Abandoned Ship On the Horizon – winter song (S. Jae-Jones)

dead

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

wintersong (S. Jae-Jones)

Title: wintersong

Author: S. Jae-Jones

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press / Thomas Dunne Books

Publication Date: February 7, 2017 (Hardcover/E-Book)

ISBN: 9781250079213

Source: NetGalley

Upon reading the synopsis and the author blurbs, I thought this novel would float me boat. But I just could not finish it and had to abandon ship at 31%.  Why ye ask?  Well for a myriad of reasons:

  • I kept comparing it to the bear and the nightingale which I loved.  This book kept coming up short.  While this is not the author’s fault, I just fpund this one similar but lacking.
  • I could not connect to the main character, Liesl.  She continued to make bad choices throughout the part I read, even when forewarned.  I like me heroines to be intelligent and to learn from their mistakes.  Liesl seemed to jump feet first into everything without thinking about any consequences.  She also seemed to be a rather selfish character who whined about how woeful her life was.
  • The contest between Liesl and the Goblin King was so odd.  Part one was over before it really began and part two was predictable and rather annoying.  I didn’t stick around for part three.
  • This book deals with music.  A lot.  I have no musical ability whatsoever and so these parts went over me head or were just kinda boring.  Liesl spend pretty much the whole portion of what I read lamenting that girls cannot be composers in the turn of the 19th century.  This may be a selling point for someone else but not me.
  • I didn’t like the Goblin King or the goblin world at all.  For some reason, I thought that the Goblin King and goblins would prove to be different then the usual versions in this retelling.  I was wrong.
  • I really didn’t understand why Liesel had anything to do with the Goblin King as a child and why she ever found him fascinating or called him a friend.
  • The pacing was slow.  I was not engaged in the story and just wanted something interesting to happen.

With so many books on the horizon, I just gave up.  I want me reading to make time seem to disappear, not to accentuate every second passing.  I am sad, but I couldn’t fight the tide.

If ye want to read another take on this novel of a crew member that loved it check out this review from Lola @ Hit or Miss Books.

So lastly . . .

Thank you St. Martin’s Press / Thomas Dunne Books!

Goodreads has this to say about the novel:

Beware the goblin men and the wares they sell.

All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns.

But when her sister Käthe is taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to their realm to rescue her sister and return her to the world above. The Goblin King agrees to let Käthe go—for a price. The life of a maiden must be given to the land, in accordance with the old laws. A life for a life, he says. Without sacrifice, nothing good can grow. Without death, there can be no rebirth. In exchange for her sister’s freedom, Liesl offers her hand in marriage to the Goblin King. He accepts.

Down in the Underground, Liesl discovers that the Goblin King still inspires her—musically, physically, emotionally. Yet even as her talent blossoms, Liesl’s life is slowly fading away, the price she paid for becoming the Goblin King’s bride. As the two of them grow closer, they must learn just what it is they are each willing to sacrifice: her life, her music, or the end of the world.

To visit the author’s website go to:

S. Jae-Jones – Author

To buy the novel go to:

wintersong – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

Broadside No. 11 – Neil Gaiman

Frigates

Ahoy there me mateys!  Welcome to the eleventh broadside – the Neil Gaiman edition.  Most of me crew has likely heard of him but on the off chance ye haven’t well then take a look.  Now Mr. Gaiman is a pretty prolific author and apparently was named by the Dictionary of Literary Biography as one of the top ten living post-modern writers.  He writes comics, novels, films, articles, children’s books, and a whole lot more.  This being me book blog, I am going to focus on his novels.  I have read 7 of them as well as some of the collected short story collections.  While I haven’t loved everything by him, I always enjoy his style.

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

neverwhere

I admit that for a long time I had never heard of Mr. Gaiman.  Then one day I spotted this.  It sounded odd and interesting.  I began reading it and was transported into the underworld of London.  It is gritty and dark and suspenseful.  But what stood out was the writing.  It didn’t feel like anything I had read before (at that time anyway) and I was hooked.  I devoured this one and wanted more.  The book blurb:

Richard Mayhew is an unassuming young businessman living in London, with a dull job and a pretty but demanding fiancee. Then one night he stumbles across a girl bleeding on the sidewalk. He stops to help her–and the life he knows vanishes like smoke.

Several hours later, the girl is gone too. And by the following morning Richard Mayhew has been erased from his world. His bank cards no longer work, taxi drivers won’t stop for him, his landlord rents his apartment out to strangers. He has become invisible, and inexplicably consigned to a London of shadows and darkness a city of monsters and saints, murderers and angels, that exists entirely in a subterranean labyrinth of sewer canals and abandoned subway stations. He has fallen through the cracks of reality and has landed somewhere different, somewhere that is Neverwhere.

For this is the home of Door, the mysterious girl whom Richard rescued in the London Above. A personage of great power and nobility in this murky, candlelit realm, she is on a mission to discover the cause of her family’s slaughter, and in doing so preserve this strange underworld kingdom from the malevolence that means to destroy it. And with nowhere else to turn, Richard Mayhew must now join the Lady Door’s entourage in their determined–and possibly fatal–quest . . .

So the next book I read

american gods

Okay so while I adored this book, I have to admit I do not really know how to describe it.  It is long and dense and fascinating with mixes of myth, religion, reality, and lots inbetween.  The road trip in this novel was awesome and I looked up a lot of the places as I was reading.  The book blurb:

Released from prison, Shadow finds his world turned upside down. His wife has been killed; a mysterious stranger offers him a job. But Mr. Wednesday, who knows more about Shadow than is possible, warns that a storm is coming — a battle for the very soul of America . . . and they are in its direct path.

One of the most talked-about books of the new millennium, American Gods is a kaleidoscopic journey deep into myth and across an American landscape at once eerily familiar and utterly alien. It is, quite simply, a contemporary masterpiece.

  • Hugo Award for Best SF/Fantasy Novel
  • Bram Stoker Award for Best Horror Novel
  • Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel
  • Nebula Award for Best Novel

the graveyard book

A toddler loses his family and wanders into a graveyard.  The ghosts and other inhabitants agree to raise him.  Nobody Owens, known as Bod, cannot leave the graveyard for his own safety.  But can he truly live there forever?  I adored this one.  The blurb:

Bod is an unusual boy who inhabits an unusual place-he’s the only living resident of a graveyard. Raised from infancy by the ghosts, werewolves, and other cemetery denizens, Bod has learned the antiquated customs of his guardians’ time as well as their timely ghostly teachings-like the ability to Fade. Can a boy raised by ghosts face the wonders and terrors of the worlds of both the living and the dead? And then there are things like ghouls that aren’t really one thing or the other.

And then of course you have this:

coraline

This book scared grown adults.  A little girl named Coraline, goes through a door to a world that seems like her own only better.  But is it?  It didn’t scare me but I loved the story and the illustrations.  And of course it has an awesome cat as a sidekick.  I also hear the movie is good.  The book blurb:

When Coraline steps through a door to find another house strangely similar to her own (only better), things seem marvelous.

But there’s another mother there, and another father, and they want her to stay and be their little girl. They want to change her and never let her go.

Coraline will have to fight with all her wits and courage if she is to save herself and return to her ordinary life.

  • Publishers Weekly Best Book (WINNER)
  • Book Sense 76 Pick (WINNER)
  • Child Magazine Best Book of the Year (WINNER)
  • New York Public Library’s “One Hundred Titles for Reading and Sharing” (WINNER)
  • Amazon.com Editors’ Choice (WINNER)
  • ALA Notable Children’s Book (WINNER)
  • ALA Best Book for Young Adults (WINNER)
  • New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age (WINNER)
  • IRA/CBC Children’s Choice (WINNER)
  • Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children’s Book Award Masterlist (Vermont) (WINNER)
  • Bram Stoker Award for Best Work for Young Readers (WINNER)
  • Hugo Award for Best Novella (WINNER)
  • School Library Journal Best Book (WINNER)

Sheesh lots of awards huh?  So that be me introduction to Neil Gaiman .  If ye haven’t read any of his novels I would suggest ye hoist those sails and get moving!

To visit her website go to:

Neil Gaiman – Author

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

Neil Gaiman – Books

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

Yer Ports for Plunder List

If ye want to see 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

Broadside No. 11 – an author advertisement

Frigates

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 eleventh edition of me broadside that will highlight a specific favorite author and their work.  Who ye ask?  It’s a surprise . . .

The Captain’s Log – the last day of captain lincoln (EXO Books)

engraving-of-rocket-ship-blasting-off-a-moon-of-saturn

Ahoy there me mateys!  Many of me crew had been reviewing this one with high praise.  So when the author offered me a review copy for perusal of course I wanted to experience what all the fuss was about.

This be a fairly short story at 133 pages. Yet those pages resonated beyond their size.  The premise is that Captain Lincoln aboard the spaceship USNAS Hope Eternal is scheduled for death upon his 80th birthday – the tradition for everyone who reaches that age aboard the ship.  And today is his last day . . .

Thus the reader follows along to witness what Captain Lincoln experiences that day and how he processes his emotions of his impending end  And by the time ye come to that end, for this reader at least, I was sad to see him go.

And that was the true appeal of this work.  It is short and yet compelling; poignant yet uplifting; it was worth the read.  I found meself fascinated by the concepts of life aboard the ship (Arrrr!) where there is no disease and 80 is still youthful.  As humans make their long way to Earth 2.0, how do they reconcile their past with the possibilities of the future?

This will offer ye glimpses of what humans’ future capacity could be.  The only small gripes for me were the quotes, which while appropriate, were many and sometimes pulled me from the story and the artwork which was not to me taste.  But the story was enjoyable and is one that I can recommend.

To read some of me (many) other crew members reviews check out:

So lastly . . .

Thank ye EXO Books!

Goodreads has this to say about the novel:

Captain Lincoln’s last day is the hardest day of his life.

An old, onetime Captain of the interstellar spaceship USNAS Hope Eternal, Lincoln always knew that this day would come. For just as birthdays are carefully planned, so are deaths. And although he must reckon with his fate, this is not a somber story. It is a tale of love and sacrifice, told in the context of the most advanced civilization ever to exist—a society that has taken to the stars in an effort to save all that is best in humanity.

Follow Lincoln through his internal struggles, his joy in having lived, and his journey to peace.

The End is just the beginning.

To visit the author’s website go to:

EXO Books – Author

To buy the book go to:

the last day of captain lincoln – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

Abandon Ship – the reader (Traci Chee)

sinking ship

It is time to abandon ship me mateys!

the reader (Traci Chee)

I so wanted to love this book and yet all I can say is meh.  While I liked the main character, Sefia and her side-kick Archer, it was soooo boring.  All Sefia basically did was wander around in the woods forever.  I hate that trope in fantasy novels.  Even the passages in the novel about pirates didn’t make me happy.  And for this blog, that is really saying something.  This novel was so hyped and loved and here I am again with an unpopular opinion.  I know I made it through more than half way but then let it sit.  Then me rental expired.  Then I waited for a while for it to be available.  Then got it again.  Then tried three more times to get back into it.  Then it expired again with me having only explored another handful of pages.  Bah!  Pirates, assassins, magic, a book within a book, two somewhat interesting main characters, and yet no major plot to speak of.  So abandoned it be.

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

A stunning debut set in a world where reading is unheard-of, perfect for fans of Inkheart and Shadow and Bone

Sefia knows what it means to survive. After her father is brutally murdered, she flees into the wilderness with her aunt Nin, who teaches her to hunt, track, and steal. But when Nin is kidnapped, leaving Sefia completely alone, none of her survival skills can help her discover where Nin’s been taken, or if she’s even alive. The only clue to both her aunt’s disappearance and her father’s murder is the odd rectangular object her father left behind, an object she comes to realize is a book—a marvelous item unheard of in her otherwise illiterate society. With the help of this book, and the aid of a mysterious stranger with dark secrets of his own, Sefia sets out to rescue her aunt and find out what really happened the day her father was killed—and punish the people responsible.

With overlapping stories of swashbuckling pirates and merciless assassins, The Reader is a brilliantly told adventure from an extraordinary new talent.

To visit the author’s website go to:

Traci Chee – Author

To buy the book go:

the reader – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

The Captain’s Log – shipscat collection (Mercedes Lackey)

spacecat3

Ahoy there me mateys!  So after writing me second reflections of hunter, I was in the mood for some more of Mercedes Lackey’s work.  So I decided to buy and read one of her short story collections that I have had me eye on for a long time.  The topic – intelligent cats in space!  Of course, I kinda have a thing for ships and cats and ship cats most of all.  Yup exactly what I was in the mood for.

The collection contains four short stories about human, Dick White, and his friend the telepathic ship cat named Skitty.  I loved that humans had engineered intelligent cats for pest control and partnership and yet they still were cats . . . unpredictable, stubborn, choosy, and lovable.  Spoiled too.

These stories are very fluffy and somewhat predictable but I absolutely adored them all.  As usual Lackey’s world-building and characters are fun.  The only major complaint I have is that I would like a full length novel about the further adventures of Skitty and White.  The stories went by too quickly.  Super short collection but worth me coin.   Arrrrrr!

Side note: Isn’t the space cat picture awesome?  Check out the website where I found it . . .

Goodreads has this to say about the novel:

This is a collection of the four “Shipscat” stories: SKitty; A Tail of Two SKittys; SCat; and A Better Mousetrap.

These stories tell the adventures of Dick White, cat handler for the space ship Brightwing, and the cats he is supposed to be handling. Of course, given that he’s working with cats, there is frequently the question of who is “handling” whom.

To visit the author’s website go to:

Mercedes Lackey – Author

To buy the novel visit:

shipscat collection – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

Previous Log Entries for this Author

Broadside No. 8

hunter (Second Reflections – Fantasy)

Second Reflections – hunter (Mercedes Lackey)

double-take

Ahoy there me mateys!  While drawin’ up me lists of 2016 for me log, I realized a curious thing – out of 134 books read, not a single one was a re-read.  In me enthusiasm of discovery and taking suggestions from me crew, I did not revisit a single old port for plunder!  And part of what I love about readin’ is re-visitin’ old friends.  So I decided to remedy that in this here new year and thus created me new category where I take a second look at a previously enjoyed novel and give me crew me second reflections, as it were, upon visitin’ it again . . .

hunter – Mercedes Lackey

Now I had touched upon this novel and the author in me previous log post, Broadside No. 8.  It was in reviewing Lackey’s novels that I was reminded of this particular read and how much I loved it.  I was mistaken in thinking that I read it in 2016 and so I thought what better book to re-read.  It was just as much fun the second time.

The world is a post-apocalyptic US where after said disaster, a seam to the Otherworld opened allowing magic and monsters through.  Several centuries later, the world has slowly rebuilt behind walls and there are armies and other groups trying to keep regular citizens safe.  One of those groups is the Hunters whose purpose it to hunt monsters of course!

The main character is a Hunter named Joy who goes from the mountain home where she grew up to the main city.  I absolutely love her.  Other particular favorite hunters include Knight, Dazzle, and Karly.  Now while the hunters are bad-ass in and of themselves what makes them truly wicked is that to be a hunter you need have Hounds.  Not just normal dogs but massive magical beasts from the Otherworld.  I would normally say I am a cat person but even I would want one of these!  And no one’s Hounds are specifically alike.

Joy’s Hounds for example are Zapotec with Tibetan names.  It was the Hounds the artist Pedro Linares apparently saw when he had his dream and created alebrijes.  I had no idea what Joy was talking about so did a bit of research and discovered these possibilities:

They can also have spines, stingers, and shoot fire.  Awesome right?  In fact part of what I loved about Lackey’s monsters and Otherworld creatures was the blending of our myth and her imagination.  Vampires, Magogs, Drakken, Knockers and all other sorts of fun monsters are there.  I loved it all.

The plot is quick, Joy’s story is wonderful, and I cannot wait to find out where the second book will go!

Side note:  Each time I read this, I borrowed it from a local library.  I will likely read it again in the future and so finally bought meself a paperback copy for me cabin shelf and also to try and convince the first mate to read it!

Goodreads has this to say about the novel:

They came after the Diseray. Some were terrors ripped from our collective imaginations, remnants of every mythology across the world. And some were like nothing anyone had ever dreamed up, even in their worst nightmares.

Monsters.

Long ago, the barriers between our world and the Otherworld were ripped open, and it’s taken centuries to bring back civilization in the wake of the catastrophe. Now, the luckiest Cits live in enclosed communities, behind walls that keep them safe from the hideous creatures fighting to break through. Others are not so lucky.

To Joyeaux Charmand, who has been a Hunter in her tight-knit mountain community since she was a child, every Cit without magic deserves her protection from dangerous Othersiders. Then she is called to Apex City, where the best Hunters are kept to protect the most important people.

Joy soon realizes that the city’s powerful leaders care more about luring Cits into a false sense of security than protecting them . . . There is something much worse than the usual monsters infiltrating Apex.  And it may be too late to stop them…

To visit the author’s website go to:

Mercedes Lackey – Author

To buy the novel visit:

hunter – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List