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reading_fox reads more about foxes in 2017

The Green Dragon

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Jan 5, 2017, 12:36pm Top

Well maybe I'll read more about foxes. I've managed Hawks, badgers and Otters in the last couple of years, so maybe there's a Fox somewhere to come. Meanwhile I'll post my abbreviated comments here. There will be (mostly) full reviews on each work within a day or two of me finishing them.

The year started with murder of Crows one of several books by that name, this one being the 2nd of the Others series of urban fantasies. Our clairvoyant Meg is settled in her Others' courtyard but starts to get premonition about the deaths of some of the Crows (got the pun yet?) and discovers that War is brewing. Never a good option when humans are so badly out powered by the Others.

Jan 5, 2017, 1:53pm Top

>1 reading_fox: I have been meaning to try this series and just haven't gotten around to it yet. Are you liking it?

Jan 5, 2017, 2:50pm Top

Happy New Year

Jan 5, 2017, 5:20pm Top

>2 Narilka: yes, so far. The author hasn't quite got the distinction between a werewolf, a dog and a human, all sorted out, especially in the first book, but it is well written, has good characters and is generally an enjoyable read. The other failing is the concept that humans can establish nearly all of the technology we're used to by using only a tiny fraction of the resources we've had available... it's not a major problem but it does jolt the disbelief suspension sometimes.

Edited: Jan 6, 2017, 5:29am Top

Happy new year! I hope it brings you some great reading!

>2 Narilka:, >4 reading_fox: I'm really enjoying this series too, though with the same caveats as reading_fox. I love the characters especially all the different Others that Meg gets to know. The villains aren't very nuanced but their motivations ring true.

Jan 6, 2017, 7:36am Top

Happy New Year!!
May it be filled with joy and great reads.

Jan 7, 2017, 2:29pm Top

And then a quick read of Neverwhere - Thanks Sanatathing!

I've never really read much of Gaiman, he verges a bit too much into graphic novels for my taste. Neverwhere is his first novel and it teeters on a tricky balance between YA and full fantasy, never really quite landing in either. This is thin and fast paced, a journey of exploration of London Below. Fun and inventive, but I need more than just passing wonders to fully enjoy a book.

Jan 13, 2017, 6:19am Top

A long way to a small angry planet because several other people here kept mentioning it. It's good, and I'd heartily recommend it to everyone else. Character driven SF as a small crew make a long voyage and have some encounters along the way - testing all of their abilities

Jan 13, 2017, 2:15pm Top

>8 reading_fox: All the talk about that lately is making me think I should reread it sometime soon.

Jan 13, 2017, 10:21pm Top

>8 reading_fox: I'm glad you enjoyed it!

>9 SylviaC: I think you were one of the first people I remember mentioning it.

Edited: Jan 23, 2017, 4:56am Top

Behind the throne Another bullet from here somewhere. Enjoyed this, although I'm not sure creating a matriarchy made any difference it still came across very one sided, and lacking much femininity - although maybe that was the point.

kindness goes unpunished - the third Walt Longmore. I appear to have skipped the 2nd one. Walt goes to a big city, but is better off in the countryside. His daughter's involved.

The Immortals' War Another ER title from Leah. I should just buy all her books. Fun, fast chinese urban fantasy with cool motorbike couriers. We all have to face the consequences of choices between family, tradition, life and romance.

ETA - And it contains foxes, well Kitsume which are traditionally fox-like spirits, not the first appearance in Cutter's works.

Jan 22, 2017, 6:25am Top

The other ER title White death was just rubbish, an unbelievable arctic murder story, with bonus beasties and poor writing.

Jan 23, 2017, 11:56am Top

Bashed through a natural history of dragons probably not doing proper justice to it. Great fun, even though I normally detest faux-victoria. A young girl grows up into an improper informal scientists and takes her first expedition abroad, but becomes entangled in the local politics. Really well written and enjoyable.

Jan 24, 2017, 9:50am Top

>13 reading_fox: This is on my tbr pile, so I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it.

Jan 27, 2017, 11:59am Top

The girl with all the gifts. One of the better zombie books out there for those who like dystopia and post-apocalyptic fiction. I found it quite creepy in many places. Good choice form Santathing!

Jan 27, 2017, 1:55pm Top

>15 reading_fox: Cool! It's on my wish list.

Jan 27, 2017, 4:30pm Top

>15 reading_fox: I read that one about a year ago and liked it pretty well too. I thought it had a lot of unique aspects which made it more fun as compared to the typical monster-apocalypse type story. I’m normally not terribly crazy for those types of stories. I did think it got a bit tedious in the middle, but I thought the beginning was great and the ending was pretty good.

Jan 28, 2017, 10:49am Top

>15 reading_fox: Hi r_f and happy reading this year! Cheerily and reassuringly, I guess, you and I continue to have predictably varying responses to the same books. But we agree on CJC!

Jan 28, 2017, 4:45pm Top

>18 stellarexplorer: LOL. thanks. Which ones didn't you like?

Mars Inc not one of Bova's best. He's always been a bit hit and miss, with somewhat thin characters, but this is less good than even that. A business man sleeps his way around, and fundraises a mission to mars.

Jan 28, 2017, 6:37pm Top

>15 reading_fox:

But agree with LOL! :)

Jan 30, 2017, 6:46am Top

>15 reading_fox: I definitely liked this one a lot. Reading it before too much hype had spread and not knowing a lot about the plot was a good thing for me. The film adaptation that's just come out is not bad either but then again Mike Carey did the screenplay for it so he was familiar with the source material ;)

Jan 30, 2017, 8:33am Top

>15 reading_fox:, >16 Narilka: & >17 YouKneeK:

I read The Girl With all the Gifts and thought it an entertaining read but I had one gripe with it. The ending was basically the same as the ending of Richard Matheson's novel, "I am Legend". None of the film adaptations of this book have used the book's ending, so I felt Carey was taking a safe bet that most of his readers would not recognize the ending. This left me with a bad taste in my mouth. The ending of I am Legend provides such a wonderful switch of perspective in the reader's mind that it is a major part of the book. Sorr! Gripe over! Normal programming will now resume.


Edited: Jan 30, 2017, 9:42am Top

Not sure if everyone is aware or not but there is an epilogue chapter for The Girl With All the Gifts which is available to read here.

Jan 30, 2017, 12:06pm Top

>23 AHS-Wolfy: Thank you for that.

Jan 30, 2017, 5:36pm Top

>22 pgmcc:
(Warning for other random passers-by: The below spoiler is not just for The Girl with All the Gifts but also for another older book with a similar ending. And I can't tell you which book because, if you've read The Girl with all the Gifts, then telling you which book it is would spoil the ending of that book since I just said they have similar endings... So click at your own risk!)

Ha, I understand exactly what you mean about the similarity between those two books. I read them in the “wrong” order, actually. I read The Girl with All the Gifts in January 2016 then I read I am Legend in August 2016, not knowing anything about either book at the time I sat down to read them. My immediate reaction at the end of I am Legend was, “Wait, didn’t I just read that ending?” Matheson's ending didn't have near as much impact for me because Carey got to me first.

Jan 30, 2017, 7:17pm Top

>25 YouKneeK: Thanks to everyone for properly using spoiler tags! I have The Girl With All the Gifts on one of my WWE reading challenges for 2017 so it's nice to click in here to this thread I am following and not have the story inadvertently ruined ahead of time.

Jan 31, 2017, 4:08am Top

>23 AHS-Wolfy: Thanks! That's more optimistic than I would have expected. But not necessarily any less creepy.

Feb 2, 2017, 8:20pm Top

>15 reading_fox: I'm glad you enjoyed it. It thought it was okay, and I think I'd like to give the film version a shot at some point.

Feb 3, 2017, 5:37pm Top

>28 clamairy: I was delighted by the film version - the casting worked really well, and as the book started as a film script then got fleshed out (err, no pun intended), the two feel the same even where they diverge in the details.

Feb 3, 2017, 6:53pm Top

>29 imyril: Good to know! Thank you. I will keep an eye out for it.

Feb 10, 2017, 6:51am Top

Unwrapped sky - a chance buy, that I subsequently found was already on my wishlist! Kind of fun in a NewWeird way, but like many of that subgenre, it needed more development and less showing off the admittedly inventive imagination. And more minators. They're a surprisingly tiny amount of the story given the prominence on the cover and blurb.

A year of the flood - another surprise find for me on my ereader. I didn't think I'd like Atwood's writing, or that I owned any, but there it was. Mid series, I think, but stands well on it's own. It has a zombie feel to it, although there aren't any! What else should I read by her?

An Artificial night Toby Day3. Enjoyed this, toby's getting much more established as a character and the world building is going well, a nice balance between human and faerie. But the old enemy inflation is already starting to rise.

Feb 10, 2017, 10:38am Top

>31 reading_fox: I read unwrapped sky last year and thought the sequel was much better all around.

Feb 10, 2017, 11:40am Top

>31 reading_fox: I assume you read Volume One of what has sometimes become known as the "Maddaddam Trilogy" first, Oryx and Crake? If not, I'd read that next. It stood on its own well, even if it left open the story of The Year of the Flood.

Feb 10, 2017, 2:47pm Top

>31 reading_fox: I second stellarexplorer's suggestion of Oryx and Crake if you haven't read it. It is concurrent to The Year of the Flood, but from a different perspective. It also fills in a lot of background on what happened. I found the third book, MaddAddam, the weakest of the trilogy.

Feb 10, 2017, 3:25pm Top

>35 SylviaC: as Sylvia says.

Feb 10, 2017, 3:58pm Top

>31 reading_fox:, >32 clamairy: So far, The Handmaid's Tale is the only Atwood work I’ve read. I read it this past November and really liked it.

Feb 11, 2017, 7:00am Top

Thanks I'll try Oryx, and maybe Handmaid's which is her famous one I think.

WHile I was writing my reviews, I speed through The last wish as I've found the rest of the series. It's a collection of short incidents recalled as flashbacks while the Witcher - monster hunter - Geralt, recovers in a temple and contemplates Fate and Destiny. The videoGame captures the feel of the book very well!

Feb 11, 2017, 8:14am Top

>38 reading_fox: I really want to read that series. I played the original Witcher game several years ago and loved it. The last time I checked, I believe the last book was scheduled to be translated to English in mid-March, at which point it will land on my higher-priority TBR list. I still won’t likely get to it for a while, though.

Feb 17, 2017, 11:19am Top

>39 YouKneeK: the feel of the game very much re-creates how the books are written and they've kept a lot of the details in characters etc in it works very well. Sword of Destiny is just as good.

Feb 23, 2017, 6:27am Top

blood road an ER title - alternate history pseudo Roman low fantasy. Not really my favourite sub-genre, and not the best offering either. competently written, but suffering from the author knowing the details of what/why stuff happens and forgetting to show the reader.

War for the oaks - 5*

Go read it! (full review - https://www.librarything.com/work/2498178/reviews/139084157

I've been wanting to for many years, ever since Janny first mentioned it, Penguin have finally released an ebook version. It's one of the very first Urban Fantasies before there was such a thing. A modern take on celtic legends, it's not aged brilliantly, but anyone who was alive pre-mobile phones will enjoy it. Very powerful writing, excellent characters and just great fun.

Feb 23, 2017, 8:43am Top

>41 reading_fox: War for the oaks is such a good book! Though the descriptions of Eddi's so-stylish 80s clothes are unintentionally hilarious. I'm really pleased that it's in print over here, both in paper and e. About time.

Feb 23, 2017, 11:55am Top

>41 reading_fox: I'm sure I'm not the only one who just took a BB from your review. Thanks!

Feb 23, 2017, 5:26pm Top

>41 reading_fox: Great review. I read War for the Oaks maybe 6 or 7 years ago and I also loved it.

Feb 26, 2017, 8:49am Top

>41 reading_fox: oh good, War for the Oaks is up for me in a couple of months.

Feb 27, 2017, 6:57am Top

?41 War for the Oaks has been on my wishlist for a while (also probably from Janny) and I really should get around to picking it up. Thanks for the nudge.

Feb 28, 2017, 8:35am Top

>43 Darth-Heather: correct, you're not the only one ;-)

Mar 1, 2017, 10:39am Top

Time of Contempt and Baptism of Fire

Continuations of the series. BoF didn't really work for me, although it has it's high points. Very much mid-series slump where time has to pass for certain characters to age, politics to occur, and people move into the right position. But in terms of Over-arching back story, the fulfilment of prophecy, etc, very little progress is made. The Game has certainly mashed together a lot of the elements, and feel is that of mid-level grinding to get to where you need to be.

Mar 8, 2017, 7:01am Top

The Tropic of serpents Isobella goes to africa in search of more dragons and finds some plus some stereotypical african tribespeople. Fun though, nice mix of politics, pseudo-natural history and faux-victorian attitudes. I normally detest that style of writing but it actually works very well now. Isobella is starting her adult life already widowed and pretty much anything goes.

Interpreter of Maladies for the big Libraything One LT one Book read. Meh. Pretty short storis of Indian immigration, but nothing happens to anyone, so who cares. Maybe this is why I don't read much 'literature' its frequently boring.

Mar 13, 2017, 7:57am Top

Some good ER YA fantasy titles:

Heir to the lamp and solomon's bell I do like that World Weaver Press will send the first book of the series in addition the the ER title that's the 2nd. Bonus marks for them. Fun YA, a 13yr old girl finds out that she's 1/2 genie, has the ability to make wishes, and is in danger of being used by nefarious organisations. ... Needs some more limits on the magic, and more creative mis-directing of the power, but otherwise quite enjoyable.

Rebel Flight High fantasy, but still YA. Interesting premise but a bit short to find out where the author's going with it. Children sacrifice their holy pet at age 12 to honour the transition into adulthood. The blessed creatures have been removing their sins over the years, allowing the adults to grow up honest and true. But if you love your pet rather than seeing it as a repository for your sins you might rebel and flee the only village you've known. A troop of travelling players provides sanctuary for a time, if no-one asks too many questions.

Mar 15, 2017, 12:32pm Top

After the crown thoroughly enjoyed sequel to the GD favourite behind the throne. Just have to wait for the conclusion. It's fairly obvious what is going to happen, but I'd still want to read it!

Mar 15, 2017, 12:39pm Top

>51 reading_fox: took a book bullet on both of those. I just put holds on them from the library.

Mar 16, 2017, 6:43am Top

>51 reading_fox: I loved the first two books and am also looking forward to the next one.

I saw this on a friend's facebook page and thought of you, especially with this year's thread title:
Foxes unearthed!

Mar 16, 2017, 7:15am Top

>53 Sakerfalcon: - thanks! that's straight on the wishlist for next time I'm buying books. very appropriate.

Mar 24, 2017, 7:57am Top

The black jewels trilogy
Urgh, not anywhere near as much fun as written in red. Makes even less sense too. Sort of demons divide into almost good and really bad, have lots of forced sex, and then die. With magic jewels. Don't forget the dragon. Jannelle remains an innocent demon (what how?) and is the only enjoyable character apart from the fluffies.

Mar 26, 2017, 2:51pm Top

Arrival - The Story of your life and Others. A superb collection of SF short story/novellas by a master. Read it enjoy and marvel. They all twist your viewpoint somehow. Very very clever, but also well written enjoyable quirky and fun. And he gets the details right without beating you over the head with them. Some of the best I've read.

Apr 5, 2017, 11:54am Top

A Kaz set:

Cat's pawn and Cat's gambit from ER featuring Cats against the insectoid Kaz. Pride of chanur is better if you want that sort of space opera, but this wasn't a bad attempt.

Six of crows from a few people here, with Kaz brekker in it. Off coincidence. Fun heist fantasy. Wraith was my favourite character but I can see others having different tastes. Worldbuilding didn't quite work, but the characters and the heist were fun. looking forward to the sequel.

Edited: Apr 5, 2017, 10:23pm Top

>57 reading_fox: Is this the book that the recent movie was based upon?

The Wraith was my favorite character in Six of Crows as well. I found her to be the most relatable. I hope you enjoy the second one, too.

Apr 6, 2017, 4:06am Top

>58 clamairy: The short story of your life is yes, the rest of the book is other novellas, all very good.

Apr 6, 2017, 6:18pm Top

And whilst I was writing those reviews I was reading uprooted which is Superb. true Fantasy, single person focus, enthralling magic, terrific terror, complex politics and then a subtle twist as to where it all comes from. I really wouldn't class this as YA, it's not grimdark fantasy, but it's certainly more complex than your average YA. Just gripping. One of the very few books that made me late for work reading just till the end of the chapter over breakfast. I'm sure I'd have missed my stop if I'd have been reading it on public transport.

Apr 6, 2017, 7:01pm Top

>60 reading_fox:

Agree! Highly recommend Uprooted.

Edited: Apr 7, 2017, 6:27am Top

>56 reading_fox: I enjoyed the collection and am rereading The Story of Your Life before I watch Arrival.

While I thought Chaing's ideas were great I felt he was at a loss as to how to end some of his stoeies. Divide by Zero was one of my favourites.

As I read through "The Story of Your Life" I must say it is not striking me as familiar. I obviously did not think it was one of the stand-out stories in the collection. I clearly remember "Tower of Babylon"; "Understand"; "Division by Zero"; "Hells is the Absence of God"; "Seventy-two Letters".

Edited: Apr 14, 2017, 9:03am Top

Late eclipses Toby Daye urban fantasy bridiging novel, extending the series by setting up the backdrop a bit. I'm not keen on the muting of key characters to make them less clever, it makes the plots boring.

night school almost the same criticism for a very different book. Jack does very little.

>62 pgmcc: I agree they were some of the highlights.

Apr 19, 2017, 10:50am Top

ninefox gambit Ambitious space opera mathematically twisting reality into your consensus form has trouble with rebellions. Fun.

Apr 28, 2017, 11:40am Top

Midnight never come To explore some of Marie's other writing. I liked a short story set in this universe I thought, but it seems very different! This is historical faerie fantasy set in Queen Elizabeth's reign, the Queen's have made a bargain, but no-one know's what it is.

Oryx and Crake the start of the 'series'. I much preferred Flood. Which is unusual in that this is the single person POV I normally much enjoy. However it's just Jimmy on his own which is dull.

Every heart a doorway free novella. Intriguingly dark. I think I'd prefer the full novel. Was this the basis for a recent film? It feels like I've seen trailers for it?

Apr 28, 2017, 7:49pm Top

I actually preferred Oryx and Crake, because I liked that lone-survivor-who-may-or-may-not-be-going-crazy tone. I also thought it gave me good background information for the other books. I wonder if there's any correlation between which one people read first and which one they like better,

May 4, 2017, 11:10am Top

>66 SylviaC: - you could well be right, although the different narrators does make some difference.

Crooked kingdom Conclusion to the heist, Good fun, if improbable at times. Wraith remains my fav.

There'll be a two week gap or so between next updates. I won't have stopped reading, but I'll be on honeymoon, so I'm unlikely to be visiting here very much. I know you're all awaiting the next review with bated breath.

May 4, 2017, 3:30pm Top

>67 reading_fox: You mean you aren't taking us all along?! ;)

Congratulations, and have a lovely one.

May 4, 2017, 8:16pm Top

Congratulations! I hope you have a lovely wedding and honeymoon, and a wonderful future!

May 5, 2017, 3:39am Top

Happy happies! And what Sylvia said.

May 5, 2017, 7:01am Top

>67 reading_fox: Crongatulations and best wishes for your future happiness together.

May 5, 2017, 4:48pm Top


May 25, 2017, 11:04am Top

Thanks all!

I managed to read:
The riddlemaster of hed trilogy
Slow bullets
marked in flesh
vision in silver

I'm not sure I'll get around to reviewing them though. Didn't the GD have a riddlemaster discussion somewhere... I'll see if I can add to it.

Slow bullets is a short novella, looking at the possibilities new technologies have on revenge, and the consequences of accidents. classic Reynolds.

Marked in Flesh is very much the conclusions of the initial series of Others. Consequences have been coming for a while, and now they're due. Powerful.

May 29, 2017, 9:11pm Top

>73 reading_fox: I saw your lovely Facebooks pics. I'm glad you had such a good time. :o) Congrats!

>67 reading_fox: The Wraith is the best character in those books, for sure.

Edited: Jun 7, 2017, 11:28am Top

>74 clamairy: thanks.

Another man's moccasins meh. Walt flashbacks to Vietnam. Sort of works ish, but certainly not the strongest in the series.

Avians Superb ER title, one of the best I've read out of all the ER books I've received over many years. It's YA, so not the best book ever, but certainly a contender for the year. Young girls become trained as glider pilots on a backwood colony world. Really fun. Good characters, great worldbuilding, a little technology, and a dash of action in the right places. Clever, well paced and enjoyable all the way through.

Jun 16, 2017, 11:57am Top

howl's moving castle meh semi-humerous at best, UF crossover portal fantasy without any worldbuilding.

Foxes unearthed I'm sure this was recommended to me, but I can't see/remeber who by. Non-fiction about foxes, and how they've interacted with humanity in the UK, mostly dispells myths, and is anti-hunt, so I agreed with her opinions, could have done with more foxes.

A closed and common orbit the delightful sequel. Well worth reading. I understand she's not writing further wayfarers, but something else in the same universe. Joyful reading.

Jun 16, 2017, 12:10pm Top

>76 reading_fox: I really need to move that Becky Chambers closer to the top of Mount Tooby!

Jun 30, 2017, 11:59am Top

I should update htis more frequently it would make it much easier. A mixed bag!

Armageddon Rag one of Martin's early works that are a lot less demanding that the full Thrones. This is 70s music scene - if you can remember playing vinyl backwards to hear the hidden message, this is for you. Even his early books are very well written, although simpler with smaller casts.

the grisha trilogy because Six of Crows was such fun. This is the preceeding trilogy of how Stormhound came to be what he was. I'd rather more about the Shu, but it's interesting, and too short.

Leviathan wakes everybody apart from me had heard of the Expanse ages ago, I've just got around to reading it. It's not Reynolds, but it's not that far away from being as good.

Jul 25, 2017, 8:51am Top

Wow, nearly a month without an update. Partly because

the craft sequence appeared on my ereader as one long book of 1700 pages. I'm unconvinced that the published order makes more sense than the internal chronology. It's a fun world though with necromatic lawyers, and resurrected gods battling for control of the cities destroyed in their last war. this time it will be settled in the courtroom.

Two ER titles
Cottingley a novella set shortly after the 1800s (faked) pictures. The cover art is the best thing about it although it's not bad as such.
entropic angel a collection of short and very short SF. mostly set in Wales which makes it more unusual location than most.

fool's run - retelling of an ancient greek story with added aliens. More serious and less fun than you might expect. Good though - better than Riddlemaster.

Two of Marie's short stories Mad maudlin and daughter of necessity She's a skilled author, I was impressed.

Jul 25, 2017, 11:36am Top

I love the Craft books, and have been reading them as they are published. I will go back and read them chronologically at some point.

Aug 11, 2017, 11:50am Top

Another long gap caused by the glasswright's series Meh. A bit too rushed and Mary Sue for me. I like more worldbuilding and less everything just falls into place.

Even Revenger felt a bit light in places. Fun though. Pirates in space, with hard SF rules, and a lot of alien loot. I hope he's setting up something more serious, as it's a clever universe.

Winter Rose is the opposite just a bit too dreamy fantasy with no rules, or explanations, but it's classic Mckinley.

Aug 18, 2017, 7:14am Top

Catching up on last weekend's long train ride reading - severla short novels not quite novellas in turn.

A not bad ER title wings of fire - how many books by that name are there! - mixing various water spirit legends together. Quite fun.

Red hot steele urban crime fantasy, although there's no requirement for a random insertion of the different races, as otherwise it'd be straight steampunk, and probably better for it.

elfhame short and needing more details. Pig-girl (maid) opens door to dark-elf land and marries prince.

wheels within wheels: the making of a traveller auto-biography of Dervla Murphy whom I should read more of - growing up in 1930s ireland before she cycled to India. A very interesting woman!

Aug 25, 2017, 9:03am Top

More elven stories from StoryBundle

Dimmingwood Meh. robin hood with elves. But less good. Probably needed not to be told in these short episodes, but the longer version condensed into three better books. There's something going on with Drow in there too, but couldn't be bothered with the rest of the series to find out.

bloodlines - elf saga Even more Meh. But different. Mix of myths amongst a female team all looking out for their families in different ways. Technically the middle of a series, but who cares. They loot the long lost city of the dead. Just didn't work or balance. Tried too hard, especially to be funny. and wasn't.

Miss Ellerby was however delightful. Also mid series, but stands alone well. Victorian England mixed up with faerie. great fun, slightly eclectic romance, prim english families and wild fairy. Very enjoyable, and I'd recommend to anyone who loved A natural history of dragons although they're different plots, the feel is somewhat similar.

Aug 30, 2017, 2:16am Top

>81 reading_fox: I read the first three Glasswright's books some years ago, but gave up when the plot and characters became increasingly cliched. Doesn't sound as though I missed anything by not finishing. I might give Revenger a go as I like Alistair Reynolds.

Aug 30, 2017, 10:24am Top

Miss Ellerby sounds wonderful and exactly up my street...but I think I'll start with the first book.

Sep 8, 2017, 10:53am Top

Two long ones - a short story anthology fiction river: fantasy bundle being three editions of fiction river, from Kristine Rusch and Dean W Smith. starts out better but overall not bad selection of short stories covering most of the fantasy bases. DWS's Poker boy stories are probably the least good.

digital sea trilogy - reasonable good SF, lots of interaction between global climate/population crisis vs a more immediate family touch. Set in an VR world, where everybody sees only what they wish to project, unless you can hack their systems. Unseen power lies in the hands of those who control the software.

Sep 15, 2017, 11:04am Top

the diving series Another storybundle collection. Deep time SF, an explorer dives into wrecks of abandoned spacecraft to sea what remnants of history she can find. One contains an active power source that sings to her strangely reminiscent of her childhood experience. Quite fun, not as dark or compelling as some space opera, but an interesting universe.

Sep 16, 2017, 9:57am Top

>87 reading_fox: That's an interesting concept, but the series looks awfully complex. Are the books closely linked, or can they each stand on their own?

Sep 18, 2017, 4:20am Top

>88 SylviaC: - I've only read the first three novels as a trilogy, which certainly worked fine without any of the surrounding short stories. I'd start with diving into the wreck and see how you get on from there.

Sep 18, 2017, 11:16pm Top

I know this is on the late side, but I just read of your honeymoon (and I assume marriage!) and wanted to send best wishes!

And I enjoyed the Ted Chiang short story collection too --

Sep 22, 2017, 6:39am Top

>90 stellarexplorer: thank you Star!

Nevertheless she persisted - ER anthology from BVC, short stories based on the meme. But it didn't really work for me, too much motherhood and not enough wider persistence. Some of the stories I'd read before and some were good, but overall could be better.

chaos awakens Storybundle - poor. Very much tell instead of show. Civilised orc which was a nice touch, but otherwise clunky.

Sep 29, 2017, 4:50am Top

Two more storybundle offerings. Both somewhat better than the others

Past is prologue, phaedra far too many titles by that name! About elves brothers and prophecy. Quite fun. Her UF has had poor reviews but this seemed quite reasonable.

Gryphonpike chronicles a set of linked novellas published as one ebook, works quite well. Again elves, this time almost godlike in power, but cursed down to mortal levels. ADnD feel as they campaign. Unusual in that the heroine cannot communicate in any way. Not even a nod. Makes for some complicated situations, usually resolved by her just walking away and killing something. The pet Mist-Lynx is my new favourite fantasy pet.

Sep 30, 2017, 5:22am Top

>92 reading_fox: The Gryphonpike Chronicles sound great! I liked the first book in Bellet's Twenty-sided sorceress UF series in which the characters are D&Ders so I suspect it's a passion of the author's.

Oct 1, 2017, 11:46am Top

>93 Sakerfalcon: - Maybe I'lll try that because it was fun. The Twentysided gets some poor reviews on here though, so I haven't investigated further.

the science officer omnibus a clever idea that in the end doesn't quite work through. A likeable rogue is recruited by some buccaneers to assist them in their endevours.

of caves and caving non-fiction! A series of snapshots in the caving life of the author, whom I may have met but don't recognise - he started a couple of decades before me, but our paths have probably crossed in a pub somewhere. Nothing special in the trips, but a fun read of places I've been. There's too few caving books detailing this sort of thing, so it was nice to stumble across this.

Oct 23, 2017, 5:11pm Top

Really haven't been finding time to write reviews for a while - the longer versions are on all the book pages.

Unregistered ER title, dystopia, Big Brother society, an unregistered artist stumbles across the resistance.

The washington witches Storybundle trilogy. You know when you read a book that's just totally unsuitable for you - This is chiclit urban fantasy at it's best (or worst) and really not normally the sort of thing I'd read - much as I enjoy UF a bit more grit is generally my thing. Still surprisingly fun though! Shallow and fast paced, no world building, a succession of desirable men, women concerned about clothes and cocktails, and little bit of UF as backdrop.

Feyguard the 2nd trilogy of a gaming/faerie mash-up. It is as clever as it sounds, full of fun characters and inventive technology. I really need to read the 1st set of three books which introduce the world!

Uncollected anthology the contradiction of the title doesn't make the stories any better, although they aren't bad. Mostly unmemorable.

Oct 26, 2017, 10:12am Top

ER title - spectre of war steampunk with robots and police. Doesn't work.

Oct 27, 2017, 8:20am Top

Twin Genius another edition in the remarkable family crime series. Just fun throughout - it's set at Christmas time in New York, so maybe best read in month's time. But great fun nonetheless.

One of the twin'#s is missing, and Ana finally has a chance to untie her entire extended family into a home. She just has to find the twin, resolve the gun running politics, and persuade Graham to donate the house back to her.

Nov 12, 2017, 10:33am Top

Two great long books

Initiate's trial and the new destiny's conflict IT is perhaps my least favourite of the series, there's quite jump from the preceding books, and a few new characters and places introduced. DC is back into full out wring everyone to the last drop of their endurance, before the final gripping conclusion. The last few chapters are proper cannot put it down stuff.

Nov 19, 2017, 1:59pm Top

And after all the compelling and enthralling wonder of DC it's perhaps always going to be the case that the next books don't seem that great, even after a break.

Two ER titles: Dawn of skye and attribution the latter being particularly poor, it could have been a thrilling ride as a journalist uncovers government corruption (always unlikely) around a world wide green power scheme. Instead it clumps heavily about failing to show anything and mostly tripping over it's own feet. DoS is a little better - a lord of the flies style story with mixed group of children. But equally lacking in world craft, history or skill.

It does show just how much more skilled some authors are than others, even if it's hard to point to a sentence or paragraph and say why one is so much better than the other.

Nov 30, 2017, 10:13am Top

summer faerie bundle and fates trilogy both Storybundle titles. I didn't know until (literally) now having looked at the touchstone, that they were the same author.

The summer faerie is a short story anthology, where Ms Rusch's title was the best. Mostly classic flower fairy, with several faerie tales, and a few real oddities that generally didn't work so well.

Fates is almost pure romance urban fantasy. Kind of fun to start with but drags when the romance takes over. If you're a believer in love at first sight without having to work at it, then this might be for you.

Dec 7, 2017, 5:45pm Top

Three Book View Cafe titles, because I don't just get them free on ER.

Dwarven wars, tainted harvest - conclusion of two trilogies I started in ER. Good, but with much of Leah's work, the first book is the best as her imagination runs riot, and the latter tidying up of loose ends is not quite so special.

blood of the kindred - vampire eleven romance. Really much better than it sounds, I was very impressed. Two tribes of elves, one 'dark' and cursed (or ill it's not clear yet) to a vampiric existence, but still fighting to uphold such honour as they have, and the 'normal' elves unsuspecting of the uprising that is coming. The romance is between two normal elves and it's clear that they'll play a heroic part in the war to come. Great writing, innovative world and magic, and generally just a good fantasy. I'm looking forward to finding the rest of the trilogy.

Edited: Dec 19, 2017, 7:17am Top

beyond aquila rift A collection of his short(er) stories. I'd read some before from other collections, but many were new. All good, some great. ALl hard sf, deep time aliens etc, A few from the same universe as his novels, and some just ideas that he hasn't yet expanded. A good introduction to this writing if you've not tried him before

king's justice gambit Two novellas. Both fantasy, both with similar protagonists, in quite different settings. The Auger's Gambit is particularly unusual. Neither are as dark as some of his writing (in general is short stories aren't).

Dec 19, 2017, 6:54am Top

>102 reading_fox: I really want to read the Reynolds collection. Glad you thought it was so good.

Jan 3, 1:28pm Top

Two ER titles - both short cry your way home weird horror ish short stories, didn't really work for me, but some were quite good.
Martian job I've liked Fenn's work, and this is somewhat typical, but novella is an odd length. Heist SF.

finishing off the year with the hanging tree being the 6th of the Peter Grant stories, not bad, a return to the london scene, but a bit thrown together, there's no sense of long term plot
and The Quiet War recommended on here somewhere. Clever but a bit too ponderous in places maybe. Hard SF war within the solar system, around Saturn's rings, fighting for resources and the direction humanity will take.

That's it for this year:

Exactly 100 books, not much non-fiction plenty of short stories, and a few longer series.

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