Friday, 7 May 2021

Exit Strategy - Book Review (repost)

 

Exit Strategy (The Murderbot Diaries #4)
by Martha Wells

What is it about:
Murderbot wasn’t programmed to care. So, its decision to help the only human who ever showed it respect must be a system glitch, right?

Having traveled the width of the galaxy to unearth details of its own murderous transgressions, as well as those of the GrayCris Corporation, Murderbot is heading home to help Dr. Mensah—its former owner (protector? friend?)—submit evidence that could prevent GrayCris from destroying more colonists in its never-ending quest for profit.

But who’s going to believe a SecUnit gone rogue?

And what will become of it when it’s caught?

What did I think of it:
Until I read this novella Artificial Condition was my favorite of these novellas (ART!), but now it will have to share first place with Exit Strategy.

Murderbot has answers to several of its questions and is on its way to Dr. Mensah, who bought Murderbot from its corporation and thereby giving Murderbot its freedom. But things have happened while Murderbot was gone, and soon it is in the middle of dangerous politics and games.

Once again there is lots of action while Murderbot tries to save the day. There are returning characters as well, and I loved catching up with them. I read this novella in one sitting, because it was just too suspenseful to put down. I needed to know if all my favorite characters would survive.

All in all another awesome read. I'm hooked on this series!

Why should you read it:
It's a really cool SF novella


buy from amazon

Wednesday, 5 May 2021

Rogue Protocol - Book Review (repost)

 

Rogue Protocol (The Murderbot Diaries #3)
by Martha Wells

What is it about:
SciFi’s favorite antisocial A.I. is again on a mission. The case against the too-big-to-fail GrayCris Corporation is floundering, and more importantly, authorities are beginning to ask more questions about where Dr. Mensah’s SecUnit is.

And Murderbot would rather those questions went away. For good.

What did I think of it:
I'm loving Murderbot more and more with each book. It is such a cool character.

As much as Murderbot would like to be left alone to watch its shows, there's always something intruding. Certainly it can't be that it is starting to care about people, can it? To help Dr. Mensah with the case against GrayCris Murderbot is on the hunt for information. It once again ends up with people who are in way over their heads and need a SecUnit to stay alive.

I love how Murderbot thinks about itself and humans. Its internal monologues are dry and at times sarcastic. I have never related with a construct more! If not for the fact Murderbot wants to be left alone, we'd be fast friends if we ever met for sure.

The story is once again suspenseful and full of action. I cheered Murderbot on and was on the edge of my seat to see if Murderbot would save the day and all involved.

All in all this is yet another great read, and I ordered Network Effect (book 5) even before starting on Exit Strategy (book 4).

Why should you read it:
Murderbot is totally awesome!


buy from amazon

Tuesday, 4 May 2021

Teaser Tuesdays - Home: Habitat, Range, Niche, Territory


The journalist flails and runs. The others arrive in a noisy mob, questions, worry, Ratthi exclaiming, "SecUnit jumped over my head!"

(page 16, Home: Habitat, Range, Niche, Territory by Martha Wells)


read here

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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 share 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, 3 May 2021

Artificial Condition - Book Review (repost)

 

Artificial Condition (The Murderbot Diaries #2)
by Martha Wells

What is it about:
It has a dark past – one in which a number of humans were killed. A past that caused it to christen itself “Murderbot”. But it has only vague memories of the massacre that spawned that title, and it wants to know more.

Teaming up with a Research Transport vessel named ART (you don’t want to know what the “A” stands for), Murderbot heads to the mining facility where it went rogue.

What it discovers will forever change the way it thinks…

What did I think of it:
This is another Hugo read. I wasn't sure if I should read it as it's book 2 in a series, but then Jeffe told me she started it and didn't feel lost even though she hadn't read book 1, so I decided to give it a try as well.

And this is a really fun read. I especially loved ART and the interaction between ART and Murderbot. The two of them really have a unique and cool way of looking at things. I thought Wells did a great job at making them sound and act other than human.

The story itself delves into the past of Murderbot and also is about Murderbot trying to find out where it/they belong and how they want to be.

All in all a very cool novella. I think I'll go back and read the first one as well.

Why should you read it:
It's a very cool SF novella.

Notes on rereading:
Although this book is also perfectly readable on its own, I must say it's a more solid read if you also know what happened in the first book. I got a better grip on what's going on in Murderbot's head and was more invested. I still totally love ART!

Buy from Amazon

Friday, 30 April 2021

Roar - Book Review (repost)

 


Roar (Stormheart #1)
by Cora Carmack


What is it about:
In a land ruled and shaped by violent magical storms, power lies with those who control them.

Aurora Pavan comes from one of the oldest Stormling families in existence. Long ago, the ungifted pledged fealty and service to her family in exchange for safe haven, and a kingdom was carved out from the wildlands and sustained by magic capable of repelling the world’s deadliest foes. As the sole heir of Pavan, Aurora’s been groomed to be the perfect queen. She’s intelligent and brave and honorable. But she’s yet to show any trace of the magic she’ll need to protect her people.

To keep her secret and save her crown, Aurora’s mother arranges for her to marry a dark and brooding Stormling prince from another kingdom. At first, the prince seems like the perfect solution to all her problems. He’ll guarantee her spot as the next queen and be the champion her people need to remain safe. But the more secrets Aurora uncovers about him, the more a future with him frightens her. When she dons a disguise and sneaks out of the palace one night to spy on him, she stumbles upon a black market dealing in the very thing she lacks—storm magic. And the people selling it? They’re not Stormlings. They’re storm hunters.

Legend says that her ancestors first gained their magic by facing a storm and stealing part of its essence. And when a handsome young storm hunter reveals he was born without magic, but possesses it now, Aurora realizes there’s a third option for her future besides ruin or marriage.

She might not have magic now, but she can steal it if she’s brave enough.

Challenge a tempest. Survive it. And you become its master.


What did I think of it:
I first heard about this book when I was investigating the authors who would be at the Love Letter Convention in Berlin last month. It sounded awesome and when I read the description of the June FairyLoot box I was 90% certain it would have Roar in it. This sounded like a win-win situation for me: Get a box full of cool loot and a book I really wanted to read, so I immediately ordered.

When I was in Berlin I was cheeky enough that I asked Cora Carmack if she could confirm Roar was in the June FairyLoot box, and she did!

So you bet I immediately started on Roar when my box arrived last week. (The rest of the box was totally awesome as well, btw.)

And for once I think this book is certainly worth the hype.

I really liked Aurora. She's had both a sheltered and a hard life, making her both inexperienced at some things, while hardened at other things. I could relate and rooted for her from the start. She really wants to do the right thing, but when she has to choose between what looks like the fast route to a secure future and her own happiness she decides to let her happiness come first.

There are 4 other viewpoint characters if I counted correctly. All were interesting, but some were more likeable than others. There were two viewpoint characters I'm very interested in learning more about. One of those is clearly an ally to Aurora, the other can still go in either direction. It will be interesting to see how both of them develop in the next book.

I loved the world building and the storm hunting. The team of storm hunters that Aurora encounters is a diverse bunch and I liked how they interacted with each other. I hope some of them will get bigger roles in the next book as well.

There's lots of cool action and a bit of romance. I wasn't impressed with the love interest, so for once I'm hoping for some triangly drama to spice things up.

All in all this is a really cool and fun YA Fantasy that ends not in a cliffhanger perse, but it does end in a way that makes me eager for the next book. You bet I'm going to get my grabby trotters on that as soon as it releases.

Why should you read it:
It's an awesome action-packed YA Fantasy read


Buy from bookdepository

Thursday, 29 April 2021

Stay or Go - Onyx and Ivory

 

I started on this book when I just got it, but didn't connect with the lead characters. Did you read it? Should I try again or DNF?


Onyx and Ivory (Rime Chronicles #1)
by Mindee Arnett

They call her Traitor Kate. It’s a title Kate Brighton inherited from her father after he tried to assassinate the high king years ago. Now Kate lives as an outcast, clinging to the fringes of society as a member of the Relay, the imperial courier service. Only those most skilled in riding and bow hunting ride for the Relay; and only the fastest survive, for when dark falls, the nightdrakes—deadly flightless dragons—come out to hunt. Fortunately, Kate has a secret edge: she is a wilder, born with magic that allows her to influence the minds of animals. But it’s this magic that she needs to keep hidden, as being a wilder is forbidden, punishable by death or exile. And it’s this magic that leads her to a caravan massacred by nightdrakes in broad daylight—the only survivor her childhood friend, her first love, the boy she swore to forget, the boy who broke her heart.

The high king’s second son, Corwin Tormane, never asked to lead. Even as he waits for the uror—the once-in-a-generation ritual to decide which of the king’s children will succeed him—he knows it’s always been his brother who will assume the throne. And that’s fine by him. He’d rather spend his days away from the palace, away from the sight of his father, broken with sickness from the attempt on his life. But the peacekeeping tour Corwin is on has given him too much time to reflect upon the night he saved his father’s life—the night he condemned the would-be killer to death and lost the girl he loved. Which is why he takes it on himself to investigate rumors of unrest in one of the remote city-states, only for his caravan to be attacked—and for him to be saved by Kate.

With their paths once more entangled, Kate and Corwin have to put the past behind them. The threat of drakes who attack in the daylight is only the beginning of a darker menace stirring in the kingdom—one whose origins have dire implications for Kate’s father’s attack upon the king and will thrust them into the middle of a brewing civil war in the kingdom of Rime.


Buy from Amazon


Wednesday, 28 April 2021

All Systems Red - Book Review (repost)

If you saw my Teaser Tuesday post yesterday you might have already guessed that I am rereading the Murderbot Diaries. So here's a repost of my review of the first book.

All Systems Red (The Murderbot Diaries #1)
by Martha Wells

What is it about:
In a corporate-dominated spacefaring future, planetary missions must be approved and supplied by the Company. Exploratory teams are accompanied by Company-supplied security androids, for their own safety.

But in a society where contracts are awarded to the lowest bidder, safety isn't a primary concern.

On a distant planet, a team of scientists are conducting surface tests, shadowed by their Company-supplied 'droid—a self-aware SecUnit that has hacked its own governor module, and refers to itself (though never out loud) as "Murderbot." Scornful of humans, all it really wants is to be left alone long enough to figure out who it is.

But when a neighboring mission goes dark, it's up to the scientists and their Murderbot to get to the truth.

What did I think of it:
I totally read this series out of order by reading the second novella last year for my Hugo reading without reading the first book. I loved the second book, so bought the first and read it in between other reads last year, but didn't review as I read it rather haphazardly. So time for a reread and time to maybe read the rest of the series as well, especially as there's now also a novel.

And this is such a fun and cool read!

I love Murderbot. It is an android with human components that hacked itself to be free from its owner's control. As it works for a group of scientists Murderbot has to decide who it is and how it wants to act towards humans.

Strange and dangerous things start happening and it's up to Murderbot to keep the humans it works with safe.

I loved the interaction between Murderbot and the humans, and I loved how Murderbot questions itself and the world and people around it. I will confess I could really relate to Murderbot. It has a worldview that's just as cynical as mine while it still cares for those put in its care as long as they're not being stupid about it.

All in all this is a great first novella in what I'm guessing will become a quest for Murderbot to find out who it is and what happened in its checkered past.

Why should you read it:
It's a fun and suspenseful SF novella


buy from Amazon