On the Horizon – weaver’s lament (Emma Newman)

Ahoy there me mateys!  I received this fantasy eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  So here be me honest musings.  If ye haven’t read the first book in this series, brother’s ruin, then ye might want to skip this post and go read the first book.  Worth the read.  If ye keep reading this log then ye have been forewarned and continue at yer own peril . . . . . .

weaver’s lament (Emma Newman)

Title: weaver’s lament

Author: Emma Newman

Publisher: Macmillian-Tor/Forge

Publication Date: October 17, 2017 (paperback/e-book)

ISBN: 978-0765394118

Source: NetGalley

It was excellent fun to get back to this next installment of Charlotte Gunn’s story,  and it was another quick read.  Charlotte is asked by her brother, Ben, to visit in Manchester where he is currently studying and working in a mill.  But it’s not just a friendly family visit.  Someone is sabotaging the mill and Ben needs Charlotte’s help.  Of course, Charlotte agrees because she is awesome and goes undercover to solve the case.

The mill was an interesting setting and I loved some of the new characters that were introduced.  I enjoyed the mechanics of how the Royal Society of the Esoteric Arts’s magic helps run and use the mill.  I love Charlotte and Hopkins.  Charlotte continues to struggle with her magic and the potential for going “Wild.”

I personally would have preferred more character development and less naivete from Charlotte.  I don’t really like the developing love-triangle even though there was no question that it was going to happen from the very beginning.  I would have loved more details and explanations of how the magic worked.  That said, I was satisfied with how the novella ended and am interested in the tantalizing hints of what may happen next.

I certainly will be reading all the other books in this series and now consider Emma Newman an auto-buy author.  Both her sci-fi and fantasy are great.  So if ye haven’t read any of her books, hoist those sails and get moving!

So lastly . . .

Thank you Macmillian-Tor/Forge!

Netgalley has this to say about the novel:

Charlotte’s magical adventures continue in Weaver’s Lament, the sequel to Emma Newman’s Brother’s Ruin.

Charlotte is learning to control her emerging magical prowess under the secret tutelage of Magus Hopkins. Her first covert mission takes her to a textile mill where the disgruntled workers are apparently in revolt.

But it isn’t the workers causing the trouble. The real culprits are far more extranormal in nature.

And they have a grudge to settle.

To visit the author’s website go to:

Emma Newman – Author

To buy the novel please visit:

weaver’s lament – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

Previous Log Entries for this Author

brother’s ruin (On the Horizon – Fantasy eArc)

planetfall – book one (Sailing to the Stars)

after atlas – book two (Captain’s Log – Sci-Fi)

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On the Horizon – gray wolf island (Tracey Neithercott)

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

gray wolf island (Tracey Neithercott)

Title: gray wolf island

Author: Tracey Neithercott

Publisher: Random House Children’s / Knopf Books for Young Readers

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

ISBN: 978-1524715304

Source: NetGalley

 

The stunning cover is what originally drew me in:

 

Then the first line of the blurb was “for fans of The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender.”  I loved that book so the comparison drew me in further.  Then I discovered it is about five teens who go on a treasure hunt on the mysterious Gray Wolf Island.  Treasure!  Adventure!  Islands!  Maps!  Magical realism!  Arrrrrrr!

I was so excited to read this book and it did not disappoint.  The magical realism in this novel was a lot more subtle than in ava lavender and I loved it. The opening chapter is one of the best set-ups for a story I have read in a very long time.  I was immediately sucked into the story and entranced.  The main character, Ruby, loses her twin sister Sadie.  Ruby was Sadie’s shadow and is lost without her sister.  But before she died, Sadie made Ruby promise to complete one unfinished quest – to find the treasure.

One of the greatest choices of the book was that Ruby is the reluctant treasure hunter.  Her sister was her treasure and now is gone.  Ruby has survivor’s guilt and feels strangled by her promise.  But she eventually feels compelled to see it through.  Unfortunately this means that she has to have assistance and Ruby is not a people person.  One “helpful” teen brings friends and Ruby finds she needs them all.  Each teen also has a secret and the island demands the truth in exchange for survival.

I absolutely fell in love with the characters.  All five teens were uniquely drawn and interesting.  Also the many adults in the novel also had distinct personalities and actually cared about the teens.  Refreshing.  While I love a treasure hunt, the friendships portrayed in the novel become the true focus.  I cannot even adequately explain the love I feel for these teens and how absolutely delightful it was to watch them grow and interact with each other.

The mythos of the island were captivating and rich in detail.  The treasure hunt details were well wrought and suspenseful.  The only problem I had was with a sideline story about Cooper.  It tied in well and is seemingly explained but I think I missed a crucial detail and so am a bit confused. Small detail though.  Maybe one of me crew can explain it to me one day.

Bottom line – fabulous read so check it out.

So lastly . . .

Thank you Random House Children’s and Knopf Books for Young Readers!

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

To visit the author’s website go to:

Tracey Neithercott – Author

To buy the novel please visit:

gray wolf island – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

On the Horizon – the stone in the skull (Elizabeth Bear)

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

the stone in the skull (Elizabeth Bear)

Title: the stone and the skull

Author: Elizabeth Bear

Publisher: Macmillian-Tor/Forge

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

ISBN: 978-0765380135

Source: NetGalley

 

The first and only book I have read up to this point by Elizabeth Bear was karen memory way back in the days before I had a blog.  And I adored it.  So when I heard she was releasing the first book in a new trilogy I just had to have it.  I starting reading this one in me bunk as day was turning to dusk and I didn’t finish it until night was turning into dawn.  No sleep for me!  But it was so worth it.  The book completely and utterly fit me mood in that moment.  I do so love when that happens.

The story starts out with two people in a caravan trying to get to their destination in order to deliver the message of utmost importance entrusted to them.  One is a brass automaton who once was human.  The other is a human called the Dead Man who was a body guard for a ruler who no longer exists.  I adored their friendship.  Later add in an odd priest and many highly unique strong female rulers.  Plus light politics, intrigue and fantastic character relationships.

The beginning was an explosive entry into the world and while the pace slowed a little after that, I was obviously engrossed.  The world building is fantastic, the characters are extremely diverse, and I couldn’t guess many of the plot twists.  The relationships between characters stood out for me and I loved getting further hints into backstories and motivations as I read.  The only small quibble that I had was there were some insta-lust-ish relationships and a sex scene that was rather abrupt and unnecessary.  I didn’t hate it but would have preferred these things to have been removed or handled differently.  That said I would recommend this book to fantasy readers and am keeping details of plot on the down low so readers can make their own journeys into the Lotus Kingdoms.  I certainly will be reading the next book in the trilogy.  I just don’t want to have to wait so long.

So lastly . . .

Thank you Macmillian-Tor/Forge!

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

To visit the author’s website go to:

Elizabeth Bear – Author

To buy the novel go to:

the stone in the skull – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

On the Horizon – 13 minutes (Sarah Pinborough)

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

13 minutes (Sarah Pinborough)

Title: 13 minutes

Author: Sarah Pinborough

Publisher: Flatiron Books

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

ISBN: 978-1250123855

Source: NetGalley

I was perusing fer treasure as I do and I came across this.  I previously read poison and charm by this author and truly enjoyed her writing style.  So when I saw she had a young adult thriller me curiosity was piqued.  Luckily I managed to snag a copy.

The book begins with a girl in the process of drowning.  This girl, Hannah, is found by a passerby and is subsequently saved but not before being dead for 13 minutes.  She wakes with amnesia and begins to unravel how she ended up in the river and who wants her dead.  She trusts no one and so enlists the help of her former best friend, Becca, to figure out what happened.

This book kinda reminded me of the movie “Mean Girls” with some murder mystery thrown it.  The chapters in the novel changed perspectives though the majority of it is told through Becca’s point of view.  Add in a sprinkling of text messages and other documents that give the reader clues that add excitement but certainly still kept me guessing.

I found meself enthralled with this book.  I read this in one evening and actually stayed up into the wee hours of the morn readin’ in me bunk because I had to know how it ended.  It was a bit of a roller coaster actually.  I found meself changing me mind about the perpetrator, which girl involved I sympathized with the most, which girl I wanted to stab through with me cutlass, etc.

One of me favorite bits was the tie-in to the crucible because I stage managed the show back in the day and therefore am very familiar with it.  The layering of those themes was lovely.  What made this a slightly less fun story was the last chapter which annoyed me and an “aha” moment that involved a grownup reminiscing.  I was however entertained by the teens perspectives on how useless grown-ups were.  I am very glad I never had friends that nasty or teenage apathy and angst that strong.

In any case, this was a super fun read that was outside of me normal young adult fantasy and sci-fi fare.  I certainly will read more of this author’s work.

So lastly . . .

Thank you Flatiron Books!

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

To visit the author’s website go to:

Sarah Pinborough – Author

To buy the novel go to:

13 minutes – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

On the Horizon – the emperor and the maula (Robert Silverberg)

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 emperor and the maula (Robert Silverberg)

Title: the emperor and the maula

Author: Robert Silverberg

Publisher: Subterranean Press

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

ISBN: 978-1596068452

Source: NetGalley

The cover drew me in and three things convinced me to read this book:

  1. It is a retelling of the Scheherazade tale with alien conquerors;
  2. It is a Subterranean press book and they do great work; and
  3. It discussed the author Robert Silverberg’s genius and I didn’t know who he was . . .

The fact that it was a sci-fi Scheherazade tale would have been enough in and of itself.  And this book was a wonderful one.  Our Scheherazade, Laylah Walis, is a human from Earth.  Earth has been conquered by an alien race.  She travels to the forbidden city of Haraar which she knows is punishable by death.  Her goal is to meet the emperor.  But for what purpose?

Of course the fun of this tale is that the reader is learning Laylah’s story at the same time that the emperor is.  She certainly is a compelling character and her stories sped along.  The cliffhangers at the end of each night’s tale bothered me as much as the emperor.  I needed to know more!  The only downside is that by the end of the book, I could have listened to many more of Laylah’s stories.  The ending was good but I still need more!

As for the author, I learned from sandy @ fantasyliterature‘s review of this novel several amazing facts.  Apparently Mr. Silverberg is the author of no fewer than “78 sci-fi novels, almost 450 short stories and novellas, around 70 books of nonfiction, and around 185 novels of, um, “adult fiction,” in addition to having edited over 130 anthologies.”  Talk about prolific!  He is currently 82 years old.  Goodreads says that he has won 5 Hugos and 5 Nebulas.  Also he is a 2004 Grand Master from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.  Sheesh!

I am regretful that I didn’t know about him before but am delighted to have remedied that fact.  If ye be not familiar with this author then mayhaps ye should pick this book up.  I certainly enjoyed the foray.

So lastly . . .

Thank you Subterranean Press!

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

To visit the author’s website go to:

Robert Silverberg – Author

To buy the novel go to:

the emperor and the maula – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

On the Horizon – feel me fall (James Morris)

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

feel me fall (Jame Morris)

Title: feel me fall

Author: James Morris

Publisher: Inkspot Imaginarium

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

ASIN: B071KR8F63

Source: the author!

 

I found out about this novel from a member of me hearty crew.  I had recently finished castle of water about plane crash survivors on a deserted island, and I loved it.  So when I read Liz’s review and praise about a YA novel where a plane crashes in the Amazon and there is a sole survivor I added it to me list.  Imagine me surprise when the author read me comment and offered me a copy.  Arrrrr!

I am so very glad he did.  This book was a thrilling look into the story of the sole survivor, Emily.  Now the book begins with Emily in a hospital bed.  So ye know that she makes it.  Her story is partially told through the use of her journal.  At first I thought this juxtaposition between the present and tales of Emily’s past would spoil the sense of suspense.  Little did I know that instead these slips back and forth in time added to the drama.

The survivors of the crash (all six of them teens of course!) have history between them.  And not all of it is good.  Their lives back home have direct consequences on how they treat each other in the jungle and the choices they make towards their ultimate survival.  Whether we were dealing with Emily’s thoughts about “normal” school life, the chaos in the jungle, or with Emily’s present thoughts, each part was engaging.  Somehow each switch felt perfect in the moment.

I loved reading about the relationships between all the characters.  I loved that I would change me thoughts back and forth about their behavior as I read.  I would love Emily one moment and want to strangle her in the next.  The relationship between Emily and her best friend Viv was of particular interest.  The suspense was wonderful, the pace was quick, and the plot twists super fun.  Even the cliche aspects that I normally dislike (student/teacher romantic relationship – ugh) somehow were turned into plot points that became fascinating.  And that ending!  Divine.

I truly enjoyed this novel and think its a great read.  I recommend it to any of me crew.

Side note: Come back tomorrow for a parley with the author!!

If ye want other viewpoints from me crew check out these reviews:

Liz @ covertocover (who introduced me to this novel!)

Marie @ drizzle&hurricanebooks

So lastly . . .

Thank you Matey Morris!

Goodreads has this to say about the novel:

Secrets and survival in the Amazon

Emily Duran is the sole survivor of a plane crash that left her and her teenage friends stranded and alone in the jungles of the Amazon. Lost and losing hope, they struggle against the elements, and each other. With their familiar pecking order no longer in place, a new order emerges, filled with power struggles, betrayals, secrets and lies. Emily must explain why she’s the last left alive.

But can she carry the burden of the past?

Discover the gripping new adventure novel that explores who we are when no one is watching, and how far we’ll go in order to survive.

To visit the author’s website go to:

James Morris – Author

To buy the e-book go to:

feel me fall – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

On the Horizon – nyxia (Scott Reintgen)

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 . . .

nyxia (Scott Reintgen)

Title: nyxia

Author: Scott Reintgen

Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers

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

ISBN: 978-0399556791

Source: NetGalley

Arrrrrr mateys this book be amazing!  It has been compared to maze runner and illuminae.  While I read both and enjoyed them, this one blows the competition out of the water.  The characters are diverse, the plot is enthralling, the pace is blazing, the tension is fierce, and the story drew its hooks in me and wouldn’t let go.

Ten poor kids from all over Earth have been recruited by a corporation called Babel to travel to a distant planet to help mine a substance called nyxia.  In doing so, they immediately benefit their families back home.  There is one catch – they have to compete on the journey to earn the spots to be part of the final mission.  Only 8 out of 10 will proceed.

The story is told from the perspective of Emmett.  He is an awesome protagonist who is determined to win but finds himself questioning the other players, the terms of the competition, and his own thoughts and motivations.  Even though we see the world through Emmett’s eyes, we still manage to learn plenty of the other characters and their motivations as well.  I particularly loved Bilal and Kaya.

The substance nyxia is crazy.  I loved how it was used in space life and in the trials.  There are also the hints of potential uses in the future.  It kinda creeps me out and fascinates me all at the same time.

This novel takes some of the tropes of the dystopian sci-fi young adult novels and turns them upside down.  Also this has one of the best endings of a book one in a trilogy that I have read in a very long time.  I cannot wait to get me hands on book two.

So lastly . . .

Thank you Crown Books for Young Readers!

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

To visit the author’s website go to:

Scott Reintgen – Author

To buy the novel go to:

nyxia – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List