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

Captain’s Log – when the floods came (Clare Morrall)

Ahoy there mateys!  This was a random find in a local library that I just had to pick up.  Why?  Because I love post-apocalyptic stories that deal with climate change.  As the title suggests, this one deals with flooding.  The bonus was that it was written by a British writer.  I love to read other countries takes on climate change.

Side note:  This book was referenced as Cli-Fi in an article.  That term cracks me up!

The story centers around Roza Polanski and her family living in an abandoned building in Birmingham.  A virus has devastated the population and flooding has led to the ruination of most population centers.  There is a small government in Brighton.  Having been there, this fact entertained me to no end.  Technology is slowly failing due to lack of maintenance and the number of people is in steady decline due to virus related fertility issues.  The people that do exist are in the later stages of life and there are not many children or teens.

Roza’s parents are one of the few couples to remain fertile and had four children.  Her childhood is a seemingly happy one despite the family’s isolation.  The children are fed, loved, fairly healthy, educated, and safe.  Roza is set to be married soon and life seems to be headed towards a hopeful future.  However, one day a stranger named Aashay appears in their lives.  His presence brings a fresh perspective on the state of the world to the Polanskis and leads them away from their isolation.  But can they trust this stranger in their midst and retain their safety?

The world building was me favorite part of the novel.  I loved the images of riding bikes on abandoned highways, how the flooding cycles through, the family’s resourcefulness and intelligence, and above all the inter-family relationships.  It was wonderful to see a family who was supportive and cared for each other.

The plot was more problematic for me.  Aashay is charming and mysterious and not very forthcoming with his past.  The family is seemingly charmed by him and suspicious of him the whole time.  I got somewhat annoyed by the waffling which, to be fair, is a pet peeve of mine.  There is some suspense in the second half of the novel which was extremely fun but overall the later portion of the book along with the ending was unsatisfying.  Too many unanswered questions.

I was mostly confused by how an intelligent family could waffle so much about Aashay.  Can charm really go that far?  Well apparently the author wrote about that based on her own experiences.  An article from The Independent says “Take Aashay Kent, the novel’s ambiguous male lead and dead-ringer for Epstein’s Lucifer. ‘I became interested in the concept of charm,’ Morrall says, offering as an example one of her daughter’s ex-boyfriends. ‘One in particular was quite an intriguing man we were all charmed by.  Then you realise, bit by bit, there was quite a nasty underside to him. Then he comes bouncing back with a great big grin. The bizarre thing is you know what you see is not the reality, and yet the way this charisma works is you are drawn back into it.’”

Very interesting.  The novel was a solid read even if I had some problems with it.  Ultimately  I am glad I read this book and would read other works by the author.

Goodreads has this to say about the novel:

A taut, gripping novel set in the future, when the lives of a family existing on the margins of a dramatically changed society are upset by a mysterious stranger.

In a world prone to violent flooding, Britain, ravaged 20 years earlier by a deadly virus, has been largely cut off from the rest of the world. Survivors are few and far between, most of them infertile. Children, the only hope for the future, are a rare commodity.

For 22-year-old Roza Polanski, life with her family in their isolated tower block is relatively comfortable. She’s safe, happy enough. But when a stranger called Aashay Kent arrives, everything changes. At first he’s a welcome addition, his magnetism drawing the Polanskis out of their shells, promising an alternative to a lonely existence. But Roza can’t shake the feeling that there’s more to Aashay than he’s letting on. Is there more to life beyond their isolated bubble? Is it true that children are being kidnapped? And what will it cost to find out?

Clare Morrall, author of the Man Booker Prize-shortlisted Astonishing Splashes of Colour, creates a startling vision of the future in a world not so very far from our own, and a thrilling story of suspense.

To visit the publisher’s author page go to:

Clare Morrall – Author

To buy the novel please visit:

when the floods came – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

On the Horizon – the emperor and the maula (Robert Silverberg)

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 emperor and the maula (Robert Silverberg)

Title: the emperor and the maula

Author: Robert Silverberg

Publisher: Subterranean Press

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

ISBN: 978-1596068452

Source: NetGalley

The cover drew me in and three things convinced me to read this book:

  1. It is a retelling of the Scheherazade tale with alien conquerors;
  2. It is a Subterranean press book and they do great work; and
  3. It discussed the author Robert Silverberg’s genius and I didn’t know who he was . . .

The fact that it was a sci-fi Scheherazade tale would have been enough in and of itself.  And this book was a wonderful one.  Our Scheherazade, Laylah Walis, is a human from Earth.  Earth has been conquered by an alien race.  She travels to the forbidden city of Haraar which she knows is punishable by death.  Her goal is to meet the emperor.  But for what purpose?

Of course the fun of this tale is that the reader is learning Laylah’s story at the same time that the emperor is.  She certainly is a compelling character and her stories sped along.  The cliffhangers at the end of each night’s tale bothered me as much as the emperor.  I needed to know more!  The only downside is that by the end of the book, I could have listened to many more of Laylah’s stories.  The ending was good but I still need more!

As for the author, I learned from sandy @ fantasyliterature‘s review of this novel several amazing facts.  Apparently Mr. Silverberg is the author of no fewer than “78 sci-fi novels, almost 450 short stories and novellas, around 70 books of nonfiction, and around 185 novels of, um, “adult fiction,” in addition to having edited over 130 anthologies.”  Talk about prolific!  He is currently 82 years old.  Goodreads says that he has won 5 Hugos and 5 Nebulas.  Also he is a 2004 Grand Master from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.  Sheesh!

I am regretful that I didn’t know about him before but am delighted to have remedied that fact.  If ye be not familiar with this author then mayhaps ye should pick this book up.  I certainly enjoyed the foray.

So lastly . . .

Thank you Subterranean Press!

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

To visit the author’s website go to:

Robert Silverberg – Author

To buy the novel go to:

the emperor and the maula – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

Off the Charts – the cat encyclopedia for kids (Joann Mattern)

Ahoy there me mateys!  I received this middle grade non-fiction eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  So here be me honest musings . . .

the cat encyclopedia for kids (Joann Mattern)

Title: the cat encyclopedia for kids

Author: Joann Mattern

Publisher: Capstone

Publication Date: March 1, 2018 (paperback)

ISBN: 978-1623709372

Source: NetGalley

Who doesn’t love cats?  Arrrr!  I saw this and couldn’t help but be drawn to a book with cat facts.  They claim it be geared for 9 – 12 year olds.  Bah!  There be no age too high to stop learnin’.  So I read this book in me bunk with me three ship cats at me side.  Puurrrrfect!

I have to admit that I be torn on this book.  On the one had it had lots of stunning cat photos and some awesome facts.  I loved the blue “fun fact” boxes in particular.  It focuses on 12 of the most popular breeds in the United States.  The major problem was the writing style.  I thought a lot of the sections sounded too similar – in particular the long lists of the various color points and the caring for your cat sections.  I thought perhaps those facts would have been better as single sections for all cat breeds with check box charts showcasing the differences.  Perhaps the color points would have been better off shown with more photo examples rather than just written descriptions.  That said, I highly enjoyed all the new information I did learn.

Fun cat facts I learned (a sampling):

  • A group of cats hanging around together is called a clowder.
  • Cats generally sleep 13 to 14 hours a day.  I wish I could!
  • The Persian cat was the most popular cat in America from the 1970s until 2014.
  • The oldest living domestic cat was Creme-Puff from Austin, Texas.  She lived to be 38!

So ultimately I think this is a decent overall read that beginning and older cat lovers can enjoy.

Side note: have ye ever seen an Egyptian cat mummy?  I have!

So lastly . . .

Thank you Capstone Books!

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

To visit the author’s website go to:

Joann Mattern – Author

To buy the novel go to:

the cat encyclopedia for kids – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

Captain’s Log – soft apocalypse (Will McIntosh)

Ahoy there me mateys!  When I last read a book by this author, I was reminded that I had never read his debut novel.  In fact, it was the only one I hadn’t read.  That oversight had to be remedied.  Apparently this novel was a finalist for both the Locus Award for Best First Novel and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best SF Novel.  So I finally snatched up a copy and loved it!

At the start of the novel, the United States is in the midst of an extreme economic depression with unemployment hovering at 40%.  To put this in perspective the highest period of unemployment to date in the U.S. was 25% in 1933.

At the start, the protagonist, Jasper, is an out of work, homeless sociologist who is traveling with his “tribe.”  The tribe is a random collection of folks who are helping each other out while waiting for society to improve.  And for Jasper and certain members of his tribe, life does seem to get better in small increments.  But what happens when the apocalypse doesn’t arrive in one large explosion but rather in small seemingly incremental changes?

Well ye get this delight of a book.  It takes place over 10 years.  We follow Jasper and through his eyes watch the world slowly crumble.  Bad things happen.  People adapt.  Jasper’s life improves.  More bad things happen.  Jasper’s life gets worse. There is action in this book but it is a slow burn of overall destruction.

While watching the consequences of the world slowly imploding, ye get to see Jasper’s relationships and personality evolve and his ideas on love and survival change.  This book takes place mostly in and around the environs of Savannah.  The author certainly seemed extremely familiar with the area.  I adored the format, the writing, the characters, and well, everything.

As usual if ye haven’t read anything by the author, I suggest ye hoist those sails and get moving!

Side note:  While researching fer this blog, I discovered that Mr. McIntosh had a book come out in June and has another coming out in October!  Arrrrr!!!  I must get me hands on the booty!

Goodreads has this to say about the novel:

To visit the author’s website go to:

Will McIntosh – Author

To buy the novel please visit:

soft apocalypse – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

Previous Log Entries for this Author

burning midnight (Captain’s Log – Young Adult Fantasy)

hitchers (Dead Men Tell No Tales)

faller (On the Horizon – Sci-Fi eArc)

On the Horizon – nyxia (Scott Reintgen)

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

nyxia (Scott Reintgen)

Title: nyxia

Author: Scott Reintgen

Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers

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

ISBN: 978-0399556791

Source: NetGalley

Arrrrrr mateys this book be amazing!  It has been compared to maze runner and illuminae.  While I read both and enjoyed them, this one blows the competition out of the water.  The characters are diverse, the plot is enthralling, the pace is blazing, the tension is fierce, and the story drew its hooks in me and wouldn’t let go.

Ten poor kids from all over Earth have been recruited by a corporation called Babel to travel to a distant planet to help mine a substance called nyxia.  In doing so, they immediately benefit their families back home.  There is one catch – they have to compete on the journey to earn the spots to be part of the final mission.  Only 8 out of 10 will proceed.

The story is told from the perspective of Emmett.  He is an awesome protagonist who is determined to win but finds himself questioning the other players, the terms of the competition, and his own thoughts and motivations.  Even though we see the world through Emmett’s eyes, we still manage to learn plenty of the other characters and their motivations as well.  I particularly loved Bilal and Kaya.

The substance nyxia is crazy.  I loved how it was used in space life and in the trials.  There are also the hints of potential uses in the future.  It kinda creeps me out and fascinates me all at the same time.

This novel takes some of the tropes of the dystopian sci-fi young adult novels and turns them upside down.  Also this has one of the best endings of a book one in a trilogy that I have read in a very long time.  I cannot wait to get me hands on book two.

So lastly . . .

Thank you Crown Books for Young Readers!

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

To visit the author’s website go to:

Scott Reintgen – Author

To buy the novel go to:

nyxia – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List