Tag Archive: fantasy



The Unicorn GirlThe Unicorn Girl by M.L. LeGette
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is NOT McCaffrey’s Unicorn Girl which is taking me forever to read. It is not on another planet or sci-fi interplanetary travel. In fact, it is set in a past of no cars. Horses provide the travel.

Though it is set in the past in a land I have never heard of, the author doesn’t let it feel antiquated. She often uses modern colloquialisms that don’t feel out of place even in the ancient world.

I was sad when the book ended. That doesn’t happen often. Young People will love this, I think. The main character is strong and knows what she doesn’t want. She isn’t sure what she wants but that is part of growing up.

Maybe that is all I need to say here. Except–I might want to read this again someday and look at why it works so well for M.L. LeGette.

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Mary Poppins: 80th Anniversary CollectionMary Poppins: 80th Anniversary Collection by P.L. Travers
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When I was in fifth grade, I was a library regular. I would check out the limit of ten books at a time. Mary Poppins was a series I got into and read all of them. I never had seen Julie Andrews version. We weren’t allowed to go to movies in my family. Maybe that’s the reason I am so into movies now?

Anyway, I wasn’t a fan of the illustrations, still don’t care for them. I got irritated with Michael getting so much attention. I felt that this read through, too.

Something that I noticed that I don’t remember my childhood thoughts on. How prideful Mary Poppins was, and how grumpy/bossy she was. But now that it’s been a couple days since I finished this quartet of books I think I’m glad she was that way. She didn’t feel she needed to tell the family when she’d be leaving. She rarely admitted to the kids about her friends or her habits with them. It was like she had her own life apart from the wards of her job. I think she shows women and girls that they don’t have to tell everything and they can be independent.

Since I read these four books in a row using text-to-speech, I didn’t notice where one book ended and another began–except when she left and said she wasn’t coming back–but then she came back.

I don’t remember finding the adventures tedious as a child. But as an adult, I see they are far too similar and I lost interest sometimes.

Particular to this version, the Audible available as whispersynch to this book was just for the first book. Most folks would probably read on without a problem. I need the text-to-speech to take over and it was hard to make my Fire understand that. The good news was that I called Amazon and they made it all good. I had loved the Audible narration. I just didn’t have the money to get the rest of the books at that time. They let me remove it and then my text-to-speech with the British voice that always sounds like Julie Andrews got me through the rest of the books.

Now I feel ready to watch the new Mary Poppins movie.

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The Boy Who Flew With EaglesThe Boy Who Flew With Eagles by Ben Woodard
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Overall, I loved this story. Having been on a female author/leading female character entertainment diet, I saw how female empty this book was. (My youth was spent on a diet fed to females by males).

Yes, the book spoke to sharing and caring for others on the planet, but it is entirely lacking female, except for the mother eagle. Even the boy had no mother or sisters. No human fem anywhere.

If, in fact, this kind of book was to help reluctant males to read, why do they go on and get better jobs and never get judged by what they wear or their size? If the males that read this kind of book were actually addressed, why is ecology poohed upon by the heavily male corporate and politicized world?

The overall lesson I learned from this book is that we have gentled males of their own responsibility for themselves and others to the point that if this book were about the female equivalent the boys wouldn’t have read it? How sad! Not only didn’t this story get the point across, but it also didn’t even embrace it, itself! Sharing and caring.

The minor truth was that father eagle flew away and gave the job to the mother eagle cause he couldn’t handle it!

No, I didn’t lose sight of the main objective of the book. It is marvelous that the boy got to learn how to fly and help the eagle family and eventually his own tribe. That is why the story got four stars. But the rest is lost for society.

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Witches Abroad (Discworld, #12)Witches Abroad by Terry Pratchett
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a read full of trials for me. The library sent me the Kindle copy. Borrowed it. Found that the text-to-speech didn’t work. Found a credit at Audible to get that version to help me along. It was the cheaper version. Didn’t like that narrator at all. Returned that version and was able to try another Audible version.

Look, I don’t think a male voicing for four females interesting or even funny. I hated both versions of the Audible. Returned that one, too.

By that time my Kindle spit out the older Kindle version that didn’t have text-to-speech and replaced it with one that had it. What a welcomed relief! Though I had a hard time telling one character from another my text-to-speech is set for British female. So about everything I listen to sounds like Mary Poppins! So it is a delight even if it is confusing as to which female is talking, all I have to do it look at the words and see for myself.

I think there was a time I would have loved this story. I used to enjoy the punny stuff Pratchett gave us. But I am weary of more fairy-tale spoofs. So, I’m afraid I didn’t give this story any more than three stars. I was glad when I was finished reading it. I know others will love this. Enjoy!

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The Hierophant's Daughter (The Disgraced Martyr Trilogy, #1)The Hierophant’s Daughter by M.F. Sullivan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

Confusion mixed with action. I kept reading past understanding what was going on. I blamed using text-to-speech as often I am not sure what is going on in books. I miss the cues of a new chapter and who it is dedicated to. Or misinterpret what is it all about. So I’ll own what I didn’t get.

If a book is confusing I often keep reading and the context will bring me up to date. Or I will give it up. This book had enough action that I thought I’d stick it through. I got into it enough to care about the main character but I just didn’t understand the rules of the game as the main character seemed confused about it all, too. For the confusion, I’m rating it one star.

I’m grateful to NetGalley to have the chance to read it. It just wasn’t for me.

Oh, hey, I think I’ll move this up to three stars. I just remembered how diverse the characters were, the main character grieving her wife was maybe what pulled me in and made me care.

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The Walking Dead, Vol. 1: Days Gone ByeThe Walking Dead, Vol. 1: Days Gone Bye by Robert Kirkman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My son loaned me his copy of the paper book. He knew I was into The Walking Dead television show.

Zombies are dumb and they barely shuffle along. I am not into zombies or horror in the way that tries to scare you, tries to make you jump, tries to get your heart beating faster, tries to make you cling to the person next to you. (Okay, that last one can be fun, but I don’t need that kind of encouragement!)

What I am into, with all science fiction and fantasy, is how we can be better as humans, how to improve our lives in general and individually. How we could ruin our lives if we don’t listen to sci-fi/fantasy warnings as a society and as science itself.

So for me, The Walking Dead is the best example of what we all need to see. First of all the diversity of people in the books and show are realistic. There are as many men as there are women. There are all kinds of people. And though the story has a man as the main character, Kirkman makes sure that all the people are still fighting old fights as they get together or find themselves alone. One of the first scenes at the camp are women doing laundry. These issues get drawn and challenge themselves. As the women are taught to help keep the camp safe they see they can all take turns taking care of their own clothes and hygiene. Children will have to be taken care of by everyone as they are the future. Thereby those in camp teach each other what they know so all jobs are interchangeable.

In the television show, we’ve seen Maggie and Michone taking over as the heads of their communities. Of course, this is only book number one. So it is still about Rick. I think Robert Kirkman tried to make sure anyone, male or female, could relate to Rick, waking in the middle of a Zombie Apocalypse.

Introduced in this first book is how hard it is to get everyone on the same page. Is it better to stay and hope help comes? Or is it better to go and find a safer place and assume help is ourselves? Robert shows us how the lowly pizza delivery guy is the one to save the life of the so-called hero. That’s putting to the world that the idea that all people have worth and all could be the hero we need. Respect in The Walking Dead is the lesson we have to learn before some survival drama comes into our lives as a whole.

As for the difference between the books and the show, I think I like the show better so far, but as I move into the next book I will want to keep revising that. Comic books are different than non-illustrated books in that the emotions can be drawn on. But these can be misinterpreted. If this were a purely written book, we might have gone into Rick’s mind to hear his thinking about his wife being with his best friend.

The comparison is like oranges and apples. The fruit is there to glean the same intentions, the textures differ. By the way, I love the artwork. And as I’m finishing my NaNoWriMo today or tomorrow, I’m wondering how fun it might be to try and make it into a comic book/graphic novel.

I hope my review may change the minds about this story. It isn’t a zombie story. It’s a people story.

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Wretched Wicked (Preternatural Affairs #9.5)Wretched Wicked by S.M. Reine
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book. I always love me a Sara Reine story. This is the first I was able to finish in one night.

Sadly, it wasn’t about my favorite characters. I know a lot of the reviewer LOVE Cesar Hawke and his boss, Fritz Friederling, they are not the highest on my list. Still, it was a good story and a fast review of Fritz’s life. He hasn’t had top billing in any of these stories. So for those who need a review, or those who want to start somewhere other than Six Moon Summer, hundreds of books ago for SM Reine (or so it seems–she is so prolific!) Wretched Wicked would be a good start.

I did enjoy seeing life from Fritz’s point of view. I think I understand him a lot better. Can’t wait for more from Ms. Reine. Glad I don’t really live in her universe, but happy to meet all who do!

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Race of Thieves (Artifact Hunters #1)Race of Thieves by S.M. Reine
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Not every were is a wolf. In this case, a squirrel who’s pretty feisty and smart is the person Shatter Cage. Sometimes he is not as smart as he thinks he is. Then he finds himself in some pickles. But sometimes that squirrely brain helps him escape.

Okay, it sounds kind of silly. But Sara Reine’s characters are serious beings on the post-apocalyptic side. All her books suck you in and won’t let go until the last page. For those of us lucky enough to get to read for honest reviews it is the very best of worlds! I love all her series-es. Usually, I tell folks to start reading at the Six Summer Moon series and enjoy the ride. But somehow Ms. Reine has been able to write a new series that includes a lot of our old favorites without a newbie feeling lost. There is just enough background to feel informed without overwhelming the reader. So if you are new–start here.

If you follow my reviews you will know that my main objective is female authors writing strong female main characters. I know most people don’t have that aim in their reading/entertainment lives. That’s why I’m giving a four-star where most are giving a five-star review. I haven’t been the biggest of fans of Sara’s male main characters. But Dana is in this book. She’s one of my favorite characters so if I could this would be a four and a half star review.

Thanks for letting me read this. I can’t wait for the next one!

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Acorna's QuestAcorna’s Quest by Anne McCaffrey
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It has been a couple months since I finished reading this book. I must admit to not remembering much about it at all. I’m currently reading the next book in the series and so I’m confusing the storylines.

As much as I loved Anne McCaffrey’s dragon books, the Unicorn Girl series is less about the Unicorn Girl than it is about people who want to use or abuse said star of the books. As much as I love space travel books, this was more about bad guys and good guys who happen to know the girl while in space or on other planets. So sad.

I was fortunate enough about a decade ago to buy first editions of the hardbacks of a lot of McCaffrey books. But now that I have the time, my eyes have a hard time with printed tomes. I bought this Kindle version to aid in my reading. I wish there had been an Audible version as it might have helped.

Just to encourage those stuck in this book, the next in the series does give you a bit more time with the Unicorn people. I hope I haven’t discouraged readers of this series. Keep on and find the good parts and hang on. We need fantasy/sci-fi to escape the noise of our every day lives stuck on Earth.

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Acorna: The Unicorn GirlAcorna: The Unicorn Girl by Anne McCaffrey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It is no secret that Anne McCaffrey has been one of my favorite authors of all time. I think it is within this decade that I was in a bookstore in Reno that had some pretty good deals. They told me that they had just received a huge collection of First Edition Anne McCaffrey’s books. I nearly passed it up. I’ve never been rich monetarily. I figured I wouldn’t be able to afford it. But being a store that wanted to keep their merchandise moving, they actually quoted me a price for the whole collection that I could afford.

But I was working and found that reading “real” or “tree” books hard for my eyes. And I was always tired with fibromyalgia. So the books sat on my shelves.

When we moved here the McCaffreys sat in a box until I got a new bookshelf. Now they are out on display so I can’t resist. Except reading the old way is slow. So I try to keep my paper bookmark where I am in the Kindle version and read a bit when I can.

Luckily, I’ve been collecting the Kindle versions of Anne’s treasures. At least this one has text-to-speech. I kind of hoped for Audible but they don’t have this book. It’s okay as I can speed up the listen-rate to 2x and get through a book in no time.

As much as I looked forward to Acorna, who wouldn’t want to read a story about a unicorn girl? I have to admit that as much as I love her writing style, I found this book wasn’t so much about the girl as it was about child slavery and the men who found the girl. You never get to see her point of view, even when she grows up. Still, Ms. McCaffrey and Ms. Ball cover the issues well and made a good story. I am already into the next book and I see the plot continues with other people. Acorna is still not showing up personally. Maybe that will change soon.

I still liked the book and can’t wait to see what happens in the series.

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