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Majkia's Grand Tour 2017 - Part Deux

This is a continuation of the topic Majkia's Grand Tour 2017.

This topic was continued by 2018 -Majkia's Draconic Adventures.

The Green Dragon

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Edited: Dec 27, 2017, 9:28am Top

For the second half of the year, I'm easing up on pre-selecting what to read. The only stuff that is a given, is the TBR challenge. Other stuff I'm going to pick out closer to when I'm actually reading it, thus easing up on any pressure I might feel to get to a specific book. There's too many books I want to read NOW!



Edited: Jul 1, 2017, 12:15pm Top




TBR Challenge

Edited: Jul 29, 2017, 7:43am Top

1. The Hanging Tree - Ben Aaronovitch - (Peter Grant #6) - AlphaKIT
2. Saucer State - Paul Cornell
3. Golden Son - Pierce Brown - Red Rising #2 - ROOT, SFFKIT
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

PAGES READ : 298 +
Locations Visited : London, England, Solar System, Solar System

Edited: Aug 29, 2017, 12:30pm Top

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

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

Edited: Sep 29, 2017, 5:59pm Top

1. The Hangman's Daughter - Oliver Potzsch
2. First Contact (In Her Name) - Michael R. Hicks
3. Urban Shaman - C.E. Murphey - 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, 416,448, 560, 320, 323
Locations Visited : Germany, Keran, Seattle, Scorched Continent, Adro, alt Earth, alt Earth

Edited: Oct 27, 2017, 2:17pm 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, Alpha, Random
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, 2:51pm 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, 9:29am Top

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

Locations Visited :

Edited: Dec 20, 2017, 6:46am Top

TBR Challenge

✔ 1. Archangel - Sharon Shinn - DNF
✔ 2. Black Sun Rising - C.S. Friedman DNF
✔ 3. Daughter of the Forest - Juliet Marillier Completed December
✔ 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 - DNF
✔ 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 Completed May
✔ 22 Urban Shaman - C.E. Murphy
✔ 23. Waking the Moon - Elizabeth Hand Completed February
✔ 24. War for the Oaks - Emma Bull Completed August

Edited: Jul 1, 2017, 11:13am Top

Read January- June 2017

Books Read in January

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

Boos Read in February

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: 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

Books Read in March
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

Books Read in April

1. Cemetery Dance - Douglas Preston/Lincoln 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 - Random
5. The Dragons of Dorcastle - Jck Campbell - Alpha, ROOT
6. The House at Riverton - Kate Morton - RTT, ROOT
7. Inda - Sherwood Smith - TBR Challenge, ROOT, Alpha

Books Read in May

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

Books Read in June

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

Edited: Jul 1, 2017, 12:18pm 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, 11:25am Top

Many of your images don't load for me any more. (Using both Firefox and Chrome.) I see the cover images and the month pictures, but none of the others.

Jul 1, 2017, 11:35am Top

>12 clamairy: Are the ones in this list loading for you? OneDrive changed something and I've noticed the problem several places.

Jul 1, 2017, 11:38am Top

If I right-click on a broken image and select view image, it takes me to a microsoft login page.

Edited: Jul 1, 2017, 11:46am Top

I just reloaded the images in the first entry. Do they work now? Also the image for July. When I grab the embed link, it says anyone can view this image without signing in.

Jul 1, 2017, 12:07pm Top

The two images to the left of the book covers are broken.

Jul 5, 2017, 11:29am Top

46. Saucer State - Paul Cornell

meh. Still not a comics fan.

Jul 5, 2017, 11:33am 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 5, 2017, 12:14pm Top

>18 majkia: I'm so glad you're enjoying this series. :o)
And I can see your little audio image!

Jul 6, 2017, 4:59am Top

>18 majkia: I really enjoyed that series. Glad to see that you are too!

Jul 16, 2017, 7:28am 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 17, 2017, 8:11am Top

>21 majkia: I did finish this book and loathed it, and that character, right to the end. So you were right to give up. It seems to be a very popular book so I'm glad not to be alone in my dislike of it!

Jul 17, 2017, 10:23am Top

>22 Sakerfalcon: Glad to know it wasn't just me!

Jul 24, 2017, 1:17pm 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.

Edited: Jul 24, 2017, 1:43pm Top

>24 majkia: The series gets even better, IMHO. Keep going!

Edited: Jul 25, 2017, 8:43am Top

>25 majkia: - also true for Zettel. I liked it, especially the fairy tale riffs and re-workings, but yes it's slow.

>26 clamairy: - better than the casual vacancy? which was little more than OK unless you enjoy village politics (although re-reading my review I seem to have enjoyed it more than I thought!)

Jul 25, 2017, 10:28am Top

>27 reading_fox: I'm afraid I haven't read that one.

Jul 25, 2017, 10:44am Top

How are you liking Children of Time so far? I need a new audio book and almost downloaded that one today, but opted to wait a bit.

Jul 25, 2017, 11:34am Top

>29 Narilka: I'm enjoying it! Not at all what I expected with lots of imaginative twists and turns.

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 25, 2017, 8:48pm Top

Ahh, my question was well timed :) Ok, it's going on the download list for next month.

Jul 25, 2017, 10:29pm Top

>50 just put a hold on it. Sounds like my kind of book!

Jul 25, 2017, 10:47pm Top

>31 majkia: I’m glad to hear you liked this so much. I’ve heard good things both about this particular book and the author in general, so I'd like to get to it eventually.

Jul 27, 2017, 6:47am Top

>31 majkia: Glad to see your good review for this one. I'll move it up the TBR pile.

Jul 29, 2017, 7:38am 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.

Jul 29, 2017, 9:02pm Top

>36 majkia: It's the first in series, isn't it? Maybe the author submitted one giant manuscript and the editor/publisher just decided to end the first book at the end of that chapter. I'm glad you liked it. Her writing is amazing and I wish she'd gotten more recognition while she was alive.

Edited: Aug 6, 2017, 4:47pm Top

>36 majkia: & >37 clamairy: I really enjoyed reading this trilogy earlier this year and it's most definitely 3 separate books. Each focuses on a different main character and there is a bit of a time gap between each also. I'm certainly impressed with her writing and intend to get more of her works read with the omnibus Seed to Harvest waiting on my tbr shelves already.

Jul 31, 2017, 1:15pm Top

“Rely not upon conscience… It ever kneels to necessity.” And Rint adds, “And necessity is often a lie.”

I love Steven Erikson - This from Forge of Darkness. He's such a deep read.

Aug 6, 2017, 7:12am Top

HELP! I'm reading Forge of Darkness and now I want badly to go back and read all of the Malazan Book of the Fallen!!!! Stop me!

Aug 7, 2017, 1:59pm Top

LOL! I'm waiting until that trilogy is finished before I start so I can read all 3 in a row :)

Aug 7, 2017, 7:11pm 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.

Aug 8, 2017, 6:38am Top

>41 Narilka: I couldn't wait any more. Sigh.

Aug 8, 2017, 10:53am Top

>43 majkia: Is Fall of Light going to end up in the rotation soon? :D

Aug 8, 2017, 11:30am Top

>44 Narilka: Me thinks so!

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 10, 2017, 6:05am Top

It is very much a product of the time when it was written, but I loved most of it.

Aug 10, 2017, 6:59am Top

>47 reading_fox: Definitely. And it certainly brought a lot of nostalgic remembrances back to me.

Aug 11, 2017, 10:40pm 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.

Edited: Aug 20, 2017, 12:47pm Top

>40 majkia: "Don't tempt me, Frodo!" I'm desperately trying to dodge those Erikson bullets.

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 22, 2017, 9:38pm Top

>57 I love Moore. Since you and I are of like minds in certain areas of reality (that we don't discuss in here) I'd like to suggest that you start following him on Twitter, if you aren't already. :o)

Aug 22, 2017, 11:42pm Top

>55 AHS-Wolfy: Just started reading that one myself. Enjoying this follow-up to Fool quite a bit so far.

Aug 29, 2017, 10:19am Top

>52 clamairy: I found that books 1 and 2 were by far the weakest in the series, but after that Toby seems to wake up and start thinking rather than reacting, and the plots and characters just get better all the time.

Aug 29, 2017, 12:14pm 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 :)

Sep 3, 2017, 3:19pm 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 3, 2017, 3:43pm Top

>49 majkia: I'd forgotten I wanted to read that. Must get to it!

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, 10:51am Top

>60 majkia: Ick. That has been on my Kindle unread for years. It may have to stay that way.

Sep 5, 2017, 6:48am Top

>60 majkia: that sounds fun. It's #4 in a 9book series. Have you read any of the others?

Sep 5, 2017, 7:13am Top

>64 No. I pondered the extended series, but this one reads like the first of a series, so I'm glad I started with this one, since I've had it for quite a few years.

Edited: Sep 5, 2017, 7:15am Top

>63 majkia: It was a good book, but hard to read with them torturing and attacking women right and left - why is it always the women???
ETA: you were talking about The Hangman's Daughter ?

Sep 5, 2017, 9:09am Top

>66 Yes, I don't read torture books, no matter who is being tortured, or how good the writing. In fact, good writing only makes the torture worse, no? My mother tried to read that ages ago and couldn't, now I know why. I've read enough nonfiction where torture was involved, and sometimes one must read that, so I don't include it in my fiction reading tour. :)

Sep 5, 2017, 11:42am Top

>67 I totally understand. I thought about quitting on this book multiple times because of personal trigger issues, but hung in there. I couldn't read Code Name Verity for the same reason. I guess because the torture was right there at the very beginning.

Sep 5, 2017, 11:46am 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, 3:12pm Top

Good to know you'll be out of Irma's way! Enjoy your trip.

Sep 6, 2017, 8:50am Top

>69 MrsLee: Sounds like a good plan! And I hope the house does fine in spite of what nature throws at it.

Sep 6, 2017, 9:19am Top

>69 MrsLee: - stay safe! and best wishes for your house, home and books! Irma looks pretty terrible at the moment.

Edited: Sep 7, 2017, 7:41am Top

>69 MrsLee: I'm glad you will be out of range. Hope your home is spared though.

ETA Just seen your post in the Hurricane Irma thread - oh dear! I hope you stay safe and dry.

Sep 7, 2017, 11:17am Top

Glad you got out. We have family from Florida staying with us now to also escape the storm.

Sep 13, 2017, 8:11am Top

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

Edited: Sep 13, 2017, 9:11am 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 flight 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.

Sep 13, 2017, 9:05am Top

I've quite liked some of Murphy's other UF I've read too - but never enough to track down the full series. I like the concept of the skeptical protagonist.

Sep 13, 2017, 9:10am Top

A skeptical smart-ass no less. :)

Sep 13, 2017, 9:26am Top

>76 majkia: Book bullet! This is now on my wishlist :)

Sep 14, 2017, 7:09am Top

>76 majkia: I've seen the later book in this series in bookshops but not the early volumes so haven't checked it out. It sounds really good though and I see that book 1 is quite cheap on kindle ...

Sep 14, 2017, 8:41am Top

*perks up ears* skeptical smart-ass protagonist?

Sep 14, 2017, 8:48am Top

>81 And a mechanic :)

Sep 14, 2017, 8:53am Top

>76 majkia: A BB for me as well I think. Also good to hear you're keeping safe and sound. Hope things aren't too bad when you get back home.

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 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, 5:50pm 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, 2:25pm 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.

Edited: Oct 3, 2017, 7:17am 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 7, 2017, 7:17am 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 7, 2017, 8:18am Top

So, the only part of Florida Irma left alone is now being targeted by Nate. We will have hurricane conditions this afternoon through tomorrow, with possible 4-6 ft storm surge. And Mr Majkia is out of town. Oh, the joy.

Oct 7, 2017, 11:55am Top

I hope you weather it just fine - most houses can easily take a cat I hit, it's the storm surge and power lines/trees falling that's worrisome - hopefully you are not at risk or an in an evac zone!

Floridians get hurricanes - post when you can, stay safe!

Oct 8, 2017, 6:39pm Top

So Nate wasn't quite as dire as it could have been. Water came over the seawall into the yard but no where near high enough to reach the house. Never lost power. No problems other than a couple of plants knocked over. Very thankful that it wasn't a problem.

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, 7:46am Top

>93 Sakerfalcon: I'm very glad to hear that!

Oct 9, 2017, 9:58am Top

Glad to see you came through OK.

Edited: Oct 9, 2017, 12:29pm Top

>95 majkia: >96 Thanks. Let's hope that's the end of it for this year anyway.

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, 7:34pm Top

>98 I'm glad you enjoyed it. Ilona Andrews has become one of my favorite Urban Fantasy authors.

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 11, 2017, 2:08pm Top

>100 That series was a favorite of mine last year. I’m glad you liked it. I was going to ask if you planned to read the next book, but then I had enough sense to click on your name and look at your Currently Reading list. :)

Oct 11, 2017, 3:16pm Top

>101 Hah! Well, I didn't mention it above, but I'd read The Dragon's Path a couple of years ago, and kept meaning to get back to the series, but when I did plan to read the next one, I kept getting Path mixed up in my head with The Red Knight which I'd read more recently. So this is a re-read of Path and now I'm hurrying on to the second of the series.

I really need to do a better job of continuing on with a FEW series rather than wanting to read quite so many that I forget details in previous books. Sigh. I'm just not disciplined enough!

Oct 12, 2017, 11:40am Top

>102 Ah! The lure of the shiny & new rather than continue with the comfortably known. I know it well.

Oct 13, 2017, 5:21pm 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 13, 2017, 6:37pm Top

>104 Woo hoo! :) You made it through book 2 fast.

Oct 13, 2017, 7:45pm Top

>105 The other half is out of town so I can read as much as I like!

Oct 16, 2017, 12:56pm Top

I found this fabulous spreadsheet a booklover created that tracks all sorts of statistics for you. If you are interested, go here:

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 17, 2017, 12:22pm Top

My kindle broke with vol I of this series (and another) in process of being read - Kindle asked me to phone, leave a message and let them call back - and I haven't been unbusy/still long enough to deal with it. AUGH! Your reviews may just shove me off the cliff. (Not tomorrow or next day, we have Irma repairs beginning.) Thanks for posting your impression.

Oct 17, 2017, 5:30pm Top

>108 YouKneeK: I too thought the villain of this series was very, very well done. And I admire your willpower; after the ending of book 3, I couldn’t start book 4 fast enough. :) This was the first book in the series that I awarded the full 5 stars.

Oct 17, 2017, 9:22pm Top

>109 majkia: Janny, I think you'll like this series a lot, and the later books get better. Strong women, and complex characters are nearly always a winner for me. Sorry about the kindle!

Oct 17, 2017, 9:22pm Top

>110 majkia: Hah! I'm thinking my next audio will be right back to the series, lol.

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, 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 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 27, 2017, 4:43pm Top

>115 I’m happy you enjoyed the whole series! :) I loved Yardem too. I wanted him to get more page time.

Oct 27, 2017, 7:44pm Top

>116 Yeah, I'd like a series of Yardem and Michael Weston dragon hunting. :)

Oct 30, 2017, 8:44am Top

>115 majkia: I have the first volume in the series. I can see that I'm going to have to read it soon.

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, 4:11pm Top

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

Nov 3, 2017, 4:50pm Top

Best of luck with your writing!

Edited: Nov 4, 2017, 9:59am Top

>120 MrsLee: Enjoy!

I met an illustrator last night, and he was telling me there is an illustrator's version of Nanowrimo in October. He found it quite challenging and a good spark for his creativity.

Nov 4, 2017, 1:19pm Top

>122 Oh, interesting! I hadn't known that!

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, 8:54pm 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 6, 2017, 10:26am Top

>124 reading_fox: - Apparently I wrote half a review where I found it reasonable to jump into the series. From memory I would not have said that! London falling is the first and sets everything up very well. It's a lot darker than many other UF police procedurals. Is there a sub-genre term for Urban Fantasy detectives??

Nov 6, 2017, 10:47am Top

>126 Oh, I didn't mean to start reading the series with this book. Just that it fits the series quite well. Obviously not clear.

Nov 10, 2017, 2:34pm 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, 2:59pm Top


Nov 10, 2017, 3:23pm Top


Nov 10, 2017, 5:03pm Top

Great picture!

Nov 13, 2017, 7:59am Top

>128 SylviaC: Beautiful!

Nov 13, 2017, 4:07pm 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, 4:10pm Top

Thanks for the comments on the picture. This is a lovely RV park and nearly every sunset is glorious.

Nov 18, 2017, 1:59pm 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!

Edited: Nov 19, 2017, 1:25am Top

>133 majkia: I live the film of The Quiller Memorandum. I must try to get to the book.

The film is one I have watched many times. It is, as you state, a good old fashioned spy story from days when things were simpler. I also like the music: "Wednesday's Child". It is used very effectively to build tension.

ETA: Great picture.

Nov 19, 2017, 6:28am Top

>136 I've seen it and enjoyed the film also. I need to see it again though.

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 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, 9:55am Top

>138 Narilka: Book bullet. Six Wakes is going on my wishlist.

Nov 27, 2017, 2:45pm 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'.

Dec 2, 2017, 7:25pm 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.

Dec 2, 2017, 7:46pm Top

>142 I downloaded that when Tor offered it for free a few months ago, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet and I don’t really have any near-future plans to fit it in. I guess I’ll keep it that way for now.

Dec 3, 2017, 9:00am Top

>143 I'm surprised I didn't like it more. But I listened to the audio and wasn't impressed with the woman doing it so it might have been that too.

Edited: Dec 3, 2017, 9:07am 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 4, 2017, 12:02pm Top

>140 majkia: direct hit here too.

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 10, 2017, 5:38pm 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 11, 2017, 6:13am Top

>84 majkia: The Bernini Bust is one of the few Iain Pears books that I have not read. I have enjoyed any of his work that I have read with An Instance of the Fingerpost being the best.

If you like Art, heists, murder and running around Italy (Rome in particular) you might enjoy Imprimatur.

Dec 11, 2017, 8:13am Top

>148 pgmcc: Great picture.

Dec 11, 2017, 9:02am Top

>148 pgmcc: That looks like a beautiful spot.

Dec 11, 2017, 11:36am Top

>148 pgmcc: Sweet camp spot! Lake Seminole looks huge on a map. So... how cold is 'cold' in that area this time of year? (asking from 0°C/32°F Seattle)

Edited: Dec 11, 2017, 11:48am Top

>149 Sakerfalcon: I'll put Imprimatur on the wishlist. Thanks! I love art, heists and murder.

>151 majkia: It is a lovely campground. Nice size sites.

>152 We've been down to 32F the last two nights. Last four days highs have only been in the low 50s. Today finally warming up into the 60s. Normal temps this time of year for this area are 60/70s highs, and 40-50 lows. Many years we go with no freezing temps at all, so this was a surprisingly cold several days. And the real cold doesn't usually arrive until late Jan and Feb.

ETA: Yes, Lake SEminole is pretty large. There's a dam here that gives the hubby good fishing.

Dec 12, 2017, 1:40pm 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 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 21, 2017, 4:41am Top

>155 This has been on my Tbr pile for ages. I've loved her Blackthorn and Grim series but the Sevenwaters books don't call to me in the same way.

Dec 21, 2017, 7:18am Top

>156 I'll have to look into those. This book was very difficult for me. Too many triggers. But I do enjoy her writing.

Dec 21, 2017, 7:43am Top

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

Dec 25, 2017, 6:54am Top

To all who celebrate:

Dec 25, 2017, 8:40am Top

SantaThing Book Haul:

Thanks to my great Santa and to all the elves.

Dec 25, 2017, 9:09am Top

>148 pgmcc: what a beautiful spot!
>154 Sakerfalcon: this series is on my TBR list.
>160 Santa gave you some good books! Enjoy!

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 28, 2017, 1:45pm Top

So we finally watched Season 1 of Stanger Things. It wasn't at all what I'd expected. I guess seeing the shots of the kids all the time, I thought it would be less weighty. It was very good! Unexpectedly so, which is always a pleasant surprise.

Dec 30, 2017, 8:27am Top

Watched Season 2 of Stranger Things now. Wow. Intense and really compelling.

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.

This topic was continued by 2018 -Majkia's Draconic Adventures.

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