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review 2017-09-11 21:54
Phoenix / Steven Brust
Phoenix - Steven Brust

Verra, Vlad's patron goddess, hires him to assassinate a king whose country lies outside the Dragaeran Empire, resulting in increased tension between the two places. Meanwhile, the peasant Teckla and the human Easterners persevere in their fight for civil rights. As Vlad's wife Cawti is a firm partisan of the movement, and Vlad is not, their marriage continues to suffer, causing Vlad to make some decisions that will change his life forever.

 

The fifth book of the Vlad Taltos series, and I feel like Brust has prepared the way to get back on track again. Vlad is our friendly, neighbourhood assassin and generally amusing, snarky guy, but he has been involved in Dragaeren politics for several books, with he & his wife Cawti on opposite sides of the divide. It’s difficult to write humour for a character who is engaged in a struggling relationship, and humour is the main attraction of this series, in my opinion.

And now for something completely different—at book’s end, we see a new Vlad emerging. Has he really put his assassinating ways behind him? Or will he find that it’s a difficult profession to retire from? Are he & his wife going to have to go their separate ways? How much longer will he have his beloved grandfather to lean on?

I’m glad Brust didn’t write another prequel to avoid the issues. I’m looking forward to the next book to see where the tale goes from here.

Book 263 of my Science Fiction & Fantasy reading project.

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review 2017-09-08 19:27
Grass / Sheri S. Tepper
Grass - Sheri S. Tepper

Generations ago, humans fled to the cosmic anomaly known as Grass. But before humanity arrived, another species had already claimed Grass for its own. It too had developed a culture......

Now a deadly plague is spreading across the stars, leaving no planet untouched, save for Grass. But the secret of the planet's immunity hides a truth so shattering it could mean the end of life itself.

 

There’s a lot of things going on in Grass. Religion, tradition, health & illness, education, relationships—all these things get batted around during the course of the book, and that’s a big load for just 500+ pages, but not unusual in a planetary romance of this sort. However I liked the main character, Marjorie Westriding, with her love of her horses, her ability to ask the right questions of the right people, and the willingness to put herself in danger.

As in her book The Gate to Women’s Country, Tepper explores human relationship territory in which men and women seem to talk past one another, with Rodrigo not taking Marjorie seriously enough and Marjorie taking him way too seriously. They do approach mutual comprehension several times during crises, only to back away quickly.

Also explored is the issue of who is worth caring for. The church of Sanctity has decided to let the plague run its course and the resurrect only a chosen few (although they refuse to admit publically that there’s a plague at all). Marjorie has done charitable work, helping the people who have run afoul of Sanctity, and wonders why they are treated so unfairly, even if it’s according to the church’s rule-book. When she & Rodrigo change planets, she begins to wonder if the native creatures of Grass give or receive consideration? What about the noble class on Grass, who believe themselves in charge but are actually humoured by the so-called lower class who run the planet’s economy and are much more educated than the aristocrats? When aristocratic children are abducted and abused by the mysterious Hippae on Grass, are they heartlessly forgotten by their parents or are their minds being controlled? And ultimately, are the people of Grass, who are immune to the plague, obliged to do anything for the rest of humanity?

Unsurprisingly the aristocrats and the priests come out of this tale looking poorly and I can’t help but think that Tepper had colonialism in mind as she crafted this tale. I can see where I’m going to get thinking about this tale for several days to come. Also, I’m disappointed to note that the following two Arbai books follow different characters—no more Marjorie.

Book 262 of my Science Fiction & Fantasy reading project.

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text 2017-08-25 21:24
Reading progress update: I've read 20 out of 544 pages.
Grass - Sheri S. Tepper

It feels good to be getting back into my Science Fiction & Fantasy Reading Project again, after 3 months of impulsive romance & urban fantasy choices.

 

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review 2017-08-22 17:40
Brothers in Arms / Lois McMaster Bujold
Brothers in Arms - Lois McMaster Bujold,Grover Gardner

If his enemies would just leave him alone, Miles Vorkosigan (alias Admiral Naismith) decided bitterly, the Dendarii Free Mercenary Fleet would collapse all on its own. But his enemies were plotting a more deadly fall.

For some unexplained reason the Dendarii payroll is missing and the orders from the Barrayaran Imperial Command are being delayed by Miles's superior, Captain Galeni. What connects the impeccable insufferable Captain Galeni and the Komarran rebel expatriates on Earth anyway? But the most deadly question of all before Miles is more personal: are Miles's two identities, Admiral Naismith of the Dendarii and Lieutenant Lord Vorkosigan of Barrayar, splitting apart along the lines of his divided loyalties? And who is trying to assassinate which version of him?

 

As per usual, Miles Vorkosigan creates a stir wherever he goes. After figuratively hitting a wasp nest with a stick and annoying the Cetagandians, he hares off to old Earth to get his crew healthy and his ships fixed. Of course, things go horribly awry and lots of intrigue & adventure follows.

Somehow, for me, even though there are lots of action sequences, these books are more about the relationships. He has to balance his two identities as Lord Vorkosigan and Admiral Naismith, each with their own responsibilities. He has his cousin Ivan to consider, as Ivan is also stationed on Earth. Plus Miles makes friendships & alliances wherever he goes—and they complicate an already intricate life. Finally there’s the question of whether he will ever get a personal life and find someone to love him as Miles, regardless of which identity he’s currently living in.

Plenty of adventure here for those who like such things, and lots of character development for me. Another successful installment in the saga of Miles Vorkosigan.

Book 261 in my Science Fiction and Fantasy Reading Project.

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text 2017-08-22 10:17
'Myths & Magic: A Science Fiction and Fantasy Collection'
Myths & Magic: A Science Fiction and Fantasy Collection - Kerry Adrienne,Bec McMaster,Felicia Beasley,L.B. Gilbert,Jade Kerrion,Anne Renwick,Lisa Lace,Melle Amade,Michael Trozzo,Lily Thorn,Ilana Waters,Erin Richards,R. E. Vance,Cheri Schmidt,Tristan Hunt,CC Dragon,Bradon Nave,D.A. Roach,Katalina Leon,Boone Brux,

'Myths & Magic: A Science Fiction and Fantasy Collection' is a box set by various authors.
Kin Selection by L.B. Gilbert is the book I am reviewing. This is the story of Denise Hammond and Yogi Kane.
Denise and her group save Chimps and such for animal testing as such and on one of those missions she see a wolf cub who she can't help but take with her. Since the chimps have places they can ship them to save their lives they have no such place for a wolf cub so she takes him. But Denise soon learns he is also a baby.
Yogi has been asked to find a baby / cub named Oliver from the rival Avery's Pack. Oliver's father past awhile back and now the mother and Oliver a missing. Yogi finds the mother has died and Oliver missing but it doesn't take him long to find the baby with Denise. Yogi kidnaps her and the baby and takes them back with him.
I enjoyed their story!
"My honest review is for a special copy I voluntarily read."
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https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/1831318-sissy-s-romance-book-review-for-you
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https://www.facebook.com/RomanceBookReview
http://sissymaereads.blogspot.com/
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https://plus.google.com/+SissyHicks

 

 

Source: www.amazon.com/Myths-Magic-Science-Fiction-Collection-ebook/dp/B072LPDFQK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1503265276&sr=8-1&keywords=Myths+and+Magic+L.B.+Gilbert
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