I’ve read twenty nine books this year, and yet I’ve written… *checks blog* nine reviews? Wait, eleven, if you count the “Provost’s Dog Trilogy” I reviewed all at once. Regardless! The math doesn’t add up- so! I’m doing a mini-review round up wherein I discuss the books I missed in a delicious, bite sized format. Like little cookies of book knowledge for you to put in your face or on your head, or perhaps feed to the monster in your closet. I dunno, you do you, or do whatever keeps the monster quiet.
The Adventure Zone, Here There be Gerblins: I feel like I’ve talked about this here, but maybe it’s just on a TBR list? Taako, Merle, and Magnus are three men on a mission. Just don’t ask them what the mission is because no one is allowed to talk about it. That is, they’re on a mission after they rescue Berry Bluejeans and maybe, possible, accidentally level an entire town with their misjudgement of a Very Dangerous Artifact. Funny, a little weird, and all around good for fans of comedic fantasy and/or DnD.
Descender, Vol. 5 & Vol. 6: The fact that I didn’t write a review for the finale to this wonderful series is a testament to how unpleasant and hectic this year has been. The origins of the Harvesters were revealed, the Robot Resistance emerged, but the only thing that mattered was what happened to Tim-21 during his search for Andy. They were reunited for short time before Something Happened. No spoilers, but this was an AMAZING story that I am hyped to continue this fall.
Isola, Vol. 1: A queen is cursed, and her Captain will do anything to reverse it. Follow their journey as the search for a place of myth; Isola, land of the dead. If you liked Princess Monoke at all there is a good chance you’ll enjoy this story. I was a little lost at times in terms of the backstory, despite this volume collecting the first five issues; I felt like I could have used a history course on the land, it’s people, and their superstitions. But perhaps that is the point- our hero is traveling through a land alien to her, and can trust only her wits to help her through.
The Star Host: A captured technomancer befriends an equally captured soldier in this gay, sci fi, party time adventure story. I wanted to like this more then I did, because I loved the premise. Alas, there was a bit too much angst and hurt/comfort for me to really enjoy it, not to mention the plot was fairly predictable. I’ll continue the series on the off chance my local library ever gets it, but I’m not holding my breath.
First Test, Page, Squire, Lady Knight: The series about a heroin who is married to her job. Like, very much so. Serious minded, risk taking, stubborn Kel is super into being a knight. Also raising so many animals that even I began to question Tamora Pierce. Remember when it was just Faithful? That was fine, it gave us such a fleshed out, interesting character, instead of another animal named Mud Puddle or Apple Blossom or Rag. Sorry, what? I liked this series, even if I had some questions about the alterations made to the Chamber of the Ordeal and did Cleon really have to end up with someone else? I suppose if I refer to sentence one, then yes, he does, because Kel is already married.
Murderbot: All Systems Red: Awkward, introverted, into binge watching space shows, incredibly dangerous and a robot. Maybe wasn’t always a robot? I feel like maybe there have been hints that there are parts of a human in there. They absolutely killed a lot of people, and it is a mystery as to why. I enjoyed the heck out of this novella and can’t wait to get my hands on the next one in the series.
Useless Magic: If you are like me, and are very into Florence and the Machine, then this book is for you. Full of art, scribblings, lyrics, and poems by Florence Welch, as well as photos of the singer, it’s a beautiful book that I display on my desk because it’s just so pretty.
Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe: Lesbian romance, pretty cute, not too shabby. Idgie is not my jam, but you do you Ruth. The beehive scene, am I right? I read this book because it was one of my grandmother’s favorites, and while I did find the central characters romance endearing enough I had problems with the authors portrayal of race (Here’s an essay about the issue that’s written by someone far more capable then me). But it was written in an interesting format and the setting felt very present and real. Does that make sense? I’m writing this while very tired. I could wait, but why do that when I can ramble?
Call the Nurse: True Stories of a Country Nurse on a Scottish Isle: Once I got over author Mary MacLeod’s constant use of exclamation points I quite enjoyed this collection of stories about the nurse’s life on The Hebrides. From sweet to sad, silly to downright disturbing, MacLeod saw a lot more then she bargained for when she and her husband relocated their family from London to a remote village by the sea. My family has a great deal of Scottish blood in our ancestry, and I was raised with a sense of pride in it that I carry with me to this day. Strangely I haven’t read much about the country outside of it’s myths and legends, and I want to change that.
Kraken: The Curious, Exciting, & Slightly Disturbing Science of Squid: So, there’s this story about the author going out on a fishing vessel in the middle of the night with a bunch of scientists into Monterey Bay. Their doing a catch and release, tagging sort of thing with Humboldt Squid. Cool, right? Yes, actually. Except that author Wendy Williams split the story up throughout the entire book and it made me crazy. Still, squid are cool, so are cuttlefish and octopus. Conclusions? Might be aliens, who can say for sure? I mean, besides the scientists.
If You Want to Write: A Book about Art, Independence, and Spirit: Brenda Ueland lived for ninety three years and wrote, as near as I can tell, constantly. A gentle, more level headed Hamilton, she used her power to teach and encourage everyone to take up writing. Published in 1983, Brenda is here to tell housewives to ignore their chores and write instead. She urges everyone to write, to give their voice a chance to be heard, to believe in that voice and it’s right to tell it’s story. She seems nice, thanks Aunt Brenda.