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review 2016-11-15 17:36
Will We Ever Be Better?: Little Fuzzy | Review
Little Fuzzy - H. Beam Piper,Peter Ganim

A classic Adult SF that stands up better than some but still has issues.

 

The chartered Zarathustra Company had it all their way. Their charter was for a Class III uninhabited planet, which Zarathustra was, and it meant they owned the planet lock stock and barrel. They exploited it, developed it and reaped the huge profits from it without interference from the Colonial Government. Then Jack Holloway, a sunstone prospector, appeared on the scene with his family of Fuzzies and the passionate conviction that they were not cute animals but little people.

 

Buy Now | +Goodreads

Whispersync Deal Alert*: Kindle + Audible = $1.99 (must obtain Kindle copy first, prices may change)

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


BOOK DETAILS:

Little Fuzzy by H Beam Piper, read by Peter Ganim, published by Audible Studios (2009) / Length: 6 hrs 25 min

 

SERIES INFO:

This is Book #1 of the "Fuzzy Sapiens," series and the only one available on audio. Note: two of the sequels were written by Piper, with some additional ones that were written by other people. There is also a "reboot" of this novel written by John Scalzi.

 

SUMMARY:

I have been rereading a lot of classic SF now that I have a blog, and some of them have really made me cringe. This one isn't quite as bad. My biggest problem with it lies in the, I really hope we eventually outgrow such behavior, colonial attitudes. It is made clear from the beginning that proving that the Fuzzies are sentient won't mean that their planet will be given back, just that it will be governed differently.

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review 2016-11-08 15:47
NYC is Weirder than You Thought: Enchanted, Inc | Review
Enchanted, Inc.: A Novel - Shanna Swendson,Eva Wilhelm,Audible Studios

A fluffy Adult Contemporary Fantasy that resonated with me (since I lived in NYC for 4 years, although I never saw any fairies)

 

Katie Chandler had always heard that New York is a weird and wonderful place, but this small-town Texas gal had no idea how weird until she moved there. Everywhere she goes, she sees something worth gawking at and Katie is afraid she's a little too normal to make a splash in the big city. Working for an ogre of a boss doesn't help. Then, seemingly out of the blue, Katie gets a job offer from Magic, Spells, and Illusions, Inc., a company that sells tricks of the trade to the magic community.

 

For MSI, Katie's ordinariness is an asset. Lacking any bit of magic, she can easily spot a fake spell, catch hidden clauses in competitor's contracts, and detect magically disguised intruders. Suddenly, average Katie is very special indeed. She quickly learns that office politics are even more complicated when your new boss is a real ogre, and you have a crush on the sexy, shy, ultra powerful head of the R&D department, who is so busy fighting an evil competitor threatening to sell black magic on the street that he seems barely to notice Katie.

 

Now it's up to Katie to pull off the impossible: save the world and - hopefully - live happily ever after.

 

Buy Now | +Goodreads

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

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


BOOK DETAILS:

Enchanted, Inc by Shanna Swendson, read by Eva Wilhelm, published by Audible Studios (2014) / Length: 10 hrs 31 min

 

SERIES INFO:

This is Book #1 of 7 in the completed "Enchanted, Inc" series. All of them are available on audio.

 

SUMMARY:

I'm not a huge fan of Urban Fantasy, since I don't really like "dark" and so much of that genre merits the description. It was a real pleasure to find this comedic city based fantasy.

 

I wasn't pleased with the love triangle that developed later in the book, however.

 

CHARACTERS:

Katie: I like that she totally willing to the let the stronger people protect her from the "scary bad guys," yet jumps in whenever she can.

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review 2016-11-01 16:00
Waiting for #3 Before Deciding: The Crucible of Empire | Review
The Crucible of Empire - Eric Flint,K. D. Wentworth,Chris Patton,Audible Studios

An uneven, possibly overly long, Adult SF story with some great characters.

 

When humans and their Jao overlords joined forces in a desperate battle to save the Earth from the malevolent race called the Ekhat, the relationship between the two species was changed forever. Two years later, humans and Jao are learning to work together in an uneasy alliance. Then, in a distant nebula, three Jao ships detect signs of another sentient species during a battle with the Ekhat. Only one of the ships returns, with most of its crew dead or injured.

Ronz sends the Lexington, a massive ship built on Earth and crewed by both human and Jao, to investigate. The Lexington dwarfs any ship ever built by the Jao and even outmasses Ekhat ships, which may enable it to survive the attack that destroyed two of the three Jao ships.

 

Buy Now | +Goodreads

Whispersync Deal Alert*: Kindle + Audible = $8.98 (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:

The Crucible of Empire by Eric Flint & KD Wentworth, read by Chris Patton, published by Audible Studios (2012) / Length: 16 hrs

 

SERIES INFO:

This is Book #2 of 3 in the "Jao" trilogy. Book #3 was just recently published, and is not currently available on audio.

 

**This review contains spoilers for the previous book.**

 

SUMMARY:

This book was a bit hit or miss for me. There were some parts that I loved, some I didn't enjoy as much, and a few I didn't like at all. In general, it seemed like a side trip. It's been left for the third book to explain why it was necessary.

 

CHARACTERS:

Tully: Still a favorite. He has really grown & changed, but isn't quite comfortable with that fact yet himself. It is interesting to see a spy who was always on the move try to become a leader.

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review 2016-10-25 16:41
Wagner meets... The Sleeping Beauty | Review
The Sleeping Beauty: Tales of the Five Hundred Kingdoms, Book 5 - Mercedes Lackey,Gabra Zackman,Audible Studios

This Adult Fantasy, which mixes various fairytales with "The Ring Cycle," is one of Lackey's better 500 Kingdoms novels.

 

Heavy is the head--and the eyelids--of the princess who wears the crown...In Rosamund's realm, happiness hinges on a few simple beliefs: For every princess there's a prince. The king has ultimate power. Stepmothers should never be trusted. And bad things come to those who break with Tradition....

 

But when Rosa is pursued by a murderous huntsman and then captured by dwarves, her beliefs go up in smoke. Determined to escape and save her kingdom from imminent invasion, she agrees to become the guinea pig in one of her stepmother's risky incantations--thus falling into a deep, deep sleep.

 

When awakened by a touchy-feely stranger, Rosa must choose between Tradition and her future...between a host of eligible princes and a handsome, fair-haired outsider. And learn the difference between being a princess and ruling as a queen.

 

The moral of the story? Sometimes a princess has to create her own happy endings....

 

Buy Now | +Goodreads

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


BOOK DETAILS:

The Sleeping Beauty by Mercedes Lackey, read by Gabra Zackman, published by Audible Studios (2013) / Length: 11 hrs 5 min

 

SERIES INFO:

This is Book #5 of 6 in the "Five Hundred Kingdoms" series. These books can easily be read as standalones.

 

SUMMARY:

Although I feel that Ms Lackey's newer books lack the narrative tightness & emotional punch of her earlier work, this one is the one I like the most. I enjoy the characters, even the disreputable ones, and find more of the story to be interesting.

 

Note: it is not necessary to be familiar with "The Ring Cycle" at all. Ms. Lackey does an excellent job of presenting the slightly altered details she has based this on.

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review 2016-10-04 07:01
Surprised Me: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy | Review
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams,Stephen Fry

I didn't expect to enjoy this SF comedy as much as a did.

 

Seconds before the Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy who, for the last fifteen years, has been posing as an out-of-work actor.

 

Together this dynamic pair begin a journey through space aided by quotes from The Hitchhiker's Guide ("A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have") and a galaxy-full of fellow travelers: Zaphod Beeblebrox--the two-headed, three-armed ex-hippie and totally out-to-lunch president of the galaxy; Trillian, Zaphod's girlfriend (formally Tricia McMillan); and Marvin, a paranoid, brilliant, and chronically depressed robot.

 

Buy Now | +Goodreads

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


Source: The version I am reviewing here is an older one, narrated by the author. It is no longer available on Audible (at least in the US). The cover & Buy links all go to the newer version narrated by Stephen Fry.

 

BOOK DETAILS:

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, read by the author / Length: 4 hrs 59 min

 

SERIES INFO:

This is Book #1 of 5 (6 if you count the sequel written by Eoin Colfer) in the "Hitchhikers..." series. All of the books are available on audio (both unabridged and as radio dramatizations).

 

SUMMARY:

I received this book for free (many years ago). I had heard of it, of course, but didn't expect to enjoy it much since I am widely believed to be humor impaired, and I really don't like farce. However, I found this unexpectedly enjoyable. (I only made it through about 1.5 of the sequels though.)

 

It was fun, with occasional thought provoking comments on the human condition.

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