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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The Guild Conspiracy by Brooke Johnson


Steampunk is always a curious genre.   The Brass Giant was the beginning of a series called the Chroniker City.   It was a romantic steampunk story and I liked it anyway.   The Pygmalion quality of the story was not overdone although the well to do boy meets down trodden girl is somewhat overworked, in general.    This volume, Petra is alone, Emmerich has been sent to France and Petra is fighting for recognition as an engineer and to prevent a war.

Petra Wade is fighting for a place in a male dominated world.   Even with equal rights, statistically, even today the number of female engineers is far less than male engineers.   In Chroniker City, Petra is fighting a severe uphill battle to become a mechanical engineer.  Braith is a soldier set to guard Petra and keep her from "sabotaging"  Julian's plans for war.    Braith becomes Petra's confident instead of guard and the two work together to stop a war.

The steampunk part is aptly included by the quadruped war machine and the sailing ships that fly.

There is action, romance and a modicum of violence.   There is also an underpinning theme of true equal rights.

I highly recommend the book.

Web Site: http://www.brooke-johnson.com/.


This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The Medallion (The Bernovem Chronicles) (Volume 3) by Victoria Simcox

I read the first volume of The Bernovem Chronicles, The Warble back in 2009.   My review link is to the reissue of the book in 2013.   This is just shy of being an epic fantasy.   The characters are colorful and due to magical manipulation their allegiances can be confusing.  

I had to brush up a bit on the story to jump into The Medallion.  The characters undergo quite a few changes in the course of the story.   Werrien is transformed in an unpleasant way into something he abhors.   James is a different person as well.  I frankly enjoyed Ivy and her dissimilar from Tinkerbell characteristics.

This is a rich and colorful fantasy that needs to be carefully read to keep track of the way the characters grow and change.

www. http://victoriasimcox.blogspot.com/


This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Friday, December 16, 2016

The Librarians and the Lost Lamp by Greg Cox


Apparently the Librarians is a TV series.  This book is based on that TV series.  The book isn't labeled as YA but I would classify it as a young adult read.  It is pretty simplistic in it's characterizations and superficial in a lot of ways.   The gist of the plot is that the Librarians are tasked with safeguarding mystical and magical books and relic.   The particular relic in this book is Aladdin's lamp.   The Librarians and the Forty Thieves of legend are competing in the quest to find the powerful relic.

The plot is ok in the book and it does have plenty of action.  You need to suspend all disbelief to get into the story.   It has it's moments but it does read like a TV script. 

Overall it was a fun read but not in the least captivating however the author is make far more money on his work than I am on mine so draw your own conclusions.

web: http://www.gregcox-author.com/


This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Heartstone by Elle Katharine White


It is a delight to write back to back positive reviews.   Ms. White did a great job.   This has a bit more romance than most fantasies but not in a negative way.  The setting has clearly defined evil characters who are counterpointed by the Riders who are the defenders of good.   In the middle of the conflict are the ordinary folks trying to get along and make a living.

The Riders are not restricted to dragons which was an interesting facet of the story.  As opposed to nobility, it appears the Riders hold sway over the minds of the people.  The plot is light against dark and in spite of it's simplicity it reads well.   The characters are the linchpin of the story. 

I highly recommend.

Web Site: http://ellekatharinewhite.tumblr.com/


This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

The Queen of Blood by Sarah Beth Durst


Kudos!  It is so satisfying to find a new author(to me) who writes so well.   This was a satisfying story set in a forest community surrounded by implacable enemies and defended by questionable heroes.

The author did a masterful job creating a unique environment for he story setting.  The rhyme depicting the books foes sounds so simple and yet embodies complexity.   Everything is not what it seems.  The Queen is beauty personified and seems to be omnipotent.  A disgraced champion is left to mentor an unlikely heir and both end up as defenders of the community.

This was an excellent book that held my interest, forced me to read later in the evening than I wanted to and satisfactorily wrapped up the plot.

I highly recommend.

Web Site: http://www.sarahbethdurst.com/


This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

The Wrong Dead Guy by Richard Kadrey


When I read The Everything Box  I ranked it as one of the stranger books I have read and I have read a lot of books.  It was a bizarre mix of Dresden files and Hitchhiker Guide with a leavening of Stainless Steel Rat humor.   A magically immune crook who is ratted out by a colleague ends up saving the world is the premise of that book.   The same cast of characters led by Coop, the magically immune crook, is trying to capture a world threatening mummy in this book.

Kadrey also writes the very successful Sandman Slim books.   So far the only one of those I have read was The Perdition Score.  I was thoroughly lambasted for suggesting the need for some back story by a couple of Sandman Slim fan boys.  Their conjecture was read them all and you don't need a back story.   Obviously but when you don't have that opportunity you deal with each book as to  how well it stands alone. This book provided minimal back story but still stood alone quite well.  

The preposterous plot and over the top sarcastic humor will be highly appealing to a group of readers.  For me, it was just over the top and I had to force myself to finish it.  The Stainless Steel Rat series was humorous without pandering, it was more thoughtful humor than slapstick.  Kadrey has enormous talent but again, to me, it appears he works to hard to be funny.  

Web site: http://richardkadrey.com/books-2/


This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.