Monthly Archives: September 2018

Review of Artificial Condition (The Murderbot Diaries #2), by Martha Wells

I borrowed a copy of Martha WellsArtificial Condition from my local library. I reviewed book one, All Systems Red, here.

Description from Goodreads:
It has a dark past – one in which a number of humans were killed. A past that caused it to christen itself “Murderbot”. But it has only vague memories of the massacre that spawned that title, and it wants to know more.

Teaming up with a Research Transport vessel named ART (you don’t want to know what the “A” stands for), Murderbot heads to the mining facility where it went rogue.

What it discovers will forever change the way it thinks…

I only have a short review for this short novella, but it’s enough. Marvelous. I adore Murderbot, here called Eden. The sarcasm of this character is at an all time high in this book and I love it. I did think it a little convenient that Murderbot just happened to board the right ship to meet Art and have everything work out so well. But it’s a novella, so there wasn’t much room for more. All in all, I can’t wait for the next one.


Review of Once Upon a Haunted Moor, by Harper Fox

I bought an Audible copy of Harper Fox‘s Once Upon a Haunted Moor.

Description from Goodreads:
Gideon Frayne has spent his whole working life as a policeman in the village of Dark on Bodmin Moor. It’s not life in the fast lane, but he takes it very seriously, and his first missing-child case is eating him alive. When his own boss sends in a psychic to help with the case, he’s gutted – he’s a level-headed copper who doesn’t believe in such things, and he can’t help but think that the arrival of clairvoyant Lee Tyack is a comment on his failure to find the little girl.

But Lee is hard to hate, no matter how Gideon tries. At first Lee’s insights into the case make no sense, but he seems to have a window straight into Gideon’s heart. Son of a Methodist minister, raised in a tiny Cornish village, Gideon has hidden his sexuality for years. It’s cost him one lover, and he can’t believe it when this green-eyed newcomer stirs up old feelings and starts to exert a powerful force of attraction.

Gideon and Lee begin to work together on the case. But there are malignant forces at work in the sleepy little village of Dark, and not only human ones – Gideon is starting to wonder, against all common sense, if there might be some truth in the terrifying legend of the Bodmin Beast after all. As a misty Halloween night consumes the moor, Gideon must race against time to save not only the lost child but the man who’s begun to restore his faith in his own heart.

I finished this several days ago and forgot to write my review. I quite enjoyed it. Granted, it’s a novella, so not as developed as I might have liked. Gideon and Lee’s attraction isn’t instant, but it’s pretty close. But I’ll forgive the story the lack of relationship development because I like Fox’s writing style so much. I have a tad more trouble forgiving the cliched motive of the villain. I really  was disappointed in it because it’s been seen so often before. But all in all, the story was lovely and Tim Gilbert did a great job with the narration.

Review of The Last Wish (The Witcher, #1), by Andrzej Sapkowski

I borrowed a copy of  Andrzej Sapkowski‘s The Last Wish from my local library.

Description from Goodreads:
Geralt of Rivia is a witcher. A cunning sorcerer. A merciless assassin. And a cold-blooded killer. His sole purpose: to destroy the monsters that plague the world. But not everything monstrous-looking is evil and not everything fair is good… and in every fairy tale there is a grain of truth.

A collection of short stories introducing Geralt of Rivia, to be followed by the first novel in the actual series, The Blood of Elves. Note that, while The Last Wish was published after The Sword of Destiny, the stories contained in The Last Wish take place first chronologically, and many of the individual stories were published before The Sword of Destiny.

I have a confession to make. I didn’t really read the description of this book before I read it. I picked it up on a recommendation to read the series and chose this thinking it was the first book. Turns out it is actually a collection of short stories published after the series itself (though set before the timeline). In a sense I’m relieved to discover that, because I didn’t love them and the series is supposed to be so good. It’s a relief to discover that this book isn’t the one I should have been reading to get a real sense of the series. It’s disappointing, of course, that I read it and didn’t love it. But now that I’ve been set straight I’ll read the actual first book.

Now, setting aside my little fumble, lets talk about the stories. I think I’d have liked them a lot more if I had read the series first. I think a lot of what felt vague and shallow to me would have had context. But I did think there was a lot of humor and I liked the character a lot. I was a little annoyed with womens’ apparent habit of falling into his bed with no effort on his part (and their tendency to be villains or faceless/voiceless) and there is some anachronistic language that annoyed me. But all in all, I didn’t love it like I’d expected to but I didn’t hate it either. It’s about what you’d expect from decent early 90s epic fantasy.