Speculative Fiction Worth Reading: The Bedlam Stacks #BookReview #fantasy

Natasha Pulley is one of my favorite new writers. I fell in love with The Clockmaker of Filigree Street. So, I eagerly purchased this book. The Bedlam Stacks didn’t disappoint.

Pulley revisits the theme of friendship, and the story centers on a trip to Peru. Malaria is keeping British interests in India from thriving. Therefore, it’s imperative to get viable cuttings from the cinchona tree. The  bark is used to treat malaria.

Merrick Tremayne is recruited to make the expedition a success. His family connections and expertise in botany make him the top choice, despite a debilitating injury.

If you enjoyed She by H. Rider Haggard or Erewhon by Samuel Butler, you’ll be delighted with this tale of a grand expedition.

An Adventure to Peru

From a realistic start, the story evolves into the more mystical and magical. The town of Bedlam is quite fantastic: glass cliffs; pollen that is bioluminescent; trees that can float on air; and stone statues that move. It’s a town I’d love to visit. If only it existed!

The Bedlam Stacks is a thoroughly enjoyable escape. I will definitely add Pulley’s third book to my next book run.

Description

In 1859, ex–East India Company smuggler Merrick Tremayne is trapped at home in Cornwall with an injury that almost cost him his leg. When the India Office recruits him for an expedition to fetch quinine–essential for the treatment of malaria–from deep within Peru, he knows it’s a terrible idea; nearly every able-bodied expeditionary who’s made the attempt has died, and he can barely walk. But Merrick is eager to escape the strange events plaguing his family’s crumbling estate, so he sets off, against his better judgment, for the edge of the Amazon.

There he meets Raphael, a priest around whom the villagers spin unsettling stories of impossible disappearances, cursed woods, and living stone. Merrick must separate truth from fairy tale, and gradually he realizes that Raphael is the key to a legacy left by generations of Tremayne explorers before him, one which will prove more valuable than quinine, and far more dangerous.

 

 

 

Weird and Wild Oregon: The Lost Forest #Explore #Oregon

The Lost Forest is surrounded by sand dunes and desert. There’s no visible source of water, and the nearest forests that aren’t lost are 40 miles away. These are ancient ponderosa pines in a region of Oregon known as Christmas Valley.

This is a remnant of an ancient forest that covered much of Central Oregon thousands of years ago. Back then, the climate was cooler and wetter. The Lost Forest survives on half the annual rain required for ponderosa pines. This is possible because of the unique soil and hydrologic properties of the area.

 

 

 

 

 

Fantastic #Fantasy : The Rifters is FREE all of February

The Rifters is FREE all February!

Ebook is available at all etailers

Rifters

 

Paperback: Amazon / B&N

The Gold Rush trickles to a fool’s quest and a string of stagecoach heists. In 1888, Earl Blacke decides to make a new start and become a better man. He escapes into the mountains, heading north. In the wilds of Oregon, a rift inside an ancient volcano opens and sends him into the future, into the present day. It also shaves forty years off his age, forty years to live over again and atone for what he’s done.

Starting over is hard to do. In current day New York, Daelin Long’s dream job at a publishing house goes the way of the dinosaurs her sister chases. With no money and nowhere else to go, Daelin accepts the librarian position in her sister’s dinky town in the middle of Oregon. Nestled inside ancient volcanic peaks, the town of Settler holds onto many secrets. Residents roam the streets with weirdly fashioned devices, and odd lights pulse in the night skies. People whisper of a phantom outlaw and start dying, murdered and missing their heads. On top of it all, Daelin’s sister is missing, and Daelin doesn’t know who to trust.

Earl knows more than he’s saying. He shares a notorious history with the phantom, one he’ll see remains buried. Keeping Daelin’s sister’s secrets is his only chance at redemption, and the only way to keep this world safe.

Reviews

“The world Pax creates here is like the Wild West meets Ghostbusters with some Stargate and a bit of Steampunk thrown in. Even though everything seems a bit familiar, it’s not, which is what makes it compelling.”CHOOSE YOUR OWN END

“This book catapults the reader right in mid-events and, like Daelin, one is forever trying to figure out the ins and outs of the situation. Though readers have one advantage in that we are prepared to believe. However, what in some books can be annoying, becomes an enjoyable ride, where you are constantly excited to see where the plot will take you next. I really enjoyed the slightly wacky and off center world of Settler.” AMAZON

 

 

#SciFi Worth Reading: A Memory Called Empire #BookReview

A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine was a rich and wonderful read. The galaxy it’s set in is awe-inspiring and full of novelty, yet it is also very familiar, which makes it an easy read.

The plot follows a young diplomat from a small mining station, Mahit Dzmare, on her assignment to the sprawling, consuming empire.

The empire has conquered and ‘civilized’ many worlds and Mahit fell in love with their culture as a child. She’s thrilled to get to experience it and dreams of becoming part of the empire.

Her mining colony uses technology that records memories. The technology embedded into her brain allowing her to share the experiences of the former ambassador malfunctions. Not only that, the former ambassador is dead under mysterious circumstances.

This novel has political intrigue, mystery, and a simmering tension about to break out into civil war.

The impression of the empire is beautiful and also not something I’d want to become a part of. There was aching longing intertwined with ugly reality. I eagerly returned to this novel every day, and would read more by this author. I recommend it.

Winner of the 2020 Hugo Award for Best Novel

Ambassador Mahit Dzmare arrives in the center of the multi-system Teixcalaanli Empire only to discover that her predecessor, the previous ambassador from their small but fiercely independent mining Station, has died. But no one will admit that his death wasn’t an accident―or that Mahit might be next to die, during a time of political instability in the highest echelons of the imperial court.

Now, Mahit must discover who is behind the murder, rescue herself, and save her Station from Teixcalaan’s unceasing expansion―all while navigating an alien culture that is all too seductive, engaging in intrigues of her own, and hiding a deadly technological secret―one that might spell the end of her Station and her way of life―or rescue it from annihilation.