Thursday, October 30, 2014

Django Wexler / The Shadow Throne / Book Two Ups The Fun Quotient

Django Wexler has truly upped his game
I enjoyed The Thousand Names  (post)
Book one of The Shadow Campaigns
In book two The Shadow Throne
Django Wexler has opened all the organ stops
The Shadow Throne breathes freely

Young Winter Ihernglass is still hiding
In plain sight as a male soldier
Now being asked to go "undercover"
Posing as a woman, convoluted comes to mind

New to the stage is a young Queen
Vexed with a curse
Unable to die
Driven to do the right thing
No matter the cost

The Shadow Campaigns
Stands with the best Epic Fantasy
High above the formaheap
A hard mix of Political Machinations
Magic and Blood Letting
And yes, a little Romance


New music on my play list
Mando Saenz
Studebaker

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Ann Leckie / Ancillary Justice / Multiple Award Winner

Ancillary Justice
Winner of multiple major awards
The Hugo and the Nebula among them
Winning with her debut novel
Whooee! Not an easy thing to do

Ann Leckie is off and running
Two more novels to come in this trilogy
Series title: Imperial Radch

You need to engage your brain here
The time span in enormous
The players have multiples of themselves
Things get dicey, to say the very least

If you engage the story
The story will engage you
The story will reward you
The story won it's many awards on merit


Music on my play list
Studebaker by Mando Saenz

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Philip Reeve / Mortal Engines / Steamy Dystopia / Brilliant World Build

The blurb on the back of the book
It mentioned Philip Pullman fans
How could I resist

Philip Reeve had me in his grip immediately
The world build, our future
Nothing less than amazing

Mortal Engines is tough to categorize
Steam/Dystopia is the best I can do
But, But, But, it is so much more

I'm late to the game with this one
First published in America in 2001
So happy it found me

Civilized life is On The Move
Monstrous cities on treads
Constantly battling one another

Only the strong survive
All others are incorporated
Captured citizens become slaves

The class structure is an outrage
Three distinct protagonists
Each doing their bit to make a good story

A bright daydreaming boy
An intelligent daughter of privilege
And Hester, with her disfigured face
  and enough moxy to carry the story alone

YA readers get on board
Series Title: The Hungry City Chronicles


My personal listening of late
Not lost in the past, the music stands
Bob Dylan's second and sixth LP/CD
The freewheelin' Bob Dylan
Highway 61 Revisited

Thursday, August 21, 2014

John Scalzi / Old Man's War / Terrific Idea, Terrific Book

John Scalzi's Old Man's War
Just kept showing up
John Scalzi is all over the web
Just couldn't ignore it any more

Cracked the book and disappeared
The premise was intriguing
Life trundles along on Earth
In the far reaches of space, War!
War that has gone on for generations

Unique is who fights the war
Only the very old can enlist
If you are old and looking death in the face
Enlistment entices with the hint of rejuvenation
Prolonged life and health
Who wouldn't sign up?

The trick is in how they prolong your life
I'm not telling
Discovery is too rich

The attrition rate in the army is atrocious
Most recruits do not make it to discharge

Who do we fight?
Aliens, Lots of Aliens
Lots of different Alien Cultures

A must read for Sci-Fi and Space Opera readers
Looking forward to the next book
The Ghost Brigades
Series title: Old Man's War
5 books and counting


Music revisited and worth it!
Blue Nightfall
Jimmy LaFave

Thursday, August 14, 2014

David Gordon / The Serialist / Nothing Like It / Outstanding First Novel!

David Gordon stopped me in my tracks
I sat down and read The Serialist
Nothing else mattered

I constantly wanted to stop and highlight
Library book, No Highlighting!
I constantly wanted to stop and tweet a quote
No time for foolishness, I'm reading

Harry Block is a writer
Not literature, pulp
Harry's life is a trash heap

Harry gets an invite to visit prison
A serial killer wants to talk
The killer wants to tell his story
He wants Harry to write a book

Calamity becomes Chaos
The body count begins to rise

It's up to Harry

I have my own copy now
A rare event
Highlights and quotes to ensue


Music
I'm taking this one home
Putting the player on repeat
And Cranking It Up!!
Guitar Town
Steve Earle


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

M. R. Carey / The Girl With All The Gifts / Skim Cream, The Very Best

As a young boy we often drank raw milk
One of the delights of raw milk
The cream rises to the top
The reward, Skim Cream
Skimmed from the top of the two gallon jug
The very best cream known to me

The Girl With All The Gifts
Nothing less than Skim Cream
It has risen to the top of many of my lists
So good is this book
It will be double shelved
A copy in Fiction
A copy in Science Fiction

M. R. Carey has out done himself
Literary Fiction, Literary Speculative Fiction
Literary Dystopic Fiction, Literature
Call it what you will

Engaged
Does not describe the reader state
Start this story knowing
You will be occupied

Monday, July 21, 2014

James S. A. Corey / Cibola Burn / The Very Best Space Opera slash Speculative Fiction

It's not often I come back to rattle about a 4th book
Cibola Burn is an easy exception
Book four of the Expanse series  /  (post bk.1)  (post bk.2)
James S. A. Corey is knocking me down

The series gets better with every book
The character development is phenomenal
I'm totally invested
I'll follow these people anywhere

The story becomes more complex
Right along with the characters
This is speculative fiction at its very best

I can't bring myself to give any more of the story away
The reward of discovery is too satisfying
The reader is constantly being rewarded, never sated
I hunger for more


Music
Wrecking Ball
Emmylou Harris

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Jane Lindskold / Artemis Awakening / Lost World Found

This is a great update on an old premise
Jane Lindskold writes engaging characters
Artemis Awakening is book one

Lost for over 500 years
Artemis was a special vacation planet
Terra-formed and seeded
Even the humans were "created" for Artemis

No modern technology allowed
Go to Artemis, Go primitive

500 years after the great war
The collapse of everything
Total destruction of many planets
The complete collapse of civilisation

Artemis is found by Griffin Dane
Artemis has not had a visitor for over 500 years
All is not a rosy as it seems
What Fun!


Music
Supernova
Ray LaMontagne

Monday, June 16, 2014

James K. Decker / The Burn Zone / Smokn' Hot

Sam Shao is licensed to nurture Haan babies
It’s a side job she likes and she likes the little aliens
Sam’s guardian, Dragon Shao, is arrested
Something is very wrong
Dragon doesn’t break laws
Dragon upholds the law

Sam has to run, and run hard
They want her too
What could she know
It’s time to find out

Break Neck Pacing
Plenty of plot twists
Intriguing Aliens, many mysteries
Brilliant World Build, A Total Mess

I’ve said too much
Book one of the Haan Series
Book two, Fallout

James K. Decker / Smoking Hot


New music in the library
Whew!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Django Wexler / The Forbidden Library / Extraordinary Juvenile Fantasy

I don't always find the good books
In the Adult or Young Adult collections
Some wondrous stories are in the Juvenile collection

Susan Cooper's / The Dark is Rising Sequence
One of my absolute favorite series
my favorite modern day search for the Holy Grail
Riveting stuff

My most recent find
Django Wexler's / The Forbidden Library
I posted Mr Wexler's The Thousand Names (post)
A terrific story well told
Book 2, The Shadow Throne will be here very soon

Mr Wexler's newest
From the Juvenile collection
The Forbidden Library, Rocks!
Totally grabs you, start to finish
Just what Juvenile fiction should do

The young protagonist, Alice
Alice is a Reader
When Alice gets caught-up in a good book
It's nothing like when we get lost in a good story

I can not recommend this book enough
I loved it!

A song writer worth listening to
Performed by some of the very best
Looking Into You: A Tribute to Jackson Borwne

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Paula Brackston / The Witch's Daughter / Total Immersion Literary Fantasy

The Witch's Daughter, just what I wanted to read
Paula Brackston is a story teller
I was drawn in so quickly, so comfortably
Mind you, the story is not all sweet
A good story has sharp edges
The Witch's Daughter is full of sharp edges
Always on the periphery of sight and mind
Lurking, suddenly present

The evil in this story is daunting
Like the protagonist, immortal
Always looking for her
Occasionally finding her

The story spans three hundred and forty eight years
The shifts in time handled deftly
Never jarring the sensibility of the reader
Always holding the reader close
Close to Elizabeth Anne Hawksmith's heart
A warm, compassionate, loving heart

The conclusion
That of a good story
Not saccharine, Not bitter


Music on my play list today
Looking Into You A Tribute To Jackson Browne
The line-up honoring Jackson Browne is top shelf
Singer Songwriters

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Marianne de Pierres / Peacemaker / Near Future Science Fiction / Sweet

Virgin Jackson is a park ranger
Virgins' domain is the last of the natural landscape
Virgin is having visions, or are they real

A body count where there should be none is growing
The park service is sending unrequested help
US Marshal Nate Sixkiller a tall, lean, stoic, Native American

Virgin does not play well with others
Nate does not play
The two of them are just not meant for a fun time

The world building left nothing to be desired
The park, the city, the slums
I am anxious to return

It's a great mash-up of genre
Noir, urban fantasy, western, sci-fi and so much more

The characters are enjoyable
The plot twisted and always interesting

Marianne de Pierres
Peacmaker book 1


New Music
A must for Alt Country, Singer Songwriter fans
Not just the top of my play list
Almost always on the box
Every start of my wife's ride, it's playing
Deceivingly  simple, Monstrously complex
As my friend replied to an email query
"She has got some tough, powerful lyrics!!!
Feeling a little "destroyed" right now...
in a good way"
Says it all
Amy Ray
Goodnight Tender

Monday, April 7, 2014

Adam Christopher / Burning Dark / Sci-Fi Horror Mash-up

Burning Dark by Adam Christopher
The Spider Wars book 1
I rarely read horror novels
I thought about putting this one down

It's not just a horror story
It's science fiction
I was too invested in the protagonist
I'm glad I kept reading

At the get go
Delightful space opera
Magnificent space battle
Intriguing enemy

On the flip side
Psychological thriller
Extraordinary mind games
Utterly disturbing enemy

On the whole
Satisfying science fiction
Many unanswered questions
Obviously, more to come


Music
Drive-By Truckers
English Oceans

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Katherine Addison / The Goblin Emperor / Brilliant

Katherine Addison
The Goblin Emperor
I was all in from the get go

Young Maia
Half Elf, Half Goblin
Banished son of the Emperor

Maia's sweet and loving goblin mother
Died when just a young boy
Being raised and educated
By a mean vindictive elf
Himself banished from the Emperor's Court

In a heartbeat
The Emperor and his sons
All dead in an airship crash
Murdered

Maia the forgotten son
Now heir to the Elfin Throne
Knowing nothing of Court
Knowing nothing of political intrigue

Maia, at heart, his mother's son
A sweet, gentle, loving son
Thrust upon the Elfin Throne

A Must Read for fantasy fans
A Must Read for fans of a good story
Katherine Addison, on my Must Read List


Music
Something I'm going to listen to
Anybody with 841 5-Star Ratings
Out of a total of 920
Has to be doing something right
Lindsey Stirling by Lindsey Stirling

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Karl Schroeder / Lockstep / Too Interesting To Put Down

I considered putting this story aside
I just wasn't in the groove
Suddenly, I was more than in the groove
I was in the canyon
I had no climbing gear
I had to read myself out of the book

The premise was a nice twist of an old idea
Cryosleep for planet dwellers and space travelers alike
Everyone is awake at the same short periods of time
Everyone asleep at the same long periods of time
Everyone in Lockstep ages together
Very, very, very slowly

Toby, the protagonist, flies off to do a simple job
His space craft has problems
Toby wakes up 14,000 years later
Things have changed

Karl Schroeder; Lockstep
Space Opera / Hard Sci-Fi
Fast enjoyable read
A very likable young protagonist
An interesting fix for no faster than light space travel


Music
The Essential Janis Joplin
Janis Joplin

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Emma Newman / Any Other Name /// Martha Wells / Emilie & the Sky World /// Second Books Did Not Disappoint

HEADS UP

Any Other Name
The Split Worlds book 2
Emma Newman upped her game

I loved book one
Between Two Thorns   (post)

Any Other Name
Every plot issue, more complicated
Every character, more complex

===================

YA Steampunk with a lovable heroine

Emilie & the Sky World
Martha Wells
Sequel to Emilie & the Hollow World   (post)

I am still totally loving Emilie
A stand up girl
Always trying to do the right thing

Angry Robot and Strange Chemistry
Consistently publishing what I want to read


Music
Here to Stay: best of 2000 - 2012
John Hiatt

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Anna Kashina / Blades of the Old Empire / Terrific Fantasy

Blades of the Old Empire
Majat Code, book 1

Anna Kashina has my full attention
This fantasy has it all
Politics, Religion, Magic, Manners, Romance

Convoluted twists of plot
You know where the book is going
You know nothing of the sort

The characters are a riot
Flawed Humans One and All
You can't help but like them

The Majat are an elite group
Hired as assassins and body guards
Living a strict code

The Church is plotting against the King
The King is trying to save his son
The Son if falling for a Majat Warrior

Simply said
Too Much Fun!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Pierce Brown / Red Rising / Class Struggle On Mars

Superlatives for Red Rising
Are echoing across the web
I agree with them
Pierce Brown has written a zinger
Book 1; The Red Rising Trilogy

Darrow is a Red
Lowest of the low
All but slave in name

Darrow is a sensitive guy
A smart guy
They, the Golds
Highest of the high
Kill Darrow's wife

Darrow is a mad guy
Willing to do anything
Willing to become a Gold
Willing to wait

Tightly paced
Always near the edge
Totally engaging

I needed to set the book down
I needed to get some air
I needed to relax my muscles
I needed to relax my mind

Lots of comparisons
Babbling Hunger Games
Sorta, Kinda, Maybe
But no
This is Darrow's story


Music
Honky Tonk by Son Volt

Francis Knight / Fade to Black / Living Vertically

Fade to Black
Book 1 Rojan Dizon Series
Francis Knight

Rojan Dizon finds things
Objects, People, Things

Rojan Dizon lives in a vertical city
The very privileged on high
The very oppressed deep below

Rojan's magic
Pain Magic
Ouch!

Rojan's niece has been abducted
Taken to the very bowls of the city

Secrets are revealed
Secrets are reviled

Necessity of corruption?
Necessity of oppression?

Give me a break
No breaks were found

Broken people trying to do the right thing
Broken people not doing the right thing

Twisted layers of plot
A mobius strip of honeyed filo dough
Bitter under tones
Delicious

Where is Francis Knight going from here
I have not a clue but I'm going with her

Something different in music
Foreverly Billie Joe + Nora
Billie Joe Armstrong
Nora Jones




Thursday, January 30, 2014

Carousel Sun / Sharon Lee / Old Earth Magic

I'm going to recommend this one to my wife
The earth based magic will appeal
Carousel Sun, as I learned reading the ARC
Is a sequel to Carousel Tides
I am reading Carousel Tides now
I'll read it quickly

Kate Archer, the protagonist
Lives in a small ocean side town in Maine
Runs the carousel at the small amusement park
Kate Archer has secrets
The carousel has secrets too
Dark secrets

Sharon Lee creates characters
Characters you want to get to know
Characters whoes company you enjoy
You can identify with them
Their triumphs
Their defeats

Sharon Lee also co-authors the Liaden Universe Books
She writes with her husband Steve Miller
I can't get enough of the Liaden Universe
A Space Opera of Manners and Dering Do
So glad I'm not caught up yet

Sharon Lee tells a good tale
Modern fantasy fans will not be disappointed
I love it when favored authors
Can deliver in more than one genre
Sharon Lee delivers


What the Toll Tells by Two Gallants
Adam Stephens and Tyson Vogel
I've been so lost in this CD of late
I purchased a copy for the Library
Lyrics and Music simply brilliant
This is not party music
Here you will find
Introspection, Grief, Anger
And so much more
r




Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Wesley Chu / The Deaths of Tao / Too Much Fun

Hopefully you've read it
Hopefully you read my post
The Lives of Tao      (Post)

Wesley Chu has out done himself
The Deaths of Tao is even better
Faster paced
More info on us
How we became who we are
I'm appalled, yet intrigued
Disgusted, yet fascinated

Those aliens are doing a real number on us
I don't think there is much we can do about it
Wars will continue to happen
Mayhem will not be stopping soon

Have some fun
Immerse yourself
Smile while you read

Thank You Angry Robot for the ARC!

New to the music collection
Ryan Adams & The Cardinals
Cardinology