Posts

[Book Review] False Value

Image
False Value (Rivers of London #8) / Ben Aaronovitch
"Peter Grant is facing fatherhood, and an uncertain future, with equal amounts of panic and enthusiasm. Rather than sit around, he takes a job with émigré Silicon Valley tech genius Terrence Skinner's brand new London start up - the Serious Cybernetics Company.

Drawn into the orbit of Old Street's famous 'silicon roundabout', Peter must learn how to blend in with people who are both civilians and geekier than he is. Compared to his last job, Peter thinks it should be a doddle. But magic is not finished with Mama Grant's favourite son.

Because Terrence Skinner has a secret hidden in the bowels of the SCC. A technology that stretches back to Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage, and forward to the future of artificial intelligence. A secret that is just as magical as it technological - and just as dangerous."
As much as I love a good Hitchhiker's reference, it's disorienting to read about Peter Grant in th…

[Book Review] Battle Ground

Image
Battle Ground (Dresden Files #17) / Jim Butcher

Out Today - 9/29!Previously Reviewed
Cold Days (Dresden Files #14)Peace Talks (Dresden Files #16)(Spoiler/Rant Edition here)Dresden Files: War Cry (Graphic Novel)Dresden Files : Down Town (Graphic Novel)Brief Cases (Short Story Collection)Peace Talks marked the beginning of the end for life as we know it in Chicago.  When a Titan announces she is bringing a doom to the city (and humanity), without any care for secrecy, things are going to get messy.  What's left is what do you do about it?  Do you fight, do you run, do you hide?
Battle Ground is Dresden's Endgame, Ethniu cast as Thanos with the Eye of Balor in place of the Infinity Gauntlet.  Representatives across the Accorded races and factions are present, standing against the Fomor, and there is an 11th hour rally around reinforcements.  Credit where credit is due, Butcher manages to keep the pace going strong in a novel that is 80% combat.  This is not an easy battle, nor one t…

[Book Review] A Killing Frost

Image
A Killing Frost (October Daye #13) / Seanan McGuire Previously reviewed:
Rosemary and Rue
Once Broken FaithThe Brightest FellNight and SilenceThe Unkindest TideA Killing Frost isa story about marriage and family, from the consideration of what does the bride wear when she assumes she'll end up covered in blood, to familial law.  Toby doesn't so much seem to get Happily Ever After so much as Happy For Now, due to a mix of inescapable bad situations, Toby sense of duty and loyalty, and her indestructibility.  However, Toby does generally complete her Quests, so going into the story, no matter how impossible, we have reason to believe that she will pull through even if there's a cost to pay.When Toby learns that she has to invite her mother's husband, Simon Torquill, to her wedding lest someone claim insult against her and demand a price she cannot pay, her task seems particularly impossible. He is lost, has sacrified his way home until he finds Oberon, and until he fulfills…

[Book Review] Peace Talks (Spoiler Edition)

Image
Alright ya'll.
Spoilers ahead.
And a bunch of grousing.

If you want my spoiler free and more neutral review, please check out my original review here:
https://libromancersapprentice.blogspot.com/2020/03/book-review-peace-talks.html
Alright... spoilers and complaints below the cover art.


What I can say about Peace Talks is that I did race through it, but I need to mitigate that with the fact that I kept finding my eyes sliding over whole passages without really absorbing any of it.  The writing isn't quite as tight or as connected as his last few novels, with the parts struggling to add up to a whole that led to unintentional skimming.  This was most noticeable in the power fantasy level descriptions of Harry and in a lot of the combat scenes.  By "power fantasy" descriptions I mean the fact that it's mentioned that he can now bench press a truck, which sure, is super strong, but there's been so many other better "show, don't tell" examples of how much…

[Book Review] Harrow the Ninth

Image
Harrow the Ninth (Locked Tomb #2) / Tamsyn Muir

This book people.
This book.
Where to start?
At the beginning, I suppose.  Or a little bit further than that with Gideon the Ninth. "In the myriadic year of our Lord -- the ten thousandth year of the King Undying, the kindly Prince of Death! -- Gideon Nav packed her sword, her shoes, and her dirty magazines, and she escaped from the House of the Ninth." Gideon is sarcastic, irreverent, and stubborn.  She's in your face and demands your attention, tempestuous and bold.  We start with a laugh as we dive into this twisting murder mystery adventure about lesbian necromancers in space.  We end with tears. "One flesh, one end." The prologue is titled "The Night Before the Emperor's Murder," told from a second person narrator that makes it very clear that something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

Next we get the parados (from Merriam-Webster: "the first choral passage in an ancient Greek drama recited or …

[Book Review] A Deadly Education

Image
A Deadly Education (Lesson One of the Scholomance) / Naomi Novik
You ever finish a book and end up furious that it's over?  That there's not more?  That you have to wait for the next book to come out?

Yeah, that's me with this book.
The fact that I got to read this book several months early just makes it worse, because it means I have to wait that much longer for book two.
I wanted to throw my phone across the room in frustration that I'd read the last page and there was no more to read.

Don't get me wrong.  I knew there was going to be at least a second book, if not more, and not just because the cover says "Lesson One."  You can tell early on that this is a story too big for a single book.
When the story gets started you're OK that it's not going to be contained to this single volume, but then before you know it the story is barrelling forward and you're caught up in the action.  You can see the end coming, the story arc is utterly satisfying, but…

[Book Review] Imaginary Numbers

Image
Imaginary Numbers (InCryptid #9) / Seanan McGuire

Previously reviewed Chaos Choreography (InCryptid #5)Magic for Nothing (InCryptid #6)Tricks for Free (InCryptid #7)
That Ain't Witchcraft (InCryptid #8)So... it's been a long time since we've spent time with Sarah.  Several years since Chaos Choreography, in fact.  Finally healed enough to risk venturing out into the world again, she's going home.  To the Price family, and to Artie.  It would be a perfect homecoming, being accepted into the family in ways she never has been before... except for one thing.
There are other cuckoos in the area.  Not just one, a worrisome concern on its own in normal circumstances, but several of the notoriously solitary predators.  Telepathic predators that are effectively clones of each other at that.  Who want Sarah for their own plans.
Things devolve further as Sarah, and the Prices, learn more and more about what's going on, and try to figure out the truth.  But none of it bodes well f…