Abandoned Ship On the Horizon – sixers (John Patrick Kavanagh)

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

sixers (John Patrick Kavanagh)

Title: sixers

Author: John Patrick Kavanagh

Publisher: Riverdale Avenue Books

Publication Date: Available Now! (e-book)

ASIN: B078B9MJZ6

Source: NetGalley

This novel sounded awesome.  It is a sci-fi about a society with a horrible disease called Camden-Young’s.  This part of the blurb made me want to read it, “the stealth envirus has laid waste to 74% of Caucasians between puberty and their early thirties while the other 26% are mysteriously immune. From flu-like attacks to excruciating fevers, hair loss, blindness, insanity and death, there is no cure.”

I thought this novel would float me boat. I tried to get through it multiple times but I just could not finish it and had to abandon ship at 25%.  Why ye ask?  Well for a myriad of reasons (in no particular order):

  • The main character – I didn’t hate David Stonetree but he was kinda bland.  The only thing that seemed to perk him up was a car.
  • His girlfriend – The person in David’s life who has the disease is his girlfriend, Sharon.  Ye see her in the beginning when she has just found out and then she disappears at the 5% mark.  She reappears in one phone call 20% in and another brief mention at 24%.  I wanted to read about the impact of the disease on their relationship.
  • The 1967 Mustang – So instead of worrying about his girlfriend and her health, David wants to by a car.  A car that costs as the book says “two-thirds of his annual salary . . . [and] twice what the typical family of four was supposed to survive on each year.”  He is obsessed with it.  It is talked about a lot and in annoying detail from 20% to 24% of the book.  Come on David.  Get yer priorities straight!
  • The corporate culture – David works for a company that produces the drug to help the symptoms of the people suffering from the disease.  He gets a raise to work for the cut-throat exec that runs the company, Lane.  I suppose that the author was trying to make the company culture feel realistic.  What it seemed to be was just boring.
  • David’s morals – David has always disliked Lane and yet jumps at the chance to work for her and make more money.  To . . . buy the car.  When Sharon expressed surprise at this , David is “troubled by the condescending tone she used.”  He dismisses her entire viewpoint “as nothing more than depression over her illness, her struggles at work and a continuing difficulty with a decided jealous disposition . . . if she had only given him a little room they might by now be living together, if not engaged.”  Then he fantasizes more about the car.  UGH.
  • I read a couple more pages about a friend of David’s named McReynolds who is “charmingly arrogant” and a ladies’ man whose wife left him (shocker!).  When David starts lamenting that he can’t be more like McReynolds, I couldn’t take the blatant misogyny anymore.

With so many books on the horizon, I just gave up.  I wanted a book that got into the ramifications of a serious disease and its impact on both interpersonal relationships and society as a whole.  This wasn’t it.  I want me reading to make time seem to disappear, not to accentuate every second passing.  I am sad, but I couldn’t fight the tide.

So lastly . . .

Thank you Riverdale Avenue Books!  I may not have liked it but I am grateful for the chance to review this book.

Netgalley has this to say about the novel:

In this near future pop-culture-filled dystopian novel, America is under the dark cloud of a new envirus, Camden-Young’s Disease. Unleashed five years earlier from an explosion at a genetic engineering laboratory, the stealth envirus has laid waste to 74% of Caucasians between puberty and their early thirties while the other 26% are mysteriously immune. From flu-like attacks to excruciating fevers, hair loss, blindness, insanity and death, there is no cure; the only respite available being the Febrifuge Blue line of pharmaceuticals controlled by the Southern United Enterprises conglomerate used to treat symptoms of the target population while also used recreationally by the fortunate Sixers.

Dr. Arthur Camden, dispatched from the company a year earlier by the powerful and merciless executive Trisha Lane, believes a formula for a cure (which would destroy SUE’s incredibly lucrative money machine) is contained in a pair of notebooks seized when he was fired. For their return, Camden’s willing to exchange four ounces of the otherwise unobtainable distillate CY6A4 he purloined just before he was dismissed that Lane craves to manufacture an experimental potion of unimaginable potential.

David Stonetree, Lane’s new administrative assistant, becomes the middleman between the players in this high-stakes chess match, spurred on by the fact that his partner Sharon has just been diagnosed as a CYD-positive. Torn between Lane’s seductive wiles and Camden’s selfless decency he finally takes a stand that could cost him his job and possibly his and Camden’s lives.

To visit the author’s Smashwords website go to:

John Patrick Cavanagh – Author

To buy the novel go to:

sixers – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

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Abandoned Ship On the Horizon – in the eye of heaven (David Keck)

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

in the eye of heaven (David Keck)

Title: in the eye of heaven

Author: David Keck

Publisher: Macmillian-Tor/Forge

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

ISBN: 978-1250172525

Source: NetGalley

I really wanted to like this debut fantasy novel.  It was compared to Glen Cook and the adjectives “gritty” and “medieval” were used.  One of me favourite author’s, Tamora Pierce, gave it a four-star review on Goodreads and read it twice.  Hence its appeal.  But this one just did not float me boat.  Instead I had to abandon ship and watch it sink to the watery depths never to be seen again.  I just found the writing style to be dense and confusing.  I would have liked the plot to be more focused.  Also I found the main character, Durand, to be rather flat and not compelling.  I thought I was going to get a character that I didn’t necessarily find admirable but would root for almost despite meself.  Some of me crew members are highly enjoying this one but the little bit that I read was less than stellar.

So lastly . . .

Thank you Macmillian-Tor/Forge!

NetGalley has this to say about the novel:

In the Eye of Heaven is book one of David Keck’s acclaimed and gritty epic fantasy Eye of Heaven trilogy.

Durand is simply a good squire trying to become a good knight in a harsh and unforgiving world.

After fourteen years of grueling training, Durand’s knighthood and inheritance, the lordship of a small village in his father’s duchy, seemed assured. However, Fate saw otherwise. When the long lost son of the knight of that village unexpectedly returns, Durand must forge his own name and fortune.

Disgraced sons, treacherous dukes, plots of murder, and banished monsters—what begins as a young man’s journey to self-discovery quickly turns into a quest to save the World of Man.

To visit the author’s website go to:

David Keck – Author

To buy the novel please visit:

in the eye of heaven – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

Abandoned Ship On the Horizon – torn (Rowenna Miller)

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

torn (Rowenna Miller)

Title: torn

Author: Rowenna Miller

Publisher: Orbit Books

Publication Date: TODAY!! (Paperback/E-Book)

ISBN: 9780316478628

Source: NetGalley

Upon reading the synopsis, I thought this novel would float me boat. But I just could not finish it and had to abandon ship at 80%.  Why ye ask?  Well for a myriad of reasons:

  • Sophie – She is the main character and at first I really liked her.  She was hard-working, dedicated, driven, intelligent, and fun.  But basically she is a character who waffles forever, makes the wrong choices every time, is extremely selfish, and doesn’t use her brain.  People DIE because of her stupidity and yet even that doesn’t help her decide.  By doing nothing (but lying) she creates a situation that could have been solved in the very beginning just by turning the bad man into the police.  I kept waiting for her to fix her own mistakes and instead (at 80%) she FINALLY  makes a decision and then runs to a man to whine and ask for help.  That was the point where I had to stop reading.  Ugh.
  • The Magic – Sophie is a seamstress who sews magic into clothing with her stiches.  This aspect of the novel was awesome.  It just really didn’t get used to its potential.  I wanted to see more of the magic in action, not just hear about some of the small things it could do as an aside.
  • The Love Story – Sigh.  Insta-lust turned into love in a couple of weeks.  She is a commoner.  He is a noble.  Star-crossed lovers that ye be supposed to cheer for.  But I didn’t really.
  • The Love Interest – Okay so despite disliking the insta-lust, I did like a couple of things about Sophie’s man.  He is a botanist and a violinist.  He has an eye for artistry.  He is strong and intelligent.  But oh so naïve.  The “commoners live like this?” and “well yes we are so rich but we have responsibilities that are given to us by birth and oh it’s so hard” kinda crap.  Sophie of course opens his eyes to the common folk problems while he wines, dines, and seduces her with his charm and riches.
  • The Brother – Sophie’s brother is frankly an ass.  Everything she does is because her brother always gets his way and she loves him.  Is civil war worth saving yer selfish idealistic stupid brother.  Ummm apparently yes.  And then the plot twist happens and Sophie sees the truth!  Well it was apparent to this pirate Captain from the beginning.
  • The Bad Guy – He seemingly wants to bring down society in flames because of revenge.  But his sister was spurned!  Her reputation was ruined!  So isn’t it justice?  No it’s because he doesn’t feel important enough and no one realizes his superiority and intelligent.  Bah!
  • The Hired Help – I actually loved the girls working in the shop with Sophie.  But in her selfishness she really treats them like crap and they deserved better.  I wanted to see more of the good aspects of the friendships that were hinted at the beginning of the novel.
  • The Pacing – It took forever to get into the story and was rather repetitive.  We had to hear about brother’s beautiful writing, the anger of the populace, how nobles are evil, and the taverns meetings a bit too much.  Poor = grumpy.  Nobles = evil.  Sophie needs nobles and money to survive.  Seriously for something that simplistic, the author pointed it out an awful lot.  There was no real build up or action.  Most of that happened off the page.  Instead we get Sophie waffling and visiting the rich people artists’ salon.

I kept reading because I wanted to see how Sophie used her magic to solve the problem.  When she ran to lover-boy for help I got grumpy.  When he agreed to help her without any commentary about her mistakes or stupidity because he loved her so, I had to stop.  With so many books on the horizon, I just gave up.  I want me reading to make time seem to disappear, not to accentuate every second passing.  I am sad, but I couldn’t fight the tide.

I wish this one would have focused on the magic and had Sophie be a strong woman and not an idiot.  I loved the sewing magic!

So lastly . . .

Thank you Orbit!

Goodreads has this to say about the novel:

TORN is the first book in an enchanting debut fantasy series featuring a seamstress who stitches magic into clothing, and the mounting political uprising that forces her to choose between her family and her ambitions, for fans of The Queen of the Tearling.

Sophie is a dressmaker who has managed to open her own shop and lift herself and her brother, Kristos, out of poverty. Her reputation for beautiful ball gowns and discreetly-embroidered charms for luck, love, and protection secures her a commission from the royal family itself — and the commission earns her the attentions of a dashing but entirely unattainable duke.

Meanwhile, Kristos rises to prominence in the growing anti-monarchist movement. Their worlds collide when the revolution’s shadow leader takes him hostage and demands that Sophie place a curse on the queen’s Midwinter costume — or Kristos will die at their hand.

As the proletariat uprising comes to a violent climax, Sophie is torn: between her brother and the community of her birth, and her lover and the life she’s striven to build.

To visit the author’s website go to:

Rowenna Miller – Author

To buy the novel go to:

torn – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

Abandoned Ship On the Horizon – quietus (Tristan Palmgren)

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

quietus (Tristan Palmgren)

Title: quietus

Author: Tristan Palmgren

Publisher: Angry Robot Books

Publication Date: Available Now!! (paperback/e-book)

ISBN: 978-0857667434

Source: NetGalley

This book appealed to me because it’s about anthropologists from another plane doing research on the Black Death.  Their plane is also suffering from a plague and they are hoping the research can save lives back home.  Anthropologists are supposed to stay neutral but one member of the team, Habidah, breaks the rules and rescues a Florentine Carthusian monk named Niccolucio.

Now I abandoned this book at 48% but, to be fair, I loved the first half.  I thought the story of Niccolucio was excellent and really enjoyed reading about the research of Habidah and her team.  The imagery was well done and I really cared about both of the characters.  The problem arose once the politics of the other plane got involved.  The entire tone of the book switched, and I began to feel like I was reading a different book.

Because apparently the expedition had another goal besides the one that Habidah was given.  I won’t get into it here but basically it spoiled the premise for me and I didn’t want to read about where the author wanted to take the story.  I wanted a book more along the lines of the Doomsday book rather than a space opera.  I did attempt to keep reading several times because I wanted to know what ends up happening to  Niccolucio  specifically.  But alas I couldn’t stay engaged once the plot switched.  I do have other crew members that loved it though so it might work for ye.

So lastly . . .

Thank you Angry Robot Books!

Goodreads has this to say about the novel:

A transdimensional anthropologist can’t keep herself from interfering with Earth’s darkest period of history in this brilliant science fiction debut

Niccolucio, a young Florentine Carthusian monk, leads a devout life until the Black Death kills all of his brothers, leaving him alone and filled with doubt. Habidah, an anthropologist from another universe racked by plague, is overwhelmed by the suffering. Unable to maintain her observer neutrality, she saves Niccolucio from the brink of death.

Habidah discovers that neither her home’s plague nor her assignment on Niccolucio’s world are as she’s been led to believe. Suddenly the pair are drawn into a worlds-spanning conspiracy to topple an empire larger than the human imagination can contain.

To visit the author’s website go to:

Tristan Palmgren – Author

To buy the novel please visit:

quietus – 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)

ASIN: B01N9I5HSN

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

Abandon Ship – shadow magic (Patricia C. Wrede)

It’s time to abandon ship, me mateys!  Me first one of the year.  This author has written marvelous things like the enchanted forest chronicles (adored them all!) and sorcery and cecelia (cute and fun!).  I had always wanted to read her Lyra series and finally tracked down an omnibus of the first three books in the series.  To say I was excited is an understatement.  And then the time finally came to immerse meself in this new world.  I was expecting great things.

I got grumpitude.  Basically, I found this book to be immensely cliché and boring.  I find it hard to believe that these books were written by the same author.  To be fair, I thought the beginning had promise.

It starts out with a merchant caravan arriving back home after a long journey.  Maurin is a member of the caravan.  He has been invited by a noble, Har, to visit the family estate.  When he gets there, he meets Alethia, Har’s sister, who is intelligent and good with daggers.  There is a hint that Maurin quickly develops a crush on Har’s sister even though he laughs good-naturedly at himself due to the immense difference in their stations.  Things ensue and Alethia is kidnapped.  Har and Maurin set out to get her back.  Yup.  I was on board with that.  In fact I was good up until page 29 when Alethia escapes her captors.

After page 29, the characters involved expanded exponentially.  Additions to the characters included: a minstrel, dwarfish-creatures, elvish-creatures, magicians, evil shadow people, etc.  Alethia goes from being somewhat awesome to lacking initiative and being led around like a puppet.  Oh, add in that she is the chosen one and a special snowflake at that.  And the reasons for the evil people and the politics and the warfare were just ugh.

But I kept reading hoping for genius to emerge.  I made it to page 111 of 174.  I had put the book down at the preparing for a battle part to get some shut eye.  Then when came time to finish the last bit, I kept picking it back up, rereading the same three paragraphs and putting it back down.

The last attempt to pick it resulting in an actual feeling of dread and so I abandoned ship.  If only it contained the stories of just Maurin and Har trying to rescue Alethia with her contributing to her own escape!  I will not be reading the rest of the series.  I will stick to rereadin’ me favourites by the author instead.

Goodreads has this to say about the novel:

Trouble is brewing in Alkyra. While the kingdom’s noblemen squabble, on their borders an ancient enemy, the Lithmern, raises an army. As the head of the Noble House of Brenn attempts to organize an alliance, the princess Alethia celebrates her twentieth birthday. She is a remarkable woman: quick-witted, beautiful, and handy with a throwing knife. But on the next night, she passes through a dark corridor on her way to the banquet hall, and never emerges from the shadows. The Lithmern have kidnapped the princess.

When Alethia regains consciousness, an evil Lithmern with a face made of shadows is carrying her through the forest. These are magic woods, home to fabled creatures whose existence she has always doubted. To find her way home, Alethia will have to learn to trust in the old tales, whose legends of magic and daring hold the only hope of saving her kingdom.

To visit the author’s website go to:

Patricia C. Wrede – Author

To buy the novel visit:

shadow magic – 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:

FAMILY IS DUTY. MAGIC IS POWER. HONOR IS EVERYTHING.
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