The Captain’s Log – full fathom five (Max Gladstone)

Ahoy there me mateys!  So in previous times, wendy @ the biliosanctum set me on a series of adventures that led to me reading the first book in The Craft Sequence, three parts dead.  I absolutely loved it.  The second book was two serpents rise.  That was not nearly as good as the first but I adore the world and certainly wanted the next book.  Like the others, I read this one without reading the blurb first.  No real spoilers aboard but read at yer own peril . . .

This installment turned out to be much better than the last.  It was also a companion novel featuring a new city and new characters.  The difference in this book was that some characters from the other two books appeared in this one!  It was fun to have the books tie together in a fashion.

This one takes place on the island of Kavekana.  It is not run by a god or a deathless king but by a business entity.  The conglomerate creates idols for use in business transactions for those who don’t want to worship in other cities.  The idols don’t have feelings or true consciousness but can “die” in business deals gone wrong.  Kai is one of the creators of the idols.  When she witnesses an idol about to die, she dives into danger hoping to prevent its’ demise.  Instead she ends up severely injured and has jeopardized the business.  For her botched attempt, she is moved to another department until the company can decide her future role.  Everyone thinks she has gone crazy.  Is she or is there a bigger game at play?

Besides Kai, there is also a spunky street urchin named Izza that is the other main point of view.  I loved the interplay of all of the women in this book.  Also while there some elements of Kai’s relationship with her ex in this novel, it serves a function in the plot and does not overtake the story.  In general, I found the machinations of the idols and the business to be fascinating.  This novel weaves the characters and their wishes and aspirations together in a very powerful mix.  Gladstone yet again takes the novel in directions I wasn’t expecting.

I will be reading the fourth book at some point and, no, I won’t be reading the blurb for that one either.  Wish me luck.  Arrrr!!!

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

On the island of Kavekana, Kai builds gods to order. Her creations aren’t conscious and lack their own wills and voices, but they accept sacrifices, and protect their worshippers from other gods—perfect vehicles for Craftsmen and Craftswomen operating in the divinely controlled Old World. When Kai tries to save a dying idol, she’s grievously injured—then sidelined from the business entirely, her near-suicidal rescue attempt offered up as proof of her instability. But when Kai gets tired of hearing her boss, her coworkers, and her ex-boyfriend call her crazy, and starts digging into the reasons her creations die, she uncovers a conspiracy of silence and fear—which will crush her, if Kai can’t stop it first.

To visit the author’s website go to:

Max Gladstone – Author

To buy the book go to:

full fathom five – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

Previous Log Entries for this Author

three parts dead – book one (Captain’s Log – Urban Fantasy)

two serpents rise – book two (Captain’s Log – Urban Fantasy)

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Captain’s Log – the curse of chalion (Lois McMaster Bujold)

Ahoy there me mateys!  I be readin’ a lot of adult sci-fi and YA so far this year and had a hankerin’ for some fantasy.  I was goin’ to read the paladin of souls but discovered just before I was about to read it that it be a book 2 of a series.  So I picked up this book 1 instead.  This was me first foray into this author’s work, and I be hooked.  I can’t believe I missed enjoying her novels before.  I will certainly be readin’ the second book.

This was a slow-burning, delicious world-building, character-driven story.  The main character, Cazaril, is a broken woe-filled man with absolute horrible luck.  He is only in his 30s but seems ancient and weather-worn.  When met, he is on a desperate journey to throw himself on the mercy of his former employer in an attempt to find a job, any job, wherein he may work and try to obtain some measure of peace.

Of course peace is not what he gets.  Instead he is pulled into a horrible situation he wants no part of.  Politics, gods, curses, magic and impossible odds.  Anything else I can say about it would only be a diminishment of how completely awesome it is.  Seriously, ye have to read it.

Check out these other effusive reviews by me crew:

zeezee @ zeezeewithbooks

brad @ goodreads

Goodreads has this to say about the novel:

To visit the author’s website go to:

Lois McMaster Bujold – Author

To buy the novel please visit:

the curse of the chalion – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

Captain’s Log – spellwright (Blake Charlton)

Ahoy there me mateys!  So this book is a bit of a conundrum.  Ye see I normally write me reviews immediately after finishing a tome.  I like to put me thoughts in me log right away as it helps me process what I read.  And yet this novel was read months ago and I am still struggling with pinning this one down.  Me rule be to review every book I read so I figured come hell or high water, today be the day.

The Good:

  • extremely fun magic system.  magic spells are written out in luminous text using parts of the body.  it is an odd system but totally works.
  • a main character, Nicodemus, who has failed to live up to his golden child destiny.  they thought he was the chosen one and then gave up on him.
  • Nicodemus has dyslexia, a major factor in why he has disastrous consequences when using his magic.  woven into the story and magic in a beautiful way.  the author has dyslexia too so #ownvoices.
  • a spellcaster named Shannon who is the mentor of Nicodemus but is just plain awesome.  easily me favourite character in the book.
  • golems.  very cool constructs.  kinda want one.
  • dragons. ’nuff said.

The Not So Good:

  • the pacing.  so very hard to get into the story.  the world building is intriguing and kept me going but parts of the story were a slog.  wanted to abandon ship multiple times.
  • Nicodemus is annoying.  very much sympathize with his situation.  he is just so bitter and angry and not in the sarcastic clever witty way.  he is a hot headed fool.
  • Nicodemus cannot breathe without looking for his mentor, Shannon’s, approval.  totally get why this is part of the story but urg.  in combination with the previous note, makes me want to wring his neck.
  • evil beings for the sake of evil.  perhaps there is a greater reason then the usual.  but this book didn’t explore it.
  • dragons.  well this trilogy claims to have dragons which be part of why it was begun.  i got a dream dragon.  huh?

So there it be – me thoughts.  I like the world building and magic quite a bit.  The main character and pacing irk me.  So do I want to read the next in the series.  All these months later and I still be unconvinced.  So has any of me crew read this series and want to tip the ballast one way or the other?

Goodreads has this to say about the novel:

To visit the author’s website go to:

Blake Charlton – Author

To buy the novel please visit:

spellwright – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

The Captain’s Log – two serpents rise (Max Gladstone)

Ahoy there me mateys!  So earlier in the year, wendy @ the biliosanctum set me on a series of adventures that led to me reading the first book in The Craft Sequence, three parts dead.  I absolutely loved it.  So when I saw the second book, I picked it up without even reading the blurb.  I didn’t want to spoil any fun.

So I was completely not prepared for what I found.  Ye see, the first book centers around a first year associate named Tara whose firm Kelethres, Albrecht, and Ao is hired to go to a city called Alt Coulumb to discover who killed the God, Kos, and bring him back to life if they can.  It was full of action and super clever.

Surprisingly, the second book had nothing to do with the first, even if it is set in the same world.  I love companion novels, so there was no problem with that.  The book follows a middling risk assessment manager named Caleb Altemoc in the city of Dresediel Lex.  His firm, Red King Consolidated, manages the water of the city, among other things.  When the water is tainted, Caleb is sent to help clean up the mess and while there meets a cliff-runner named Mal.  All hell starts to break loose in both his professional and personal lives.  Can Caleb discover who is behind the water crisis and help fix it before the city consumes itself?

I really wanted to like this book but it ended up being only an okay read.  Unlike Tara in the first book, Caleb is kinda lame.  He is smart, dedicated, and a good friend.  But sadly he seems to lack the fire and grit of Tara.  His relationship/lust of and with Mal was the focus of the character relationships and I sadly found it uninspiring and rather insipid.  I wanted way more of the fascinating side characters like Caleb’s dad or his best friend or his boss.  The first book had a lot more well-drawn characters overall.

Also there wasn’t a lot of mystery or suspense in this one in terms of who-dun-it.  That I figured out early on.  However, I was never in any danger of not finishing this book because I needed to know how the author was going to resolve the problems.  The ending was certainly fun and thoughtful.  So while I didn’t love this installment, I certainly still love the both the world and the author’s writing style.  I will be reading the third book at some point and, no, I won’t be reading the blurb for that one either.  Wish me luck.  Arrrr!!!

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

Shadow demons plague the city reservoir, and Red King Consolidated has sent in Caleb Altemoc—casual gambler and professional risk manager—to cleanse the water for the sixteen million people of Dresediel Lex. At the scene of the crime, Caleb finds an alluring and clever cliff runner, Mal, who easily outpaces him.

But Caleb has more than the demon infestation, Mal, or job security to worry about when he discovers that his father—the last priest of the old gods and leader of the True Quechal terrorists—has broken into his home and is wanted in connection to the attacks on the water supply.

From the beginning, Caleb and Mal are bound by lust, Craft, and chance, as both play a dangerous game where gods and people are pawns. They sleep on water, they dance in fire…and all the while the Twin Serpents slumbering beneath the earth are stirring, and they are hungry.

To visit the author’s website go to:

Max Gladstone – Author

To buy the book go to:

two serpents rise – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

Previous Log Entries for this Author

three parts dead – book one (Captain’s Log – Urban Fantasy)

Dead Men Tell No Tales – skitter (Ezekiel Boone)

Ahoy there me mateys!  I know that I just reviewed the first novel of this series, the hatching, yesterday.  But I just couldn’t help but need more of the swarm of massive creepy flesh eating spiders.  I had to know what happened next!  This review won’t contain spoilers but well it does talk about a sequel so if ye keep reading this log then ye have been forewarned and continue at yer own peril . . .

So first of all, this is a series where ye should definitely read book one first.  Secondly I did not know this series was a trilogy.  I thought it was a duology.  So yes this book does have a middle book feel but not in a bad way – not at all.

The first book was action packed and the spiders were nasty.  That book would be what I call the first wave.  This book is what I would call the calm before the storm at high seas.  Ye know that hurricane is coming but all ye can do is batten down the hatches, hunker down, and prepare fer the worst that mother nature has to offer.  And the glimpse of the skittering that mother nature may have to offer in the next book is terrifying indeed.

Book two had a completely different feel as the first but was just as awesome.  It has action, politics, revisiting old acquaintances (hello spider scientist!), some new characters, some new characters that become spider food, and above all – a building of tension.  The fear in the air is thickening, the skies are growing dark, and the hurricane headed yer way might not just be a solitary storm on the horizon.  Prepare to die and meet Davy Jones!

Of course despite the odds, I want to always go down fighting.  I cannot wait to see if the world is going to survive day zero with the spiders.  It’s looking grim.  Sadly I will have to wait until book three comes out on February 27, 2018 to watch it all unfold.  Good news is that ye can catch-up on the story in the meantime.  Arrr!

Check out these reviews by me crew members:

drew @ thetattooedbookgeek – whose fault it is I am discussing spiders!

kate @ forwintersnights

I usually put the synopsis of the novel here but this one was too spoilery fer me tastes.  So ye will have to read this novel to find out what happens fer yerself.  Arrrr!

To visit the author’s website go to:

Ezekiel Boone – Author

To buy the book go to:

skitter – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

Previous Log Entries for this Author

the hatching (Dead Men Tell No Tales – Sci-fi Horror)

Dead Men Tell No Tales – the hatching (Ezekiel Boone)

Ahoy there me mateys!  Now if spiders be creepy creatures to ye and make yer skin crawl and yer pulse run then understand that drew @ thetattooedbookgeek is to blame fer me just giving ye the shivers in yer timbers by mentioning ’em.

Why, ye ask?  Because he be a salty cad and self-described “Fantasy fan, reader, poet, British gentleman and sarcastic degenerate.”  In other words: a right good pirate.  It was his delightful review that led me to this fabulous Halloween read.  He is much funnier than I am and even had lovely poems and creepy gifs for this book so mehaps ye should check out his review and skip mine!

However, me ship’s log must be kept to date and accurate so I record me thoughts below . . .

If ye thought a nuclear disaster is the first step to the end of the world as we know it, then ye would be dead wrong.  Try creepy crawly flesh-eating swarms of spiders.  Arrrr!  Gives this here Captain the willies.  And yet I devoured this novel in one sitting, spiders and all.  I thought this book was an excellent sci-fi horror.  In this story 10,000 year old spiders emerge from hibernation with an insatiable hunger and a penchant fer flesh.  And to think landlubbers be scared of sharks!  Ha.  I’ll tackle those over these spiders any day.  At least I can defeat a shark with me wits and cutlass!

The writing, characters, and plot are solid and the readin’ was a great bit of fun.  I loved in particular the FBI agent, the spider scientist, and the doomsday preppers.  The horror aspects weren’t too gruesome but definitely gave me some interesting mental images.  And this story is just the first stage.  There is a sequel that I going to capture next in me web . . . I mean net.  Stay vigilant and look for me the review of that novel soon.  Arrrrr!

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

There’s no waking up from this nightmare. . . .

Deep in the jungle of Peru, where so much remains unknown, a black, skittering mass devours an American tourist whole. Thousands of miles away, an FBI agent investigates a fatal plane crash in Minneapolis and makes a gruesome discovery. Unusual seismic patterns register in a Kanpur, India, earthquake lab, confounding the scientists there. During the same week, the Chinese government “accidentally” drops a nuclear bomb in an isolated region of its own country. As these incidents begin to sweep the globe, a mysterious package from South America arrives at a Washington, DC, laboratory. Something wants out.

The world is on the brink of an apocalyptic disaster. An ancient species, long dormant, is now very much awake.

The worst thing is that this is only the beginning.

To visit the author’s website go to:

Ezekiel Boone – Author

To buy the book go to:

the hatching – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

The Captain’s Log – three parts dead (Max Gladstone)

Ahoy there me mateys!  Now sit back and hear me tale of why wendy @ the biliosanctum is to blame fer this adventure.  In fact the crew members of the bibliosanctum trio get me into a lot of trouble and introduce me to new worlds, situations, and ports fer plunder all the time.  It’s why I like em. But I digress . . .

So one day I was perusing the lists of potential treasure finds by me crew when I came across wendy’s description of “App Review: The City’s Thirst by Max Gladstone.”  I thought I recognized the author.  So I took a look-see.  Well turns out I was thinking of the author Max WIRESTONE whose work I have read before.  But I digress again . . .

So the first line of wendy’s pitch was “Remember reading Choose Your Own Adventure books as a kid?”  Ummm yes I do!  Wendy sure knows how to get me attention.  So I read a little further.  Apparently Max GLADSTONE has written a choose yer own adventure text-based app set in his Craft Sequence World.  I knew nothing about the world or the author but I know I love to choose my own adventure.  So I set off to have one . . .

So of the two Craft adventures that are described by wendy’s missive, I thought I would take a gander at this one:

Choice of the Deathless: “Battle demons and undead attorneys, and win souls to pay back your student loans! At the elite demonic-law firm of Varkath Nebuchadnezzar Stone, you’ll depose a fallen god, find romance, and maybe even make partner, if you don’t lose your own soul first.”

Awesome right?  So I gather up me kindle, download the app, and proceed to get sucked into me life at the law firm.  Only one problem – it was an introductory taste before I hit a pay wall.  Just when the going was getting very interesting too.  I was rather irked to say the least.  I wanted more of this interesting life in the firm!  Why didn’t wendy warn me?  So I went back and read her pitch.  Only to find out that she did in fact warn me but as usual I rush into adventure without paying attention to the details.  But I digress some more . . .

While rereading wendy’s warnings properly this time I did see this:

Both games benefit from some passing knowledge of Gladstone’s unique world of gods, souls, undead, and legalities. By nature of the format, there is not really a lot of time given to descriptions and world building so there are a lot of blanks to fill in. I suspect the basics could still be handled by someone who has not fully immersed themselves in the Craft Sequence, but it certainly helps to be familiar with the major players of the various firms and their ultimate goals within each realm.

Well even though I could very well handle the basics without prior knowledge (and loved it!), I thought that mehaps I should listen to wendy’s excellent advice the second time around and read the first book before I rejoined the law firm.  So I did . . .

I had no idea what I was getting into.  I absolutely frickin’ adored this book.  Now I am not usually an urban fantasy fan but between me thwarted first app attempt and this gem of a book, I was completely and utterly enthralled with the world of the Craft Sequence.  The world building, characters, mystery aspects, gods, politics, and lawyering were absolutely wonderful.  This is one of those times where I am reminded how much I adore me book blogging crew and would have a lesser life if not fer their contributions to me treasure hunts.

The book centers around a city called Alt Coulumb that was run by the God, Kos.  Was being the key word because he is now dead.  The firm of Kelethres, Albrecht, and Ao is hired to attempt to find out who killed the God and bring Kos back to life if they can.  Of course it is way more complicated than that.  And it’s the pesky details that make it wonderful.

Most of the story centers around Tara who is a first year associate.  She is snarky, intelligent, crafty, and just plain fun.  Definitely how I like me friends.  Her Boss is kick-ass and the priest assigned to help the firm is the best type of naive and sweet and intelligent wrapped up.

I am slightly sad because I cannot really do this book justice and explain any further with me paltry words.  I am a fighting gal not a poet.  But suffice to say that I will be reading all of the other books and certainly be buying the app so I can finish me lawyerin’ adventures.  Arrrrrr!!!!

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

A God has died, and it’s up to Tara, first-year associate in the international necromantic firm of Kelethres, Albrecht, and Ao, to bring Him back to life before His city falls apart.

Her client is Kos, recently deceased fire god of the city of Alt Coulumb. Without Him, the metropolis’s steam generators will shut down, its trains will cease running, and its four million citizens will riot.  Tara’s job: resurrect Kos before chaos sets in.  Her only help is Abelard, a chain-smoking priest of the dead God, who’s having an understandable crisis of faith.

But when the duo discover that Kos was murdered, they have to make a case in Alt Coulumb’s courts—and their quest for truth endangers their partnership, their lives, and the city’s slim hope of survival.

To visit the author’s website go to:

Max Gladstone – Author

To buy the book go to:

three parts dead – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List