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Review

Windwitch

Posted: April 11, 2019 by Vanessa in Books We Like Meta: Susan Dennard, Fantasy, Young Adult
Windwitch

It’s been a while since I read the first book of The Witchlands, TRUTHWITCH, so I was a little bit lost when starting WINDWITCH; fortunately I already have book three, BLOODWITCH, ready to read soon, so I won’t suffer quite so much. This might be the kind of series that would be easier to read in quick succession so you aren’t lost. So much happens over the series that if you do go a while between books, a refresher would be in order, since Dennard starts the story back up where she left off, without much reminders.

WINDWITCH easily improves on TRUTHWITCH, despite our heroines being separated at the end of TRUTHWITCH. Dennard builds on everything that went before, on the characterization, on the story, on the magic, on the world–all toward creating a world with more depth, which I rather like seeing in a YA series.
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Review

Seven Blades in Black

Posted: April 9, 2019 by Jane Funk in Books We Like Meta: Sam Sykes, Fantasy
Seven Blades in Black

SEVEN BLADES IN BLACK (Amazon) is Sam Sykes’ newest novel and the start of a new series, THE GRAVE OF EMPIRES. I’ve seen it described as “action fantasy,” which I guess is fantasy but with more punching? While there’s plenty of punching (and shooting and eviscerating) in SEVEN BLADES, what makes it memorable is that at every turn Sykes seems to be asking “how could this be even more awesome?” and then delivering. The result is break-neck chase scenes on ostriches, riverboats full of assassins, unspeakable monsters, souped-up magical fights, and a lot of poor decision making.

You could call it action fantasy.

Or you could call it a lot of fun.
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Review

Holy Sister

Posted: April 4, 2019 by Writer Dan in Books We Like Meta: Mark Lawrence, Dark Fantasy, Fantasy
Holy Sister

Endings are hard. In a way, endings can make or break a story, whether that’s referring to a chapter, a book, or even an entire series. Unlike some, I’m not one that ascribes to the opinion that the ending of a book will largely determine your opinion of a book. I’ve read plenty of great books with weak endings that I still enjoyed overall, and no matter how “awesome” an ending is, if the story up to that point is drawn out and boring… the ending won’t make up for the fact that everything else was drawn out and boring. But endings are still important. This book gave me a chance to not only finish consuming my first “Mark Lawrence” series, but also to look back on the series as a whole and decide what I thought about it. Honestly, I was a little surprised at what I found. As such, if you haven’t read the first two books in the series, you should probably do that instead of proceeding any further.
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Review

No Country for Old Gnomes

Posted: April 2, 2019 by Vanessa in Books We Like Meta: Delilah S. Dawson, Kevin Hearne, Fantasy, Humor
No Country for Old Gnomes

In KILL THE FARM BOY (EBR Review) we are introduced to the demesne of Pell (hah! see what I did there?…ok if you haven’t read it then you’re lost already, sorry), with Worstly, his talking goat Gustave, Dark Lord Toby, and the gang as they trek across the land in search of their quest. Or something. It’s much more complicated than that, but basically if you haven’t read it and want a good laugh, go read it and then come back for details about book two.
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Review

The Dream Peddler

Posted: March 28, 2019 by Vanessa in Books We Like Meta: Martine Fournier Watson, Fantasy
The Dream Peddler

One cold winter morning in the early hours, a young boy leaves his home to follow the moon — but then disappears.

Not many hours later a peddler walks into town pulling his cart of wares and finds himself in the midst of a search for the boy and volunteers to help — until the boy’s body is found in the river and he instead finds himself in a grieving town.

The traveling salesman turns out not to be your average peddler: this one sells dreams, made to order, satisfaction guaranteed.Read the rest of this review »

Review

Wrath of Empire

Posted: March 5, 2019 by Writer Dan in Books We Like Meta: Brian McClellan, Epic Fantasy
Wrath of Empire

Here’s another one of those late reviews that totally should have been up last year, but that I just didn’t make it to. On the whole I’ve kind of been a late-comer to the Powder Mage world. What I found in this series was fun, and interesting, and engaging to say the least. Was hoping to find more of the same, when diving into this one. Especially after mentioning that we expected goodness from the short list of missed reviews in 2018 and being so disappointed in the first one of those books that I got to.

Thankfully, I found that this book was just as good as I had expected.
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Review

The Fever King

Posted: February 5, 2019 by Jane Funk in Books We Like Meta: Victoria Lee, Dark Fantasy, Young Adult
The Fever King

To borrow a phrase from The Princess Bride, Victoria Lee isn’t writing to the death in THE FEVER KING — she’s writing to the pain. So when I characterize this novel as dark and unsettling, I have to believe that Lee would take that as a complement.
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Review

Zero G

Posted: January 31, 2019 by Writer Dan in Books We Like Meta: Dan Wells, Middle Grade, Science Fiction, Audible
Zero G

I don’t read a lot of middle grade books. Last ones I got to were probably the Series of Unfortunate Events books by Lemony Snicket (Amazon), which are brilliant good fun, especially when they’re read aloud. I was trying to remember what books I was reading around that age and realized that at 11 I was pretty deep into the Dragonlance Chronicles series by Margaret Weiss and Tracy Hickman (Amazon), thanks to my good friend Scot. It might be because of this, that I don’t remember reading an awful lot of funny, goofy, adventure romps like this one. There’s a part of me that thinks I might have missed out, but another that can’t help but remember how much I enjoyed reading back in those days. So I can’t have missed out on too much, can I?
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Review

Skyward

Skyward

Spensa has always dreamed of being a pilot. When she was a child her father was a pilot for the DDF, the military force that protects the planet Detritus from alien Krell incursions. But one fateful day during a defining battle against the Krell, her father ran from the battle, died, and was labeled a coward. As a result, Spensa and her mother and grandmother live on the fringes of society. But now that Spensa has come of age, she can test for pilot training and prove to everyone that cowardice doesn’t run in the family.

But the DDF doesn’t make it easy for her.Read the rest of this review »

Review

Record of a Spaceborn Few

Posted: December 6, 2018 by Jane Funk in Books We Like Meta: Becky Chambers, Science Fiction
Record of a Spaceborn Few

Science fiction is not known for being gentle. Technical? Yes. Explosive? Often. Operatic? You betcha.

RECORD OF A SPACEBORN FEW eschews explosions in favor of internal drama. Like the rest of Becky Chambers’ Wayfarers Series (Amazon), this quiet story explores what it means to be a part of a family, a crew, a community, a species–this time through the fate of the Exodan fleet.
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