Review: Soul of the World by David Mealing
4 Stars , Reviews / August 21, 2017

Soul of the World is a good debut that sets the stage for an epic, world spanning series featuring magic, fantastical creatures and beasts. Three very different perspectives are used to give us the world view, which features a new and an old world, and while there are different names, it feels much like England, France and the Americas. Aruk’Jar gives insights into the wilds and tribal life and its customs. There is a strong tradition of gender roles here and even the magic is split according to “women’s magic”. But we do still see strong females, women can hold on to that magic as a power for themselves. Aruk’Jar has a very “do the right thing” type of personality and is driven to his best for the benefit of his tribe. Erris shows the reader what life is like on the battlefield and an understanding of the war that is going on. She is in command of a military campaign and is doing a stellar job (I love women who excel in military positions). I really like Erris, she is a strong leader and soldier. She also has magic to aid her, and uses that to her advantage in…

Review: Raid by K. S. Merbeth
4 Stars , Reviews / August 14, 2017

In Raid, Merbeth takes us back to the wastes where we can see all the violence and messiness that comes with it. If you haven’t read Bite, I can sum it up as a post-apocalyptic type, mad max type of world. With cannibals (or sharks as they are called in the books). It can be an isolating world, and the perspective of Clementine really highlights this. She hunts raiders, who destroy and endanger towns, but it also actually feeds her isolation. People may be happy for her work killing raiders, but her ability to do so is alarming. Clementine is not exactly a person anyone would like to be the “girl next door”. She came in to violence at a very young age, and discovered she had quite a knack for it. While it earned respect and admiration of her fellow townsfolk, once on her own, she never could find quite where she fit in. She takes to violence and killing almost too easily, her ability to take another’s life can be quite disarming to normal folk, but it is also how she survives and how she knows to make her world at least a little bit better (by taking…

Audiobook Review: Without a Summer by Mary Robinette Kowal
4 Stars , Reviews / August 7, 2017

In the third book of the Glamourist Histories, Kowal keeps the story and plot fresh and continues to give us more of that fantastical regency romance that works incredibly well. What can I say? Turns out that even with all the grimdark books that I love, I have a very soft spot for a well written regency period story with a splash of magic (or glamour) to spice it up just a tad. After a visit with her family, Jane and Vincent head to London for a commission. Seeing her sister, Melody, with poor marriage prospects at home, they bring her along both for company and the hopes that with the more active social scene, Melody will be able to meet an agreeable match. Because, you know, it wouldn’t be regency romance if there wasn’t some young woman who was threatened with spinsterhood when she reaches her ripe ol’ early 20s without yet landing herself a husband. (I say that in jest, I really have zero complaints about this, its just so different from what we are used to today that it really amuses me). The season has been unusually cool, and rumors start amassing about glamourists who are impacting…