Book Review

#Fantasy With Reading: Murder for the Modern Girl #BookReview

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Murder for the Modern Girl by Kendall Kulper

Another supernatural fantasy set in a bygone era. In this book, the main character, Ruby, is a killer. It’s the 1920s in Chicago, and Ruby has the ability to read minds. She uses this skill to kill horrible people. The book opens with her committing a murder. That certainly caught my attention and kept me reading. Despite this deadly flaw, Ruby is a likable character that I ended up rooting for.

Her father is the district attorney and becomes the victim of violence. Will he live? However it turns out, Ruby is determined to continue his work fighting corruption in the city. Her proclivities and investigation take her to the morgue where she meets Guy. Guy isn’t his real name and he can change his appearace. Yes, he can shift his face and his body to appear like someone completely different.

He’s a scientist and is on the trail of a serial killer… Ruby. He ends up helping her with her investigation, which puts them together and in conflict from the moment they meet.

This was a fun read with some twists and turns. It’s the second in this series, and I liked it as much as the first.

Here’s the official description:

A ravishing young mind reader stalks the streets at night in kitten heels, prowling for men to murder.

A soft-spoken genius toils away in the city morgue, desperate to unearth the science behind his gift for shape-shifting.

It’s a match made in 1928 Chicago, where gangsters run City Hall, jazz fills the air, and every good girl’s purse conceals a flask.

Until now, 18-year-old Ruby’s penchant for poison has been a secret. No one knows that she uses her mind-reading abilities to target men who prey on vulnerable women, men who escape the clutches of Chicago “justice”. When she meets a brilliant boy working at the morgue, his knack for forensic detail threatens to uncover her dark hobby. Even more unfortunately: Sharp, independent Ruby has fallen in love with him.

Waltzing between a supernaturally enhanced romance, the battle to take down a gentleman’s club, and loyal friendships worth their weight in diamonds, Ruby brings defiant charm to every spectacular chapter of Murder for the Modern Girl—not to mention killer fashion. An irresistible caper.


#ScFi Worth Reading: System Collapse #BookReview

best-selling science fictionSystem Collapse by Martha Wells.

This is the 7th installment in the Murderbot Diaries series. I loved, loved, loved this book so, so, so much. If you love Murderbot, you won’t be disappointed by this new novel.

Murdbot is its usual snarky self. It’s humorous commentary keeps pace with the action and the fast pace of the story. This novel pretty much picks up where the last one left off, except Murderbot is having a bit of a personal crisis.

The way Murderbot develops and grows and questions whether it wants to be more human is the beating heart of this series. This book continues Murderbot’s journey. And yay! ART is back too. I wasn’t at all disappointed, except there’ll be a long wait until the next one. Siiigh.

More please, Martha Wells!

Here’s the description:

Everyone’s favorite lethal SecUnit is back.

Following the events in Network Effect, the Barish-Estranza corporation has sent rescue ships to a newly colonized planet in peril, as well as additional SecUnits. But if there’s an ethical corporation out there, Murderbot has yet to find it, and if Barish-Estranza can’t have the planet, they’re sure as hell not leaving without something. If that something just happens to be an entire colony of humans, well, a free workforce is a decent runner-up prize.

But there’s something wrong with Murderbot; it isn’t running within normal operational parameters. ART’s crew and the humans from Preservation are doing everything they can to protect the colonists, but with Barish-Estranza’s SecUnit-heavy persuasion teams, they’re going to have to hope Murderbot figures out what’s wrong with itself, and fast!

Yeah, this plan is… not going to work.



#Fantasy Worth Reading: Bookshops and Bonedust #BookReview

Bookshops & Bonedust by Travis Baldree

If you loved Legends & Lattes, you’ll love this second novel just as much. At least, I did. The first novel was so good, I feared not enjoying this new installment to the series. But I did. I loved it so, so much.

The story centers around the orc, Viv, once again. She’s just as lovable as in the first novel. This story takes place earlier in her life but has all the elements that made the first book so loveable. While in pursuit of a necromancer with her mercenary group, Viv gets injured and is left to recuperate in a quaint seaside town. Bored out of her mind, she enters a bookshop.

The story unfolds as beatifully with rich, loveable characters, lots of fantasy originality, and lots of charm. Returning to this cozy and comfortable world was pure joy.

My only complaint is I’ll have to wait quite a while for the next in this series. So yeah, I highly recommend Bookshops & Bonedust.

Here’s the description.

Viv’s career with the notorious mercenary company Rackam’s Ravens isn’t going as planned.

Wounded during the hunt for a powerful necromancer, she’s packed off against her will to recuperate in the sleepy beach town of Murk—so far from the action that she worries she’ll never be able to return to it.

What’s a thwarted soldier of fortune to do?

Spending her hours at a beleaguered bookshop in the company of its foul-mouthed proprietor is the last thing Viv would have predicted, but it may be both exactly what she needs and the seed of changes she couldn’t possibly imagine.

Still, adventure isn’t all that far away. A suspicious traveler in gray, a gnome with a chip on her shoulder, a summer fling, and an improbable number of skeletons prove Murk to be more eventful than Viv could have ever expected.

Aurora Rising: #SciFi Worth Reading #BookReview #sciencefiction #booklover

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best science fiction books, Aurora Rising

Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff.

What I loved: the setting in space. I love being in space. A mystery that leads to exploration and discovery. This is my favorite type of mystery in space opera. Traveling to different planets and meeting people from other planets is always a fun adventure.

The plot takes twists and turns. I love this sort of ride. The story is often gripping and thrilling. It’s written from multiple POVs, which makes it interesting. The POV always keeps the story moving forward.

There are two minor quibbles I have with it. The first is that it reads young. Well, young for me. You may think otherwise. The second was a plot twist that I didn’t think made complete logical sense. From all the 5 star reviews, it seems not many people notice that flaw. So you may not either. Either way, it’s a spectacular book to spend some time with.

Here’s the official description:

The year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star pupil Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but his own boneheaded heroism sees him stuck with the dregs nobody else in the academy would touch . . .

A cocky diplomat with a black belt in sarcasm
A sociopath scientist with a fondness for shooting her bunkmates
A smart-ass tech whiz with the galaxy’s biggest chip on his shoulder
An alien warrior with anger-management issues
A tomboy pilot who’s totally not into him, in case you were wondering

And Ty’s squad isn’t even his biggest problem–that’d be Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, the girl he’s just rescued from interdimensional space. Trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, Auri is a girl out of time and out of her depth. But she could be the catalyst that starts a war millions of years in the making, and Tyler’s squad of losers, discipline cases, and misfits might just be the last hope for the entire galaxy.



Blight of the Necromancer: #LitRPG Worth Reading #BookReview #fantasy #booklover

best in fantasy booksBlight of the Necromancer: Khthonia Book 3 by C. Rains.

The problem with this book is that it’s the last in the series. It was a pleasure getting lost in this fantasy world for the third time and as pleasurable as the first two times. What makes this stand out from other LitRPGs is that it’s a well-rounded and well-crafted novel. Many are just a series of battles, which isn’t my favorite kind of story. This one has a lot of character and emotion in it that keeps the story moving forward and pulls the reader farther into this made-up world.

Khthonia is familiar and new, which is an irresistible combination. Part of this made me very sad. Not many books get emotion out of me, so that’s a good thing. And I took something away at the end, about the true love. Maybe it’s not what the author meant, but I took it to mean something other than another person.

No one rational ever wants to play a bard, but Nora Quinn believed she could use her class’ skills of perception to her advantage as an investigator. As Essaerae the elven bard, she regrets picking the role now that the players are trapped in the dark realm of Khthonia. She desperately desires to go home, but her friends want to stay in the fantasy world, causing a rift in the party. To lift the Specter Plague curse from the land and win the game, the heroes must defeat the conniving necromancer. Yet he’s shadowing them with death the entire way.

Seeking the tools they need, Nora and her friends must survive perilous side quests and hordes of undead. The answer to how to slay the villain lies in the western ruins, but Nora is certain he is the only one who can get her home. And for that, he needs to stay alive.

Nora must choose between killing the necromancer and lifting the curse or siding with him and going home. Neither choice feels like a victory.

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

The Psychology of Time Travel: #SciFi Worth Reading #BookReview #sciencefiction #booklover

best in science fiction booksThe Psychology of Time Travel by Kate Mascarenhas.

The story begins with four women, who invent time travel. The human trials are done by the scientists. They take all the risk as to whether it is safe. Everything goes fantastic until they do an interview for a worldwide broadcast and one of their fellow travelers has a bit of a breakdown. This is the little grain of sand that sends the novel spinning.

There is a thoughtful exploration of how time travel affects different travelers and how the woman in charge tries to prevent any further embarrassments. By trying to prevent any further mental issues, the preventions appear to cause more of them. Then there is the murder. Ooo! This mystery keeps driving the plot forward even as we sometimes jump back in time.

The author caught my attention early on and held it. Besides showing the effects of time travel through various perspectives, there’s also the murder mystery wrapped up in it all. The first question that has to be answered is, who is the body?

Well-written with interesting characters and cleverly plotted, this novel is well worth reading. The almost entirely female cast was a pleasant surprise as well. I enjoyed this book immensely and highly recommend it.

Here’s the official description for the Psychology of Time Travel:

In 1967, four female scientists worked together to build the world’s first time machine. But just as they are about to debut their creation, one of them suffers a breakdown, putting the whole project—and future of time travel—in jeopardy. To protect their invention, one member is exiled from the team—erasing her contributions from history.

Fifty years later, time travel is a big business. Twenty-something Ruby Rebello knows her beloved grandmother, Granny Bee, was one of the pioneers, though no one will tell her more. But when Bee receives a mysterious newspaper clipping from the future reporting the murder of an unidentified woman, Ruby becomes obsessed: could it be Bee? Who would want her dead? And most importantly of all: can her murder be stopped?

Traversing the decades and told from alternating perspectives, The Psychology of Time Travel introduces a fabulous new voice in fiction and a new must-read for fans of speculative fiction and women’s fiction alike.



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