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Jean's Grand Tour

2017 Category Challenge

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Edited: Dec 27, 2017, 9:29am Top

In Victorian times the wealthy generally took The Grand Tour of Europe, as honeymoons, or just to ‘get away’. In that grand tradition I present Jean/Majkia’s Grand Tour.

Since I can’t afford to travel everywhere I want to go (and not only Europe), not to mention there is no real way to visit planets and galaxies and the NeverNever, Middle Earth, Westeros or other wonderful worlds, I think of my reading as my chance to expand my horizons.

My Challenge is set up as dead simple: 12 Months and 1 TBR Challenge.

I’ll attempt to keep track of where I’ve travelled.




Edited: May 11, 2017, 1:26pm Top




TBR Challenge

1. January ---
Books Read: 9 – Pages Read: 3700 - ROOTS: 10 - TBR Challenge : 2 - SF/SFFKIT: 3 - BingoDOGs:4 :
Places I’ve Been: Europe, The Sabine System, Elantris, Ranquil, Silverstream, England, Gibraltar etc, London, England

2. February ---
Books Read: 10 – Pages Read: 4256 - ROOTS: 10 - AlphaKITs: 9 - TBR Challenge : 2 - SF/SFFKIT: 3 - BingoDOGs: 2 - RandomCATs: 1 - Culture/Award/Woman CATs: 1
Places I’ve Been: The Moon, London, Pendaire, Aldura+, Washington D.C. , Khalakovo, Rome and Italy, Indranan Empire, into the black, Lychford

3. March ---
Books Read: 5 – Pages Read: 2015 - ROOTS: 6 - AlphaKITs: 4 - TBR Challenge : 1 - SF/SFFKIT: 0 - BingoDOGs: 1 - RandomCATs: 1 - Culture/Award/Woman CATs: - DNF: 1 - Places I’ve Been: Dhai, Dublin, Ile-Rien, Mongolia, the Bobiverse

4. April ---
Books Read: 8 – Pages Read: 3625 - ROOTS: 7 - TBR Challenge : 2 - SF/SFFKIT: 1 - BingoDOGs: 0 :
Places I’ve Been: NYC, Gwynedd, NW USA, Bishop's Lacey, Dorcastle, Riverton, Sartorias-deles, NYC

5. May ---
Books Read: 2 – Pages Read: 1120 - ROOTS: 2 - AlphaKITs: 2 - TBR Challenge : 1 - SF/SFFKIT: 0 - BingoDOGs: 0 - RandomCATs: 0 - Culture/Award/Woman CATs:
Places I’ve Been: Derzhi Empire, Osten Ard

6. June ---
Books Read: 0 – Pages Read: 0 - ROOTS: 0 - AlphaKITs: 0 - TBR Challenge : 0 - SF/SFFKIT: 0 - BingoDOGs: 0 - RandomCATs: 0 - Culture/Award/Woman CATs:
Places I’ve Been:

7. July ---
Books Read: 0 – Pages Read: 0 - ROOTS: 0 - AlphaKITs: 0 - TBR Challenge : 0 - SF/SFFKIT: 0 - BingoDOGs: 0 - RandomCATs: 0 - Culture/Award/Woman CATs:
Places I’ve Been:

8. August ---
Books Read: 0 – Pages Read: 0 - ROOTS: 0 - AlphaKITs: 0 - TBR Challenge : 0 - SF/SFFKIT: 0 - BingoDOGs: 0 - RandomCATs: 0 - Culture/Award/Woman CATs:
Places I’ve Been:

9. September ---
Books Read: 0 – Pages Read: 0 - ROOTS: 0 - AlphaKITs: 0 - TBR Challenge : 0 - SF/SFFKIT: 0 - BingoDOGs: 0 - RandomCATs: 0 - Culture/Award/Woman CATs:
Places I’ve Been:

10. October ---
Books Read: 0 – Pages Read: 0 - ROOTS: 0 - AlphaKITs: 0 - TBR Challenge : 0 - SF/SFFKIT: 0 - BingoDOGs: 0 - RandomCATs: 0 - Culture/Award/Woman CATs:
Places I’ve Been:

11. November ---
Books Read: 0 – Pages Read: 0 - ROOTS: 0 - AlphaKITs: 0 - TBR Challenge : 0 - SF/SFFKIT: 0 - BingoDOGs: 0 - RandomCATs: 0 - Culture/Award/Woman CATs:
Places I’ve Been:

12. December ---
Books Read: 0 – Pages Read: 0 - ROOTS: 0 - AlphaKITs: 0 - TBR Challenge : 0 - SF/SFFKIT: 0 - BingoDOGs: 0 - RandomCATs: 0 - Culture/Award/Woman CATs:
Places I’ve Been:

Hard Core Sci Fi Challenge - Worlds Without End
2/12 Read - 0/12 Reviews

Pick and Mix Reading Challenge - Worlds Without End

Space Opera - Worlds Without End

Edited: Jan 29, 2017, 4:45pm Top

1. Fellowship of Fear - Aaron Elkins - ROOT from 2012 - 3.5 stars
2. Trading in Danger - Elizabeth Moon - ROOT from 2011, TBR, - 3.5
3. Elantris - Brandon Sanderson - ROOT from 2013 - 3.0
4. Into the Black (Odyssey One) - Evan Currie - ROOT from 2013 - 3.5
5. Miss Buncle's Book - D.E. Stevenson
6. The Atlantis Gene - A.G. Riddle
7. Dark Fire - C.J. Sansom - ROOT from 2014 - 3.5 stars
8. The Steerswoman - Rosemary Kirstein - 4.5 stars
9. Murder at Sissingham Hall - Clara Benson - 3 stars

PAGES READ : 224 + 384 + 656 + 586 + 299 +464 + 528 +299 + 260
Locations Visited : Europe, Sabine System, Elantris, Ranquil, Silverstream, England, Gibraltar etc, London, ?, England

Edited: Feb 28, 2017, 9:25am Top

1. Luna: New Moon - Ian McDonald - ROOT
2. Where Shadows Dance - C.S. Harris - ROOT, AlphaKIT
3. Sorcerer's Legacy - Janny Wurts - ROOT, Alpha, Random, TBR
4. Hidden Empire - Kevin J. Anderson - ROOT, Alpha, SFFKIT
5. Waking the Moon - Elizabeth Hand - TBR, ROOT, Alpha
6. The Winds of Khalakovo - Bradley Beaulieu - ROOT, Alpha
7. Emperor: The Death of Kings - Conn Iggulden - RTT, ROOT
8. Behind the Throne - K.B. Wagers - ROOT, SFFKIT, CATWoman, Space Opera
9. The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet - Becky Chambers - ROOT, SFFKIT, Space Opera
10. The Witches of Lychford - Paul Cornell - ROOT, AlphaKIT, Pick&Mix

PAGES READ : 416 + 368 +304 + 512 +464 + 480 + 432 + 464 + 144
Locations Visited : The Moon, London, Pendaire, Aldura+, Washington,D.C., Khalakovo, Rome and Italy, Indranan Empire, into the black, Lychford

Edited: Apr 26, 2017, 2:44pm Top

1. Mirror Empire - Kameron Hurley
2. The Likeness - Tana French
3. The Element of Fire - Martha Wells
4. The Eye of God - James Rollins
5. We Are Legion (We Are Bob) - Dennis E. Taylor

Locations Visited : Dhai, Dublin, Ile-Rien, Mongolia, the Bobiverse

Edited: Apr 28, 2017, 8:18pm Top

1. Cemetery Dance - Preston/Child - Pendergast #9 - ROOT, AlphaKIT
2. Deryni Rising - Katherine Kurtz - Deryni #1 - TBR Challenge, ROOT, AlphaKIT
3. The Sunrise Lands - S.M. Stirling - ROOT, SFFKIT
4. Speaking From Among the Bones - Alan Bradley - RandomCAT
5. the Dragons of Dorcastle - Jack Campbell - AlphaKIT
6. The House at Riverton - Kate Morton - RTT, ROOT
7. Inda - Sherwood Smith - TBR Challenge, ROOT
8. Discount Armageddon - Seanan McGuire - ROOT, AlphaKIT

PAGES READ : 592 + 304 + 528 + 416 +336 +474 +624 + 352
Locations Visited : NYC, Gwynedd, NW USA, Bishop's Lacey, Dorcastle, Riverton, Sartorias-deles, NYC

Edited: May 30, 2017, 7:27am Top

1. Transformation - Carol Berg
2. Dragonbone Chair Tad Williams
3. Reap the Wild Wind - Julie Czerendra
4.The Red Knight - Miles Cameron
5. When Maidens Mourn - C.S. Harris
6. Equal Rites - Terry Pratchett

Locations Visited : Derzhi Empire, Osten Ard, Cersei, London, Discworld

Edited: Jul 1, 2017, 11:26am Top

1. Babylon's Ashes - James S.A. Corey
2. The Magician's Guild - Trudi Canavan
3. Uprooted - Naomi Novik
4. Snow Crash - Neal Stephenson
5. Star Wars: Aftermath - Chuck Wendig
6. Ninefox Gambit - Yoon Ha Lee

Locations Visited : Solar System, Kyralia, Polnya, Metaverse, SW Universe, Fortress of Scattered Needles

Edited: Jul 29, 2017, 7:44am Top

1. The Hanging Tree - Ben Aaronovitch - Series: Peter Grant #6 - AlphaKIT
2. Saucer State - Paul Cornell
3. Golden Son - Pierce Brown Series: Red Rising #2 - ROOT
4. Black Sun Rising - C.S. Friedman - DNF
5. The Cuckoo's Calling- Robert Galbraith #1 Cormoran Strike - Random
6. A Sorcerer's Treason - Sarah Zettel - ROOT, TBR, AlphaKIT
7. Children of Time - Adrian Tchaikovsky - SFFKIT
8. Dawn - Octavia Butler - TBR Challenge, ROOT, AlphaKIT

Locations Visited : London

Edited: Aug 29, 2017, 12:29pm Top

1. The Forge of Darkness - Steven Erikson - ROOT, AlphaKIt
2. War for the Oaks - Emma Bull
3. The Atrocity Archives - Charles Stross
4. Rosemary and Rue - Seanan McGuire - ROOT, TBR
5. The Titian Committee - Iain Pears - ROOT, RTT
6. The Serpent of Venice - Christopher Moore - Random, ROOT, SFFKIT
7. Good Omens - Pratchett/Gaimon- ROOT, SFFKIT

Locations Visited : Kharkanas, Minneapolis, London, San Francisco, Venice, Venice, England

Edited: Sep 29, 2017, 5:58pm Top

1. The Hangman's Daughter - Oliver Potzsch - AlphaKIT, ROOT
2. First Contact (In Her Name) - Michael R. Hicks - ROOT
3. Urban Shaman - C. E. Murphy -TBR, ROOT, AlphaKIT
4. Steal the Sky - Megan E. O'Keefe - ROOT, SFFKIT
5. Promise of Blood - Brian McClellan - ROOT
6. Vampire Empire - The Greyfriar - Clay and Susan Griffith - ROOT, SFFKIT
7. The Family Trade - Charles Stross - ROOT

PAGES READ : 488, 392, 416, 560, 320, 323
Locations Visited : Germany, Keran, Seattle, Adro, alt Earth, alt Earth

Edited: Oct 27, 2017, 2:16pm Top

1. Triggers - Robert J. Sawyer - ROOT, SFFKIT
2. The Heart of Matter - Evan Currie - ROOT
3. A Darker Shade of Magic - V. E. Schwab - ROOT, Random, Alpha
4. Archangel - Sharon Shinn - DNF
5. Magic Bites - Ilona Andrews - TBR, Alpha
6. The Dragon's Path - Daniel Abraham - ROOT, Alpha
7. The King's Blood - Daniel Abraham - ROOT, Alpha
8. The Tyrant's Law - Daniel Abraham - ROOT, Alpha
9. The Dead in their Vaulted Arches - Alan Bradley - Alpha, Random, NONROOT
10. The Widow's House - Daniel Abraham - Alpha, NONROOT
11. The Spider's War - Daniel Abraham - Alpha, NONROOT

PAGES READ : 352, 629, 400
Locations Visited : Washington D.C., Space, Londons,

Edited: Nov 27, 2017, 2:52pm Top

1. The Severed Streets - Paul Cornell
2. The Quiller Memorandum - Adam Hall
3. The Six of Crows - Leigh Bardugo
4. The Sagan Diary - John Scalzi
5. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - Stieg Larrson
6. Six Wakes - Mur Lafferty
7. Marque and Reprisal - Elizabeth Moon
8. The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man- Mark Hodder

Locations Visited :

Edited: Dec 27, 2017, 9:30am Top

1. Range of Ghosts- Elizabeth Bear- ROOT, TBR
2. The Bernini Bust - Iain Pears - ROOT
3. Morning Star- Pierce Brown - ROOT
4. Daughter of the Forest - Juliet Marillier - ROOT, TBR, RTT
5. Engagin the Enemy - Elizabeth Moon - ROOT

Locations Visited :

Edited: Dec 20, 2017, 6:50am Top

TBR Challenge

✔ 1. Archangel - Sharon Shinn
✔ 2. Black Sun Rising - C.S. Friedman DNF
✔ 3. Daughter of the Forest - Juliet Marillier
✔ 4. Dawn - Octavia Butler - Completed July
✔ 5. Deryni Rising - Katherine Kurtz Completed April
6. Downbelow Station - C.J. Cherryh
✔ 7. The Element of Fire - Martha Wells Completed March
8. Fool's Assassin - Robin Hobb
✔ 9. Inda - Sherwood Smith Completed April
✔ 10. Jaran - Kate Elliot DNF
11. Magic Bites - Ilona Andrews
✔ 12. The Magician's Guild - Trudi Canavan Completed June
✔ 13. Range of Ghosts - Elizabeth Bear Completed December
✔ 14. Reap the Wild Wind - Julie E. Czerneda Completed June
✔ 15. Rosemary and Rue - Seanan McGuire Completed August
16. Singer from the Sea - Sherri S. Tepper
✔ 17. Sorcerer's Legacy - Janny Wurts Completed February
✔ 18. A Sorcerer's Treason - Sarah Zettel
✔ 19. The Steerswoman - Rosemary Kirstein Completed January
✔ 20. Trading in Danger - Elizabeth Moon Completed January
✔ 21. Transformation - Carol Berg
✔ 22 Urban Shaman - C.E. Murphy
✔ 23. Waking the Moon - Elizabeth Hand Completed February
✔ 24. War for the Oaks - Emma Bull Completed August

Edited: Nov 24, 2017, 3:08pm Top

CATs, KITs and DOGs

Jan: The Steerswoman Rosemary Kirstein
Feb: Sorcerer's Legacy - Janny Wurts

January: "Read an SFF you meant to read in 2016, but never started/completed" Elantris , Into the Black (Odyssey One)

February: "Space Travel!" - Hidden Empire - Kevin J. Anderson. Behind the Throne - K.B. Wagers
March: "Religious Themed SciFi/Fantasy"
April: "Dystopian/Apocalyptic theme"
May: "Alien contact"
June: "Award Winners/Nominees"
July: "Series Month"
August: "Humorous sci fi/fantasy"
September: "Steampunk"
October: "Near Future SciFi"
November: "Historical SFF"

1. A satire The Serpent of Venice
2. Set in a country you've never been to
3. Color in the title Into the Black (Odyssey One) - Evan Currie
4. Set in a place you want to visit
5. One-word title - Elantris - Brandon Sanderson
6. Author uses initials - Dark Fire - C.J. Sansom
7. Appeals to the senses
8. Published in the 1940s-1960s
9. Made into a movie The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
10. Collection of short stories
11. Book about books Miss Buncle's Book - D.E. Stevenson
12. Title refers to another literary work (for example, the title is a quote from another book)
13. Author shares your first and last initials
14. Owned for more than 5 years
15. Science-related Nine Fox Gambit
16. Author was born in 1930s
17. Author abroad*
18. Author born/book published in 1917
19. Debut work - Behind the Throne - K.B. Wagers
20. About an animal/animal in title -The Spider's War
21. Place name in title - The Winds of Khalakovo - Bradley Beaulieu
22. Set in a beach community/resort
23. Set in a time before you were born
24. Next book in a series you've started
25. Read a CAT (this is usually the center/free square)

World Without End Hard Core Sci Fi Challenge

1.Chasm City - Alastair Reynolds
2. A Darkling Sea - James L. Cambias
3. Deepsix - Jack McDevitt
4. Downbelow Station - C.J. Cherryh
5. Firebird - Jack McDevitt
✔ 6. Luna: New Moon - Ian MacDonald
7. Mindstar Rising - Peter F. Hamilton
8. Spin State - Chris Moriarty
9. They Shall Have Stars - James Blish
✔ 10. Hidden Empire - Kevin J. Anderson

Worlds Without End Pick and Mix Reading Challenge

1. Trading in Danger - Elizabeth Moon
2. Elantris - Brandon Sanderson
3. Into the Black (Odyssey One) - Evan Currie
4. Sorcerer's Legacy - Janny Wurts
5. Hidden Empire - Kevin J. Anderson
6. Waking the Moon - Elizabeth Hand
7. The Winds of Khalakovo - Bradley Beaulieu
8. Behind the throne - K. B. Wagers
9. The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet - Becky Chambers
10. The Witches of Lychford - Paul Cornell
11. Mirror Empire - Kameron Hurley

Worlds Without End Space Opera Challenge

1. Trading in Danger - Elizabeth Moon
2. Into the Black (Odyssey One) - Evan Currie
3. Behind the Throne - K. B. Wagers

Edited: Jan 23, 2017, 2:39pm Top

Reading Thru Time:

RTT Quarterly:

Jan-Mar - Renaissance/16th Century
Dark Fire - C.J. Sansom

Apr-Jun - 17th Century
Jul-Sep - 18th Century
Oct-Dec - Napoleonic Era

RTT Monthly:

Aug (ME)

Edited: Apr 7, 2017, 7:33am Top

Resevered for Actual, Real Life (I have one!) Travel.

Generally via our RV:


1. Fred Gannon Rocky Bayou State Park - Niceville, FL - Thru Feb 1
2. North Carolina - March 24-March 31
3. Camp Pickens Federal Park - Pensacola FL 6 Apr-20 Apr

Traveling companions:
Baylee L.C.

Edited: Feb 28, 2017, 9:29am Top

I'll list the additional CATs but don't expect to do much with them.

Jan: Sci &Tech - Luna: New Moon
Feb: Medicine/Health
Mar: Culture/Diversity
Apr: Religion/Freedom
May: Gender
Jun: Enviro/Conservation
Jul: Violence/crime/justice
Aug: Natural Disasters
Sep: Journalism/the Arts
Oct: Poverty
Nov: Conflict/War
Dec: Cultural flow/immigration

Jan: Newbery/Caldecott/Costa
Feb: Canada Reads/Tournament of Books
Mar: Genre Awards
Apr: Dublin/Pulitzer
May: Man Booker/ Edgar
Jun: PEN / National Book Award
Jul: Baileys/ Sci Fi / Fantasy
Aug: Miles Franklin/Stonewwall
Sep: Man Booker/O. Henry
Oct: Nobel / Giller
Nov: Local Awards
Dec: International Awards

Jan: Classics - Miss Buncle's Book - D.E. Stevenson
Feb: Debuts - Behind the throne - K.B. Wagers
Mar: Genres
Apr: Bio/Auto/Memoir
May: Arts
Jun: Professionals
Jul: Women of Color
Aug: Non-fic/Historical
Sep: Child/YA/Graphic
Oct: Regional
Nov: LGbT/Feminist
Dec: Modern novels

Oct 18, 2016, 3:00pm Top

I am paying attention. 19 it is!

Oct 18, 2016, 3:09pm Top

Ha! Yes, I'm paying attention!

Oct 18, 2016, 3:49pm Top


Edited: Oct 18, 2016, 6:11pm Top

Ooh, such pretty pictures of space! Looking forward to following your travels in 2017. :)

Oct 18, 2016, 6:36pm Top

Looking forward to being a stowaway on your travels next year!

Oct 18, 2016, 10:04pm Top

Your thread toppers are gorgeous!

Oct 19, 2016, 1:22am Top

Wonderful graphics! Especially the cat and bingo dog. Looking forward to following along.

Oct 19, 2016, 3:23am Top

Aw I love the dragons with the books!

Oct 19, 2016, 4:11am Top

The images are so gorgeous! And I'm impressed with the statistics. I'm looking forward to travel along with you.

Oct 19, 2016, 11:22am Top

Thanks everyone for stopping by. Let's hope I do better this coming year than I have this year at keeping up with the threads!

Oct 19, 2016, 2:31pm Top

Great idea! I look forward to following along where reading and life take you next year. :)

Oct 19, 2016, 3:12pm Top


Oct 19, 2016, 6:15pm Top

I really like your set up Jean!

Oct 21, 2016, 7:17am Top

Nice idea for a thread! Looking forward to seeing it fill up.

Oct 21, 2016, 9:27pm Top

>18 majkia: Glad to see other members of the family joining in.

Oct 22, 2016, 12:06am Top

Your set-up looks great, I love your images too.

Oct 23, 2016, 10:25am Top

Thanks everyone for stopping by! Need to set up the CATs a bit more and of course the BingoDOG!

Oct 27, 2016, 10:29am Top

Good idea for your challenge, I like it!

Nov 20, 2016, 11:35am Top

Have a great trip!! :)

Nov 20, 2016, 3:24pm Top

Okay, I've filled in my TBR Challenge Books. I started out thinking the Primary 12 would be women writers of SF/SFF but it eventually morphed into all the books being SF/SFF by women authors. I did away with Primary and Alternate, as I hope to read them all anyway, and I've listed them alphabetically by title.

Nov 20, 2016, 3:24pm Top

Lisa and Eva... I'm going to have a more complex Grand Tour than I ever suspected, the way things are shaping up!

Nov 20, 2016, 4:54pm Top

>39 majkia: That's awesome! Also, I love the picture you chose for that category :)

Nov 22, 2016, 10:11pm Top

>39 majkia: - So, I know absolutely none of these but look forward to following you both here and on the TBR thread. I need to post my list soon.

Nov 27, 2016, 6:40pm Top

Wonderful category theme! I admit I love reading historical fiction where the characters embark on their "Grand Tours" and I have often wondered what such a tour would look like in this day and age. The monthly approach also seems very appropriate. ;-)

Love the pics of Baylee and L.C.!

Dec 17, 2016, 11:16pm Top

Very nice!

Dec 19, 2016, 3:42pm Top

Love your companions!!

It's almost like one of those theme calendars you have, with an astronomical theme. Very inspiring! I'll have to try and remember to check back monthly for your totals and places visited. Have a fun year in 2017!

Dec 19, 2016, 4:39pm Top

Beautiful and well laid out!

Dec 22, 2016, 8:15am Top

Hi Jean! Thread's looking good!

Dec 22, 2016, 10:39am Top

Hi everyone thanks for stopping by! I am eager for a new year of great reading. Hope you all have happy times and great reading years.

Dec 29, 2016, 2:36pm Top

Love your graphics for each month! And the dogs - I have a lab/pit bull mix named Milo.

Dec 31, 2016, 10:59am Top

>49 markon: Thanks! I want to see Milo!

Dec 31, 2016, 10:59am Top

Yearly wrap up for 2016:

79 total books
35,930 pages


Long Live Malaz! The Crippled God was the end of the Book of the Fallen. Incredible he was able to wrap up all those threads!

And Dancer's Lament was the start of a new trilogy about a few of the characters in the Malazan Book of the Fallen. Wonderful, funny and imaginative.

Also, the best Sci Fi series currently being written IMHO, The Expanse. Latest read, Nemesis Games.

Warchild by Karin Lowachee. Marvelous.

Seveneves by Neal Stephenson was quite the story of an apocalypse.

And last but not least Red Rising by Pierce Brown. Keep rising when necessary, folks!

Jan 1, 2017, 8:51am Top

Edited: Jan 1, 2017, 1:43pm Top

Love the chicken rooster? LOL

I've added a new Worlds Without End sci fi challenge. Probably add one more from there too.

Jan 2, 2017, 7:37am Top

1. Fellowship of Fear Aaron Elkins

Back in the Cold War, a visiting professor gets caught up in the paranoia and craziness of Russian spies trying to get secrets from US bases in Europe.

Brought back lots of memories of my own about that sort of thing. I had some weird run-ins with that sort of thing based on an interview I had with the NSA and because I had special clearances when I served in the Air Force. (If anyone still wants more details I'll provide but not really relevant here)

The mystery was okay, and I liked the main character a lot.

Jan 2, 2017, 8:10pm Top

Happy new year, Jean. Love your thread!

Jan 7, 2017, 7:45pm Top

2. Trading in Danger - Elizabeth Moon 3.5 stars

TBR, ROOT, Pick&Mix, and Space Opera Challenges.

I really enjoyed this book, but it did have a few flaws, mainly way too much emphasis on the whole commerce side of space hauling (at least I think so).

But I really enjoyed the characters and the world building. Ky, the main character, is a young woman, just tossed out of the Space Academy for embarrassing the big wigs, so she's looking for redemption of a sort. Her father, who owns a space shipping company, gives her a worn out ship to use to deliver merchandise to a few systems, then the ship is to be sold for scrap. Except Ky sees an opportunity and grabs it, and then finds herself in the middle of a shooting war.

I especially liked the way Ky thought. The military outlook she had due to her training at the Academy felt very real to me (I spent 20 years in the military myself), and I liked how different her view of the situation tended to be from the rest of her crew, all civilians used to normal situations without bullets flying, and lots of decisions based on selecting the least bad options available.

I look forward to reading more of this series.

Jan 9, 2017, 4:39pm Top

Jean, thanks for the info about the BINGO card. Here is a picture of Milo.

He's getting a bit gray around the muzzle now, but still active and energetic.

Jan 9, 2017, 6:51pm Top

>57 markon: Hi Milo. What a sweetie!

Edited: Jan 12, 2017, 9:23am Top

4. Into the Black (Odyssey One) - Evan Currie 3..5 stars

Interesting and pretty well done military SF, with the first starship into space from Earth immediately running into an interstellar war.

Barring the idea that the first shot out of the gate we'd run into such a thing, it was a well done space battle book, with some interesting hints of what is to come, and what sort of universe the crew of the Odyssey and Earth is going to be dealing with.

Pretty good characterization for this particular sub-genre as well.

Jan 14, 2017, 2:19pm Top

5. Miss Buncle's Book - D.E. Stevenson 4 stars


In tiny, quiet little Silverstream, a young woman is in need of money. What to do? Why write a book! Write a book about your town and barely conceal the identity of the characters in it. And then see what mayhem happens!

Jan 15, 2017, 2:32pm Top

>60 majkia: - YAY, I also enjoyed my read of Miss Buncle's Book. The second book in the series was also okay and for some strange reason, I forgot to carry on with the series.

Edited: Jan 15, 2017, 3:00pm Top

6. The Atlantis Gene - A.G. Riddle

I have far too much to say about this book, very little of it fit for mixed company.

Plot: the plot bunnies definitely escaped their normal confines. Name a conspiracy theory, and this book wraps it up into the overarching master plan being perpetrated by a bunch of guys who obviously never read 'If I were an evil overlord."

I do like some of the ideas, but honestly, the book drove me pretty nuts. I did kind of like the basic idea, it just wasn't very well executed. Haven't we gone beyond Nazis yet?

Characterization? nada. Well, except for the little kid at the monastery.

Intellect of our heroes? So you and your partner are captured by the evil overlords. You learn on yur own some vital info that you need to impart to said partner. So what do you do? Decide you have to have sex NOW. After all, you can whisper it in his ear afterwards while you smoke cigarettes together. Guess what?

Jan 23, 2017, 2:58pm Top

7. Dark Fire - C.J. Sansom - 3.5 stars

Second in the Matthew Shardlake series, about a hunch-backed lawyer who finds himself serving Thomas Cromwell, more by necessity than by choice. In this book, Cromwell is attempting not to be deposed by Henry VIII and pretty desperately sends Shardlake and a young assistant, Barak, off to discover the truth behind 'dark fire' which in this case refers to Greek Fire, something that has been promised to King Henry.

In short order, Shardlake's life is in danger and he and Barak are rushing across London to save themselves as well as Cromwell.

Not bad for the most part except : Why, when you are confronting a family you KNOW to have enabled the death of one young boy and then blamed that death on an innocent young girl, why oh why would you be stupid enough to drink wine they offered you? Why do authors seem to have this need to make characters stupid to come up with a stupid plot point?

I like Shardlake and I really enjoyed Barak and his development and change throughout the novel.

Jan 23, 2017, 5:57pm Top

>60 majkia: - That sounds like such fun! Definitely interested in reading that one someday.

Jan 24, 2017, 10:29am Top

8. The Steerswoman - Rosemary Kirstein 4.5 stars - TBR Challenge, ROOT, AlphaKIT, RandomCAT, Pick&Mix


What an interesting take on sword and sorcery! Firstly, the main characters are two women and a youngish boy. And it definitely passes the Bechdel test! (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bechdel_test)

The one woman is a Steerswoman, a keeper of the world's knowledge and an adventurer who searches for more information around the world. The other woman is a barbarian from the Outskirts. They meet and help each other then form a bond of friendship that becomes deep and trusting. The boy they meet along the way, he's determined to become a wizard because he saw his sister taken by a powerful wizard, so he wants to become powerful and stop that sort of thing from ever happening again.

Rowan, the Steerswoman, has found an odd crystal whose properties she wants to investigate. Bel, traveling in the same direction, decides she hasn't anything better to do so comes along for the adventure. It becomes clear early on that someone is attempting to kill Rowan for reasons unknown, and shocking, as the Steerswomen are generally revered as they share the knowledge they collect happily and generously with all who ask.

The characters are well drawn, interesting,and ::gasp:: don't do anything stupid!

The plot is tightly woven and has enough twists and turns to keep you guessing about a lot of things.

The world is well drawn and is quite surprising in that the book is really about science, even if it is sword and sorcery also.

Definitely looking forward to reading a lot more of this series.

Jan 29, 2017, 3:29pm Top

9. Murder at Sissingham Hall - Clara Benson - 3 stars


Nice characterization and setting, but the plot sucked. Obvious whodunnit, and the main character were incredibly stupid.

Feb 1, 2017, 9:30am Top

January Stats

Books: 9
Pages: 3700

TBR Challenge: 2

Authors: 5 female/ 4 male
Oldest Book: 1934
Newest Book: 2014

Best Book: The Steerswoman - Rosemary Kirstein - 4.5 stars
Worst Book: The Atlantis Gene - A.G. Riddle - 2.5 stars (overly generous)

Feb 3, 2017, 7:29am Top

10. Luna: New Moon - Ian McDonald - 4 Stars


Five families (Five Dragons) control the Moon. They are in constant competition to have more influence, more control.

A trip to the Moon, if you stay long enough, becomes one-way as your bones and body won't stand Earth's gravity well. So there is no leaving, unless you choose to leave early. After that, you swear allegiance to one of the Five Dragons and are swept into the politics and everything short of open combat between the families.

Characterization and society are detailed and complex. You can understand how this all came about, even if it seems so very alien at the same time as completely human.

I listened to the audio book and am very glad I did, as the singsong of Brazilian Portuguese was lovely.

Feb 5, 2017, 8:32am Top

- - 4 stars - AlphaKIT, ROOT, BingoDog

Really good entry to the series. Intrigue, spies, kidnappings, mysterious deaths... And Hero is my Hero!

Can't say much more than that but I liked Hero from the beginning and think she is totally awesome in this book. I hope that keeps up!

Feb 7, 2017, 12:49pm Top

12. Sorcerer's Legacy - Janny Wurts - 3.5 stars - ROOT, AlphaKIT, RandomCAT, TBR Challenge


An early work by Janny Wurts. Lots of action, likeable characters, and an interesting world. My only complaint is the use of stupid choices by the characters to develop the plot. Yes, they were justified by the story but they were still not very bright.

But you can see her ability to weave a story already, so it was great to see her growth since then.

Feb 11, 2017, 4:19pm Top

13. Hidden Empire - Kevin J. Anderson - 4 stars - AlphaKIT, ROOT, SFFKIT


Humans have reached the stars and are quite determined to take control of every system they can find. They discover some tech that had been developed by an extinct alien race, and use it to light up a gas giant and turn it into a star. When lights rise from the planet no one takes any particular heed. Until factories in orbit around other gas giants are suddenly attacked by a previously unknown race. Or, perhaps the knowledge of this alien species has been hidden?

Anderson can spin a yarn and populate a galaxy with complex civilizations of many species. The action, a bit slow to start, heats up into a galactic war that threatens to destroy humans outright.

Cliff hangers, alas, but not personal ones. Just an ongoing story far too big to fit into one book.

Feb 14, 2017, 3:10pm Top

14. Waking the Moon - Elizabeth Hand - 4 stars


Wow. What an intense book. Creative, imaginative, populated with people well drawn and complex, and a setting that, for me, dredged up a lot of personal history.

Secret societies, goddess cults, complex personal relationships, all conspire to wake the moon.

Feb 14, 2017, 3:50pm Top

>72 majkia: one of my favorite books of all time!!
I met Ms Hand years ago at a Con and I asked her about Oliver, who is based on a real-life friend of hers. I could tell that his mental illness was hard for her.

Feb 14, 2017, 3:52pm Top

>73 VictoriaPL: One of the many personal issues dredged up by this book was a friend of mine in my first year of college who was also mentally ill. It was painful, and terrifying and transformative for me.

Feb 14, 2017, 3:59pm Top

>74 majkia: I also highly recommend Last Summer at Mars Hill and Glimmering by her as well.

Feb 19, 2017, 1:15pm Top

15. The Winds of Khalakovo - Bradley Beaulieu


Steampunk with lots of air and sea ship confrontations as well as a pretty complex magical sort of world.

I listened to this and found it a bit hard to follow. Wasn't that happy with the reader, whose voice seldom got beyond a rather humdrum sort of sound.

Feb 22, 2017, 2:52pm Top

16. Emperor: The Death of Kings - Conn Iggudlen - RTT monthly, ROOT


Second in Iggulden's Julius Caesar series. I really enjoy his writing, and he can tell an exciting story. Not sure how close to reality it is, but it was certainly enjoyable.

Feb 23, 2017, 12:10am Top

I see Iggudlen's books everywhere, but they're so thick I've been hesitant - one day I'll give Wolf of the Plains a shot. :)

Feb 23, 2017, 7:29am Top

>78 -Eva-: They're a pretty quick read for me, though. Not like some books that seem to take forever.

Feb 23, 2017, 12:46pm Top

17. Behind the Throne - K.B. Wagers - ROOT, SFFKIT, AlphaKIT,


4 stars

A gunrunner is captured and taken back to Indrana kicking and screaming. It seems she's a runaway princess.

Haili learns that her mother and sisters are under attack back on Indrana. So home she goes, reluctantly, but determined to discover who's been attacking her family.

Very interesting world building, complex and well drawn characters, and a plot that if it doesn't always keep you guessing, certainly presents tons of action and character growth.

Feb 24, 2017, 4:57pm Top

>80 majkia: Sounds interesting! May have to add this one to the list.

Feb 27, 2017, 3:58pm Top

18. The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet - Becky Chamgers - 4 Stars


The happy-go-lucky multispecies ragtag crew of the Wayfarer, a wormhole tunneling ship, get a once in a lifetime chance to open a new wormhole to a new planet. The pay is great and the authorities promise they'll be safe, even if they do have to pass through some dangerous systems. However, as usually happens, things aren't quite what they seem with this contract.

Adorable characters, nice world-building and very up-beat attitudes make this book really enjoyable.

Feb 28, 2017, 9:21am Top

19. The Witches of Lychford - Paul Cornell - 3.5 stars - ROOT, AlphaKIT


A surprisingly complex novella. Intriguing world building, great characterization in a short form, self contained story. I liked it, and I'm not generally a fan of shorter form fiction.

Feb 28, 2017, 3:16pm Top

February Wrapup

10 books read:

1. Luna:New Moon - Ian McDonald π∑
2. Where Shadows Dance - C.S. Harris β
3. Sorcerer's Legacy - Janny Wurts
4. Hidden Empire - Kevin J. Anderson
5. Waking the Moon - Elizabeth Hand
6. Winds of Khalakovo - Bradley Beaulieu
7. The Death of Kings - Conn Iggulden
8. Behind the Throne - K.B. Wagers
9. The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet - Becky Chambers
10. Witches of Lychford - Paul Cornell

Pages Read: 4256
ROOTS: 10 -
AlphaKITs: 9 -
TBR Challenge : 2 -
BingoDOGs: 2 -
RandomCATs: 1 -
Culture/Award/Woman CATs: 1
Places I’ve Been: The Moon, London, Pendaire, Aldura+, Washington D.C. , Khalakovo, Rome and Italy, Indranan Empire, into the black, Lychford

5 male authors/ 5 female authors

1 historical fiction
1 period mystery
1 horror
4 sci fi

Mar 8, 2017, 7:00pm Top

20. The Mirror Empire - Kameron Hurley 3.5 stars - ROOT, AlphaKIT


An ambitious book, taking on lots of societal assumptions. Complex characters, most of whom are surviving as best they can, and not always doing the right thing as a result. The magical system is not clearly defined so the reader is left to feel her way through the book attempting to make sense of things. And not all of it ever manages to make sense.

It reminded me of Mieville's The City & the City in many ways, as worlds collide and bleed through into each other.

Mar 13, 2017, 12:40pm Top

21. The Likeness - Tana French (Dublin Murder Squad 2)


Psychological thriller. A detective goes undercover into a house owned by a group of students to discover more about a mysterious murder victim whom they can't even identify, never mind come up with a motive for murder.

Deeply psychological and convoluted plot that keeps you guessing throughout.

I really enjoy this series. Far more psychological than most murder mystery series and it delves far more personally into both detectives and suspects than most contemporary mystery series.

Mar 14, 2017, 8:02pm Top

I found this one really creepy.

Mar 18, 2017, 8:30pm Top

>87 dudes22: Agreed!

Mar 18, 2017, 8:30pm Top

22. The Element of Fire - Martha Wells, ROOT from 2012, AlphaKIT, TBR Challenge, CATWoman


Martha Wells debut novel, the first in the Ile-Rein series.

I found it a bit slow to get started but once I felt comfortable in the world and the pace picked up I enjoyed it tremendously.

Lots of court intrigue, a young King who has no idea what he's doing, his mother the real brains behind the throne. When the country is attaced by Fairy, the fact that the king's half sister, a half fey herself, shows up and muddles the picture of just who is up to what, and who to trust.

Mar 19, 2017, 8:33am Top

And, with regard to a more personal touring, Saturday we signed our lives away. Bought a new(er) RV for massive bucks. We went from a 2006 to a 2015. Now we are struggling with learning its secrets! Of course, the last one was the same. Since we'll need to travel to North Carolina later this week, we need to figure out how to turn on the bloody lights! Seriously!

Mar 19, 2017, 5:16pm Top

Congratulations on your new RV, Jean, it looks massive but manageable. I hope you do figure out how to turn on the lights, just in case, be sure to pack some flashlights! ;)

Mar 20, 2017, 10:05am Top

>90 majkia: Nice! Enjoy.

Mar 21, 2017, 7:55am Top

Jaran - Kate Elliot

Did Not Finish. Read 343 pages, and got tired of endless tramping across prairies and mountains with nothing much happening. Reminded me of Hammerfall which was also found too long and boring.

The writing is quite good, and the world building is good. The characters are well drawn altho the female lead is an idiot in many ways.

I've read other books by Kate Elliot and enjoyed them more.

I'm counting the pages and counting the book as a ROOT, but nothing else.

Mar 29, 2017, 3:18pm Top

23. The Eye of God - James Rollins - Sigma Force 9


On a par with the rest of the series. Lots of action, science a major player. Intresting characters with lots of growth over the series.

Mar 31, 2017, 4:02pm Top

Glad to see The Likeness gets the thumbs up form you, Jean. I really do need to get around to reading more of my Tana French books (I have only read In The Woods so far).

>90 majkia: - Ooooohhhhh..... shiny!

Mar 31, 2017, 7:04pm Top

>95 lkernagh: Me too. I do like Tana French.

Mar 31, 2017, 7:05pm Top

24. We Are Legion (We Are Bob) Dennis E, Taylor - ROOT, AlphaKIT


I haven't had this much Geeky Fun since Ready Player One. Lots of shout outs for us Geeks and Nerds.
Bob just sold his software company for megabucks. To celebrate, he signs up to have his head frozen after he dies. Then, a sudden accident, and Bob wakes up. Things are not at all what he'd expected!

Funny, imaginative, geeky, nerdy and I can't wait to read Book 2.

Apr 1, 2017, 2:15pm Top


Apr 2, 2017, 8:02am Top

Apr 4, 2017, 12:38pm Top

25. Cemetery Dance - Douglas Preston/Lincoln Child - Pendergast series #9 - AlphaKIT, ROOT


Another entertaining book in the Pendergast series. Cults, zombies, and animal rights activists obscure the real crime.
Also, no one is safe....

Edited: Apr 5, 2017, 9:29pm Top

>85 majkia: I'd read The Mirror Empire a couple of years ago and have been torn about whether to continue with the sequel. I agree with you in that not all of it made sense to me either. I was impressed by the world-building but found it a very challenging book to read. The sheer number of names was overwhelming; thank goodness there was a glossary!

Apr 7, 2017, 7:30am Top

Camping at Fort Pickens Campground near Pensacola FL, about 40 miles from home. We'll be here two weeks.

Apr 7, 2017, 9:59pm Top

Your new rig looks great! Enjoy your stay.

Apr 8, 2017, 5:49am Top


Apr 8, 2017, 5:49am Top

26. Deryni Rising - Katherine Kurtz - TBR Challenge, ROOT, AlphaKIT


I know I read Kurtz back in the day when I was in high school and college, but this particular book didn't ring any bells.

It is sort of Elves meet Man and interbreed for good and ill. Or maybe the Deryni are supposed to be aliens. I couldn't decide. I suppose it doesn't really matter.

At any rate, the Deryni are reviled for their heretical magical ways, but at the same time they come in handy to support the ruling class.

I found the whole emphasis on the church a bit off-putting.

Apr 9, 2017, 6:23pm Top

27. The Sunrise Lands - S. M. Stirling - Nantucket Event #7 - ROOT, SFFKIT

Start of a new trilogy as Rudy heads eastward due to a prophecy regarding the Sword of the Lady.

Good entry to the series. I do like how the emphasis of the series is on how people survive rather than what the event actually was.

Apr 12, 2017, 7:34am Top

28. Speaking from Among the Bones - Alan Bradley Flavia De Luce #5 - RandomCAT


Fifth in Flavia's madness, the tiny Bishop's Lacey finds yet another corpse to give Flavia a chance to muddle up the long suffering Inspector Hewitt's investigation. Not to mention trying to find a way to save the family seat at Buckshaw.

Apr 16, 2017, 11:41am Top

29. The Dragons of Dorcastle - Jack Campbell - AlphaKIT


An entertaining tale of a young mage and young mechanic who form an alliance against all precedent and rules of their guilds. A coming of age story that isn't too fraught with angst, which is a very rare thing, IMO.

Edited: Apr 26, 2017, 2:30pm Top

30. The House at Riverton - Kate Morton - RTT monthly, ROOT


Very Upstairs/Downstairs portrayal of a wealthy family's ups and downs from just before WW1 until the 20s, as told by a maid who was involved in it all.

31. Inda - Sherwood Smith TBR Challenge, AlphaKIT


The first half of the book was a chore for me, not particulary enamoured of young boys and their bonding via violence and misery, but once the second half began the book became far far better, and had me eagerly reading until the end.

Interesting characters well drawn, a complex and interesting created world. My only other complaint is the ending is ... not. Definitely cliffhanger and a high one at that. Still, I suspect I'll read on fairly soon.

Apr 28, 2017, 8:11pm Top

32. Discount Armageddon - Seanan McGuire - ROOT, AlphaKIT


A light-hearted approach to monsters in NYC.

Verity Price is a cryptozoologist. She makes friends with the monsters and protects those who don't harm humans. Then she runs into a member of a Society who wants to kill any and all nonhumans.

Some interesting ideas, told in an easy-going way. Lots of action, altho no real surprises along the way.

May 1, 2017, 11:36am Top

>110 majkia: That book has been on my TBR shelf for ages -- I should really check it out one of these days!

May 3, 2017, 7:59pm Top

>111 christina_reads: You should! It's an easy read.

May 3, 2017, 7:59pm Top

33. Transformation - Carol Berg - TBR Challenge, ROOT, AlphaKIT


Sayonne, a slave sold to the son of the Emperor, finds himself dealing not only with a dunderheaded owner, but with demons who've infested some powerful race from up north. And he, stripped of his magic when captured, is now not equipped to do anything about them.

I really enjoyed the story, liked the world-building and found the characters well drawn and sympathetic. Sayonne's way of dealing with his situation is heartbreaking at times, as is any creature forced into slavery by anyone, unfeeling or not.

I've read one other book by Carol Berg and enjoyed that one as well, but found this one far more complex.

May 4, 2017, 1:08pm Top

>113 majkia: Yay Carol Berg! I've really liked the books I've read by her. Haven't tried this series yet, though!

May 4, 2017, 9:25pm Top

>114 christina_reads: Don't let the horrible cover on this book put you off. I really liked it and I agree, Carol Berg is very good!

May 11, 2017, 1:15pm Top

34, The Dragonbone Chair - Tad Williams


An impressively lyrical book, even if the story is somewhat standard. Not fast paced, but the author can paint a setting or describe events in a way that evokes illuminated pictures in your mind's eye and draw you effectively into the story.

The characters are well drawn and multilayered, with even the bad guys given depth and complexity.

Well worth the read, and I'll certainly continue on with the story.

May 14, 2017, 12:02pm Top

- Cold Steel - Kate Elliot - Spiritwalker 3 DNF

I'll count it for ROOTS but for nothing else.

Honestly, when you are fighting for your life, are you really commenting on how intricate the nearest man's clothes are and how good he looks in them?

I enjoyed the first book, put up with the overly romancy stuff in the second but can't bring myself to give a rat's bottom about how it all ends given the silliness of the internal commentary during a fight for her life.

I hope the other Kate Elliot books I have are not quite so stupid.

May 14, 2017, 2:45pm Top

>117 majkia: Sorry the book was a dud, but I do love this review!

May 21, 2017, 12:27pm Top

35. Reap the Wild Wind - Julie Czerneda - ROOT, TBR Challenge, SFFKIT


A quite different look at the locals meet the aliens. A bit slow in the beginning but gets interesting about a third of the way in.

Also, there are a lot of examples of locals with no real idea of what they are seeing and what it all means, which was well done.

May 23, 2017, 1:48pm Top

Stopping by to get caught up. Great batch of reading, and love the RVing!

>117 majkia: - Love your comments regarding Cold Steel, especially the "rat's bottom" reference! ;-)

May 23, 2017, 7:07pm Top

May 23, 2017, 7:08pm Top

36. The Red Knight - Miles Cameron - ROOT, AlphaKIT


A young knight, captain of a mercenary group, contracts to protect a religious community and ends up biting off a whole lot more than he expected.

Interesting mix of religion and magic, as well as pretty complex plotting and good characterization.

May 26, 2017, 5:48pm Top

37. when Maidens Mourn - C.S. Harris - 7th in the Sebastian St Cyr series.
ROOT and AlphaKIT


A solid entry in the series, with both Sebastian and Hero growing and learning. Lots of action as usual. Intricate plot with lots of surprises.

Edited: Jun 6, 2017, 8:36am Top

38. Equal Rites - Terry Pratchett - ROOT, AlphaKIT . Rating: FUN

39. Babylon's Ashes - James S.A. Corey - The Expanse #6 - Rating: WOW


I kept thinking, as the events in this unfolded, wow, I soooo want to see this in the SyFy series!

Immense events nearly break everything. Well, they do break a lot of things, and Holden and the crew, Avasarala and Fred Johnson fight to bring some sort of equilibrium to the solar system. But can they do it?

A culmination of events begun in book 1, so no surprise in the deeds, just in the execution of them.

Jun 7, 2017, 9:00pm Top

40. The Magician's Guild - Trudi Canavan - The Black Magician Trilogy 1 - TBR Challenge, ROOT, SFFKIT


Rating: Meh

I didn't love it, I didn't hate it. It had some interesting elements of magic in it, an interesting world, and characters you could care about, but somehow it just didn't gel together for me. Perhaps a bit too standard.

Jun 7, 2017, 9:52pm Top

>124 majkia: I'm hoping The Expanse on SyFy lasts long enough to get to all the books. I'm also hoping The Magicians gets a long run. The two shows make a perfect night of television to me. SyFy does't have a great track record. They're known for cancelling even popular shows.

Jun 13, 2017, 5:08pm Top

41. Uprooted Naomi Novik - AlphaKIT, Library Book

Girl meets Dragon. No, not that kind of dragon. This one is a magical fellow who regularly carts off a young girl from a nearby village to keep her in his tower for ten years, and then releases her.

Only this time the girl turns out to have magic of her own. As such, she draws the attention of the sinister Wood, which has been trying its best to kill any human it can get its hands on.

The dragon and the girl end up fighting off the Wood, and some folks who seem to have been taken over by the Wood.

Interesting set up, the Wood is suitably sinister, the Dragon suitably opaque and threatening in his own way.

The story takes quite a few twists and turns along the way and what appears to be happening is not at all what it seems.

I enjoyed it very much! The audio version was very well done!

Jun 13, 2017, 5:09pm Top

>126 VioletBramble: Yeah, I hope The Expanse does the entire series. And I'm enjoying The Magicians as well.

Jun 14, 2017, 11:11am Top

>127 majkia: Yay, I'm glad you enjoyed Uprooted!

Jun 21, 2017, 9:24am Top

Jun 21, 2017, 9:24am Top

42. Snow Crash - Neal Stephenson - AlphaKIT, ROOT

Rating: Not my favorite NS but pretty good anyway


Cyberpunk, dated but still interesting. My main complaint was way too much exposition especially in the second half.

But NS can certainly create an intriguing world and likes a lot of action.

Jun 21, 2017, 11:01pm Top

Oh, I am most curious. Which Stephenson books have been your favorites? Curious I was able to pick up copies of two of his books - Reamde and Cryptonomicon - at a book sale but I have never read any Stephenson books.

Jun 22, 2017, 7:11am Top

>132 lkernagh: I enjoyed Reamde the most, I think, but I also loved The Diamond Age, Seveneves and Cryptonomicon. Hope you enjoy him too,

Jun 25, 2017, 2:15pm Top

43. Star Wars: Aftermath - Chuck Wendig - ROOT, SFFKIT


Rating: Cute but the audio, for me, was a bit too.... too...

Backstory - part of a trilogy - to get us caught up to where The Force Awakens begins.

Jun 26, 2017, 4:00pm Top

44. Ninefox Gambit - yoon Ha Lee ROOT, AlphaKIT, SFFKIT


Rating: Intriguing

Quite a different take on military sci fi. No glorification of war here. Betrayal, manipulation, confusion about who is the real enemy.

A difficult read as, gasp!, math was heavily involved!

I confess I didn't really wholly grasp the whole calendrical stuff, despite a minor in math.

Still, enjoyed it quite a bit!

Jul 1, 2017, 11:31am Top

45. The Hanging Tree - Ben Aaronovitch - Series: Peter Grant #6 - AlphaKIT


Rating: Great addition to an exciting and entertaining series.

I do love Peter, but can't help wishing for more Thomas Nightingale.

Jul 1, 2017, 2:08pm Top

>136 majkia: I love Nightingale and also miss him when he's not on the page. Looking forward to reading this one! I tend to hoard them because the wait between books seems so long!

Jul 5, 2017, 11:33am Top

46. Saucer State -Paul Cornell

meh. Still not a comics fan.

Jul 5, 2017, 11:34am Top

47. Golden Son - Pierce Brown - Red Rising #2 - AlphaKIT, ROOT, SFFKIT


I've been listening to the audio version of the series, and I have to say the reader is excellent.

The story itself is compelling and heart-breaking and discouraging all at once. Darrow is complex and driven and torn asunder from his own conflicting wants/needs/hopes.

Rating: Highly recommended

Jul 16, 2017, 7:31am Top

Black Sun Rising C.S. Friedman Did Not Finish ROOT


I got about 2/3rds of the way through this book, before I decided I really didn't care enough about the righteous prig of a main character to continue on. Maybe he'd eventually grow out of it, but I got tired of waiting for that.

Jul 24, 2017, 1:18pm Top

48. The Cuckoo's Calling - Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling)
First in the Cormoran Strike series.
Rating: Not half bad!

I enjoyed this more than I expected to. Unconventional hero, interesting mystery, with enough twits and turns to keep my attention.

Jul 24, 2017, 1:21pm Top

49. A Sorceror's Treason - Sarah Zettel ROOT, AlphaKIT, TBR Challenge


Rating: Interesting in parts, but it never really captured my interest enough to read it faster.

The setting is imaginative, as is the magical system. The main character is certainly complex and worthy of caring about, yet this book took me nearly a month to read because I never really felt compelled to get back to it until the last quarter of the book when the threads finally began to come together.

Jul 25, 2017, 3:09pm Top

50. Children of Time - Adrian Tchaikovsky


Rating: Wow, really really liked it!

Generation ships, uplift, global wars, aliens (?)

What an imaginative and deeply thought and well-executed look at the far future. I can't say much more to spoil it, but read it!

Jul 29, 2017, 7:40am Top

51. Dawn - Octavia Butler - ROOT, AlphaKIT, TBR Challenge


Rating: Interesting, well written

I'd have liked this take on alien abduction far better if the ending had actually been an ending, instead it seemed abrupt and unsatisfying, rather just a chapter ending to the next book.

The aliens were sufficiently different and hard to understand so there was definitely that strength. The protagonist was torn between willingness to cooperate and wish to be free of the manipulation. And what was truth and what was not was a decided addition to the whole plot line.

Aug 4, 2017, 6:06am Top

>125 majkia: Just spotted your review of Magician, and thought you were spot on.

Also your later review of Snowcrash. I don't think I am a huge cyberpunk fan, but this one was still very interesting (and I just loved the memo to government employees!)

Aug 6, 2017, 10:07pm Top

>143 majkia: BB taken for Children of Time! It sounds like the perfect kind of SF for me.

Aug 7, 2017, 7:12pm Top

52. The Forge of Darkness - Steven Erikson - ROOT,AlphakIT,

Rating: It's Malaz, of course it is terrific.

The First book of the prequel series, regarding just how things all began. Alas, not enough Anomander, but otherwise just as fascinating as the main series.

Edited: Aug 9, 2017, 6:43am Top

53. War for the Oaks - Emma Bull - TBR Challenge, ROOT


Rating: Music as Magic was great.

I had a few issues with this book, mainly I lost interest when we were delving into roadie lingo. But it certainly had its fair share of surprises and unexpected twists and turns.

Aug 11, 2017, 10:41pm Top

54. The Atrocity Archives - Charles Stross - ROOT, SFFKIT


What a terrifically fun read. Snarky, Imaginative, with lots of action, and unexpected twists and turns.

Aug 15, 2017, 5:44pm Top

55. Rosemary and Rue - Seanan McGuire ROOT, TBR Challenge


Rating: Lots more action than character building.

Well, she didn't leave the reader much time to ponder what the heck her character was up to as said character staggered from one disaster to the next right up to the end. I tend to like protags who actually use her brain rather than just let events control her. So.. It was okay, but not at all sure I want to continue with the series.

Aug 19, 2017, 8:36am Top

56. The Titian Committee - Iain Pears Series: Jonathan Argyll 2 - ROOT, RTT


Rating: Enjoyable and fun

I really enjoy Iain Pears, how he writes, what he writes. His titular hero Jonathan Argyll is a slightly distractible, mild art historian who tends to lose the thread periodically, not to mention manage to fall into a lagoon. The heroine of the series, Flavia, is a lovely Italian woman who is far more focused and determined to solve art related crimes, and who rather intimidates Jonathan who clearly doesn't see himself in her class. So they are friends, and part-time colleagues. And her boss is a hoot.

The mysteries themselves generally ramble, much like Jonathan, but the hints are there if you can pick them out from the distractions a bit quicker than can Jonathan.

Aug 22, 2017, 5:01pm Top

57. The Serpent of Venice - Christopher Moore


Rating: Silliness abounds

Christopher Moore plays fast and loose with Shakespeare in a mashup of The Merchant of Venice and Otello. As told by the Fool, Pocket of Dog Snogging. Oh, and there's a dragon!

Aug 29, 2017, 12:15pm Top

58. Good Omens - Pratchett/Gaiman ROOT, SFFKIT


The world is going to end next Saturday, but there are a few problems--the Antichrist has been misplaced, the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse ride motorcycles, and the representatives from heaven and hell decide that they like the human race.

Irreverent, cheeky, and imaginative. Who'd have thought the end of the world could have been planned quite this badly...

This will be a great role for David Tennant :)

Aug 29, 2017, 12:25pm Top

>153 majkia: Yes! I need to reread this. I read it in university but remember very little of it (this was before I started tracking books on Goodreads and LibraryThing).

Sep 3, 2017, 3:18pm Top

59. The Hangman's Daughter - Oliver Potzsch


Well written, well researched, but depressing as hell, what with torture and misery all around. I need something far more upbeat these days.

Sep 4, 2017, 7:17am Top

60. First Contact (In Her Name) - Michael Hicks


Rating: Interesting take on first contact, aliens and the clash of civilizations, one of which is very much superior to the other.

An explorer ship drops into a system and finds an alien planet. It doesn't go well.

Interesting concepts of what alien thinking might be, how humans might react and how we'd fare against far superior tech, forces and abilities.

Sep 4, 2017, 7:50pm Top

>153 majkia: - "This will be a great role for David Tennant :)"

Oooohhh... wouldn't that be lovely! I could listen to David Tennant all day. ;-)

Sep 5, 2017, 11:47am Top

As some of you may know, I live in Florida. So just a heads up that Mr Majkia, the puppers, and myself had planned on a 3 week RVing trek to the mountains beginning Thursday. We plan to go, and let the house survive or not as the fates decree..

Just hope everyone in Irma's path stays safe!

Sep 5, 2017, 1:04pm Top

>158 majkia: Have fun on your RV trip and stay safe. Hurricanes in your area, wildfires out of control in British Columbia, there is always danger. I'm glad you are not letting it determine your life.

You've had some great reading recently!

Sep 5, 2017, 1:09pm Top

Stay safe and enjoy your trip.

Sep 5, 2017, 1:23pm Top

Safe travels!

Sep 6, 2017, 2:41pm Top

Yes, be safe!

Sep 11, 2017, 3:48pm Top

Have a safe journey and a safe return!

Sep 13, 2017, 8:15am Top

Thanks everyone. We're fine if a bit wet here in western NC.

Sep 13, 2017, 8:15am Top

61. Urban Shaman - C.E. Murphy - The Walker Papers Book 1 TBR, ROOT


Gosh I like that cover.

Joanne should have guessed something was weird when she watched a bunch of hounds and a man on a horse chasing down a woman through the streets of Seattle. That was weird enough, but the fact she was watching this from an airplane on approach to land made it even weirder.

But Joanne had been on a fight for hours, her contacts were glued to her eyes and she was so exhausted she barely registered where she was.

Thus begins The Walker Papers, Urban Shaman the first book of the series.

I liked the character, enjoyed her growing awareness of powers and her problematic and skeptical attitude toward the whole thing. But since suddenly that rider was after her, too, well, she didn't have much choice about buying in to what was happening to her.

One of the better urban fantasies I've read for quite awhile.

Edited: Sep 16, 2017, 3:42pm Top

62. Steal the Sky - Megan E. O'Keefe - ROOT, SFFKIT


Rating: Fun in a Firefly sort of way.

Our hero: Rogue, thief, runaway noble.
Sidekick: mechanic, smart-ass, who gets our hero out of his worst scrapes. Usually.

The authorities close in and suddenly make a deal. Steal a ship for me, and I'll let you go.

However, the Warden isn't who we think. In fact she's a doppel, getting our hero in even worse trouble.

Imaginative use of steampunk and magic. The plot has lots of twists, what with the doppel (who can appear to be anyone) involved. And just what the heck has our hero on the run? And what secret is he hiding about himself?

Sep 17, 2017, 5:49pm Top

Really impressed by those of you who already have your 2018 threads begun. I've been going back and forth and forth and back for what feels like forever. When I think I have a plan, it seems too complicated to post it, or follow through on it. Sigh. I think I'm going to fall back on just monthly like this thread is. It seems easier to keep up with, and I've been horrible at keeping up with the flourishes I added to this plan.


Sep 18, 2017, 2:34am Top

>167 majkia: Do whatever works for you! :)

Sep 23, 2017, 4:21pm Top

63. Promise of Blood - Powder Mage #1


Rating: Exciting and unpredictable. Interesting world/magic building

First book in the Powder Mage trilogy, a Flintlock Fantasy outing, with lots of action, and well-drawn characters. The magic is complex and interesting, the action and plots drawing you in. Just who the good guys are can sometimes be unclear, which is all to the good.

Sep 24, 2017, 6:17am Top

64. Vampire Empire - The Greyfriar - Clay and Susan Griffith - SFFKIT, ROOT


Rating: Pretty good for a vampire book.

I'm not really big on vampire books, but since this one was also steampunk I thought it would be fun, and it was. Set on an alt Earth where vampires defeated humans and drove them down to the equatorial lands and now control the rest of the planet. Interesting world, some different sort of tweaks on the vampires, and the action pretty constant. A tad too much romance for me, but at least it didn't get too annoying until near the end.

Sep 29, 2017, 5:51pm Top

65. The Family Trade - Charles Stross - Merchant Princes 1 - ROOT


Rating: Fun take on what little girls dream of.

Adopted woman discovers she's a princess. Ah, but far from a Disney princess. Imaginative, smart-ass heroine, who grew up in NYC with an adoptive Jewish mother. She's not taking much lying down.

Oct 2, 2017, 2:27pm Top

66. Triggers - Robert J. Sawyer -- ROOT, SFFKIT


Rating: As is usual with Sawyer, the ideas are complex and intriguing.

When a memory experiment goes wrong, and the President of the US is involved, the Secret Service races to find out just who it is who is suddenly 'linked' to the President's memories, and has access to every secret of the US government.

A wide cast of characters, an attempted assassination, possible treason, and the question of just who can be trusted complicate the plot. I'll be thinking about the implications for awhile yet.

Oct 3, 2017, 7:15am Top

Archangel - Sharon Shinn -- TBR, AlphaKIT, ROOT, DNF

Rating: Ugh. DNF

When a book starts out with God telling someone there is only one woman he may marry, and to find her, I know I'm in trouble. I despise the whole 'there is only one woman in the world for you, your soul mate' meme.

Counted only as a ROOT

Oct 4, 2017, 1:17pm Top

>173 majkia: I've read and enjoyed several books by Sharon Shinn, but you've definitely convinced me that this is one I can skip!

Oct 7, 2017, 7:18am Top

>174 christina_reads: I might try something else of hers. Her writing was enjoyable, I just am not a romance lover.

Oct 7, 2017, 7:18am Top

67. The Heart of Matter - Evan Currie - Odyssey One Book 2 - ROOT


Rating: Interesting thought experiment on tactics in space battles with aliens

If you like tactics, and like the idea of extrapolating it into space, this book is for you. Otherwise, probably not. I found it pretty interesting. The aliens are suitably opaque with their motives known but not much else. The why of their attacks still not understood.

I also enjoy the idea that we have lost colonies out in space, well, humanity does.

Oct 8, 2017, 8:34pm Top

68. A Darker Shade of Magic - V.E. Schwab - Shades of Magic 1 - ROOT, RandomCAT, AlphaKIT


Rating: Really fun read with characters you can't help but cheer for.

What with a hurricane barreling down on us, and the better half out of town, I just kept reading, laughing and enjoying this book.

Our hero, Kell, is a magician who can travel between dimensions. Multiple Londons, differing situations in each, yet all tied together somehow. Kell manages to run afoul of a thief, Delilah, who more or less overwhelms him with stubbornness and logic and ends up traveling across dimensions along with him. Between the two of them, they manage to create mayhem wherever they go. And along the way, attempt to foil several evil plots.

Oct 9, 2017, 1:19am Top

>177 majkia: Good to hear that you enjoyed A Darker Shade of Magic as I recently picked up all three books of the trilogy for my Kindle. I couldn't resist the reduced price.

Oct 9, 2017, 7:38am Top

>176 majkia: I think you'll like them!

Oct 9, 2017, 12:34pm Top

69. Magic Bites - Ilona Andrews - TBR, ROOT, AlphaKIT


Rating: Complex world-building, who-dunnit plot, and interesting characters.

It took me awhile to grow to appreciate this book. At first I kept negatively comparing it to Urban Shaman but finally decided it was different enough that the comparison wasn't entirely valid.

The world-building is quite complex and imaginative. The plot was pretty convoluted and had me guessing wrong several times. And altho it was a bit more violent and bloody than I generally like, the story grew on me, especially as I met some characters I really came to care about.

I'll probably read at least the next in the series, and decide if I'm going to read the rest after that.

Oct 9, 2017, 10:14pm Top

>177 majkia: I'm happy to see your positive review, as this is the next book up for a local SFF book club that I participate in. I'm looking forward to reading it.

Oct 9, 2017, 10:43pm Top

>181 mathgirl40: I think you'll like it!

Oct 11, 2017, 1:26pm Top

70. The Dragon's Path - Daniel Abraham - ROOT, AlphaKIT


Rating: Sword and Sorcery done well.

Intricate plot with intriguing characters. Dragons gone, but a mysterious goddess seems to be on overwatch duty as the various races of Antea struggle for power, money and conquest.

Oct 12, 2017, 11:21am Top

>183 majkia: I really should get around to reading something of his own work. Really enjoyed the Expanse books under the collaborative moniker of James S. A. Corey that I've read so far and keep hearing good things about his solo work. One of these days...

Oct 13, 2017, 5:22pm Top

71. The King's Blood - Daniel Abraham - Dagger and Coin #2 - ROOT, AlphaKIt


Rating: Okay, on a roll. Continuing on immediately to Book 3 which really tells you all you need to know...

Oct 17, 2017, 11:26am Top

72. The Tyrant's Law - Daniel Abraham - Dagger and Coin #3 - AlphaKIT


Rating: Wow.

What I love about this series, is that the monster of the series, isn't a monster at all. He's likeable, other than the fact that he's a tyrant, who murders people with hardly a thought. Yet, personally, he's flawed and unsure of himself, and doubts himself. And yet he enslaves and murders people without a thought.

I've always hated bad guys who are bad in every way because that just doesn't seem realistic. Someone loved them once, after all. They love someone, surely.

Also, that ending! It's killing me to stop reading the series given how this one ends, but, well, I am going to take a slight break and then read the last two books of the series soon.

Oct 19, 2017, 8:41am Top

73. The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches - Alan Bradley - Flavia De Luce #6

Ah Flavia, love her or hate her she's quite the prodigy. In this episode we learn of her mother's death on a hiking expedition and Flavia grows up a good deal. Can't wait to read the next episode and Flavia's soon to be very much changed circumstances.

And yes, now back to The Dagger and the Coin series.

Oct 23, 2017, 2:02pm Top

>187 majkia: I love Flavia but found the next one is the series to be disappointing. I hope Bradley gets his mojo back.

Oct 23, 2017, 4:23pm Top

74. The Widow's House - Daniel Abraham - Dagger and Coin #4


Rating: The chessmen move across the board attempting to find a way to end what seems to be unending warfare. A dragon seems to be the last best hope. But then things seldom go as expected in this complex series. Last book next!

Oct 23, 2017, 4:23pm Top

>188 VivienneR: Oh dear! Me too then!

Oct 27, 2017, 1:31pm Top

75. The Spider's War - Daniel Abraham Last in the Dagger and the Coin Series - AlphaKIT


Rating: Pretty impressive wrapup to an really interesting series.

Hmm. What to say. I loved: Yardam. The fact that banking is used as a weapon. Pirates! "Your soul is a circle." Conversations between Yardam and Michael Weston. Kit. The players. The fact that the Big Bad is presented as a human being with immense flaws but is still loved by some despite them.

For an epic fantasy series, Sword and Magic series, it is remarkably complex in its presentation of war and what war does to people, nations, hope, and the amount of misery caused by the decisions of only a few. I also liked the take on religion as seen as justification for endless, mindless war. Ignore everything but the belief you are told to accept, reject your own mind, intelligence and experience. Listen to my voice.

Highly recommended.

Oct 30, 2017, 4:05pm Top

76. The Diabolical Miss Hyde - Viola Carr #1 in the Electric Empire - ROOT, AlphaKIT, RandomCAT


Fairly predictable steampunk. A awfully romance-y for my tastes but YMMY. The last third or so of the book was much better, but still kept hitting all the expected buttons for steampunk.

Nov 3, 2017, 4:12pm Top

Writing 'Puff's Detective Agency' - so reading is not a priority for the rest of November. :)

Nov 3, 2017, 11:40pm Top

Good luck with your writing!

Nov 4, 2017, 2:08pm Top

77. The Severed Streets - Paul Cornell - #2 in The Shadow Police series - ROOT


Rating: A Bit Confusing

Lots of horror, lots of supernatural happenings, and a good entry to the series. But as above, I did find it at times a bit confusing.

Nov 4, 2017, 8:55pm Top

- Singer from the Sea - Sheri Tepper - DNF


Right now I'm in no mood whatsoever to read books about women being abused in the name of religion or convention or whatever and the women just accepting the shit that's doled out to them.

Nov 10, 2017, 2:35pm Top

Since I'm doing NaNoWriMo and not writing a lot, I thought I'd stick a pretty picture here. Taken a couple of days ago. We are camping on Lake Seminole on the Florida/Georgia line

Nov 10, 2017, 5:39pm Top

What a gorgeous picture!

Nov 12, 2017, 11:04am Top

Stopping by to get caught up. Great reviews and yes, I took a BB for the Carr book. I am such a sucker for Steampunk, even if the story is a predicatable one. Sometimes, predictable is just what I need after a busy work day.

Good luck with NaNoWriMo!

Nov 13, 2017, 12:44pm Top

>177 majkia: I thoroughly enjoyed this audiobook too! I'm waiting to see if No. 2 ever shows up on our library's Overdrive.

Best of luck with NaNoWriMo. I've tried three times and haven't made it past the middle point of any of the books. Hope you have better persistence than I did.

Nov 13, 2017, 4:08pm Top

78. The Quiller Memorandum - Adam Hall - AlphaKIT, ROOT

Ratiing: Ah, the good old days of spies and when Nazis and Russians were our enemies.

I confess I enjoy this sort of thing because when I first joined the Air Force in 1971 I got lectured regularly about all the spies after our secrets.

Pretty solid for the field, and thankfully not full of sexy spies who have women falling all over them.

79. The Six of Crows - Leigh Bardugo - First in series Six of Crows.

Rating: Hrumph. Major threads left a dangle. I do dislike books without an ending.

Other than the disappointing ending, because it forces you to hurry up to read the next book, I did enjoy a good heist story, with some interestingly broken young folks dealing with a pretty awful dystopian existence.

Nov 13, 2017, 4:09pm Top

>200 mamzel: - I hope it shows up for you!

>199 lkernagh: - Thanks. My imagination is drying up, but I'm getting words down so I guess that's good.

>198 DeltaQueen50: This is a beautiful RV park. Just about every sunset is glorious.

Nov 13, 2017, 4:52pm Top

>201 majkia: Glad to see The Quiller Memorandum gets a good rating! I picked up a copy in Hay-on-Wye and am looking forward to reading it :)

Nov 15, 2017, 3:15pm Top

>201 majkia: I can see why the ending of Six of Crows would annoy you if you didn't have Crooked Kingdom on hand immediately! But I'm glad you enjoyed the heist!

Nov 15, 2017, 3:46pm Top

You're making great project on your NaNoproject. Keep up the good work!

Nov 18, 2017, 2:00pm Top

81. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - Stieg Larsson - Millenium 1 - AlphaKIT, ROOT from 2009

Finally got around to this one. I was surprised at how closely the English movie kept to the book.

The setting really helped to set the mood, true for the Nordic mystery genre, I guess. The plot was complex and the characters were well-drawn with depth and an obvious care.

As an aside, I want to bitch about the use of 'GIRL' in titles. I hates it. Hates it! It infantilizes women, even while it sexualizes girls. Publishing industry: stop it!

Nov 18, 2017, 2:53pm Top

>206 majkia:, I haven't gotten around to the book or movie yet, but I have to ask--does this mean the girl in the title isn't of the age we might use normally with 'girl'? I guess, because of the title, I'd always assumed the title referenced someone around 16 or 17. I guess I'm not sure where my cut-off is, in terms of patience for use of the word 'girl', but it definitely led me to think the book was about a teen, maybe 19 at the oldest?!

Edited: Nov 18, 2017, 4:16pm Top

>207 whitewavedarling: She's 24, so definitely not a 'girl'. And VERY capable.

Nov 18, 2017, 4:25pm Top

>208 majkia:, Heavens--in that case, yep, 'girl' would probably annoy me every time I looked at the book!

Nov 19, 2017, 3:56pm Top

>206 majkia: - Good rant!

Nov 20, 2017, 12:07pm Top

82. Six Wakes - Mur Lafferty - AlphaKIT


Rating: Impressive!

Ostensibly, this is a locked-room murder mystery. In reality it is a pretty deep dive into philosophy - of life, of what life is, of what is really important, and of what you choose to do with that life.

It's the story of a generation ship, where the only crew awake are six clones. The story begins as the clones are awoken amidst carnage. Their previous clones have all been murdered. Blood and other fluids are floating all over the room. All over the ship. And the clones have no memories of what happened, who killed them, why it happened, and not much of an idea what to do about it all. Their AI computer has been hacked and is inaccessible.

Although there is a lot of action, there is also a lot of pretty deep thought on the implications of cloning, of AIs, of betrayal, revenge and finding a way to live with past actions you cannot undo, no matter how much you might wish to do so.

Nov 22, 2017, 2:36pm Top

>206 majkia: >207 whitewavedarling: I think I've shared this on LT before, but I can't remember with whom, so I apologize if you've already seen this! But it's a very interesting article on the trend of using "girl" in book titles to refer to a grown woman: http://lithub.com/what-does-it-mean-when-we-call-women-girls/. (Warning: spoilers for lots of these books, including Gone Girl.)

Nov 22, 2017, 5:24pm Top

>212 christina_reads:, I think I had come across that article somewhere, though I think I found it via twitter (which is, admittedly, how I come across most interesting articles I read). When it comes to fiction, though, unless there's a really good reason/quote from a book that suggests the 'girl' phrasing in the title, I don't know... Of course, it may just be the part of me that fled academia which feels like articles like this are over-thinking things, or looking at all books like they're written for high school English teachers rather than the general reader who loves books, but I have to admit that that's my reaction, interesting as it is. (But, then, I fled academia for a reason lol.) Nevertheless, thanks for sharing it here and reminding me of the argument :)

Nov 22, 2017, 9:21pm Top

>211 majkia: I thought Six Wakes was terrific! I'd never heard of Mur Lafferty but someone in my SFF book club chose this book and I'm so glad she did. Glad to see you liked it too.

Nov 22, 2017, 9:30pm Top

>213 whitewavedarling: Oh, I'm definitely not saying I agree with the article or disagree with you! But I do think the arguments on both sides of the question are fascinating.

Nov 23, 2017, 6:18am Top

>214 mathgirl40: I'd never heard of her either. But I really really enjoyed this one. My kind of Sci Fi all the way.

Nov 27, 2017, 7:40am Top

82. Marque and Reprisal - Elizabeth Moon - Vatta's War 2 - ROOT

Rating: Fun and couldn't putdownable.

'The whole trick in moving on a hull without safety lines, the instructor had said, is not to do it in the first place.' But of course Ky ended up doing just that.

Kylara Vata, thrown out of her planet's military academy, had just endured her first exposure to being a trading captain in her family's trading company. It hadn't gone that well, not entirely because of her, but it certainly had given her experience.

This time out, she's on an old tug of a ship, slow, old, desperately in need of an upgrade, when she learns that her family is being targeted and that Vatta ships across the known worlds are being targeted.

So, her new mission: the hell with trading. Survive.

So much fun. She's a hoot, her friends are as well, and she goes from one crisis to another barely holding it together. And, secretly, loving every dangerous moment of this life.

Nov 27, 2017, 2:47pm Top

83. The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man - Mark Hodder


Rating: A bit confusing, but certainly an interesting alt universe.

Richard Francis Burton is the king's agent, and he finds himself dealing with dead people walking and a revolt of the common man. London is burning.

Imaginative, but I though the plot a bit too convoluted. Still, I'll read the next one. Especially after the 'Volkswagen Beetle'.

Nov 27, 2017, 3:22pm Top

Congrats on completing your NaNoWriMo book! I trust you had fun.

Dec 2, 2017, 7:26pm Top

>219 mamzel: Thanks. And I did have fun. Puff the magic dragon is a lot of fun. :)

Dec 2, 2017, 7:26pm Top

84. Range of Ghosts - Elizabeth Bear- ROOT, TBR Challenge

Rating: Meh

This one, unlike most of Bear's works, never really appealed to me. I won't be continuing on in this series.

Edited: Dec 3, 2017, 9:06am Top

Favorite Books of 2017: (in no particular order and subject to an addition through end of December)

Waking the Moon - Elizabeth Hand
The Steerswoman - Rosemary Kirstein
A Darker Shade of Magic - V.E. Schwab
Dagger and Coin series - Daniel Abraham
Behind the Throne - K. B. Wagers
Six Wakes - Mur LAfferty
We Are Legion (We Are Bob) Dennis E. Taylor
Children of Time - Adrian Tchaikovsky
Uprooted - Naomi Novik
The Red Knight - Miles Cameron

Dec 6, 2017, 12:17pm Top

84. The Bernini Bust - Iain Pears - Jonathan Argyll 3


Rating: Art, heists, murder, museum misbehaving, millionaires shown up, what's not to love!

I enjoy this series a lot. the Characters, Flavia and Jonathan are both a hoot, the art is interesting, and the murders are often quite well plotted. And generally they are running around Italy however this time they take their act to L.A. which suffers as a consequence. FTW!

Dec 6, 2017, 1:04pm Top

>84 majkia: That is such an intriguing cover!

Edited: Dec 10, 2017, 5:41pm Top

We're RVing again. Even in the cold. At Eastbank Campground just over the Georgia line, on the east side of Lake Seminole.

Dec 10, 2017, 6:08pm Top

>225 majkia: That does look a little chilly but makes the fire look very inviting. Enjoy.

Dec 10, 2017, 6:56pm Top

Cold weather is the best! The campfire and an outdoor breakfast make it worthwhile. Looks gorgeous!

Dec 12, 2017, 1:41pm Top

85. Morning Star - Pierce Brown - last of the Red Rising Trilogy - ROOT


Rating: Major wow factor. Satisfying and twisty ending.

I listened to the audiobooks read by Tim Gerard Reynolds. And he did a fabulous job throughout the trilogy.

Revolution! Red Rising, based loosely on the Irish Rebellion, tells the tale of Darrow, born a Red, a downtrodden section of a heavily structured society, is brought into a rebellion. He's transformed and sculpted into a Gold, a member of the ruling class. This book is the last of the trilogy that follows his attempts to lead his fellow Reds and other downtrodden colors against the ruling Golds.

Lots of action, space battles, treachery, loyalty, more and more secrets opened to all. Darrow and his friends are finally ready to move against their oppressors. Can they actually succeed? And who can they trust?

Dec 12, 2017, 4:45pm Top

>228 majkia: It's a really good trilogy with a satisfying conclusion. Not too many surprises despite the many twists as you can see most of them coming from afar. He's started a new trilogy set 10 years after this one with the first book, Iron Gold, being available from the middle of next month.

Dec 12, 2017, 9:00pm Top

>229 AHS-Wolfy: Agreed. Most of the twists I'd at least partly guessed at, but still it came together a bit differently than I'd guessed.

I've got Iron Gold on my wishlist. :) I thought the trilogy amazingly good.

Dec 12, 2017, 9:45pm Top

>225 majkia: - Fabulous picture! Nothing wrong with RVing in the colder months when you have the gear to do so. Even better, you probably have your choice of prime locations to setup.... like the one in your picture.

Dec 13, 2017, 6:41am Top

>231 lkernagh: Very true. We pretty much have the campground to ourselves.

Dec 20, 2017, 4:09am Top

86. Daughter of the Forest - Juliet Marillier First of Sevenwaters series - ROOT, TBR, AlphaKIT

Rating: emotionally taxing, well written

Dec 20, 2017, 9:09am Top

>86 majkia:, It was an emotional read--did you enjoy it, or was it too much? I haven't gotten to the second one yet, Son of the Shadows, though I plan to sooner than later.

Edited: Dec 20, 2017, 9:11am Top

>234 whitewavedarling: It had a lot of triggers for me, so it felt way too close to home in some instances.

ETA: despite that I enjoyed it, but not planning to put myself through that again.

Dec 20, 2017, 9:15am Top

>235 majkia:, Fair enough. Now I'm glad it was on your radar before I glowed over it last month--I would have felt guilty if you'd picked it up after a bb from my thread! I think I just stall out on series when I pick up book 2 and realize it's about different characters, and that's why I haven't picked up the second one yet--I like series that stay closer in time/character most, I suppose.

Dec 20, 2017, 9:17am Top

>235 majkia: Ah. Yes, when I come to care about a character I want their presence to continue in a series also. Bummer that it is distant to the first.

Dec 21, 2017, 7:44am Top

Wishing all who celebrate a Blessed/Happy Yule and Solstice!

Dec 23, 2017, 8:02pm Top

Hi Jean, stopping by to wish you and your loved ones peace, joy and happiness this holiday season and for 2018!

Dec 25, 2017, 6:52am Top

To all who celebrate:

Dec 25, 2017, 8:41am Top

SantaThing Book Haul:

Thanks to my great Santa and to all the elves.

Dec 25, 2017, 10:34am Top

Dec 25, 2017, 2:16pm Top

Great haul!

Dec 27, 2017, 9:52am Top

89. Engaging the Enemy - Elizabeth Moon - Vatta's War 3 - ROOT

Rating: Ky is determined, and a bit crazy and fun as heck.

“We could just do something stupid again, wait for them to pounce, and then surprise them by suddenly becoming brilliant,” Martin said. That got a chuckle.

I love the characters and the tangled familial emotions and ties and obligations. The story is interesting and I enjoy the space battles and tactics.

Between Ky and Aunt Grace, the pirates and bad guys better run.

Dec 30, 2017, 2:32pm Top

89. Mistborn: The Final Empire - Brandon Sanderson ROOT from 2010


Rating: Meh. Maybe it was the lousy narrator, as I listened to the audio version. But I thought it was pretty boring throughout most of it. Not a fan.

Not really much else to say about this, other than I'm glad it's over and I can move on to something I'll enjoy more.

Group: 2017 Category Challenge

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