Reviews by Vanessa

Review

Kitty’s Mix Tape

Posted: October 6, 2020 by Vanessa in Books We Like Meta: Carrie Vaughn, Urban Fantasy, Short Fiction
Kitty’s Mix Tape

First thing you should know is that KITTY’S MIX TAPE can be read without having read any of the books in the series (we’ve reviewed a few of them HERE). BUT, if you read this book before reading any of the books there will be a few spoilers. However, if you want a taste of the world of Kitty Norville and the werewolves, vampires, and witches that inhabit it without diving wholesale into the 14-book series, you wouldn’t be disappointed.
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Review

A Plague of Giants

Posted: September 1, 2020 by Vanessa in Books We Like Meta: Kevin Hearne, Fantasy
A Plague of Giants

There are five known magical ‘kennings’ or types: air, water, fire, earth, and plants. Each nation specializes in of these kennings, and the magic influences the society. There’s a big pitfall with this diversity of ability and locale–not everyone gets along.
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Review

The Orphans of Raspay

Posted: August 25, 2020 by Vanessa in Books We Like Meta: Lois McMaster Bujold, Fantasy, Short Fiction
The Orphans of Raspay

Lois McMaster Bujold’s delightful series of novellas featuring Penric and his demon Desdemona continues with “The Orphans of Raspay” where Penric becomes hopelessly caught up in the sad situation of two orphan girls. If you haven’t read the previous novellas, go check them out, starting with “Penric’s Demon” (EBR review), where you’ll get my opinion on the Audible reader as well as the low-down on what it means to be a sorcerer with one’s own demon.
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Review

Six of Crows

Posted: August 21, 2020 by Vanessa in Books We Like Meta: Leigh Bardugo, Fantasy
Six of Crows

Kaz is a lieutenant for one of the crime lords of Ketterdam. He’s made a name for himself, mostly because he’s willing to do anything for money. And when he’s offered an insane amount of money for a job that may get him killed, he takes it. If anyone can out-think an impossible situation, it’s Kaz Brekker.

But he needs the right crew if he plans to pull it off.
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Review

Driftwood

Posted: August 7, 2020 by Vanessa in Books We Like Meta: Marie Brennan, Fantasy
Driftwood

“Last” is the name of a man you can hire to lead you through the confusing realm of Driftwood. But that’s not the name he was born with. If he can remember back that far.

First you need to understand Driftwood, a realm where dying civilizations get caught up into its black hole (not really any way to explain it, even though that’s not what it is). At first their neighbors disappear. Then their boundaries. Then they find themselves with new neighbors of different worlds, races, and languages. And all of them are moving toward the inexorable deterioration of their society until it disappears completely. It may take a few generations (depending on the life-expectancy of the natives), but their apocalypse is inevitable.
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Review

Blood Countess

Posted: April 28, 2020 by Vanessa in Books We Like...and Hate Meta: Lana Popovic, Horror, Young Adult
Blood Countess

If you haven’t heard of Countess Elizabeth Bathory (Wikipedia) you’ve missed out on a fascinating true story from history. Because she was born in 1560, our understanding of the events that surrounded her life are a little sketchy, but we do know she was beautiful, well-educated, rich, and well-connected. And she was accused of killing 600 girls.

Lana Popovic decided it was a story worthy of trying to tell in BLOOD COUNTESS.
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Review

Wool

Wool

Living on the surface has become life-threatening, and as a result humanity has retreated to underground. We open WOOL with Sheriff Holston, the law for the silo and the underground city that lives there.

But the silo’s population is strictly controlled. Couples aren’t allowed to even try to have a child without permission unless they win a lottery placement that gives them a chance at a year of trying. They only have a chance at this lottery when another inhabitant dies of old age, accident–or by cleaning.
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Review

The Immortal Conquistador

Posted: April 9, 2020 by Vanessa in Books We Like Meta: Carrie Vaughn, Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Short Fiction
The Immortal Conquistador

Carrie Vaughn’s Kitty Norville series (EBR Archive) is popular for good reason. Excellent heroine. Fun storytelling. Interesting worldbuilding. And engaging characters.
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Review

Empress of Forever

Posted: March 31, 2020 by Vanessa in Books We Love Meta: Max Gladstone, Fantasy
Empress of Forever

Viv is a powerhouse of a woman. Entrepreneur. Uber computer programmer. Rich. Powerful. But lonely. In the opening pages of EMPRESS OF FOREVER, Viv finds herself being pursued by people who would stop her from using her genius and influence to change their hold over the world economy. And in the process of using her hacking skills to stop said evil ones she is plucked away from the earth by a green goddess and transferred to another galaxy.

Not exactly the results she was expecting.
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Review

Spinning Silver

Posted: January 21, 2020 by Vanessa in Books We Love Meta: Naomi Novik, Fantasy
Spinning Silver

I loved Naomi Novik’s Temeraire series (even during the trudging years), but when she departed from the dragons and wrote UPROOTED (EBR Review) I admit I didn’t jump on board as quickly as I ought to have. When I did finally read it, I loved it and recommend it to anyone who would listen. I went into SPINNING SILVER with the hope it was just as good, bought it, and carved out holiday me time so I could focus on the anticipated deliciousness–even though it’s been released for over a year (my bad).

It was everything I hoped it would be and more.
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