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[Book Review] Battle of the Linguist Mages

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Battle of the Linguist Mages   / Scotto Moore The description of this book caught my attention immediately , and a cover blurb from one of my favorite authors?  Sign me up! The book isn't quite what is promised, and that's not necessarily a bad thing, it's just that it has so much potential.  It's like how Ready Player One  reads a lot different in a post Gamer Gate environment.  (Also, to be fair, the description I first read when looking through review copies is different than what is up  now.) Now, don't get me wrong, the premise is phenomenal.  I love a good SF that takes seeds of the here and now and goes "what if?"  It looks at where VR gaming is now, where streaming and MMOs are now, the balance between real life skills and game controls, and launches into a believable continuation.  Then we get a little seasoning of magic and more.  It made me laugh and has some neat ideas that it develops. But writing and tone wise, it feels a lot like Ready Playe

[Book Review] When Sorrows Come

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When Sorrows Come (October Daye #15)  / Seanan McGuire Previously reviewed: Rosemary and Rue Once Broken Faith The Brightest Fell Night and Silence The Unkindest Tide A Killing Frost After... we'll kindly say many books of dodging the inevitable, Toby's finally getting married.  In her defense, at the start of the book even she did not know the date chosen for the event.  There's a little too much significance in this marriage to allow for a simple document signing in front of the local Justice of the Peace.  A marriage between a member of the Divided Courts and a King of Cats, and of course Toby has been anything but "just" a changeling for some time now.  A hero of the realm, daughter of a First Born, king-breaker, kingdom maker, finder of lost things, and, most importantly, one of the few members of Fairie that understands crime scene investigation and procedure. This is  October Daye, of course something is going to go Horribly Wrong, likely involving blood, w

[Book Review] Midnight, Water City

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  Midnight, Water City  / Chris Mckinney The world we live in has been changing alarmingly, with record breaking temperatures, forest fires, storms, flooding, and landslides, while billionaires play compete with each other in a space race.  Midnight, Water City  gives us a future that's not so far fetched, imagining how the world may be future reshaped and going from there.  The apocalypse has happened, the land poisoned, the seas rose, and humanity endured and adapted, building down into the depths of the sea. The story follows a man who for years protected the woman who saved the world from an extinction level meteor event.  The years have not been kind, years lengthened through advances in medicine and science, more years to make mistakes. Year 2142: Earth is forty years past a near-collision with the asteroid Sessho-seki. Akira Kimura, the scientist responsible for eliminating the threat, has reached heights of celebrity approaching deification. But now, Akira feels her safety

[Book Review] You Sexy Thing

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You Sexy Thing  / Cat Rambo The teaser hooked me with "Great British Bake Off meets Farscape" The story took a little bit longer, meandering in it's comfortable little setting. Then, as things are wont to do, everything went utterly wrong.  And that  my friends is when things started getting really interesting.  Rambo lulls you into complacency even as our intrepid heroes gear up for the biggest challenge of their culinary careers, and then pulls the rug out from under everything and sends the plot careening sideways into adventure and strife from most unexpected corners.  Amidst all of this, the characters unfold, giving the reader emotional stakes in the outcome. A delightful journey, all and all. Advance Reader Copy courtesy of  Macmillan-Tor/Forge in exchange for an honest review; changes may exist between galley and the final edition.

[Book Review] TERRIBLE FALL OF ANGELS

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A Terrible Fall of Angels (Zaniel Havelock #1) / Laurell K. Hamilton Confession - as much as I read large amounts of urban fantasy, particularly those with some sort of Investigator main character, I haven't really gotten into Hamilton's earlier works.  I gave Anita  the college try, working through a handful of books, but while I respected her work I never grew invested in the series.   But, Guilty Pleasures  came out in 1993.  Thirty years is a long time for someone to hone and refine their craft, and Hamilton's body of work and impact on the genre speaks volumes to her skill.  So a brand new series made me sit up and pay attention.  I wanted to see where this went, and I was not let down in the slightest.  Laurell K. Hamilton also took some time to answer some questions about the series, themes, setting, and horror! A Terrible Fall of Angels gives us a new setting, one where faith and belief can shape your magic, one where children can be taken and taught to act as a co

[Book Review] The Last Graduate

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The Last Graduate (Lesson Two of the Scholomance) / Naomi Novik Previously Reviewed: Deadly Education If you're a fan of magical schools, portal fantasy, and Naomi Novik, this series is a no brainer.  Really, you don't need to read a review, this book is well paced, engaging, with an evolving threat that the protagonist and her fellow students must continually adapt and overcome. It's senior year, one last year to build reserves, refine your craft, and survive for the final push and to escape the school. Only, the rules have changed this year in ways the students don't quite yet realize.  There's prophesy and destiny hanging in the air, and Novik constantly teases us with potential that leaves us guessing until the end. Advanced Reader Copy copy courtesy of Penguin RandomHouse via Netgalley; differences may exist between uncorrected galley text and the final edition.

[Book Review] Escape from Puroland

Escape from Puroland (The Laundry Files 7.5)  / Charles Stross Previously Reviewed: The Annihilation Score The Nightmare Stacks Dead Lies Dreaming This novella is fantastic .  Coming it at under 150 pages it's a fast read, with just enough filling in of background & setting that an unsuspecting reader can dive in and follow without getting bogged down.  Bob is, after all, generally conscientious in journaling his missions.  Also, like a new reader, he is always being thrown into situations without a thorough briefing, so beyond establishing details such as his marriage, the organization he works for, and his role as the Eater of Souls, Jr, and the concept of Computational Demonology (all of which are integrated seamlessly), we are all discovering things together. Most of the series takes place in England, with a few visits to the US and International Waters.  Escape from Puroland  brings us somewhere new both in location for the series and the mythology it has delved into.  For