Book Review: Record of a Spaceborn Few

Record of a Spaceborn Few
By Becky Chambers

My Edition:
Paperback, 359 pages
2018, Hodder & Stoughton
ISBN: 9781473647619

The humans of the Exodus Fleet has been set in their ways since their departure from Earth. They’ve joined the GC and accepted the more advanced technology offered by other sapients, yet hold themselves apart from the rest of civilized space. Tessa, Ashby’s brother, has stayed with the Fleet, but recent events have made her question her decision. Sawyer hopes to join the Fleet and find a connection to his ancestors, or at least a place that feels like home. But after disaster strikes, people begin to ask themselves “What is the purpose of a ship that has reached its destination?”

I always struggle to describe Chambers’s books because they’re more about the people and the development of their relationships than the plot. That blurb is a mash-up of me attempting to summarize and also help from the back of the book.

Anyway, as usual, I love Chambers’s tone and the universe she’s created.

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Book Review: Kings of the Wyld

Kings of the Wyld
By Nicholas Eames

My Edition:
Paperback, 494 pages
2016, Orbit
ISBN: 9780356509020

Clay Cooper is a retired mercenary who’d like to spend the rest of his days running a cozy little inn with his wife and daughter. When “Golden” Gabe, frontrunner of Clay’s old band, shows up on his doorstep, bedraggled and pleading for help, Clay is torn. Gabe wants to rescue his daughter who is trapped in a castle under siege by a hoard of thousands of monsters. To do so, he needs to reunite the band and cross the The Heartwyld – a massive forest full of creatures of unimaginable horror. It’s a suicidal mission, but if there’s any band to tackle it, it’s the Kings of the Wyld.

This book had me chuckling by page two. Literally. After that, I pretty much never stopped.

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Book Review: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
Taylor Jenkins Reid

My Edition:
Paperback, 389 pages
2017, Washington Square Press
ISBN: 9781501161933

Film star and Hollywood highlight, Evelyn Hugo has survived seven husbands. In her old age, long since retired from acting, she decides she’s ready for her memoir to be written and she picks reporter Monique Grant for the job. Monique is puzzled, but ready to launch her career with the story of a lifetime. Evelyn’s story is more complex than Monique ever imagined and tied up with it is the celebrity’s reason for picking Monique to tell her story.

While I do enjoy the occasional Hollywood-based historical fictionesque books (see The Swans of Fifth Avenue) or ones that delve into the lives of the social elite (see also The Devil Wears Prada, Gossip Girl and maybe even The Nanny Diaries) The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo wasn’t initially on my radar. Then people started talking. Then people with very similar reading tastes to my own started talking. I finally decided to give it a shot…

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Book Review: Trader

Trader
By Charles de Lint

My Edition:
Paperback, 352 pages
1997, Orb
ISBN: 0765302969

Max Trader makes guitars and Johnny Devlin is unemployed, mostly friendless, and a shameless womanizer. When the two wake up in each other’s bodies, Johnny is interested in keeping his cushy new life while Max struggles with the mess Johnny left behind. Max must come to grips with the impossible and journey through a world of dreams and spirits if he wants to regain the life he had.

Fun fact, the back of my book has the name Leonard, instead of Max – but throughout the book, Max is referred to as Max. Unless there’s like one sentence that I missed about Leonard being his first name and Max his middle and him preferring Max, I’m pretty sure someone made a mistake! (Tbh, Max Trader sounds way better than Leonard Trader so I’m glad the change was made) This has nothing at all to do with my thoughts on the book, I just noticed it as I’m writing this.

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Book Review: Only Forward

Only Forward
By Michael Marshall Smith

My Edition:
Paperback, 310 pages
2015, Harper Voyager
ISBN: 9780008117443

Stark is the Private Eye you call when Something Happens and you need help. Stark has a way with dreams and the past that makes him the man for the job. Living in a world where people are separated by Neighborhoods governed by specific (and usually bizarre) rules, Stark has found a way to bend the rules and move from Neighborhood to Neighborhood the way most people can’t. But when his friend Zenda calls him to help with Something that Happened, Stark discovers he might be in over his head.

This book is utterly weird and I loved it! It is the first book from my Mr. B’s subscription that my girl Melissa gifted me for my birthday. I’d never heard of M.M. Smith before (he also writes as just Michael Smith) and now I need to get my hands on more of his work.

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Book Review: Circe

Circe
By Madeline Miller

My Edition:
BOTM Hardcover, 393 pages
2018, Little, Brown
ISBN: 9780316556347

Circe, the daughter of the Titan Helios and a nymph, was born with no apparent powers. She grows up, mocked by her mother and siblings and ignored by her father. It’s not until she falls in love with a mortal fisherman and desires to make him a god that she discovers what she truly is – a witch. After committing a crime, her powers are revealed to the other gods. Concerned about the trouble she might cause, mighty Zeus banishes her to a solitary island. There, Circe comes into her powers and rather than fade into obscurity, she draws the eyes of gods and men alike.

Yo, this book was excellent!

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Book Review: Snow and Rose

Snow & Rose
Written & Illustrated By Emily Winfield Martin

My Edition:
Hardcover, 205 pages
2017, Random House
ISBN: 9780553538182

After the disappearance of their father, Snow, Rose and their mother are exiled from their lavish home to a small cabin in the woods. As they explore the deep woods around their new home, the girls encounter a small, bearded man, a boy who lives underground and a great bear who needs their help. They discover the strange forest contains more than meets the eye.

I’ve always been a fan of fairytale retellings and this middle-grade didn’t disappoint. I was briefly reminded of Margo Lanagan’s Tender Morsels, but only because the stores are loosely (very loosely) similar. Fortunately, this book doesn’t contain bizarre bear sex!

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Book Review: If Tomorrow Comes

If Tomorrow Comes
By Nancy Kress

My Edition:
Hardcover, 334 pages
2018, Tor
ISBN: 9780765390325

Thank you to Tor for sending me this book for free in exchange for my honest review.

Ten years after the events of Tomorrow’s Kin, If Tomorrow Comes explores what happens when a group of Terrans sets off on a long-awaited expedition to their kindred on World. A group of scientists, including Marianne Jenner, military and diplomats set off in the ship built to the specifications left behind by the aliens. But when they reach World, also known as Kindred, nothing is as they expected.

This sequel didn’t disappoint. Kress kept it fresh with a new setting and some new characters, but a few familiar faces turn up.
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Book Review: Void Black Shadow

Void Black Shadow
By Corey J. White

My Edition:
Paperback, 217 pages
2018, Tor
ISBN: 9780765396938

Mars and her crew, Squid, Trix, Ocho and newly adopted Pale, set off to a remote corner of the galaxy to save their friend Mookie from a prison planet. Once again, Mars finds herself facing off against the forces of MEPHISTO, the evil corporation that ruled her childhood and manipulated her until she became the powerful weapon she is now. Bent on vengeance, Mars will stop at nothing to save Mookie, especially since it’s her fault he’s been caught.

Not only was this a fantastic follow-up to Killing Gravity, but this book exceeded my expectations and the ending really threw me for a loop!

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Book Review: Emperor of Thorns

Emperor of Thorns
By Mark Lawrence

My Edition:
Paperback, 399 pages
2013, Ace
ISBN: 9780425256541

King Jorg Ancrath is making his way towards Vyene to vote with the rest of The Hundred on who should be named Emperor. This time, Jorg cannot stand against an army with impossible odds; he must persuade his fellow kings to vote for him if he wants the title. When none have agreed in living memory, can Jorg succeed?

Blurbing a series is hard! I expect if you’re reading this, you’ve read the trilogy already, or at least the first two books. As usual, Lawrence has crafted an addicting read, though it did take me almost a whole month to finish thanks to the dreadful slump I was in.

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