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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-07-20 00:07
Wow! I loved this one. Just as good as the first book!
The Rift Walker - Clay and Susan Griffith,Clay Griffith

***Spoilers ahead you’ve been warned!***

 

It is greatly recommended you read The Greyfriar before jumping into this novel. You’d be pretty much lost if you started reading out of order.

 

This one was just as good as the first one and better. I enjoyed reading Adele’s development throughout the book! I never thought of her as a whiny damsel in distress even though there were times when she wasn’t sure what to do but in this book she went from a strong character to someone even  stronger. She immediately knew what to do and there were times when she didn’t take no as an answer (and the empress in her came out! That was fun to watch!)

 

You now have a more developed plot and you also get to see who’s on who’s side and who has a private agenda (Yes Mamoru, we’re talking about you.) I used to like Mamoru so much until the last third of this book. Wow. I understand where the hatred is coming from but it goes to show how blinding it can be and the way it can twist someone around.

 

Also: Everybody needs a friend like Colonel Anhalt. You need a loyal friend like that in life. No kidding. He’s become one of my favorite characters in the series because of his loyalty, despite discovering who the Greyfriar really is. He adores and cherishes Adele so much I loved reading about him. She treats him just the same way and they both are the best match when it comes to a good loyal friendship, in fact it’s almost a father daughter relationship.

 

Speaking of fathers. The deaths of both Constantine and Dmitri just tore me up. It’s interesting how they died similarly. Both heartbreaking, and wanting you out there crying for revenge because of the way they died.

 

So who do I dislike more? Cesare? Or Senator Clark? I’d go with Cesare on this one. He’s cunning, ruthless but there’s something slimy about him that you just want to sink a stake into his heart and watch him disintegrate. Senator Clark on the other hand is just an uncouth baboon that’s funny when he’s upset. You can’t help but laugh at his antics even though he’s a jerk.

 

 

The plot in the book is evenly paced as for the majority of it you follow the Greyfriar and Adele through their journey (GARETH THE WEDDING CRASHER! I LOVED IT!) their romance is well written and it’s not sappy or too sweet. It’s just right. They have their funny moments, and their sad ones, and ones where it was a close call to ending them. I rather wish they had more moments on Cesare and his plotting but he’s sporadically featured here and there throughout the book. Not enough though (there’s just something about villains that you want to read more about anyway…)

 

I definitely can’t wait to read the third one! I want to see what’s going to happen now that Adele is using her skills as a Geomancer and she’s getting more training on it (although there’s a downside to that as well.) Can’t wait to see what’s in store for them next!

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review 2017-07-19 15:01
Of Dreams and Rust...such a beautiful title
Of Dreams and Rust - Sarah Fine

 

 

Book Title:  Of Dreams and Rust

Author:  Sarah Fine

Series:  Of Metal and Wishes #2

Genre:  Older YA, Steampunk, Dark Fantasy

Setting: Itanya

Source:  Kindle eBook

 

 

 

Add to Goodreads

 

 

 

 

 

Book Theme Song

(this link will take you to my tumblr post with video)

Meet Me On the Battlefield by Svrcina   --A poignant, slow song about going into war.  It really has the right feel for Wen, Melik and Bo and their battles fought.♫

 

 

 

⇝OVERALL RATING⇜

4.5/5 STARS

A-

 

 

My Thoughts

 

A sweet, uplifting story set in a bleak and sorrowful world.  The sequel to Of Metal and Wishes is much more action-packed and even more exquisitely romantic.  I loved it in spite of the main character's fickleness towards the two males in her life. The turmoil of their world, and the gutsy determination of the characters, more than overshadow the vexatious love triangle going on.   Making this second book in this duology even more likable than the first.

 

 

 

 

 

Ratings Breakdown

 

Plot:  4.5/5

Main Characters:  4.3/5

Secondary Characters:  4.5/5

The Feels:  4/5

Addictiveness:  4/5

Theme or Tone:  4/5

Flow (Writing Style):  5/5

Backdrop (World Building):  4.5/5

Originality:  5/5

Book Cover:  5/5

Ending:  5/5  Cliffhanger:  Nope.

 

Will I read more from this Author?  Of course…

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review 2017-07-12 13:02
The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman
The Invisible Library - Genevieve Cogman

Irene is sent to retrieve a book from a chaos-infested alternate world for The Library with the help of her assistant/trainee Kai. She belongs to a secret organization called The Invisible Library that collects books and stores them in a massive library complex located somehow adjacent to the many alternate worlds to which its operatives may travel. These alternate worlds all apparently have the same physical laws but they range from the more orderly worlds where magic isn’t a thing to the more chaotic worlds where you can encounter vampires and werewolves and somehow this leads to more steampunk-style technology.

 

The concept here is interesting but I never really connected with the book or its characters. There’s a revelation about a dragon that has little impact on the reader because the reader just doesn’t have the information to know why Irene reacts the way she does. It misses, the mark, basically. There are also several plot points that feel like the characters are required to be a bit slow on the uptake (the twists weren’t all that surprising) or it felt like a plot hole until it was finally explained (to be fair, these things were mostly explained).

 

The other thing that bugged me was the question of timeframes. The library has been around for at least several hundred years and possibly for several thousand. There seem to be a lot of Victorian-era steampunk worlds and there’s nothing to say that we’re not modern day or later (cell phones are a possible technology for the worlds). If we’re modern day or later (to give the library more “time” to exist), why are so many worlds “stuck” in what feels like earlier times? Do they actually get stuck technologically based on the level of chaos in them? Are there futuristic more orderly worlds? If so, has more time passed or did technology just progress faster? These questions kept bugging me all throughout the book and the origin of the library is a mystery. I’m not sure if I’d be disappointed with the answer.

 

Basically, this book just wasn’t quite fun enough to warrant a full three stars so I’m sticking with 2.5. I am somewhat curious to find out more about The Library so I may read the next book although I’m not certain I’ll actually get any answers, so I won’t be rushing out to get find it.

 

I read this for booklikes-opoly square Frontierland 4 “Read a book where…the letters in the title can be used to spell RIVER”: The Invisible Library. Since this is the second time I’ve landed on this square since the shake-up, I get a location multiplier of 1.5 for this 328 page book, which gives me another $9 for my bank.

 

New Bank Balance: $214

 

Previous Updates:

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review 2017-07-12 02:53
The Waking Fire by Anthony Ryan - My Thoughts
The Waking Fire (The Draconis Memoria) - Anthony Ryan

The Draconis Memoria - Book 1

I loved this book!  Yes, it seemed to take a while for me to read, I have no idea why, but I absolutely loved it.  :)

The Waking Fire is a wonderful mix of dragon fantasy, steampunk, military and adventure and some magic thrown in for good measure.  Sounds like quite the jumble, but it works spectacularly well, IMO. 

The three main characters, whose POVs we follow throughout the book, are very different - a small-time street criminal, a lady spy and and upright, honourable Navy man - but they all have one thing in common that I'm not sure I can describe well enough.  But it's got to do with conscience, honour, selflessness (this is a maybe)... I don't know bit they all have this 'it' factor.  And they're all likable while having recognisable flaws, which I find very, very important. 

The world that Ryan has created is familiar yet different.  There is some incredible world-building here and it's fascinating - even though there were a few parts when I found the descriptive passages a tad tedious.  That's probably what kept this from a 5 star read for me. 

A word about the dragons.  They're different from most of the dragons we read about in fantasy and I feel like we've only scratched the surface in this book one of the series.  I don't know how many books it's projected to be, but let me tell you, I can't wait to get my hands on the second book when it gets down to a reasonable price!  Definitely one of my favourite reads of the year.  :)

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review 2017-06-29 01:15
Free-Wrench by Joseph R Lallo
Free-Wrench - Joseph Lallo

Series: Free-Wrench #1

 

Some cataclysmic event created a toxic gas that covers the globe (but not the oceans?) killing off a bunch of people and driving the survivors to mountain ranges and so on and forcing people to travel by airship between clear areas. Nita Graus is from Caldera, named from the volcanic caldera that somehow protected her people from the toxic fug. The Calderans broke off contact with the rest of the world and so there’s pretty much only blackmarket trade with outsiders. Nita’s mother has a deadly degenerative disease so she’s driven to go off in an airship to try to find a cure or a treatment.

 

The author admitted in his author’s note that this novella only took about 3 months to write and publish and I’d say it shows. Some of the ideas could have been neat but a lot of them didn’t seem all that well thought through. Enemy airships immediately succumb to the same type of projectiles that barely scratched their own airship (there was some handwaving about strengthening the shell, I think, but it was pretty patchy to begin with) and a lot of the fight sequences were hard to visualize. I called the big “twist” almost immediately and found it to be extremely telegraphed. And it was weird and abrupt to see the captain go from “no, we cannot possibly jeopardize our trading position” to “yes, let’s attempt a heist”.

 

It was pretty well wrapped up so I’m not sure whether I’ll read the next one. I picked them both up in a bundle at some point, so I’m glad I finally got around to reading this one. It wasn’t terrible, but due to the issues mentioned above, I didn’t feel like I could rate it more than “okay” or two stars. Oh, I forgot to mention that a lot of the viewpoints or philosophies felt kind of preachy which bugged me even though I didn’t necessarily disagree with them. They just felt over the top, I guess, and Nita’s “I know better” attitude was grating.

 

I read this for booklikes-opoly square #29 The Monorail “Read a book that involves travel by air, has an airplane on the cover or is set in a city with a subway”. Nita joins the crew of an airship which travels around, so I think that covers the “travel by air” part, and there’s also an image of the airship (dirigible) on the cover (not an airplane, but close enough it probably counts). I’ve seen page counts of 152 (paperback) and 178 (Kindle) but either one adds another $4 to my bank, bringing my total to $160.

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