Adult · Books · Fantasy · Fiction · Sci-Fi · Young Adult

T5W: SFF Authors on My Auto-Buy List

So, I got physically stuck behind the copy machine at work today and someone had to come free me. I’m still asking myself why they let me supervise other people…That was my day in a nutshell. How are you all doing today? Anybody get stuck anywhere interesting?

I finished up A Darker Shade of Magic and I can’t wait to share my review with you all, after I finish writing it, that is. In the mean time, let’s talk about authors!

This week’s T5W category is Sci-Fi/Fantasy Authors on my “auto buy” list. While there are several authors that I really like, there are only a select few on my auto-buy list.

Neil Gaiman – You guys already know how I feel about Mr. Gaiman and his work. If he decided to publish the phone book I’ll be the first one on the waiting list.

V.E. Schwab – I’ve only read one of her books now, but I’m pretty sold. I can’t wait to read the rest of her books and see what’s in store.

Leigh Bardugo – I love the unique worlds and the complex characters she creates.

Patrick Rothfuss – Still eagerly awaiting the third installment of the Kingkiller Chronicle series. If he puts that or anything else out in the next decade I’m in.

Colleen Oakes – I love the way Colleen re-tells stories. Dare I say, she makes them even better than the originals!

Adult · Books · Fantasy · Sci-Fi · Young Adult

Top Ten Tues: Books on My Spring TBR

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It’s Top Ten Tuesday again! (Check out The Artsy Reader Girl to see what each week’s theme is going to be.) This week’s theme is “Top Ten Books on My Spring TBR List.” Now, I will be the first to admit that I am terrible with actually sticking to my lists when I make these, but I figure I’ll manage to read at least some of them before summer rolls around. Here’s the current list. (Ask me about it again in 2 weeks and it will be completely different.)

  • Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller
  • A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
  • Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman 

  • The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett
  • A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas
  • The Armored Saint by Myke Cole
  • The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer
  • Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton
  • How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran
  • Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

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Adult · Books · Fantasy · Sci-Fi

Book Review: Robots vs. Fairies

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My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

It’s a showdown between nature and science. Who will reign victorious: the robots or the fairies? 

I was SO excited to find this book in Asheville a few weeks ago. While I am a fan of both robots and fairies, I will admit that I’m Team Fairy all the way.

Robots vs. Fairies is a collection of short stories written by various popular fantasy/sci-fi authors. Rather than being stories of actual warfare between the two entities, each author chose a side (Team Fairy or Team Robot) and told their story accordingly. The layout and alternating views made this a fun read. It was easy to get wrapped up in a particular “side” based on the story you were reading, then do a complete 180 by the time you reached the next one.

The fairies were portrayed in all sorts of manners. Some were the fun, whimsical fairies of our childhoods, while others were dark and malicious. The robots gave you a glimpse at both the good and bad of technological advancement. While both sides were painted in an intriguing manner, the fairies were more diverse. The fae, Seelies, banshees, brownies, and pixies were all represented throughout the anthology. The robots were creepy and felt widely similar in nature after a while. (Which I suppose makes sense, as they’re programmed machines with no feelings or real human-like tendencies.)

My favorite story in the book was Sarah Gailey’s haunting “Bread and Milk and Salt.” (Seriously, this one will keep you up at night.) Some other favorites were Seanan McGuire’s “Build Me a Wonderland,” Kat Howard’s “Just Another Love Song,” Jim Hine’s “Second To the Left. And Straight On,” and John Scalzi’s “Three Robots Experience Objects Left Behind From the Era of Humans For the First Time.” The introduction to this book (a greeting letter, written sometime after the robot or fair overlords have already won and have taken over the human world) is unique and captivating. I was hooked immediately.

Definitely check this one out, whether you’re Team Fairy, Team Robot, or new to the world of sci-fi/fantasy.

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Are you Team Fairy or Team Robot?

Adult · Books · Fantasy · Sci-Fi

It’s Monday! How you doin’?

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I hope you’re all doing well on this rainy Monday morning. I’m a bit on the sleepy side. Boyfriend woke me up in the middle of the night to inform me that I was yelling in my sleep. Since injuring my shoulder a few months ago I’ve had to learn to sleep on my back more often. Apparently, when I sleep on my back I do weird things, like yell, laugh, and talk in my sleep. (Not too long ago I attempted to warn Boyfriend about the “tiny trolls” in our bedroom. I believe get me in my sleep last night and this is why I was yelling.)

So, what’s everyone reading this week?

I’m currently a little more than halfway through Good Omens. Even though I’ve read this one before I’m excited to review it for the blog. I also read a few stories in the new book I picked up while I was in Asheville this weekend, Robots vs. Fairies. I was so excited to see this one on the shelf! I didn’t even realize it had come out already.

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When I die, please put “Beware the Tiny Trolls” on my tombstone. People really need to know what they’re up against.

 

Adult · Book Reviews · Books · Sci-Fi

Book Review: Shada by Gareth Roberts

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My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

When The Doctor’s old friend, Professor Chronotis, retires to Cambridge University he brings some souvenirs with him that he should have left behind. One of them, “The Worshipful and Ancient Law of Gallifrey,” is far too dangerous to be left unguarded. Even worse, it’s fallen into the hands of the sinister Skagra. 

The Doctor, Romana, and K-9 must figure out what Skagra’s up to and get the book back before something terrible falls upon the universe. 

Shada is based upon some of Douglas Adams’ original scripts for Doctor Who that never made it to air. Like the previous Doctor Who novel I read, this one is based off the 4th Doctor.

The story invoked some of the quirkiness of Tom Baker’s character, which is always entertaining. It was nice having Romana and K-9 present, also, even if it’s just for nostalgia purposes. The rest of the characters didn’t do enough for me though. Even the villain was kind of lackluster.

Some of the “details” of the backstory were a little shoddy. I understand that there’s a lot to explain as far as the history of Doctor Who goes, but I still felt like there could have been less half-assed explanations.

Aside from those things, the story was enjoyable. It was’t as good as City of Death, but it wasn’t terrible either. The novels are a fun way to kill time while I wait for season 11 to come out.

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Adult · Books · Sci-Fi

Currently Reading: Shada

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A few months ago I read City of Death, which was my first Doctor Who novel. I absolutely loved it, so I figured I’d try another one and see how it compares. According to the blurb on Goodreads, Shada is based on some of Douglas Adams’ orginal scripts for the show that never aired. It features Tom Baker’s version of The Doctor, plus Ramona and K-9.

Allons-y!

Adult · Book Reviews · Books · Sci-Fi

Book Review: Sand by Hugh Howey

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My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

The old world is gone, buried deep beneath miles of sand and shifting dunes. Life is harsh, and often fatal, in the new world. 

Siblings Palmer, Vic, Rob, and Connor find themselves struggling to cope with their father’s absence, their mother’s choices, and the current reality that they are stuck in. For them, the only hope is in sand diving. Plunging deep below the surface looking for souvenirs of the old world. 

What lies beneath the desert could either bring their family together or tear them completely apart. 

I have mixed feelings about this book. I zipped through most of it on Saturday, curled up in a cozy armchair at Barnes & Noble. It held my attention and had an intriguing plot, but there were a few key things that left me disappointed by the time I reached the end.

What I liked: I am not usually a fan of post-apocalyptic literature, but this one felt different. There were still the common themes of hardship and trying to make sense of the new world, but it was different in that it wasn’t heavily laden with controlling government figures or zombies. I also liked that there wasn’t just one protagonist of the story, but went back and forth between the different points of view of each family member. It was interesting to see the similarities/differences in each person’s perspective.

What I didn’t like: The concept of sand diving is pretty cool. The descriptions of how it felt to be beneath the sand and the effects it had on the body were good, albeit terrifying. That being said, however, I wish we’d have been given more information on how sand diving worked, given that this is not a natural concept that most of us can comprehend. (There’s a special suit that they use to do this, but the actual science of it was somewhat vague.) Another thing that disappointed me a little was the characters. There was a range of them, but I didn’t feel like we got the change to connect with any of them in particular. None of them were bad characters, but with all the jumping back and forth some of the personal details got lost.

Overall, not a bad book. It probably isn’t one I would read again, but if you like sci-fi then check it out.