Catching up on Books

I've kind of fallen behind on writing about the books I've been reading, so here is everything I've read since the last entry.

Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen by Lois McMaster Bujold read January 26-27 2016 Five Stars

This book is brilliant! It has happiness, sadness, and fear in proper proportions. There were times when I held my breath, when I got misty-eyed, and a few times when I laughed out loud. As always, Lois McMaster Bujold has created characters who feel like real people. There are no superheros, but plenty of interesting characters, complete with interesting background that more than adequately account for their current personalities.

I loved every word! I know that I will re-read this many times.

Grave Voices: A Storm and Fury Adventure by Gail Z Martin and Larry N Martin Read January 28 to February 01, 2016. Four Stars

A really good read! The Storm and Fury Adventures are from the same world as Iron and Blood. This is a steampunk-ish vision of a city called New Pittsburgh. I say steampunk-ish because in this world there is also magic. That's the beat of Mitch Storm and Jacob Drangosavich agents from the Department of Supernatural Investigation. They have no magic of their own, other than a healthy dose of skepticism. Still, they know that real magic exists, and it may be good, or very, very evil. It's all part of their job. They accept help from supernatural sources when they can get it.

These Storm and Fury Adventures are shorter works than Iron and Blood, so the stories are not as complex. They are good fun to read, though, and I'll be happy to read more, if the author is willing to write them. I'm looking forward to the next novel to follow Iron and Blood, but then, I am looking forward to almost anything this author writes.

Blood in Her Veins: Nineteen Stories from the World of Jane Yellowrock by Faith Hunter. Read February 02 to 04, 2016. Five Stars

Even though I had already read most of these stories, they were all very good to read. They are arranged chronologically, so all together, they give a good overview of the lives of Jane Yellowrock, her friends, employers and enemies. Some of the stories refer back to events that happened in the novels, so I would say that this book would be better for those already familiar with the series. I wouldn't go so far as to say it's necessary to have read the novels, but if this is your introduction to Jane, just accept that every once in while, there will be something you don't quite understand. I did not think this was worse than some stand alone short works, so don't ignore this book just because the series is new to you.

For long time readers, I'd say don't miss this one. Some of the older stories are more powerful now that we know what was being foreshadowed. Not all the stories are from Jane's POV. I particularly liked the view into Bruiser's thoughts.

Grave Visions (Alex Craft #4) by Kalayna Price. Read from February 04 to 09, 2016. Four star

Another good book in this series! These books takes place in world where magic has become real. The magic is well designed, and the author really has a complete magic system. From the first book, to this, the fourth, we've learned more about the rules of magic, but it all works together. We learn, as our heroine learns, how the magic really works.

I think that Kalayna Price has come up with one of the best magic systems I've read about. I'm really glad that I met the author at a very small convention, or I might have missed these books.

The Long Earth (The Long Earth #1) by Terry Pratchett and Steven Baxter. Read from February 09 to 13, 2016 Four Stars.

This was a very interesting book, and yet there were some slow spots where not much seems to happen. It does use many of the classic SF (and Fantasy) tropes. A young man survives a difficult childhood only to discover that he is 'special', whereupon he starts his quest, and finds a mentor. It's the first of a series and I hope we see more of the other characters in the book (several of whom are female).

Overall, I'd say this is a fun book to read. If you too find some slow going along the way, I can promise you it's going to get better.

All caught up!