Majkia Tours the 'Verse and Reads
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The Grand Tour begins at Persephone, the Gateway to the 'Verse. Look out for that troublemaker Captain Tightpants. You never know where he and his Serenity ship are, or what they are up to!
6. Luna: New Moon - Ian McDonald - Downpour
7. Theft of Swords- M.J. Sullivan
8. Malice - John Gwynne
9. A Man of Some Repute - Elizabeth Edmondson
Actual ROOTS read
1. Fellowship of Fear - Aaron Elkins - ROOT from 2012
2. Trading in Danger - Elizabeth Moon - ROOT from 2013
3. Elantris - Brandon Sanderson - ROOT from 2013
4. Into the Black (Odyssey One) - Evan Currie - ROOT from 2014
5. Miss Buncle's Book - D.E. Stevenson - ROOT from 2014
6. The Atlantis Gene - A.G. Riddle - ROOT from 2014
7. Dark Fire - C.J. Sansom - ROOT from 2014
8. The Steerswoman - Rosemary Kirstein - ROOT from 2014
9. Murder at Sissingham Hall - Clara Benson - ROOT from 2014
1. The Atlantis Plague - ROOT from 2014 - ROOTed because Book 1 of the series was so horrible.
I will definitely keep my eyes peeled for that troublemaker. *heart-eyes emoji*
Have a great reading year!
I've just started Dark Fire and I've got some D.E. Stevensons on my list too. Good luck, it's invigorating to have a clean slate!
I think I see Captain Tightpants over there by the buffet table...but how will we know unless we question it??
I have Trading with Danger on my short list for this month as well! Looking forward to seeing your thoughts.
Your first post is very colour coordinated. Good luck with your ROOTing in 2017.
1. Fellowship of Fear Aaron Elkins - ROOT from 2012
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.
Good to see you here again! And you've got one ROOT under your belt already, well done!
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.
Two ROOTs done already. That's really good. I don't even have one done yet.
>13 majkia:, I am definitely moving this one up on the TBR pile for this month, then! I am reading Madeline Albright's Prague Winter in advance of a brief weekend in Prague later this month, but it is pretty heavy reading for directly before bed, so I've been interspersing it with more lighthearted reads - sounds like I know which one to pick up when I finish the current bedtime read!
>17 Caramellunacy: I was in Prague in August. What a lovely city.
I hope you enjoy Ky Vatta's adventures!
Oh yes, Prague is lovely, I'm very jealous! It's 20 years since I went there - maybe I should go again soon.
3. Elantris - Brandon Sanderson - 3 stars
ROOT, SFFKIT, Pick&Mix Challenge, AlphaKIT
I thought I'd like this book more than I did. I liked the world building, I liked the characters a lot, but for my taste there was way too much religion or at least way too much religion that tended to preach at the reader.
I finished it because I cared about the characters enough to keep going.
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.
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!
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?
8. 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 :
I like Shardlake and I really enjoyed Barak and his development and change throughout the novel.
9. 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.
10. 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.
11. 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.
The Grand Tour took a slight dip into alt worlds this month. Hold on!
Keep your familiars under control, people!
5. Lives of Tao - Westley Chu
ROOTs Actually Read
1. Luna: New Moon - Ian McDonald
2. Where Shadows Dance - C.S. Harris
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. Emperor: 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. The Witches of Lychford - Paul Cornell
Where Shadows Dance - C.S. Harris - 4 stars
- - 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
>33 majkia: I really like this series but I've let it lag behind. Your post is nudging me to get back to it!
>34 clue: I didn't expect to like it as much as I do. And I think it keeps getting better.
13. Sorcerer's Legacy - Janny Wurts - 3.5 stars - ROOT from 2014
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.
14. 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.
15. 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.
16. 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.
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.
17. Behind the Throne - K.B. Wagers - ROOT, SFFKIT, AlphaKIT,
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.
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.
>43 majkia: I've been hearing a lot of good things about this book! Seems there's quite the buzz about it at the moment!
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.
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 -
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
5 male authors/ 5 female authors
1 historical fiction
1 period mystery
4 sci fi
Planets, alas, don't last forever! Have a backup plan!
Planning for March:
4. Forge of Darkness - Steven Erikson
5. Hunted - Kevin Hearne
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
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.
21. The Likeness - Tana French (Dublin Murder Squad 2) ROOT from 2014
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.
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.
Touring a more personal 'verse, 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!
23. 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.
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.
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.
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....
Icy cold envelopes you on Hoth, but alas, the cold didn't save the Rebel Alliance from being found by the Empire!
3. Devices and Desires - K.J. Parker
4. The Titian Committee - Ian Pears
7. The Dragonbone Chair - Tad Williams
1. Cemetery Dance - Douglas Preston/Lincoln Child - Pendergast 9 - ROOT, AlphaKIT
2. Deryni Rising - Katherine Kurtz - ROOT, TBR Challenge, AlphaKIT
3. The Sunrise Lands - S.M. Stirling - ROOT, SFFKIT
4. Speaking From Among the Bones - Alan Bradley - Random
5. The Dragons of Dorcastle - Jack Campbell - Alpha, ROOT
6. Inda - Sherwood Smith - Alpha, ROOT, TBR Challenge
7. The House at Riverton - Kate Morton - RTT, ROOT
8. Discount Armageddon - Seanan McGuire - Alpha, ROOT
Camping at Fort Pickens Campground near Pensacola FL, about 40 miles from home. We'll be here two weeks.
Home from home, dogs and all - an ideal setting for reading a book or twelve!
What a beautiful mobile home, I'm sure you have some great adventures!
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.
Hi, Jean, Skimming your thread after being absent for some weeks. Lots of books read and you bought an awesome vehicle! Enjoy both to the fullest.
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.
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.
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.
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.
You're fairly breezing your way through your reading! A good eclectic mix too. I don't read fantasy fiction so it's been a real eye opener for me to see how popular it is on LT and I enjoy reading the reviews!
>75 floremolla: Thanks! I love that about LT, that there are so many varied interests represented by folks in the talk threads!
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.
>75 floremolla: I like several genres in books. Fantasy is my first love but I also love a good thriller or romance.
>78 connie53: I don't think fantasy wasn't 'a thing' when I was a young adult/adult in the seventies/eighties - or I didn't really encounter it as a genre, though I liked sci-fi. I don't really see me getting into it at this stage in life, but you never know! :))
>79 floremolla: Well I'm 64 now and somehow I read fantasy and sci-fi when I was about 20 next to romance and thrillers. But I really went for fantasy when I read Een boosaardig sprookje by Raymond Feist. I bought every fantasy book I could find in a very short time. I still have to read some of them ;-))
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.
>81 majkia: I just finished re-reading this, after almost thirty years, and was happy to see it hasn't lost its charm. I'm glad you liked it, too.
I was thinking of re-reading that book too. I only read this first book and want to read the series for the group read.
35 - 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.
>84 majkia: I'm reading the second book now and feel the same way, Jean. The third book is not translated, but I don't think I want to read it anyway. And I decided that before I read your comment.
36. 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.
37. 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.
38. 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.
>89 avanders: I read the first book a few years ago, so it wil be a re-read for me. But happy to do so.
39. Equal Rites - Terry Pratchett - ROOT, AlphaKIT . Rating: FUN
40. 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.
41.The Magician's Guild - Trudi Canavan - The Black Magician Trilogy 1 - TBR Challenge, ROOT, SFFKIT
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.
Wow, 41/50 - at this rate you might reach your ROOT goal before we're halfway through the year!
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.
>95 floremolla: Yeah, I'm supposed to be reading library books, but instead I am, as usual, reading my owned ones. :)
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.
44. Ninefox Gambit - yoon Ha Lee ROOT, AlphaKIT, SFFKIT
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!
45. 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
46. 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.
47. 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.
48. 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.
49. 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.
>105 majkia: I have these books to, but have not read one yet.
50. 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.
Congratulations on reaching #50! Do you still have more ROOTs to go?
Thanks y'all! I'm delighted that now I can ease up a bit on focusing on ROOTs.
51. The Atrocity Archives - Charles Stross - ROOT, SFFKIT
What a terrifically fun read. Snarky, Imaginative, with lots of action, and unexpected twists and turns.
52. 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.
53. 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.
54. 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!
55. 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 :)
56, 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.
57. 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.
Good to see you charging ahead with your reading - your Grand Tour has taken you somewhat farther than anticipated!
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!
>125 floremolla: hope you're well out of danger, wherever you're going - take care!
>125 floremolla: good luck, stay safe, and I hope your house is there when you get back! I can't imagine what being in the path of a hurricane feels like.
Yikes! I hope you steer clear of danger and that the house is waiting for you!
Ohh, I was wondering if any of the ROOTers live in the path of Irma! I hope the house is still there when you return, stay safe!
58. 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.
Thanks for the kindness everyone. We're fine if a bit wet here in NC. We're heading to Asheville Sunday for a week, then heading toward home after that.
59. 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?
60. 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.
61. 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.
62. 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.
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.
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.
64. 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.
65. 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.
66. 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.
67. 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.
68. 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.
69. 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...
70. 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.
Writing 'Puff's Detective Agency' - so reading is not a priority for the rest of November. :)
>146 clue: Good luck! I admire the discipline of everyone who participates in NaNoWriMo, I'm pretty sure I couldn't do it!
71. 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.
- 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.
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
>151 Jackie_K: Oh wow, that looks absolutely stunning! I hope your beautiful surroundings provide you with lots of inspiration for writing, and you also have a restful break.
I hope it helps, Jean. It should be very inspiring for anything you want yo do. Even if it's watching this beautiful scene.
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.
75. 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!
>157 Henrik_Madsen: Absolutely agree on the use of 'girl' when talking about women. It is a not so subtle way of saying women are inferior to men.
Stieg Larsson would probably have been annoyed by it since he considered himself a feminist. The Swedish title is "Män som hatar kvinnor" (Men who hate women) so the English title it's not even an accurate translation but something made up by the publisher.
>158 majkia: Oh thanks for telling me that! I wondered what the original title was and indeed figured it was the publisher who dunnit. And I can believe he'd be annoyed too.
>157 Henrik_Madsen: >158 majkia: you might not be surprised to learn that someone (a woman!) has done some research into the phenomenon of books with 'girl' in the title - interesting reading, and I agree, if equality training recommends that females over 16 should be referred to as women in the workplace, I'd like to see that extended to other contexts.
>161 Henrik_Madsen: And it's not just the Dutch title. As far as I could tell the French, Spanish and Italian edition are also precise translations. Only the English and the German (Verblendung - where did that come from?) editions have chosen to make up new titles.
>162 MissWatson: In Germany, it was the decision of the marketing division, much criticised.
78. 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.
>164 Caramellunacy:, I do love spending time with Ky. I may have to pull that series down for a re-read as they are great fun.
>165 majkia: The books really are great fun. She's not afraid to think out of the box, er, ship, that's for sure. :)
79. The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man - Mark Hodder - Burton and Swinbourne #2 - ROOT, SFFKIT
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'.
80. Range of Ghosts - Elizabeth Bear- ROOT, TBR Challenge
This one, unlike most of Bear's works, never really appealed to me. I won't be continuing on in this series.
81. 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!
82. 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?
>170 rabbitprincess: Red Rising is loosely based on the Irish Rebellion? How have I never heard that before?! I shall have to investigate.
83. Daughter of the Forest - Juliet Marillier First of Sevenwaters series - ROOT, TBR, AlphaKIT
Rating: emotionally taxing, well written
>174 MissWatson: thank you for your kind wishes and hope you have a happy Yule/Solstice too!
84. Engaging the Enemy - Elizabeth Moon - Vatta's War 3 - ROOT from 2013
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.
85. 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.
That's the last ROOT for the year. Happy New Year. See you all on the other side.
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