The Captain’s Log – home (Nnedi Okorafor)

Ahoy there me mateys!  Yesterday I reviewed binti, the first novella in the series.  It was so good I had to immediately read the second one.  If ye haven’t read the first book then ye might want to skip this post and go read me review of that one.  If ye keep reading this log then ye have been forewarned and continue at yer own peril . . .

This was a great second installment.  In this novella, Binti goes home to see her parents and family for the first time since leaving them without any warning a year ago.  We get to see Binti continue to struggle to come to terms with her new role in the family.  She continues to defy gender norms and expectations handed down to her from birth.  As she changes and grows she has to make decisions about if she will accept the consequences of her choices in order to find her own destiny.

The world-building and characterization continue to be exquisite.  The exploration of tribal life and modernity continue to be explored.  It was another quick read.  I will certainly be reading the last novella in the series once I get ahold of it.  Arrr!

Check out me other crew members effusive reviews:

amanda @ cover to cover mom

bradley @ goodreads

matthew quann @ goodreads

Goodreads has this to say about the novel:

It’s been a year since Binti and Okwu enrolled at Oomza University. A year since Binti was declared a hero for uniting two warring planets. A year since she abandoned her family in the dawn of a new day.

And now she must return home to her people, with her friend Okwu by her side, to face her family and face her elders.

But Okwu will be the first of his race to set foot on Earth in over a hundred years, and the first ever to come in peace.

After generations of conflict can human and Meduse ever learn to truly live in harmony?

To visit the author’s website go to:

Nnedi Okorafor – Author

To buy the book go to:

home – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

Previous Log Entries for this Author

binti – book 1 (Captain’s Log – Sci-Fi)


The Captain’s Log – binti (Nnedi Okorafor)

Ahoy there me mateys!  This sci-fi novella caught me eye because many many crew members wouldn’t stop talking about how good it was.  Plus this novella won all these awards:

Hugo Award for Best Novella (2016), Nebula Award for Best Novella (2016), Locus Award Nominee for Best Novella (2016)

So I read this and found it to be absolutely stunning.  It has a strong black female protagonist, interesting tech, diversity, self-discovery, fantastic world-building, discussions about traditions vs. modernity, and was a quick read.  I found meself completely engrossed from the very first sentences.  I already picked up the next novella in the series.  Stay tuned for that review tomorrow!  Arrr!

Check out me other crew members effusive reviews:

danielle @ books, vertigo, and tea

jacquie @ rattle the stars

matthew quann @ goodreads

Goodreads has this to say about the novel:

Her name is Binti, and she is the first of the Himba people ever to be offered a place at Oomza University, the finest institution of higher learning in the galaxy. But to accept the offer will mean giving up her place in her family to travel between the stars among strangers who do not share her ways or respect her customs.

Knowledge comes at a cost, one that Binti is willing to pay, but her journey will not be easy. The world she seeks to enter has long warred with the Meduse, an alien race that has become the stuff of nightmares. Oomza University has wronged the Meduse, and Binti’s stellar travel will bring her within their deadly reach.

If Binti hopes to survive the legacy of a war not of her making, she will need both the gifts of her people and the wisdom enshrined within the University, itself – but first she has to make it there, alive.

To visit the author’s website go to:

Nnedi Okorafor – Author

To buy the book go to:

binti – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

The Captain’s Log – full fathom five (Max Gladstone)

Ahoy there me mateys!  So in previous times, wendy @ the biliosanctum set me on a series of adventures that led to me reading the first book in The Craft Sequence, three parts dead.  I absolutely loved it.  The second book was two serpents rise.  That was not nearly as good as the first but I adore the world and certainly wanted the next book.  Like the others, I read this one without reading the blurb first.  No real spoilers aboard but read at yer own peril . . .

This installment turned out to be much better than the last.  It was also a companion novel featuring a new city and new characters.  The difference in this book was that some characters from the other two books appeared in this one!  It was fun to have the books tie together in a fashion.

This one takes place on the island of Kavekana.  It is not run by a god or a deathless king but by a business entity.  The conglomerate creates idols for use in business transactions for those who don’t want to worship in other cities.  The idols don’t have feelings or true consciousness but can “die” in business deals gone wrong.  Kai is one of the creators of the idols.  When she witnesses an idol about to die, she dives into danger hoping to prevent its’ demise.  Instead she ends up severely injured and has jeopardized the business.  For her botched attempt, she is moved to another department until the company can decide her future role.  Everyone thinks she has gone crazy.  Is she or is there a bigger game at play?

Besides Kai, there is also a spunky street urchin named Izza that is the other main point of view.  I loved the interplay of all of the women in this book.  Also while there some elements of Kai’s relationship with her ex in this novel, it serves a function in the plot and does not overtake the story.  In general, I found the machinations of the idols and the business to be fascinating.  This novel weaves the characters and their wishes and aspirations together in a very powerful mix.  Gladstone yet again takes the novel in directions I wasn’t expecting.

I will be reading the fourth book at some point and, no, I won’t be reading the blurb for that one either.  Wish me luck.  Arrrr!!!

The author’s website has this to say about the novel:

On the island of Kavekana, Kai builds gods to order. Her creations aren’t conscious and lack their own wills and voices, but they accept sacrifices, and protect their worshippers from other gods—perfect vehicles for Craftsmen and Craftswomen operating in the divinely controlled Old World. When Kai tries to save a dying idol, she’s grievously injured—then sidelined from the business entirely, her near-suicidal rescue attempt offered up as proof of her instability. But when Kai gets tired of hearing her boss, her coworkers, and her ex-boyfriend call her crazy, and starts digging into the reasons her creations die, she uncovers a conspiracy of silence and fear—which will crush her, if Kai can’t stop it first.

To visit the author’s website go to:

Max Gladstone – Author

To buy the book go to:

full fathom five – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

Previous Log Entries for this Author

three parts dead – book one (Captain’s Log – Urban Fantasy)

two serpents rise – book two (Captain’s Log – Urban Fantasy)

The Captain’s Log – the phantom tollbooth (Norton Juster)

Ahoy there me mateys!  I have noticed this evocative cover . . .


. . . time and time again since I was a young’un’.  But for reasons that escape me now, I never did pick it up.  But I have always had intentions to read it.  Well then two of me crew in rather quick succession wrote their thoughts about it and solidified me desire to read it.  And so I have.

For such a short book, it took me a rather long time to read because I had to savor it in delightful little bits.  This novel truly deserves the designation of a classic.  The story is silly and seemingly simple but oh what delightful use of language.  I loved the evocative illustrations by Jules Feiffer and how even the type on the page helps to tell the story.  It is the kind of book with clever layers that make it a lovely read for people of all ages.

A favourite quote:

“Do all those words mean the same thing?” gasped Milo. “Of course.” “Certainly.” “Precisely.” “Exactly.” “Yes,” they replied in order. “Well, then,” said Milo, not understanding why each one said the same thing in a slightly different way, “wouldn’t it be simpler to use just one? It would certainly make more sense.” “Nonsense.” “Ridiculous.” “Fantastic.” “Absurd.” “Bosh,” they chorused again, and continued. “We’re not interested in making sense; it’s not our job,” scolded the first. “Besides,” explained the second, “one word is as good as another—so why not use them all?”

I would like to visit the Doldrums where sleeping is a priority.  Wouldn’t ye want items on yer schedule like this:

“From 2:00 to 2:30 we take our early afternoon nap. “From 2:30 to 3:30 we put off for tomorrow what we could have done today. “From 3:30 to 4:00 we take our early late afternoon nap.

The language is literally delicious.  I wish I could have had a phantom tollbooth as a child!

Check out me two crew members effusive reviews that finally got me to read this one:

bookstooge @ bookstooge’s reviews on the road – who celebrated the 50th anniversary edition

the orangutan librarian – who revisited the Lands Beyond and discusses her thoughts about the trip

Goodreads has this to say about the novel:

Hailed as “a classic. . . . humorous, full of warmth and real invention” (The New Yorker), this beloved story -first published more than fifty years ago- introduces readers to Milo and his adventures in the Lands Beyond.

For Milo, everything’s a bore. When a tollbooth mysteriously appears in his room, he drives through only because he’s got nothing better to do. But on the other side, things seem different. Milo visits the Island of Conclusions (you get there by jumping), learns about time from a ticking watchdog named Tock, and even embarks on a quest to rescue Rhyme and Reason! Somewhere along the way, Milo realizes something astonishing. Life is far from dull. In fact, it’s exciting beyond his wildest dreams. . . .

To visit the author’s wiki page go to:

Norton Juster – Author

To buy the book go to:

the phantom tollbooth – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

The Captain’s Log – crenshaw (Katherine Applegate)

Ahoy there me mateys!  This was an audiobook that I picked up for two reasons: 1) the author previously won the Newbery Medal and 2) it has a giant cat on the cover.

The cat was supposed to be both invisible and magic.  I had assumed that the story would be lighthearted and that the cat and little boy would get into all kinds of adventures.  This book had a way more serious tone.  It was about a struggling boy named Jackson.  His mom lost her job and his dad has MS.  They are poor and about to lose their home . . . again.  His parents continue to treat every situation with an upbeat attitude.  Jackson knows the problem is serious and doesn’t know how to make his parents tell him the truth about their circumstances.

Like how Harvey the rabbit is a sign of alcoholism, Crenshaw is a sign of troubled times.  One of the more interesting points of this book is that Crenshaw doesn’t magically fix things.  He is more of a sounding board and a solid presence in Jackson’s life.  A friend.  Only, in the beginning, Jackson thinks he is going insane because why should he be seeing a giant talking cat that he thought was an imaginary friend he left back in kindergarten.

I enjoyed the fact that Jackson is going through self-discovery and that the cat doesn’t magically fix the parents’ situation.  The cat is a background personality for the most part and much of his involvement is through flashbacks.  I loved that Jackson had loving parents who did want the best for their children.  I loved silly Crenshaw.  This was a wonderful story, dealing with the effects of poverty, friendship, family, and resilience.  I will certainly be reading more of Katherine Applegate’s work.

Side note:  The narrator, Kirby Heyborne, did a wonderful job!

Goodreads has this to say about the novel:

In her first novel since winning the Newbery Medal, Katherine Applegate delivers an unforgettable and magical story about family, friendship, and resilience.

Jackson and his family have fallen on hard times. There’s no more money for rent. And not much for food, either. His parents, his little sister, and their dog may have to live in their minivan. Again.

Crenshaw is a cat. He’s large, he’s outspoken, and he’s imaginary. He has come back into Jackson’s life to help him. But is an imaginary friend enough to save this family from losing everything?

To visit the author’s website go to:

Katherine Applegate – Author

To buy the book go to:

crenshaw – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

Abandoned Ship On the Horizon – zero limit (Jeremy K. Brown)

Ahoy there me mateys!  I received this sci-fi eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  So here be me honest musings . . .

zero limit (Jeremy K. Brown)

Title: zero limit

Author: Jeremy K. Brown

Publisher: 47North (47North is the Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror imprint of Amazon Publishing, the full-service publishing arm of Amazon)

Publication Date: TODAY!! (paperback and e-book)


Source: NetGalley


So this book was described as “Artemis meets Gravity in this gripping, adrenaline-fueled ride.”  Nope, not for me.  I actually tried to read this twice and gave up on it both times.

Now I have not seen the movie gravity so I can’t comment on that but I would consider this to be a bad version of Armageddon the movie where ye replace Bruce Willis with a not-quite-as-badass woman, have even cheesier dialogue, and no real tension.

As for artemis . . . umm no.  Well both take place on the moon.  That’s about all they have in common.  Artemis made me feel like the author had been to the moon and experienced both its wonders and its problems.  This novel’s moon seemed like a cardboard cutout of a Hollywood sound stage with all the cliché glory that entails.  I did like the concept of a miserable moon-dust rampaged living space but this novel did not do it justice.

Add in really bad politics involving the middle east and an immigrant (moon-born) hating politician and it just added to the rip-off feeling.  I wish I could have liked it but alas.

So lastly . . .

Thank you 47 North!

Goodreads has this to say about the novel:

Twelve billion metric tons of asteroid. One woman who can save Earth. Zero margin for error.

For war hero Caitlin Taggart, mining work on the Moon is dirty, low pay, and high risk. But no risk seems too extreme if it helps her return to Earth and the daughter she loves more than life itself. Offered a dangerous, long-shot chance to realize that dream, Caitlin will gamble with more than just her life.

By leading a ragtag crew of miners on a perilous assignment to harvest an asteroid, Caitlin could earn a small fortune. More importantly, it would give her clearance to return to Earth.

But when an unexpected disaster strikes the mission, Caitlin is plunged into a race to save not only herself, but every human being on Earth.

To visit the author’s Amazon webpage visit:

Jeremy K. Brown – Author

To buy the novel visit:

zero limit – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

On the Horizon – daughters of the storm (Kim Wilkins)

Ahoy there me mateys!  I received this fantasy eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  So here be me honest musings . . .

daughters of the storm (Kim Wilkins)

Title: daughters of the storm

Author: Kim Wilkins

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine Del Ray

Publication Date: TOMORROW!!! (hardcover/e-book)

ISBN: 978-0399177477

Source: NetGalley

I wanted to love this book, I really did.  The publisher offered me an e-arc of this book because I adored the bear and the nightingale.  And honestly it should have been an awesome read.

The story involves five daughters of a king.  A king who happens to have fallen into a deep coma-like slumber.  So all of the daughters are drawn to their father’s side to say their goodbyes.  But what if it is not illness but a magical spell that holds the king in slumber?  The sisters must find out quickly before the kingdom’s peace is torn apart.

I did enjoy the sisters for the most part.  They are all named after plants –

  • Bluebell – a warrior who is set to be the next king
  • Rose – a mother whose unhappy marriage was the price for peace
  • Ash – a student of magic who may possess magic she never asked for
  • Ivy – a young girl who just wants admiration from everyone
  • Willow – a zealot of a new religion who wants the world to convert

So I had two problems with this book.  The first is that the plot was just plodding at parts.  It took me forever to get into this book and I didn’t really get engrossed in the story until after the 60% mark.  It could have been trimmed.  There was too much time where nothing interesting happened and the characters were waiting around.

Which leads to the second problem.  While the characters were waiting around, all of them were confused, upset, and could be annoying.  The sisters seemed to never use their intelligence and instead made extremely rash choices that were a) stupid, b) completely emotionally based, and c) the worst possible choice.  I thought it was ridiculous that all of them couldn’t seem to use logic and reasoning.  I could sort-of accept it for Willow due to her particular set of problems but not for the others.  Ultimately I didn’t totally like any of the sisters and found it hard to wish for success for any of them.

The one really fun note for me was the bad guy, Wylm.  He is a step-brother by marriage.  While his bad-guy motivation was rather lame (having the throne for the sake of being important) I did like that the author had him make some choices that took me completely by surprise.  While most of his actions are caused by his cowardice and need to stay alive, he did have others that led to excellent plot lines and he actually used his brain.  He could be crafty even if his underlying reasons were illogical.  I also enjoyed how his portion of the story resolved in the first book.

Ultimately I would consider this an okay read.  I found Bluebell and Ash’s sections to be very engaging at times.  I did enjoy the magical system and would like to see that explored further.  I am not adverse to reading the next book but I think I would wait for reviews from me crew before making the choice to continue the series.

So lastly . . .

Thank you Random House!

Goodreads has this to say about the novel:


They are the daughters of a king. Though they share the same royal blood, they could not be more different. Bluebell is a proud warrior, stronger than any man and with an ironclad heart to match. Rose’s heart is all too passionate: She is the queen of a neighboring kingdom, who is risking everything for a forbidden love. The twins: vain Ivy, who lives for admiration, and zealous Willow, who lives for the gods. And Ash, who is discovering a dangerous talent for magic that might be a gift–or a curse.

But when their father is stricken by a mysterious ailment, they must come together on a desperate journey to save him and prevent their treacherous stepbrother from seizing the throne. Their mission: find the powerful witch who can cure the king. But to succeed on their quest, they must overcome their differences, and hope that the secrets they hide from one another and the world are never brought to light. Because if this royal family breaks, it could destroy the kingdom.

To visit the author’s website go to:

Kim Wilkins – Author

To buy the novel please visit:

daughters of the storm – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List