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review 2017-12-14 04:23
Summerwode (The Wode #4)
Summerwode (The Wode) - J. Tullos Hennig

Gah! Cliffhanger! NOOOOOOO! And I have no idea how long I'll have to wait for the next one. Going by the time between previous installments, two years maybe? :( Unless she pulls a George R.R. Martin or Diana Gabaldon, then maybe ten years? :P Thankfully, I don't see her doing that.

 

 

This picks up a few months after the end of Winterwode. Gamelyn is still entrenched in the Templars, having to suppress himself again and letting alter-id Guy de Gisbourne take over the reins for him, with all the complications that comes with. Robyn's once again has no idea what's up with Gamelyn because Guy's not a man to share his plans, and Marion's just trying to hold her little family together. Of course, forces are in movement that are determined to see Robyn's little band of merry men ended one way or another, and whether foe or potential friend and ally, playing the game could end their way of life for good or ill.

 

There are things here that would normally drive me crazy, except that it's so perfectly in character that there really is no other way it could've gone down. There's no manipulation of characters of OOC moments to force plot points, like other authors would depend on. We've come to know these characters over three previous books, and while my hand itched to smack Gamelyn upside the head several times - and Will and occasionally Robyn - it was clear and understandable why everyone behaved the way they did.

 

This was as strongly written as ever, and it's also well edited despite this being DSP. My one complaint is that it felt a tad overlong. In particular, that whole cliffhanger ending, while certainly compelling, felt like it was resetting the board too much. There was already a threat there hanging in the shadows to give an ominous ending to the book while the characters still got to enjoy life for a little bit, so the last few chapters really could've been held off to kick off the next book with a bang, at least in my opinion. 

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review 2017-12-13 22:55
The Science of Discworld
The Science of Discworld - Terry Pratchett,Jack Cohen,Ian Stewart

"Ook?"

I usually try to start my reviews with a pertinent quote from the relevant book, but I was somewhat eager to return my copy to the library and I forgot to copy out a quotation for my review. However, it is somewhat appropriate to start the summary of my thoughts about The Science of Discworld with a quote from one of my favourite characters from the book - The Librarian.

 

Never said one word so much.

 

The Science of Discworld is an attempt to fuse the storyverse created by Terry Pratchett with non-fiction science. Through alternating chapters, we get to see how the Wizards of Discworld, with some help from Hex, create a roundworld very akin to Earth. And, yes, I smirked at the idea that book that spends a lot of time refuting creationism, is based on a story that features ... creationism.

 

(I should add that I am not a fan of or even giving credence to the theory/ies of creationism, but, equally, I am not a fan of arguments that are full of contradictions.)  

 

This is not the only aspect in which the book failed for me.

 

As much as I loved the Wizards - especially the Librarian - and Pratchett's Discworld, the science parts in this book just really did not work for me.

 

The book started out with a random discussion of quantum physics. I am not a scientist. My working knowledge of physics is basic. The opening chapters took a lot of effort because I actually found myself researching different things that the authors referred to on the internet. I don't mind do the research on topics I want to learn about if I feel that it will help me understand the rest of the book.

 

But not so here, the science parts seemed to jump from one topic to another without referring back to the previous ones. It was so confusing. And the difficulty level of the science parts differed throughout the book, too. It made me wonder what kind of a readership the authors were aiming for. Were they talking to people with pre-existing knowledge of quantum physics but not biology? Or maybe the authors just found it difficult to explain the topics they are experts in but didn't bother to go into the same depths about topics they may not be as familiar with?

 

I have no idea.

 

What is clear to me is that the authors of the science parts are not great at communicating. Apart from talking down to readers, or constantly contradicting themselves - for example, when they criticise the act of simplifying a concept to explain it to someone, which the authors decry as "lies to children", only to then use the same simplification to explain concepts to readers -, the authors of the science parts actually managed to ... and this is the dealbreaker ... they managed to make science boring.

 

And with that they made the book fail. Well, they managed to make half the book fail. The Wizard parts were delightful.

 

Previous status updates:

 

Update 1

Update 2

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Update 4

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review 2017-12-13 21:39
The Post-Office Girl by Stefan Zweig
The Post-Office Girl (New York Review Books Classics) - Stefan Zweig

This is an odd novel, which makes sense, since it was left unfinished at the author’s death. It is a blistering look at economic inequality, set in Austria after WWI and examined through the stories of characters whose circumstances appear to prevent them from ever getting ahead.

Christine is a young woman who was born middle class, but has lived a life of drudgery since her teenage years, when her family lost both money and menfolk to the war. Out of the blue, a rich American aunt invites her to spend two weeks in a Swiss resort, where she flourishes. But on returning home, she is left hating her working-class life, and soon meets a disaffected war veteran who, through many long speeches, provides the intellectual basis for her discontent.

The first half of the book was a lot of fun to read; after an initial slow start, I was quickly absorbed by the story and eager to learn what would happen next. The second half is interesting and brings Zweig’s themes to the forefront, though it is much darker. The end is ambiguous, leaving the characters’ fates up in the air. It is well-written and engaging throughout. The characters feel three-dimensional and realistic, though I wondered in the second half whether Christine is representative of the way an actual Austrian woman in the 1920s would have thought, or only the way a man at the time would have envisioned one (to her, even an active decision to have sex is necessarily an act of submission, and she claims that as a woman she can’t undertake bold action herself, though she can do anything if following her man). And there are a few rough edges and loose ends: I wondered what Christine could have talked about to the moneyed international jet set, which she does constantly and with great animation; without TV or Internet, and without revealing any details of her life, they seem entirely without common ground. I also wondered why she never thought about following up on

(view spoiler)

the older man who was interested in marrying her; she may not have realized that, but he stood by her and invited her to visit his castle,

(spoiler show)

which she for some reason never considered as an option later.

But at any rate, this is a short novel and a very engaging read. It moves fairly quickly and the translation is excellent. A pleasant surprise. 

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-12-13 20:38
Great sequel to a wonderfully written duology
Our Dark Duet - Victoria Schwab

***Possible spoilers below. You’ve been warned***

 

The plot was off to a pretty slow start in this one. Before I start, I’d have to recommend you read This Savage Song before going to this book. You would need the foundation that was set up in This Savage Song to really benefit and enjoy reading Our Dark Duet.

 

As mentioned before, the plot was off to a slow start. Kate and August are on both different ends of the spectrum but have changed drastically. They’ve definitely ‘grown up’ so to speak. Kate becomes monster hunter extraordinaire. August leads his own squad in the FTF. Kate’s part of the story was definitely more interesting. Despite trying hard not to warm up to people she manages to have her small group of friends (but of course, shuns them anyway despite one of them trying to reach out to her numerous times). I love this quality in Kate. It makes her so much more realistic and puts her way from the group of those ‘stone cold butt kickers that apparently have no soul’.

 

That being said about Kate. Oh. Lord. That ending. Kate dying with August nearby got my stomach into knots and twists. I can’t believe it. It was beautifully written though and a suitable ending for her. Kate was pretty much a pariah and a lone wolf. August was one of the few that was able to get to know Kate at a more deeper level. It was only fitting that she meets her end with that one person by her side. Beautifully done.

 

I didn’t really think the romance scene between Kate and August was necessary. It was a minor filler that didn’t need to be added. I never saw August and Kate that way. They were too different and didn’t have that nice ongoing chemistry together. Fighting partners, yes. Partners in love? No I don’t think so.

 

So more about characters dying. Am I the only one that felt a punch to the gut when Ilsa died? Ilsa was a character I really loved in these two books. She went down in a blaze of glory though (albeit, a shocked blaze of glory.)

 

You have to admit, Sloan is one of the better villains I have read in a long while. I like him teaming up with Alice even though villains they are, they are looking out for themselves. He’s creepy, malicious, calculating, and cunning. He’s a perfect villain.

 

The last half of the book, which was filled with action, blood, explosions and all the good stuff set the pace for the great ending to a wonderfully written duology. I know fans out there are asking for more, as it’s not the end of the adventures for August and Soro. For me, it’s just enough and it’s a perfect ending. Well done Ms Schwab! Now I’m off to read your other works!

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review 2017-12-13 20:31
Dragons Rule in The Book of Genevieve by Mark Boyd #MarkBoyd
The Book of Genevieve - Mark Boyd

Dragon stories always catch my attention, and this is one you will not want to miss.

 

The Book of Genevieve, Book II of A Dragon’s Tale by Mark Boyd is filled with fantasy adventure. You can see my review for The Prophecy, Book I, HERE.

 

Check out the lovely covers. What do you think?

 

The Book of Genevieve (A Dragon's Tale, #2)

 

Goodreads  /  Amazon US  /  Amazon UK  /  Amazon CA

 

MY REVIEW

 

The Book of Genevieve by Mark Boyd is the second of A Dragon’s Tale Trilogy. I loved the first one, so I was very happy to continue the journey with Genevieve.  Because this is the second book of the series and there is so much wonderful fantasy in store for you, I do not want to give anything away. I will just tell you how I felt as I read along

 

I couldn’t help but smile when Mark states that all Genevieve wanted were breasts and a normal life. BUT, there is a Prophecy to be fulfilled and she is part of it.

 

We have elves, Pegasaurs, dragons, demons, vampires, werehounds, trolls, dwarves and two brothers that I fell in love with, Aer and Loer.

 

I loved when Genevieve and Leto showcased their swordplay, the crowd wildly cheering them on. I could see it like a film playing in my mind. So much fun…as is her first ride on her dragon, soaring, swooping, loop-de-looping, laughing all the way.

 

I got lost in their fantasy world of new friendships and new alliances. The more characters I met, the more friends I made. Some are rough and gruff, some are easy going, some are young, some are old.

 

The magical creatures are drawn together to fulfill the Prophecy. Some will die, especially sad about the one, but as some pass on, new babes are born.

 

I can hardly wait to learn the ending of this does not stand alone trilogy in Mishmakor, The Dragon King.

 

I voluntarily reviewed a free copy of The Book of Genevieve by Mark Boyd.

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos  4 Stars

Read more here.

 

 

MY MARK BOYD REVIEWS

 

The Prophecy

 

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Source: www.fundinmental.com/dragons-rule-in-the-book-of-genevieve-by-mark-boyd-markboyd
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