Monthly Archives: April 2017

Review of Resistance, by B R. Sanders

I bought a copy of B. R. SandersResistance.

Description from Goodreads:
Resistance has many faces, and one of them is Shandolin’s. When she finds her friend brutally murdered, Shandolin decides to fight instead of run–but her only hope of survival is a takeover of the City government. Shandolin draws everyone she loves into the fray with her: her assassin lover, Rivna; her mentor, Moshel; and her best friend, Kel. Apart, they are weak, but together Shandolin and her friends, lovers and fellows may be just strong enough to save their skins and the skins of the other elves in the City. 

Another winner from Sanders. The world-building here is fabulous. Though I’ve read several stories in this world, I think you get a pretty good idea of its complexity here in condensed form.

The main character Shandolin (Doe) is likable as are the side characters. But what’s really great is that you get diversity in the cast, both in the racial divisions of the elves, Qin, satyrs, humans, etc (though not all of them play a big part in this book), but also in sexuality, gender orientation, body types, and relationship styles. And all of it is just part of who they are, no need to make it the conflict on which the story hinges.

The infant social revolt that the story does hinge on is sketched out fairly faintly. Much of it depends on connections Doe made before the beginning of the story. But there is certainly enough to follow and believe it. I did feel the end was a bit rushed. Though I liked the ending just fine, it did seem to come about quite easily.

As an aside, and I’m really not sure as it’s been over a year since I read Ariah, but I think some of these might be side characters from the middle of that book. I’m not sure, as I said, but they all felt so familiar but I’m not certain on the names. Can anyone give me a yes or no on that idea? I see another review that said this is a whole new cast. So, now I’m doubting myself.

What I’m drinking: I swear I have been sick more times this year than in entire decades combined. I seem to have caught another cold. So, I’m supping on a some Celestial Seasons Honey Vanilla Chamomile tea. (And I’m sure there is some sort of irony in doing it out of a cup with the queen of a notorious empire-building nation on the front while reading a book about trying to overthrow the outsider government. But that was wholly accidental.)

Review of Wolf’s-Own Bundle, by Carole Cummings

I purchased a copy of Carole CummingsWolf’s-Own bundle, containing Ghost, Weregild, Koan, Incendiary.

Description from Goodreads:
Read Wolf’s-own: the four-book fantasy epic featuring Fen Jacin-rei—Incendiary, Catalyst, Once-Untouchable—and Kamen Malick, who is determined to decode the intrigue that surrounds him. Fen’s mind is host to the spirits of long-dead magicians, and Fen’s fate should be one of madness and ignoble death. So how is it Fen lives, carrying out shadowy vengeance for his subjugated people and protecting the family he loves? With a threat all too close and a secret he needs to explain, Malick is at odds with those who should be his allies, and no matter how much he wants to protect Fen, it may be more than he can manage when he’s trying to keep them alive

I’m not going to write individual reviews for each of these books, because though I understand they are split up to avoid a 900 page epic and each does come to a relatively natural stopping point, it is undeniably one single story and any individual book would be most unsatisfactory on its own. So, they are not stand-alones! But since I read them as a bundle I’ll rate/review them as one. Even as I acknowledge that if I’d only had the first, I likely wouldn’t rate it so high, considering its lack of conclusion.

But as a single story I really enjoyed it. It’s tragic and complex and redemptive all at the same time. I loved Fen and Kamen, as well as Kamen’s whole team and Fen’s family. The world is complex and multi-demential and the peoples are varied.

I did occasionally, especially in climactic scenes, wonder how things that happened happened. I often knew what was happening, but felt I missed the explanation of how it was happening. How someone suddenly had control of another or caused a certain something to occur, etc. Similarly, sometimes things that were meant to be cryptic to the characters were also a little too cryptic to the reader. But all in all I loved it.

A new challenge

Every now and again, out of boredom or necessity or pure whimsy I set myself odd little reading challenges. That’s part of the joy of having a book blog, I can do that. And I’ve done it again.

I have a book hoarding problem. I just do. Usually I can limit it to ebooks, so it’s not too disruptive. But at the moment, my physical book shelves are stacked two deep and literally overflowing. My office is becoming a bit of a death trap. So, I have to read some of them.

The problem is that my Kindle is so easy to schlep around. Plus, I’ve promised myself that once a book is read I won’t keep it unless it is signed or an absolute favorite. So, though I always want to read, I sometimes don’t want to do the thing that means I have to give the book away afterwards. I know, it’s weird. But I keep bringing books into the house, so now I have to set some free.

I mean, that was part of the point of building a Little Free Library in my front yard. Well, that and it’s just cool. I have no excuse to not be filling it with finished books.

This brings me to my challenge. I went through and pulled out all the itty-bitty books. I don’t usually pick up novellas, but I have several. And I know reading them won’t clear as much space as reading some bigger books. But I figure each of them should only take a couple hours to read, so it’s a good way to do a bit of a clear-out without committing weeks to the task. (Nope, I’m not rationalizing this at all.)

There are 18 little books there. Most, though not all I won and it’s a pretty diverse pile. There’s some bizzaro in there, as well as some inspirational stuff, a memoir, some non-fiction, humor, poetry, lit fict, politcal satire, even a freakin’ play. I figure I can finish one a day for the next few weeks, along with my normal reading and feel like I’ve accomplished something significant. (Hush, that’s what I’m going with.)

In case you can’t read all the titles, the stack includes:

  • Ghachar Ghochar, by Vivek Shanbhan
  • Can’t Fight Fate, by Lisa N. Edwards
  • Infected, by Janine R. Pestel
  • Mighty Coconuts, by Deepa Remesh
  • Sarah, by J. T. LeRoy
  • George & Martha, by Karen Finley
  • Undivided Lines, by Robert Lampros
  • The Gifted Storyteller, by Gregg Korrol
  • The Chronicle of the Three: Bloodline, by Tabitha Caplinger
  • Well, Let Me Just Tell It All, by Chris W. Scholl
  • The Whimsicals, by Mr. Bohemian
  • I Died in a Bed of Roses, by Kevin Strange
  • Resistance, by B. R. Sanders
  • Brunelleschi’s Dome, by Ross King
  • Saman, by Ayu Utami
  • A Bit of Earth, by Wendt Crisp Lestina
  • Reflections in the Music, by LaTarra Moore
  • Land on fire, by Fary Ferguson

Anyhow, between these, the book bundle I’m currently reading (Carole Cumming’s Wolf’s-Own), the bundle I’m listening to (Sarah Noffke’s Vagabond Circus) and the Netgalley books I’ve committed to for the next couple months, not to mention I need to read review request book, I aught to be kept busy in the near future.

I think I’ll start with B. R. Sanders book, because I’ve loved everything I’ve read by them so far. But beyond that, I’m open for suggestions on what I should move up or down the pile.