Monthly Archives: February 2018

Review of Bearly Awake (Providence Paranormal College #1), by D.R. Perry

I picked up a copy of Bearly Awake, by D. R. Perry, from Amazon. It was free at the time.

Description from Goodreads:
Bobby Tremain’s life used to seem charmed, but since his dad’s crippling accident, he has an avalanche of problems. He’s the first in his family to have a shot at college, also the first to head north of Louisiana. An early snow calls his Bear to hibernate a week before finals, but he needs to pass or he flunks out of Providence Paranormal College.

Lynn Frampton’s loneliness is almost more than she can take. She went to college on the other side of the country to get away from the persistent curse of unpopularity in a small town. Once at college, Lynn’s prickly personality has pushed everyone away yet again. At least, she’s at the top of her class.

Bobby needs Lynn’s help to stay awake and pass his exam, and she discovers she needs companionship more than she’d ever imagined. Lynn’s all set to transfer to a school back home, but Bobby thinks she’s his mate. Can he keep awake long enough to pass, and more importantly, convince his love to stay?

So, this wasn’t necessarily bad. It fit the bill of being fluffy and non-taxing, which is what I wanted when I picked it up. But I didn’t feel like it held together very well. The plot jumps around and a fairly large mystery isn’t solved. Worse though, was the main character, Lynn. She’s supposed to be smart and sassy and snarky and sarcastic. I know this because her internal monologue tells me, the reader, about it a dozen times. But I just found her unpleasant. Sure, there’s some fun nerdiness, that I and a large portion of the female populace recognize and appreciate. But it’s treated like she’s something special for it. And her constant, “I’m not like other girls because I’m smart,” is a blatant insult. It infers that other women aren’t smart. Duh. Basically, it felt like the author was trying way too hard to be funny and it just fell flat on its face.

Review of The Black Tides of Heaven (Tensorate #1), by J. Y. Yang

I borrowed a copy of J. Y. Yang‘s The Black Tides of Heaven (The Tensorate Series) from my local library.

Description from Goodreads:
Mokoya and Akeha, the twin children of the Protector, were sold to the Grand Monastery as children. While Mokoya developed her strange prophetic gift, Akeha was always the one who could see the strings that moved adults to action. While his sister received visions of what would be, Akeha realized what could be. What’s more, he saw the sickness at the heart of his mother’s Protectorate.

A rebellion is growing. The Machinists discover new levers to move the world every day, while the Tensors fight to put them down and preserve the power of the state. Unwilling to continue to play a pawn in his mother’s twisted schemes, Akeha leaves the Tensorate behind and falls in with the rebels. But every step Akeha takes towards the Machinists is a step away from his sister Mokoya. Can Akeha find peace without shattering the bond he shares with his twin sister?

I so wanted to love this more than I did. I liked it, ok, but I didn’t love it. In fact, I checked out book one and two from the library and, though I enjoyed book one, I still returned book two (The Red Threads of Fortune) unread. I liked the non-western fantasy setting. I liked the genderless children (even it the singular use of they clashed with the plural they on occasion, since there were two main characters). The writing is lyrical and I liked that too. But when it comes right down to it, I’m not a fan of that sparse writing style common in Chinese writing. This book covers 30+ years in a novella. As a result I never felt I really got to know the characters or was invested in the building rebellion. I’m claiming no lack of quality. I can sense that it’s well-written. This just isn’t a style I personally like very much.

Review of Cotton & Indigo from Japan, by Teresa Duryea Wong

I received a copy of Cotton & Indigo from Japan, by Teresa Duryea Wong for review.

Description from Goodreads:
More than 300 colorful photos and behind-the-scenes details reveal the fascinating story of Japan’s cotton and indigo, and their enormous contribution to fiber arts worldwide. Learn how Japan and its top fabric designers, quilters, scientists, and artists combinetradition and high tech to weave the thread, fabrics, and stunningdesigns that are so coveted in today’s fiber art world. Take a tour of Japan’s elite textile printing mills to understand why Japan is considered the world’s finest producer of quilting cotton. Learn where all this cotton comes from, and its close connection to another prized plant, indigo. Dozens of beautiful fabric designs and quilts by Shizuko Kuroha, Keiko Goke, Yoshiko Jinzenji, Yoko Saito, and others are featured, as well as cotton and indigo folk textiles through the ages. This journey gives a deeper understanding of the connection between contemporary textile art and Japan’s cotton, indigo, and traditions.

I initially wrote a review that said, “Very cool book with gorgeous pictures and a lot of interesting history. This is worth picking up if the subject interests you. I appreciate it as both an informative book and simply as a pretty coffee table book.” But last night I got the chance to go through the book with my aunt, who is a big quilter and worked many years in a fabric shop, largely for the love of it. Hearing her ooh-and ahh, lovingly touch some of the photos, and tell me, “This is a great book, really thorough about the terminology and regionality.” confirmed what I already knew. This is a book worth having. It has two Forsythe seals of approval.