On the Horizon – the freeze frame revolution (Peter Watts)

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 freeze frame revolution (Peter Watts)

Title: the freeze frame revolution

Author: Peter Watts

Publisher: Tachyon Publications

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

ISBN: 978-1616962524

Source: NetGalley

This book was a bit of a stretch for me given that it is more hard sci-fi and physics is not me friend.  At all.  But I have always heard wonderful things about this author and the premise was too awesome not to give it a shot.  And I be very glad I did.

So basically this story is told from the perspective of Sunday Ahzmundin.  She is a human crew member aboard a ship named the Eriophora which is on the mission to create wormhole gates across the universe.  The crew expected their task to end and to be called back to rejoin the rest of humanity.  Except they are still onboard over 60 million years later.  So what is really going on?

AI runs this ship and at the heart of the story is the relationship between Sunday and the AI who they call Chimp.  Ye see the crew is only taken out of stasis when the AI thinks they are necessary to the mission.  This usually is a handful of days at a time every 10,000 years or so.  And of course there is a rotation so only a small handful of anywhere from 1 to 15 get thawed out at a time.  Some of the humans want to revolt against the AI and the mission given the circumstances.  Should Sunday join them?  And if so how can a hostile takeover succeed under the conditions imposed by Chimp?

I absolutely adored this (longer) novella.  I thought the premise, writing, characters, and ship were awesome.  Sunday’s inner conflict was fascinating as was her reasons behind the choices she makes.  I gobbled this up and was completely engrossed.  The only flaw was that the ending happened and I just don’t get it.  Despite multiple readings.  Those couple pages confused the heck out of me.  But I thought that perhaps I just missed some crucial point.  Well perhaps I did.

Side note: Claudia @ goodreads’ review (which is excellent) did explain just a wee bit.  As she says:

First of all, this novella is not meant to be read on its own. Could be regarded as a standalone, but you’ll feel like something is missing. And that’s because it’s part of a series of stories, entitled the Sunflowercycle, which includes three more short ones (so far).*

Publication order is: The Island (2009) – Winner of Hugo Award for Best Novelette in 2010, Hotshot (2014), Giants (2014) and The Freeze-Frame Revolution (June 2018).

Now, after reading all, my advice is they are to be read in this order: Hotshot, The Freeze-Frame Revolution, The Island, Giants. It will not answer all your questions, but it will bring some light into this universe and its perpetual travelers . . .

* all three available on the author’[s] site: http://www.rifters.com/real/shorts.htm

So while the crazy ending hurt me brain and made me feel like I was missing something, I loved the story and circumstances enough to go back and read the other stories. I even think I will follow Claudia’s readin’ order. So seriously even if physics intimidates yer noggin’, do give this story a chance. I certainly don’t regret a thing!

So lastly . . .

Thank you Tachyon Publications!

Goodreads’ website has this to say about the novella:

She believed in the mission with all her heart.
But that was sixty million years ago.

How do you stage a mutiny when you’re only awake one day in a million? How do you conspire when your tiny handful of potential allies changes with each shift? How do you engage an enemy that never sleeps, that sees through your eyes and hears through your ears and relentlessly, honestly, only wants what best for you?

Sunday Ahzmundin is about to find out.

To visit the author’s website go to:

Peter Watts – Author

To buy the novel go to:

the freeze frame revolution – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

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On the Horizon – the house of dreams: the life of L.M. Montgomery (Liz Rosenberg

Ahoy there me mateys!  I received this children’s nonfiction biography in exchange for an honest review.  So here be me honest musings . . .

house of dreams (Liz Rosenberg)

Title: house of dreams: the life of l. m. montgomery

Author: Liz Rosenberg

Publisher: Candlewick Press

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

ISBN: 978-0763660574

Source: NetGalley

Anne with an E is one of me favourite characters of all time.  I have reread the stories about Anne Shirley often.  L.M. Montgomery was featured in Broadside No. 18.  I even made the ma (hi ma!) take me to PEI as a wee girl so I could visit this beloved island in person.  So when I saw this title on NetGalley I jumped at the chance to read it and luckily got a copy.

At first I found this hard to get into.  It was rather slow and had a curiously odd writing tone that is difficult to explain.  As I got used to it, I truly was fascinated by Maud’s life.  It was altogether a bleak one at times.  Her relationship with her grandparents, step-mother, and husband were extremely disheartening to read about.  Yet many of the circumstances in Maud’s upbringing were used as fodder for her writing.  Maud and her husband also suffered from mental illness.  Ye also get an interesting look into the treatment of women in general, women as teachers, and women as professional writers.

Maud was truly an unique and fascinating woman.  She was prolific, intelligent, and endearing.  I was very happy to get a more in-depth understanding of her life, her stories, and her legacy.  I do recommend this read for all folk who love this author’s work.

So lastly . . .

Thank you Candlewick Press!

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

An affecting biography of the author of Anne of Green Gables is the first for young readers to include revelations about her last days and to encompass the complexity of a brilliant and sometimes troubled life.

Once upon a time, there was a girl named Maud who adored stories. When she was fourteen years old, Maud wrote in her journal, “I love books. I hope when I grow up to be able to have lots of them.” Not only did Maud grow up to own lots of books, she wrote twenty-four of them herself as L. M. Montgomery, the world-renowned author of Anne of Green Gables. For many years, not a great deal was known about Maud’s personal life. Her childhood was spent with strict, undemonstrative grandparents, and her reflections on writing, her lifelong struggles with anxiety and depression, her “year of mad passion,” and her difficult married life remained locked away, buried deep within her unpublished personal journals. Through this revealing and deeply moving biography, kindred spirits of all ages who, like Maud, never gave up “the substance of things hoped for” will be captivated anew by the words of this remarkable woman.

To visit the author’s Goodreads webpage go to:

Liz Rosenberg – Author

To buy the novel go to:

house of dreams – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

On the Horizon – the traitor god (Cameron Johnston)

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

the traitor god (Cameron Johnston)

Title: the traitor god

Author: Cameron Johnston

Publisher: Angry Robot

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

ISBN: 978-0857667793

Source: NetGalley

This was one of those times where the stars aligned and the read was the perfect fit for me mood.  I read it in one sitting.  It was entertaining, engrossing, and a bit violent (Arrr!!).  I even refused to get shut-eye and instead stayed up into the wee hours of the morn turning pages because I just had to know how it ended.

The story follows Edrin Walker, a magician, who has been on the run for over 10 years.  He left his hometown in order to keep his two friends and their daughter safe.  The price – his memories of the reason why.  Talk about a fun set-up!

His time on the run is brought to a sudden halt when his friend Lynas is murdered.  Edrin feels his death through the secret mind-link that they share.  He is so far away that there is scant information on the who and why of the murder.  The how however was all too clear.  Edrin is determined to avenge his friend no matter what the consequences.  He just has to figure out who killed him first.

Edrin is infamous, distrusted, and a rascal.  I absolutely loved him.  I adored how loyal he is to his friends.  I enjoyed the magic in the world and especially how Edrin uses it.  I thought it was fantastic that Edrin had an intense phobia that he struggled to overcome.  I loved that daemon cats are out to kill him.  I frickin’ loved his dagger – seriously it is awesome.

This is seemingly a standalone but I wouldn’t mind having other novels written in this world.  Pick this one up and hopefully enjoy it as much as I did.

So lastly . . .

Thank you Angry Robot!

Goodreads’ website has this to say about the novel (with spoilers removed):

A city threatened by unimaginable horrors must trust their most hated outcast, or lose everything, in this crushing epic fantasy debut.

After ten years on the run, dodging daemons and debt, reviled magician Edrin Walker returns home to avenge the brutal murder of his friend . . . Now nothing will stop him from finding the murderer. Magi, mortals, daemons, and even the gods – Walker will burn them all if he has to . . .

To visit the author’s website go to:

Cameron Johnston – Author

To buy the novel go to:

the traitor god – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

On the Horizon – bruja born (Zoraida Cordova)

Ahoy there me mateys!  I received this fantasy eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  So here are me honest musings. While I try to post no spoilers, if ye haven’t read the first book and ye keep reading this log then ye have been forewarned and continue at yer own peril . . .

bruja born (Zoraida Cordova)

Title: bruja born

Author: Zoraida Cordova

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

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

ISBN: 978-1492650652

Source: NetGalley

It was an absolute delight to be back in the world created by this author.  If ye haven’t read these novels, they mix Latin American religions and cultures, Mexican holidays, Afro-Caribbean religion, and other things.  It is beautifully done.

The first book dealt with Alex.  This one focuses on her sister, Lula.  Lula has been struggling since the events in the previous book.  She seems to have lost sight of herself and is clinging hard to the pieces of identity that she no longer seems to inhabit.  So when events threaten to take the one thing that seems to be holding her together, she aims to fight back no matter what the cost.

This book continues to highlight the importance of family and community.  One of the more interesting aspects is that ye get to see the results from Alex’s adventure and how it has impacted the entire family.  The whole family is struggling with grief, guilt, and post-traumatic stress.  There are scars from the past, some literal, and everyone is coming to terms with this new reality.  I think that this is an extremely positive outlook despite the inherent pain involved.  Magic didn’t solve everything and there is a price to be paid for mistakes.  And yet, this family sticks together and are determined to love and support one another as they heal.

I found Lula’s story to be heart-wrenching.  She really doesn’t make the best choices and doesn’t know what she wants out of life anyone.  She is clinging to a version of the past and the idea of a future that has disintegrated.  Lula uses the familial bonds of love and guilt to chose a selfish path of action that brings no relief and only more pain to all involved.  It is a harrowing journey.

While this was an extremely quick and compelling read, I did have a quibble with the story.  Alex’s actions in the first book seemed to only impact her direct family and friends.  Lula’s actions have a much broader scale and effected people outside of the community.  It seemed out of line with the rules set up in book one.  I am not sure how ye hide magical trouble with those kinds of fatal results.  I am hoping the next book will explain this in more detail.

It seems very likely that the next book will focus on the third sister, Rose.  I sure hope so!  I will definitely be reading it.

So lastly . . .

Thank you Sourcebooks Fire!

Normally, I would post the synopsis here but it be full of spoilers.  I recommend ye skip it and discover the details for yerself!

To visit the author’s website go to:

Zoraida Cordova – Author

To buy the novel please visit:

bruja born – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

Previous Log Entries for this Author

labyrinth lost – book 1  (On the Horizon – Young Adult Fantasy eArc)

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

On the Horizon – obscura (Joe Hart)

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

obscura (Joe Hart)

Title: obscura

Author: Joe Hart

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (Amazon’s fifth publishing imprint for new mystery and thriller debuts)

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

ISBN: 978-1503949898

Source: NetGalley

This was categorized as a thriller, which I don’t normally read.  However the cover and title were fascinating so I went to see what it was about.  Well turns out it has a lot of science fiction elements so I happily got a copy.  And what a thrilling ride this was!

This book follows Dr. Gillian Ryan who studies the brain and a serious new form of dementia.  Her fight against the disease is a personal one because it killed her husband.  And now her daughter has it too.  She needs a cure.  The major problem is that her funding has been cut.  So when NASA offers her unlimited funding in exchange for a 6 month trip to space to help with astronauts suffering similar problems, can she say no?

I found Gillian to be an awesome protagonist that I was continuously rooting for.  She has an addiction problem and at times thinks she is going insane.  And yet she is smart, driven, and savvy.  She will do anything for her daughter.  I was riveted by her journey and didn’t want to put the book down.

The science sections dealing with both the brain and space were fascinating.  The novel was character-driven, filled with tension, and truly atmospheric.  Poor Gillian is continuously put in harrowing and unexpected situations.  Of course nothing goes to plan.  The combination of thriller, horror, slight mystery, and sci-fi made this a wonderful read that I highly recommend.

So lastly . . .

Thank you Thomas & Mercer!

Goodreads has this to say about the novel:

She’s felt it before…the fear of losing control. And it’s happening again.

In the near future, an aggressive and terrifying new form of dementia is affecting victims of all ages. The cause is unknown, and the symptoms are disturbing. Dr. Gillian Ryan is on the cutting edge of research and desperately determined to find a cure. She’s already lost her husband to the disease, and now her young daughter is slowly succumbing as well. After losing her funding, she is given the unique opportunity to expand her research. She will travel with a NASA team to a space station where the crew has been stricken with symptoms of a similar inexplicable psychosis—memory loss, trances, and violent, uncontrollable impulses.

Crippled by a secret addiction and suffering from creeping paranoia, Gillian finds her journey becoming a nightmare as unexplainable and violent events plague the mission. With her grip weakening on reality, she starts to doubt her own innocence. And she’s beginning to question so much more—like the true nature of the mission, the motivations of the crew, and every deadly new secret space has to offer.

Merging thrilling science-fiction adventure with mind-bending psychological suspense, Wall Street Journal bestselling author Joe Hart explores both the vast mysteries of outer space and the even darker unknown that lies within ourselves.

To visit the author’s website go to:

Joe Hart – Author

To buy the novel please visit:

obscura – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

The Captain’s Log – artificial condition (Martha Wells)

Ahoy there me mateys! I received this sci-fi eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  So here be me honest musings.  While I try to post no spoilers, if ye haven’t read the first book then ye might want to skip this post. If ye keep reading this log then ye have been forewarned and continue at yer own peril . . .

artificial condition (Martha Wells)

Title: artificial condition

Author: Martha Wells

Publisher: Macmillian-Tor/Forge

Publication Date: Tomorrow!! (hardback/ebook)

ISBN: 978-1250186928

Source: NetGalley

I love the Murderbot!  I thought the first novella was basically perfect and deserves its spot on the 2018 Best Novella Hugo Award nomination list.  Then I read this one and loved it just as much.  In this second volume the Murderbot is on its own and has a self-appointed mission to try and solve a mystery in its past.  To accomplish this, Murderbot hitches a ride on a research vessel to a mining planet.  The transport ship turns out to be more than Murderbot bargained for!  I adored the relationship between the two and found it to be the highlight of this installment.  I don’t want to get into too many details because it is better for the reader to savour on their own.  Read about the Murderbot and fall in love.

Side note:  There be two more novellas scheduled in the series – one coming out in August and the other in October.  I need them now!!

Also check out this interview with Martha Wells by me own crew member Sarah @ theillustratedpage!  Arrr!!

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

It has a dark past — one in which a number of humans were killed. A past that caused it to christen itself “Murderbot.”

But it has only vague memories of the massacre that spawned that title, and it wants to know more.

Teaming up with a Research Transport vessel named ART (you don’t want to know what the “A” stands for), Murderbot heads to the mining facility where it went rogue.

What it discovers will forever change the way it thinks…

To visit the author’s website go to:

Martha Wells – Author

To buy the book go to:

artificial condition – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

Previous Log Entries for this Author

all systems red (Captain’s Log – Sci-Fi)