On the Horizon – the dark of the moon (E.S. Bell)

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

the dark of the moon (E.S. Bell)

Title: the dark of the moon

Author: E.S. Bell

Publisher: Trillian

Publication Date: Available Now!!! (paperback)

ISBN: 978-1974398508

Source: NetGalley

Arrrrrr mateys!  Ships, magic, islands, assassins, dragon-kind, merfolk, gods, and so much more.  Of course the cover drew me in but the main idea in this book is what tickled me fancy.

A woman named Selena possesses magic in exchange for service to the Two-Faced God.  Ten years prior to this story, Selena used her magic to destroy a naval army.  Only she lost control and killed the hundreds of innocents she was meant to save.  In retribution, the god marked her breast with an icy hole in the shape of a crescent moon.  The wound does not heal and Selena has never been warm since her mistake.  These ten years later, an order has come that may lead to her redemption.  She swore she would never kill again.  But will she if it means she might be warm at last?

So Selena was an excellent character.  I loved following her journey.  She does appear a bit naive at times but I chalked it up to being raised in a temple and the ramifications of that.  Her magic is awesome.  She can summon the sea and heal and such.  But because of her grievous mistake, she is wary of using her own power and it causes extreme internal conflict.  Her wound is creepy and otherworldly.  It is a void that she can put her hand into up to the elbow!  Cool and gross!

The other characters are also extremely fun and multi-faceted.  There is the assassin, Sebastian Vass, who has taken one final job to get out of the business altogether.  Snarky, intelligent, and ruthless.  There is Selena’s companion, Ilior, who is a dragon-like creature and her best friend and self-appointed protector.  Caring, stoic, and faithful.  There are bad folks who have actual reasons for being evil and other folks that I remain ambivalent about in the best ways possible.  Best of all, these characters change and grow as the plot progresses!

The world-building was lovely too.  I loved the island world and its reasons for existing.  I would certainly find adventure sailing in those waters.  Some more dangerous than others.  The religion of the world was very interesting.  The ramifications are only hinted at in this book but what ideas were there were thought-provoking, and to me mind, fun.

The only downsides for me were the somewhat uneven pacing and the romance.  The book is over 500 pages and there was a little too much filler for me taste.  Mostly at the beginning.  That said, the majority of the book kept me avidly flipping pages.  Also I would find meself thinking of the characters when I put the book down and would be excited to pick it up again.  So a minor grumble.

The romance itself was overall fine and it certainly isn’t all perfect rosy goodness all the time.  But I found meself wanting them to get over the angst.  Of course then I got a sex scene that just seemed out of place.  Again minor quibble.  I was glad when the deed was done.

I very much enjoyed the voyage and certainly want to read the next book which I believe comes out in 2018.  Arrrrr!

So lastly . . .

Thank you Trillian!

Side note: I only included part of the blurb because in me mind it be too spoilery.  And I couldn’t find the e-book version on sale.  But being as I read an e-book it’s likely out there somewhere.

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

To visit the author’s Goodreads page go to:

E.S. Bell – Author

To buy the novel go to:

the dark of the moon – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List


The Captain’s Log – sea of rust (C. Robert Cargill)

Ahoy there me mateys!  This book has been getting praise from me crew and know I know why. First of all it has the most beautifully evocative cover:

And the story is unusual and compelling.  This is a post-apocalyptic story of what happens when the war between the humans and robots is over and the robots win.  The answer is extremely surprising and fascinating and complicated.

The protagonist, Brittle, is an awesome robot.  She is badass, self-serving, clever, and just plain fun.  She is a scavenger who finds parts that other robots need to survive.  But robot politics are getting in the way of her survival.  Plus there is the other robot that is out to destroy her.

But while it is wonderful to watch the world unfold through Brittle’s eyes and learn the history of the war through Brittle’s memories, it was the world-building that made this one rock.  I adored the types of robots, how they were used, what became of them, what they chose to do with the world when they were in control, etc.  The robot philosophy was interesting.  I also thought it was clever that sometimes Brittle seemed very human in tone and then I would be reminded by another element that she was a robot.  I believe that this was due to the type of model she was.

There aren’t too many details above because I think all of me crew should experience this one for themselves.  Just know that the writing is beautiful and it was time well spent.  I look forward to reading the author’s other work.

Check out me other crew members effusive reviews:

Sarah @ brainfluff – who introduced me to this one!  Thanks matey!

Lynn @ lynn’sbookblog

Mogsy @ thebibliosanctum

Now I normally post the blurb for the book here but I feel that this one gives the whole story away so I am not.

To visit the author’s website go to:

C. Robert Cargill – Author

To buy the book go to:

sea of rust – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

The Captain’s Log – down among the sticks and bones (Seanan McGuire)

Ahoy there me mateys!  When I read the first novella in this series, every heart a doorway, I had no words to do that story justice.  Then I read this one.  Words fail me again, but I will try.  So basically this novella was as stunning as the first.  This second book gives us the story of what went before – a prequel if ye will.  Getting the new perspectives on two characters from the first book changed me perception of book one in an awesome way.  If I had time I would have immediately picked up the first book again to read it with me new insights.  Another time mehaps.  I just utterly adore this series and am so glad me crew recommended it over and over and over again until me noggin finally caught on and listened.  If ye haven’t read the first novella then do yerself a favor and grab it.  Do read them in order.  I also didn’t read the blurb  before reading this one which I highly recommend.  I still included the blurb below, however, so be forewarned.  I want the next book in the series.  Something to look forward to in 2018!

Goodreads has this to say about the novel:

Twin sisters Jack and Jill were seventeen when they found their way home and were packed off to Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children.

This is the story of what happened first…

Jacqueline was her mother’s perfect daughter—polite and quiet, always dressed as a princess. If her mother was sometimes a little strict, it’s because crafting the perfect daughter takes discipline.

Jillian was her father’s perfect daughter—adventurous, thrill-seeking, and a bit of a tom-boy. He really would have preferred a son, but you work with what you’ve got.

They were five when they learned that grown-ups can’t be trusted.

They were twelve when they walked down the impossible staircase and discovered that the pretense of love can never be enough to prepare you a life filled with magic in a land filled with mad scientists and death and choices.

To visit the author’s website go to:

Seanan McGuire – Author

To buy the book go to:

down among the sticks and bones – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

Previous Log Entries for this Author

every heart a doorway – book 1 (Captain’s Log – Young Adult Fantasy)

On the Horizon – artemis (Andy Weir)

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

artemis (Andy Weir)

Title: artemis

Author: Andy Weir

Publisher: Crown Publishing

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

ISBN: 978-0553448122

Source: NetGalley

Andy Weir’s newest book was a super fun read.  He is a versatile writer in that overall this book has a completely different feel than the martian.  And that’s a good thing.  But the areas that made the martian a success are present here.  Snarky intelligent character.  Check.  Science and physics facts that are accessible for physics hating people.  Check.  World building so good that ye feel ye could step off the spaceship onto the planet, or in this case moon.  Check.

This book was a fast-paced adventure heist that kept me rapidly turning pages until the end.  The main character, Jazz, is super intelligent but lacks common sense.  She continues to make one bad decision after the other.  At 26 she seems destined to be stuck in a low-level job on the margins.  Then an enticing offer comes along that could give her a lot of money and move her into a lifestyle of comfort.  Of course it’s another bad choice and the consequences impact more than just her.  Can she fix it or will the moon as she knows it change for good?

Jazz as a character was the weak point of the book for me in that she is just such a mess.  She does read younger than 26 at times and is so annoying at others.  But she slowly won me over by the end.  I loved that her father is present and a good parent.  Her family is diverse.  She is a Muslim of Saudi Arabian descent.  Actually, the moon is full of people of different backgrounds.  I also loved how the moon is portrayed as dangerous and how the citizens police themselves.  It was both funny and made logical sense.

Overall I thought this was a great book by Mr. Weir and I will certainly be reading whatever he writes next.  If ye have a hankerin’ to visit the moon then I suggest ye pick this one up.  Just be prepared that it’s a crazy time to visit.

So lastly . . .

Thank you Crown Publishing!

The reviews of this one vary widely so check out the thoughts of me crew:

Lynn @ lynn’sbookblog

Ali @ iwuvbooks

Annie @ themisstery – a take on a book outside her comfort zone!

Mogsy @thebibliosanctum

Goodreads’ website has this to say about the novel:

To visit the author’s website go to:

Andy Weir – Author

To buy the novel go to:

artemis – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

Off the Charts – the astonishing mistakes of dahlia moss (Max Wirestone)

Ahoy there me mateys!  Though this log’s focus is on sci-fi, fantasy, and young adult, this Captain does have broader reading tastes.  So occasionally I will share some novels that I enjoyed that are off the charts (a non sci-fi, fantasy, or young adult novel), as it were.  Here is:

the astonishing mistakes of dahlia moss (Max Wirestone)

I received this silly, goofy contemporary murder mystery eARC from Goodreads Giveaways. Arrrrr!  I was so excited to read this second book in the dahlia moss mysteries series.  If ye haven’t read the first book, the unfortunate decisions of dahlia moss, then ye might want to skip this post and go read me review of the first book.  No spoilers ahead but if ye keep reading this log then ye have been forewarned and continue at yer own peril . . .

So me hearties, I have to say that I really enjoyed this second installment.  It was such a treat to be back with that wacky Dahlia Moss.  This novel deals with the topics of Twitch streaming, which I admit I have never used.  But I am familiar with the concept, having used the interwebs before, and so was perfectly able to follow along.  Like the first novel, there are plenty of pop-culture references that made me chuckle.  Several parts made me laugh out loud and want to share the funny with the first mate.  Sadly he was on deck being productive but I rarely belly laugh like that from books.  I do think that the first book was much stronger in terms of characterizations and the actual murder mystery.  I guessed who the culprit was in this one pretty quickly.  But Dahlia is so absolutely insane and lovable that I didn’t care.  It was another fast, absurd, and jolly read.  I want the next book already!  Arrrrr!

So lastly . . .

Thank ye kindly Redhook Books and Goodreads Giveways!

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

You’d think that after I took a bullet in my arm following my last case that I’d be timid about going in guns blazing a second time. But you’d be wrong. I faced down death, and the only bad thing that happened was that I got a cool scar. Which is a like a tattoo, but with street cred.
I may have been a little overconfident this time. And that may have seriously clouded my judgment. Some small, but confidently made, mistakes include:
  • Unwisely meeting up with an internet stalker in real life.
  • Eating a large breakfast before discovering a corpse.
  • Kidnapping.
  • Standing uncomfortably close to the edge of a steamboat while musing that nothing bad could possibly happen.
  • Kidnapping, again
That’s the thing about a sense of invulnerability — you usually get it right before things go terribly, terribly, wrong.

To visit the author’s website go to:

Max Wirestone – Author

To buy the novel please visit:

the astonishing mistakes of dahlia moss – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

Previous Log Entries for this Author

the unfortunate decisions of dahlia moss – book 1 (Off the Charts – Contemporary Humor)

Sailing to the Stars – from ice to ashes (Rhett C. Bruno)

Ahoy there me mateys!  I discovered this novel when the author asked me if I was interested in readin’ this one in exchange for me honest musings.  The premise sounded fascinating and so I said yes.  Those of me crew that have been reading me log these last several days have seen that I had to abandon ship on me last two reads.  I was feelin’ rather disheartened and didn’t want to be fighting off the dreaded readin’ slump.  So I finally deemed that it was time to read this book and hopefully keep the slump at bay.  And it worked!  Arrrrr!

I found this book to be an excellent read that was gripping, fun, and certainly lightened me mood considerably.  While technically the second book in a series, Matey Bruno assured me it could be read as a standalone and I am so very glad he convinced me.  I absolutely loved the world of the Ringers!

The Ringers are descendants from a starship that left Earth to settle on Titan (one of Saturn’s moons) in the face of an asteroid destined to hit Earth.  They worked hard and slowly adjusted over the centuries both genetically and culturally.  However, some Earth-folk survived and eventually make their way to Titan to co-exist.  However Earth disease runs rampant among the immune systems of the Ringers which lead to the Earthers taking over the moon and the Ringers becoming second-class citizens.

In this novel, a Ringer named Kale is struggling to get by.  He used to be a small-time thief until he got caught.  His mom helped him get a legitimate job aboard a gas harvester.  But then his mom gets sick and Kale needs a lot more money to help her survive.  Much more than his small salary provides.  A seemingly to0-good-to-be-true opportunity comes along which may solve his problems.  But what happens if he takes it?  A wonderful story that’s what.

Now do not get me wrong, I loved the plot and the characters.  I thought Kale was a fantastic protagonist.  There were lots of plot twists that I did not see coming.  Some of which kinda broke this grizzled Captain’s salty heart.  It was a seemingly simple story that has greater depths.  But it was the juxtaposition between the Earthers and the Ringers that made the book for me.

Ye see the Ringers have adapted to life on Titan which makes them tall, like extremely cold temperatures, and need lower gravity.  The problem is their immune systems are so bad that they go dressed in decontamination suits at all times.  Any direct contact with an Earther can be fatal.  The Earthers need heat, are immensely strong in comparison to the Ringers, and of course prefer Earth gravity.  But they need Ringers to help maintain Titan and their lifestyles.   So in situations like cleaning of the gas harvester, the two groups have to work together.  But when they clash, and clash they do, it is fascinating to watch them interact.

I really can’t do justice to the world-building in this post.  It just felt so real and plausible.  The space ships, the jobs, the technology, the relationships are all gritty in many ways.  Yet underneath that grit is determination to survive.  Kale himself seems to encapsulate love for those in his life and even understanding and compassion for some of the Earthers.  Watching his journey was wonderful.

The only small flaw for me was the epilogue which had a character that I didn’t know.  But I got the gist and so it was no big deal.

Much thanks to Matey Bruno and I certainly will read the first book in the series at some point.  Arrrrrr!

Goodreads has this to say about the novel:

Kale Drayton knows his place. As a Ringer, he’s used to keeping his head down and his mouth shut—no matter how much the Earthers abuse him or his own kind berate him. So when he’s caught stealing from a wealthy merchant, he’s lucky to be sentenced to low-paying maintenance work on a gas-harvesting ship instead of life in a cell . . . or worse.

But when his mother is quarantined, Kale finds himself backed into a corner. To pay for her medicine, he needs money—the kind of money he’ll never make sweeping floors and cleaning ships. So when he receives a mysterious offer asking him to do a simple job in exchange for his mother’s treatment, Kale takes a chance once more. All he has to do is upload a program onto his employer’s ship and all of his problems will disappear.

What starts as a straightforward smuggling gig soon reveals its shattering repercussions. The people who hired Kale are more dangerous than he suspected—and he’s more important to them than he ever could have imagined.

To visit the author’s website go to:

Rhett C. Bruno – Author

To buy the e-book go to:

from ice to ashes – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

Abandoned Ship On the Horizon – jade city (Fonda Lee)

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

jade city (Fonda Lee)

Title: jade city

Author: Fonda Lee

Publisher: Orbit Books

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

ISBN: 978-0316440868

Source: NetGalley


Ken Lui recommended this book and when I read the description I just knew I had to read it.  His awesome blurb:

“Stylish and action-packed, full of ambitious families and guilt-ridden loves, Jade City is an epic drama reminiscent of the best classic Hong Kong gangster films but takes place in a fantasy metropolis so gritty and well-imagined that you’ll forget you’re reading a book.”

Me thoughts: awesome ideas.  awesome characters. made it to 50%.  bored.  never forgot I was reading a book.  sigh.

So lastly . . .

Thank you Orbit Books!

Goodreads has this to say about the novel:

Magical jade—mined, traded, stolen, and killed for—is the lifeblood of the island of Kekon. For centuries, honorable Green Bone warriors like the Kaul family have used it to enhance their abilities and defend the island from foreign invasion.

Now the war is over and a new generation of Kauls vies for control of Kekon’s bustling capital city. They care about nothing but protecting their own, cornering the jade market, and defending the districts under their protection. Ancient tradition has little place in this rapidly changing nation.

When a powerful new drug emerges that lets anyone—even foreigners—wield jade, the simmering tension between the Kauls and the rival Ayt family erupts into open violence. The outcome of this clan war will determine the fate of all Green Bones—from their grandest patriarch to the lowliest motorcycle runner on the streets—and of Kekon itself.

Jade City begins an epic tale of family, honor, and those who live and die by the ancient laws of jade and blood.

To visit the author’s website go to:

Fonda Lee – Author

To buy the novel please visit:

jade city – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List