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review 2018-08-20 14:42
Sweep in Peace by Ilona Adrews Review
Sweep in Peace - Ilona Andrews

Sweep in Peace by Ilona Andrews Elaine Howlin Book Blog Review

 

Sweep in Peace picks up 6 months after the events of Clean Sweep and life has returned to normal for Dina....but not for long ;) Her Inn is set to host the volatile peace talks between three warring species. Her livelihood hinges on the outcome and she ends up being pushed into a precarious position to protect her guests.

This book features 4 characters as adults who were kids in The Edge series. It isn't necessary to read The Edge books before this one but you should anyway cause those books are great!

Andrews manage to blend urban fantasy and science fiction so well with this series. Magic and technology don't usually go together but it's something they make work. Here they've blended the two genres without ever having one take over or feel out of place.

 

 

The story doesn't follow the Whodunit style that's very often in urban fantasy books. Instead, we're following the peace talks and the very tricksy Arbitrator wreak havoc in Dina's Inn. It made for much more interesting reading within my favourite genre and I gobbled it up!

 

Favourite Quote: "This is blasphemy!” Odalon declared in the same way Gerard Butler had once roared “This is Sparta.” Sadly, Odalon had nobody to kick into a bottomless hole for emphasis, so he settled for looking extremely put out.” 

Source: elainehowlin.wordpress.com
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review 2018-08-20 12:52
Leia: Princess of Alderaan
Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi Leia, Princess of Alderaan (Star Wars: Journey to Star Wars: the Last Jedi) - Claudia Gray

Dear Powers That Be, this is my second or third petition entreating you to give Claudia Gray all the money and let her write all the Star Wars she wants to write, please and thank you.

 

I haven’t read any of Gray’s non-Star-Wars books yet. She writes YA when she’s not knocking Star Wars novels out of the park. I had trouble imagining that until I read this book. (Lost Stars is marketed as YA but didn’t feel very YA to me.)

 

This book feels very, very YA and it surprised the hell out of me.

 

In the beginning, Leia is a mopey, angsty sixteen-year-old politicking with the ease of long practice while her teenage hormones rage beneath her poised exterior. Basically, Gray took everyone’s favorite space princess and made her even more relatable, which I had no idea was even possible. (Surprise!) Leia feels neglected by her parents, she’s desperate to be noticed by them, she meets a boy she likes, and she struggles with her sense of self. It’s stock standard YA fare woven skillfully into an engaging tale of Leia learning to navigate the pitfalls of Imperial politics as she comes of age during the Rebellion’s tumultuous infancy.

 

Some of my favorite parts were the descriptions of Leia’s home life in the royal palace on Alderaan and her relationship with her adoptive parents, Bail and Breha. Bail gets most of the fanfare in the movies and novels, but let me tell you, Queen Breha is so badass she ought to eclipse him. Not to diminish Bail’s contributions to the galaxy far, far away, but they should be erecting statues of Breha too. Bigger, shinier statues.

 

Oh, and about Amilyn Holdo. We get to see her as a gangly, awkward teenager and she is basically Luna Lovegood. It explains SO. MUCH. I love her even more now.

 

I would have scored the book a solid 9 out of 10 until I got to the last line. Damn it, Claudia. That was a cheap shot. Minus one point. Feel free to earn it back with your next Star Wars novel, Master and Apprentice, a tale of Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan, now available for pre-order. Everybody go buy it so they keep giving Claudia Gray all the money to write all the Star Wars, please and thank you.

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review 2018-08-19 11:21
Ready Player One
Ready Player One - Ernest Cline

The most amazing fast forward and flashback at the same time. If we have oasis in real life - you would never see me walk out of my room ever again.

Going outside is highly overrated.

Ready Player One is time traveling without the use of a speed force or a machine developed by mad scientists. While reading – you would either find yourself in the past or in the future. I just can’t imagine how much dedication Ernest Cline put up to get this book to be liked by the people who are actually from the ’80s and the Generation Z who are technology know-it-all.

 

Hats off to you Sir Cline for giving all of us something to geek about and for introducing a very good ’80s jam.

 

As someone who was born in 1999 (nearly 2000) I’m way too late to experience anything from the ’80s. Not the classic films nor the retro games. For a reader who isn’t familiar with half of the references used in this book, I don’t know how many times I have wished to be born on the said era just so I could say it also gave me a sense of nostalgia. Fortunately, there’s google and internet to tell me what these references are.

 

You can say “Oh this book wasn’t for you then. Why did you even bother reading it?” but I have to to disagree. This book is still a haven to my nerdiness. Nothing stopped me from actually enjoying this book and solve James Halliday’s riddles and look for puzzle pieces with the rest of the High Five.

 

Speaking of our top five in the leaderboard, these characters made this book 10x better. Artemis, Aech, Daito, Shoto and Parzival have their own distinct voices and are characters that undoubtedly make the readers root for them to team up because they are all bad-assess and with them as a clan they will easily defeat IOI.

 

Also, we have Wade Watts whose narration was very refreshing to read especially when you realize there is someone who can be as trashy as you. There were times when he’s too unbelievably perfect for managing to answer Halliday’s riddles just from thin air but still you can’t deny that he has a burning passion for the oasis that he dedicated his whole life learning everything about Halliday. Although there were lots of flaws to Wade’s character like how he sees Artemis as a trophy to be won or how pathetically he had been when she broke up with him, he still redeemed himself in the end.

 

Yes there were cons – but were easily foreshadowed by the world building, the action, and all the intriguing aspects of this book. The ending was already more than enough and I don’t see the need of a sequel but because it has been already announced I have no choice but to just set high expectations for it.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-08-18 12:06
Rosewater - Tade Thompson
Rosewater - Tade Thompson

It feels almost miserly only giving Rosewater 3 stars but, while there was a lot I really liked about it, the fact that it's a) the first book of a trilogy and so doesn't really have an ending of its own, and b) that it jumps about between time periods and didn't quite work for me as a coherent narrative meant I ended up knocking at least one star off for just those two things. 

 

There's also a lot to like about the book as a whole, particularly that the author manages to take a protagonist (Kaaro) who is pretty unlikeable and make you care about what happens to him. Because, make no bones about it, there's a lot not to like about Kaaro as we work our way through his history and the surrounding world-building of the book. For much of the storyline, he's pretty immature and makes at least one decision (though he seems to have some insight as he gets older about this) with his penis rather than any other part of his body. Secondly, as someone who works for a shadowy secret agency and also has mental powers whose source we discover as the storyline moves along, he's actively involved in interrogations. 

 

Rosewater is set in a near-present day world where there has been alien contact on a number of occasions, the most recent being in Nigeria where something has fallen from the sky and built a dome that occasionally opens. When it opens, people are healed but not always in a way which is positive for them and also the recent dead are brought back to life, but as zombies. There's been previous contact with the same aliens and there's mention of London being devastated by a landing in Hyde Park and the US having chosen to shut itself off from the rest of the world as a result, but these are background details.

 

Kaaro discovers, as the book goes on, that not only do his powers actually come from a previous alien landing but that everyone else he knows with similar abilities is dying. He is, effectively, the last man standing for no apparent reason, like it or not. In fact, the entire world is changing as the alien influence begins to take over and human cells are literally replaced by alien ones in a larger and larger amount of people. The sequels are about resisting that change, with The Rosewater Insurrection being due out next year. Not sure if I'll read it, unless I can either get it from the library or free for review, as while I enjoyed reading Rosewater and it certainly kept me turning the pages, it didn't 100% work for me for the reasons mentioned at the start of this review. 

  

 

I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2018-08-17 16:19
Exploring the Star Wars Expanded Universe

 

 

Sequart is proud to announce the publication of A More Civilized Age: Exploring the Star Wars Expanded Universe, edited by Rich Handley and Joeseph F. Berenato.

 

Almost as soon as there were Star Wars films, there were Star Wars novels. Alan Dean Foster got the ball rolling, ghost-writing the first film’s adaptation for George Lucas, as well as penning a sequel, Splinter of the Mind’s Eye. Novels covering the exploits of Han Solo and Lando Calrissian soon followed, ushering in what would come to be called the Star WarsExpanded Universe. The EU, like the Force itself, has helped to bind the galaxy together.

More than 250 Star Wars novels have been published by Del Rey, Bantam Books, Ballantine Books, and other companies, aimed at both young and adult readers. Spanning the decades before, during, and after the films’ events, the books have spawned new galactic governments, explored the nature of the Jedi and the Sith, and developed the Star Warsmythos well beyond merely a series of films and television shows. The Expanded Universe — recently re-branded as “Legends” following Disney’s acquisition of the franchise — has grown exponentially, comprising not only the books but also comics, video games, radio shows, role-playing games, and more.

 

With A More Civilized Age: Exploring the Star Wars Expanded Universe, editors Rich Handley and Joseph F. Berenato continue their look back at the franchise’s highs and lows, which began with A Long Time Ago: Exploring the Star Wars Cinematic Universe and A Galaxy Far, Far Away: Exploring Star Wars Comics. This third volume offers insightful, analytical essays examining the Star Wars EU, contributed by popular film historians, novelists, bloggers, and subject-matter experts — including fan-favorite Star Wars novelists Timothy Zahn and Ryder Windham. The films were just the beginning. Find out how the universe expanded.

The book runs a massive 348 pages.

A More Civilized Age: Exploring the Star Wars Expanded Universe is available in print and on Kindle. (Just a reminder: you don’t need a Kindle device to read Kindle-formatted books; you can download a free Kindle reader for most computers, phones, and tablets.)

 

Find out more on the book’s official page or its Facebook page.

Reviewers may request a PDF of the book for review, and the book's editors are available for interviews. If interested, please send inquiries to sequart.mike@gmail.com

 

 

Amazon link:

 

https://www.amazon.com/More-Civilized-Age-Exploring-Expanded/dp/1940589177

 

 

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