Monthly Musings – April 2016
Monthly Musings / April 30, 2016

This is a where I look back at what I read (or tried to read) during the past month. I also plan on highlighting my experiences in any book club reads I from the month as well. I will always start with any books I would label as a surprise find/under-read books so if anyone missed my reviews for them, and don’t make it to the end of this post, they’ll be easy to find.   April has flown by. I guess just like all the other months lately. In addition to my reading/blogging you see here at Tenacious Reader as well as The Speculative Herald, I had a couple of other things going on this month. The first is a guest post that ran at Fantasy Cafe (linked below). The other is a post for elsewhere on the inter webs. But I am going to keep the details of that quiet, just in case it doesn’t happen 🙂 I’ve also become a bit more involved at r/fantasy, where  I’m a mod now. Still not going to let it take up too much of my time, I have gone down that road before. Just helping when I can how I…

Backlist Burndown Review: Scourge of the Betrayer by Jeff Salyards
Reviews / April 29, 2016

The final book in the Bloodsounder’s Arc recently released, and the number of trusted sources that not just recommend, but highly recommend the series just could not be ignored any more. What I have heard is this first book is really good, but the next two are amazing. So, I went into this with solid expectations of a good read, and hopes of getting started in a fantastic series. So far, my friends have not led me astray. The story is told by a scribe, Arkamandos (aka Arki) who has recently joined a small group of soldiers. I really enjoyed getting the story from his perspective and being from his perspective really influenced the story for the reader. Arki can only tell the reader what he himself knows as he learns it. That means anything Arki doesn’t know, the reader will not know either. It’s an interesting aspect that makes Arki an unintentional unreliable narrator. This is a story the reader must just go with the flow and piece together as information is revealed. Personally, I really think it made the story a bit more enjoyable as it saves some twists for the reader (and for Arki). Arki being a…

Women in SF&F Month – Guest Post on Fantasy Cafe
News / April 26, 2016

Today you can find me at Fantasy Cafe  talking about women authors in the Speculative Fiction genre and how we can encourage them. For those not familiar, each year Fantasy Cafe reserves the month of April to highlight the women in Science Fiction and Fantasy. It’s a wonderful feature and a great way to celebrate some of the authors you may have missed as well as an opportunity to discuss topics related to women in the genre. There is a featured guest post each day, if you missed them, you should definitely check them out! This year I was honored to get an invitation to participate, so head on over to see what I had to say!      

Stacking the Shelves – April 23, 2016
Stacking the Shelves / April 23, 2016

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! I didn’t have a chance to get this post together last week, so there are SO MANY GREAT books to showcase this time!! Received for Review   Children of Earth and Sky by Guy Gavriel Kay – I’ve loved the two books I’ve read by Kay, so this book was on my Must-Read list! Was very excited to get a copy. Many thanks to NAL! The Summer Dragon by Todd Lockwood – I’ve already started this one and am really enjoying it. Strong female character, dragons! Oh and as added bonus, the author is an established illustrator and has wonderful images to along with the story! My thanks to DAW! It Happened One Dooms Day by Laurence MacNaughton – This was a surprise arrival from Pyr. I have to confess, it may not be one I would normally have picked up, but sounds like it could be a fun read and sometimes I’m in the mood for that. Added bonus, the author’s profile says he writes books with deeply flawed characters. I tend to like that!…

Audiobook Review: Fellside by M. R. Carey
Reviews / April 21, 2016

Fellside is haunting and unique and at times, quite grim. Once I was hooked, I was firmly hooked. Our introduction to the protagonist is memorable and it takes a little time for both her and for us the readers to piece together the story of what brought her to that initial scene in the book. Turns out, our protagonist is actually a heroin addict. A horrible fire destroyed her apartment complex, killing a young boy. The last thing Jess remembers is shooting up, so when they place the blame on her, she can remember nothing in her defense. The book takes place largely in the women’s prison that Jess is sent to. Her case was high profile in the media, she comes in to an atmosphere where some of the inmates have already decided to make her life harder. The one highlight for Jess, the one individual that really seems friendly and supportive (or at a minimum not openly hostile?) comes not from another inmate, but from what appears to be a ghost. A ghost in the form of the little boy she is charged with killing. Yeah, it kinda seems sad when the closest thing you can find to…

Review: Eleanor by Jason Gurley
4.5 Stars , Reviews / April 19, 2016

Eleanor is an emotional journey of a book, a journey that takes you to some dark and uncomfortable places. But don’t let that scare you away, because the author did an amazing job balancing the darker parts. It was actually a touching and magical story that happened to have some sad, tragic and painful elements. Eleanor and Esmerelda were inseparable twins until a tragic accident kills Esmerelda, leaving Eleanor’s life forever altered and inevitably darker than the one she remembers from before, back when her sister was alive and at her side. It is a story about hindsight, dreams, letting go and moving forward. It is a story of loss and recovery. It is a story that really packs a lot in its pages. It may not have taken me very long to read (maybe 2 days), but it is a story that will stick with me. While this book is undeniably emotional, it was not as depressing of a read as I had anticipated, there felt to be more to it than just heartache. But definitely be prepared for some serious feels. The structure of Eleanor does contain time jumps, but they are easy to navigate and help piece…

Review: Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton
4 Stars , Reviews / April 14, 2016

When I saw the description of this book, I was definitely intrigued. A Western Fantasy with a sharp-shooting female protagonist? Oh, yes please! I couldn’t help but immediately think of Wake of Vultures, which I loved and had hopes of loving this one just as much. So, how did it hold up to my expectations? Well, it was a fun read, I will definitely give it that. Amani lives in a small town that survives off of their local gun factory. But even with that, their town does not seem to be thriving. The culture here is one were women take a lesser and more subservient role, they are pretty much second class citizens. Needless to say, that means this is a male centered society, where they make the rules. They also get to take multiple wives. It’s not at all a a desirable place when you are a woman, especially a woman with no one to look after you. Amani has lost her parents, and has been living with her uncle and his plethora of wives and children. You quickly assess she is not valued or loved, but she does soon learn she is a commodity. Facing the prospect of a…