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Search tags: sci-fi-and-fantasy
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review 2017-11-23 04:53
Hunger Makes the Wolf by Alex Wells - My Thoughts
Hunger Makes the Wolf - Alex Wells

Thank you SO much, KJ Charles for bringing this book to my attention.  I loved it!  :)  I have to say, I don't read everything that KJ recs, but I have found that the ones she recommends that catch my interest with the genre and blurb are never a disappointment.

The first half and a bit of the book was admittedly a bit slow.  Interesting but slow, I found.  We were getting to know the characters of importance, Hob, Mag, Nick, the Bone Collector etc... and learning some of the way Tanegawa's World works.  It's a mining world with some farm communities and one big city - I think.  In charge of the planet is Transrifts Inc., a mining company that holds most of the planet under its heavy heel.  The company also controls the mysterious people, the Weathermen.  These are also the people who have talents/abilities to facilitate rift space travel.

So, Hob, one of the main characters, is a young woman who is a member of a mercenary biker gang that lives apart from 'normal' society.  Exiles for the most part.  Hob is not native to the planet, she came by spaceship as a child, a stowaway type thing, I think I gathered, and was adopted by the leader of the bikers, Nick.  Nick also has a brother, who is a miner, a team leader if I'm not mistaken.  There's a wife and a daughter, Mag.  Mag is the other main character in the book and is as different as night and day from Hob, her adopted cousin.

Anyway, there are strange things afoot on Tanegawa's World and everything points to some sort of huge change for its inhabitants.  Rebellion?  Natural disaster? Further enslavery by the company?  God knows.  But when you get into the second half of the book, the action picks up and things get really, really good.  The characters come really alive now.  And rebellion/resistance is a trope that gets me every time.  There's some magic involved.  There are spies.  There are raids and assassinations and plots and mysteries afoot.  Hardly anything gets settled by the end of the book, but I didn't find that a problem.  It's a jumping off point, like the first, establishing season of a good TV series.  And this would make a great series, I think. The characters are rich with depth, and diverse, and they feel real, which is very important to me.

I can't wait to read the next one!  Which is out in February.

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text 2017-11-22 21:15
Reading progress update: I've read 8%.
Updraft - Fran Wilde

Even though I rated it high when I first read it,  I'd forgotten just how good this is!

 

I love the writing! 

 

I'm going to enjoy diving into this trilogy over the long weekend. 

 

 

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review 2017-11-22 21:07
The Path of the Eclipse / Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
Path of the Eclipse - Chelsea Quinn Yarbro

The willow bends and does not break, but the wind that blows from the west has a name...and that name is Khan--Jenghiz Khan.  It is to the north of ancient China where lies the greatest danger and no one is safe, especially foreigners.The man known to the Chinese people as Shih Ghieh-Man faces the greatest danger.  He is an enigma--a man of strength with no perceivable vices.  To survive the coming storm, he allies himself with the beautiful T'en Chih-Yu, a woman warrior desperate to save her people from the Mongol horde.But the man who offers his help has another, older name-and a terrible secret.  For he is the Count St. Germain...and the greatest gift he can bestow can be bought with blood...or death.

 

This installment of the Saint-Germain chronicles didn’t quite hit the spot for me—it seemed to cover a lot of ground (literally), a lot of tragedy, and did it all without much point. It wouldn’t have taken much to push it into 4 star territory, just a bit more focus. As it stands, this book felt to me very much like two excuses to push Saint-Germain into a Chinese and an Indian woman’s beds, and little else.

I can certainly see why female readers find Saint-Germain a sympathetic character—age doesn’t mean much to him, considering how old he is, so even we older readers can envisage ourselves as possible love interests for this enigmatic vampire. Plus, as the Indian woman, Padmiri, discovers, he is all about female sexual satisfaction. She describes a subsequent lover as willing to get her aroused because he knows that it will benefit him, but her arousal & satisfaction are not truly that man’s focus.

Two enormous, diverse countries are explored in this novel and both got short shrift. When the story begins, Saint-Germain has already been in China for some time, long enough for a university to decide that they would like him to leave. At no point is the reader told why Saint-Germain chose China or what he was trying to accomplish there. India is just a way-station on his travels “home,” and the potential for interesting adventures is hemmed in by the rather histrionic plot in which a young priestess of Kali attempts to capture & use Saint-Germain as a sacrifice to her goddess.

For me, the most engaging and interesting part of the book took place as Saint-Germain and Roger over-winter in a Buddhist monastery and get to know the nine-year-old lama in charge of the lamasery. It is a small section, disappointingly quick to pass.

What should have been a more pressing problem—Saint-Germain is running out of his supply of his native earth—doesn’t get nearly the attention that it should. Especially since he and running water don’t get along and he will need to put to sea to get home. Another irritant (for me), was a series of letters from two Nestorian Christians travelling in China, but who remained completely unexplained. It is not until the very end of the book that the survivor of the pair crosses Saint-Germain’s path and I assume that it is a set-up for another volume.

Still, despite my criticisms, I enjoyed this fluffy little fantasy tale and I will definitely continue on with the series.

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review 2017-11-22 20:14
Equal Rites
Equal Rites - Terry Pratchett

So far I´m not the biggest Terry Pratchett fan. I´m still looking for that book that pulls me completely into the quirky Pratchett universe. Equal Rites is my third Pratchett and unfortunately I´m still not enthusiatic about his books (but I´m not giving up).

 

In Equal Rites a wizard makes the grave mistake to pass his powers onto a baby girl. A female wizard? Unheard of in the whole of Discworld. The novel follows this female wizard, Eskarina Smith, how she gets tutored by Granny Weatherwax, an awesome witch, and how she tries to become the first female wizard in a male dominated world.

 

I loved Granny Weatherwax, she is such a fun and great character and a lot of the enjoyment I took out of this book is because of her. Unfortunately she isn´t the main character of this novel. The MC is Eskarina, a nine year old child and an annoying know-it-all. Eskarina is the proof that child characters and I don´t get along very well.

 

Equal Rites is an okay read, but I´m not in love with it. Granny Weatherwax on the other hand: 

 

"Listen, said Granny "If you give someone a bottle of red jollop for their wind it may work, right, but if you want it to work for sure then you let their mind make it work for them. Tell `em it´s moonbeams bottled in fairy wine or something. Mumble a bit over it. It´s the same with cursing."

 

"She was wearing servicable black, and concealed about her person were a number of hatpins and a breadknife. She had hidden their small store of money, grudgingly advanced by Smith, in the mysterious strata of her underwear. Her skirt pockets jingled with lucky charms, and a freshly-forged horseshoe, always a potent preventative in time of trouble, weighed down her handbag. She felt about as ready as she ever would be to face the world.

 

  

[Source]

 

"It´s Mistress Weatherwax," said Granny. "Three sugars, please."

Mrs. Whitlow pushed the bowl towards her. Much as she looked forward to Granny´s visits it came expensive in sugar. Sugar lumps never seemed to last long around Granny.

"Very bad for the figure," she said. "And the teeth, so Aye hear."

"I never had a figure  to speak of and my teeth take care of themselves," said Granny.

 

I love her.

 

16 Tasks of the Festive Season: Square 1 All Saints Day: A book that has a primarily black and white cover, or one that has all the colours (ROYGBIV) together on the cover.

 

This wonderful cover of my edition has all the colours of the rainbow in it.

 

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review 2017-11-22 20:00
The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan, narrated by Robin Sachs
The Last Werewolf (The Last Werewolf, #1) - Glen Duncan,Robin Sachs

 

 The Last Werewolf is not what I expected it to be, but I enjoyed it. I listened to it on audio and the narrator was excellent.

 

There is a lot of explicit sex and this book depicts werewolves as the beings they are-don't expect everything to be all prettied up because you'll be disappointed.

 

I read this with my reading group and even though I didn't LOVE this book, I think I will continue with the next-just not right away.

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