On the Horizon – lightning in the blood (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 . . .

lightning in the blood (Marie Brennan)

Title: lightning in the blood

Author: Marie Brennan

Publisher: Macmillian-Tor/Forge

Publication Date: April 25, 2017 (paperback/e-book)

ISBN: 978-0765392015

Source: NetGalley

If ye haven’t read the first book in this series,  cold-forged flame, then ye might want to skip this post and go read me review for the first installment.  If ye keep reading this log then ye have been forewarned and continue at yer own peril . . .

Now I cannot say enough goodness about the first book.  I reread it in preparation for this second installment and enjoyed it just as much the second time around.  I adore Ree as a character and the world-building so very much.  I cannot believe I had to wait 268 days between the two, however it was worth the wait!

One of the awesome circumstances of the first story is that Ree cannot remember anything about herself, her nature, or even her name.  I am a sucker for that kinda thing.  By the end of story one, ye know her partial name and some of her nature but have way more questions than answers.  As does Ree.

I was so exited to see where she would go next.  It of course did not go anywhere that I expected!  This story takes place several years after the events in the first one.  While this episode has a lot less mystery than the first, I still found it engrossing and enthralling.  In this second installment, Ree meets another archon which sets off another mission fer Ree, answers some of her questions, and of course gives her so many more.  My favorite aspects are following Ree in her journey to reclaim parts of herself and her attempts to figure out what has been lost.  The glimpses ye do get are tantalizing.  It was also extremely nice to see Aadet again.  Oh and this cover is awesome:

Don’t ye want to read about giant black cats?  Ye know ye do.  And that is all I am going to say about this one cause it is short and awesome and ye should discover what happens fer yerself.  I want the third one!

Random fact about book two from the author’s website is this:

And you’ll see the Mayan calendrical system with a minor fictional paint job showing up in Lightning in the Blood because years ago I read about it for fun and wound up incorporating it into a story more or less wholesale, complete with fiddly little details about Year-Bearers.

I need to go off an’ do research bout Mayan calendrical systems now.  Go out and get the first episode if ye haven’t.  Read this one if ye have.

So lastly . . .

Thank you Macmillian-Tor/Forge!

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

Once, there was a call–a binding–and so, a woman appeared, present in body but absent in knowledge of her past self. Making the ultimate journey of rediscovery was not without its own pitfalls–or rewards–and now Ree, a roaming archon, spirit of legend and time and physically now bound to her current form, has yet to fully uncover her true identity.

Ree has spent her last innumerable seasons on the move–orbiting, in some sense, the lands of her only friend in this world, Aadet, who has become intricately involved in the new post-revolution politics of his people. Swinging back from the forests surrounding Solaike, Ree falls in with another wandering band, some Korenat refugees searching for their own protection on a trade route besieged with the fallout of the recent uprising. The Korenat’s plight might not have stricken Ree so deeply, but they are accompanied by their own archon, who seems to know much more about Ree’s own origins than she ever dared to hope.

Lushly woven against a foreign, and yet familiar, fantastical setting, this is the second epic adventure in Marie Brennan’s novella series with Tor.com. Only such an acclaimed and beloved fantasist could so deftly handle the intricacies of self and society, the struggle between reclaiming one’s own fate and suffering the ravages that time brings to every life.

To visit the author’s website go to:

Marie Brennan – Author

To buy the novel please visit:

lightning in the blood – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

Abandon Ship – Stars are Legion (Kameron Hurley)

It is time to abandon ship, me mateys!  I made it to the 25.7% through the novel before I had to give up.  I believe this author is just not for me.  I previously tried reading her fantasy book, the mirror empire.  In that novel, I found the concepts to be interesting, the world building to be fascinating, and most of the characters to be written well.  Yet somehow the plot failed me.  I am not sure if the plot was just too slow or the descriptions were overdrawn but I abandoned it.  Yet Hurley’s writing was good enough that when I heard she had a new sci-fi novel coming out, I thought I would give it a shot.  I felt the same way about the stars are legion as I did about the fantasy book.

I actually thought the plot was an awesome set-up.  Zan is a character who wakes up not remembering her past but is told she keeps being reanimated to help save the world.  She has failed all the previous times but perhaps this time will be different.  Zan is kick-ass, resourceful, and intelligent.  She finds herself performing tasks like fighting or repairing spacecraft with little effort but no memory of having learned how.  Through the snippets of memory that Zan does begin to retrieve, it is evident that complex politics and plots are unfolding.

Oh and this book is completely women dominated.  In fact, I don’t believe I read a single mention of a male at all.  So that was kinda cool.  But again the plot just failed me.  The writing and characterization were intriguing.  But after yet another description of one of the living ships that Zan visits, I was done.  I wanted more fighting and most of all more of Zan’s discoveries about herself.  I wanted more interpersonal relationships.  But perhaps ye will find this author to yer taste.  Lots of other people seem to as it has a 3.8 Goodreads rating and a 4 star Amazon rating.  I appear to be in the minority again and shall not be reading another book by this author anytime soon.

Goodreads has this to say about the novel:

Somewhere on the outer rim of the universe, a mass of decaying world-ships known as the Legion is traveling in the seams between the stars. For generations, a war for control of the Legion has been waged, with no clear resolution.  As worlds continue to die, a desperate plan is put into motion.

Zan wakes with no memory, prisoner of a people who say they are her family. She is told she is their salvation – the only person capable of boarding the Mokshi, a world-ship with the power to leave the Legion. But Zan’s new family is not the only one desperate to gain control of the prized ship. Zan finds that she must choose sides in a genocidal campaign that will take her from the edges of the Legion’s gravity well to the very belly of the world.

Zan will soon learn that she carries the seeds of the Legion’s destruction – and its possible salvation. But can she and her ragtag band of followers survive the horrors of the Legion and its people long enough to deliver it?

To visit the author’s website go to:

Kameron Hurley – Author

To buy the novel go to:

the stars are legion – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

On the Horizon – the boy on the bridge (M.R. Carey)

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

the boy on the bridge (M. R. Carey)

Title: the boy on the bridge

Author: M. R. Carey

Publisher: Orbit Books

Publication Date: May 2, 2017 (hardcover/e-book)

ISBN: 9780316300339

Source: NetGalley

I found this book to be even more compelling than me last read by Mr. Carey.  This yarn be what I call a companion novel to, the girl with all the gifts.  In me mind, it be a sequel but certainly can stand on its own.

This was a roller-coaster of a ride.  This novel also takes place in Britain during the end of days but follows a different group than the previous book – a scientific exploration team.  A mixed group of scientists and military personal are riding in an armored tank named Rosie.  Humanity is dying out and the group is out to collect samples that have been left in the field to hopefully find the clue to survival.  Of course, nothing goes as planned . . .

This team consists of twelve people.  One of the best things about both novels are the fascinating characters.  In particular, I fell in love with both Rina and Stephen.  Stephen is a young brilliant scientist who everyone dismisses as a useless child because of his age and autism.  Rina is his friend and fellow scientist who is one of the only folks to recognize his potential.  Like the relationship of Melanie and Ms. Justineau in the previous novel, the thoughts and feelings of Stephen and Rina drive much of the enjoyment.

Though there is plenty of other enjoyment to be had.  Whether it involves the breakdown of interpersonal relationships, politics, or dealing with ambushing hungries, I didn’t want to put this one down.  I suggest ye pick up either of the two novels and fall in love with Mr. Carey’s stories and characters.  I will certainly be reading more of his work, starting with fellside.

Check out these other reviews from me crew:

read the girl with all the gifts first – kate @ for winter’s nights

didn’t read the girl with all the gifts first – drew @ the tattooed book geek

Side note: Any one seen the film of the first novel?

So lastly . . .

Thank ye Orbit Books!

Goodreads has this to say about the novel:

Once upon a time, in a land blighted by terror, there was a very clever boy.

The people thought the boy could save them, so they opened their gates and sent him out into the world.

To where the monsters lived.

To visit the author’s website go to:

M. R. Carey – Author

To buy the novel go to:

the boy on the bridge – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

On the Horizon – in calabria (Peter S. Beagle)

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

in calabria (Peter S. Beagle)

Title: in calabria

Author: Peter S. Beagle

Publisher: Tachyon Publications

Publication Date: February 14, 2017 (hardcover/e-book)

ISBN: 9781616962487

Source: NetGalley

So did ye know that Peter S. Beagle has written another awesome unicorn tale?  Well, now ye do.  If ye don’t know who Peter S. Beagle is then go and find a copy of the last unicorn and read it immediately; it’s one of the best books of all time.    Then watch the animated movie for good measure.  So when I saw that there was another unicorn tale, I had to read it.

I found this novella to be lovely.  While there are unicorns, the story is really about how Claudio Bianchi deals with and is changed by them.  Claudio is a cranky middle-aged farmer who lives on a farm in the Calabria region of Italy.  He is a bit of a loner that writes poetry.  So when he wakes one morning to find a unicorn on his farm in the middle of nowhere, his world is irrevocably changed.

I loved Signore Bianchi.  For being salty, he has a good heart.  Even his farm animals have great personalities.  The ending was a little unusual but the journey of watching Bianchi’s relationships with the unicorn and other folk makes it worth the read.

Check out this review from a member of me crew:

mogsy @ bibliosanctum

So lastly . . .

Thank you Tachyon Publications!

Netgalley has this to say about the novella:

To visit the author’s website go to:

Peter S. Beagle – Author

To buy the novel please visit:

in calabria – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

On the Horizon – select (Marit Weisenberg)

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 . . .

select (Marit Weisenberg)

Title: select

Author: Marit Weisenberg

Publisher: Charlesbridge Teen

Publication Date: October 3, 2017 (hardcover/e-book)

ISBN: 9781580898065

Source: NetGalley

This was a book I stumbled across that had a fascinating premise and I was excited to have me wish granted.  A group of biologically different humans lives in Austin, TX.  Julia, is one of these “select” people but has always had trouble fitting in.  Forced to keep a low profile and told to hide her gifts, she makes a mistake and finds herself forced to go to ::gasp:: a public high school with “normal” humans.  What will she do?

Apparently she will have insta-lust and waffle a lot.  Now this was a fast read and only took a couple of hours.  I did finish it, which was good.  But seriously for a group of special people trying to hide their gifts, they seem to go out of their way to flaunt themselves.  The leader (Julia’s dad) is a billionaire investor.  The whole group lives in mansions, wears designer clothes, and drives expensive cars.  I have known teens who drive BMWs and such.  They do NOT blend.

The other kids in the “select” group are daredevils and troublemakers and yet none of them have ever been caught or truly punished.  Mommy and Daddy just get the lawyers to bail them out.  So the premise that Julia blows their cover and has to be punished seemed unbelievable.  And Julia being forced to go to public school for punishment did not lead to anything other than fodder for the insta-love relationship.  Julia skates through school with no real consequences for anything really.  Though she learns to control her powers by using them in stupid ways.  Bland.

The relationship itself was kinda creepy and self-serving, especially in the beginning.  Julia and John have instant chemistry but her method of learning about him is to read his mind without permission and then use that knowledge to encourage him.  Just because she is bored.  I would rather they had a better relationship than one built on lies and some flashes of exposed leg.  Oh add in some non-appealing pseudo love triangle junk and shake not stir.

Even the powers of Julia and the “select” left something to be desired.  Instead of rooting for them, all of the people in her family group felt like a cult.  The powers, like telekinesis or enhanced stamina, were barely used at all and when they were, it felt more like whiny magic people throwing temper tantrums.  If that is what it meant to be one of the “select” then I will gladly pass.

I would have loved for this to have been a deeper look into different branches of human evolution living alongside each other.  I would have loved the “select” to have used their intelligence and powers for something other than money and solitude.  I would have loved for all of the characters to have more depth.  I would have loved for Julia’s golden cage to have actually been appealing so that she had a better reason for her inner conflict.

Overall the premise did not live up to its promise.  Sigh.

So lastly . . .

Thank you Charlesbridge Teen!

Side note: Some mateys disagree with me.  Check out this review by the leisure diaries!

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

To visit the author’s Facebook page go to:

Marit Weisenberg – Author

To buy the novel please visit:

select – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

On the Horizon – missing (Kelley Armstrong)

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

missing (Kelley Armstrong)

Title: missing

Author: Kelley Armstrong

Publisher: Random House Children’s Crown Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: TODAY!!! (Hardcover/E-book)

ISBN:     978-0399550324

Source:  NetGalley

So me mateys, I continue with me Kelley Armstrong obsession and this be her latest offering.  It is not me favorite of her novels (as I prefer her fantasy or adult thrillers) but this was a quick and fun read.

The story follows Winter Crane who lives in a small poverty stricken town in Kentucky.  Like most young residents of the town, she has one hope – to graduate high school and escape to the big city.  Just like her big sister  and best friend did.  Except Winter can’t seem to get a hold of either of them.

Due to an abusive home life, she tends to take care of herself.  Think hunting and trapping and shack in the woods.  One day in the woods, Winter rescues a young guy in trouble who happens to be looking for Winter’s best friend – the same friend that Winter has been unable to reach.  In trying to figure out the whereabouts of her missing friend, Winter begins to think that not everyone in town made it to the big city.  Can she solve the mystery before anyone else goes missing?

One of the “problems” I had with the novel was the setting.  In me vagabond nature, I once lived in a small, one street town in Kentucky.  The author does try to address the stereotypes and challenge them.  However, there were inclusions of many small town stereotypes like an idiot pointless sheriff, using food stamps as currency, moonshine stills, and old mountain folk with no running water or electricity.  I couldn’t tell if some of these facts were trying to be based in reality or just plot points to forward the story.

Two less then stellar impressions were of some of the twists towards the end of the novel.  I kinda felt like I was reading a V.C. Andrews melodrama in parts.  And I wasn’t a huge fan of those books even back in the day.  Also the way Winter puts another person’s wishes about reconciliation with her abuser ahead of her own preferences made me cringe.

But these issues were very minor for me overall concerning me enjoyment.  I still found the author’s writing, characters, and story to be engaging.  I read this book in one quick session.  While I don’t think this will ever be a re-read for me, it was certainly entertaining if taken with a grain of salt.  I very much look forward to Kelley Armstrong’s next novel.

So lastly . . .

Thank you Random House/Crown Books!

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

Winter Crane has exactly one thing to look forward to in Reeve’s End: leaving it. Like her best friend did. Like her sister did. Like most of the teens born in town have done. There’s nothing for them there but abandoned mines and empty futures. They’re better off taking a chance elsewhere.

The only thing Winter will miss is the forest. Her only refuge. At least it was. Until the day she found a boy–a stranger–left for dead.

But now he’s gone too. And he has Winter questioning what she once thought was true. What if nobody left Reeve’s End at all? What if they’re all missing?

To visit the author’s website and blog go to:

Kelley Armstrong – Author

To buy the novel visit:

missing – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

Previous Log Entries for this Author

sea of shadows- book one (Captain’s Log – Young Adult Fantasy)

empires of the night -book two (Captain’s Log – Young Adult Fantasy)

forest of ruin – book three (Captain’s Log – Young Adult Fantasy)

the masked truth (Captain’s Log – Young Adult Thriller)

city of the lost – book one (Off the Charts – Thriller/Crime Novel)

a darkness absolute – book two (On the Horizon & Off the Charts – Thriller/Crime Novel)

On the Horizon – avengers of the moon (Allen Steele)

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

avengers of the moon (Allen Steele)

Title: avengers of the moon

Author: Allen Steele

Publisher: Macmillian-Tor/Forge

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

ISBN: 9780765382184

Source: NetGalley

It was the amazing old-fashioned looking cover that initially drew me eye.

Obviously sci-fi.  Retro look.  Had to check it out.  This is the story of a human guy named Curtis who lives on Earth’s moon and was raised by an unlikely trio – a robot, an android, and a disembodied brain in a drone.  Once he is grown, he finally learns the secret of who murdered his parents and sets out to get revenge.

Now the author hearkens back to the day of sci-fi pulp with modern sensibilities.  I have to admit that me knowledge of what constituted pulp was very small and practically non-existent.  What I did know was blatantly stereotypical and not worth mentioning here.  Oh and I didn’t even really understand what this novel was based on.  But the concept was fascinating and I was excited to give it a whirl.

This was fun.  The main draw for me was of course the characters.  Curt, a.k.a. Captain Future, was intelligent, loyal, honorable and a little bumbling.  Ye can’t help but like him.  His guardians were super awesome as well.  The drone holds the brain of a scientist who was friends with Curt’s parents.  He is the father-figure and defacto leader.  The smart-talking android, Otho, and the higher-than-average intelligent robot, Gage, are his friends and some-time teachers.  And then there is the smart cute girl-cop who they meet along the way.  All of them quirky in their own rights and all of them lovely to get to know.  Add in space pets and what more could ye ask for?

The plot was a little predictable but not overly so.  It wasn’t super fast paced but proceeded well.  The first part was seemingly geared to set up the world and characters and the second part to really advance the story.  The ending whizzed by.  I enjoyed the world building and the use of technology.  It was silly and dare I say slightly cheesy but so entertaining.

If this is what pulp is now . . . give me some more please.

Also I loved the author’s afterword where he explained how he was influenced to write the story.  In 1969 he read a work featuring Captain Future that was originally written in 1942.  This led me down the rabbit’s hole into the history of science fiction pulp magazines and the list of the most popular pulp writers of the various decades.  That was also enjoyable.  I didn’t even know there were that many sci-fi magazines around.

Wondering what Captain Future might look like?

So lastly . . .

Thank you Macmillian-Tor/Forge!

Netgalley has this to say about the novel:

To visit the author’s website go to:

Allen Steele – Author

To buy the novel please visit:

avengers of the moon – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

Please note all book covers are from Goodreads.