Stacking the Shelves – May 31, 2015
Stacking the Shelves / May 31, 2015

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly feature all about sharing your good luck in book acquisitions! So here’s what came my way since my last post! It’s only been a week since my last Stacking the Shelves, but it’s been an awesome week, so I wanted to share! 🙂 Received for Review                 The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi –  I’ve been wanting to read something by Bacigalupi for a while, and this looks to be a great way to start! My thanks to Audible Studios for the review copy! Fool’s Quest by Robin Hobb – This book just made my weekend/week/month! I absolutely can’t wait to read it, but may wait until a just a bit closer to release. We’ll see if I have that much self control. A thousand thanks to Del Rey!   Giveaway Win                   The Devil’s Only Friend by Dan Wells – I’ve not read Dan Wells before, but this book sounded incredibly good. I didn’t notice until afterwards that it’s marked as a 4th in series, but it sounds like maybe it can be read as a standalone. Anyone out there know?…

Backlist Burndown Review: The Player of Games by Iain Banks
4 Stars , Reviews / May 29, 2015

First, I want to address the fact that this is marked #2 in a series. It is the second Culture book, but I was assured that not only could I start with this one, but that it was also an excellent introduction the The Culture novels. This is the first and only book I’ve read in the series, and from what I can tell, I can agree with that. Gurgeh is the ultimate player of games on his planet. He lives in The Culture, in which humans and technology have come together to offer what sounds like a type of utopian society. People generally don’t have to work, as technology handles everything for them. There seems to be no crime, and when there is it is punishable by having a companion droid tag along with you forever as punishment. Now I did wonder, after you get one of these, what prevents you from committing more crimes? Evidently it makes you a social pariah, which in this society is viewed as worse than death. What then? What do they have to lose? This was one minor nitpick I couldn’t help but think about. Perhaps that was addressed in the book somehow…

Waiting on Wednesday: Wake of Vultures
Waiting On Wednesday / May 27, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Breaking the Spine to let us share our excitement for books coming out soon. I’m not sure there is anything in this description that does not appeal to me! dark fantasy? CHECK! Girl dressing as boy? CHECK! Attacker turns to sand when stabbed in the heart?? CHECK!! A new sight that is a blessing and a curse?? Check! I just seriously want to get my hands on a copy of this so I can read it ASAP! Oh, and it has a blurb from Chuck Wendig! Title: Wake of Vultures Author: Lila Bowen Expected publication: October 27th, 2015 Publisher: Orbit     A rich, dark fantasy of destiny, death, and the supernatural world hiding beneath the surface. Nettie Lonesome lives in a land of hard people and hard ground dusted with sand. She’s a half-breed who dresses like a boy, raised by folks who don’t call her a slave but use her like one. She knows of nothing else. That is, until the day a stranger attacks her. When nothing, not even a sickle to the eye can stop him, Nettie stabs him through the heart with a chunk of wood, and he turns…

Audiobook Review: Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen
4 Stars , Reviews / May 25, 2015

In Stolen Songbird, there is a race of individuals, trolls, that have been cursed to remain confined to their city, Trollus, below the Forsaken Mounts. A witch cast this curse 5 centuries ago, so the humans above rely on rumors and folklore for knowledge of trolls. And lets just say, there is nothing very favorable known or mentioned about either trolls or Trollus. I mean, they are trolls, they live underground, and have been cursed to stay there for 500+ years. The witch likely did the human race a favor. So, imagine the horror when Cécile is abducted, ripped from her current life, to be sold to the trolls. It would be frightening enough to be taken from your current life by force, but then to be taken to a strange underground city, lacking all of the natural beauty and sun and stars of your world, to be sold to these fearsome creatures would be an even worse nightmare. And to top it off, they expect her to marry one, their prince. When little girls dream of growing up to become a princess, it is usually not via marring an underground troll prince. I really enjoyed this one. It is a a sweet…

Stacking the Shelves – May 24, 2015
Stacking the Shelves / May 24, 2015

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly feature all about sharing your good luck in book acquisitions! So here’s what came my way since my last post! It’s been another couple of great weeks for book additions! Received for Review                 Corsair by James Cambias – This just sounded like a fun Sci-Fi book with space pirates and hackers, I’ve already listened and reviewed this one (and enjoyed it!). My thanks to Audible Studios for the review copy! Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen – I’ve heard many great things about this one. Since I don’t read a lot of YA, I had missed it until now, but I was in the mood for something lighter, and this really fit the bill and now I’ll be ready for Hidden Huntress which is coming out soon! Watch for my review of Stolen Songbird sometime this week. Once again, many thanks to Audible Studios! A Murder of Mages by Marshall Ryan Maresca – I will admit, detective stories usually don’t appeal to me a whole lot. But after enjoying The Thorn of Dentonhill so much, I’m really looking forward to checking this one out (the first in a parallel…

Waiting on Wednesday: The Fifth House of the Heart
Waiting On Wednesday / May 20, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Breaking the Spine to let us share our excitement for books coming out soon. I never consider myself a huge vampire fan, but when I hear descriptions like this, where the vampires are haunting and creepy, where the story sounds dark, I can’t help but WANT. I am really excited about this one! Title: The Fifth House of the Heart Author: Ben Tripp Expected publication: July 28th, 2015 Publisher: Gallery Books     Filled with characters as menacing as they are memorable, this chilling twist on vampire fiction packs a punch in the bestselling tradition of ’Salem’s Lot by Stephen King. Asmodeus “Sax” Saxon-Tang, a vainglorious and well-established antiques dealer, has made a fortune over many years by globetrotting for the finest lost objects in the world. Only Sax knows the true secret to his success: at certain points of his life, he’s killed vampires for their priceless hoards of treasure. But now Sax’s past actions are quite literally coming back to haunt him, and the lives of those he holds most dear are in mortal danger. To counter this unnatural threat, and with the blessing of the Holy Roman Church, a cowardly but cunning…

Audiobook Review: Corsair by James Cambias
4 Stars , Reviews / May 19, 2015

Corsair is a thrilling and fun adventure full of space pirates and hackers, the kind of book that grabs you and holds you down (willingly) until it is all told. This book is pretty short, but it’s an addictive “page turner” that finished before I knew it. I say “page turner” in quotes because in actuality, I listened to this one as an audiobook so there were no actual pages involved. But I am really happy I did. There are some books that are just very well suited for audiobooks, and this was certainly one of them. The story and names are all very easy to follow while listening and the narration was very good, relaying the story clearly without ever becoming the focus of the listener (meaning, I heard the story well told). The style of Corsair reminds me a bit of Scalzi or Richard Morgan’s Altered Carbon, but with this book, most (if not just about all) of the story is set here on earth rather than in space. David Schwartz and Elizabeth Santiago meet while taking classes at MIT in the not so distant future. They are both incredibly bright, but incredibly different. David is a bit “creative” or “generous” with…

Review: We Are All Completely Fine by Daryl Gregory
4 Stars , Reviews / May 17, 2015

I’ve read a good number of really positive reviews for both this and Harrison Squared and since We Are All Completely Fine sounded a bit darker, I decided to try it first. It is dark, and it is also quite different from anything I’ve read (at least in quite a while). The story focuses on a support group where the commonality between the members is their traumatic encounters with monsters, things that normal ordinary people think are just stories. The perspective switches between the 5 members of the support group as well as the counselor that organized it. Changing perspectives like this allows the reader to identify and understand each of these characters a bit better. They are all dysfunctional in their own ways and the each have a horrific past that you would never guess at to look at them. I don’t want to say much about the history of each of the characters because this is a short book (novella actually), and I just feel it would make a better reading experience to know very little. But people are all from varied backgrounds, it is a group of people with nothing else in common but surviving nightmares. Dr. Sayer, who…

Waiting on Wednesday – Cold Iron by Stina Leicht
Waiting On Wednesday / May 13, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Breaking the Spine to let us share our excitement for books coming out soon. I’ve heard good things about Stina Leicht, but have not yet read anything from her.  So when I saw this first in series scheduled for release, and it’s a flintlock fantasy with magic, pirates and twins, I was sold. Really looking forward to getting the chance to read this one!   Title: Cold Iron Author: Stina Leicht Expected publication: July 14th, 2015 Publisher: Saga Press     Fraternal twins Nels and Suvi move beyond their royal heritage and into military and magical dominion in this flintlock epic fantasy debut from a two-time Campbell Award finalist. Prince Nels is the scholarly runt of the ancient Kainen royal family of Eledore, disregarded as flawed by the king and many others. Only Suvi, his fraternal twin sister, supports him. When Nels is ambushed by an Acrasian scouting party, he does the forbidden for a member of the ruling family: He picks up a fallen sword and defends himself. Disowned and dismissed to the military, Nels establishes himself as a leader as Eledore begins to shatter under the attack of the Acrasians, who the Kainen…

Review: Uprooted by Naomi Novik
4 Stars , Reviews / May 12, 2015

Naomi Novik’s Uprooted tells a beautifully unique fairytale complete with magic, love and of course, evil. Agnieszka lives in a valley which lies on the edge of the Wood. The Wood is not a friendly forest, but rather a malevolent place that seeps past its borders to spread  its evil. Their valley is protected by their lord, Dragon, who lives alone in a tower. The price he asks them to pay for their protection to send him one girl every 10 years. These girls are supposedly not ill treated, but none come home, so of course, rumors fly. Agnieska and her best friend, Kasia, are of an age to be part of the Dragon’s next selection. Everyone is certain Kasia will be taken. They have all prepared their entire lives for this inevitability. Kasia being prepared to serve her lord, Dragon. And Agnieska to lose her best friend. So, what happens when the choosing does not go as planned? A-ha, well, quite the story comes about. Agnieska is a wonderful protagonist. She is the right blend of likability, stubbornness, messiness and willfulness. I love her relationship with Kasia and how it is explored and challenged at times. Nobody is perfect, no relationship…