Friday, 18 October 2019

Gamechanger - Book Review

by L.X. Beckett

What is it about:
First there was the Setback. Then came the Clawback. Now humanity thrives.

Rubi Whiting is a member of the Bounceback Generation. The first to be raised free of the troubles of the late twenty-first century. Now she works as a public defender to help troubled individuals with anti-social behavior. That’s how she met Luciano Pox.

Luce is a firebrand and has made a name for himself as a naysayer. But there’s more to him than being a lightning rod for controversy. Rubi has to find out why the governments of the world want to bring Luce into custody, and why Luce is hell bent on stopping the recovery of the planet.

What did I think of it:
This book takes you on a wild emotional ride while challenging your views on what humanity actually is.

The prologue of this book alone was so gripping that I wouldn't have minded if that particular story had been continued, but then the story switched to 40 years later and it drew me in all over again.

The future Beckett describes isn't a happy one. Large parts of earth have been destroyed and to spare resources and space people spend most of their time online in a virtual world. You can get strikes and strokes for your behavior and a good social standing is everything if you don't want to watch a gazilion ads before you're allowed to do anything.

I must say parts of this world felt frighteningly close.

Where a Black Mirror episode would turn this bleak world even bleaker by the end of the episode, Beckett gives hope in their story. Ruby for one believes humanity can be and do better. Her work on Luce's case lands her in hot water though, and soon she is discovering things, and following leads that show her things she never knew about.

Next to Ruby there are several other viewpoint characters, all with their own agenda and emotions. As the story unfolds their paths intertwine and some of them need to make difficult decisions, or decide what they stand for. I had my favorites of course, Ruby and Gimlet Barnes (her online rival) contending for the number one spot.

This isn't a fast read. The switching viewpoints, the complex world, and the interlinking events make that you really need to pay attention to everything that's going on, but it's so worth it to take the time to let this story get hold of you. It's thought provoking, emotional, and beautiful.

All in all an amazing read. You bet I'll be keeping an eye out for more books by Beckett.

Why should you read it:
It's a wonderful and emotional SF read.

buy from bookdepository

Thursday, 17 October 2019

Brimstone and Marmalade - Halloween Read

Brimstone and Marmalade
by Aaron Corwin

What is it about:
All Mathilde wanted for her birthday was a pony. Instead, she got a demon. Sometimes growing up means learning that what you think you want is not always what you need.

What did I think of it:
This is a fun and bittersweet short story about a girl who gets a demon for her birthday instead of a pony. If you're looking for a Halloween read that's not about the horror and gore, but about growing up and friendship, this is the read for you.

buy from Amazon

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Blood Doctrine - Book Review

Blood Doctrine: Re Education is in Order (Blood Saga #1)
by Maquel A. Jacob

What is it about:
The new generation of vampires has their elders disgusted with their ignorance and lack of social grace. Re-education is in order so they ship the blood thirsty ingrates to boarding school in hopes they catch some common sense. And the young ones don’t like one bit.

Chase Ambrook deems himself a social butterfly living the carefree life. Princess Adelia only sees humans as playthings for her sadistic games. Falson Sapienti spends his days engaging in carnal escapades.

War is coming.

As successors to take over their covens they must buck up and act responsible for once in their lives. Losing the battle means extinction but it may be too much of a burden for this group of spoiled blood suckers.

What did I think of it:
I picked up this book at Worldcon, wanting to try a new to me author.

And this book is... weird.

Parts of it were very entertaining, some disturbing, and others just plain weird.

I liked the overall worldbuilding, and the start of this book was very entertaining, but the behavior of the main characters really put me off of them. They each have a servant/bodyguard and at least two seem to think it's perfectly normal to demand a sexual relationship with that servant whether they want to or not.

I don't like relationships where one of the two parties has no way to refuse and stays in this position with no promise of a change in the lopsided state of the relationship. So with no one to really root for I did wonder at times if I should keep reading.

I was curious enough how things would turn out and if the main characters would grow up, so that kept me reading until a new development drove the story into the bizarre. From there on out I kind of stayed in WTF mode until the end.

All in all this book had promise, but certain aspects and events made it not the right book for me. I might investigate what other books Jacob has written and if they're more to my taste.

Why should you read it:
It's an interesting take on vampires.

Buy from Bookdepository or Amazon

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Teaser Tuesdays - The Bone Houses

It was said that in these fruitful times, the people of Colbren grew forgetful. With full bellies and heavy purses, they did not think to send the yearly offerings into the forest.

(page 40, The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones)

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Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: - Grab your current read - Open to a random page - Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you sh"are doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) - Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, 14 October 2019

Bachelors of Bond Street - Book Review by Voodoo Bride

Bachelors of Bond Street
by Janna MacGregor, Shana Galen, and Minerva Spencer

What is it about:
An all-new anthology featuring novellas from acclaimed Regency historical authors Janna MacGregor, Shana Galen, and Minerva Spencer. Bond Street is famous for its elite clubs, fashionable shops and successful businesses. Now meet the bachelors who've made Bond Street their domain. Are these gentlemen as lucky in love as they are in business?

What did Voodoo Bride think of it:
Love by the Letters
This was a nice story, but as with MacGregor's other story I read it missed real obstacles to the HEA. Still a very enjoyable romance.

How to Brew a Perfect Kiss
Thomas was a secondary character in another book by Galen and I loved him. So seeing him getting his own romance was so good. Raeni is a wonderful heroine, proud, strong and fierce, but willing to accept help when needed. This romance is a delight to read.

Second Chance for Love

I'm normally not a fan of second chance romances, but Minerva Spencer made it work and how!

I loved Oona from the start. She made mistakes in the past and is down on her luck, but she doesn't give up. I wasn't sure at first what to think of Juss, but he goes through a wonderful transformation and I soon was totally hooked on this couple and their sizzling romance. Totally my favorite of the three.

Why should you read it:
It's a delightful Historical Romance Anthology.

buy from Amazon

Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Teaser Tuesdays - Terminal Alliance

I had a bad cold, so that's why I haven't been posting. I'll try to get back into the normal swing of things soon.

"Her first words to our crèche were 'Humans, cease all fear and confusion immediately!' Because a meter-tall alien squid waving her limbs and shouting at you through the translator is so reassuring in your first moments as a sentient being."

(page 24, Terminal Alliance by Jim C. Hines)

buy from bookdepository


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: - Grab your current read - Open to a random page - Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you sh"are doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) - Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Wednesday, 2 October 2019

The Making of a God - short fiction

So... I couldn't sleep last night because of a cold and decided to recreate the legend I thought up together with Mr QWillems years ago. This is original fiction, written by me. Idea by me and Mr QWillems.

It was in the days that Gods walked among mortals that the evil God Tekori the Destroyer escaped his prison deep inside mount Ahnh and brought death and destruction to the people of Na-Ot.

The Gods took pity on the people of Na-Ot, and in their wisdom sent the Mighty Krimkropog, God of many forms, to battle Tekori. They met on the shores of Ja-Uih, and for days the water boiled and the sky glowed purple as Krimkropog and Tekori fought.

For Tekori was a sly and treacherous God, and skilled at fighting. But Krimkropog, God of many forms, was no fool, like Fjit, God of forgotten moments, nor was he naive, like Derxi, God of spring and blossoms. Krimkropog used his many forms to fight the evil Tekori, each form more than a match for the Destroyers tricks.

Finally, after five days and five nights of battle Krimkropog was victorious. The sea ran red with the destroyers blood. But it had cost Krimkropog almost everything to defeat the evildoer. Down to the last of his many forms the Mighty Krimkropog scurried homeward to find rest and to recover from the fight.


Grandpa Crooked Stick was an early riser. As soon as he walked outside to check his garden his rooster knew it was time to greet the day with a morning call.

Grandpa's morning walk always started with checking the chicken coop to see if no foxes had tried to steal a hen during the night. Then he made his way through his garden to check how his plants were coming along.

He always saved his dahlias and prize-winning tomatoes for last, waiting until the sky had lightened enough to see his most precious plants in all their glory.

None of the other villagers managed to get such a pretty bloom out of their dahlias or such plump and perfect tomatoes. Many had asked what his secret was, but Grandpa Crooked Stick just smiled and gave the person who asked a friendly pat on the back.

That paricular morning Grandpa lingered after his rounds.The annual harvest festival was coming up and he wanted to be sure that his dahlias and tomatoes were coming along as they should. Nothing worse than an unexpected disaster, like mold or beetles, mere days before the competition. His prize-winning tomatoes wouldn't lose because he hadn't been paying attention and let vermin get to them.

As he was straightening a few plants he saw a mouse running through his garden. No way was a mouse ruining his chances at the festival. Grandpa Crooked Stick lifted the walking cane that earned him his nickname and dealt with the pest decisively.


And thus the Mighty Krimkropog, God of many forms, was slain by a being mightier than him, and all the Gods shuddered in fear.

If someone could best Krimkropog, no God was safe from destruction.

Many days and nights the Gods debated what could be done about this new threat. Finally it was decided to send an envoy to bring gifts of magic and wonder, and to ask Krimkropog's destroyer to join the Gods and take Krimkropog's place among them. For what better way than to escape destruction by this mighty being than befriending him and giving him the honor he clearly deserved.

When this new God agreed and brought with him beauty and fruits there was much rejoicing, and once again there was peace.


And that is the story of how Grandpa Crooked Stick became the God of dahlias and prize-winning tomatoes.