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review 2017-06-29 01:15
Free-Wrench by Joseph R Lallo
Free-Wrench - Joseph R. 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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text 2017-06-27 14:03
Booklikes-opoly Turn 23 (June 27th)

I've decided to continue reading the audiobook The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax by Dorothy Gilman for the Adventureland 26 square, so I'm rolling again.




If I can count a story where the description says it takes in place in Londinium as sometimes also taking place (it probably will) in London (the two are linked) then I could read All is Fair by Emma Newman. Otherwise there's Free-Wrench by Joseph Lallo with airships.

All is Fair: The Split Worlds - Book Three - Emma Newman  Free-Wrench - Joseph Lallo  


And for my second roll:

Whichever way I take this one I have possibilities. I did ask to clarify whether the image should be in the book or on the cover. I think I have too many possibilities. I even have some very reasonable possibilities for an author with all of the letters in SPACE: Adam Christopher.

The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America's Favorite Planet - Neil deGrasse Tyson  Made to Kill: A Novel (L.A. Trilogy) - Adam Christopher  The Unincorporated Woman - Dani Kollin,Eytan Kollin  


Far-Seer by Robert J. Sawyer seems to keep coming out with new covers for the same edition, becoming more and more spacey:

Far-Seer - Robert J. Sawyer   


It's kind of tempting to go with the hardest condition to meet and read Made to Kill though. And even more possibilities can be found at the library (assuming they're currently available).


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review 2017-05-26 17:51
Death in the Clouds by Agatha Christie
Death in the Clouds - Agatha Christie

Series: Poirot # 12


This was a weird little mystery, partly because it's 1935 and Hercule Poirot is flying on an commercial airliner or aeroplane. It was also interesting to read about a commercial flight from back then and how the plane was arranged. I was initially a little confused because the diagram at the beginning referred to a "rear car" and I had a weird picture in my head of interlocking pieces of an airplane like a train and wasn't entirely sure I was correct about them being in a plane for a few pages. But they were.


A murder occurs during the flight when a woman is mysteriously killed by a poison dart that no one witnesses. Poirot is on the flight but too incommoded by air sickness to be paying much attention to anything, so he feels that he has to investigate afterwards to clear his name (some people on the inquiry jury apparently suspected him just because he was a foreigner).


I didn't see the end coming and I quite enjoyed the book, but the whole thing was just a little outrageous.


I read this for booklikes-opoly square #29 - The Monorail since it "involves travel by air". At 253 pages, this gives me $3 for my bank, so my balance is now $95.


Previous update:


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text 2017-05-25 17:20
Booklikes-opoly Turn 16 (May 25th)

I finally finished Queens' Play by Dorothy Dunnett, so I rolled again this morning. I'll post my review later tonight probably.



The only book I can think of (on my immediate to read list) that involves travel by air for sure is Death in the Clouds by Agatha Christie. I'd be skipping over Three Act Tragedy for the moment but that's not really a big deal with this series. I think All Is Fair by Emma Newman continues to partially take place in London, so that may fit the set in a city with a subway. There are probably others... Decisions, decisions.


Death in the Clouds - Agatha Christie  All Is Fair - Emma Newman  


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review 2017-05-02 03:07
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
Neverwhere - Neil Gaiman

This was a reread for me, and it didn't disappoint. I had initially read it years ago as a teenager, so although I remembered roughly what happened, it was a whole new experience. Unfortunately, I'm not sure what to say about it other than it's pretty awesome in a slightly creepy, slightly unsettling way. I just love the way Richard Mayhew falls through the cracks into London Below and the people he encounters there. Marquis de Carabas is the true hero of the story, of course, because he's such an awesome character.


I'm counting 215 pages of this book for square #29 for booklikes-opoly, The Monorail, since London definitely has a subway and its subway even features in the book (I rolled this square when I was 36% into the book). This gives me another $3 for my bank, bringing me up to $51. Now onto my next square!

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