Book Review: Obsidio

By Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

My Edition:
Hardcover, 615 pages
2018, Knopf
ISBN: 9780553499193

The adventures of the Illuminae Files wrap up in the third book in the series. Familiar faces return as the surviving crews of jump station Heimdall and that other ship, whose name I forget, head back towards Kerenza, the illegal mining planet where everything began. There are survivors on the planet and there’s also a jump station, everyone’s only hope of getting back to the Core galaxy or whatever. Can the Illuminae Group defeat the remaining BeiTech troops and gather enough evidence to hold them responsible for the atrocities they committed? Does anyone care about the new couple that’s introduced? Can the evil AI Aidan be trusted? Can you tell I’m not really into the series anymore?

I’ll say it up front, because I’m sure my opinion will the minority for this popular, hyped series, but the conclusion was lackluster and I’m not impressed.

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Series Review (sort of): Artemis Fowl

It turns out nostalgic love isn’t always as strong as I thought it would be. I started this reread excited to be back in a world I absolutely loved when I was in grade school, but shortly after beginning the first book, the series wasn’t what I expected or remembered. Despite my fond memories of the characters and Sweetbeeps loving the series when he read it a couple years ago, I wasn’t compelled to read more than two books.

I was bored with the plot and characters and the writing wasn’t as strong as the middle-grade I’ve been reading recently. I was going to give the third book a shot, but after some thought, I realized I didn’t care about anything that was going to happen next and I was better off wasting my time. But I did write up brief reviews of the first two books, so I figured I’d share.

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Book Review: Into the Drowning Deep

Into the Drowning Deep
By Mira Grant

My Edition:
Hardcover, 440 pages
2017, Orbit
ISBN: 9780316379403

Imagine Entertainment set out to “find” mermaids and film a documentary about it. But after the group of scientists, reporters, actors and film crew set sail on the Atargatis and fail to return, it’s clear they found something. Raw footage surfaces, revealing snatches of what appear to be mermaids murdering and devouring the crew. Imagine does their best to dodge the blame and frame the footage as a hoax, while prepping for another mission. Tory Stewart, whose sister has been missing since the first voyage, signs up to find out what really happened to her sister and get closure, and revenge, if she can. But the crew of the Melusine soon find themselves in more troubled waters than they ever imagined.

If I trust anyone to write a story about bloodthirsty mermaids it’s Mira Grant (Seanan McGuire) and she didn’t disappoint.

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Book Review: Space is Just a Starry Night

Space is Just a Starry Night
By Tanith Lee

My Edition:
Paperback, 239 pages
2013, Aqueduct Press
ISBN: 9781619760318

A short story collection (from my queen) containing a prison planet that uses memories to manipulate its occupants, a woman released from deep freeze after over a century, a man’s relationship with his ship and a planet, a woman’s drastic transformation under the rays of the sun and more.

Shorts collections can be hit or miss whether the stories are from one or multiple authors. This is a solid sci-fi collection with a range of futuristic worlds and a few really stellar stories.

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Book Review: Wolf Hollow

Wolf Hollow
By Lauren Wolk

My Edition:
Hardcover, 291 pages
2016, Dutton Children’s Books
ISBN: 9781101994825

Annabelle’s town is a quiet one until Betty Glengarry arrives, staying with her grandparents and attending Annabelle’s school. Betty instantly dislikes Annabelle. Annabelle does her best to avoid the bully, but there’s a target painted on her back. But soon that target moves to Toby, the strange but quiet war veteran who lives the life of a hermit near Annabelle’s family farm. Annabelle might be the only one willing to stick up for Toby and she will need all her courage to stand up to the charges leveled against him.

I read this book because Danielle mentioned it on her IG feed. A Newbury Honor middle-grade that sounds like it could be depressing? Sign me up!

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Book Review: A Little Taste of Poison

A Little Taste of Poison
By R.J. Anderson

My Editon:
Paperback, 362 pages
2016, Atheneum
ISBN: 9781481437752

Isaveth is a talented spell-baker, but as a poor Moshite she never dreamed she’d see the inside of Tarrenton college to learn advanced Sagery – especially not after the recent scandal surrounding her father. When she’s offered the chance to attend on a scholarship, she accepts, though she knows it will be difficult given her background and the attitudes of the rich, elites who attend the college. Now, however, she has the chance to meet with her friend Esmond so they can continue to uncover the plot behind the crime Isaveth’s father was framed for. Attending classes turns out to be more difficult than she imagined and Isaveth soon finds herself in more trouble than ever before.

It’s a struggle to talk about this book without giving away too many details. You should, of course, read its predecessor, A Pocket Full of Murder, first. Then we can talk about how spectacular this middle-grade duology is!

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Book Review: Flotsam

by R.J. Theodore

My Edition:
ARC paperback, 402 pages
2017, Parvus Press
ISBN: 9780997661378

I received this book for free from Parvus Press in exchange for an honest review.

Captain Talis took a salvage job in hopes that the payout would give her and the crew enough to fix up her airship and have some spare coin to splurge on food. The ring she retrieves turns out to be valuable to several groups, including the strange aliens who have come to research her home planet of Peridot, the religious cult her ex-boyfriend belongs to, and the gods of Peridot themselves. Talis and her crew find themselves in the middle of a war between the living gods and the groups who want to murder them and steal their powers.

Guys. Guys. Do you like airships, steampunk, aliens, sky pirates, cults and otherworldly beings? Then probably you should read this book because it’s a lot of fun.

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Book Review: Digital Fortress

Digital Fortress
By Dan Brown

My Edition:
Paperback, 430 pages
1998, St. Martin’s
ISBN: 0312995423

Susan Fletcher works for the NSA, developing and breaking codes to prevent terrorism and criminal acts against the U.S. When her anniversary weekend with her fiancé, David, is canceled due to an emergency call he receives, Susan is disappointed – at least, until she gets called into work too. When she arrives, she finds the NSA’s master computer stuck on a code it’s been unable to break for over 13 hours, something everyone thought impossible. Susan soon learns David is caught up in her company’s efforts to do damage control and was sent to Spain to retrieve something critically important. As Susan struggles against the clock to figure out what’s going on, she soon realizes nothing is what it seems and no one can be trusted.

My blurb feels cheesy, but I’m going to leave it that way because this book was cheesy. It’s the literary equivalent of an action movie and perhaps some popcorn to munch while reading would have helped.

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Book Re-review: Northanger Abbey

Northanger Abbey
By Jane Austen

My Edition:
Paperback, 260 pages
2005, Barnes & Noble Classics
ISBN: 9781593082642

I wrapped up Austen Month by rereading Northanger Abbey and I’m so pleased with my choice. I thought I first read this when I was blogging, but it doesn’t look like I’ve got a review anywhere. I did rate it 2.5 stars initially and I know it wasn’t until I read the Marvel comic adaptation along with the modern novelization by Val McDermind that I understood the tone Austen was going for.

So, given the significant change in my star rating (I’d put it at 4.5 now) I thought I’d revisit my thoughts with this re-review.

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Book Review: Dear Mr. Knightley

Dear Mr. Knightley
By Katherine Reay

My Edition:
Paperback, 327 pages
2013, Thomas Nelson
ISBN: 9781401689681

Sam is a 23-year-old orphan whose been given a grant to get a degree in journalism, as long as she writes frequent letters to her anonymous donor (who is not at all creepy for requesting this). Being decidedly bookish – so bookish in fact, that she often (awkwardly and pretentiously) quotes her favorite classic novels and does her best to embody their heroes and heroines – she finds this letter writing an easy task. Then she happens to randomly meet a very famous author, Alex Somethingorother, and somehow he finds her alluring (and endearingly awkward) and wants to see more of her. As she struggles through her journalism program and begins to fall in love with Alex, her letters become more like journal entries and she casually reveals her horrible past. Thus, she goes through some sort of transformation and discovers who she really is, or whatever.

If you’re too lazy to actually read my review (but, come on, just read it!) I think my blurb should give you a hint as to how I felt about this book.

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