Review: Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik
3 Stars , Reviews / August 30, 2018

So, forewarning, I am going to present a very unpopular opinion here. It will take almost no effort for you to go find any number of glowing reviews for this (there is a lot of love out there for it), so keep that in mind as I voice my dissension here. The story is about Miryem, the daughter of a money lender. I like that her character is strong, and that she takes charge in situations, is able to step in and do what she can to improve their business. She is also fair and level headed. Her role as money lender causes her to cross paths with Wanda, a peasant girl who we learn is a very hard worker and victim of circumstance. There are additional POVs as well, but I never connected with them as much as these two. Honestly, this is one of those books where I found myself not caring about or connecting with most of the characters, and just struggled with the storyline because of it (I typically struggle to enjoy a story if I don’t get that care about the characters). I was, at best, apathetic about the story. That is a horrible way…

Top Ten Tuesday – Back to School
Top Ten Tuesday / August 28, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme by That Artsy Reader Girl.This feature gives a weekly Top Ten list. We all love lists, right? This week’s theme is Back to School –  Books that take place at school/boarding school (at least in some part)

Friday Firsts: City of Lies by Sam Hawke
Friday Firsts / August 24, 2018

Friday Firsts is a new meme that will run every Friday here on Tenacious Reader. It will feature the first few sentences/paragraph of my current book and my first impressions as well. It’s meant to be a quick and easy way to share a bit about what I am reading, and I would love to hear others join in sharing their current reads as well. Jovan I was seven years old the first time my uncle poisoned me. He served me the toxin in his signature cheese stew. It gave me waves of stomach cramps and hallucinations of every horror my young mind could conjure, but left no lasting damage. I learned that day to trust nothing on my plate or in my cup, not even something prepared by my beloved uncle Etan, my Tashi, the most honored and trusted person in my world. Especially not him. By ten, I could identify the ingredients in most dishes set before me, from the spicy baked fish served year-round in Sjona’s farms and estates, to the flat black bread cooked in clay ovens in every kitchen in the city, to the delicate cheese-and-honey pastries favored in the highest circles of society. I could detect…

Tor #FearlessWomen Blog Tour: The Fated Sky by Mary Robinette Kowal
Excerpt , FearlessWomen / August 21, 2018

Today, I’m excited to share the final #FearlessWomen title. The Fated Sky by Mary Robinette Kowal, which is the sequel to The Calculating Stars, an earlier #FearlessWomen  title. I loved the first one, and excited the sequel is being released in such short time. I really enjoyed my excerpt for this one as well (since it makes a Computer Science joke, which was my major and is now my career) About FearlessWomen (from Tor Books) Women are shining in every genre of speculative fiction, and it is no longer enough to say “Women are here.” Instead, #FearlessWomen everywhere are taking a stand to say “Women will thrive here.” Highlighting major titles from bestselling authors V.E. Schwab, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Jacqueline Carey as well as titles from acclaimed and debut authors such as Mary Robinette Kowal, Tessa Gratton, Sam Hawke, and Robyn Bennis, #FearlessWomen will be a coordinated social media celebration encouraging fans to start a dialogue about women in publishing, their worlds, their voices, and their unique stories. Tor Books’ handles across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (@torbooks) will be using the hashtags #FearlessWomen (and #FearlessFantasy and #FearlessSF) to promote excerpts, exclusive content, quizzes and giveaways beginning in May. There will also be exclusive…

Review: The Poppy War by R. F. Kuang
5 Stars , Reviews / August 20, 2018

The Poppy War is a fantastic read that I am sure will make Best Of 2018 lists come time later this year. It pulled me in REALLY fast! It starts with the main character, Rin, going in to take an exam. We don’t know anything about her or what the exam is for, but its immediately clear that the exam is serious business, and I think the lack of back story before this just made it incredibly intriguing. I wanted to know more about Rin and also more about how her life would change if she passed the exam. We learn Rin is a war orphan, and of foreign heritage. Because the war left so many orphans in her land, families are paid to take them in. Rin’s guardians treat her more like a servant than a child, and as she matures, her worth turns into what they might be able to get in exchange for arranging a marriage for her. Of course, Rin is not the least bit excited by marriage, and especially not by the much, much older man they have selected for her. Passing the exam offers Rin a new and much different life. She is eager…

Top 5 Tuesday – Top 5 Interesting Villains
Top 5 Tuesday / August 14, 2018

A weekly meme hosted by Bionic Book Worm where we list 5 books for the given topic. We all love lists, right? This week’s theme: Top 5 villains more interesting than the hero I am modifying this one a bit to be Top 5 Interesting Villains, because I think if the villain truly upstages the hero, the book likely has some issues. (For the record, I loved all the books in this list, and I enjoyed the heroes as well as the villains. I also think this is a tricky one, because often the “villain” becomes more interesting when you get their perspective, or more information about them. And with that information comes understanding which blurs the lines between good and bad. Maybe they don’t come across as a hero, but they may not seem as clearly a villain either. Jaime Lannister from A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin When A Song of Ice and Fire begins with Game of Thrones, Jaime is easily one of the most despised characters. He is horrible and selfish and has little appeal to the reader. But then as the series progresses, Martin manages to somehow flip the readers…

Review: The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal
4 Stars , Reviews / August 13, 2018

The Calculating Stars is an alternate history with a very strong female protagonist that is pushing the gender boundaries of her time. The premise is that a meteorite struck there earth with catastrophic consequences.The initial destruction was obvious, as it wiped out much of the east coast, either from the initial impact or the flooding that occurred after. However, our protagonist does some impressive calculations and determines that what they’ve seen so far is nothing compared to what is to come. And with the most dire consequences set years down the road, convincing people to take the threat seriously can be a challenge (and likely even more so when you are a woman trying to do the convincing). There is a very real threat that the earth may not be inhabitable in the future, so Elma and others (including her engineer husband), work on a plan to start colonization outside of earth. The thought of going into space is terribly exciting for Elma. She was a pilot in the war, part of the group of women trained to help shuttle aircraft around. It’s an elite group, but no where near equal standing to their male counterparts. The book deals with both…