Tag: Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves

Posted 13 August, 2016 by Nikki in Reviews / 14 Comments

So I’ve spent most of the last week on my honeymoon, in Dublin, and I’m here to tell you they have some amazing bookshops. I strongly recommend Dubray Books on Grafton Street, Chapters on Parnell Street, and Hodges Figgis on Dawson Street. My wife would like to put in a word for a lovely knitting shop, too: if you’re in Dublin and you like yarn and knitting and friendly awesome people, we loved This Is Knit, in a shopping centre on South William Street.

And if you like archaeology, particularly Irish/Celtic stuff, I think I can also recommend the National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology. They currently have an exhibit of Irish bog bodies, which is worth a look.

But now for my haul! Not all of them are from Dublin; I got given some as wedding and birthday presents. A+++ work, friends. <3


Cover of Children of Earth and Sky by Guy Gavriel Kay Cover of The Dragons of Heaven by Alyc Helms Cover of Chalice by Robin McKinley Cover of Riding the Unicorn by Paul Kearney

Cover of On the Edge by Ilona Andrews Cover of Steel by Carrie Vaughn Cover of The Celtic Revolution by Simon Young Cover of The Floating Admiral by the Detection Club

Cover of Doppelganger by Marie Brennan Cover of Goblin Moon by Teresa Edgerton Cover of The Way to Babylon by Paul Kearney

Cover of The Bone Queen by Alison Croggon Cover of Off the Map by Alastair Bonnett Cover of A Promise Broken by Lynn O'Connacht

Cover of The Demonists by Thomas E. Sniegoski Cover of The Waking Fire by Anthony Ryan Cover of Sea Foam and Silence by Lynn O'Connacht

There’s a lot that I’m excited about here, or have been meaning to read for ages! Especially Guy Gavriel Kay’s Children of Earth and Sky; I was doing a reread of his work in order, but that means I still haven’t got to River of Stars or this new one. Hmm…


Cover of Captain Marvel: Alpha Flight Cover of Ultimates: Omniversal

Yep, these two were listed on my Top Ten Tuesday post about books I wanted to grab right away. Hurrah! I wanted Spider-Women and The New Avengers: A.I.M: Everything Is New, but I didn’t find the latter and I could only find the former for a ridiculous price.

Books finished this week:

Cover of Seven Skeletons by Lydia Pyne Cover of Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman Cover of Planetfall by Emma Newman Cover of The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison

Cover of The Wolf in the Attic by Paul Kearney Cover of Off the Map by Alastair Bonnett Cover of Sea Foam and Silence by Lynn O'Connacht

Reviews posted this week:

One Solstice Night, by Elora Bishop. A reread so I could get on with reading this series finally. This is sweet and basically a little bit of spun sugar. 3/5 stars
The Lifted Veil, by George Eliot. A surprisingly speculative novella from a classic author. 3/5 stars
Broken, by Susan Bigelow. We know the main character feels broken, because she’s renamed herself Broken, the book is called Broken, and she tells us that she’s broken. Brokenly. 1/5 stars
Lud-in-the-Mist, by Hope Mirrlees. A classic fantasy that doesn’t feel like the stuff that is traditional for the genre now, and is very beautifully written. I loved it. 5/5 stars
Geek Feminist Revolution, by Kameron Hurley. I do love Hurley’s essays and her no-bullshit way of writing, but I wished there was more new content in this collection. A lot of it was familiar. 4/5 stars
Brother Jacob, by George Eliot. A short and rather moralistic story that really didn’t demonstrate the greatness of Eliot’s prose for me. 1/5 stars
-Flashback Friday: The Last Unicorn, by Peter S. Beagle. I read this for the first time when I was already 20. I felt I’d missed out! 5/5 stars

Other posts:
Top Ten Tuesday: Pet Peeves. My pet peeves in fiction, let me show you them!

How’s everyone been? I think I’ve caught up on the blogs I usually follow, but if you have something you think I’ll be interested in, link away! I’d hate to miss out.

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Stacking the Shelves

Posted 6 August, 2016 by Nikki in General / 29 Comments

So this week has been super important, and yesterday I married my partner of the last eleven years.

Photo of our wedding rings

I got books, too.

Received to review

Cover of Ninth City Burning by J. Patrick Black Cover of Magic Binds by Ilona Andrews Cover of American Monsters by Derek Landy

Cover of Seven Skeletons by Lydia Pyne Cover of The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe by Kij Johnson Cover of Cold-Forged Flame by Marie Brennan

Magic Binds!! I’m excited.

I did also get books from my friends as wedding/birthday presents (my birthday is on the 20th!), but I’m too tired to put them all up now. Next week it is!

Books finished this week:

Cover of A Maze of Death by Philip K. Dick Cover of Fair Play, by Josh Lanyon Cover of Magic Shifts by Ilona Andrews

Reviews posted this week:

The Copper Promise, by Jen Williams. A traditional-feel fantasy, I found this a really comfortable, feel-good read for the most part. It just reminded me of all the fantasy books of my childhood, in a good way. 4/5 stars
The Book of Atrix Wolfe, by Patricia A. McKillip. Probably one of my least favourite of McKillip’s books so far. It’s beautifully written, but I didn’t quite follow. 2/5 stars
Hex, by Thomas Olde Heuvelt. Horror normally isn’t my thing, but the icky bit of this for me was the way people acted, the things they decided to prioritise. I just didn’t get on with it at all. 1/5 stars
Little, Big, by John Crowley. On the surface it sounded like something I’d be interested in, but in the end it took too long to get nowhere very satisfying. 2/5 stars
The Falling Woman, by Pat Murphy. This book is great, full of interesting (mostly female) characters who bounce off each other in realistic ways, and who really work hard at what they do. It helps that it’s atmospheric and involves archaeology, but overall I just found it really satisfying to read. 5/5 stars
Under the Skin, by Michel Faber. Another one that didn’t really work for me — now I think about it, it may have had better payoff as a short story. 2/5 stars
Flashback Friday: Sunshine, by Robin McKinley. A longtime favourite, with a genuinely creepy vampire who you can root for anyway, and a lot of awesome descriptions of food and baking. 5/5 stars

Other posts:
Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’d Buy Right Now. Probably a fairly predictable bunch!

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Stacking the Shelves

Posted 30 July, 2016 by Nikki in General / 20 Comments

Hello, everyone! This week has been frantic for me again, with an assignment due and a wedding to organise. It’s creeping up on us — this time next week, I’ll be married!

In the meantime, though, I’ve been taking advantage of my wife-to-be’s library card.

Library books

Cover of Throne of Jade by Naomi Novik Cover of Black Powder War by Naomi Novik Cover of Empire of Ivory by Naomi Novik Cover of Victory of Eagles by Naomi Novik

Cover of Time and Again by Jack Finney Cover of Heresy by S.J. Parris Cover of The Incorruptibles by John Hornor Jacobs Cover of The Child Eater by Rachel Pollack

Some of these I already own, but they’re elsewhere. And I’ve read most of Naomi Novik’s Temeraire series before, but it’s been ages and I feel like it, so woo.

Received to review

Cover of A Little Knowledge by Emma Newman Cover of Way Down Dark Cover of Hotline by Quinn Anderson

Quite a different bunch, but all fun in their way. Mind you, I need to catch up with Emma Newman’s series!

Finished this week:

Cover of Gillespie & I by Jane Harris Cover of Home by Francis Pryor Cover of Feed by Mira Grant Cover of The Incorruptibles by John Hornor Jacobs

15751543 Cover of Fair Game by Josh Lanyon Cover of Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan

Reviews posted this week:
The Door into Shadows, by Diane Duane. Segnbora’s book, basically. There were aspects I didn’t like, but also Segnbora is so kickass that it carries it. 3/5 stars
Death Among the Marshes, by Kathryn Ramage. A fun, Golden Age-esque mystery novella, with some great characters. 4/5 stars
Saints Astray, by Jacqueline Carey. Want to follow Pilar and Loup from Santa Olivia, and see them get a happy ending? Yep, this is for you. 4/5 stars
Being Mortal, by Atul Gawande. Sensitive, carefully written and thoughtful, Being Mortal talks about some issues we really need to spend more time on, at least in Western society. 5/5 stars
The Terracotta Bride, by Zen Cho. A short story set in an afterlife which pretty much typifies the idea that ‘hell is other people’. 4/5 stars
Toad Words and Other Stories, by T. Kingfisher. A great collection of fairytale retellings, each one unique. I love T. Kingfisher’s work, so no surprise I enjoyed these. 4/5 stars
Flashback Friday: Doomsday Book, by Connie Willis. There are a lot of things which irritated me about this book, but there’s a really solid story there too — and one which I do remember being quite emotional for me, to my own surprise. 3/5 stars

Other posts:
Top Ten Tuesday: Books Made Me (Want To) Do It. Except I didn’t take it seriously at all…

How’s everyone? Anything good coming up in the week ahead?

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Stacking the Shelves

Posted 23 July, 2016 by Nikki in General / 10 Comments

Good morning, folks! How is everybody? I’m having a busy time, with my wedding coming up and an assignment deadline due while I’m actually away on my honeymoon… but things progress. And there are books, which is always nice.

Books to review

Cover of After Atlas by Emma Newman Cover of Red Right Hand by Chris Holm

I guess I need to hurry up and read Planetfall… Also, yay for Chris Holm’s new book!

Books bought

Cover of Thief's Magic by Trudi Canavan Cover of Europe in Autumn by David Hutchinson Cover of The End of the World Running Club by Adrian Walker Cover of The Gracekeepers by Kirsty Logan

The Mighty Dead by Adam Nicholson Cover of Roses and Rot by Kat Howard Cover of Temeraire by Naomi Novik

Nearly all of these were in the sale, don’t hurt me. And Roses and Rot I actually picked up a while ago, but I don’t think it ever made it into an STS post. So tahdah. Buying Temeraire for my Kindle is a blatant excuse to start rereading that series, especially given Imyril’s reviews

Books finished this week

Cover of Magic Slays by Ilona Andrews Cover of Magic Rises by Ilona Andrews Cover of Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews Cover of Uprooted by Naomi Novik

Reviews posted this week:
Our Lady of Pain, by M.C. Beaton. I’m really not impressed by this series, but it made good light reading. 2/5 stars
The Greatest Show on Earth, by Richard Dawkins. Skip Dawkins, go back to Darwin. It’s not that he’s wrong, at least in his science. It’s his attitude. I’ve never hated agreeing with someone so much. 3/5 stars
A Surfeit of Lampreys, by Ngaio Marsh. Ngaio Marsh isn’t bad at constructing a mystery and doing little character sketches, but I’ve stopped caring about her detective, who could be replaced by a cardboard cutout in this book. 2/5 stars
The Sleeping Prince, by Melinda Salisbury. If you enjoyed the first book, you’ll probably enjoy this one. I found it enjoyable, and probably better than the first, though I did also find it somewhat predictable. 3/5 stars
Bitterblue, by Kristin Cashore. Not an easy read, but worthwhile, this book pulls the whole loosely linked series together very effectively. 4/5 stars
Missing Microbes, by Martin Blaser. Makes a very good point about the way we’re destroying our own microbiomes, and how that might affect illnesses from allergies to ulcerative colitis. It might stretch a bit far at times, but I found it enjoyable and interesting. 4/5 stars
Flashback Friday: Exiled from Camelot, by Cherith Baldry. A book I read for my Master’s dissertation on the portrayal of Kay, this one is pretty fun, with a non-traditionally-capable Kay and a strong bond between him and Arthur. 4/5 stars

Other posts: 
Top Ten Tuesday: Books Set Outside the US. What it says on the tin, with mostly historical fantasy to delight you.

Any fun plans for this week? Reading anything I should know about?

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Stacking the Shelves

Posted 9 July, 2016 by Nikki in General / 16 Comments

I haven’t read as much this week as I did last week, but that would be kind of difficult! What I have managed to do is catch up to all my reading goals, for which I’m very pleased with myself. Now just got to keep on top of it.

Received to review:

Cover of The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin Cover of Diadem from the Stars by Jo Clayton Cover of Skeen's Leap by Jo Clayton

I think it’s been a while since I requested the Jo Clayton books, because I couldn’t remember at first why I asked for them. But Skeen’s Leap looks like fun. Also, hurrah, The Obelisk Gate! I need to read the first book still, but…

Books acquired:

Cover of The Iron Ghost by Jen Williams Cover of The Grace of Kings by Ken Liu Cover of The Aeronaut's Windlass by Jim Butcher

I finally read The Copper Promise and liked it, so of course I had to pick up The Iron Ghost while I was here in the UK visiting my parents. I’ve been curious about The Aeronaut’s Windlass for a while, too, and though I’ve heard mixed reviews of The Grace of Kings, everything I’ve heard makes it sound intriguing.

And then of course, I also picked up a couple of TPBs. While I was here.

Cover of Silk: Sinister Cover of Spider-Woman: Baby Talk

Books finished this week:

26792189 Cover of Dancing With Bears by Michael Swanwick Cover of One Solstice Night by Elora Bishop Cover of One Imbolc Gloaming by Elora Bishop

Cover of One Ostara Sunrise by Elora Bishop Cover of A History of Ancient Egypt by John Romer Cover of Runtime by S.B. Divya Cover of The Jewel and her Lapidary by Fran Wilde

 Cover of The Devil You Know by K.J. Parker Cover of The Drowning Eyes by Emily Foster Cover of Batgirl: Silent Running by Kelley Puckett Cover of Batgirl: A Knight Alone by Kelley Puckett

Reviews posted this week:
A Conspiracy of Kings, by Megan Whalen TurnerI liked this a lot more on the reread, probably because I knew what to expect. Sophos is a lot less interesting to me than Gen, but the glimpse of Gen through his eyes is fascinating. 4/5 stars
The Ancient Paths, by Graham RobbI have to admit that actually evaluating the scholarship is beyond me, but the argument seems a bit prone to wishful thinking — “this would be convenient, so it’s true”, I guess. Still interesting. 3/5 stars
Sick of Shadows, by M.C. Beaton. The first book was kind of fun, but the formula has worn very thin. 1/5 stars
Saga Volume Two, by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona StaplesSaga continues to be awesome and funny, and still makes me laugh even when it’s gross humour I wouldn’t normally go in for. 4/5 stars
Blood Lines, by Tanya Huff. Another fun entry in the series, though more or less as you’d expect. And there’s a mummy (the kind in bandages). 3/5 stars
Airs Above the Ground, by Mary Stewart. Definitely not my favourite, probably because of the all-too-stereotypical relationship between the husband and wife — he beats someone up for her, he keeps secrets and that’s fine, etc, etc. 2/5 stars
Flashback Friday: The Island of the Mighty, by Evangeline Walton. Not the best of the series by far, though it’s still an interesting and effective retelling. 3/5 stars

Other posts:
Top Ten Tuesday: Underrated Books. The theme was books with less than 2,000 ratings; a lot of the ones I chose have very few ratings and even fewer reviews. I tried to pick a nice range of different books, with SF/F, non-fiction, poetry, detective stories…

So how’s everyone been? What’re you up to? Me, I’ve been visiting my parents this week and taking advantage of my Xbox to play all the Fable 2 and Fable 3. In fact, let me get back to that now.

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Unstacking the Shelves

Posted 2 July, 2016 by Nikki in General / 4 Comments

This week was a good week for reading, as you can see! And for only the fifth time ever, I have no new books to showcase and can instead show off the ones I’ve finished reading. I didn’t even feature the full covers this time as I normally do for an Unstacking week cause there’s just so many! Twelve of these have been on my TBR for at least a year before I finally got round to them, so it really is good progress.

So please don’t tell me to enjoy my new books! Let me bask in being good.

Books finished this week:

Cover of The Terracotta Bride by Zen Cho Cover of Toad Words & Other Stories by T. Kingfisher Cover of Saints Astray by Jacqueline Carey Cover of The Copper Promise by Jen Williams Cover of The Book of Atrix Wolfe by Patricia McKillip

Cover of A Winter Book by Tove Jansson Cover of Little, Big by John Crowley Cover of Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt Cover of The Falling Woman by Pat Murphy Cover of Under the Skin by Michael Faber

Cover of The Lifted Veil by George Eliot Cover of Brother Jacob by George Eliot Cover of Broken by Susan Bigelow Cover of Lud-in-the-Mist by Hope Mirrlees Unbeatable Squirrel Girl

Reviews posted this week:

Hasty Death, by M.C. Beaton. Fun enough, but it really isn’t anything special. 2/5 stars
So You Want to Be a Wizard, by Diane Duane. I think I came to this at the wrong age — I’d probably have loved it when I was younger. 1/5 stars
Lucky Planet: Why Earth is Exceptional, by David Waltham. Solid science and an interesting discussion of whether life is likely to be common or not in the universe, but I think we really don’t have enough data at all to actually come to a conclusion about how lucky or not we are. 3/5 stars
Saga Volume One, by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples. A reread so I can get on with the series! Love it pretty much the same as before, especially the art. 4/5 stars
Blood Trail, by Tanya Huff. Fun and brings in more supernatural creatures, etc. It’s fairly light comfort reading for me. 3/5 stars
All For Love, by Jane Aiken Hodge. A good Heyer-esque romp, with some nice touches (the perfect switch isn’t perfect after all, etc). I enjoyed it a lot and will be reading more of Jane Aiken Hodge’s work. 4/5 stars
Flashback Friday: The Song of Rhiannon, by Evangeline Walton. This book isn’t as powerful as the previous book, which is a bit of a relief after how harrowing that was. There’s a lot of good stuff here, and Manawydan remains an awesome character. 4/5 stars

Other posts:
Top Ten Books I Was Forced to Read. It was a freebie week, so I mined for an old theme and covered books I had to read for class or research.
ShelfLove Update. My update on the reading challenge I’m doing, which also includes my TBR for this month, as usual.

How’s everyone been? Good reading week? Anything exciting joined your piles?

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Stacking the Shelves

Posted 25 June, 2016 by Nikki in General / 14 Comments

Hey everyone! This week I have kind of had a bit of a spree, which I needed post Brexit-vote — I don’t really talk politics here much; suffice it to say my planned future with my Belgian partner is looking a wee bit more unsettled. Hurrah democracy, but boo, I wish this hadn’t come to pass!

Books acquired:

Cover of The Jewel and her Lapidary by Fran Wilde Cover of Desert Rising by Kelley Grant Cover of Sweep in Peace by Ilona Andrews Cover of Winterwood by Dorothy Eden

Cover of Toad Words & Other Stories by T. Kingfisher Cover of Runtime by S.B. Divya Cover of The Terracotta Bride by Zen Cho Cover of The Winding Stair by Jane Aiken Hodge

A nice haul, right? A good mix of fantasy and a couple of the romance-suspense type novels I like for comfort reading. Hopefully it won’t take me long to repair the damage to my to read pile I’ve just done…

Received to review:

Cover of Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn Cover of Summerlong by Peter S. Beagle Cover of Blood Moon by M.J. O'Shea

I heard good things about the first two, and requested the third on a whim.

I did get some good reading done earlier in the week, but the warm weather here took it out of me later in the week. I do recommend Being Mortal; it’s a really important examination of what dying is like in the modern world. It made me cry, but it’s very worth reading.

Books finished this week:

Cover of Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore Cover of Missing Microbes by Martin Blaser Cover of The Sleeping Prince by Melinda Salisbury

Cover of The Door into Shadow by Diane Duane Cover of Being Mortal by Atul Gawande Cover of Death Among the Marshes by Kathryn Ramage

Reviews posted:
Blood Price, by Tanya Huff. Fun urban fantasy with some unique features (like a protagonist with retinitis pigmentosa). Not Huff’s all time best or something, but a lot of fun. 3/5 stars
Darwin’s Ghosts, by Rebecca Stott. We can be prone to thinking Darwin’s idea was totally original, but as he acknowledged himself, there were antecedents. This book discusses some of them — while acknowledging that Darwin’s theory is what finally made sense of all the data. 3/5 stars
Midnight Never Come, by Marie Brennan. I didn’t love this as much as the Isabella Trent books, but that’d be a pretty high bar anyway. Midnight Never Come has a lot of interesting set-up, though one of the characters felt a little disconnected from the action. 4/5 stars
King of Attolia, by Megan Whalen Turner. This book views Gen from the eyes of someone naive to his intelligence, and that makes it a lot of fun. Even though we made the same mistake when reading The Thief… 5/5 stars
Unnatural Habits, by Kerry Greenwood. Lots of social commentary and a look at the deeper parts of Phryne’s personality, combined with a rather bitterly funny subplot. 4/5 stars
Something Wicked This Way Comes, by Ray Bradbury. Lots of beautiful prose and not so much substance, for me. Probably deservedly a classic though. 2/5 stars
Flashback Friday: The Children of Llyr, by Evangeline Walton. More than the first book, this is where I really fell in love with Walton’s evocation of the Welsh mythology. Beautiful and harrowing. 5/5 stars

Other posts:
Top Ten Books from 2016 So Far. I didn’t really struggle with this, which surprised me! Looks like I’m pretty caught up.

How’s everyone been doing?

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Stacking the Shelves

Posted 18 June, 2016 by Nikki in General / 12 Comments

Hey everyone! It’s been a busy week, but finally my wedding plans are looking more sorted and both me and my partner are done with assignments and such (for now). Now I can read more, right? Right?!

Books received to review:

Cover of Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

I wasn’t 100% sold on Signal to Noise, but I’m interested in this one all the same.

Books finished this week:

Cover of Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers Cover of Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury Cover of The Greatest Show on Earth by Richard Dawkins

 Cover of Fever by Mary Beth Keane Cover of A Fall of Moondust by Arthur C. Clarke Cover of Surfeit of Lampreys, by Ngaio Marsh

Reviews posted this week:
The Book of Phoenix, by Nnedi Okorafor. Maybe the strongest of Okorafor’s books I’ve read so far, at least for me. It’s crammed full of stuff and I didn’t feel like it really used it all, but it was a good narrative of how we make myth. 3/5 stars
The Raven and the Reindeer, by T. Kingfisher. A sweet version of The Snow Queen, with a twist. Gerta still rescues Kay, but along the way she meets her real love… 4/5 stars
Spider-Woman: New Duds, by Dennis Hopeless and Javier Rodriguez. A fun redesign for Jessica Drew, and an interesting story… unfortunately cut off by Secret Wars. 3/5 stars
The Other Wind, by Ursula Le Guin. The ending this series deserved, beautifully dealing with some of the issues that might have been nagging at the observant. 4/5 stars
Snobbery With Violence, by M.C. Beaton. Relatively silly and light, with a by-the-numbers mystery, but it entertained me. 3/5 stars
Wylding Hall, by Elizabeth Hand. Has a real sense of the uncanny and an interesting structure (which some people might find annoying, but which I enjoyed). Never pushes into horror for me, but stays solidly unsettlingly. There’s one bone-chilling moment, though… 4/5 stars
Flashback Friday: Prince of Annwn, by Evangeline Walton. Skillful retelling of the First Branch of the Mabinogion. Expands and humanises, but deals very well with the original material and keeps everything in line with it. 3/5 stars

Other posts:
Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases for the Second Half of the Year. What it says on the tin. Gimme!

How’s everyone been?

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Unstacking the Shelves

Posted 11 June, 2016 by Nikki in General / 16 Comments

No books bought this week! Wow. And this week started off quite slow, reading-wise, but I got quite a bit packed into the last couple of days and have plenty to show off in my fourth Unstacking post ever! We did briefly have the excitement of having a wedding date, but now we’re having to change it… ah well, at least now we have the paperwork all sorted?!

Books finished this week:

Cover of The Ancient Paths by Graham Robb Cover of Murder and Mendelssohn by Kerry Greenwood Saga vol 1 Cover of Talking Hands by Margalit Fox

Cover of Saga vol 2 by Brian Vaughan Cover of Blood Lines by Tanya Huff Cover of Airs Above the Ground by Mary Stewart Cover of Saga vol 3 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples

Reviews posted this week:
Finn Fancy Necromancy, by Randy Henderson. I wasn’t really won over by this. I thought it was trying too hard to be the fantasy version of Ready Player One, in terms of references, and the characters didn’t strike me as being particularly mature or interesting. 2/5 stars
Ashoka: The Search for India’s Lost Emperor, by Charles Allen. This really is more about the search, and the searchers, than the lost Emperor himself. There’s a lot of interest, though if you’re sensitive to colonial issues you might not be comfortable with the fairly uncritical praise Allen has for the people who ruled colonial India and, coincidentally, did some work on Sanskrit and excavating Indian temples. 4/5 stars
Rosemary and Rue, by Seanan McGuire. This is perhaps the best answer to Jim Butcher’s urban fantasy I’ve found: female driven, complex mythology, and it’s not all about who sleeps with whom. The main character isn’t always smart, but she is at least sympathetic. 4/5 stars
Spider-Gwen: Most Wanted? by Jason Latour and Robbi Rodriguez. This is very much a getting-up-to-speed issue, and it’s a bit goofy at times, but I do enjoy that someone has made Gwen Stacey the hero. Not so keen on the treatment of MJ, though. 3/5 stars
Dreamer’s Pool, by Juliet Marillier. Solidly entertaining, although with some themes people might find themselves very uncomfortable with. The side characters are engaging enough to carry a lot of the book, while the main characters’ story is set up for the future. I’m looking forward to reading more. 4/5 stars
A Companion to Wolves, by Sarah Monette and Elizabeth Bear. Deals seriously with the issues of soul-bonding to animals a la the dragons of Pern, except there’s also a solid fantasy story with wolves and trolls as well. It’s mostly about the interactions of the wolfheall, and the difficulties the main character has in adjusting to his role, but there’s an intriguing world in the background too. 4/5 stars
Flashback Friday: Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline. Fun and nostalgic, though a bit gimmicky in execution with all those pop-culture references. The main character can be a bit of a creep at times, but then, he is meant to be a teenage boy. 4/5 stars

Other posts:

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Reasons I Love Fairytales. A somewhat lyrical celebration of these really old, really new, endlessly adaptable stories.

How’s everyone been? Anything exciting? Anything I just have to read?

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Stacking the Shelves

Posted 4 June, 2016 by Nikki in General / 10 Comments

This has been a less busy week, thankfully, and I’ve got some work done on tackling my backlog — including an epic sweep removing about 70 books from the backlog that I’m no longer interested in, or where I didn’t enjoy the first book of a series, etc. I really should get back to work again, though, because my next deadline is approaching fast…

Oh well, books first!

Received to review:

Cover of Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee

I’ve been interested in this for a while, particularly since my mother actually writes to Yoon Ha Lee regularly, and I’ve read The Fox’s Tower and enjoyed the stories in it.

Books bought this week:

27281393 26792189 Cover of Last First Snow by Max Gladstone

I wasn’t 100% in love with The Sin-Eater’s Daughter, but I love the covers of these books and I’m curious enough… Kameron Hurley’s The Geek Feminist Revolution is obviously going to be awesome, though I don’t know how much new content it contains (since I’ve read We Have Always Fought). Aaaand the Max Gladstone means I have all the books so far, until the next one is out.

Reading wise, it’s been a relatively light week. The M.C. Beaton books aren’t even that great, but they were just the right brain candy for me at the time.

Books finished this week:

Cover of Snobbery With Violence by M.C. Beaton Cover of So You Want to Be A Wizard by Diane Duane Cover of A Conspiracy of Kings by Megan Whalen Turner Cover of All For Love by Jane Aiken Hodge

Cover of Hasty Death by M.C. Beaton Cover of Sick of Shadows by M.C. Beaton Cover of Our Lady of Pain by M.C. Beaton Cover of Lucky Planet by David Waltham

Reviews posted this week:
Tam Lin, by Pamela Dean. It took me a long time to really get into this, and then suddenly at 85% it made things work. Also, love the setting. 4/5 stars
Spider-Woman: Spider-Verse, by Dennis Hopeless and Greg Land. Fun enough, and if you didn’t bother with Spider-verse in general, this does give you some info. Involves a lot of the Spider-ladies! 3/5 stars
The Sudden Appearance of Hope, by Claire North. A very interesting one-sentence idea (“what if nobody could ever remember you?”) combined with a technology thriller type plot. 4/5 stars
The Queen of Attolia, by Megan Whalen Turner. More complex than the first book, The Thief, this pushes the characters we’ve already been introduced them and develops them beyond the thumbnail sketches we had before. It was a reread, so maybe no surprise I loved it. 5/5 stars
Hawkeye: Rio Bravo, by Matt Fraction and David Aja. This run of Hawkeye has been fun, and I appreciate a lot about it, but I think the storytelling style wasn’t ideal for me. It relied a lot on the art, and I am not a visual person. 3/5 stars
Tales from Earthsea, by Ursula Le Guin. My main comment on this one is that you really need to read ‘Dragonfly’ to understand The Other Wind. 4/5 stars
Flashback Friday: Debatable Space, by Philip Palmer. Fun and compulsive read, even though it didn’t seem like it would be my thing at all. 4/5 stars

Other posts:
Top Ten Beach Reads. Except I was difficult about the theme, because I don’t do “beach reads”.

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