The Captain’s Log – the wild robot (Peter Brown)

Ahoy there me mateys!  I was looking to read something short that fit me current mood and this book was found in the hold.  This is listed as a middle-grade but bah!  I don’t put age limits on things.

This is about a robot whose crate gets washed overboard from a cargo ship and she ends up on a deserted island.  Except the island isn’t actually deserted.  It is filled with local wildlife.  So the robot, Roz, has to to discover how to survive on the island, her purpose, and perhaps how she got there.

Though this book had a slow start, I soon grew to love Roz.  By the end of the story, I knew that I wanted to read the further adventures of this adorable robot.  I just loved the idea of a robot going “wild” and making friends with all of the animals.  Though the robot has some limitations due to programing, this does not stop her quest for growth and communication and companionship.  A quick and lovely read.  And the author’s illustrations were fun and perfect for the book.  Check it out.

If ye be like me (Arrrr!) and love the stories behind the stories then check out the author’s inspiration and ideas for the wild robot like this example of an early sketch for Roz (from the author’s website):

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

When robot Roz opens her eyes for the first time, she discovers that she is alone on a remote, wild island. Why is she there? Where did she come from? And, most important, how will she survive in her harsh surroundings?

Roz’s only hope is to learn from the island’s hostile animal inhabitants. When she tries to care for an orphaned gosling, the other animals finally decide to help, and the island starts to feel like home. Until one day, the robot’s mysterious past comes back to haunt her….

To visit the author’s website go to:

Peter Brown – Author & Illustrator

To buy the book go to:

the wild robot -Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

Broadside No. 14 – Rosemary Kirstein

Ahoy there me mateys!  Welcome to the fourteenth broadside – the Rosemary Kirstein edition.  Now this author only has written one series called the Steerswoman series.  I read the omnibus eons ago and loved it.  The physical book lives on me shelf in me quarters.  Unfortunately this series seems to have been lost in the shuffle of time and does not have the hype it deserves.  So imagine me surprise when when of me favourite crew members Sarah @ brainfluff mentioned it.  Not only did I find out there were kindle versions but apparently the series has four books!  I have only read the first two.  So I thought this broadside would be a great opportunity to mention them to me crew.  Plus I now have a hankerin’ to reread the first two books and get me greedy hands on the second two books . . .

Please note: All book descriptions are from the author’s website and the book title links lead to Goodreads.

the steerswoman (book one)

Okay it has been long enough the details of this novel have washed away with the tide.  However some broad strokes remain.  One of the elements of this series that I remember adoring was the extremely strong place women hold in society.  As Goodreads states, “Steerswomen, and a very few Steersmen, are members of an order dedicated to discovering and disseminating knowledge. Although they are foremost navigators of the high seas, Steerswomen are also explorers and cartographers upon land as well as sea.”  The steerswomen can only speak the truth and must answer any question ye ask.  In return, if asked a question by her ye must answer or be cut off from steerswomen’s knowledge.  In me early sci-fi and fantasy reading, it was hard to find women as main characters, much less strong, intelligent ones.  The world that Kirstein set up was fascinating.  From interpersonal relationships, to magic, to the hunt for truth, I loved this. novel.  Need more proof?  Check out this review of book one from me matey Sarah @ brainfluff.

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

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION

If you ask, she must answer. A steerswoman’s knowledge is shared with any who request it; no steerswoman may refuse a question, and no steerswoman may answer with anything but the truth.

And if she asks, you must answer. It is the other side of tradition’s contract — and if you refuse the question, or lie, no steerswoman will ever again answer even your most casual question.

And so, the steerswomen — always seeking, always investigating — have gathered more and more knowledge about the world they traveled, and they share that knowledge freely.

Until the day that the steerswoman Rowan begins asking innocent questions about one small, lovely, inexplicable object…

Her discoveries grow stranger and deeper, and more dangerous, until suddenly she finds she must flee or fight for her life. Or worse — lie.

Because one kind of knowledge has always been denied the the steerswomen:

Magic.

the outskirter’s secret (book two)

Again fuzzy on details but I thought book two was more awesome than the first one.  Need more proof?  Check out this review of book two from me matey Sarah @ brainfluff.

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

WHEN A GUIDESTAR FALLS

Two shining lights hung above, motionless in the night sky as the constellations slowly passed behind them.  The common folk knew them well, and used them to count the hours, mark the seasons.

But when the steerswoman Rowan discovered a number of broken blue jewels of clearly magical origin, her investigations led to a startling discovery: a Guidestar had fallen.

There were more than two; the others hung above the opposite side of the world; something had caused one of those to fall.

But what? And what might it mean?  Rowan had no answers…

But she knew one thing: where the fallen Guidestar was located.  To reach it, she must cross the Inner Lands and pass deep into the wild and deadly Outskirts.

Rowan’s travelling companion, Bel,  is an Outskirter herself.  Together the steerswoman and the warrior-poet have a chance of surviving the cruel landscape,  the barbarian tribes, and the bizarre native wildlife.

But there are more secrets than one in the Outskirts: and each step closer to the Guidestar brings new truths, leading to the most startling secret of all…

So that be me introduction to Rosemary Kirstein’s novels.  Be on the lookout for second reflections of books one and two here on me blog as well as insights into the next two when I get me hands on ’em.  If ye haven’t read any of her novels I would suggest ye hoist those sails and get moving!

To visit her website go to:

Rosemary Kirstein – Author

To see a complete list of all books she has written visit:

Rosemary Kirstein – Books

To add this author or her novels to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

If ye missed me other author broadsides:

Garth Nix – No. 1

Sharon Shinn – No. 2

John Scalzi – No. 3

Tamora Pierce – No. 4

Brandon Sanderson – No. 5

Robin McKinley – No. 6

Michael Crichton – No. 7

Mercedes Lackey – No. 8

Dean Kootnz – No. 9

Justine Larbalestier – No. 10

Neil Gaiman – No. 11

Kate Elliot – No. 12

George R.R. Martin – No. 13

Broadside No. 14 – an author advertisement

Hear ye hear ye me mateys!  I announce an additional broadside to me Captain’s log.  What is a broadside ye ask?  Traditionally:

  1. A broadside is the side of a ship, the battery of cannon on one side of a warship; or their coordinated fire in naval warfare. From the 16th century until the early decades of the steamship, vessels had rows of guns set in each side of the hull. Firing all guns on one side of the ship became known as a “broadside“. source
  2. A broadside is a large sheet of paper printed on one side only. Historically, broadsides were posters, announcing events or proclamations, or simply advertisements. source

What does this mean for me mateys?  Well tomorrow I will publish the fourteenth edition of me broadside that will highlight a specific favorite author and their work.  Who ye ask?  It’s a surprise . . .

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

Shiver me Timbers! An Introduction . . .

Ahoy there mateys!  Just wanted to introduce ye to two of the newest members of me crew.  A hearty welcome to:

“Admiral” Hezekiah

Junius Brutus i.e. “J.B.”, swab

Cause every ship needs a ratter or two and these two rambunctious rascals are already causing havoc.  Arrrrr!

Always remember:

Q: Where do pirates put their weapons?

A: In their enemies.

Hardy har har!!

x The Captain

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