Monthly Archives: September 2018

Siege Weapons by Harry F. Rey

This is a very hard one to rate. The writing is solid, the world building and characterization decently done, and it is a quick and easy read. But the book has a very strong dichotomy: it is a moody sci … Continue reading

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By Fire Above by Robyn Bennis

This is shaping up to be one heck of a great series. Author Bennis has merged the horrors of the Napoleonic war with steampunk to create a grounded, brutal, but wonderfully readable story. At its heart, it’s the witty bon … Continue reading

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Odysseus Ascendant by Evan Currie

This is just such a fun series! At times, I feel like this is what the entire Star Wars saga could have been, had Lucas written them all at once instead of piecemeal. It’s not high art science fiction – … Continue reading

Posted in audible, sci fi, sci-fi, science fiction | 2 Comments

The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowksi

The Witcher series chronologically begins here with this collection of short stories (all taking place well before the events in the game). Several have European fairy tale foundations (Beauty and the Beast, Snow White, Rumpelstiltskin) but retold in this series’ … Continue reading

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Twice Dead by Caitlin Seal

While Twice Dead is not a terrible book, it is burdened by cliche writing and lack of world building. Logic holes and character inconsistencies are rampant while the plot unfolds in a laboriously passive voice. It made for a chore … Continue reading

Posted in ARC, Book Reviews, Fantasy, romance, YA | 3 Comments

Requiem of the Rose King 9 by Aya Kanno

Aya Kanno continues Shakespeare’s version of Richard IIIs life and stays fairly close to that version. In this volume, we have Richard, Duke of Gloucester, still broken over the death of Henry and single-minded in his drive to protect the … Continue reading

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Skyward by Joe Henderson, Lee Garbett, Antonio Fabela

I greatly enjoyed Skyward. It is clear author Henderson had a fun time with the concept and characters and that made for an engaging read. The art is bright, clean, and inspired – matching the story perfectly. Of course, don’t … Continue reading

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Pride by Ibi Zoboi

I have to admit to a lot of ambivalence about this book. On the one hand, Zoboi did an excellent job of bringing Pride and Prejudice to a modern (and American) setting. There were many clever nods to the original … Continue reading

Posted in ARC, Book Reviews, contemporary, romance, YA | 1 Comment

Last Pick Volume 1 by Jason Walz

Last Pick is an easy-to-follow sci fi story about alien invasion. The plot focuses on twins – one autistic and one who learns to stand up for her unusual brother, and their somewhat dysfunctional relationship. There is a huge cliffhanger … Continue reading

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The Wormwood Saga Volume 2: The Shelter of Hope by Daniel Lieske

With book two, we get a better understanding of the plot of the series though unfortunately it does fall into the typical ‘chosen one questing through strange fantasy world’ that we have seen so often. New cities are introduced and … Continue reading

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Magic: The Gathering Cards: Unofficial Ultimate Collector’s Guide by Ben Bleweiss

I have played M:TG since the beginning, having been introduced to it at our Los Angeles game store (the now defunct South Coast Game Association). It’s been amazing to see the evolution of the game: sets ranging from broken (Legends) … Continue reading

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The Taco Tuesday Cookbook by Laura Fuentes

This is what you want in a cookbook: beautifully laid out, easy to follow, and a lot of interesting and honestly very healthy recipes. It’s a cookbook you won’t get bored of fast and most of the ingredients are very … Continue reading

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Kens by Raziel Reid

It’s obvious what author Raziel Reid was trying to do with Kens: create a mirror image of the movie Heathers but with guys and gays rather than girls and heteros. The problem is that Heathers had a very sly take … Continue reading

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Analee, In Real life by Janelle Milanes

Those reading Analee, In Real Life will likely find many parallels to the tv series/book “To All The Boys I Loved Before.” From a conflicted girl dealing with several guys to also operating in a blended family. This isn’t a … Continue reading

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Strange Grace by Tessa Gratton

I have greatly enjoyed Tessa Gratton’s previous novels and this book feels very much like she stepped up her game. Some of the more inscrutable tics of her writing have been smoothed over and the story itself is very well … Continue reading

Posted in ARC, Book Reviews, Fantasy, YA | 1 Comment

The World The Trains Made by James D. Dilts

I greatly enjoyed this book. It is thoroughly researched, intelligently and nicely presented, and has some very interesting things to say. It’s also one of those rare train books that isn’t all about the trains themselves. There are at least … Continue reading

Posted in ARC, Book Reviews, hobbies, non fiction, nonfiction | 2 Comments

Jane Butel’s Chili Madness

As a chili and Tex Mex type of cookbook, this has all you need in terms of recipes. It’s clear the author has been doing this for a long time; I was disappointed, though, that her idea of ‘foolproofing’ the … Continue reading

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Ghostbusters International

I greatly enjoyed Ghostbusters International. The dialogue was snappy and very true to the characters. The illustration work is distinct and while not all will like it, I felt it conveyed the character tics perfectly. Really, the only downside is … Continue reading

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Ghostbusters: Who Yah Gonna Call

I am really enjoying these Ghostbusters comics. Rarely have I seen anyone really capture the essence of the characters so well – the witty dialogue, the personality quirks, and the cartoon’s brightly animated color schemes. But the downside is that … Continue reading

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Star Trek Starfleet Academy by Kirk Johnson

Star Fleet Academy does skew a bit young – with a confectionery sweet plot that perhaps feels not only forced but also doesn’t come together by the end. Author Johnson tries to tie in a completely separate plot in order … Continue reading

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