Book Review

#SciFi Worth Reading: A Desolation Called Peace #BookReview #booklovers

Book 2 in the Teixcalaan series, A Desolation Called Peace by Arkady Martine, is an exciting return to the Empire.  Detailed and imaginative, her world-building is extraordinary and thought-provoking.

Having enjoyed the first book, I was keen to delve into the second. I think this book is actually better than the first. Perhaps because I didn’t have to work as hard to understand the world and people she created. I already knew them. But I also think the story is better.

Mahit Dzmare and Three Seagrass team up once again to help negotiate with an enemy that inspires fear among the most hardened war veterans.

Don’t ask me how to pronounce a lot of names, but it was easy to fill in my own pronunciations, which I’m sure are very wrong. But that doesn’t matter. The story is beautiful and the language often aching. The Empire loves its poetry, and I feel as if the story immerses me in the culture of the Empire and that I see it through the lens of their poetry. It’s quite an extraordinary feat in writing.

I definitely recommend reading this one, especially if you liked the first, A Memory Called Empire.

Here’s the official description:

An alien armada lurks on the edges of Teixcalaanli space. No one can communicate with it, no one can destroy it, and Fleet Captain Nine Hibiscus is running out of options.

In a desperate attempt at diplomacy with the mysterious invaders, the fleet captain has sent for a diplomatic envoy. Now Mahit Dzmare and Three Seagrass—still reeling from the recent upheaval in the Empire—face the impossible task of trying to communicate with a hostile entity.

Their failure will guarantee millions of deaths in an endless war. Their success might prevent Teixcalaan’s destruction—and allow the empire to continue its rapacious expansion.

Or it might create something far stranger . . .

 

#SciFi Worth Reading: The Kaiju Preservation Society #BookReview

best selling science fiction from John ScalziThe Kaiju Preservation Society by best-selling science fiction author John Scalzi brightened my days while I was reading it. Several times, it made me laugh out loud. The premise is quite original as to where and how Kaiju live. There’s lots of action, and the references to life-changing moments because of COVID made it relatable and real.

In his postscript, Scalzi says this novel is the equivalent of a pop song, and it is. The plot is often predictable, but the originality of the world in which it takes place was fun.

As you know, I love my monster/giant reptile stories, so I couldn’t resist reading this one. If you’re looking for something light and fun and with a few laughs, The Kaiju Preservation Society will fill that void. And, where do I apply? I want to work there.

When COVID-19 sweeps through New York City, Jamie Gray is stuck as a dead-end driver for food delivery apps. That is, until Jamie makes a delivery to an old acquaintance, Tom, who works at what he calls “an animal rights organization.” Tom’s team needs a last-minute grunt to handle things on their next field visit. Jamie, eager to do anything, immediately signs on.

What Tom doesn’t tell Jamie is that the animals his team cares for are not here on Earth. Not our Earth, at least. In an alternate dimension, massive dinosaur-like creatures named Kaiju roam a warm, human-free world. They’re the universe’s largest and most dangerous panda and they’re in trouble.

It’s not just the Kaiju Preservation Society who have found their way to the alternate world. Others have, too. And their carelessness could cause millions back on our Earth to die.

 

 

#SciFi Worth Reading: The Silver Ship and the Sea #BookReview

The Silver Ship and the Sea

by Brenda Cooper

This story soon had me so engrossed, that I had to keep reading until the last page. The world and characters were rich and complex and so imaginative. This alien planet became something I experienced through action, drama, and description. There was fear, tension, and excitement.

In the story, most humans have been augmented through bio-engineering to be improved. A ship full of regular, nonaugmented, humans settle on the planet of Fremont where they want to live without any of the trappings of modern humans. Things go according to plan… for a while.

Until a ship of modified humans arrives. Soon there is a culture clash that leads to war. These events happen before the story starts. The story begins shortly after. The modified people left behind six children, who essentially become prisoners of war of the colony. The children have extraordinary abilities. Some are treated with love; some not so much.

Inevitably, as the children grow and realize their predicament, things come to a boiling point again. Well-developed, solid storytelling, don’t miss out on this great novel.

I really need to read the next book in this series. Brenda Cooper has oodles of talent and tells a fabulous story woven with wonder, humanity, and questions we must all answer for ourselves.

Prisoners of a war they barely remember, Fremont’s Children must find a way to survive in a world that abhors their very nature. Or they must discover a way to leave it…

Brenda Cooper’s Fremont’s Children series launches with her award-winning novel The Silver Ship and the Sea. Cooper explores what it means to be so different that others feel they must oppress you.

Six genetically enhanced children are stranded on the colony planet Fremont in a war between genetic purists and those that would tinker with the code. Orphaned, the children have few remnants of their heritage other than an old woman who was left for abandoned at the end of the war, and a mysterious silver ship that appears to have no doors.

To keep themselves alive, the children must leave the safety of the insular community and brave the beautiful but dangerous wilds of Fremont. Is it an echo of their own natures, or a proving ground of their genetic worth?

In this battle of wills and principles, what does the future hold for Fremont’s Children?

#Fantasy Worth Reading: The House in the Cerulean Sea #BookReview

Charming and endearing, The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune was a story I wished wouldn’t end. Filled with fun and heartwarming characters, I wanted to keep reading once I reached the end.

In this quirky world, magical beings have to be registered and monitored by the government. See something, say something. The main character, Linus Baker, is a caseworker for the Department in Charge of Magical Youth, DICOMY. He’s buttoned-up and by the book. Because of that, he’s sent by Extremely Upper Management to investigate an orphanage to make sure everything is in order.

The problem is, these are not ordinary children. Even as far as magical children go, these are very different kids. In fact, they’re quite dangerous.  The pages are filled with quaint and odd and incredible and delight. The message is one of kindness and accepting people for who they are instead of judging based on labels. A great message accompanying a wonderful story.

Another highly recommended read! I’m going to check out what else TJ Klune has written.

Linus Baker is a by-the-book case worker in the Department in Charge of Magical Youth. He’s tasked with determining whether six dangerous magical children are likely to bring about the end of the world.

Arthur Parnassus is the master of the orphanage. He would do anything to keep the children safe, even if it means the world will burn. And his secrets will come to light.

The House in the Cerulean Sea is an enchanting love story, masterfully told, about the profound experience of discovering an unlikely family in an unexpected place―and realizing that family is yours.

Fantasy Worth Reading: Ravage of the Revenants #BookReview #LitRPG #fantasybooks #booklovers

Ravage of the Revenants by Christine Rains is the second book in the Khthonia series. Like the first, this novel transported me to a magical land with elves, giants, orcs, dwarves, fae, humans, and creatures. If you’re looking for an escape and an enjoyable one, get this book on your Kindle today.

The characters are well-formed with flaws and strengths. And, as it turns out in this sequel, they don’t all have the same goal. Not everyone in Nora’s party wants to get home.  They take us through the land and troubles of Khthonia through their stories.

As in any enthralling story, the plot thickens and builds to a fantastic battle. I doubt the author wrote this story with my favorite game world in mind (as mine is a computer game and not a tabletop game), but that’s what I picture as I read, and I love that.  Which means, you don’t have to be a gamer with dice to easily follow this story and the nuances.

The ending is satisfying and leaves a large crack for the next book in the series. I can’t wait for it! So, yes, I recommend this book.

Everyone knows if you split the party, the players will die.

But what if it’s the only way to discover who the villain might be?

Nora Quinn has spent years honing her mystery solving skills, and when the game calls for several days of gathering information, she’s excited to uncover who the evil necromancer is. She plays Essaerae, an elven bard who is at home with the aristocrats of Willowbright Woods and political maneuvering. Yet her friends are not. They’re enjoying their new lives trapped in the dark fantasy world of Khthonia and finding the way home is no longer a priority, especially if it means hours of tedious investigating.

Assassins set their sights on the heroes and undead attack the city. Someone on the esteemed Council is likely the necromancer, and to end the curse on Khthonia, the players must unmask them. Nora’s left to figure the puzzle out on her own. The problem is, if she splits from the party, she will die.

A fantasy LitRPG/GameLit for fans of table-top role-playing games.

#Scif Worth Reading: Space Murder #BookReview

Looking for some space fun and some laughs? Space Murder: Captain Liz Laika Mysteries 1 by Nikki Haverstock will fulfill that wish.

The action is nonstop in this story, and the characters were really fun. Captain Liz is head honcho on a very slow freighter that delivers goods from place to place. Convinced her life isn’t great, she keeps to herself and doesn’t realize how much she has to lose. Not until she’s framed for a murder committed aboard her ship.

This novel is very well written and has fun twists and turns. It’s basically a cozy mystery in space. A lot goes wrong very quickly in the plot, and then keeps getting worse. Nothing was boring about this read. It was very enjoyable. Yup, I recommend this one, and, yes, I was attracted to the dinosaur on the cover.  Couldn’t say no to that.

For everything there is a season…
Once the star student of her training class, Captain Liz Laika is now an outcast, a casualty of family scandal. Now stuck in the worst post in the Fleet, she should keep her head down. But when a Cerulean passenger is found decapitated, and Liz is framed for the murder, she has no choice but to fight for her life. No easy feat when she’s facing kidnapping, ship-eating whales, horse-sized spiders and corrupt fleet officers with personal vendettas. And in the middle of the intergalactic murder drama, her ex-fiancé reappears. Captain Liz needs to clear her name–and fast.