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text 2020-06-27 02:05
Snakes and Ladders - Update 11

 

 

(Moonlight Reader's rule post)

 

Squares:

1. Author is a woman: Poulets grillés par Sophie Hénaff (2 dice: 2+6 = 8)

 

9. Author's last name begins with the letters H, I, J, or K: Blood Price by Tanya Huff (4+4 = 8)

 

17. Genre: horror: Salvage: a Ghost Story by Duncan Ralston (2 dice: 3+6 = 9)

 

26. Part of a series that is more than 5 books long: An Excellent Mystery by Ellis Peters [Cadfael #11] (6+5 = 11)

 

37. Has won an award: The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins (1 die: 4)

 

41. Characters involved in politics: The Division Bell Mystery by Ellen Wilkinson (2 dice: 3+6 = 9)

 

50. Has a domestic animal on the cover: The Snake, the Crocodile and the Dog by Elizabeth Peters (4+3 = 7)

 

57. Was published more than 50 years ago: Podkayne of Mars by Robert A. Heinlein (2 dice: 1+4 = 5)

I combined this with a couple of short stories from The New Voices of Science Fiction to be sure to hit the 200 page count mark.

 

62. Cover is more than 50% green: Poseidon's Gold by Lindsey Davis (2 dice: 3+2 = 5)

 

67. Set in a city with a population of greater than 5 million people: Who Killed Sherlock Holmes? by Paul Cornell (2 dice: 3+5 = 8)

 

75. Set in a fantasy world: Two Serpents Rising by Max Gladstone (2 dice: 4+1 = 5)

 

80. Main character is a man

 

Maybe I can finish my French book for this square...

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review 2020-06-24 22:23
Naomi Novik - His Majesty's Dragon
His Majesty's Dragon - Naomi Novik

An enjoyable first part of a fantasy series - not so much as a single book, though.

 

When I picked up the book, I was intrigued by the premise: an alternate universe where almost everything is (mostly) similar to ours in the 19th century, except dragons exist, they're sentient and are used for war, and because of this they and their riders very sought after by the armies of most countries and empires.

 

From the premise, I guessed it would have either been a silly fun romp, but the world building did turn out to be much more deep and well crafted than I would have imagined. The author could have gone with a full blown high fantasy world, but instead she decided to stick to the real world of the time, and she definitely did her research. If the next books will focus a bit more on the other countries and how they fit into this world, or at least on other foreign characters, I will be definitely read more of this series.

 

However, a few things didn't completely grab me: the main characters, both Temeraire, the dragon, and Laurence, his human rider, aren't really that compelling, at least so far. There are a few elements in the story that I hope will be explored in future books, but for the moment there isn't much of note to them - aside form the fact that they both speak like dapper gentlemen, especially Temeraire. If I had a shot everytime either of them says "pray" instead of "please", I'd need a new liver.

 

The story itself is a pretty standard "boy and his dragon" kind of plot, not done badly and with some nice twists due to the realpolitiks of this world, but still a bit predictable in some parts. At points the book feels a bit more like a set up for the rest of the series than an enjoyable story of its own. I have a few more thoughts, but I'll hold them back until after I've finished the second book in the series.

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text 2020-06-20 17:34
Snakes and Ladders - Update 10

 

(Moonlight Reader's rule post)

 

Squares:

1. Author is a woman: Poulets grillés par Sophie Hénaff (2 dice: 2+6 = 8)

 

9. Author's last name begins with the letters H, I, J, or K: Blood Price by Tanya Huff (4+4 = 8)

 

17. Genre: horror: Salvage: a Ghost Story by Duncan Ralston (2 dice: 3+6 = 9)

 

26. Part of a series that is more than 5 books long: An Excellent Mystery by Ellis Peters [Cadfael #11] (6+5 = 11)

 

37. Has won an award: The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins (1 die: 4)

 

41. Characters involved in politics: The Division Bell Mystery by Ellen Wilkinson (2 dice: 3+6 = 9)

 

50. Has a domestic animal on the cover: The Snake, the Crocodile and the Dog by Elizabeth Peters (4+3 = 7)

 

57. Was published more than 50 years ago: Podkayne of Mars by Robert A. Heinlein (2 dice: 1+4 = 5)

I combined this with a couple of short stories from The New Voices of Science Fiction to be sure to hit the 200 page count mark.

 

62. Cover is more than 50% green: Poseidon's Gold by Lindsey Davis (2 dice: 3+2 = 5)

 

67. Set in a city with a population of greater than 5 million people: Who Killed Sherlock Holmes? by Paul Cornell (2 dice: 3+5 = 8)

 

75. Set in a fantasy world

This should be fairly easy, although my first attempt to read for this square ended in a DNF after fewer than 20 pages.

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review 2020-06-17 00:13
The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes - audiobook
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes - Suzanne Collins

Audience: Young Adult

Format: Audiobook/Library Copy

 

 

Coriolanus released the fistful of cabbage into the pot of boiling water and swore that one day it would never pass his lips again.

- first sentence

 

This is a prequel to the Hunger Games series, set during the tenth Hunger Games (Katniss volunteers for the 74th Hunger Games). Coriolanus Snow is a teenager and in school. He and some of his classmates are selected to mentor the 24 tributes. Snow is irritated when he is chosen to mentor the girl from District 12 - Lucy Gray Baird.

 

Snow's family is poor (a result of the war with the districts) but he doesn't want anyone to know. He sees himself as better than pretty much everyone else, especially people from the districts. His chilly attitude and selfishness make him difficult to like, then again we aren't supposed to like him, are we. 

 

The book wasn't as exciting or page-turning as the original series, but I enjoyed it. The ending was expected but still sad and unfortunate. The one thing this book did was make me want to reread the original series.

 

 

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text 2020-06-16 02:36
Snakes and Ladders - Update 9

I keep landing just one short of a ladder...

 

 

(Moonlight Reader's rule post)

 

Squares:

1. Author is a woman: Poulets grillés par Sophie Hénaff (2 dice: 2+6 = 8)

 

9. Author's last name begins with the letters H, I, J, or K: Blood Price by Tanya Huff (4+4 = 8)

 

17. Genre: horror: Salvage: a Ghost Story by Duncan Ralston (2 dice: 3+6 = 9)

 

26. Part of a series that is more than 5 books long: An Excellent Mystery by Ellis Peters [Cadfael #11] (6+5 = 11)

 

37. Has won an award: The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins (1 die: 4)

 

41. Characters involved in politics: The Division Bell Mystery by Ellen Wilkinson (2 dice: 3+6 = 9)

 

50. Has a domestic animal on the cover: The Snake, the Crocodile and the Dog by Elizabeth Peters (4+3 = 7)

 

57. Was published more than 50 years ago: Podkayne of Mars by Robert A. Heinlein (2 dice: 1+4 = 5)

I combined this with a couple of short stories from The New Voices of Science Fiction to be sure to hit the 200 page count mark.

 

62. Cover is more than 50% green: Poseidon's Gold by Lindsey Davis

 

67. Set in a city with a population of greater than 5 million people

 

That sounds like an excuse to crack open...

Who Killed Sherlock Holmes? - Paul Cornell 

 

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