Monthly Archives: June 2020

Review of Ancillary Justice (Imperial Radch #1), by Ann Leckie

I’m on vacation! Ok, I’m visiting my mom. But since she lives in Florida, it’s like a vacation. Granted, given the Covid-19 numbers here in Florida, we have no intention of leaving this house at any point during the visit. This is no true hardship though. I mean, look where I’m sitting, wrapped in a towel in my swimsuit, to write this review. I could do worse, right?

On the fourteen-hour drive down I read Ancillary Justice, by Ann Leckie. It is one of those books I’ve been meaning to read for a long time. I’ve heard only good things about, I five-starred the only other book I’ve read by her, and she lives locally to me. (I do try and support local authors.) I even met her briefly in a tea shop once. She was gracious and lovely. So, I finally borrowed a copy from the library.

Description from Goodreads:

On a remote, icy planet, the soldier known as Breq is drawing closer to completing her quest. Once, she was the Justice of Toren – a colossal starship with an artificial intelligence linking thousands of soldiers in the service of the Radch, the empire that conquered the galaxy. Now, an act of treachery has ripped it all away, leaving her with one fragile human body, unanswered questions, and a burning desire for vengeance.


I really enjoyed this! It’s smart science fiction, the sort that will have me coming back and contemplating aspects of it for weeks to come. So many questions of identity, individuality, morality, friendship, class, humanity, and loyalty (and probably more).

I love the contemplation of what qualifies as “I” given the reality of ancillaries. I love the quandaries around gender. Pronouns do a lot of work in this book. The book subverts them and makes you really think about them. There were times I felt it got so convoluted that I’m not even sure the author kept it straight. But that was unquestionably part of the point.

It is a slow read and covers literally thousands of years. (It reminded me a little of Asimov in this respect, with Breq filling in for Daneel.) But I honestly can’t wait to get my hands on the rest of the series.

Review of Murder on the Lake of Fire (Mourning Dove Mysteries #1), by Mikel J. Wilson

I won a copy of Murder on the Lake of Fire through a giveaway the author, Mikel Wilson, ran on Instagram.

Description from Goodreads:

At twenty-three and with a notorious case under his belt, Emory Rome has already garnered fame as a talented special agent for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. His career is leapfrogging over his colleagues, but the jumping stops when he’s assigned a case he fought to avoid – an eerie murder in the Smoky Mountain hometown he had abandoned. The mysterious death of a teen ice-skater once destined for the pros is soon followed by an apparent case of spontaneous human combustion. In a small town bursting with friends and foes, Rome’s own secrets lie just beneath the surface. The rush to find the murderer before he strikes again pits him against artful private investigator Jeff Woodard. The PI is handsome, smart and seductive, and he just might be the killer Rome is seeking.


I generally enjoyed this. I wasn’t surprised by the conclusion of the mystery in any sense, but I enjoyed the journey of seeing that I was right and I liked both the main characters. I thought very occasionally that names were tossed into dialogue too often and the similes weighed a little heavily at times. But for the most part, I’m glad to have read it and look forward to the next one.

Review of The Duke and I (Bridgertons #1), by Julia Quinn

Look you guys, it’s only June and I’ve already read Q book for my Alphabet Soup Author challenge. Usually, I’m scrambling, mid-December trying to find books by authors that start with Q, X, Y, and Z. Not this year! *Is smug.*

I won a copy of Julia Quinn’s The Duke and I through Goodreads.


In the ballrooms and drawing rooms of Regency London, rules abound. From their earliest days, children of aristocrats learn how to address an earl and curtsey before a prince—while other dictates of the ton are unspoken yet universally understood. A proper duke should be imperious and aloof. A young, marriageable lady should be amiable…but not too amiable.

Daphne Bridgerton has always failed at the latter. The fourth of eight siblings in her close-knit family, she has formed friendships with the most eligible young men in London. Everyone likes Daphne for her kindness and wit. But no one truly desires her. She is simply too deuced honest for that, too unwilling to play the romantic games that captivate gentlemen.

Amiability is not a characteristic shared by Simon Basset, Duke of Hastings. Recently returned to England from abroad, he intends to shun both marriage and society—just as his callous father shunned Simon throughout his painful childhood. Yet an encounter with his best friend’s sister offers another option. If Daphne agrees to a fake courtship, Simon can deter the mamas who parade their daughters before him. Daphne, meanwhile, will see her prospects and her reputation soar.

The plan works like a charm—at first. But amid the glittering, gossipy, cut-throat world of London’s elite, there is only one certainty:

Love ignores every rule…


This was ok. I enjoyed the banter between Daphne and Simon. But I thought the transition from friends to lovers to partners was abrupt in parts and jagged in others. I honestly felt Simon was trapped into it, in a sense. I don’t feel like that was the only time he was taken advantage of. And, while the overprotective brothers were amusing at times, they got annoying.

I did very much appreciate that Quinn didn’t give the father a redemptive arc. I thought she would and I hate that. Parents have been evil don’t always deserve to be redeemed in the reader’s eyes. All in all, I’d read another one. But I’m not in any hurry about it.