Reviews :: Book Rating :: Books We Like

Review

Legacy of the Brightwash

Posted: June 20, 2022 by Writer Dan in Books We Like Meta: Krystle Matar, Fantasy, Romance, LGBTQ+
Legacy of the Brightwash

So I sat on this one for a long time. Saw a bunch of hype for it a while ago (thinking last year sometime?) and picked up a copy of the ebook for a steal of a deal. Never got around to reading it though, as something else shiny and pretty always caught my eye first. Recently, I noticed that it had been part of last year’s SPFBO, and it actually did quite well: 2nd place overall. Not too shabby. So, I figured I had better get to it and see what all the hubbub was about.
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Review

Project Hail Mary

Posted: October 25, 2021 by Vanessa in Books We Like Meta: Andy Weir, Science Fiction
Project Hail Mary

When Ryland Grace wakes up on his spaceship, he doesn’t know where he is at first. For the first few chapters it is this very mystery that compels you to keep reading because you must know what’s going on. Who he is. Why he’s there. And what happened. Fortunately, Andy Weir doesn’t keep you in suspense for very long. If you loved THE MARTIAN, you’ll love PROJECT HAIL MARY.
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Review

Rhythm of War

Posted: October 18, 2021 by Vanessa in Books We Like Meta: Brandon Sanderson, Epic Fantasy
Rhythm of War

The fourth book in Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive, RHYTHM OF WAR’s installment has some big revelations–less to do with events themselves but more about how we view said events. And in usual Sanderson style he takes his time with those revelations, building on them one piece at a time.
This installment is told mainly from Kaladin, Shallan, Nivani, and the Singer Venli’s point-of-view, with a few others for counterpoint. Except for Kaladin, their contribution to this conflict’s resolution is not necessarily from the front lines. But it is these behind-the-scenes interventions that will have the biggest impact on events.
Navani has spent her life feeling like she hasn’t been able to realize her true calling as a scholar. Instead her responsibilities as wife, mother, and queen has required a more administrative role, which hasn’t allowed her the time to pursue scholarly desires. The result is that she feels like her lack of time as a scholar […]Read the rest of this review »

Review

Eden

Posted: July 28, 2021 by Writer Dan in Books We Like Meta: Tim Lebbon, Eco Thriller, Thriller
Eden

Thrillers are a genre of books that I typically find myself glancing past, but every once in a while I like to dip back into the pool and see if anything has changed since last I tempted the genre fates. I think it’s more the structure and pacing that typical thrillers keep to that pulls me away from them. Short chapters that get in late, pull out early, and don’t spend a lot of time sticking around to figure out just exactly what’s going on. The fast pace seems to be of utmost importance for these stories, and consequently somewhere along the way, we lose a bit of what ultimately pulls me into any and every story that I love: the characters.

On the plus side, I’d never read anything by this author before, and to all appearances it looked like he’d been around for a while and might know what he was doing. So I was happy to give him a try.
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Review

We Are Legion (We Are Bob)

Posted: June 30, 2021 by Writer Dan in Books We Like Meta: Dennis E. Taylor, Humor, Science Fiction
We Are Legion (We Are Bob)

So, yeah. This one is a little older, but between seeing a bunch of references to and comments about this one over the last year or so and then getting a very positive personal reference from a guy at work, I decided to take the plunge. In fact, I went all-in and even bought the dead-tree version. A decision that I am, oddly enough, regretting at this stage of the game. Though I do have to say, this read was a good bit of fun, and seemed to be just the thing I needed in order to take the edge off, after the recent spate of mediocre books I’ve made my way through recently.
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Review

Demons, Ink

Posted: June 2, 2021 by Writer Dan in Books We Like Meta: Clayton Snyder, Fantasy, Urban Fantasy
Demons, Ink

Sometimes, all you have to do is ask, and someone will listen.

That’s essentially what happened to me for this book. The author threw out a tweet about needing reviews for his books that made me laugh, and so I told him I’d oblige. Figured out later that the book of his that I bought was self-published and recently entered into the SPFBO that Mark Lawrence runs. Funny enough, he got lumped into the same initial group of books as ALONG THE RAZOR’S EDGE (EBR Review). So, while I’d suggest that Mr. Snyder not hold his breath at the possibility of moving on to Round 2… this was still a pretty good book, and something I’m glad I found my way to.
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Review

Machine

Posted: May 24, 2021 by Vanessa in Books We Like Meta: Elizabeth Bear, Science Fiction
Machine

Seriously, how does Elizabeth Bear come up with such mind-blowing, thought-provoking stuff on the regular? There’s RANGE OF GHOSTS (EBR Review), there’s THE STONE IN THE SKULL (EBR Review), there’s KAREN MEMORY (EBR Review)–all of which are very different, yet all crazy weird and engaging and fun to read.

Bear does it again with THE MACHINE, only this time it’s science fiction with a dose of medicine. (Even if you didn’t read the linked but not necessarily series ANCESTRAL NIGHT you’ll get caught up relatively quickly).
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Review

The Sword of Kaigen

The Sword of Kaigen

Golly-gee willikers, I really miss being part of the Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off. 🙂 🙁 Every time I see the now annual contest come round, I think to myself, “Maybe this year…”, but then I decide to stop lying to myself. The fact of the matter is that, these days, we just don’t have the staff to participate and still keep up any kind of regular reviews for traditionally published books. So, as much as I’d love to dive back into the trenches with our book-review bretheren and sisteren, I’ve come to some kind of peace (Perhaps even, a troubled one? Sorry. Bad time for a pun…) with the way the chips have landed here. Still, this doesn’t preclude my ability to, at the very least, pick up the winner for each year, and see what rose to the top of the pile. Which leaves us with a single glaring omission…
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Review

We Ride the Storm

Posted: March 9, 2021 by Jane Funk in Books We Like Meta: Devin Madson, Epic Fantasy, Fantasy
We Ride the Storm

Book titles are crafted to sell the book. They try to strike the right note of alerting readers to the genre while pulling new readers in. There are book title fads (remember when every book title was one word long?) and trends and they are not (as I used to assume) whatever the author thought was the best title for the book.
Devin Madson’s epic fantasy, WE RIDE THE STORM , is an exception. The first installment in the The Reborn Empire series, this book was originally self-published, and Madson kept her original title. It’s a great title for the novel, where the three POV characters are thrust into the metaphorical storm of war, each of them desperately trying to use newly slippery, shifting allegiances to their advantage.
A fragile peace exists between the kingdoms of Kisia and Chiltae. Miko is a princess of the Kisian empire. The current emperor delays naming either her or her twin brother as his heir, because they are not his true children. Determined not be […]Read the rest of this review »

Review

The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge

Posted: January 28, 2021 by Jane Funk in Books We Like Meta: Eugene Yelchin, M.T. Anderson, Fantasy
The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge

It’s nothing too new to say that fantasy worlds often fall into the trap of assigning entire races bad motivations and ill intent. Orcs? No good. Goblins? Sneaky little guys. From Tolkien to Gygax, we get a lot of one-dimensional portrayals of whole societies. THE ASSASSINATION OF BRANGWAIN SPURGE takes one of the oldest fantasy rivalries–elves versus goblins–and shows the trouble that comes from a colonizing spirit and rampant cultural misunderstanding.
Written by M.T. Anderson and illustrated by Eugene Yelchin, the creators of THE ASSASSINATION OF BRANGWAIN SPURGE were inspired by the long history of travelogues. Unlike existing travelogues where the only perspective is that of the ‘brave explorer’, in this novel, the culture under scrutiny is given a voice: a gentle, hopeful, unfailingly polite voice in the form of the goblin archivist Werfel.
Werfel has been chosen to show Brangwain Spurge, elfin emissary, all of the wonders of the goblin kingdom Tennebrion. He […]Read the rest of this review »