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Book Reviews

Book Reviews: Hear No Evil, Citizen Science, and The Grey Star

Posted by on Jan 21, 2014 in Blog Posts, Book Reviews, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Book Reviews: Hear No Evil, Citizen Science, and The Grey Star

A sort of rapid-fire round of book reviews this week, thanks to Christmas reading!1. Be the Change: Saving the World Through Citizen Science by Chanda Clarke Though short (33 PDF pages), this was very readable and informative–it’s designed to teach the principles of citizen science/crowdsourced science to people who have never heard of it before. Now, I’d heard the term before and had vaguely positive associations, but couldn’t explain it to you if you asked me....

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Review: “Collegium Sorcerorum: Thaddeus of Beewicke” by Louis Sauvain

Posted by on Nov 12, 2013 in Blog Posts, Book Reviews, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Review: “Collegium Sorcerorum: Thaddeus of Beewicke” by Louis Sauvain

Another prize from the LibraryThing giveaways program, this one even came with a courteous letter from the author himself. I’m always one to be impressed by presentation, and the presentation of this book was fine indeed: I was especially impressed by the dozen or so illustrations by Sean Bodley scattered throughout the text. The back matter was also quite impressive: 40 pages of Dramatis Personae (not as excessive as it first appears if these characters continue to play a part in this...

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Review: Serving Time by Nadine Ducca

Posted by on Nov 6, 2013 in Blog Posts, Book Reviews, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Review: Serving Time by Nadine Ducca

For this review, another thank you is in order to the LibraryThing giveaways program, and of course Nadine Ducca herself for offering the first volume of her Timekeepers trilogy. I’m a winner once again! Although I was often confused over what was going on, the original mythological background  of Serving Time was strong from the beginning. The author has clearly spent time developing this mythology and shows it by demonstrating her characters’ familiarity with its workings. I...

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Review: Heaven’s Needle by Liane Merciel

Posted by on Oct 31, 2013 in Blog Posts, Book Reviews, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Review: Heaven’s Needle by Liane Merciel

You know how I said The White-Luck Warrior became horror a few pages in? The White-Luck Warrior would take one look at one page of Heaven’s Needle and run away crying. Which is why, despite it being marketed as high fantasy, Heaven’s Needle is my review of choice for Hallow’s Eve this year. (That’s a warning, by the way, that the following review will contain disturbing imagery and if you aren’t up for that, especially if you’re currently eating tasty food,...

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Review: The White-Luck Warrior by R. Scott Bakker

Posted by on Oct 14, 2013 in Blog Posts, Book Reviews, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Review: The White-Luck Warrior by R. Scott Bakker

The White-Luck Warrior by R. Scott BakkerFifty pages in, I realized I had come to approach this as a horror story rather than epic fantasy, as if I was reading Stephen King or the Lovecraft Unbound anthology.  I read horror in a much more defensive mode, trying not to get invested in any character’s survival, and nodding my head whenever a particularly disturbing (I would say, dryly, “quite effective”) scene occurred, making terror an aesthetic observation in hopes of...

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Review: Finding Nina by Stephen Hazlett

Posted by on Oct 5, 2013 in Blog Posts, Book Reviews, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Review: Finding Nina by Stephen Hazlett

Another win from the LibraryThing giveaway program, which I highly recommend if you ever find yourself short of books to review ; ) . Finding Nina is the concluding volume to Stephen Hazlett’s City Different trilogy (“The City Different,” an in-story Jeopardy question informs me, is a nickname for Santa Fe). It’s been described variously as a mystery, a thriller, and an “edgy romance”. It’s more a thriller than either of the others–a high-stakes,...

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Book Review: Liane Merciel’s The River King’s Road

Posted by on Sep 25, 2013 in Blog Posts, Book Reviews, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Book Review: Liane Merciel’s The River King’s Road

This is  exactly the kind of fantasy I love: a potentially epic setting but with “low fantasy” focus on the actual people within it. Peasants have the chance to determine fate for a change. Like Saladin Ahmed, I also want “fewer kings and starship captains, more coach drivers and space waitresses” in my spec fic. Beyond class diversity, the spec fic genre also needs progress in racial diversity. It’s something I try to do in my own writing and also something...

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Book Review: “Blood of Kings” by Billy Wong

Posted by on Sep 23, 2013 in Blog Posts, Book Reviews, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Book Review: “Blood of Kings” by Billy Wong

I received a free ebook copy through a LibraryThing giveaway in exchange for an honest review. I signed up for the giveaway because I’ve followed Wong’s short fiction casually for years (not least because we’ve frequently wound up in the same places, such as Firefly in Amber etc etc). While his style is fine for short fiction, where it’s of the essence to be concise, I struggled through this novel. An in media res opening perplexed me, especially because the characters...

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Book Review: Judging Eye by R. Scott Bakker (Aspect-Emperor trilogy)

Posted by on Sep 21, 2013 in Blog Posts, Book Reviews, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Book Review: Judging Eye by R. Scott Bakker (Aspect-Emperor trilogy)

I mentioned this one in my review of The Skybound Sea–where I hoped for the sake of Aeon’s Gate fans Skyes goes on to write a sequel trilogy like this. I cannot remember enjoying a sequel so much in years! Although the worldbuilding behind what Bakker is now calling The Second Apocalypse is beyond complex, and a lot has happened in the 20 years since the close of the Prince of Nothing trilogy, I still felt able to dive right back into this world. I hadn’t realized how...

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WisCon Rapidfire Book Reviews #4: Aeon’s Gate: The Skybound Sea by Sam Sykes

Posted by on Sep 19, 2013 in Blog Posts, Book Reviews, Uncategorized | 0 comments

WisCon Rapidfire Book Reviews #4: Aeon’s Gate: The Skybound Sea by Sam Sykes

I have a confession to make: I already took one review copy (Edge of Oblivion), but I couldn’t resist snagging this one, too. I picked it up and meant to page through it to pass the time before the auction, but then I could not put it down. The opening lines beat out a hypnotic rhythm. Gliding past them, I found myself in an oceanside slum near the home of an eldritch abomination. My inner Cthulhu fan’s tentacles twitched pleasantly. I found I liked the characters at once....

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