Category: Books



Kill Game: An Urban Fantasy Thriller (Dana McIntyre Must Die Book 2)Kill Game: An Urban Fantasy Thriller by SM Reine

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love Dana! My first born son and this female powerhouse character that we all met long ago in Sara Reine’s series. In this case, it is the first character I could personally relate to in size and shape. I’m much older but a part of me thinks I looked like her when I was in my forties. I think I had similar beliefs to hers. I don’t know that I hate vampires. But I never saw the craze. Now Ms. Reine has brought me along to expand my imaginary creatures profile.

And Dana isn’t a perfect person in any way. She makes mistakes. She has a mindset that needs taming. But she is lovable and loves deeply. And it is wonderful that she is getting her own series. This was the second book. I think it may read as a stand alone but I love that I have read all the history of these altered Nevada stories from the beginning. Other states are in her other books but most of Sara Reine’s books are in places I have lived or visited enough to know ‘our’ versions. It gives a depth to the books that a made up place never has.

Dana is going through divorce in this series and it is messing with her mind. As it does for most of us. The reasons seem weird to me, but most folks from the outside of the couple going through this might think that, also. But will the ending of this book change that? Gosh, Sara, if you’re going to bring us to this ending can’t you write faster and let us see what happens next?

Okay, I need to clear this up. This is not a cliffhanger. You all know how much I hate those! And I don’t know a more prolific author than S.M. Reine. I just love her books so much I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next. Hey–since I moved from there two years ago, how about another Reno setting? Las Vegas is too busy, too much of a tourist trap–even in the alternate universe. Is there a place for Dana, the vampire-slayer in demon possessed Reno? Or, since I can’t seem to find a way, could you take her to the beaches of California? Orange County, LA County? Mojave Desert?

Okay, I’ll read it no matter where you take us! Can’t wait!!!!

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A Closed and Common Orbit (Wayfarers, #2)A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Can I give this book 20 stars? This is MY kind of sci-fi! No wars and shooting and one-up-manship. We get to know another social order, the good and bad of it. We watch someone growing up within and without that order. We get to know other beings. We get to travel in space. There just happens to be males and females. In this case, a female lead but it could as easily have been a male. Good choice to have a female to have the adventure. YAY! Male in the story, not necessarily a romantic counter point. A friend. Believe it or not!!!!

Though this is book two in the series it could stand alone. But if you get the chance to read the first book, do so. It was fun, too! You can find my review of the first book in GoodReads under The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet.

What I think I liked best about this book is how the author took us into a young girl’s thoughts without making us feel childish or talking down to us. And how well she matured said girl through the years helping the reader feel that maturity and sense of growth. How a sense of time alone doesn’t become boring as it might if we lived it, but a chance to learn and explore ideas and abilities.

Oh, and one of my favorite reasons for reading sci-fi is to learn new philosophies or enjoy those we might have left behind for a revisit now. I think Becky Chambers may be my new favorite sci-fi author!

This book is now on my gotta buy the Kindle and Audible versions so I can reread it soon!

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19841984 by George Orwell

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is my second reading of this book. It was required reading in high school (about 1967). I remember it being very scary and prayed it would never happen. As the actual year of 1984 flew by many of us began to relax. Maybe the science fictional prophecy was far from ever happening.

Many people have recommended this book again what with rumors of Newspeak/Fake News. The book shows that anyone can be convinced of anything given the right set of circumstances. I believe that to be true, which is why I don’t believe that torture would ever bring out the truth. Many are in jails because the good cop/bad cop or other tricks of coercion have brought the suspect to admit to something they never did do. Much of the book shows how this can happen.

Regardless of which side of the political system you may stand, this set of possibilities should shout at you. You should feel free to tell your truth without worry of being tortured or demeaned in any way. After all your set of circumstances have brought you to your belief. But on the same line, we should have respect for another point of view, even if it seems crazy. If you stop that truth from coming out, you may miss a grain of truth you may need to learn to live more openly.

I relate that to the lowly dandelion and my mother. My mother was anemic and had very bad health in general. But when I was young I would see her out in the lawn digging out the dandelions and tossing them away. Knowing what we know about that so-called weed, this could have been the medicine my mother could have ingested and become much healthier, regardless of the ungroomed lawn. What gems or weeds of health are we missing by calling each other names and not learning someone else’s truth?

On another level… As scary as the world of ‘1984’ is, the misogyny of past sci-fi and fantasy is very clear here. I didn’t notice this when I was a teen. Almost all the books I read were male-heavy. I remember asking about it only once. The answer was we had to have these books because boys have a hard time learning to and then liking reading. Having watched my brothers with that very problem I didn’t think about it again. I had trouble with reading but found ways to get around the problems and I LOVED reading. (Still do.)

In this book the main character’s wife won’t give him a divorce, they had infertility problems. He gets the wet dream fantasy fulfilled in a woman who gives without requiring anything from him, not even or especially not wanting love. Finally, there is the woman out in the yard who sings with clothespins in her mouth and he finds her big hips sexually appealing though in another segment he is reminded how like his mother she is. So beyond sex and birth, it seems this generation of sci-fi writers seemed to have nothing to do with women. That should have been our biggest warning! Of all that happened to this character!!!!! I find myself feeling foolish that it took me until my 60s to figure out how little part women play in most men’s lives. I have a friend that tried to tell me this when I was still into makeup and clothes–and making my own babies. But it is because I decided to make my reading diet be mostly female writers with female main characters, and not in the romantic chic-lit stuff. More along the lines of Bechdel. (Google her) This is also how I choose to watch TV/Movies. Women have to hold up half of the sky of whatever I read or watch. Equally important. That was not the case in this book. And years ago I might not have noticed. Now I am nearly blinded by it. So if you haven’t seen it as strong as I have, try my ‘diet’. Give it a year or so. I especially challenge male to try this. When you notice the lack of human equality in reading or what you watch maybe you will be part of the change? Maybe if women hold their own in a story like ‘1984’ we may find ways to avoid that crazy kind of life.

Do read this. No matter which side of the fence, or gender, there are weeds of health here we all need!

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A Space Girl from Earth (The Kyroibi Trilogy Book 1)A Space Girl from Earth by Christina McMullen

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Maybe it is because I have been reading Sci-fi for so long, but I wasn’t as impressed with this book as I wanted to be. Maybe it is because I have to read using Text-to-Speech and I miss a lot in that process. I just couldn’t get into this book. I didn’t care for this girl raised by a super model. Yawn!

To find out that the daughter is from another planet and possibly a princess? Still didn’t care. I think the only thing I really felt her heart and soul was her feelings for the assassin-bot. But even that didn’t do much for me.

I did like the idea of being able to transport to other places and feel things through the strange ‘freckles’ but once again, I liked the ideas present, still not the characters. Please, why do main characters have to be the most beautiful? Most people aren’t How do you expect regular people to like the character when they can’t relate at all?

I did appreciate the chance to read this.

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Which is p and Which is q?Which is p and Which is q? by Gita V. Reddy

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a cute little book for the early reader. The illustrations are fun. The story as imaginative as I expect of Gita V. Reddy.

I actually read this a few days ago and am just now getting around to reviewing but the experience stays clear for me. Mostly because some of my offspring and I are dyslexic. This would have been helpful for all of us as early readers.

Ms. Reddy sent me an email a bit ago offering the read for honest review. I was more than willing as I have loved most of what she has presented to me to read. This was just as fun as the rest. As usual, there is a story, with morals and fun adventures.

As it was for the children, the book was fine. I just wish there were more hints or ideas for parents and teachers. Gita does say that one needs more practice with many letters like M and W. But L and 7 come to mind for me, lower case U and lower case N, lower case Q and lowercase G, lower case B and lower case D, 3 and E. I’m sure there are others that get confused. In fact, most letters can be switched backward or upside down. These were all so confusing to me as a kid and I had to watch my boys go through the same confusion.

Nowadays, while studying German, I am finding my old nemesis ‘I before E…’ coming back at me because in German it is the other way around. So dyslexia still plays havoc in my life. But this book is a start for the new generation of readers to play with.

As for the story and pictures, I love the one where the grandfather is emptying the box of wooden letters on the floor for Minki to play with. Having tactile experiences with the letters is so important for children who are learning about the alphabet.

Great job, Gita. I hope this will spare many children and the parents the confusion of letters that won’t stay in the right directions.

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Seven Little Australians (Woolcots, #1)Seven Little Australians by Ethel Turner

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Okay, this took me over half a year to read. (Small font) Only today did I see this is free in Kindle format on Amazon. To think I could have read it in a couple days!

This edition is the hardback and is a BookCrossing treasure. BCID: 813-3620880. It will be traveling back to the friends that sent it to me. It will be back with The Diaries of Ethel Turner by Ethel Turner which I read last year.

If you get the chance to read these books, give them a try. I liked reading the author’s diaries first. I was more aware of how much of this fictional book came from her real life. It also helped me get acquainted with the author’s writing style and historical events in Australia. And it helped me learn the lingo of the time and place.

With so many characters (7+) it is a little hard to keep track of who is who. Especially the younger kids. A list of characters would have been handy. But I managed. In fact, I became quite happy when it was about Judy.

Without spoilers, I wanted to throw the book in the trash and never look at it again on the penultimate chapter. But my curiosity got the better of me and I finished the book. Bittersweet is how I can describe the last two chapters. Overall, I think it was a nice read. I highly recommend others read it to expand horizons. 🙂

[edited] I just read on my BookCrossing page that I had read this in 2007. I do not remember that! Funny that I used the same work “Bittersweet” to describe it back then. Good thing there was a note about it. I guess because my eyes are so much worse and it took me so long I didn’t feel the energy of the book. And now I have the Kindle version so if I forget again I can reread quickly. LOL!

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Drawing Dead: An Urban Fantasy Thriller (Dana McIntyre Must Die Book 1)Drawing Dead: An Urban Fantasy Thriller by S.M. Reine

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

WOW!!!! OMG!!!!! Of all of S.M. Reine’s massive series(s), this is my favorite!!!! I couldn’t stop reading once I started.

I almost missed this one. I had gotten so far behind in my email that I didn’t see the one offering to read/review Drawing Dana. Luckily I was offered a reprieve and allowed to read it even though late. Because since I met Dana McIntyre I have loved her. She is the bitch with a heart of gold. She is strong with the right amount of weakness. She is the vampire slayer who has been bitten. And I love the name of the weapon of choice. Spoilers! Can’t tell you!

Some of the many series(s) are a little dark or ‘demonie’, or too far into fae. And as much as I hate vampire stories, this should have been a non-starter. But it was Dana!!! I knew I couldn’t go wrong.

What I like and have liked about Sara’s writing has been her use of places where I have lived or at least visited. This one takes place in Las Vegas. Never lived there but been there enough to recognize the place. I never saw the vampires there but it is easy to imagine them there. Ms. Reine often writes of Reno. I did live there a while. But my Reno looked nothing like the one in her books, except, they did. Her imagination put beings there that I must have overlooked.

Please, if you get the chance, read this book. It is written so that you can start here. BUT… I suggest you start at the beginning: Six Moon Summer. Watch the world around you change into Reine’s world. So many adventures await, including this one.

I can’t wait for the next book!!!!!!!

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Girl in SnowGirl in Snow by Danya Kukafka

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I want to thank NetGalley for letting me read this book. It did keep my interest.

That said, when you read like I do, using text-to-speech almost exclusively, books like this leave me feeling lost. I feel I may have missed the important sentences as to who-done-it and why. There were a lot of characters and they all sound the same, the writing style of the narrative is the same in the dialogue. That may not mean too much when visually engaged with the story, but I often didn’t know which characters thoughts/memories I was in.

This was an ARC or early read copy so by the time others will read it these other problems may be fixed: Between sections, there is a line ___. Often that stops the TTS. And often the name of the person who is starring in the next section is totally left out with TTS. I assume these are formatting issues that will be solved and others who get to read this with their eyes will be able to stay with the story and find it all pulls together.

Using the thoughts of one who seems autistic or in other ways a little different than the norm, was a nice tool. I found the character Cameron to be very interesting. Others I found harder to understand. Maybe that says more about me than the characters being portrayed?

At any rate, I think others may find this book to be very good. I loved to see your comments. I may have to come back to this book and read again to see if I can find where I turned left when the writer turned right. ???

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Love Is LoveLove Is Love by Mette Bach

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

There should be many more books like this one.

I fell for this book on NetGalley from the title alone. It is something I believe in my soul. The blurb gave me more information as to what direction that love might be heading.

There are some who might not get it. But not only does this book cover an unusal love interest, it addresses all of our insecurities. I was surprised at how I still have many of the self-doubts that the main character has.

This is a book designed for the teen but works well for all the young at heart.

What I think I liked best about the book is how the author explains how one chooses to go through the procedures to become the opposite sex than of their birth. How one should restrain judgement when looking at another is a great theme here.

The book ended to soon. I would have loved to see what happens next. Maybe there will be a book two?

I highly recommend this book to everyone.

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Perennials: A NovelPerennials: A Novel by Mandy Berman

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

When I saw this book on NetGalley, I thought it would be a good book about going away to camp. Well, that is there a bit, but mostly it is people coming of age and lots of drama. It was Far more drama and back and forth in time with lots of characters. Maybe that is my own problem with how I have to read using text-to-speech and not so much reading the words. Maybe you won’t have that problem at all but will enjoy a wonderful book full of family and going away to camp.

There was swimming and boating. And that’s as close to the water that I am getting for now. I must find a pool to go swim in!

Please try this to see if it is for you.

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