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2018 -Majkia's Draconic Adventures

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

This topic was continued by 2018 -Majkia's Draconic Adventures - #2.

The Green Dragon

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Edited: Aug 29, 6:24am Top

Anomander Rake, Son of Mother Dark, helps me welcome you to my thread. Since he is a soletaken eleint, and metamorphs into a dragon, I thought him particularly suited to the task. Not to mention, one of my plans for 2018 is to begin a re-read of Malazan Book of the Fallen.

A note on ratings: I hates 'em, I do! I can't translate how I feel about a book in one genre to a book in another, so now instead of assigning stars, I'm verbally commenting on what I thought of a book, or a series, or... well, whatever.

Edited: Apr 1, 1:24pm Top

Books Read First Quarter

1. Black Dog - Stephen Booth
2. They Shall Have Stars - James Blish
3. The Hanging Girl - Jussi Adler-Olsen
4. Command Decision - Elizabeth Moon
5. Gardens of the Moon - Steven ERikson
6. The Christie Curse - Victoria Abbott
7. Maids of Misfortune - M. Louisa Locke

8. The Scar - China Mieville
9. After the Crown - K. B. Wagers
10. Beyond the Empire - K.B. Wagers
11. A Darkling Sea - James L. Cambrias
12. The Case of the Copper Corpse - Alan Bradley
13. Hunted - Kevin Hearne
14. Revenger - Alastair Reynolds
15. Jurassic Park - Michael Crichton
16. La Belle Sauvage - Philip Pullman
17. Bride of the Rat-God - Barbara Hambly
18. Prince of Thorns - Mark Lawrence
19. The 6th Extinction - James Rollins


20. The Fell Sword - Miles Cameron
21. Welcome to Night Vale - Joseph Fink
22. Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
23. The Lives of Tao - Wesley Chu
24. Faithful Place - Tana French
25. The Fold - Peter Clines
26. Illuminae - Amie Kaufman
27. For We Are Many - Dennis E. Taylor
28. Jade City - Fonda Lee
29. All These Worlds - Dennis E. Taylor
30. The Last Judgement - Ian Pears

Edited: Jun 27, 1:14pm Top

Books Read Second Quarter


1. The Crown Conspiracy - Michael J. Sullivan
2. Avempartha - Michel J. Sullivan
3. TimeRiders - Alex Scarrow
4. Updraft - Fran Wilde
5. The Man in the Queue - Josephine Tey
6. Stiletto: A Novel - Daniel O'Malley
7. The Pale Horseman - Bernard Cornwell
8. Cards of Grief - Jane Yolen
9. A Quiet Life in the Country - T.E. Kinsey

1. King's Dragon - Kate Elliott
2. Appleby on Ararat - Michael Innes
3. The Collapsing Empire - John Scalzi
4. A Head Full of Ghosts - Paul Tremblay DNF
5. Thereby Hangs a Tail - Spencer Quinn
6. Wake of the Bloody Angel - Alex Bledsoe
7. Kushiel's Dart - Jacqueline Carey - DNF
8. Watchers of Time - Charles Todd
9. Royal Flush - Rhys Bowen
10. Mechanical Failure - Joe Zieja DNF
11. The Queen's Poisoner - Jeff Wheeler

1. Victory Conditions - Elizabeth Moon
2. Bones of the Earth - Michael Swanwick
3. The Reality Dysfunction - Peter F. Hamilton
4. A Gathering of Shadows - V. E. Schwab
5. All Systems Red - Martha Wells
6. The Shadow Throne - Django Wexler

Edited: Aug 31, 7:51am Top

Books Read Third Quarter

1. A Conjuring of Light - V.E. Schwab
2. A Shadow in Summer - Daniel Abraham
3. A Betrayal in Winter - Daniel Abraham
4. The Crimson Campaign - Brian McClellan
5. Two for Sorrow - Nicola Upson
6. The Autumn Republic - Brian McClellan
7. Sleeping Giants - Sylvain Neuvel
8. An Autumn War - Daniel Abraham
9. The Beautiful Mystery - Louise Penny
10. Broken Harbour - Tana French
11. Etiquette and Espionage - Gail Carriger

1. A Fearsome Doubt - Charles Todd
2. The Immortals - Jordana Max Brodsky
3. The Price of Spring - Daniel Abraham
4. The Stars are Legion - Kameron Hurley
5. Dune - Frank Herbert
6. The Other Einstein - Marie Benedict DNF
7. The Daffodil Affair - Michael Innes
8. Half-Resurrection Blues - Daniel Jose Older


Edited: Dec 30, 2017, 3:00pm Top

Books Read Fourth Quarter




Edited: Dec 30, 2017, 2:50pm Top

Re-Reading the Malazan Empire series

Planning to read in order both Erikson and Esselmont. We'll see how far I get!

1. Gardens of the Moon

Dec 30, 2017, 2:45pm Top

one more

Dec 30, 2017, 2:49pm Top

yet one more just in case

Dec 30, 2017, 3:17pm Top


Dec 30, 2017, 4:09pm Top

Following along again! I love your theme this year :) Malazan on audio should be interesting.

Happy 2018 and happy reading!

Dec 30, 2017, 10:08pm Top

>6 majkia: I've found the Malaz Empire novels by ICE to be much better the second time around. Still have a couple to go but so far they've all been great re-reads in '17.

Hope it turns out just as good for you.

Jan 1, 12:41pm Top

Nice dragons!

Jan 1, 12:48pm Top

Wonderful pictures to brighten your thread. Sounds like you have some good plans for your reading, may there be many good books in the coming year.

Jan 1, 1:34pm Top

Ooh, pretty pictures... :) Happy draconic reading!

Jan 1, 1:39pm Top

>10 Narilka: Hi, oh dangerous one. I've gotten far too many BBs from you! Yet I follow along!

>11 BookstoogeLT: I really love ICE's Dancer's Lament And yes, I'm thinking I'll have a new appreciation of his stuff also. Already begun Gardens of the Moon. Interesting reading it with foreknowledge. Hoping to find a lot more buried within.

>12 SylviaC: Thanks! Glad you came by!

> 13 Thanks! I'm hoping I haven't made my plans too complicated and limiting. I'm trying to be more spontaneous this year.

>14 Marissa_Doyle: Thanks! And happy reading right back atcha!

Jan 1, 4:18pm Top

Wishing you a happy new year, and much pleasure in reading!

Jan 1, 6:52pm Top

Starring your draconic thread. Happy new year.

Jan 3, 9:24am Top

Happy New Year! I hope it is one of great books and travels!

Jan 3, 1:59pm Top

1. Black Dog - Stephen Booth
Series: Cooper and Fry #1

Challenges: ColorCAT, ROOT

Rating: Nicely done, with plenty of twists and turns

Interesting noir-ish take on country-set English murders. Cozy setting, not so cozy mystery. The setting was very well drawn, easily pictured and imagined. Cooper and Fry, junior police officers, were definitely still learning, and both were hampered by their pasts and their views of families and how other folks might behave.

Definitely plan to read more of this series.

Jan 3, 5:58pm Top

>19 majkia: - Well that's a hit straight away and I've only just started looking at a few threads! Happy New Year.

Jan 6, 2:39pm Top

Jan 6, 2:39pm Top

2. They Shall Have Stars - James Blish - Cities in Flight #1 - Written 1966

ROOT, Dice, BingoDOG

Rating: Despite its age it holds up for me.

I've always remembered this series as one of my favorites from when I was young. I finally found an ebook edition, so wanted to re-visit it.

It held up. It is upbeat, despite portraying an Earth which is a mess, torn by upheaval and despair, politically a mess. Yet visionaries look for ways to change the paradigm, and reach for the stars.

I'm tired of depressing books, and want ones that uplift us, that give us hope and remind us that we can achieve fabulous things so long as we believe we can. We can't just give in to despair. We have to strive against it.

Jan 6, 8:53pm Top

That is precisely what common sense is for, to be jarred into uncommon sense. One of the chief services which mathematics has rendered the human race in the past century is to put ‘common sense’ where it belongs, on the topmost shelf next to the dusty canister labeled ‘discarded nonsense.’ —ERIC TEMPLE BELL

From They Shall Have Stars

Jan 8, 7:42am Top

Cities in flight is on my tbr pile. I'm glad you think it holds up well despite its age.

Jan 8, 6:57pm Top

>23 majkia: & >24 Sakerfalcon: Mine too! Now if I only got close to actually picking it up.

Jan 13, 5:09pm Top

3. The Hanging Girl - Jussi Adler-Olsen Department #6 - ROOT, ColorCAT, MysteryCAT

Rating: Had me guessing all the way through.

Department Q gets roped into an old case when the investigating officer shoots himself the day he retires. Carl is not happy about it, thinks it's a waste of time, because it appears to be a hit-and-run death but probably an accident. Until he, Rose and Assad begin digging into things. Then it turns out to be a whole lot more complicated .

I do love this team of mismatched, cranky and hard to get along with folks, who somehow manage to find a way to work together.

And the suspects are well drawn, complex and interesting in their own right.

Jan 13, 5:48pm Top

>26 majkia: "Department Q" has a really cool ring to it. Not at all like those "Department F" folks! ;-)

Jan 15, 2:12pm Top

About half way through Command Decision by Elizabeth Moon. Gods I adore Ransome's Raiders.... What a fun space opera series.

Jan 16, 3:30pm Top

4 Command Decision - Elizabeth Moon - Vatta's War #4

Rating: Exciting and fun military sci fi continues

I am really enjoying this series. Moon was in the Marines and you can really tell. She thinks, and has her main character, think like a military person. And while Ky Vatta is young and not as experienced as others, she thinks logically and thoroughly and seldom lets her emotions make mistakes for her.

The action is complex and the world well drawn and changeable in a believable fashion. And the characters are interesting and you want to cheer for them. I especially love the new guys on the block, Ransome's Rangers. :)

Jan 23, 6:46pm Top

Well now, if your books weren't enough to draw me (they are!) then the added artwork would certainly do the trick. Happy reading this year, majkia!

Jan 24, 9:52am Top

6. The Christie Curse - Victoria Abbott #1 in The Book Collector series.

Rating: Cute cozy mystery with quite a few plot twists.

I enjoyed the story and liked the narrator (I listened to the Audio book). Funny, and light-hearted, it was a fun read, with twists and quite a few surprises along the way.

Jan 28, 6:59am Top

7. Maids of Misfortune - M. Louisa Locke Series: Victorian San Francisco #1

Challenges: AlphaKIT, ROOT

Rating: Ok, but I thought the ending pretty messed up and the least believable part.

Pretty well depicted the plight of women and non-whites, which was a good part of the plot. The writing was quite good and the story kept my interest. I did find the ending to be a bit of a mishmash and not really up to the standards of the rest of the book.

Feb 2, 7:24am Top

8. The Scar - China Mieville Series: Bas-Lag #2

Challenges: ROOT, RandomCAT

Rating: Complex and beautifully written, a tale of many scars

Mieville is one of my favorite authors. He manages to pack so many layers into what he writes. Despite horrors and incredibly painful worlds, they are still beautiful and so deeply layered you feel like you are there.

Feb 2, 4:12pm Top

>8 majkia: I’m glad you enjoyed The Scar! I had trouble getting into it, but really enjoyed the second half. Are you planning to read Iron Council at some point? Of the four Miéville books I’ve read, that was the one I liked the least, so I’d be really interested to find out what you think, especially since it looks like you enjoy his writing quite a bit more than I do in general.

Feb 2, 6:57pm Top

>34 YouKneeK: The first Mieville book I read was Embassytown gotten as an Early Reviewer book. Since I've read The City & the City, Perdido Street Station and now The Scar.

The more I read of his, the more in awe I am of his writing. He manages to bring such wildly divergent stuff back together again by the end of a book that it startles me. And I think he writes beautifully.

I liked how symbolic the scar was for so very many things about this book, at various depths and importance, but it is there in almost the entire book for a great many major characters, if not every one of them. I understand why folks find it tough going the first half. He's not an easy reading author.

My favorite so far is The City & the City.

I will read The Iron Council and I also have Kraken and Railsea.

Feb 2, 7:43pm Top

>33 majkia: & >34 YouKneeK: Miéville has been on my 'to read' least since pretty soon after joining LT, and yet somehow I have still managed to evade him. Soon... Beautiful writing is often more than enough to satisfy me.

Feb 3, 4:36am Top

>33 majkia:, >34 YouKneeK: I'm another fan of Mieville, and I agree with YouKneek that Iron council is my least favourite. I too loved The city and the city best.

Feb 4, 12:07pm Top

>36 clamairy:, >37 Sakerfalcon: Ah well, I'm a completest, so Iron Council will be attempted soonish. It's still Mieville, so it can't be THAT bad!

Edited: Feb 4, 12:10pm Top

9. After the Crown - K.B. Wagers - Indranan Wars #2

Challenges: Roll the Dice, ROOT

Rating: Continuing right on to the third book in the trilogy, so that should say something.

So, it turns out gunrunning is the best sort of training ground for a future empress. Haile, runaway princess, has been brought back home to become empress when her family is murdered. Things don't go so well. But then Haile isn't the sort of woman to just accept a coup without fighting back.

Love the characters, all are well drawn. The world is interesting and you definitely want to find out what the heck Haile is going to do next. Thus, right on to the third book of the trilogy.

Edited: Feb 14, 7:02am Top

10. Beyond the Empire - K.B. Wagers - Indranan Wars #3

Challenges: ROOT, ScaredyKIT, ColorCAT

Rating: Satisfying wrap-up to the trilogy but would like to learn more about the world and the hero.

Really enjoyed the series. Loved the main character, who takes no shite from anyone. She's down to earth, realistic about herself and her world, but ends up caring so much about her friends she's willing to put her life on the line for them.

Fast paced, lots of action, but the focus is more on individuals than on the wider field of action.

Feb 6, 5:28pm Top

>29 majkia: - I loved the Vatta's war series, and just finished the first in the next series (Vatta's Peace), Cold Welcome. Still good, Ransome's Rangers make an appearance, and mammoths.

>39 majkia: - this series sounds excellent, and I have a library request in for the first book. Hit by too many book bullets!

Feb 7, 4:09am Top

>40 majkia: It looks like there is a second trilogy on the way which picks up right where The Indranan war ended.

Feb 7, 6:28am Top

>41 NorthernStar: Yeah, I'm hoping to finish Vatta's war series very soon. And apparently another book after Cold Welcome will be out soon!

>42 Sakerfalcon: Yeah, I saw something about it. Not sure when it will be out though. Doubtless I'll get my paws on it as soon as possible!

Feb 7, 10:23am Top

Is Vatta's war a good place to start with Moon? I've heard a lot about her writing some more encouraging than others.

Edited: Feb 7, 11:03am Top

It's a self contained series, so I'd say yes. She's a lot of fun and you can tell she's former military in how her characters think.

ETA: I wonder if she was a 'loggie' in the military (for non-mil types that means a logistics person). She deals with that sort of thing a lot!

Feb 7, 11:26am Top

>44 reading_fox:

My favorite is the Serrano Legacy series which begins with Hunting Party.

Feb 7, 1:38pm Top

>46 suitable1: In my TBR for when I finish Vatta's War.

Feb 7, 4:29pm Top

>44 reading_fox: I have only read a couple of Elizabeth Moon titles. Both are stand-alone and I would recommend either one as a place to start...

- The Speed of Dark was a great read for me.
- Remnant Population, while suffering from poorly-rendered secondary characters, had an excellent premise and a wonderful protagonist, (an 80-year old grandma! ;)

I have the Vatta's War series on my TBR list at the library so I definitely plan to read more of her work soon.

>46 suitable1: I'll have to look for the Serrano Legacy series too. Thanks!

Edited: Feb 14, 7:02am Top

11. A Darkling Sea - James L. Cambias

Challenges: ROOT, ScaredyKIT, AlphaKIT

Rating: Interesting and quite complex first contact story with the added element of happening in an environment exceedingly dangerous to Terrans.

Exploration has found intelligent life at the bottom of a sea on a moon. Earth has protocols: no first contact. Observe, do not interfere. But then contact is made accidentally and things go particularly pear-shaped when the other species Terrans share the skies with arrives. And they are definitely pissed off.

A little slow to start, but once the other aliens arrive, things heat up and the action keeps you reading.

The world building is interesting and complex. The characters are pretty well-drawn given that humans don't really get either alien species very well. The decisions by the Terrans are a bit hard on the imagination, in that I wonder if real people would be that willing to risk their lives in so hostile an environment. But definitely intriguing nonetheless.

Feb 8, 3:29pm Top

12. The Curious Case of the Copper Corpse - Alan Bradley
Series: Flavia de Luce #6.5

Rating: Meh

I love Flavia, but this was too short to really have her get into 'character' so to speak.

Edited: Feb 14, 7:01am Top

13. Hunted - Kevin Hearne Series: Iron Druid #6

Challenges: ROOT, ScaredyKIT, SFFKIT

Rating: A bit too much running, but a good entry to the series nonetheless (which, truth be told, generally involves a lot of running)

Listening to the Audio, and I adore Luke Daniels, particularly his Oberon.

Atticus, Oberon and Granuile are being pursued across Europe by bad guys egged on by some unknown enemy.

Oberon, his head firmly in the now, is such a good contrast to Atticus, who focuses on his past and why folks are after him, and Granuile who is currently still getting used to being a fully functioning Druid and learning about her abilities.

And I adored the ending, and am eager for the next book!

Feb 13, 5:51pm Top

14. Revenger - Alastair Reynolds Series: Revenger #1

Challenges: ROOT, RandomCAT, ScaredyKIT

Rating: What a terrifically fun read!

Two young girls escape their home because of the nefarious doctor who keeps wanting to do odd things to them. They sign on with a spaceship to be bonereaders.

Supposedly YA I guess, but definitely adult in outlook, and complexity of moral decisions both girls end up making. There is a lot of hard science given that the world they live in is pretty much the dark ages compared to the ruins of advanced civilizations they see around them. They set out to find artifacts most of which no one understands any more and have no hope of duplicating.

And then the pirate shows up. Not a soft sort of pirate either, but one who enjoys pain and suffering and is more than willing to inflict it.

Really enjoyed it and looking forward to the further adventures of Fura and her sister.

Edited: Feb 14, 6:58am Top

>52 majkia: - If you've not read any of Reynolds before you've got lots of pages to discover! This is his first real YA(ish) but is similar to his other works, just with more naive characters. Century rain is perhaps my favourite, which is a standalone. Chasm City is an entry point into his vast revelation space story.

>49 majkia:. I should stay off this thread. zing. (at least I've already tried >51 majkia: - I wasn't too impressed, and struggled with the power levels of the characters. Atticus is too strong to be interesting to me.)

>45 majkia:-48 thanks! Lots to check out.

(some of your touchstones are wonky. try the others option to get the right ones)

Edited: Feb 20, 10:29am Top

15. Jurassic Park - Michael Crichton Series: Jurassic Park 1

Rating: Still holds up on a lot of fronts

Written in 1990, I expected the science to be dated, but really, since there was a lot of talk about the morality and intellgence behind just doing something because we could, I thought that part held up beautifully.

I liked a lot of changes they made for the movie, particularly giving the females a more proactive role than the book did.

Feb 20, 7:47pm Top

>54 majkia: Agreed on both.

Edited: Feb 24, 5:59am Top

16. La Belle Sauvage - Philip Pullman - Series: Book of Dust #1

Rating: Oh my!!!

Prequel to his Dark Materials series, it is unputdownable as we are swept up into the race to save baby Lyra from mysterious forces who are after her.

I'd forgotten how much (and why) I'd enjoyed the first series so much but now, can't wait for book 2. Pullman can really tell a tale...

Feb 23, 7:32am Top

We've been camping for the past week at Eastbank Campgrounds on Lake Seminole. We'll be here until the 28th. It is a lovely campground.

Feb 23, 9:12am Top

>57 majkia: Beautiful! Enjoy.

Feb 23, 9:32am Top

>57 majkia: holy wow - that is a gorgeous campsite! I'm not used to camping when there are no leaves on the trees... Is Georgia warm at this time of year?

Feb 23, 9:36am Top

>57 majkia: We've been coming here quite often. Such a great campground.

>59 Darth-Heather: We are only a minute or three above the Florida border. They do get freezing weather here (we were here in December and had some). But it is already in the low 80s this week. Trees are budding.

Feb 23, 5:00pm Top

So beautiful!

Feb 23, 5:51pm Top

>44 reading_fox: For Moon, if you enjoy fantasy I think the Paksenarion books, the first three, are her best. Somewhat deliberately paced, but nothing is just filler.

Feb 23, 10:55pm Top

>56 majkia: *squeal* I didn't know there was a prequel!! I'm so reading that one! I loved the Dark Materials series. Aren't they making a tv series about it? BBC, maybe?

And that campground is beautiful! Ah, low 80s. Sigh. We were -1 this morning.

Edited: Feb 24, 6:02am Top

>63 catzteach: Yes. It's been a long time since I read his Dark Materials but I really enjoyed this prequel I think as much as I did the original series. And yeah, hoping a good TV series will appear! What with the advances in CGI fingers crossed!

Poor thing, still so cold...

Feb 24, 11:26am Top

I enjoyed the movie and was disappointed they didn’t continue.

Woke up to four inches of snow. It’s still snowing. It’s a good day to stay in and read. :)

Feb 24, 1:25pm Top

>65 catzteach: Good reading. Stay warm! Lots of hot chocolate!

Feb 24, 1:25pm Top

17. Bride of the Rat-God - Barbara Hambly - Series: Colossus Films #1

Rating: Chinese demon, guardian Pekineses, 1920s starlet !

Good fun with an early version of urban fantasy. A 1920s starlet finds herself stalked by a Chinese demons and it takes her and a lot of friends to save her!

Feb 24, 5:36pm Top

>57 majkia: Beautiful photos! What a lovely place to be able to stop.

Feb 25, 1:59pm Top

18. The Prince of Thorns - Mark Lawrence - Series: The Broken Empire #1

Rating: Hard to love protag, sword and sorcery which turns out to sci fi!

Unreliable and mostly unlikeable (at least at first) protagonist. The story itself has some twists and turns and alters about half way through. Very well written. Very dark and gory.

I'll definitely be continuing on.

Edited: Feb 25, 9:42pm Top

>57 majkia: Ahhhh. Makes me feel better just looking at them :o)

Might keep an eye out for that Pullman now.

Feb 27, 6:27am Top

>57 majkia: That is such a beautiful location! Hope you have a great time.

Feb 28, 4:17pm Top

18. The 6th Extinction - James Rollins - Series: Sigma Force #10

Challenges: AlphaKIT, ScaredyKIT, BingoDog

Rating: The usual exciting complex and unpredictable mix of science and military response to threats.

I really love how much this series examines scientific advances and the ways they might create totally new ways for bad actors to create havoc.

And who doesn't love Kowalski.

Mar 1, 6:40am Top

Feb Summary

12 - Books Read
pp: 4754
3 - ebook, 9 - audio
3 - female authors, 9 - male authors
2 - borrowed from library, 10 - TBR books

Best Book for month: La Belle Sauvage

Mar 6, 3:10pm Top

20. The Fell Sword - Miles Cameron - Series: The Traitor Son Cycle #2

Challenges: ROOT, AlphaKIT

Rating: Epic fantasy with a grimdark twist.

I really enjoyed the first book of the series, and am glad to report I enjoyed the second book as well. My only complaint is that I'd like to have seen a bit more of the Red Knight, as this one widens the field considerably and we jump amongst friends and foes throughout.

The Red Knight and his company of mercs, hire on to assist the Emperor. However, things go sideways before they can even arrive, with the Emperor kidnapped and possibly killed, so our guys start out in a hole and have to fight their way clear.

We learn more of who the Red Knight is, see more of his powers on display and are confronted with more of the Wild critters as well as powerful beings both on the side of the Wild and more neutral creatures who stick an oar into the action, quite often making this far more difficult and complex.

I love the humor amidst the carnage, and the understated way the Red Knight controls his company and events. He's always got a plan - and said plans generally make his company groan aloud. Because, although he always has a plan, he seldom explains those plans and his friends have to take him - and them - on faith.

Mar 6, 3:59pm Top

>73 majkia: ooh, I like the idea of identifying the best book for the month. I'll be adding that to my recounts too. Thanks for the example!

Mar 8, 3:28pm Top

21. Welcome to Night Vale - Joseph Fink

Challenges: ROOT, AlphaKIT, ScaredyKIT

Rating: Fun and weird adaptation of podcasts

Reminded me of my younger days when we'd travel for hours in the car, and tune in to a strong signal (usually from Buffalo or Chicago, sometimes NYC) and listen to late night transmissions of alien abductions and other conspiracy theories. Back in the day they weren't so political and nasty but instead were rather fun.

Anyway, Night Vale is hidden in the desert and has a wide range of beings as residents - alive and dead. Traffic reports, weather reports and news items tend to, well, reinforce the weird.

Mar 8, 4:50pm Top

>76 majkia: Have you also listened to the podcasts?

Mar 8, 6:00pm Top

>77 Narilka: No I haven't. I was given the book as a SantaThing gift. I'm already looking into the podcasts. :)

Mar 9, 10:57am Top

>78 majkia: This book had caught my eye and I was wondering if it needed the podcasts to go with. Sounds like it stands well on it's own so far.

Mar 9, 11:04am Top

>79 Narilka: It is definitely a stand alone. Podcasts are similar but there isn't any sort of running narrative to follow from one to the other.

Mar 14, 11:31am Top

22. Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell

Challenges: ScaredyKIT

Rating: Hmmmm

I loved the writing, and the characters were so deftly and complexly drawn they were great. But I sort of like a plot...

Mar 14, 5:31pm Top

>81 majkia: Ha, that was a really different sort of book, at least in my experience. I enjoyed it enough to give it 4 stars, but I did expect a little more from it than what I got.

Edited: Mar 15, 7:32am Top

>76 majkia: I keep forgetting that I bought that one! The podcasts are hilarious.

>81 majkia: & >82 YouKneeK: I borrowed that one on OverDrive and bailed out after a couple of pages, mainly because I had a bunch of books show up at once and that was the longest one. Not sure whether I'll try it again now.

Mar 15, 6:39am Top

>81 majkia: I really liked Cloud atlas but I know what you mean. Ghostwritten was very good too.

Mar 15, 12:13pm Top

>81 majkia: I watched the Cloud Atlas movie first and that really helped me enjoy the book. The presentation is completely different but the stories are the same. Going into the movie without any knowledge of the subject was a strange experience; For the first 40-odd minutes, I had no idea what was going on. It all dovetailed nicely in the end though and a subsequent re-watch after reading the book also held up well.

Mar 15, 6:49pm Top

>85 ScoLgo: I did it in the opposite order – book first, then movie shortly thereafter. When I was watching the movie I was wondering to myself, “Would anybody understand what the heck was going on if they hadn’t read the book?” I guess you just answered my question; it sounds like it did come together for you after a while. :)

I liked the book better, but the movie had an interesting presentation and a different take on things which made it fun to watch. My memory of the movie is kind of a blur now, but I do remember being slightly annoyed by (spoiler for both book and movie) the major change to the Somni story. Removing that extra layer of deception that was going on with that guy whose name I can’t remember changed everything about that story, even if a lot of the basic events were similar. I guess it might not have been easy to follow with all the other stuff already going on if they'd kept it the way it was in the book.

Mar 16, 4:16pm Top

I saw the movie, and it seemed to have more of an overall story line than the book did. But then I saw it some time ago and only once.

Mar 16, 4:16pm Top

23. The Lives of Tao - Westley Chu - Series: Lives of Tao, #1

Challenges: ROOT, Throw the Dice

Rating: Meh.

It had some interesting ideas, but I thought the story drug a lot and I had to consciously pick it up and not skitter off to my audio readings. (Thus I've read a lot of audios whilst I was working on this ebook).

Mar 18, 4:36pm Top

24. Faithful Place - Tana Fench Series: Dublin Murder Squad #3

Rating: Tana French definitely gets dysfunctional families.

Her series is never predictable. The characters change, but the depth of the psychological labyrinths involved are always complex and wildly emotional.

This book cements this series for me, as one of my favorite psychological thriller series. Maybe my favorite.

Watch out though. If your family is/was dysfunctional, it'll bring back memories you'd perhaps rather not surface.

Mar 20, 12:14pm Top

25. The Fold - Peter Clines

Challenges: ROOT, AlphaKIT, SFFKIT

Rating: Quantum donuts!

An unputdownable romp with Game of Throne and Star Trek references, quantum physics, Mycroftian eidetic memory, horror elements and characters you care about.

I listened to the audio version and Roy Porter is just terrific with the humor and the horror.

Mar 20, 3:23pm Top

Happy Spring. My garden to yours.

Mar 20, 7:32pm Top

Your flowers are stunning!

Mar 20, 9:51pm Top

>91 majkia: pretty flowers! My area doesn’t get flowers for another few weeks.

Mar 22, 9:16am Top

>91 majkia: Lovely!

Mar 22, 9:31am Top

>84 Sakerfalcon: Ghostwritten is one of a small number if his that I have not read so I am glad to hear your words of praise for it. Number 9 Dream is the only other one I can remember that I have not read.

Mar 22, 9:39am Top

>86 YouKneeK: I really enjoyed the book and have only seen some trailers and a few pieces of the film. I cannot see how a film could include everything in the book so it has to be a simplification for both the duration of the movie experience and the comprehension of a cinema audience.

I hope to watch the film at some point but I shall watch it as something different from the book; a separate entity. That way I will avoid major disappointment when it does not follow the book verbatim.

Like yourself I would wonder how someone could follow the film withou having read the book.

Another film that felt that way about was Catch 22.

Mar 22, 9:40am Top

>91 majkia: Are thise white and pink amarilla? I have only ever seen red ones.

Great images.

Mar 22, 10:56am Top

>97 pgmcc: Yes. They are 'candy cane' amaryllis. I've got another couple of colors in there but they aren't blooming yet.

>96 pgmcc: and others: Cloud Atlas is the first David Mitchell I've read. I have a copy of The Bone Clocks and our library has Slade House. I'm hoping to get to them eventually.

Mar 22, 11:52am Top

>98 majkia: I shall watch out for your comments when you get to those books. I believe I have put up reviews for both of them but if you are anything like me you will avoid the reviews until after you have read the books.

Mar 22, 6:15pm Top

>96 pgmcc: I would be interested to hear what you think of the movie once you do see it. It was really the structure more than the content that made me think people unfamiliar with the book might have trouble following it.

>98 majkia: I liked Slade House pretty well. Aside from Cloud Atlas, I haven’t gotten to any of his other work yet.

Edited: Mar 23, 6:32am Top

26. Illuminae - Amie Kaufman Series: Illuminae Files #1 608 pp

Challenges: BFB, ROOT, AlphaKIT, SFFKIT

Rating: Interesting story but not crazy about the format

Told in a series of messages and memos, I found it drew away from the story. Also, I listened to the audio and the constant beeping out of any swear words exceedingly annoying.

The AI was especially interesting.

Mar 23, 9:57pm Top

>101 majkia: I loved Illuminae! I read it, though. I can’t imagine it in audio. The visual of the format is part of what appealed to me. I’m waiting for the third one from the library.

Mar 23, 10:08pm Top

>90 majkia: I took a direct hit with The Fold. Downloaded the audio book and started it today :) I loved Ray Porter from the Bobiverse books so happy to listen to him again, he's great.

Mar 26, 4:18am Top

>101 majkia:, >102 catzteach: I liked Illuminae and its sequel Gemina a lot too, and enjoyed the format (I read them in paper editions) but I too found the obliteration of the swear words distracting and annoying. I'm looking forward to book 3!

Mar 26, 4:05pm Top

>101 majkia: I was interested in that one after reading The Lotus War Trilogy by Jay Kristoff, but haven't yet come across a copy anywhere. I will keep looking.

Mar 27, 7:09am Top

27. For We Are Many - Dennis E. Taylor - Series: Bobiverse #2

Challenges: ROOT, SFFKIT, AlphaKIT

Rating: I am "BOB"

Funny, imaginative, nerdy, and more nerdy. Bob died, and awoke as a space probe. He's now attempting to save humanity from 'the others' who are busily wiping out planets all over the galaxy. Can he do it? Can all the Bobs do it?

I listened to the audio and as usual Ray Porter is a hoot.

Mar 28, 5:16pm Top

28. Jade City - Fonda Lee Series: Green Bone Saga #1

Challenges: ROOT, AlpahKIT, ColorCAT

Rating: Slow to start, but full on action after about half way through

Complex world-building, intriguing and multi-layered characters, a plot that moves forward and, while not particularly twisty, still manages to make you worry for the characters. Strong women.

Mar 29, 4:42pm Top

29. All These Worlds - Dennis E. Taylor - Series: Bobiverse #3

Challenges: ROOT, SFFKIT

Rating: Long Live the Bobs!

What a fun series. Great humor (not to mention snide-ness), greatly imaginative, and gives a quite different view on AIs.

Apr 1, 1:20pm Top

30. The Last Judgement - Ian Pears Series: Jonathan Argyll #4

Challenges: ColorCAT, MysteryCAT, AlphaKIT, ROOT, BingoDog

Rating: A bit more serious than previous entries, but still I love the humor throughout the book, which lightens the subject considerably.

The bantor between Jonathan and Flavia, as well as how both of them look at the world around them is just terrific. The mystery was complex and enjoyable if dark. I guessed some of it but there were enough twists and turns to make me happy.

Apr 2, 6:58am Top

March Summary:

Read: 11 - 8 audio, 3 ebooks

Pages: 4830

3 -female authors, 8 male

4- SFF
3 - Sci Fi
1 - Horror
1- Mystery
1- Thriller
1- Historical

Best of the Month:

Hard to choose:

Most entertaining: The Bobiverse ( For We Are Many and All These Worlds) and The Fold

Most intriguing: Jade City with a shoutout to Faithful Place.

All in all, a great month's worth of reading, without a loser in the bunch.

Apr 4, 7:51am Top

Gulf National Seashore and Fort Pickens, Pensacola Beach FL

We arrived for two weeks of camping yesterday. We weren't in the area five minutes when we saw the Blue Angels (Navy flight demonstration team ) practicing. They're stationed across the bay at the Pensacola Naval Air Station.

Apr 4, 2:21pm Top

>111 majkia: Oh, that's such a glorious view! Enjoy!

Apr 5, 5:44pm Top

Wow - sugar sand! I hope you have a great book to match such a scrumptious view!

Apr 6, 11:45am Top

jade city sounds like fun!

Apr 6, 11:17pm Top

Such blue water! Gorgeous!

Apr 10, 1:39pm Top

This osprey decided to land in a tree right above us. The dogs took umbrage! Well, they are duck hunters....

Apr 11, 6:09am Top

Wow, what a great photo! One of the best moments in my trip to Glacier National Park a couple of years ago was watching an osprey fly down the length of a lake with a fish clutched in its talons. Just beautiful.

Apr 11, 9:20am Top

>116 majkia: Wonderful!

Apr 11, 4:54pm Top

Thanks for the comments on the pictures. We're having a great time: good weather, lovely surroundings. only drawback is Jim can't catch any fish. Water temp is still a little low for pompano.

That osprey. There are tons of them here. Far more than I remember from last year, so that's a good thing!

Apr 11, 4:54pm Top

31. The Crown Conspiracy
32. Avempartha

AKA Theft of Swords by Michael J. Sullivan

Challenges: ROOT, ColorCAT, SFFKIT

Rating: My kinda sword and sorcery.

Snarky characters? Check. Hidden identities? Check. Thief? Check. Swordplay? Check. Really a lot of fun, but a strong female or two would have made it a lot better. One does appear, but isn't really present enough. Maybe in the rest of the series.

Apr 11, 5:02pm Top

33. TimeRiders - Alex Scarrow First in TimeRiders Series,

Rating: I had issues.

It would have been a lot more enjoyable if I wasn't shouting at the characters frequently wondering why in the world they were so slow on the uptake.

Yeah, I know it was written for kids, but still. Honestly. 1. What kinda dumb time agency has no provisions for disruptions, and has only a few folks assigned to an outpost. 2. And why in the world was there only one group responsible for fixing time??? 3. Meat computer? The leader of the group treated Bob abominably.

Apr 13, 7:47am Top

34. Updraft - Fran Wilde - Series- Bone Universe #1

Challenges: AlphaKIT, ROOT, ScaredyKIT

Rating: Imaginative!

Impressive world-building. I liked that she never attempted to explain everything but just dumped you into this world and let you learn of it as you went.

Characterization was good with strong characters and an especially strong female lead.

Plotting was based mainly on secrets needing to be discovered by Kirit, so we were in the dark for much of the book until Kirit finally gets into a position to begin understanding the problems those secrets have caused.

I enjoyed it very much and recommend it for folks who like really imaginatively created worlds.

Apr 14, 1:07pm Top

Still at the beach. Until Tuesday. Storms are coming in so the water is all charged up.

Apr 14, 6:04pm Top

The beach looks lovely :)

Apr 19, 9:15am Top

>123 majkia: Mesmerizing.

Apr 19, 9:27am Top

>123 majkia: So beautiful! From a currently hot and sticky London, that beach looks very refreshing.

Edited: Apr 20, 8:38am Top

35. The Man in the Queue - Josephine Tey - Alan Grant #1

Challenges: ROOT, MysteryCAT, RandomCAT

Rating: Interesting and quite different from modern mysteries.

I enjoyed this quite a bit, and found the ending refreshing. The detective, although dedicated and quite likable, isn't infallible, and knows it. He's not driven, miserable, or depressed, other than when he's quite sure he's wrong, and can't figure out why.

Apr 23, 12:27pm Top

36. Stiletto - Daniel O'Malley - Series: The Chequy Files #2

Challenges: ROOT, ScaredyKIT

Rating: As much fun as the first of the series.

Unusual for a sequel to live up to the original, but I think in this case it most certainly does. Lots of funny and at the same time terrifying events occur when the Chequy meet with their long time rivals from the continent and attempt to forge of peace accord. Naturally, things don't go smoothly. Not even at Ascot.

And anyway, how can you not love a series that features a heroine named Myfawny.

Apr 24, 10:44am Top

>128 majkia: I still have to pick that one up. I enjoyed the first one. Glad to se that you enjoyed it as much as the first.

Apr 26, 3:05pm Top

37. The Pale Horseman - Bernard Cornwell Series: Saxon Chronicles #2

Challenges: ROOT, RTT Monthly

Rating: What a horrible time to have to live in especially if female or a child.

The Vikings (the Danes) are taking over England, and Alfred is not doing very well against them, in attempting to save Wessex, never mind all of England. Uhtred, born a Saxon but raised as a Dane, admires the Danes, and loves quite a few of them, but struggles to remain true to his country with the much less admired and really quite hapless, King Alfred.

I struggled to stay with this book, mainly because of the grimness of the time, although, as usual for Cornwell, it is well written and exciting, and probably quite historically accurate.

Apr 26, 3:58pm Top

>130 majkia: I seem to stumble across a writer's most clumsy fiction - the one story I read by Bernard Cornwell was so awkward, ill plotted and dull that even though I am at best a mild Sharpe (TV) fan I was aghast to think people were actually reading the stuff. A similar thing happened with a Tad Williams story - I had no painful memories of one of his early series when I read a story that positively made me puke it was so irredeemably bad. Perhaps alternative world fan fiction is showing up as original at my library.

Apr 27, 2:48pm Top

38. Cards of Grief - Jane Yolen

Challenges: ROOT, AlphaKIT

Ratiing: Not sure how I feel about this one.

Strange, thought-provoking. How doe we influence other societies, other worlds? Is it a good thing or a bad thing, or … Sort of like Schrodinger's Cat, only for anthropologists.

Apr 28, 4:41pm Top

>120 majkia: I have an omnibus edition of part 3 & 4 of this series but haven't managed to locate parts 1 and 2 as yet - your opinion here is making me think that I should mark it for more prioritised hunting... if only the TBR pile were shorter.

>121 majkia: I have the first 6 in that series but haven't tried them yet... should get to them so that I can (as seems a little likely from your comment) decide to pass them on to a more appreciative audience.

Apr 29, 7:53am Top

39. A Quiet Life in the Country - T.E. Kinsey Series: Lady Hardcastle #1

Challenges: ROOT

Rating: A bit too cozy for me.

It was okay, but awfully hard to will myself to buy into the back story. Not to mention to accept the CID rolling over and letting a woman, in 1905 become a major player in an investigation. Otherwise, okay. I'm sure cozy readers would be far more interested in this than I.

Apr 29, 3:36pm Top

>128 majkia: This one is on my summer reading list. I want to be able to read it all day if I "need" to. :)

Apr 29, 8:32pm Top

>135 catzteach: Good plan!

Apr 30, 10:04am Top

>132 majkia: Attractive cover though!

May 3, 4:20pm Top

40. King's Dragon - Kate Elliott - Series: Crown of Stars #1

Challenges: ROOT, BFB, AlphaKIT

Rating: Exciting tale that kept me reading

Although I do have issues.

Firstly, way too much religion. I don't mind the religion as such, but details about the set up of the clergy seemed way too much at times, and got in the way of the storytelling.

Secondly, okay, enough with the recreation of medieval Europe for fantasy novels. Be more creative!

All that said, the characters were interesting, well drawn, and I wanted to know what would happen to them. There were plot twists I didn't see coming, although they were set up well and after the fact you understood how you got there, so there is definitely that.

All in all, I'll most likely read more of this series, since I want to know how it all turns out, how folks fit together, since that wasn't clear yet as of the end of the first book. But there is only one real cliffhanger, but if you don't want to know how that turns out, the rest of the storyline is pretty well tied up, or at least enough that the book felt finished and not just cut off.

May 3, 6:08pm Top

>138 majkia: I love this series. I find it much more interesting and original than a good number of the more famous fantasy series. Actually the religion, if you mean by that, the church and the officials and institutions of the church, is rather light for anything approaching a realistic medieval universe and it is ever so important to the story, but not always in ways you might expect. If I'm recalling correctly, a goddess shows up very early on, so you know you are in a world where lip service isn't always going to cut it.

May 4, 4:52am Top

>138 majkia:, >139 quondame: I read this series as it was being published and thought it was one of the better faux-Mediaeval settings out there. I do think the series suffers from bloat around the middle books, and could have been a couple of books shorter, but the characters were so engaging that I didn't mind spending more time with them.

May 4, 7:10am Top

>139 quondame: >140 Sakerfalcon: I'll read more of it as I agree on the characters. They're pretty terrific.

My complaint about the religion isn't that it is there and central to the story, but that she spends time explaining it, and expanding it and takes a lot for granted in doing that. I'm not Catholic, not Christian, so expecting me to get, and care about, a lot of that doesn't work for me. I'm sure that works better for those who understand the complexity of the church.

May 4, 11:01am Top

>141 majkia: I found some explanation of the religion in a fantasy series gives the reader something on which to understand what framework the characters are upholding or reacting against. Though neither Catholic nor Christian myself I was exposed to non-denominational Christian education as a child on a military base and took a course on the early Church in college due to an interest in medievalism. What I found interesting was the migratory nature of the court, so much more realistic than a king sitting in a castle. Certainly in 16th century England and France the courts moved around a lot, avoiding the buildup of filth and following the food supplies.

May 5, 10:52am Top

41. Appleby on Ararat - Michael Innes Series: Inspector Appleby #7

Challenges: ROOT, ColorCAT, MysteryCAT

Rating: Far from my favorite of the series.

Rather silly story of Appleby stranded on a tropical island after the ship he was on was torpedoed. WWII tale, with spies, lies and a nice dog. Casual racism rather marred it for me.

Yes, I know...

May 7, 8:54am Top

I just bought two Michael Innes books on special for Kindle. Somehow I don't think I've read any of his before.

May 7, 3:42pm Top

>144 MrsLee: His books always make me feel so uneducated. Everybody goes around quoting from impressive books. Appleby on Ararat was so very different from all the previous ones, it surprised me. But I do really enjoy listening to the hoi polloi quoting Chaucer or Wordsworth or whomever.

Edited: May 8, 7:49am Top

42. The Collapsing Empire - John Scalzi Series: The Interdependency #1

Challenges: ROOT, ColorCAT

Rating: What a fun and exciting read!

The empire might be about to self-destruct but as usual with politics, everybody is trying their best to get a leg up on what will be left.

Snarky, science-y, action-y, with an intriguing idea and world, and especially with characters who are well drawn and folks you can care about. Even the Emperox!

Highly recommended for sci fi fans. I can't wait for book 2.

ETA: listened to the audio and as usual, Wil Wheaten was great!

May 8, 7:48am Top

43. A Head Full of Ghosts - Paul Tremblay

Challenges: ScaredyKIT

Rating: DNF

I'm just not a horror reader, I guess. Didn't feel anything but pity for the poor kids in this one, and really didn't care how things turned out.

May 10, 1:18pm Top

camping again at Lake Seminole on the Florida/Georgia border. Last night's sunset and the camp site picture from this morning.

May 10, 3:50pm Top

>148 majkia: Lovely! So much more peaceful than the surf in >123 majkia:, but I loved that one as well.
(Also love the Osprey. So happy I'll be seeing a lot more of those soon.)

May 11, 6:09pm Top

44. Quantum Night - Robert J. Sawyer

Challenges: ROOT, AlphaKIT

Rating: Super science-y and intriguing premise

Okay, I can see why some folks might not like this but I was super happy to see quantum physics and neuroscience married in this outing. A bit preachy it seemed at times, but really, given the premise, it could hardly avoid it.

IT is particularly appropriate given current events...

May 14, 12:51pm Top

>148 majkia: You pick the most idyllic spots to park...if I did that, I'd never, ever get anything done, even reading!

May 16, 1:17pm Top

45. Thereby Hangs a Tail - Spencer Quinn Series: Chet and Bernie #2

Challenges: ROOT, AlphaKIT

Rating: A bit repetitive, I thought.

I enjoy Chet's view of life, but there is just so much a dog can do, and understand, unless perhaps said dog is Oberon. Chet is definitely not Oberon.

May 16, 6:49pm Top

46. Wake of the Bloody Angel Alex Bledsoe Series: Eddie Lacrosse #4

Challenges: ROOT, Throw the Dice

Rating: I do love Eddie and his friends. And sometimes his enemies.

Eddie, sword jockey, is hired by his friend Angelina to track down her husband, an infamous pirate. Eddie, per usual, finds himself swept up into ancillary mysteries galore. And he gets to hang out with his fellow sword-jockey Jane.

May 17, 6:20am Top

>150 majkia: - I did mostly like flashforward another lablit offering of his, I'm glad to see he's written other things in this vein for me to look out for.

May 18, 9:08am Top

47. Kushiel's Dart - Jacqueline Carey DNF

Challenges: ROOT

Rating: Read 150 pages then quit when abuse showed up.

I was reluctant to read this. Knew this wasn't going to go well for me. Sexual abuse is too much of a trigger for me. Written well, granted, but still...

May 18, 11:16am Top

You're not alone here....

May 18, 11:18am Top

>155 majkia: thanks for the warning; much appreciated...

May 18, 3:09pm Top

>155 majkia: Stay away from Melusine and others of that series. They are good, but not safe for people with abuse triggers.

May 19, 7:34am Top

>156 JannyWurts: Sadly. But thanks for the reminder.

>157 Darth-Heather: You are very welcome.

>158 quondame: Thanks for mentioning that.

May 19, 12:18pm Top

>155 majkia: Ack. Well, that just moved to the bottom of my virtual stack. As >157 Darth-Heather: stated, thanks for the warning.

May 20, 1:51pm Top

48. Watchers of Time - Charles Todd - Series: Ian Rutledge #5

Challenges: ROOT

Rating: I love this series. Very psychological and the plots are complex enough to present a lot of questions.

Ian is recuperating from an injury and so is sent off to the north of England to talk to a Priest about his concerns regarding the recent murder of his friend, another priest. Of course it all turns into quite a mess when Ian begins to delve into the hidden depths of a small village.

Ian, struggling still with his mental state after service in WWI, has a depth and understanding that means he can connect with the odd and downtrodden which lets him uncover a lot of secrets wherever he goes. And, he's tenacious and really doesn't much care if he's possibly ruining his own career when he takes on the powerful.

May 22, 7:52am Top

Still camping at Eastbank on Lake Seminole. Here's a candid shot of the family. Our daughter Angela and her hubby Paul joining us for a few days with their 5th wheel. Mr Majkia's sister Diane and her bit of fluff Chloe are visiting us for a month. She's enjoying the fishing even more than her brother!

We have been having lots of rain, and an alligator has been cruising along the rocks at the river's edge so keeping the dogs inside.

We head home tomorrow.

May 29, 12:22pm Top

50. Mechanical Failure - Joe Zieja Series: Epic Failure #1

Challenges: AlphaKIT, ROOT

Rating: Comedy is obviously not universal.

This is supposed to be a comedic take on the military, but I found it flat, and really didn't give a fig about the main character. I spent 20 years in the military, so know full well there is a whole lot to make fun of, but I thought this was over the top and impossible to believe . Heh, yes, I know it is science fiction, but still!

May 29, 6:57pm Top

51. The Queen's Poisoner - Jeff Wheeler Series: Kingfountain #1

Challenges: ROOT, AlphaKIT, ColorCAT

Rating: I really liked it!

I'm not generally a YA Fan, but this one was really good! Great characterization, imaginative world-building and interesting magic ideas. The plot wasn't too convoluted but was interesting enough to keep my attention and keep me reading.

May 29, 7:15pm Top

>164 majkia: Good to hear. That one's ebook goes for sale often so maybe next time I'll snag a copy.

May 30, 8:38am Top

>165 Narilka: same here - I keep seeing it offered as Kindle Unlimited and was curious whether it might be any good. I believe it is the start of a trilogy?

May 30, 9:14am Top

>166 Darth-Heather: Yes, it is. I'll be looking for the follow ons.

Jun 5, 5:56am Top

52. Victory Conditions - Elizabeth Moon Series: Vatta's War #5

Rating: A very satisfying ending to a great series.

Ky Vatta, failed student and one of the few Vatta survivors after her family is attacked at home and in space, has morphed into a cool and calm not to mention deadly enemy to the pirates attempting to take control of her world. They should run while they still can.

Really interesting characterization, a fully imagined world, and complex plotting has made this a great series.

Jun 5, 4:53pm Top

>52 majkia: - I read the series as it came out, and it was hard to wait for the next book. I should do a re-read soon.

Edited: Jun 16, 11:24pm Top

53. Bones of the Earth - Michael Swanwick

Challenges: ROOT, RTT

Rating: Lots of science-y stuff so in my element

Really enjoyed this one, but if you don't like lots of science talk and dinosaurs you might not. I loved the world as portrayed and found it unsettlingly realistic. And the characters are complex and humanly confusing. Really interesting take on time-travel, and in some ways quite different.

54. The Reality Dysfunction - Peter F. Hamilton Series: Night's Dawn #1

Challenges: ROOT, AlphaKIT, SFFKIT

Rating: Complex world building and intriguing complexity amongst the characters. Sometimes hard to follow the plot, so just roll with it.

The kind of sci fi I love, with lots of new ideas, and new worlds to explore, and intriguing ideas about how tech and humans will evolve.

Jun 17, 1:11am Top

>170 majkia: Both excellent, and happy to be reminded! Been a while...

Jun 17, 12:28pm Top

>162 majkia: Love this photo. Looks as though your S-I-L was the only one who realized you were taking the shot. :o) But the bit about the gator stalking the shoreline... ugh. Just read about that woman who disappeared walking her dogs last week. (Only to reappear in bits... )

>164 majkia: Had this on my radar a while. It's free to borrow if you have Amazon Prime, btw.

>170 majkia: That one looks awesome.

Jun 21, 6:53am Top

>170 majkia: Glad to help!

>172 clamairy: Yeah, that gator attack. They are surprisingly quick on land.

re:164 Indeed. That's how I got it. I'm planning on continuing that series hopefully soonish.

The Reality Dysfunction has such a complex and deeply layered world around it. He does such a good job of filling out that world with his varying series. I'm a rea fan of his.

Edited: Jun 21, 2:01pm Top

55. A Gathering of Shadows - V.E. Schwab Series: Shades of Magic #2

Challenges: SFFKIT, AlphaKIT

Rating: Good second book to a really interesting and well written series.

Compelling and interesting characters, good plotting, and the world building is first rate. My error was that I waited too long after book 1 to read book 2 so had some issues of my own making about remembering events in the first of the series. Hopefully I won't repeat that mistake.

My only complaint about this one is that it ends on a decided cliff hanger but well, quite a few series do...

Jun 21, 1:38pm Top

>174 majkia: Looks like a series I should try! Thanks!

Jun 22, 11:19am Top

56. All Systems Red - Martha Wells - Series: Murderbot Diaries #1

Challenges: ROOT, RandomCAT, SFFKIT

Rating: Imaginative and fun

A different look at AI, intelligence and what makes something human. Maybe its the entertainment feeds?

Jun 22, 2:08pm Top

>176 majkia: I read this a couple of months ago and really enjoyed it. Who says all new books are gigantic and bloated? This was a tightly-plotted novella that had me adding the sequels to my TBR ASAP. Not sure I will have time in my reading schedule this year but, if I do, Wells' titles will be high on the list.

Jun 27, 1:07pm Top

57. The Shadow Throne - Django Wexler Series: The Shadow Campaigns #2

Challenges: ROOT, AlphaKIT, SFFKIT, ColorCAT

Rating: Mysteries and Secrets and Magic, oh my!

I'm really enjoying this series. The magic is there, but not in your face and up front. More, the focus is on military SFF and politics. The characters are quite varied and all of them are fully formed and intriguing. The world-building, with much of the world hidden from our view with only hints of what surrounds our current active piece of it, is first rate.

Eager to get to the next entry in the series.

Jun 29, 3:00pm Top

58. A Natural History of Dragons - Marie Brennan Series: Mrs Trent's Memoirs #1

Challenges: ROOT, RTT

Rating: Fun alt history with the usual Victorian expedition into 'primitive' parts of the world in an effort to explain the world and what it consists of.

Really enjoyed this. I thought Ms Brennan did a good job of sending up the Victorians' interest in the world around them as well as their disdain for other countries and peoples. And our heroine, all of 19, is already beginning to break out of the bonds of her upbringing.

Jun 29, 6:36pm Top

>179 majkia: I’m glad to read you liked this. It’s been on my list for a while and I have the first book on Kindle, but I had just read the Temeraire series last year so I was afraid it might have a few too many similarities and didn’t want to read them too closely together. I may slot this one in next year.

Jul 2, 7:33pm Top

>180 YouKneeK: No similarities to Temerarie. Very different worlds and very different characterizations. I think you'll be good.

Jul 2, 7:34pm Top

59. A Conjuring of Light - V.E. Schwab Series: Shades of Magic #3

Challenges: ROOT, BFB

Rating: satisfying conculsion to the series

I really enjoyed the series. The characterization was great and world-building excellent.

Jul 2, 8:42pm Top

>181 majkia: Good to know, thanks!

Jul 6, 9:02am Top

60. A Shadow in Summer - Daniel Abraham Series: The Long Price Quartet #1

Challenges: ROOT, AlphaKIT

Rating: The writing is lovely, the story intriguing, the worlds he's built amazing.

This is a re-read, as I want to get to the rest of the series. I loved it the first time, and perhaps love it even more. I especially like how he evokes the world in the way he's written the words. The sounds and complexity of the language fit the whole so well.

Continuing on immediately with Book 2.

Jul 6, 3:47pm Top

>184 majkia: I’m glad this held up to a re-read. I read it several years ago and enjoyed the entire series. It’s always been on my mental list of “things I really want to re-read if I ever find myself with lots of extra time and not so many new things to read”. :)

I hope you continue to enjoy the rest of the books!

Jul 6, 4:38pm Top

>185 YouKneeK: I loved his Dagger and Coin series also. I'm trying not to get my hopes up too much given that, but expect, given how I'm feeling about the beginning of book 2, that it'll hold up!

Edited: Jul 6, 4:48pm Top

>184 majkia: I have had the first book of that series on a want list since 2016 - but hadn't found it in local libraries - I'll check again now.
Well, better luck at the closer library. I guess I just haven't really looked before.

Jul 6, 7:53pm Top

>186 majkia: I really enjoyed Dagger and the Coin too. I hope he’ll write another fantasy series before long. I’m also curious to try the Expanse series he’s co-writing, once it’s done.

>187 quondame: I hope you enjoy it if you decide to try it!

Jul 8, 10:13am Top

61. A Betrayal in Winter - Daniel Abraham Series: the Long Price Quartet #2

Challenges: ROOT, AlphaKIT

Rating: Complex, intriguing, atmospheric

I continue to enjoy the series, with the second book of this quartet. Will continue the series quite soon but need a slight break.

I'm listening to the audio, and the lyrical reading is very helpful to evoke the atmosphere and created world of the quartet.

Jul 12, 6:36am Top

62. The Crimson Campaign - Brian McClellan Series: The Powder Mage Trilogy #2

Challenges: Dice, ROOT, BFB

Rating: Gory, lots of action, and complex plotting.

I really enjoy flintlock fantasy, with this being a great example of the subgenre. Not a lot of magic, mostly wartorn cities and countryside, and struggles between waring countries and people. Betrayal, desperation, with every once in awhile a bit of grim humor.

Jul 12, 10:43am Top

>62 quondame: I'm not sure now why I read this, especially why I read more than one one this series, but what I remember is that every encounter with a woman turned into a screaming match.

Jul 15, 1:03pm Top

63. Two for Sorrow - Nicola Upson Series: Josephine Tey #3

Challenges: ROOT

Rating: Not as enjoyable for me as the two previous.

I thought we got way too tied up in Tey's personal life, and that derailed the whole mystery. The mystery was interesting enough but so disjointed by the personal stuff it was harder to follow.

Edited: Jul 15, 1:04pm Top

>191 quondame: hmmm. I'm reading the last book of the trilogy and can't quite see that but YMMV of course.

Edited: Jul 16, 3:05pm Top

>189 majkia: Thanks for the additional recommendation for these Daniel Abraham books, so many folks here have recommended them that I've added them to my wish list.

Jul 16, 7:45pm Top

>194 Karlstar: He's also half of the partnership that makes up the James S. A. Corey pseudonym of The Expanse series fame.

Jul 17, 6:36am Top

64. An Autumn Republic - Brian McClellan Series: Powder Mage Trilogy #3

Challenges: ROOT, AlphaKIT

Rating: Conclusion to the series which manages to wrap up most of it, but leaves me still wondering.

I suppose I shouldn't be surprised I still have questions, since there are follow on books. I enjoyed the series though, and like the flintlock fantasy subgenre. Magic mixed with technology, and strange gods and stranger people.

I'm sure I'll read the next books which I hope will explain the whole god thing a lot more.

Jul 20, 9:06pm Top

65. Sleeping Giants - Sylvain Neuvel Series: Themis Files #1

Challenges: ROOT, AlphaKIT

Rating: Fun and interesting, not to mention a nicely different take on artifacts.

Really enjoyed the story. I wasn't a fan of the format at first but it grew on me. Nicely mysterious and alienist.

Jul 23, 1:44pm Top

66. An Autumn War - Daniel Abraham Series: Long Price Quartet #3

Challenges: AlphaKIT, ROOT

Rating: Whoa. I sorta saw something like it coming, but this was better!

Really enjoying the complexity and the humanity portrayed in this series. Both sides, although doing stupid war, are shown as honest and deeply motivated people who see the same thing in very different ways.

Eager to finish off the quartet.

Jul 23, 5:19pm Top

>198 majkia: Glad to hear this series is so good. Hope to get to the first one soonish.

Jul 26, 8:40am Top

67. The Beautiful Mystery - Louise Penny Series: Armand Garmache #8

Challenges: ROOT, MysteryCAT

Rating: I'm afraid much of it was lost on me, still good though.

Way too religious for my tastes but at least the main characters weren't overcome by the religion. I enjoy chants but that's as much as I care about monasteries.

Jul 29, 10:34am Top

68. Broken Harbour - Tana French Series: Dublin Murder Squad #4

Challenges: MysteryCAT, ROOT

Rating: Psychologically complex and painful

This series, and this book in particular, is far more than a police procedural, rather stories that delve deeply into people's hidden fears and messed up lives and minds. They deal not just with murder, but with broken lives and psychological scars that really never heal, but that the best you can hope for is scar tissue to paint them over so the agony isn't always front and center, but yet are always there to come to the surface under certain conditions.

Not easy to read, but horribly realistic, at least in my experience.

Aug 1, 12:51am Top

69. Etiquette and Espionage - Gail Carriger Series: Finishing School #1

Challenges: ROOT, ColorCAT

Rating: Enjoyable but awfully fluffy.

A little too girly for my tastes, but at least it was fun.

Aug 1, 4:42am Top

>197 majkia: I've recently got around to that one - it is an odd format, but works surprisingly well. I do wonder if the rest of the series continues like that.

Aug 1, 7:20am Top

>203 reading_fox: Me too. I've got book 2 in the wings.

Aug 1, 10:42am Top

>204 majkia: I love this trilogy. I'm looking forward to what he writes next, because he's got a great voice.

Aug 20, 12:19pm Top

70. A Fearsome Doubt - Charles Todd Series: Ian Rutledge #6
71. The Immortals - Jordana Max Brodsky Seiries: Olympus Bound #1
72. The Price of Spring - Daniel Abraham Series: The Long Price Quartet #4

Enjoyed all of them.

Aug 21, 9:56am Top

73. The Stars are Legion - Kameron Hurley

Challenges: ROOT, Roll the Dice

Rating: Different and imaginative.

Props for the attempt to write a different sort of world, a world of women where no men are in evidence. The writing was great and the world-building complex and confusing and mysterious, as it should be. I guess my disappoint is that even without men, this world is all aggression and war. Maybe it would be, but I can always hope for something different if women ruled the world.

Aug 25, 11:52am Top

74. Dune - Frank Herber Series: Dune #1

Challenges: ROOT, AlphaKIT, BFB

Rating: Stands up on re-read

I was, like everyone else who read it when it first came out, majorly impressed. Given all the changes in the genre, I'm happy to say the book does stand the test of time. I wasn't impressed with the immediate series continuation books at the time, and probably won't read them, but I am interested in the continuing books regarding the Bene Geserit, and the Navigator Guild, so will most likely read those at least.

Aug 25, 3:41pm Top

You've probably seen "how to read the Dune series." (1)Start with Dune. (2) Stop.

Aug 25, 4:23pm Top

>209 suitable1: Yeah, LOL. I know...

Aug 25, 5:34pm Top

>209 suitable1: & >210 majkia:

That is what I heard also.

In addition, I have not yet read Dune but I do have a copy of the anniversary edition pictured in #208 and am looking forward to a first read.

Aug 25, 5:55pm Top

>211 pgmcc:

I think that Dune is worth your time.

Aug 25, 8:11pm Top

Dune is on my favorites shelf :) And I've not read any of the rest of the series so I guess I'm doing it right lol

Aug 25, 8:24pm Top

I haven’t read Dune yet either, although it’s on my list. Even though I've seen many people say it stands alone fine and is probably even best read that way, I still tend to think of it as a series-length investment and so keep putting it off.

You all almost have me convinced that I should just stick it on the schedule as a standalone read and forget that I ever knew there were other books. :)

Aug 26, 7:05am Top

>214 YouKneeK: Our work here is done!

>211 pgmcc: It is definitely worth a read. A classic and well deserved to be so.

Aug 27, 3:23pm Top

75. The Other Einstein - Marie Benedict --- Abandoned DNF

Challenges: AlphaKIT, ROOT

Rating: Started off really interesting but devolved into boring romantic whining

Very disappointed.

Aug 29, 6:18am Top

76. The Daffodil Affair - Michael Innes Series: Inspector Appleby #8

Rating: Weird even for this series, LOL

Challenges: ROOT, AlphaKIT, MysteryCAT

Two baffled detectives attempt to find some sort of linkage between a horsenapped cart horse named Daffodil, a missing girl who is none too bright, and a missing house from Bloomsbury.

Aug 29, 12:42pm Top

>217 majkia: I bought some Michael Innes novels for my wife some years ago. I must see if this one is amongst them.

>217 majkia: Dune is now on my short range radar for reading. I am currently enjoying Strange Practice by Vivian Shaw. Very entertaining.

Aug 30, 12:29pm Top

Adding support for Dune as a standalone. I've recently thought I might reread it, but only the first volume. It's great, the rest are varying degrees of not.

Aug 31, 7:49am Top

77. Half-Resurrection Blues - Daniel Jose Older - Series: Bone Street Rumba #1

Challenges: ROOT, AlphaKIT, ScaredyKIT

Rating: An okay urban fantasy.

A half-dead guy working for the powers that be in supernatural Brooklyn.

This topic was continued by 2018 -Majkia's Draconic Adventures - #2.

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