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

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

Captain’s Log – after atlas (Emma Newman)

Ahoy there mateys!  This is the companion novel to the wonderful sci-fi novel planetfall which continues to linger in me thoughts as being a super pleasurable previous read.  As a companion novel, the books can be read in any order even though personally I am glad I read planetfall first.  Planetfall was the story of  a human colony on a remote alien planet far far from Earth.  After atlas is a sci-fi murder mystery novel set on Earth forty years after Atlas has left the planet.

The story involves Carlos who works for one of the big corporations on Earth.  When he was an infant, his mother left him behind on Earth when she traveled on the Atlas.  Forty years later he is a top level detective to the Ministry of Justice.  There is just one catch – he was sold to them years before as an indentured slave who has to work off his debt before he is free.  But everything has a price and adds to his debt.  They control him and he won’t work off his debt until he is at least 80, or maybe longer . . .

So when his boss at the Ministry arrives in his apartment with a new job assignment with the details off the record, he realizes something is different.  There has been another murder, only this time he knows the victim.  Can he solve the crime, avoid the politics, and kept his personal feelings under control?  There may be no real choice as the clock is ticking, the debt is growing, and all he wants is freedom.

Again, Emma Newman creates another fascinating main character whose personality and circumstances are a delight.  The novel evolves in such a way that ye follow the unfolding investigation while slowly learning the details of Carlos’ life and his past relationships.  Again the tech in the novel like the APA’s are richly drawn and central to the story.  While Carlos is the main character, through him ye get to known the side characters who are all well drawn out.  Some of the murder mystery clues were guessable but how she resolved the story overall was not.

In any case this was another awesome effort by Ms. Newman and I truly hope there is another story set in this world.  Do pick up either one of the Planetfall books and treat yerself to a delightful story.

Check out some reviews of this novel from members of me crew:

Sarah @ Brainfluff

Carly @ Bookaneer

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

Govcorp detective Carlos Moreno was only a baby when Atlas left Earth to seek truth among the stars. But in that moment, the course of Carlos’s entire life changed. Atlas is what took his mother away; what made his father lose hope; what led Alejandro Casales, leader of the religious cult known as the Circle, to his door. And now, on the eve of the fortieth anniversary of Atlas’s departure, it’s got something to do why Casales was found dead in his hotel room—and why Carlos is the man in charge of the investigation.

To figure out who killed one of the most powerful men on Earth, Carlos is supposed to put aside his personal history. But the deeper he delves into the case, the more he realizes that escaping the past is not so easy. There’s more to Casales’s death than meets the eye, and something much more sinister to the legacy of Atlas than anyone realizes…

To visit the author’s website go to:

Emma Newman – Author

To buy the novel please visit:

after atlas – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

Previous Log Entries for this Author

brother’s ruin (On the Horizon – Fantasy eArc)

planetfall (Sailing to the Stars)

Abandon Ship – like a boss (Adam Rakunas)

It’s time to abandon ship me mateys!  And oh I be highly disappointed.  I just re-read the first book of the series, windswept and gave it me second reflections.  While I still loved that novel, I should have skipped this one completely.  I made it to page 51 of 375.  Two things made me grumpy:  1) the mention of Jackson Pollack (pg. 41) and 2) the bad guy (pg. 50).

Now I have no real hatred of Jackson Pollack, but the mention of him was just so incongruous that I was taken aback and thrown out of the story.  And to be fair the story was fine up until that moment.  Then the premise of Padma’s new problem to solve was introduced on page 51 and it made me furious.  It seemed both unrealistic and a lazy choice.  I had no interest in this storyline at all.  Had I read the blurb for the second book, I would have known and not purchased it.  But I normally don’t read book two synopses because I like being surprised.

Mistake on this one.  Wish it had stayed a standalone.

Normally I post the synopsis of a novel here but as it has spoilers and I hate it, I am not including it . . . read book one but skip this one!

To visit the author’s website go to:

Adam Rakunas – Author

To buy the novel visit:

like a boss – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

Second Reflections – windswept (Adam Rakunas)

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(ish) 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 . . .

windswept – Adam Rakunas

This be a lovely sci-fi novel that I read back in 2015 after randomly finding a copy in a local library.  It is one of the books that helped bring me attention to the Angry Robot publishing house wherein I joined the Robot Army.  Their books tend to be quirky and to my taste.  In any case, at the time this book was a stand-alone and it can be read as such.  But when I found out there was another book in the series, I was excited to have the chance to re-visit an old port.

And Santee is a great place to spend time if ye like sarcastic bad-ass women, crazy times, and, of course, rum.  The story involves me favorite wench, Padma, who is a union recruiter who deserted the corporate culture of the Big Three to make a better life for herself on a little “mudball” planet.  If she recruits just 33 more people to the union then she can buy her dream business (a rum distillery – Arrrrr!).  When word comes of a breach of 40 people that would help her reach her union quota and her dream, she takes a chance.  Of course nothing goes to plan and all hell breaks loose . . .

The characters are what made the story for me.  Padma be me favorite but there are plenty of strong women in this book – from police officers, pub owners, and tuk-tuk drivers.  While there is very brief mention of sex in this novel, it does NOT have romance as a major element.  There are however strong male and female friendships.  I loved Jilly and Banks.  I loved to dislike Bloomberg.  Several of the bad guys and girls were not as fleshed out but it didn’t really effect me enjoyment.  There are screwball characters and fantastic character interactions that I loved re-reading.

The world building and politics are not extremely complicated but Santee feels solid and believable.  The story was even-paced at the start but ratchets up into a fun mad dash towards the end.  Basically this book is just plain fun.  A quick read, I am glad I chose to revisit this port and look forward to finding out what the gang has been up to in the next installment.

Check out this review by Skjam!

Goodreads has this to say about the novel:

Labor organizer Padma Mehta is on the edge of space and the edge of burnout. All she wants is to buy out a little rum distillery and retire, but she’s supposed to recruit 500 people to the Union before she can. She’s only thirty-three short. So when a small-time con artist tells her about forty people ready to tumble down the space elevator to break free from her old bosses, she checks it out — against her better judgment. It turns out, of course, it was all lies . . .

To visit the author’s website go to:

Adam Rakunas – Author

To buy the novel visit:

windswept – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

On the Horizon – select (Marit Weisenberg)

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 . . .

select (Marit Weisenberg)

Title: select

Author: Marit Weisenberg

Publisher: Charlesbridge Teen

Publication Date: October 3, 2017 (hardcover/e-book)

ISBN: 9781580898065

Source: NetGalley

This was a book I stumbled across that had a fascinating premise and I was excited to have me wish granted.  A group of biologically different humans lives in Austin, TX.  Julia, is one of these “select” people but has always had trouble fitting in.  Forced to keep a low profile and told to hide her gifts, she makes a mistake and finds herself forced to go to ::gasp:: a public high school with “normal” humans.  What will she do?

Apparently she will have insta-lust and waffle a lot.  Now this was a fast read and only took a couple of hours.  I did finish it, which was good.  But seriously for a group of special people trying to hide their gifts, they seem to go out of their way to flaunt themselves.  The leader (Julia’s dad) is a billionaire investor.  The whole group lives in mansions, wears designer clothes, and drives expensive cars.  I have known teens who drive BMWs and such.  They do NOT blend.

The other kids in the “select” group are daredevils and troublemakers and yet none of them have ever been caught or truly punished.  Mommy and Daddy just get the lawyers to bail them out.  So the premise that Julia blows their cover and has to be punished seemed unbelievable.  And Julia being forced to go to public school for punishment did not lead to anything other than fodder for the insta-love relationship.  Julia skates through school with no real consequences for anything really.  Though she learns to control her powers by using them in stupid ways.  Bland.

The relationship itself was kinda creepy and self-serving, especially in the beginning.  Julia and John have instant chemistry but her method of learning about him is to read his mind without permission and then use that knowledge to encourage him.  Just because she is bored.  I would rather they had a better relationship than one built on lies and some flashes of exposed leg.  Oh add in some non-appealing pseudo love triangle junk and shake not stir.

Even the powers of Julia and the “select” left something to be desired.  Instead of rooting for them, all of the people in her family group felt like a cult.  The powers, like telekinesis or enhanced stamina, were barely used at all and when they were, it felt more like whiny magic people throwing temper tantrums.  If that is what it meant to be one of the “select” then I will gladly pass.

I would have loved for this to have been a deeper look into different branches of human evolution living alongside each other.  I would have loved the “select” to have used their intelligence and powers for something other than money and solitude.  I would have loved for all of the characters to have more depth.  I would have loved for Julia’s golden cage to have actually been appealing so that she had a better reason for her inner conflict.

Overall the premise did not live up to its promise.  Sigh.

So lastly . . .

Thank you Charlesbridge Teen!

Side note: Some mateys disagree with me.  Check out this review by the leisure diaries!

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

To visit the author’s Facebook page go to:

Marit Weisenberg – Author

To buy the novel please visit:

select – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List