Broadside No. 11 – 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 eleventh edition of me broadside that will highlight a specific favorite author and their work.  Who ye ask?  It’s a surprise . . .

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The Captain’s Log – the last day of captain lincoln (EXO Books)

Ahoy there me mateys!  Many of me crew had been reviewing this one with high praise.  So when the author offered me a review copy for perusal of course I wanted to experience what all the fuss was about.

This be a fairly short story at 133 pages. Yet those pages resonated beyond their size.  The premise is that Captain Lincoln aboard the spaceship USNAS Hope Eternal is scheduled for death upon his 80th birthday – the tradition for everyone who reaches that age aboard the ship.  And today is his last day . . .

Thus the reader follows along to witness what Captain Lincoln experiences that day and how he processes his emotions of his impending end  And by the time ye come to that end, for this reader at least, I was sad to see him go.

And that was the true appeal of this work.  It is short and yet compelling; poignant yet uplifting; it was worth the read.  I found meself fascinated by the concepts of life aboard the ship (Arrrr!) where there is no disease and 80 is still youthful.  As humans make their long way to Earth 2.0, how do they reconcile their past with the possibilities of the future?

This will offer ye glimpses of what humans’ future capacity could be.  The only small gripes for me were the quotes, which while appropriate, were many and sometimes pulled me from the story and the artwork which was not to me taste.  But the story was enjoyable and is one that I can recommend.

To read some of me (many) other crew members reviews check out:

So lastly . . .

Thank ye EXO Books!

Goodreads has this to say about the novel:

Captain Lincoln’s last day is the hardest day of his life.

An old, onetime Captain of the interstellar spaceship USNAS Hope Eternal, Lincoln always knew that this day would come. For just as birthdays are carefully planned, so are deaths. And although he must reckon with his fate, this is not a somber story. It is a tale of love and sacrifice, told in the context of the most advanced civilization ever to exist—a society that has taken to the stars in an effort to save all that is best in humanity.

Follow Lincoln through his internal struggles, his joy in having lived, and his journey to peace.

The End is just the beginning.

To visit the author’s website go to:

EXO Books – Author

To buy the book go to:

the last day of captain lincoln – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

Abandon Ship – the reader (Traci Chee)

It is time to abandon ship me mateys!

the reader (Traci Chee)

I so wanted to love this book and yet all I can say is meh.  While I liked the main character, Sefia and her side-kick Archer, it was soooo boring.  All Sefia basically did was wander around in the woods forever.  I hate that trope in fantasy novels.  Even the passages in the novel about pirates didn’t make me happy.  And for this blog, that is really saying something.  This novel was so hyped and loved and here I am again with an unpopular opinion.  I know I made it through more than half way but then let it sit.  Then me rental expired.  Then I waited for a while for it to be available.  Then got it again.  Then tried three more times to get back into it.  Then it expired again with me having only explored another handful of pages.  Bah!  Pirates, assassins, magic, a book within a book, two somewhat interesting main characters, and yet no major plot to speak of.  So abandoned it be.

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

A stunning debut set in a world where reading is unheard-of, perfect for fans of Inkheart and Shadow and Bone

Sefia knows what it means to survive. After her father is brutally murdered, she flees into the wilderness with her aunt Nin, who teaches her to hunt, track, and steal. But when Nin is kidnapped, leaving Sefia completely alone, none of her survival skills can help her discover where Nin’s been taken, or if she’s even alive. The only clue to both her aunt’s disappearance and her father’s murder is the odd rectangular object her father left behind, an object she comes to realize is a book—a marvelous item unheard of in her otherwise illiterate society. With the help of this book, and the aid of a mysterious stranger with dark secrets of his own, Sefia sets out to rescue her aunt and find out what really happened the day her father was killed—and punish the people responsible.

With overlapping stories of swashbuckling pirates and merciless assassins, The Reader is a brilliantly told adventure from an extraordinary new talent.

To visit the author’s website go to:

Traci Chee – Author

To buy the book go:

the reader – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

The Captain’s Log – shipscat collection (Mercedes Lackey)

Ahoy there me mateys!  So after writing me second reflections of hunter, I was in the mood for some more of Mercedes Lackey’s work.  So I decided to buy and read one of her short story collections that I have had me eye on for a long time.  The topic – intelligent cats in space!  Of course, I kinda have a thing for ships and cats and ship cats most of all.  Yup exactly what I was in the mood for.

The collection contains four short stories about human, Dick White, and his friend the telepathic ship cat named Skitty.  I loved that humans had engineered intelligent cats for pest control and partnership and yet they still were cats . . . unpredictable, stubborn, choosy, and lovable.  Spoiled too.

These stories are very fluffy and somewhat predictable but I absolutely adored them all.  As usual Lackey’s world-building and characters are fun.  The only major complaint I have is that I would like a full length novel about the further adventures of Skitty and White.  The stories went by too quickly.  Super short collection but worth me coin.   Arrrrrr!

Side note: Isn’t the space cat picture awesome?  Check out the website where I found it . . .

Goodreads has this to say about the novel:

This is a collection of the four “Shipscat” stories: SKitty; A Tail of Two SKittys; SCat; and A Better Mousetrap.

These stories tell the adventures of Dick White, cat handler for the space ship Brightwing, and the cats he is supposed to be handling. Of course, given that he’s working with cats, there is frequently the question of who is “handling” whom.

To visit the author’s website go to:

Mercedes Lackey – Author

To buy the novel visit:

shipscat collection – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

Previous Log Entries for this Author

Broadside No. 8

hunter (Second Reflections – Fantasy)

Second Reflections – hunter (Mercedes Lackey)

Ahoy there me mateys!  While drawin’ up me lists of 2016 for me log, I realized a curious thing – out of 134 books read, not a single one was a re-read.  In me enthusiasm of discovery and taking suggestions from me crew, I did not revisit a single old port for plunder!  And part of what I love about readin’ is re-visitin’ old friends.  So I decided to remedy that in this here new year and thus created me new category where I take a second look at a previously enjoyed novel and give me crew me second reflections, as it were, upon visitin’ it again . . .

hunter – Mercedes Lackey

Now I had touched upon this novel and the author in me previous log post, Broadside No. 8.  It was in reviewing Lackey’s novels that I was reminded of this particular read and how much I loved it.  I was mistaken in thinking that I read it in 2016 and so I thought what better book to re-read.  It was just as much fun the second time.

The world is a post-apocalyptic US where after said disaster, a seam to the Otherworld opened allowing magic and monsters through.  Several centuries later, the world has slowly rebuilt behind walls and there are armies and other groups trying to keep regular citizens safe.  One of those groups is the Hunters whose purpose it to hunt monsters of course!

The main character is a Hunter named Joy who goes from the mountain home where she grew up to the main city.  I absolutely love her.  Other particular favorite hunters include Knight, Dazzle, and Karly.  Now while the hunters are bad-ass in and of themselves what makes them truly wicked is that to be a hunter you need have Hounds.  Not just normal dogs but massive magical beasts from the Otherworld.  I would normally say I am a cat person but even I would want one of these!  And no one’s Hounds are specifically alike.

Joy’s Hounds for example are Zapotec with Tibetan names.  It was the Hounds the artist Pedro Linares apparently saw when he had his dream and created alebrijes.  I had no idea what Joy was talking about so did a bit of research and discovered these possibilities:

They can also have spines, stingers, and shoot fire.  Awesome right?  In fact part of what I loved about Lackey’s monsters and Otherworld creatures was the blending of our myth and her imagination.  Vampires, Magogs, Drakken, Knockers and all other sorts of fun monsters are there.  I loved it all.

The plot is quick, Joy’s story is wonderful, and I cannot wait to find out where the second book will go!

Side note:  Each time I read this, I borrowed it from a local library.  I will likely read it again in the future and so finally bought meself a paperback copy for me cabin shelf and also to try and convince the first mate to read it!

Goodreads has this to say about the novel:

They came after the Diseray. Some were terrors ripped from our collective imaginations, remnants of every mythology across the world. And some were like nothing anyone had ever dreamed up, even in their worst nightmares.

Monsters.

Long ago, the barriers between our world and the Otherworld were ripped open, and it’s taken centuries to bring back civilization in the wake of the catastrophe. Now, the luckiest Cits live in enclosed communities, behind walls that keep them safe from the hideous creatures fighting to break through. Others are not so lucky.

To Joyeaux Charmand, who has been a Hunter in her tight-knit mountain community since she was a child, every Cit without magic deserves her protection from dangerous Othersiders. Then she is called to Apex City, where the best Hunters are kept to protect the most important people.

Joy soon realizes that the city’s powerful leaders care more about luring Cits into a false sense of security than protecting them . . . There is something much worse than the usual monsters infiltrating Apex.  And it may be too late to stop them…

To visit the author’s website go to:

Mercedes Lackey – Author

To buy the novel visit:

hunter – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

On the Horizon – martians abroad (Carrie Vaughn)

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

martians abroad (Carrie Vaughn)

Title: martians abroad

Author: Carrie Vaughn

Publisher: Macmillan-Tor/Forge

Publication Date: TODAY!!! (hardback/e-book)

ISBN: 978-0765382207

Source: NetGalley

I had heard about this author from me crew and they seemed to love her work.  I am not usually into urban fantasy and werewolves so I had never read her Kitty Norville series.  When I heard she had written a sci-fi young adult, I snagged a copy.

The premise is that twins, Polly and Charles, from Mars are sent to Earth with no warning to get a good education at one of the top academies in the galaxy.  Though the academy may be prestigious, accidents keep happening and the twins must figure out why.  The story is told from Polly’s perspective.

Having Martians go to Earth for education was an awesome premise.  In fact most of the fun in the novel stemmed from Polly’s observations and complaints about Earth.  Her observations and discussions about Mars in particular made the settlement there seem so real and almost made me almost envious of living there.  Though Polly could be somewhat clueless, I nevertheless found her to be an enjoyable character.  I particularly liked her strong ideas concerning friendship and her ability to help others in a crisis.

Her brother Charles was kind of an enigma in his interactions and viewpoints and yet somehow likeable in spite of it.  I thought it was odd that the twins didn’t really interact all that much and that the brother/sister/twin relationship seemed strained at times.  The blurb made it sound like the two worked together but it didn’t pan out in the novel.

There were some flaws in the novel.  There was very little plot.  The main “villain” was rather predictable and I guessed who was behind it all rather early on.  Though the novel takes place in an academic setting, the academics were really not explored in depth.  I didn’t mind that because I like Polly so much but it may bother another reader.  The secondary characters are fun and having distinct personalities but do not seem to do a whole lot.

While the novel did feel fluffy and had seemingly little real depth, I did find it to have some truly fun ideas, be an enjoyable read and it  was a good introduction to this author’s work.  I was actually disappointed to find that it was a standalone.  I wouldn’t mind seeing more of Polly’s adventures when she is a pilot.  In any case, I am certainly going to read more of the author’s work.

So lastly . . .

Thank you Macmillan-Tor/Forge!

Netgalley’s website has this to say about the novel:

To visit the author’s website go to:

Carrie Vaughn – Author

To buy the novel go to:

martians abroad – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

Curiosities of the Deep – the night gardener (Jonathan Auxier)

Well me mateys, here be another Curiosity of the Deep for your perusal.  For those new to me crew, this be a category for those novels whose stories of acquisition be strange and unusual – like the time someone commandeered me 12 pages!  This be the start of another adventure.

the night gardener (Jonathan Auxier)

Ye see mateys, this Captain is always hankering for new places and stories and booty to haul.  Now, one day while plotting me next adventure, I came across a tale of splendor by Inge @ the belgian reviewer.  She shared the secrets of the Little Free Libraries hidden around the world and even provided a map that marked the treasure!

Now, I had heard rumors of these chests of delight and had occasionally glimpsed some from afar.  But here I was with time on me hands and trapped in port.  So what better time to go on a treasure hunt?  But beware and follow the Code . . .

So with me first mate and me trusty spyglass, we set off into the interior for a look-see.  The goal was to visit two likely spots.  Now one of the main rules of the Code is that ye can take whatever booty ye like from the chest but have to replace it with an similar offering.  Or later return the spoils ye took from that spot.  If ye do somethin’ different ye might find yerself visitin’ ole Davy Jones. Finding the X that marks the spot twice can be difficult especially if ye be away sailin’ the high seas.  So I tend to bring an offering.  I only had two with me that day.

The first found treasure chest was small, tucked away, and rather difficult to find.  The journey involved lots of wanderin’ in circles and peerin’ through the brush.  But I be determined to check it out.  The haul was tiny but fun.  Just enough to whet the appetite for more adventure!  So from the first chest, I took a super tiny tome about the history women of the air and exchanged me first offering.  But I was off to look for more booty!

After two duels with locals, more circle wandering, a stop at a local tavern for some grog, and such, we found our way to the second treasure chest.  And oh what glorious baubles awaited!  The first mate stood watch while me eyes roamed for the perfect fit and that is when I saw this:

The picture does not do it justice.  The cover was literally gleaming in the light and oh so shiny.  I picked it up and just knew it was the one for me!  I left me second offering with glee and made me way back to me ship.  The haul was a success.  But oh to explore the new acquisition . . .

It was wonderful.  This is a young adult novel that tells a Victorian style ghost story.  Two siblings, Molly and Kip, go to work in a sinister mansion and barely get out with their lives.  I loved the siblings, the storytelling, the monster, and the morals.  I loved the growth of all of the characters in the novel, especially Kip.  I loved the horse, Galileo.  I thought  the ending was particularly fantastic because of how the people worked together.  It was mesmerizing.  I don’t want to give much more away than that because frankly the beauty is in the writing and the details both of which I cannot explain adequately and want the reader to experience for themselves.

To sum up . . . read this book!  I am absolutely thrilled that me adventures brought me to this previously unknown and beautiful gem.

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

The Night Gardener is a Victorian ghost story about two abandoned Irish siblings who travel to work as servants at a creepy, crumbling English manor house. But the house and its family are not quite what they seem. Soon the children are confronted by a mysterious spectre and an ancient curse that threatens their very lives. More than just a spooky tale, it’s also a moral fable about human greed and the power of storytelling.

To visit the author’s website go to:

Jonathan Auxier – Author

To buy the book go to:

the night gardener – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List