Broadside No. 7 – an author advertisement

Hear ye hear ye me mateys!  I announce an additional broadside to me Captain’s log.  What is a broadside ye ask?  Traditionally:

  1. A broadside is the side of a ship, the battery of cannon on one side of a warship; or their coordinated fire in naval warfare. From the 16th century until the early decades of the steamship, vessels had rows of guns set in each side of the hull. Firing all guns on one side of the ship became known as a “broadside“. source
  2. A broadside is a large sheet of paper printed on one side only. Historically, broadsides were posters, announcing events or proclamations, or simply advertisements. source

What does this mean for me mateys?  Well tomorrow I will publish the seventh edition of me broadside that will highlight a specific favorite author and their work.  Who ye ask?  It’s a surprise . . .


The Captain’s Log – the wanderer (Sharon Creech)

Ahoy there me mateys!

the wanderer (Sharon Creech)

I previously read two novels by this author: walk two moons (Newbery Medal Winner) and chasing redbird.(ALA Best Book for Young Adults).  When I found a copy of her Newbery Honor Book about an adventure across the ocean on a sailboat at a Friends of the Library sale, I had to snag the copy.  Arrrr!

Side note: me copy has a lovely inscription in it:

Dear Veronica,

Good luck in your new school (W.M.S.).  You are a wonderful student & I will really miss you.

Love, Mrs. Becker

I wonder if Veronica ever read the book an’ if so did she enjoy it?  Does she look back on Mrs. Becker with fondness?  And how did it end up in the library sale for me to find?  If only I could find out.  But imagining can be fun too . . .

I highly enjoyed this quick read.  The story takes place in the form of logs kept by two children, Sophie and her cousin, Cody, when they sail across the Atlantic on The Wanderer.  The contrast between the perspectives of the cousins was lovely.  Sophie is said to have three-sides – “dreamland or earthland or mule-land.”  Cody is “loud, impulsive, and charming.”  Cody’s misuse of sailing terms made me laugh.  The two voices were extremely distinct an’ watching the changes the trip makes on both them and the family members was the heart of this book.

The setting, of course, was excellent but not without peril.  Sailing on a sunny day can still have challenges, but being on a 45 foot sailing vessel in the middle of an Atlantic storm is no easy place to be.  I thought that the descriptions of life aboard the ship and of the storm itself were extremely well done. As always I love me sea yarns.

However Sophie’s story was the best part.  I won’t give it away because the reader should discover things through the tale itself.  But her relationship with Bompie, her grandfather, was wonderful.  In fact, how Sophie’s story unfolds was charming, at times bittersweet, and fabulous.

Heartwarming an’ wonderful, overall I recommend this book.

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

Thirteen-year-old Sophie hears the sea calling, promising adventure and a chance for discovery as she sets sail for England with her three uncles and two cousins. Sophie’s cousin Cody isn’t sure he has the strength to prove himself to the crew and to his father. Through Sophie’s and Cody’s travel logs, we hear stories of the past and the daily challenges of surviving at sea as The Wanderer sails toward its destination—and its passengers search for their places in the world.

Her website also offers the story behind the story i.e. her inspiration:

During the year prior to our move back to the States from Europe, we crossed the Atlantic twelve times: my mother was ill; my husband was looking for a job; my mother died. Back and forth we went, and during one of these crossings, I felt like such a wanderer, endlessly roaming, yearning for home. The title for a book—The Wanderer—came to mind.

Simultaneously, I had the frame of a story in mind which would match that title. When my daughter Karin graduated from college, she and six friends (all male) sailed across the ocean from Connecticut to Ireland. Along the way, Karin kept a journal, recording the journey in writing and in drawings. I was reluctant to see her go—worried about her safety—but she reassured me as to all the safety provisions aboard. Midway through their trip, they were able to relay a message via a ham radio operator that all was well. I relaxed a bit. Then, two weeks later, when they did finally arrive in Ireland, Karin phoned. “Mom!” she said. “We almost died!” Shortly after they’d relayed the “all-safe” message, they encountered a gale, much like the one in the book: it broke their booms, ripped their sails, and knocked out all their communications’ equipment. So: out of all that came The Wanderer.

I started with the idea of a gutsy girl on board a sailboat with all men. They would follow the same route my daughter had taken, and they would encounter a storm. But the girl in the book, Sophie, is not my daughter. Sophie had no sooner started talking when I realized she had her own secrets, her own worries. Using a second narrator, a boy (Cody), evolved because it seemed he would make a good contrast to Sophie, and it would be interesting to see two different reactions to life on board the boat. I think I also had in mind the question so many boy readers used to ask me: When are you going to use a boy as a main character?

To visit the author’s website go to:

Sharon Creech – Author

To buy the novel go to:

the wanderer – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

Captured Horizons – the demon girl’s song (Susan Jane Bigelow)

Yo ho ho me mateys!  The day is at hand.  Ye can finally get yer grubby mitts on this delightful booty:

the demon girl’s song (Susan Jane Bigelow)

Title: the demon girl’s song

Author: Susan Jane Bigelow

Publisher: Dreaming Robot Press

Publication Date: TODAY!

ISBN: 9781940924151

To read me previous review of the novel click here!

To buy the novel please click here!

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

Happy reading!

x The Captain

Tidings from the Crew – son of the black sword (Larry Correia)

Ahoy there mateys!  Thought I would take a break from the e-Arc extravaganza.  Though the first mate and I have very different reading tastes, occasionally we do recommend books to each other.  Books the first mate introduced to me included xom-b, holes, and the perks of being a wallflower.  He and I both read the following:

son of the black sword (Larry Correia)

We were talking about the book and I enjoyed his viewpoint so I ordered asked him to write a review.  So you get one from me and a bonus additional review from me crew.  Please note that I write like I talk and the first mate writes like he thinks.  Hope you enjoy!

From the Captain:

This was a recommendation by me first mate.  A fun time was had reading this book.  There is a sentient sword that I adore.  Even if it has a funny name.  Everyone wants to own this sword, but: beware making the choice to pick it up.  The sword chooses who will wield it, and the consequences tend to be bloody and unfortunate for those not worthy.

Ashok Vadal is the main character.  He starts out as a seemingly simplistic character that embodies the Law.  However, the Law is not as it seems and is more complicated than expected.  Ashok is probably one of the weirdest characters I have read about in terms of his world view and motivations.  This is part of what makes him awesome.  His choices get harder and harder throughout the book and how and why he chooses what to do is some of the best parts of the book.

Ashok has a complicated relationship with Devedas, his best friend.  Devedas was another highlight of the book.  Is he a good guy?  Is he a bad guy?  Only time will tell.  Devedas has a sad past, is ambitious, and is subject to envy.  Reading his perspective is a fun counterpoint to Ashok.

The bad guy priest is sort of stereotypical.  I also found the assassins to be an annoying group with an interesting premise.  However I still enjoyed this book.  In particular, I liked the magic system.  Oh and there is a cool librarian, so bonus for that.  A fluff book with a little bit of depth.  I will certainly read the next in the series.

From the First Mate:

Having greatly enjoyed Larry Correia’s Monster Hunter series and mostly enjoyed his first foray into high fantasy (Into the Storm), I approached Son of the Black Sword with somewhat mixed feelings.  On the one hand, I rather like his writing style and am always eager to read more of the writers whose work I enjoy.  On the other, outside of the Monster Hunter series, Correia’s work hasn’t really grabbed me.

Son of the Black Sword, much like Into the Storm before it, is an enjoyable tale that is somewhat hampered by the ever present desire on this reader’s part to ponder its endless influences.  Like many a reader, I couldn’t quite stop seeing Ashok as a Judge Dredd knock-off almost to the point of expecting him to cry out “I am the LAW” at more than a few moments.  The presence of the Swords and their possible origins reminded me so very much of Fred Saberhagen’s trilogy about world-changing swords.  The Inquisitors have many parallels in fantasy, but it was the Mord-siths from Terry Goodkind’s Wizard’s First Rule that seemed the most apt comparison, what with the special ceremonial attire and hyper specific and grotesque social role.  And on and on.

Regardless of from where Correia may have drawn various inspirations, the story and the characters are interesting and entertaining.  Our good guys are quite likable and our villains are despicable.  We even get a few shades-of-grey characters who are well drawn.  Where the novel disappoints is only in comparison to Correia’s better work.  Son of the Black Sword works through many standard high fantasy tropes but never quite deconstructs nor spins them in a way that would elevate the work to something other than a well-written run-of-the-mill high fantasy novel.  Very enjoyable as long as you’re not expecting any new ground to be broken.

After reading the novel, though, I knew I had to recommend it to the Captain.  Why, you may ask?  Well, any novel that uses “saltwater” as a curse surely will make the Captain smile

The hardback jacket has this to say about the book:

After the War of the Gods, the demons were cast out and fell to the world. Mankind was nearly eradicated by the seemingly unstoppable beasts, until the gods sent the great hero, Ramrowan, to save them. He united the tribes, gave them magic, and drove the demons into the sea. Ever since the land has belonged to man and the oceans have remained an uncrossable hell, leaving the continent of Lok isolated. It was prophesized that someday the demons would return, and only the descendants of Ramrowan would be able to defeat them. They became the first kings, and all men served those who were their only hope for survival.

As centuries passed the descendants of the great hero grew in number and power. They became tyrannical and cruel, and their religion nothing but an excuse for greed. Gods and demons became myth and legend, and the people no longer believed. The castes created to serve the Sons of Ramrowan rose up and destroyed their rulers. All religion was banned and replaced by a code of unflinching law. The surviving royalty and their priests were made casteless, condemned to live as untouchables, and the Age of Law began.

Ashok Vadal has been chosen by a powerful ancient weapon to be its bearer. He is a Protector, the elite militant order of roving law enforcers. No one is more merciless in rooting out those who secretly practice the old ways. Everything is black or white, good or evil, until he discovers his entire life is a fraud. Ashok isn’t who he thinks he is, and when he finds himself on the wrong side of the law, the consequences lead to rebellion, war—and destruction.

To visit the author’s website go to:

Larry Correia – Author

To buy the novel visit:

son of the black sword – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

Shiver me Timbers! Guess what today is . . .

Happy International Talk Like a Pirate Day!  Avast me beauties!  Grab yer grog, yer wenches, yer parrots an’ yerselfs an’ celebrate with yer Captain.  From the lowliest bilge rat to the scurviest dog in the crow’s nest, indulge yer inner pirate.  It’s a day where even ye landlubbers can develop sea legs and participate in the gloriousness that be the high seas.

In honor of the fine day here are some shanties to help prepare to wet yer whistle:

A traditional version:

A silly version:

A more modern pirate remix version:

So wave yer Jolly Roger an’ spend those pieces of eight ye scalawags, seadogs, and fellow explorers.  Always remember:

Why is pirating so popular?

Once you lose your first arm, you’re hooked for life!

x The Captain

Captured Horizons – crosstalk (Connie Willis)

Yo ho ho me mateys!  The day is at hand.  Ye can finally get yer grubby mitts on this delightful booty:

crosstalk (Connie Willis)

Title: crosstalk

Author: Connie Willis

Publisher: Orion Publishing Group

Publication Date: TODAY! (in the UK)

ISBN:     9781473200937

To read me previous review of the novel click here!

To buy the novel (in the UK) please click here!

Happy reading!

x The Captain

On the Horizon – cold-forged flame (Marie Brennan)

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

cold-forged flame (Marie Brennan)

Title: cold-forged flame

Author: Marie Brennan

Publisher: Macmillian-Tor/Forge

Publication Date: September 13, 2016 (paperback/e-book)

ISBN: 9780765391391

Source: NetGalley

I had previously read this author’s warrior/witch duology and the first novel in her Lady Trent series. I wanted more of her work and this book sounded amazing.  I read this in a sitting and adored it . . .

The worse thing I can say about the reading experience was that I didn’t know it was a novella!  I finished the e-book version and was convinced that I had somehow gotten a weird version.  So I re-downloaded in another format.  Same.  Where were the rest of the chapters?  The story was just getting started.  I wanted the rest.  Grrrrrr!  I was confused as to why me book was so short.

Well, the interwebs then told me it was a novella.  Silly Captain.  However I wouldn’t change me reading experience.  Also I recommend if ye choose to read this, other then the little blurb at the bottom (if ye wish), read no details before beginning.  The way the story unfolds is delightful because I had no clue what the hell was going on.  And even the answers ye do get by the end only whet the appetite for more.  I want the next novella!

The author’s take (from her website) is this:

One of the great things about modern publishing options — ebooks and print on demand — is that they’re allowing that neglected form, the novella, to make a comeback.

Longer than a short story, but shorter than a novel, a novella is a nice middle ground. And hey — if you string a few together, you have episodes, on a much tighter timeline than a series of whole novels. Which is, in fact, what I’m doing here.

Cold-Forged Flame is the first in a sequel of novellas

Go out and get the first episode.

So lastly . . .

Thank you Macmillian-Tor/Forge!

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

The sound of the horn pierces the apeiron, shattering the stillness of that realm. Its clarion call creates ripples, substance, something more. It is a summons, a command. There is will. There is need.

And so, in reply, there is a woman.


She comes into existence atop a flat, rough slab of stone. In the first few instants, as the sound of the horn fades, that stone consumes all her attention: its pitted, weathered surface, shedding grit against her knuckles where her fist is braced. It is ancient, that stone, and full of memory.

As she herself is not.

To visit the author’s website go to:

Marie Brennan – Author

To buy the novel please visit:

cold-forged flame – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List