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Narilka reads in 2019 - Vol 2

This is a continuation of the topic Narilka reads in 2019.

The Green Dragon

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Edited: May 16, 8:10pm Top

Time for a new thread. The old one was getting long.

An IT project manager by day and an avid fantasy and scifi reader by night, with other genres thrown in on occasion for variety. I primarily read for enjoyment so rate my books that way.

My Rating System
- Absolutely horrible, don't bother

- Meh, I finished the book somehow but would not recommend it

- An entertaining read

- Highly enjoyable, I would probably recommend this book

- Excellent! The book may not be perfect but it was perfect for me. Possibly a new favorite.

A star is given for a book that falls between those categories.

Currently Reading

Listening To

Edited: May 18, 8:05pm Top

Books Read in 2019
0. The Christmas Hirelings by M. E. Braddon
1. Fool's Quest by Robin Hobb
2. Assassin's Fate by Robin Hobb
3. Paradox Bound by Peter Clines
4. The Odyssey by Homer
5. Daughter of the Empire by Raymond E. Feist and Janny Wurts
6. Sabriel by Garth Nix
7. Saint's Blood by Sebastien de Castell
8. King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo
9. Lirael by Garth Nix
10. Magic Rises by Ilona Andrews
11. Sightwitch by Susan Dennard
12. Bloodwitch by Susan Dennard
13. Abhorsen by Garth Nix
14. Mouth Care Comes Clean by Ellie Phillps, DDS
15. Dead Moon by Peter Clines
16. Awaken Online: Retribution by Travis Bagwell
17. Tyrant's Throne by Sebastien de Castell
18. And on that Bombshell by Richard Porter
19. Going Postal by Terry Pratchett
20. The Raven Tower by Ann Leckie
21. The Spirit Thief by Rachel Aaron
22. Bound by Mark Lawrence
23. Holy Sister by Mark Lawrence
24. Awaken Online: Apathy by Travis Bagwell
25. The Spirit Rebellion by Rachel Aaron
26. The Last Unicorn: The Lost Journey by Peter S Beagle
27. Fool's Gold by John Hollins
28. Blood Rites by Jim Butcher
29. The Spirit Eater by Rachel Aaron
30. Three Mages and a Margarita by Annette Marie
31. Brilliant Burnout by Nisha Jackson, PhD
32. Dark Arts and a Daiquiri by Annette Marie
33. Magic Mourns by Ilona Andrews

Fun Stats
Books Read: 33
Total Pages Read: 9168
Audio Book Hours: 111h 48m
Rereads: 3
TBR Challenge: 4/12
Book Cover Challenge: 15/30

2019 Series Stats
In progress: 17
Up to date: 10
Completed: 4
Abandoned: 1

Edited: Apr 28, 10:25am Top

TBR Challenge
Another year, another TBR Challenge. Pick 12 books that I've been meaning to read and add them to the list. Try to finish one a month. I've done Primary and Secondary lists in case something in the Primary list just isn't working for me. This year's primary list is a random mash of items from Mt. TBR. The secondary list will be all the books I didn't get to from 2018's challenge.


1. Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay
2. Daughter of the Empire by Feist & Wurtz (The Empire Trilogy 1 of 3) Completed 1/25/19
3. Going Postal by Terry Pratchett (Discworld 33 of 41ish) Completed 3/30/19
4. Circe by Madeline Miller
5. Finding Gobi by Dion Leonard
6. Uprooted by Naomi Novik
7. Never Grow Up by Jackie Chan
8. The Boy on the Bridge by M. R. Carey
9. The Future of the Mind by Michio Kaku
10. The Odyssey by Homer Completed 1/18/19
11. Tamsin by Peter S. Beagle
12. Blood Rites by Jim Butcher (Dresden Files 6 of 15) Completed 4/28/19

Carryover from 2018
1. Red Rising by Pierce Brown (Red Rising 1 of 3)
2. Wool by Hugh Howey (Silo 1 of 3)
3. Foreigner by C. J. Cherryh (Foreigner 1 of 19)
4. Digital Fortress by Dan Brown
5. A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
6. Everybody Lies by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz
7. Hunter by Mercedes Lackey (Hunter 1 of 3)
8. The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch (Gentleman Bastards 3 of 7 planned)
9. The Genius of Birds by Jennifer Ackerman
10. A Cat Named Darwin by William Jordan
11. The Gunslinger by Stephen King (The Dark Tower 1 of 8)
12. Throne of Jade by Naomi Novik (Temeraire 2 of 9)

Edited: May 15, 8:10pm Top

My Personal Incomplete Series Challenge
I always knew I juggle a lot of series, primarily so I don't suffer series burnout and also partly because shiny new books keep being published :D I decided it was time to make it "official" and actually track all the series I have in progress for the year. The list is frightening! Maybe this will give me some incentive to finish a few more series off before I start even more new ones. Maybe ;)

Series Stats Summary
In progress: 17
Up to date: 10
Completed: 4
Abandoned: 1

In Progress
Discworld: Rincewind - 5/8
Discworld: City Watch - 5/8
Discworld: Tiffany Aching - 1/5
Discworld: Overall - 27/41
Kate Daniels - 6/10
Iron Druid Chronicles - 5/9
The Shadow - 1/4
The Gentleman Bastards - 2/3, 7 planned?
The Dresden Files - 6/15, 17 planned?
Temeraire - 1/9
The Girl with All the Gifts - 1/2
Frontlines - 1/6
The Empire Trilogy - 1/3
The Legend of Eli Monpress - 3/5
The Guild Codex - 2/5
Cats in Trouble - 6/8
Jane Avery Mysteries - 1/2

Up to date and waiting
Inkeeper Chronicles - 3/3 - #4 TBD
The Hidden Legacy - 3/3 - #4 expected 2019
Awaken Online - 3/3 - #4 TBD
The Band - 2/2 - #3 TBD
West of West - 2/2 - #3 expected Sept 2019
DFZ 1/1 - #2 expected 2019
Skyward 1/1 - #2 expected Nov 2019
King of Scars 1/1 - #2 TBD
The Witchlands - 3.5/3.5 - #4 TBD
Threshold - 3/3 - #4 expected late 2019

Deliberately On Hold
Waiting for future publication date(s) before continuing. Some authors have a bad habit of taking too long between books (yeah, I'm looking at you GRRM). I want the series completed before continuing my reading.
Lighbringer - 1/5
A Song of Ice and Fire - 3/7?
Murderbot Diaries - 1/4 - hoping they go on sale, they're expensive for novellas

Completed in 2019
The Fitz and the Fool - 3/3
Abhorsen Trilogy - 3/3
Greatcoats - 4/4
The Book of the Ancestor - 3/3

Abandoned in 2019
The Dragon Lords - 1/3

Edited: May 11, 7:39pm Top

Book Cover Challenge
This is a challenge I'm participating with a group on GoodReads. Using the list below, fill in your book information as you read titles that match the categories.

Progress: 15/30

Red cover Going Postal
Orange cover The Spirit Rebellion
Yellow cover King of Scars
Green cover
Blue cover Mouth Care Comes Clean
Purple cover Holy Sister

Pink cover Brilliant Burnout
White cover Bound
Black cover Paradox Bound
Metallic cover
Rainbow cover

Cover with the author’s name in the biggest font
Cover with the title in the biggest font

Cover with a tower
Cover with a cityscape Three Mages and a Margarita
Cover with a boat/ship
Cover with a house

Cover with a tree
Cover with a mountain
Cover with a night sky Dead Moon

Cover with a man Bloodwitch
Cover with a woman Daughter of the Empire
Cover with a dragon Fool's Gold
Cover with a bird
Cover with a magical creature The Last Unicorn: The Lost Journey

Cover with a weapon
Cover with a crown
Cover with a cloak Tyrant's Throne
Cover with a mask
Cover with a dress

Apr 17, 9:07pm Top

Happy new thread!

Apr 17, 9:23pm Top

>6 quondame: Thanks!

Apr 17, 9:24pm Top

23. Holy Sister by Mark Lawrence

Here ends Nona's story. Holy Sister is the third and final installment of The Book of the Ancestor by Mark Lawrence. Yet again a big "Thank You" to the author for including a summary at the beginning of the book! More authors need to do this. The story is told in two separate timelines. The main story happens three years after events in book two, with Nona in holy class and war on the horizon. We are also treated to flashback scenes to help fill in events that happened immediately after book two as our characters were left in a tricky situation. This type of storytelling is either hit or miss for me. This time it was a partial miss. While I genuinely found myself interested in both story lines, the way they were broken up kept ruining the tension of each story and threw off the pacing for me. This continues for about half the book. The second half of the story is all in the present day and at that point I could not put the book down. Literally. I read the second half in one sitting!

"It is important, when killing a nun, to ensure that you bring an army of sufficient size."

All those future glimpses we were given in books one and two play out in a spectacular fashion. If you do not like fast paced action then skip this series. Lawrence writes fantastic action scenes that left me breathless. There are so many great scenes that the action lover in me was in heaven. The body count starts to add up and among all the action there were some truly touching moments.

Fair warning, there is an odd romance plot. You will need to have read the novella Bound prior to this book for it to make sense. I wish it was left out as it wasn't very satisfying.

This was a nice ending to the series. I'm sad that Nona's story is done as I've enjoyed my time with the sisters and novices at Sweet Mercy Convent. I am looking forward to to visiting Abbeth again next year in the upcoming series The Book of the Ice.


Apr 18, 5:09am Top

>8 Narilka: I really loved Red sister and must finish this series. Thanks for the warning about the ill-fitting romance plot, I'll try and find Bound after I read Grey sister.

Apr 18, 8:50am Top

>4 Narilka: - I so need to do this. I keep forgetting about ones that I mean to come back to. It will be scary long, but necessary. Maybe I'll put it on my profile.

>7 Narilka: I've just finished Red Sister, not yet reviewed. I've scrolled past so as not to inadvertently read too many details. Hope the odd chronology of the preludes is eventually resolved.

Apr 19, 3:49pm Top

>9 Sakerfalcon: I went with the Kindle version for $2. Hope you can also find it.

>10 reading_fox: The chronology stuff from the first book definitely plays out in book three :)

Apr 19, 4:46pm Top

24. Awaken Online: Apathy

Awaken Online: Apathy is a Side Quest (novella) in the Awaken Online series by Travis Bagwell. This an origin story for Eliza, a character we meet in book 3.

Eliza's parents have decided she is going to medical school and have loaded her schedule to the brim with studying. Needing an escape Eliza jumps at the chance to try out the latest hit game, Awaken Online. Not long after logging in Eliza runs into the most irritating god around and his pet sheep. Suddenly Eliza finds herself chosen as the Hippie's "avatar" and sent on the most asinine series of quests imaginable.

This book was so much fun! Eliza is quite likeable and easy to sympathize with. I love how the game pushes these characters to become better versions of themselves. It was great to see Eliza grow in confidence as her character progresses through a series of seemingly unrelated and bizarre quests. Speaking of the quests, AO has some of the best in game prompts I've ever read, they're hilarious. I really wish I could play this game.

All hail Fluffy!


Apr 21, 7:32pm Top

25. The Spirit Rebellion by Rachel Aaron

The Spirit Rebellion is the second in The Legend of Eli Monpress series by Rachel Aaron. The story takes a slightly darker turn as Miranda deals with the results of her actions from the first book and Eli is on to his next robbery.

Thanks to their escape in Mellinor, Niko needs a new coat. Who better to make a customer coat for her rather specific needs than a master Shaper wizard? Which, of course, comes with a high cost: an incredibly rare, if useless, sword made from bone metal. The catch? The easiest one to steal happens to be kept in the "thief proof" citadel of the Duke of Gaol. As a master thief this presents the ultimate challenge, even though the closer they get to Gaol the more it looks like a trap aimed specifically at Eli. After all, what is life without a little risk? Meanwhile, Miranda returns to the Spirit Court having failed in her mission to capture Eli Monpress. It looks as if Miranda's career as a Spiritualist may be in jeopardy.

Impossible object for Eli to steal? Check. Evil, OCD bad guy who is hell bent on capturing Eli? Check. Lots of oppressed spirits? Check. More about demonseeds? Check. This book takes the foundation Aaron has laid down and builds upon it. We even get a little more background on Eli. And quite a bit of fast paced action. About the only thing we don't get is too much more depth in the other characters. I hope that Miranda, Niko and Josep are fleshed out a bit more in the third installment.

You still can't go wrong if you're looking for a nice, lighter fantasy to read. This one hit the spot.


Edited: Apr 25, 3:07pm Top

26. The Last Unicorn: The Lost Journey by Peter S. Beagle

The Last Unicorn is one of my favorite all time books. It is a cornerstone of fantasy literature, beautifully written with wonderful characters and a story that reaches deep into my soul. I gain something different every time I read it. It's magical. The Lost Journey is the very first draft of what will become this favorite of mine.

It's quite remarkable to read. You can absolutely see the origins of what the story will eventually become though the original draft is quite different from the end product. It's a story about the loss of magic because the modern world is shoving it out. There really isn't much of a plot being more of an exploration of ideas. It also shows the power of letting an idea develop and change over time before it comes the final product.


Apr 25, 2:55pm Top

27. Fool's Gold by Jon Hollins

When a book is marketed as "Guardians of the Galaxy meets The Hobbit" I knew I had to give it a try. The Hobbit part might be a stretch, other than the dragon this is definitely not family friendly. What we get is a funny tale about a band of misfits who think it's a great idea to rob a dragon. What could possibly go wrong?

Will Fallow's main goal in life is to make the farm he inherited from his parents profitable. That's a difficult thing to do when you live in the Kondora Valley ruled by the Dragon Consortium and their constantly rising taxes. Saying he owes yet more taxes, Will's farm is seized by the dragon Mattrax and Will finds himself with nothing but the cloths on his back to his name. Setting off for a new beginning Will runs into the most unlikely of characters: two traveling mercenaries, the skilled fighter Lette and her eight-foot-tall lizardman companion Balur; a reformed mage-turned-thaumatobiologist named Quirk; and the village drunk, Firkin. Between them they hatch a plan to get revenge on Mattrax by stealing all his gold. The plan is so idiotic and insane it just might be crazy enough to work.

The story is told with tongue firmly in cheek as we follow our band of unlikely heroes on their unlikely journey. Hollins takes many classic fantasy tropes and runs with them, with exaggerated characters and situations. It's all very clever and of course nothing goes right leading to a horrifying/amusing domino effect that kept me wondering what would happen next. The humor is crass, there is a lot of swearing if that bothers you, plenty of action and gore and gruesome deaths. While the comedy is laugh out loud funny in parts, I think the author tries too hard to wring as much humor as he can out of every phrase. At times it got to be a bit much. As always, your mileage may vary.

The story ends on an unexpectedly good note with the everything wrapped up nicely. Technically this is the first in a trilogy, though I don't really feel any need to continue the series.

I listened to the audio book narrated by John Banks. His narration is phenomenal. His range of character voices is astounding. I will definitely listen to more books narrated by him in the future.


Edited: Apr 25, 2:57pm Top

>14 Narilka: I didn't know there was such a thing! Nice to see someone else's early drafts published, other than Tolkien. Thanks for that, I've always been a big Last Unicorn (book, not movie) fan.

Apr 25, 3:08pm Top

>16 Karlstar: It is definitely worth the read. The story is soooo different. I hope you can find a copy. I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Apr 26, 10:47am Top

Congrats on getting though 27 books so far this year.

Apr 26, 6:57pm Top

Apr 29, 2:31pm Top

28. Blood Rites by Jim Butcher

As a favor to his vampire friend Thomas, Harry takes a job to investigate some suspicious murders on an adult film set run by director Arturo Genosa. Two of Arturo's female employees have already died in excessively dramatic manners, so much so that it looks like there might be a curse involved. A highly complicated curse requiring more than one person to pull off. This is one mystery that becomes more twisted, and dangerous, the further Harry digs into it.

Blood Rites is the sixth in Jim Butcher's Dresden Files. This just might be my favorite in the series so far. It his the right combo of mystery, action, humor and bad ass wizardry that reminds me how much I enjoy this series. There are some cheesy cliches mixed in but that's all part of Harry's charm. I love how we're pulled right into the action as Harry is wrapping up another assignment by fleeing for his life from some monkey demons. Needless to say that's definitely just the start of a wild thrill ride.

There are two main plot threads. are woven together much better this time around, which was my main complaint about book 5. Yes, we're still dealing with vampires though it's both the Black and White courts this time. It helps fill in the differences between the three courts nicely.

Finally we get some insight into Harry's past! And a lot more character building for Karrin Murphy. I've been waiting for both of these and found it very satisfying. There are two big revelations that turns Harry's personal life upside down (again) which lead to some emotional moments for our characters. I'm fairly sure it's a great set up for where the series will be heading next. I also have a feeling the addition of Mouse will end up fairly important to Harry's future.

“Thomas, why did you buy large breed puppy chow?”


Apr 30, 9:32am Top

>20 Narilka: :) Just keep reading, reading, reading. This is your first time reading this series? Your review makes me want to read the series again, which would be my fourth time.

Apr 30, 8:42pm Top

>21 MrsLee: Yep, my first time through the Dresden Files. That one definitely left me wanting more :)

May 1, 11:20am Top

>14 Narilka: Didn't appeal to me at all, I felt it lacked a proper voice for the tale. However the companion short story two hearts was wonderful, touching and perfect.

>20 Narilka: - Enjoy them all! We'll be here for you when you reach changes and then again at the end of skin game in some 10 books time waiting patiently (not) for the continuation. proven guilty and turn coat are my two favourites at 4.5 each. The balance of powers and ambiguities work best for me in these.

May 1, 8:19pm Top

>23 reading_fox: There's a companion short story?? Must find a copy!

And I hope Butcher gets back to writing soon. Not that I don't have enough Desden books to go but you know what I mean.

May 9, 3:28pm Top

29. The Spirit Eater by Rachel Aaron

The Spirit Eater is the third in The Legend of Eli Monpress series by Rachel Aaron. The story is a lot less lighthearted as things take a serious turn.

With Eli's notoriety at an all time high, Eli decides it's time for the team to lay low for a while and relax by heading Home. Unfortunately for Nico the voice of the demon in her head is growing stronger by the day and she feels powerless, both to stop it and like she's letting the team down due to her weakness. Their holiday comes to an abrupt end when Pele arrives in a panic - her mother has been killed and her father gone missing. Of course Eli must help out, even if he's not entirely sure what he's getting his team into.

This is definitely Nico's book. I enjoyed learning more about her character and the greater struggle between demons and spirits. It adds nicely to the world building. The story feels like a set up a bigger battle ahead where the fate of the world may be at stake.

I'm not sure if it was my mood, the pacing or what but I found the first half of the book easy to set aside. Come to think of it, it might have been that I had the wrong expectation for what I thought this series was going to be about. Eli does no thieving, there is no fun caper. While there is some humor, the overall tone is much more serious now that we the reader begin to understand the world better.

I am curious enough to see where all this is going so I'm looking forward to the next book. I also hope we get Josef's background soon!


May 9, 4:37pm Top

30. Three Mages and a Margarita by Annette Marie

Tori Dawson is down on her luck. Having been fired from yet another waitressing job, she's immediately on the hunt for a new gig so she can make rent next month. Seeing an ad for a bartender at a dive bar Tori decides to give it a try. Beggars can't be choosers after all. Much to her surprise, the Assistant Manager is in a bind and offers Tori a trial shift on the spot. There's some guild meeting planned for the evening and they could use all the help they can get. Things get off to a rocky start as the patrons are borderline hostile and Tori gives the attitude right back. Expecting to be thrown out at the end of the night Tori is instead offered... a job? What kind of bar is this anyway?

Three Mages and a Margarita is the first in The Guild Codex by Annette Marie. This story is just so much fun! It achieved the perfect balance of snarky humor, neat magical abilities and action with a small mystery and plucky heroine that hit the mark for me.

The story is told entirely from Tori's first person point of view. Tori is your typical feisty redhead with a temper to match. She frequently gives in to impulses and does things she shouldn't. Normally this would be a turn off but instead managed to work in the story's favor. Our introduction of how she handles a difficult restaurant diner she's waiting on is hilarious, if slightly horrifying. Who wouldn't want to call out a customer who is being irrational and behaving badly, even when it causes it a scene? It absolutely sets the tone for the rest of the story.

I enjoyed how we're introduced to the Crown and Hammer bar and it's specialized clientele. All the talk of classes and guilds almost put me in mind of a LitRPG, though this is definitely urban fantasy. It makes for a good fish out of water story as Tori discovers that magic is real and everyone around her is some type of mage while she's just a mere human. Referencing the title, there are three mages in particular that stand out, a trio of guys (Aaron, Kai and Ezra) who provide a nice balance to Tori and, of course, offer a potential love interest. I wouldn't call it a love square as there is only real interest in one of the guys, even if they are all "hot as hell" according to Tori. They are also great friends who have powers that compliment each other well. While the characters don't have too much depth, I was fond of them all by the end.

The magic system will be fairly familiar to anyone who's read a lot in the genre, with a little different names. I like that the author has given a vast breadth of available magics as this will let her have a lot of fun with future situations.

I listened to the audio book narrated by Cris Dukehart. She does a great job of bringing Tori to life and nailing her attitude. Her other characters are pretty good too, though some of the voices sound a little similar.

This adventure was exactly what I was looking to read. It has good pacing that steadily picks up for an exciting ending. I will definitely be continuing this series.


Edited: May 9, 6:23pm Top

>26 Narilka: Sounds interesting. What's strange is that the 2 libraries that carry this title only have it in audio format. Well, it's on sale today, so there goes $3.

May 9, 6:48pm Top

>27 quondame: And that's how I ended up trying it - it was a $3 audible daily deal a couple weeks back :)

May 9, 7:31pm Top

>26 Narilka: Okay, book bullet. I invested $2.99 because it sounds like light, entertaining fun.

May 10, 4:52am Top

yep wishlisted too. Author's other works also sound fun.

May 11, 7:56pm Top

31. Brilliant Burnout by Nisha Jackson, PhD

Nisha Jackson, PhD, is a woman's health doctor who specializes in hormone balance. She has made it her mission to help us be the best, most brilliant we can be. In Brilliant Burnout Dr. Jackson explains how the stresses of modern life and society, our need to do it all and be there for everyone, is causing us to put too much pressure on ourselves and is causing dire consequences to our health as a result. More and more women have walked through her clinic's doors feeling burned out, depressed and exhausted, all without knowing why. Dr. Jackson takes a whole body and lifestyle approach to the problem. She details in easy to understand language exactly what continued high levels of stress does to our bodies and offers solutions on how to address each issue.

I am so glad I read this book! I now know what sings to look out for in myself so I can take action before stress and exhaustion rule my life. Many of Dr. Jackson's ideas are easy to implement and she offers a guide on what conversations to have with your doctor to get the care you need along with advice on how to find a specialist if needed.

I won a copy of this book in a GoodReads giveaway.


May 11, 8:46pm Top

>31 Narilka: Yep. I don't claim to have burnt brilliantly but I sure burnt out.

Edited: May 12, 7:04pm Top

>8 Narilka: So you enjoyed this Mark Lawrence series, I see! Did you read his Broken Empire series? I will admit I have been tempted by that one, but it looks as though Book of the Ancestor has a much higher rating here on LT.

>26 Narilka: Your rating seems to be on par with several others I've seen for that Beagle book in here. I guess I'll continue to stay away.

May 12, 8:48pm Top

>33 clamairy: I have not read his Broken Empire series yet. I'm rather nervous to try since they're supposed to be grim dark and that takes the right mood for me to enjoy.

I think it's worth a read, especially if you like seeing the origin of favorite stories. It's fascinating how they get to the final draft.

>32 quondame: Alas it happens to us all eventually.

May 12, 9:02pm Top

>34 Narilka: I've met some amazingly un-burntout people in my time who still emit a fair glow. People who both enjoy what they do for a living and have had the sense to put their health and family before what they do for a living or what they live to do.

May 14, 12:31pm Top

>34 Narilka: Don't do it! If you mean the series that starts with Prince of Thorns, it should be classified as 'teen dark'. Lots of senseless killing, lots of dark teen angst that just results in more killing. There's only one character and he isn't very well done.

May 15, 9:30pm Top

I haven't hosted a series or an author for a while. I'd like to do so this summer, during a month when the most interested folk have the time to do at least the targeted book, which is only 200 pp. long. I'd like to expose as many people as possible to the works of James H. Schmitz, a science fiction author who wrote from the late '40s through the 1970s. He is best known for The Witches of Karres, but imho has written much better works. Here is my bookshelf.

Many of his works, especially his shorter ones, were very hard to find for quite a while, but in 2000 and 2001, Baen published almost all of his oeuvre in a collection of 6 books, seen to the right of the shelf above. The book I would like to feature is Demon Breed, also found in the Baen collection The Hub: Dangerous Territory. Schmitz is known for his kick-ass female protagonists long before they became the current ubiquitous status quo in his stories about Telzey Amberdon, Trigger Argee, and the hero of Demon Breed, Nile Etland.

See my thread for more info if interested!

May 16, 9:28am Top

>26 Narilka: Does Tori end up with magical powers, because at first I read that title as Three Mages and a Magerita. Which could be a nice pun, or insulting, depending on your outlook. :)

>31 Narilka: Does her advice amount to exercise and eat right? Because finding the time to do both of those seems to be adding to my stress lately. :P

May 16, 6:24pm Top

>38 MrsLee: To your first question No.

To your second point, no it doesn't. While both are included as part of the whole plan in general, her main point is recommending rebalancing your hormones. When you overwork your adrenals it causes a massive cascade of side effects to all the hormones in your body. And same for any of our hormones, they all impact each other. The trouble is many doctors are not specialized in this area so she talks about the specific tests and what each of the values means, etc. She even mentions how some of the classic fixes that end up prescribed (like anti-depressants) backfire due to not understanding what's going on in our whole body. She has many recommendations for supplements for overall health along with specific prescriptions you will need a doctor to help with. It was a fascinating read.

May 16, 6:24pm Top

>37 ronincats: Thanks for the info. I'll head over to your thread :)

Edited: May 16, 8:13pm Top

32. Dark Arts and a Daiquiri by Annette Marie

It wasn't long ago that Tori Dawson landed a job as a bartender for a guild of mages. So when her three favorite mages ask for Tori's help catching a notorious rogue of course she agrees. The fact that Tori's going to be used as bait to lure a felon who is a dark arts master known to abduct young, troubled mythics... yeah, that plan fell apart about two minutes in to the operation.

Dark Arts and a Daiquiri is the second in The Guild Codex by Annette Marie. The story continues to be a lot of fun though I found I was missing the guys as Tori went on her own accidental adventure.

Tori is as feisty and smart-mouthed as ever. I love it when she refuses to take shit from anyone, even if it would be better for her to shut up at times. We're given a bit of Tori's history which was nice. We're also introduced to a new antagonist called the Ghost. He's quite an interesting character. His magic is completely different than what we've seen so far, which was a great addition to the world.

In fact I am loving the world that Marie has created in general. We get to learn more about fae and all the various forms they can take. Plus there's a baby dragon. Who doesn't love a story with a baby dragon?

All things considered, I missed the guys enough that I knocked a half star off my rating. I definitely hope there's more Aaron, Kai and Ezra in the next book.


May 17, 8:59am Top

>39 Narilka: That sounds great. Second question about Brilliant Burnout, do you think a Kindle copy is fine, or is it something a reader may want to flip back and forth in to find references, etc. I'm not very good at finding things again in an ebook, so anything like cookbooks, or reference books, I generally buy in a paper version.

May 17, 12:01pm Top

>42 MrsLee: I read a kindle copy and took lots of notes. A paper copy might be better for you and I'm considering one for myself.

May 18, 8:23pm Top

33. Magic Mourns by Ilona Andrews

Magic Mourns is a novella in the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews. The story features Andrea Nash filling in for Kate at the Order of Knights of Merciful aid while Kate recovers from events in book 3. A call comes in to the Order reporting a dog as big as a house is chasing one of the Pack through the city. Not one to leave a shapeshifter in trouble, Andrea takes the job.

This was an enjoyable short story about how Andrea and Raphael finally become a couple. I liked seeing the Kate Daniels world from Andrea's perspective. We also learn some of her history, which was pretty horrible. The mystery features Greek mythology and has a nice little twist at the end that included a teaser insight into Curran that made me go "hmmm". Definitely a read for fans of the series.


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