of speculative fiction is seeing the various influences between authors, so this correlation pleases me.

Book number 311 in my Science Fiction and Fantasy Reading Project.

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text 2019-03-02 21:10
February wrap up
Black Wings - Megan Hart
The Binding - Bridget Collins
The Key to the Demon's Gate - Daniel Quilter
To Kill the President: The Most Explosive Thriller of the Year - Sam Bourne
The Age of Misadventure - Judy Leigh

I surprised myself by actually finishing 5 books this month. Not a vast amount but I haven't had as much reading time as I'd like and I've been reading samples as well.

 

The stand-outs of this batch are The Binding and To Kill the President. Black Wings had some interesting ideas but I hated all the characters, apart from the raven.

 

I have several books in progress that I'm hoping can fit into Snakes and Ladders. The one to leave the square I'm on is getting most attention of course.

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text 2019-03-02 21:05
February Books

I read 14 books last month with an average score of 3.75. 9 were YA books and 2 were graphic novels. I managed to hit 4 of the books I most wanted to get to in 2019, 3 of which were great.

 

My favorite read was The Wicked King - Holly Black. I now desperately want the next book, but have to wait until next year. My least favorite book was Slayer - Kiersten White. It was one of my most anticipated reads, but I hated most of the characters.

 

 

5 Stars

The Wicked King - Holly Black  My Solo Exchange Diary Vol. 1: The Sequel to My Lesbian Experience With Loneliness - Kabi Nagata  

 

4 Stars

The Death of Mrs. Westaway - Ruth Ware  Ghostly Echoes: A Jackaby Novel - William Ritter  Fence Volume 2 - C.S. Pacat  My Favorite Half-Night Stand - Christina Lauren  Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss - Kasie West  The Vanishing Stair - Maureen Johnson  Cold-Hearted Rake - Lisa Kleypas  

 

3.5 Stars

Girl in the Blue Coat - Monica Hesse  

 

3 Stars

Nightblood - Elly Blake  Your Own Worst Enemy - Gordon Jack  

 

2.5 Stars

Slayer - Kiersten White 99 Percent Mine - Sally Thorne 

 

 

 

 

Books by author gender:

  • Male: 2
  • Female: 12
  • Male/Female Mix: 0

 

Books by format:

  • Physical: 6
  • Audio: 8
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review 2019-03-01 15:04
The Fossil Hunter / Shelley Emling
The Fossil Hunter: Dinosaurs, Evolution, and the Woman Whose Discoveries Changed the World (MacSci) - Shelley Emling

Mary Anning was only twelve years old when, in 1811, she discovered the first dinosaur skeleton--of an ichthyosaur--while fossil hunting on the cliffs of Lyme Regis, England. Until Mary's incredible discovery, it was widely believed that animals did not become extinct. The child of a poor family, Mary became a fossil hunter, inspiring the tongue-twister, "She Sells Sea Shells by the Seashore." She attracted the attention of fossil collectors and eventually the scientific world. Once news of the fossils reached the halls of academia, it became impossible to ignore the truth. Mary's peculiar finds helped lay the groundwork for Charles Darwin's theory of evolution, laid out in his On the Origin of Species. Darwin drew on Mary's fossilized creatures as irrefutable evidence that life in the past was nothing like life in the present.

 

Give this about a 3.5 star rating for my general reading experience. I knew the basic outlines of Mary Anning’s story—a woman with a talent for finding marine reptile fossils, held back by her social status, her lack of access to education, and her gender. In a world which favoured wealthy men with leisure time, she was at a tremendous disadvantage and achieved a great deal despite that.

This book filled in the gaps in my knowledge of the woman and made me admire her fortitude all the more. The author is a journalist, so it is written in a rather journalistic style—not surprising. There is some speculation, trying to guess what may have been going on in Ms. Anning’s mind, but nothing that is too unreasonable. Since the author seems to have done her research on the time period, she makes safe assumptions.

I found it interesting that on pages 209-210, more current research was referenced:

”And new species of plesiosaurs—a most diverse group of aquatic carnivores—are being discovered to this day. One of the oldest and most complete skeletons of a prehistoric aquatic reptile has been uncovered in North America, representing an entirely new group of plesiosaurs. This 8.5 foot specimen, known as Nichollsia borealis, is one of the most complete and best-preserved North American plesiosaurs from the Cretaceous Period.”


It is too bad that the author didn’t mention that this creature is named after Elizabeth (Betsy) Nicholls, who was a paleontologist specializing in Triassic marine reptiles at the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Alberta, Canada. Betsy worked on a back-breaking dig in northern British, excavating Shonisaurus sikanniensis, a Triassic marine reptile and she probably would have identified with Mary Anning’s perilous labours. Nicholls at least got the recognition for her work, receiving awards and having marine reptiles named in her honour. Sadly, both Anning and Nicholls died young of breast cancer, another thing they have in common.

 

Nichollsaura borealis  (source: Wikipedia)

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text 2019-03-01 13:37
February 2019 Wrap-Up

Hello and welcome back to my February 2019 wrap -up. February has been busy, and cold, at least on my site if the world. We had way too much snow and more is on the way .... YAY us.... not really lol.

Reading wise it was a good month I got a lot of my review copies done, and still working on more. Sadly I didn't get to start the Grisha books yet but soon.... I hope. I could have started them but I didn't want to rush through them so I thought it be better I just wait..

I took on some more review copies,so far so good and the ones I read or reading I am enjoying so far.

Here are some books that come out in March, some I'm reading or read already other I'm looking forward to.

The Bird King by G. Willow Wilson

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The Everlasting Rose by Dhonielle Clayton

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Wild Country by Anne Bishop 

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Superman: Dawnbreaker by Matt de la Pena

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Right now I'm still working on Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff on audio, but I only listen to audio mainly when doing crafts so I haven't been doing much of them lately lol. But I'm still in love with that book so far. 

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A ruthless young assassin continues her journey for revenge in this new epic fantasy from New York Times bestselling author Jay Kristoff.

Assassin Mia Corvere has found her place among the Blades of Our Lady of Blessed Murder, but many in the Red Church ministry think she’s far from earned it. Plying her bloody trade in a backwater of the Republic, she’s no closer to ending Consul Scaeva and Cardinal Duomo, or avenging her familia. And after a deadly confrontation with an old enemy, Mia begins to suspect the motives of the Red Church itself.

When it’s announced that Scaeva and Duomo will be making a rare public appearance at the conclusion of the grand games in Godsgrave, Mia defies the Church and sells herself to a gladiatorial collegium for a chance to finally end them. Upon the sands of the arena, Mia finds new allies, bitter rivals, and more questions about her strange affinity for the shadows. But as conspiracies unfold within the collegium walls, and the body count rises, Mia will be forced to choose between loyalty and revenge, and uncover a secret that could change the very face of her world.

 

I'm also working on Little Darlings by Melanie Golding, so far Im enjoying it. It's creepy and scary fun. 

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“Mother knows best” takes on a sinister new meaning in this unsettling thriller perfect for fans of Neil Gaiman and Grimms’ Fairy Tales.

Everyone says Lauren Tranter is exhausted, that she needs rest. And they’re right; with newborn twins, Morgan and Riley, she’s never been more tired in her life. But she knows what she saw: that night, in her hospital room, a woman tried to take her babies and replace them with her own…creatures. Yet when the police arrived, they saw no one. Everyone, from her doctor to her husband, thinks she’s imagining things.

A month passes. And one bright summer morning, the babies disappear from Lauren’s side in a park. But when they’re found, something is different about them. The infants look like Morgan and Riley―to everyone else. But to Lauren, something is off. As everyone around her celebrates their return, Lauren begins to scream, These are not my babies.

Determined to bring her true infant sons home, Lauren will risk the unthinkable. But if she’s wrong about what she saw…she’ll be making the biggest mistake of her life.

Compulsive, creepy, and inspired by some our darkest fairy tales, Little Darlings will have you checking―and rechecking―your own little ones. Just to be sure. Just to be safe.

 

Next I think I will get to Hall of Souls & the Book of the Fairies by M.D. Fryson , Gimme Some Sugar by Molly Harper and maybe Flynn Nightsider and the Edge of Evil by Mary Fan. 

Maybe after those I will take a break finally at least start the Shadow and Bone Trilogy .

This should cover February, I wish you all a great March and hope to see you again soon. Make sure to check my site often for new blog tours, reviews and giveaways. 

As always you can find some of the buy links in the review that are linked below, 

Have a  great month and Happy Reading :) 

 


The Bird King by G. Willow Wilson

The Bird King is an epic journey set during the reign of the last sultan in the Iberian peninsula at the height of the Spanish Inquisition.

Hassan has a secret–he can draw maps of places he’s never seen and bend the shape of reality. When representatives of the newly formed Spanish monarchy arrive to negotiate the sultan’s surrender, Fatima befriends one of the women, not realizing that she will see Hassan’s gift as sorcery and a threat to Christian Spanish rule. With their freedoms at stake, what will Fatima risk to save Hassan and escape the palace walls?

As Fatima and Hassan traverse Spain with the help of a clever jinn to find safety, The Bird King asks us to consider what love is and the price of freedom at a time when the West and the Muslim world were not yet separate.

3 ★


Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

On a continent ruled by three empires, some are born with a “witchery”, a magical skill that sets them apart from others.

In the Witchlands, there are almost as many types of magic as there are ways to get in trouble—as two desperate young women know all too well.

Safiya is a Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lie. It’s a powerful magic that many would kill to have on their side, especially amongst the nobility to which Safi was born. So Safi must keep her gift hidden, lest she be used as a pawn in the struggle between empires.

Iseult, a Threadwitch, can see the invisible ties that bind and entangle the lives around her—but she cannot see the bonds that touch her own heart. Her unlikely friendship with Safi has taken her from life as an outcast into one of reckless adventure, where she is a cool, wary balance to Safi’s hotheaded impulsiveness.

Safi and Iseult just want to be free to live their own lives, but war is coming to the Witchlands. With the help of the cunning Prince Merik (a Windwitch and ship’s captain) and the hindrance of a Bloodwitch bent on revenge, the friends must fight emperors, princes, and mercenaries alike, who will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.

4 ★


Windwitch by Susan Dennard

Sometimes our enemies are also our only allies…

After an explosion destroys his ship, the world believes Prince Merik, Windwitch, is dead. Scarred yet alive, Merik is determined to prove his sister’s treachery. Upon reaching the royal capital, crowded with refugees, he haunts the streets, fighting for the weak—which leads to whispers of a disfigured demigod, the Fury, who brings justice to the oppressed.

When the Bloodwitch Aeduan discovers a bounty on Iseult, he makes sure to be the first to find her—yet in a surprise twist, Iseult offers him a deal. She will return money stolen from him, if he locates Safi. Now they must work together to cross the Witchlands, while constantly wondering, who will betray whom first?

After a surprise attack and shipwreck, Safi and the Empress of Marstok barely escape with their lives. Alone in a land of pirates, every moment balances on a knife’s edge—especially when the pirates’ next move could unleash war upon the Witchlands.

4.5 ★


Touch of Smoke by Karissa Laurel

Three years ago, Rikki Albemarle watched her best friend die at the hands of a supernatural evil. Certain she was slated to be the next victim, Rikki fled her small Smoky Mountain hometown, vowing to never come back. Plagued by nightmares and knowing she’s the only one who believes Mina’s death was no accident, Rikki returns with hopes of finding answers and holding the killer accountable.

Rikki is convinced the key to unlocking the secret of Mina’s death lies with Owen Amir, the alluring young army vet who once claimed her heart. But the deeper Rikki digs into Owen’s past, the more she’s torn between the urgings of her heart and her memories of him on the night Mina died.

After falling further into the rabbit hole, Rikki lands at the feet of an ancient and powerful evil determined to finish what it started years before. To survive, she’ll have to make a decision: believe Owen is the monster she always feared he might be or trust him enough to stay and fight for a second chance at love.

5 ★


 Bloodwitch by Susan Dennard

Fans of Susan Dennard’s New York Times bestselling Witchlands series have fallen in love with the Bloodwitch Aeduan. And now, finally, comes his story.

High in a snowy mountain range, a monastery that holds more than just faith clings to the side of a cliff. Below, thwarted by a lake, a bloodthirsty horde of raiders await the coming of winter and the frozen path to destroy the sanctuary and its secrets.

The Bloodwitch Aeduan has teamed up with the Threadwitch Iseult and the magical girl Owl to stop the destruction. But to do so, he must confront his own father, and his past.

 

 

 

5 ★


 

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