Reviews by Vanessa

Review

Legion: The Many Lives of Stephen Leeds

Posted: November 13, 2018 by Vanessa in Books We Love Meta: Brandon Sanderson, Fantasy
Legion: The Many Lives of Stephen Leeds

Stephen Leeds is not your average hero. He’d consider himself an normal enough guy, nothing really special to look at or know. At least until he starts talking to people no one else can see.
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Review

Empire of Sand

Posted: November 6, 2018 by Vanessa in Books We Like Meta: Tasha Suri, Fantasy
Empire of Sand

Mehr is the illegitimate daughter of the local provincial governor, her father the official representative of the Emperor and the Emperor’s spiritual equal the Maha. While her father is powerful, her mother’s heritage, the Amrithi, are not only outcasts, but are hunted down by the Maha and his mystics. The best thing for Mehr to do is lay low and be the obedient daughter. But she isn’t yet ready to give up the dances and rites that worship the faith of her mother’s people.

Mehr and her family, including a beloved younger sister and a hostile stepmother, live near the desert where her mother’s people originate. The desert is also where the gods of this world sleep and dream, their dreams heralded by the sandstorms that blow through the city where she lives.

There is magic in those storms, and Mehr can hear it calling in her blood. When she inadvertently uses that magic for the first time, she attracts the attention of the Maha, who sends a delegation of mystics–among them a new husband.Read the rest of this review »

Review

The Fated Sky

Posted: October 16, 2018 by Vanessa in Books We Like Meta: Mary Robinette Kowal, Science Fiction
The Fated Sky

In THE CALCULATING STARS you got to know Elma York, the brilliant mathematician who becomes one of the first lady astronauts on an Earth that must take to the stars to survive.

Now it looks like she’ll be one of the first women to Mars.Read the rest of this review »

Review

Trial By Treason

Posted: September 25, 2018 by Vanessa in Books We Like Meta: Dave Duncan, Historical Fantasy
Trial By Treason

So I’d never heard of Dave Duncan before this book showed up at my house. As the managing editor here at EBR I’m the one who gets the books and divvies them out. There used to be a time–when I first started here eight years ago–that Steve would send me stuff and I would read it because he told me to; sometimes I’d get to choose. Not anymore. I’ll admit that now it’s typical for me to read the first couple pages of everything that comes in and keep what I think looks interesting. I’ll also admit that the front cover of this book didn’t particularly grab me.

But then I read the first couple of pages. And then I read the first couple of chapters. Then I looked up Dave Duncan on the wiki and that dude has something like 40 books to his name! What dungeon have I been holed up in all these years? First I remedied it by reading TRIAL BY TREASON then I’ll continue to see what else he’s got.Read the rest of this review »

Review

The Calculating Stars

Posted: August 7, 2018 by Vanessa in Books We Like Meta: Mary Robinette Kowal, Science Fiction
The Calculating Stars

Did you read Mary Robinette Kowal’s 2014 Hugo-winning novelette “The Lady Astronaut of Mars”? If not, you can read it here on the Tor.com website, or for time’s sake my reaction to it at the bottom of this EBR Review post. In short, it was the obvious standout winner. The main character, Elma, is a 60-something former pilot/astronaut who must make the ultimate sacrifice. But after reading that, one wonders, how did history change to make it possible for 1950s Earth to colonize Mars?

Wonder no more!
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Review

Kill the Farm Boy

Posted: July 12, 2018 by Vanessa in Books We Love Meta: Delilah S. Dawson, Kevin Hearne, Fantasy, Humor
Kill the Farm Boy

Take every fantasy trope, every dungeon crawl, every fairytale stereotype and put them in a bag, smash the bag with a hammer, then dump out the pieces and you get KILL THE FARM BOY. It’s a romp of a book, with clever turns of phrase, goofy characters, a quest they don’t realize they’re on, all while poking fun at every fantasy book you’ve ever read. Terry Pratchett would be proud.
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Review

Terror Is Our Business

Posted: June 26, 2018 by Vanessa in Books We Love Meta: Joe R. Lansdale, Kasey Lansdale, Horror
Terror Is Our Business

I have a confession to make. I’ve never read any Lansdale before. I know, I know. Withhold the tomatoes. I blame Steve for always taking them when I was a newbie here at EBR. Now I realize what I was missing and will quickly remedy this failing.

Because if you love horror, mysteries, thrillers…. heck, anything well written, you should be reading Lansdale.
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Review

By Fire Above

Posted: June 13, 2018 by Vanessa in Books We Like Meta: Robyn Bennis, Steampunk
By Fire Above

Josette is the captain of the airship Mistral, and after the events of THE GUNS ABOVE (EBR review), she’s made enough of a name for herself that she doesn’t have to worry about the powers-that-be of taking her ship away from her. But the war with the Vins continues to rage, and making a name for oneself means that her and her crew are thrown once again into the fray to fight for Garnia.

But the scariest thing Josette will do is navigate the Garnian royal court.
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Review

A Secret History of Witches

Posted: June 7, 2018 by Vanessa in Books We Like Meta: Louisa Morgan, Fantasy
A Secret History of Witches

The book begins in 1821, when a small group of Romani (gypsies) are escaping immanent death by leaving France for England. And the only reason they escape is through the efforts of the group’s matriarch and the magic she’s inherited from her witch ancestresses. The Orchiére women have used their magic for hundreds of years, the magic following their daughters from generation to generation. A SECRET HISTORY OF WITCHES follows their genealogy from 1821 to World War II, showcasing a line of vibrant women connected tightly to their family’s past and future.
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Review

The Tombs

The Tombs

Teenage Avery’s life changed the day her mother was committed to the Tombs, a ‘hospital’ for the insane. In an effort to hide their disgrace–and out of necessity as their middle-class standing is ruined–Avery and her father change their names and move to a less desirable part of town, where her father opens a clockwork shop and she begins working as a welder at a local factory. It’s not the life she lived before, where she went to school, wore nice clothes, and was friends with girls her age–and when her father didn’t drink himself into a stupor every night. But not everything is bleak. She has her peregrine “Seraphine”, best friend Khan, and welding work that she realizes she has a knack for.

Everything changes again when new abilities begin to manifest and she realizes that her mother was hospitalized for being crazy when in reality she has empathic powers.
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