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Lost In A Good Book by Lost In A Good Book - 1w ago

Book Title: Rotherweird

Series:  Rotherweird (#1)

Author: Andrew Caldecott

Goodreads Link: Click here

Release Date:  6/4/19

Star Rating:  –  Quirky & mysterious

Disclaimer: I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

In Elizabethan times, a group of children were found to have strange abilities. The queen decided the best way to deal with them was to round them all up and have them sent to the town of Rotherweird. A place with no maps, and no history. They would remain there for centuries, without any connection to the outside world. In a sense, banished. Now, in the present day, two outsiders have been allowed to live in the town.

First, a mysterious millionaire that seems to already have more information about the town of Rotherweird than anyone has a right to.

Second, a history teacher who has been ordered not to teach any facts older than 100 years to the town residents. And whats more, forbidden, under any circumstances, to look into the town’s history.

Obviously, there is a lot going on here. The book is not all fog and mystery though. It also has a great deal of charm and humor. The town’s inhabitants are understandably a quirky bunch of people. It seems like it would be a nice little English town to settle down in, if they would let you. But there is more going on behind the scenes and quite a bit of magic flowing through the area.

If you like strange, mysterious fantasy, this is the book for you. It does have a little bit of a learning curve. I wasn’t paying close enough attention at first and got kind of lost among all the characters. So be sure you concentrate on the first few chapters. I enjoyed the book, and will probably be looking up more books in the series.

Song for this book: Past Lives – Borns

past lives // borns lyrics - YouTube

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Lost In A Good Book by Lost In A Good Book - 1w ago

Book Title: Broken Veil

Series:  Harbinger (#5)

Author: Jeff Wheeler

Goodreads Link: Click here

Release Date:  6/11/19

Star Rating:  –  The stakes are raised!

Disclaimer: I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Epic! This is how a series gets wrapped up in spectacular fashion. Loose ends tied up … favorite characters from past book get a quick cameo … a few unexpected twists and here we are, at the end.

The people we love are happy, the people we hate are … well they will get their comeuppance at some point, I suppose. In other words, it looks as though there will be more books in a new series set in this world and I am here for it.

Ugh, I have to write in such vague terms about this title, but I don’t want to give away a single thing. I need to say it is one of my favorite series written by Mr. Wheeler. He has promised more books are to come, I’ll just have to be patient until they get her.

Bonus link: If you’re interested in reading some of Mr. Wheeler’s books here is a great listing of the reading order for all of his series. They are interconnected so I would suggest starting at the beginning!

Song for this book: Ode to Joy – Beethoven – Flash Mob†

Flashmob Flash Mob - Ode an die Freude ( Ode to Joy ) Beethoven Symphony No.9 classical music - YouTube

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Lost In A Good Book by Lost In A Good Book - 3w ago

Book Title: Time’s Demon

Series: The Islevale Cycle (#2)

Author: D.B. Jackson

Goodreads Link: Click here

Release Date:  5/28/19

Star Rating:  – Off on a tangent

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in return for an un-biased review.

I’ve been fighting with myself over this review. I enjoyed the first book in this series (see my review of Time’s Children here). But this second installment has failed to capture me and I’m feeling disappointed. I don’t want to give it 3 stars but that’s where I am.

First I’d like to talk about what I liked. This book opens with a recap for the first book!! I LOVE this feature. I really wish that other series would adopt this method. I have a really bad memory, especially when there has been a gap between books, I frequently have to go back and re-read a first book in order to familiarize myself with the plot before I continue. Not so bad when it’s a small series, but imagine when Winds of Winter comes out and I have to re-read all of Game of Thrones to get caught up! Oh it’s happening. But not this time. I was so happy to feel caught up when I started Time’s Demon.

A lot of the interesting elements of the story are still here in this second novel. The time travel, the multiple interesting creatures that inhabit the world, the excellent world building, and the diversity of the main cast of characters. These were all things I loved about the first book.

However, I feel like the story itself has derailed. The focus in this book has switched from Tobias, the main character in the first book, to a couple of new characters in this book and with that change some of my interest has died. I feel that with this expansion of point of view, the story has started to become unfocused, and focus in a time travel book is crucial. I’m starting to lose the thread. I’m not sure where they are going. I realized 3/4 of the way through this book that I don’t know what the point is. Are they trying to get back to their time? Biding their time until they catch up with their original time stream? Just staying alive? What are we doing here?

The time-travel aspects of the story are also starting to unravel a little bit. We are starting to get into the scenario where if we go forward in time to stop something that happens in the past but we meet ourselves then what! Will we all stop existing and the time space continuum will dissolve … or was that Star Trek? I’m getting confused. I honestly don’t know how an author can possibly write a time travel book and not run into these dilemma. It’s a head-scratcher for sure.

As I said, I’m conflicted about this book. I really liked the first one. I like the author. I’m just feeling a little lost.

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Book Title: Song of Sacrifice

Series: Homeric Chronicles #1

Author: Janell Rhiannon

Goodreads Link: Click here

Release Date: 12/26/18

Star Rating:  – Not what I expected.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in return for an un-biased review.

This book was a DNF. It was not the book I was expecting. Here is a part of the description:

The heart of the Trojan War belongs to the women.
Mothers and daughters; wives and war prizes, whisper to us across time…
…remember our songs alongside the mighty men of myth.

As the Age of Heroes wanes, the gods gamble more fiercely with mortals’ lives than they ever have before. Women must rely on their inner strength and cunning to survive the wars men wage for gold and glory.

After reading that description what I expected was a re-telling of the original Homeric myths but with a female-centric spin. Kind of like the recent books by Madeline Miller. Grecian feminism. (ha) That is not what this book is.

There are a number of women in the book, but disappointingly they are shoehorned into the classic tropes … mother, whore, crone. There is precious little attention paid to their own motivations or personalities except as to where they intersect with the men in their lives. Oh they get plenty pissed or sad with their men, but that’s not enough to make this feminist. They need to have lives, thoughts, feelings separate from men. The women in this book do not voice those things.

They are also, in my opinion, overly sexualized. I’m all for a girl getting her groove on and owning her sexuality but in this book, unless you’re a crone figure, that’s pretty much all you do is get it on. It’s not what I came here for. That’s a different book than what I feel like I was sold on. I would have just not requested that book. Instead, I got this book, and it was not for me. All that being said, I’m definitely not looking into the next part of the series.

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Lost In A Good Book by Lost In A Good Book - 2M ago

Book Title: Westside

Series:

Author: W.M. Akers

Goodreads Link: Click here

Release Date:  5/07/19

Star Rating:  – Quirky fantasy/mystery

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in return for an un-biased review.

First things first, this book is wholly original. The world building is fantastic! Imagine a New York of the early 1920’s … a little dangerous, colorful, fully jazzed and ginned up … now cut New York in half. A fence runs down the island splitting New York into the East and Westside. The East is fairly normal, maybe a little too crowded and a mess of corruption, but nothing too out of the ordinary. The Westside though … the buildings are rotting, shadows rule the night, and both possessions and loved ones disappear into the darkness with alarming frequency, never to be seen again. Who would want to live there?

Gilda Carr would. She is a fascinating character. A bold, gutsy, broken young woman in her mid-20’s, she is also the daughter of detective who disappeared years ago. She follows in his footsteps to a certain degree. She doesn’t get involved in serious crimes but does like to solve “tiny mysteries”. Of which there are plenty in this strange place. But the mystery of a missing glove grows exponentially into death and drama she doesn’t really want to be involved in but can’t she can’t seem to quit.

The writing in this book is excellent. The premise and world building are unique and very interesting. I was reminded a little of the grit and imagination of Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. I read about 20 pages before I started raving about it to friends. I found it un-put-downable. Excellent read. I fully recommend this to everyone.

Song for this book: Welcome to the Black Parade – My Chemical Romance (New Orleans Marching Band Cover) ft. Joey Cook

Welcome to the Black Parade - My Chemical Romance (New Orleans Marching Band Cover) ft. Joey Cook - YouTube
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Lost In A Good Book by Lost In A Good Book - 2M ago

Book Title: The Book of Flora

Series: The Road to Nowhere #3

Author: Meg Elison

Goodreads Link: Click here

Star Rating:  – Excellent end to the journey

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in return for an un-biased review.

You should know before starting this book that it is the third book in a trilogy that really needs to be read in order to completely understand what is going on. Here is a list of my reviews for the first two books..

Both books are excellent and you won’t be sorry if you pick up all three.

The first book follows the story of the original Unnamed Midwife, a woman traveling a post-apocalyptic world where women have become extremely rare. As a result, women are commodified. It gets bleak, believe me. The Midwife, a former nurse, tries to make sense of the world, keeping herself safe, and helping other women when she can.

Book two, beginning roughly a hundred years after the Midwife’s story, follows Etta, a queer, black woman who acts as a raider. She searches the detritus of our world for items that can be of use to people in her town, and saving captive women whenever possible. One of those women is the main character of book three.

Shortly after I read book two I heard about the title of this third book and I was ecstatic. Flora is a fascinating character. She is a trans woman living in this hellscape who has maintained a caring a gentle spirit. No mean feat I tell you that. I needed to know more about her, where she came from, how she came to the town where she met Etta in book two.

Book three opens shortly following the events of book two. The world of these books has devolved into a virtual hellscape over the years. All of the women’s stories are full of suffering, but their strength shines through. None of these three are women to be trifled with. They are indomitable, but not untouchable. I really enjoyed getting to know these women, and seeing how society would progress as time progressed. Would things get better or worse? I can’t tell you, but I’m happy with how it finally ended.

The author certainly has a lot to say about the treatment of women and LGBTQ women in particular. It is a refreshing perspective for what can be at times a tired genre. I’m looking forward to more books from this author in the future now that this trilogy is ended.

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Book Title: A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World

Series: 

Author: C.A. Fletcher

Goodreads Link: Click here

Release Date:  4/23/19

Star Rating: – Thoughtful dystopia

Disclaimer: I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

This book is all together introspective, post-apocalyptic and full of cute puppers. I mean that’s the trifecta, right?

Griz, is a boy who has grown up after the end of the world as we know it. His parents can recall the old days, back when the world was crowded. When dogs were plenty. When everything was electric. Now it’s mostly quiet. Griz has grown up on an island in the North of England, just him, his family and his two dogs. The island is hard to find and secluded (translation: safe), until a traveler shows up unexpectedly. He repays the family’s hospitality by drugging them and stealing their goods, including one of Griz’s beloved dogs.

Griz, for all his quiet thoughtfulness, is also bright, bold, courageous and loyal. He chases after his pet, knowing that the possibility of return to his home is slim. What follows is an adventure through a world that is familiar to us but nearly devoid of people, disused and falling apart. It gives the landscape an almost otherworldly quality, interesting to see how quickly things fall apart when we aren’t there to use them.

This is an excellent book. The main character is truly a delight and the puppers are, as will surprise no one, quite wonderful. If you liked Station Eleven, or books of that sort you will enjoy this one. I fully recommend it.

I’m really starting to love Orbit Books. I have not been disappointed once with the books I’ve gotten from them on Netgalley. They are one to watch!

Song for this book: The Call by Regina Spektor

The Call - YouTube

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Book Title: Seven Blades in Black

Series:  The Grave of Empires (#1)

Author: Sam Sykes

Goodreads Link: Click here

Release Date:  4/09/19

Star Rating: –  *chefs kiss*

Disclaimer: I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Sal the Cacophony.  Probably the best character name I’ve heard in a long time. She is a loud, hot, mess of an individual and cacophony suits her to a tee (though the name doesn’t just refer to her as a person, ooh mini spoiler.) Sal is a woman on a mission of vengeance. She strides across the desert with an angry gun on her hip, looking for the wizards who tried to kill her, hoping to return the favor. Sal is a woman who will surely level a town shortly after walking in.  When you see her on the street, you don’t run away, you lie down and pray that your impending death will not hurt as much as you think … (sigh) … as you KNOW it will.   

The destruction is not ALL her fault. Sal lives in a world at constant war with itself.  There is always someone trying to blow someone else up …  hopefully not you, but someone.  Her story is gripping, tragic, clever, funny and fantastic.  She rides around on a giant chicken/ostrich type bird named Congeniality and I love that nasty, grumpy, smelly thing.

She is the epitome of the strong, female badass, but is hard to love.  Sal is a woman with a heart, but has lost her way so profoundly that caring about her is practically a terminal disease.  You might not die from it, but you will be hurt.  Sal is tough and tender-hearted at the same time.  She is bi-sexual and her fashion choices are gender non-conforming in a world where that doesn’t seem to make any waves whatsoever and that’s just fabulous. 

In short, she is someone you have to meet.  Written as an homage to Final Fantasy games it also made me think of the anime, Trigun.  At once violent, crazy, entertaining and a little demented.  Thoroughly enjoyable! I was a little confused through the first part of the book, but once I slowed down and put a little effort into understanding the back and forth time jump of the setting it got easier.  After a while, I realized just how much I was enjoying myself in this story and I really look forward to new installments in the series. 

Song for this book: Devil’s Got a Gun – Whitehorse

Whitehorse - Devil's Got A Gun - YouTube

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Lost In A Good Book by Lost In A Good Book - 3M ago

Welcome back to Top 5 Wednesday.  This is a meme started in November of 2013 and is still going strong! If you’re interested in being a part of it please see the group on Goodreads.

This week’s topic is Favorite SciFi/Fantasy Creatures!

There are so many to choose from, but here are my top 5 favorite creatures from Science Fiction or Fantasy books.

Domovoi

I started liking these little house spirits when I read The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden. I just like these little guys who live in the house and protect the family members. That book series is full of really interesting creatures, but the Domovoi were my favorites.

Dragons

Of course dragons have to be part of this list. I think I like the ones that have distinct personalities the most. My favorites come from books by Robin Hobb. She’s such a wonderful writer.

Meduse

Binti has quite a few great creatures in it. I really liked the living spaceship, but it doesn’t have as much personality as the Meduse. These are floating jellyfish/octopus type creatures who tend to fly off the handle a bit, but when you get to know them it’s easy to understand why. Binti is a very imaginative novella series. I recommend it to anyone who likes science fiction.

Spren

Spren are creatures from Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive series. These are some fascinating creatures. Some are sentient, and can interact with humans and weapons. They have certain attributes and personalities. There are also other lesser spren that are not conscious but that manifest when people are experiencing a lot of emotion. So for example, if you’re mad, here comes anger spren to float around your head. Sounds a little embarassing if you ask me but oh well. Syl, in the picture, is a spren that chooses to follow the main character Kal. She is absolutely adorable.

Hobbits

I honestly think this is the best invention of the Lord of the Rings. They are such wonderful little people. Homey, simple, and good. I’m jealous of their little hobbit holes and I would move to Hobbiton in a split second if I had the chance. I love them unreservedly.

Well those are my five. Now I just want to take a minute to provide credits/links to a couple of the images:

Domovoi – Slavic hand carved dolls by Ancient Gods on Etsy

Dragons – Artwork by the inimitable John Howe

Spren – Artwork by HaVoC on Steam Workshop

Cover Photo – Photo by Danielle Barnes on Unsplash

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