Wednesday, 26 February 2020

Upright Women Wanted - Book Review

Upright Women Wanted
by Sarah Gailey

What is it about:
In Upright Women Wanted, award-winning author Sarah Gailey reinvents the pulp Western with an explicitly antifascist, near-future story of queer identity.

"That girl's got more wrong notions than a barn owl's got mean looks."

Esther is a stowaway. She's hidden herself away in the Librarian's book wagon in an attempt to escape the marriage her father has arranged for her--a marriage to the man who was previously engaged to her best friend. Her best friend who she was in love with. Her best friend who was just executed for possession of resistance propaganda.

The future American Southwest is full of bandits, fascists, and queer librarian spies on horseback trying to do the right thing.

What did I think of it:
After reading American Hippo and Magic For Liars Sarah Gailey became an auto-buy author for me. Their writing style, humor, and stories are totally my jam!

So even though this is a Tor novella and therefor pricey, I preordered this baby so I could have it in my greedy trotters as soon as possible.

And what a cool read!

I really could understand Esther. She comes from a small town where patriarchy and heterosexuality are the norm, and anything outside of the norm is considered wrong. So it's not strange she sees herself as bad, weird, and maybe not deserving to live. I rooted for her to see she is perfect and deserving of happiness, and being who she wants to be instead of who others think she should be.

The librarians and other women she travels with are all very interesting as well. All have secrets for the fascist and restricting country they live in, and all have their own way of dealing with it. I loved how different ways of fighting oppression were shown in this story, and how each affect you and those around you.

This is a story that made me cry, smile, and hope, and that I can recommend to anyone looking for a powerful story about resistance, identity, and queer librarian spies.

Why should you read it:
It's a wonderful and powerful novella.

buy from bookdepository

Tuesday, 25 February 2020

Release Day Teaser: The Sound of Stars

The invasion came when we were too distracted raging against our government to notice. Terror had a face and we elected it, my mom said.

(page 6, The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow)

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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, 24 February 2020

Twelve Kingdoms Reread: The Crown of the Queen - book review

I have been a bit distracted by things, so I forgot to continue my reread last week, but yesterday I sat down and reread The Crown of the Queen. Here's my initial review. Notes on rereading at the end.

The Crown of the Queen - A Twelve Kingdoms Novella
by Jeffe Kennedy

What is it about:
Dafne Mailloux, librarian and temporary babysitter to the heirs to the High Throne of the Twelve – now Thirteen – Kingdoms, finds it difficult to leave the paradise of Annfwn behind. Particularly that trove of rare books in temptingly unfamiliar languages. But duty calls, and hers is to the crown. It’s not like her heart belongs elsewhere. But how can she crown a queen who hesitates to take the throne?

What did I think of it:
Voodoo Bride and I are big fans of Jeffe Kennedy, so we were very happy to get a review copy of this novella.

And this is a great novella.

It serves as a bridge between The Talon of the Hawk and the upcoming The Pages of the Mind, filling in details of some events too big to put as an epilogue in the first of those two books, and with not enough impact on the second to start The Pages of the Mind with.

Still there are things happening that fans of the series want to know about. This novella gives us the events surrounding the coronation of Ursula, and gives us a glimpse into Dafne's mind. There are answers to questions readers of The Talon of the Hawk might have had, and exciting glimpses of what might come next.

Having read all the books and novellas in this series, I am not the best person to tell you if this can be read as a standalone, but honestly: Don't! Just read all the books. They're so good!!

All in all this is a delightful novella, that gave me extra information and fluff about lead characters from previous books, and that makes me eager to read The Pages of the Mind to find out what will happen next for Dafne.

Why should you read it:
It's a wonderful Fantasy Romance read.


Find buy links here

Notes on rereading:
I loved seeing Zyr in this novella, knowing what is to come for him. I also really like how this book gives small glimpses of other things to come in the next few books which you don't really notice on a first read.

Next: The Pages of the Mind

Friday, 21 February 2020

Polaris Rising - Book Review

Polaris Rising (Consortium Rebellion #1)
by Jessie Mihalik

What is it about:
A space princess on the run and a notorious outlaw soldier become unlikely allies in this imaginative, sexy space opera adventure—the first in an exciting science fiction trilogy.

In the far distant future, the universe is officially ruled by the Royal Consortium, but the High Councillors, the heads of the three High Houses, wield the true power. As the fifth of six children, Ada von Hasenberg has no authority; her only value to her High House is as a pawn in a political marriage. When her father arranges for her to wed a noble from House Rockhurst, a man she neither wants nor loves, Ada seizes control of her own destiny. The spirited princess flees before the betrothal ceremony and disappears among the stars.

Ada eluded her father’s forces for two years, but now her luck has run out. To ensure she cannot escape again, the fiery princess is thrown into a prison cell with Marcus Loch. Known as the Devil of Fornax Zero, Loch is rumored to have killed his entire chain of command during the Fornax Rebellion, and the Consortium wants his head.

When the ship returning them to Earth is attacked by a battle cruiser from rival House Rockhurst, Ada realizes that if her jilted fiancĂ© captures her, she’ll become a political prisoner and a liability to her House. Her only hope is to strike a deal with the dangerous fugitive: a fortune if he helps her escape.

But when you make a deal with an irresistibly attractive Devil, you may lose more than you bargained for...

What did I think of it:
I've heard from a lot of people that Polaris Rising was a great read, so when I got some extra birthday spending money I decided to get hold of it.

And what a cool read!

The action started almost right away and soon Ada is on the run and in danger. She strikes a deal with Loch, a man accused of terrible crimes, to help her escape. And immediately the sparks start flying.

I loved both the action part of this story as well as the romance. Where the romance is a nice slow burn the action never stops. Ada manages to tumble from one dangerous situation in the next. She takes risks, but never in a way that made me think she was being stupid. Loch was a total alpha, but luckily not in a super controlling way. He is capable of seeing Ada's worth, and letting her do what she's good at. I was totally invested in them escaping their enemies, and rooted for them to trust each other and get together.

Other cool characters got introduced, and I also loved the world building. I very much enjoyed all the different places Ada visits and their different social structures. There luckily wasn't too much hard tech, but the tech that was used, was explained in a logical way that fitted the story.

All in all a really cool SF romance that I couldn't put down. You bet I'll read more books by Mihalik.

Why should you read it:
It's an awesome and action-packed SF Romance

buy from bookdepository

Thursday, 20 February 2020

How to Become King - Book Review

How to Become King/Koning van Katoren (Katoren #1)
by Jan Terlouw

What is it about:

Seventeen years after the king of Katoren dies, a boy aspires to win the crown and is tested with seven impossible tasks by six Ministers.

What did I think of it:
This book is one of those books my owner read many times as a kid. So when we saw it on sale for just 2 euro to promote reading, we snatched it up, so I could read it as well.

And this story held up really well through the years I must say. It's set in a Fantasy world: Stach is born the night the king dies. The ministers of the country stall in finding a new king until Stach confronts them when he's 17 and asks them how he can become king. They decide to set him impossible tasks in hope he'll fail and they can keep ruling the country.

The tasks Stach gets are fantastical, like dealing with a dragon, a magician, and more. But these fantastical problems he has to solve all stand for real world problems, like pollution, the gap between the poor and the rich, and more. I was a bit sad to see how most of the issues Terlouw tackled in this book, which was written in 1971, are still recognizable and current today.

That aside this is a really fun adventurous story. Stach is smart and resourceful, but he isn't afraid to ask for help when needed. The issues this book tackles are important, but Terlouw manages to write them in a way that makes you can also just enjoy the story and root for Stach to find a solution for the difficult problems set before him.

All in all a fun and very enjoyable read.

Why should you read it:
It's a very enjoyable Fantasy read.

It seems to be translated to English back in the day, but I don't think the book is easy to find in English, so no buy links

Tuesday, 18 February 2020

Teaser Tuesdays - The Unspoken Name

Csorwe had been keeping her distance, reckoning that she probably wasn't needed here, but she heard the warning note in Sethennai's voice. His frown deepened, and his ears were drawn up tight against his skull.

(page 72, The Unspoken Name by A.K. Larkwood)

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 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, 17 February 2020

It Took a Zombie Apocalypse - Book Review

It Took a Zombie Apocalypse
by Jessica E. Subject

What is it about:
It started with a kiss.

Then the zombies came. Now, Missy must work with the neighbor her parents hate if she wants to survive. But zombies aren't the only threat to her life, or her heart.

What did I think of it:
If you're looking for a zombie-filled book, keep moving. If you are looking for a quick romance with likeable characters and with zombies as background noise: this is your book.

The zombie apocalypse is basically the catalyst to get the two lead characters together and start their romance. There being zombies does make for some emotional moments for the two of them, but nothing too bad. It's a quick and entertaining read.

All in all enjoyable, but also forgettable. Like fast food for your brain.

Why should you read it:
It's an entertaining read.

buy from amazon