Walk the Plank – the gentleman’s guide to vice and virtue (Mackenzie Lee)

Ahoy me mateys.  It is time for this book to walk the plank . . .

“But Cap’n!,” me crew beseeches. “Why?  Why must ye toss our beloved book overboard?  Does it not have a wonderful title?  Cover?  Blurb?  Please don’t send Monty overboard.  We ship him and Percy!  Please no!”

“Bah!”  Says I.  “It was all yer caterwauling about this novel with its shiny cover, rascally good title, and tantalizing bits of plot that led me to not only pick up yer recommendation but not abandon Monty at the first sight of him.”

“Aye, Cap’n!  But aren’t ye glad to have met Monty and his crew?  Monty is a sarcastic degenerate with a sense for fashion and fun.  Doesn’t he bring joy and happiness to the crew?”

“Bah!  The only happiness that ye should be carin’ about be me and mine good will.  Monty may be fun to ye slobbering scallywags but to me he be impetuous, self-serving, annoyin’, whiny, unmotivated, and useless in times of crisis.  Which he always seems to be the cause of.  That Percy of his seems to be a jolly dependable sort and that sister of his be worth ten of each of ye rotten flee infested reprobates. But Monty.  He ruins everything!”

“But won’t ye at least let them plead their case?  I mean don’t ye think Percy and Monty deserve to be together forever?  Aren’t they the perfect ship?”

“Bah!  The only important ship be me own.  Monty is goin’ to walk.  Percy is a lost cause due to his infatuation with that useless guttersnipe.  Their whole relationship be one bad trope.  Percy could do so much better.  And while I am sure that Felicity will survive and thrive, she goes where that despicable brother of her does.  And as to her further adventures, I just don’t care.”

“But Cap’n!  Won’t ye reconsider?”

“No.”  :: splash splash splash:::  Arrrr!

Goodreads has this to say about the book:

Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman, but he was never one to be tamed. The finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father haven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions—not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men.

But as Monty embarks on his Grand Tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.

To visit the author’s website go to:

Mackenzi Lee – Author

To buy this book visit:

the gentleman’s guide to vice and virtue – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List


Walk the Plank – the space between the stars (Anne Corlett)

Ahoy there mateys.  It’s time to walk the plank . . .

the space between the stars (Ann Corlett)

This was the author’s debut novel and has a wonderful cover:

But I found this to be an highly disappointing read that never lived up to its promise.  The premise is that a woman named Jamie has always felt hemmed in by society and other people, so she flees to the far ends of the universe to live in a colony with few people and a lot of space.  Life is working out until a virus devastatingly hits the universe.  She believes herself to be the only person alive on her planet in that part of the solar system and suddenly finds that there is too much space in between the stars.  Is she doomed to be alone?

Jamie does end up finding other survivors who aim to make it back to Earth.  The rag-tag crew of misfits that Jamie ends up with go through a series of “adventures” to make it back to Earth.  The introduction of Jamie recovering from the virus until she finds the first survivors was wonderful.  It was suspenseful and sad and made me excited to read.  But once the whole gang is gathered up the novel began to fail me.

Basically, without any spoilers, Jamie is a very annoying waffling character.  The space and science elements were barely there and instead it became about Jamie fighting her feelings about her old and new love interests for basically the rest of the novel.  Ugh.  Also the other characters seemed to be mostly caricatures who didn’t get explored nearly enough.  The exception was Finn whom I found to be the most compelling and interesting character.

It’s odd that while reading this,  I kept wishing that we could get out of Jamie’s head and actually have other point of views.  I was so tired of her whining.  There also was relatively little real action.  What did happen also seemed rather bland and predictable.  The upside, I guess, was that every time I thought I would put it down and not finish, there would be a snippet of an interesting idea that made me continue.  None of the ideas panned out for me but they did keep me going.  How different groups of survivors chose to live in the new world were compelling.  But a lot of the connections and consequences seemed coincidental and stretched credibility.

Basically I felt this was a triangle romance from an unappealing point of view with a slight veneer of space and post-apocalyptic universe.  However I would be willing to give the author’s next work a chance.

Of course me crew has some varying and better opinions of this one so check out:

Lynn @ lynnsbooks gave it a 3.5 stars – click here.

Shannon @ itstartsatmidnight gave it 4.5 stars (and says it is a favorite book of the year) – click here.

Goodreads has this to say about the novel:

In a breathtakingly vivid and emotionally gripping debut novel, one woman must confront the emptiness in the universe—and in her own heart—when a devastating virus reduces most of humanity to dust and memories.

All Jamie Allenby ever wanted was space. Even though she wasn’t forced to emigrate from Earth, she willingly left the overpopulated, claustrophobic planet. And when a long relationship devolved into silence and suffocating sadness, she found work on a frontier world on the edges of civilization. Then the virus hit…

Now Jamie finds herself dreadfully alone, with all that’s left of the dead. Until a garbled message from Earth gives her hope that someone from her past might still be alive.

Soon Jamie finds other survivors, and their ragtag group will travel through the vast reaches of space, drawn to the promise of a new beginning on Earth. But their dream will pit them against those desperately clinging to the old ways. And Jamie’s own journey home will help her close the distance between who she has become and who she is meant to be…

To visit the author’s website go to:

Anne Corlett – Author

To buy the novel visit:

the space between the stars – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

Walk the Plank – the bloodbound (Erin Lindsey)

Ahoy me mateys.  I am sad I actually spent me money on this book.  This book betrayed my enjoyment so it must walk the plank . . . Arrrrgh!

It has been on me list forever and I wanted so badly to read the first novel.  However, local libraries in port didn’t have the first novel (just the second!  Grrrr!).  It seemed to have all the elements of fantasy that I love:  Awesome cover, magic swords, fantastic heroine, a bit of romance, epic battles, etc.  So after hemming and hawing, I gave in and got me a copy.

To be fair, I loved the author’s characters.  The main character was a noble lady named Alix.  She is funny and resourceful and clever.  The scout, Liam was funny and sweet.  The king, Erik, commanding and charming.  Even the side characters like General Green and Kerta were likeable and fun to read about.  I loved how the various banner houses were set up.  I loved how women were respected and held high positions in the kingdom.  I even appreciated how one of the bad dudes was conflicted and yet a little more complicated than I expected.  I didn’t abandon this book because I enjoyed the characters a lot individually.

The problem was in the plot.  A spy that shows up and is just trusted for no reason.  Alix making dumb choices that went against her seeming intelligence.  Other bad dudes who have no real reason for being evil.  Complicated situations that are just fixed with almost no effort.  Magic that almost seems pointless.  And the love triangle from hell.

I liked Alix.  I liked Erik.  I liked Liam.  How this triangle was set up was fine.  It being in the book didn’t even bother me at first.  But as the triangle continued to drag on, the plot surrounding it grew more and more ridiculous.  The resolution was just plain horrible.  Personally, Alix could have ended up with either of them.  That was unusual for me and was due to the author’s characterizations.  The conflict of Alix’s choice seemed realistic enough at times.  However, the major “reveal” in the middle of the novel to how Alix makes her choice is what ruined the book for me.  That and the love story taking center stage.

I wanted more complex politics and battles, a story that didn’t get bogged down because the king broke his leg and was castle bound forever, for the magic to be better explained and used, and for problems not to be solved with a wave of the hand.  I will not be reading the rest of the series but would be willing to give the author’s next one a try if the love stuff could be toned way down and her plots tightened.

Just because I didn’t like it doesn’t mean that it won’t float yer boat.  To see another review of this book by a member of me crew, Lynn, who liked it, visit:

Lynn’s Book Blog

I thought I would go ahead and pass this one to another member of me crew.  If you want to check out the author and see if perhaps ye have a different conclusion drop a comment on me log here.  One lucky scalawag will get a chance to perhaps disagree with me.  Sometime after sunset on the 7th, I will tally up the hopefuls and have the first mate draw a name from me hat.

Goodreads has this to say about the novel:

Of all those in the King of Alden’s retinue, the bloodbinders are the most prized. The magic they wield can forge invaluable weapons, ones that make soldiers like Lady Alix Black unerringly lethal. However, the bloodbinders’ powers can do so much more—and so much worse…

A cunning and impetuous scout, Alix only wishes to serve quietly on the edges of the action. But when the king is betrayed by his own brother and left to die at the hands of attacking Oridian forces, she winds up single-handedly saving her sovereign.

Suddenly, she is head of the king’s personal guard, an honor made all the more dubious by the king’s exile from his own court. Surrounded by enemies, Alix must help him reclaim his crown, all the while attempting to repel the relentless tide of invaders led by the Priest, most feared of Oridia’s lords.

But while Alix’s king commands her duty, both he and a fellow scout lay claim to her heart. And when the time comes, she may need to choose between the two men who need her most…

To visit the author’s website go to:

Erin Lindsey – Author

To buy the novel please visit:

the bloodbound – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

Walk the Plank – red moon rising (K.A. Holt)

Ahoy me mateys.  It is time for this book to walk the plank . . .

red moon rising (K.A. Holt)

This is a young adult sci-fi novel.  It takes place on a nameless moon.  There are two cultures on this moon – humans and the non-humans they call the Cheese (of all things).  The book has a cool cover with a girl on a horse and a flying creature:


The cover made me interested in the novel because it has been a while since I read any space-related sci-fi, and I wanted to remedy that.  If only this book was as fun as its cover.  Overall, the humans’ community felt like a western town.  Horses in space?  Usually I will read anything that has horses in it.  But the horses in the book could not help me suspend my disbelief.  The Cheese lizard culture was even weirder.

I only finished this book because it was short (322 pages with large-ish font).  The main character, Rae, had some good qualities, and I was entertained by the sister Temple.  However, the plot was just too simple and unexciting.  The history of the human colony and the other native communities was never really explained to my satisfaction.  The tech of the planet seemed arbitrary.  And the humans had an annoying version of a seemingly simple Christian-based religion.  This book also seems to set itself up for a possible sequel.  I will not partake.

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

Space-farmer Rae Darling is kidnapped and trained to become a warrior against her own people in this adventurous middle grade space western.

Rae Darling and her family are colonists on a moon so obscure it doesn’t merit a name. Life is hard, water is scarce, and the farm work she does is grueling. But Rae and her sister Temple are faced with an added complication—being girls is a serious liability in their strict society. Even worse, the Cheese—the colonists’ name for the native people on the moon—sometimes kidnap girls from the human colony. And when Rae’s impetuous actions disrupt the fragile peace, the Cheese come for her and Temple.

Though Rae and Temple are captives in the Cheese society, they are shocked to discover a community full of kindness and acceptance. Where the human colonists subjugated women, the Cheese train the girls to become fierce warriors. Over time, Temple forgets her past and becomes one of the Cheese, but Rae continues to wonder where her loyalties truly lie. When her training is up, will she really be able to raid her former colony? Can she kidnap other girls, even if she might be recruiting them to a better life?

When a Cheese raid goes wrong and the humans retaliate, Rae’s loyalty is put to the ultimate test. Can Rae find a way to restore peace—and preserve both sides of herself?

To visit the author’s website go to:

K.A. Holt – Author

To buy this book visit;

red moon rising – Book

Walk the Plank – above (Leah Bobet)

Ahoy there mateys.  It’s time to walk the plank . . .

above (Leah Bobet)

This was the author’s debut novel and has a wonderful cover. I wanted to like it. I tried to like it, but this novel took forever . . . okay about 3 days to get through. Trudged through. The story was interesting enough that I did not abandon it for something new. However, I kept wanting to give up and then would convince myself to keep going. I enjoyed the main character, Teller and his world of Safe. But the story focused too much on the hows and whys of the story of Safe’s founding. I would have preferred more insight into the individuals themselves. There were glimpses into the characters’ pasts but a glimpse is all it was. A tantalizing tidbit of information here and there but not enough payout for me. Don’t think I would recommend this book to anyone but I would be curious as to how the writer’s second novel could be.

This is what the author’s had to say about the novel:

Matthew’s father had lion’s feet and his mother had gills, and both fled the modern-day city to live in underground Safe, a secret community of freaks, ghost-whisperers, and disabled outcasts hidden beyond the subways and sewers. Raised underground, Matthew is responsible for the keeping of both Safe’s histories and the traumatized shapeshifter Ariel, the girl he took in, fell in love with – and can’t stop from constantly running away.

But Safe is no longer safe: the night after a frightening encounter in the sewers, Safe’s founder Atticus is murdered by the one person Safe ever exiled: mad Corner, whose coup is backed by an army of mindless, whispering shadows.

Only Matthew, Ariel, and a handful of unstable, crippled compatriots escape to the city that cast them out; the dangerous place he knows only as Above. Despite Ariel’s increasingly erratic behaviour and with the odds against them, Matthew must find a way to rescue Safe from Corner’s occupying army. But as his quest leads him through abandoned asylums and the dregs of urban poverty, Matthew discovers that the histories he’s devoted his life to aren’t true: Corner’s invasion — and Ariel’s terrors – are rooted in a history of Safe much darker and bloodier than Matthew ever imagined.

And even if he manages to save both home and Ariel, he may well lose himself.

To see the author’s own site visit:

Leah Bobet – Author

To buy this book visit:

above – Book

Walk the Plank – railsea (China Miéville)

Ahoy there me mateys.

railsea (China Miéville)

So this book and I did not get along. I have always heard good things about the author and so I thought I would give one of his books a shot. No idea where I heard about this specific title but the local library had a copy so I picked it up. Ugh. A big problem (and I realize this is silly) is that everywhere in the book the word “and” is used, it is written using an ampersand. Even at the beginning of sentences. & in the middle of sentences. Basically & is used all over the place. It just seemed to make the book disjointed. And I tried to keep reading. I thought if I could just get used to the style of writing and ignore the ampersands, perhaps I would fall in love with the characters or world or something. Nope. I could not get into it at all. Later in the day, I learned that the book is supposed to be a retelling of Moby Dick. I will stick to the classic.  This book betrayed my enjoyment so it must walk the plank . . . Arrrrgh!

If you want to check out the author and see if perhaps you have a different conclusion visit his publisher’s website at:

China Mieville – Author’s Publisher’s Site

I could not find a personal website for the author. If anyone knows of one and could send me a link I would appreciate it.