Tag Archives: 5*

Review of Girl Waits With Gun/Lady Cop Makes Trouble, by Amy Stewart

I won copies of book 1 & 2 of the Kopp Sisters series, Girl Waits With Gun and Lady Cop Makes Trouble (by Amy Stewart), through Reading Group Choices.

Description of Girl Waits With Gun:

Constance Kopp doesn’t quite fit the mold. She towers over most men, has no interest in marriage or domestic affairs, and has been isolated from the world since a family secret sent her and her sisters into hiding fifteen years ago. One day a belligerent and powerful silk factory owner runs down their buggy, and a dispute over damages turns into a war of bricks, bullets, and threats as he unleashes his gang on their family farm. When the sheriff enlists her help in convicting the men, Constance is forced to confront her past and defend her family — and she does it in a way that few women of 1914 would have dared.  

Review:

I started this not really knowing what to expect, but with high hopes. I’m happy to say they were sustained. Stewart’s writing is snappy and quite readable. Plus, I simply appreciated so very much about the character Constance. I loved that she’s a woman in her mid-thirties, a ‘substantial’ woman with a past, and not even willing to pretend to the frailties expected of women of the time. Further, her sister Norma is the anti-social introvert we all know and love somewhere in our lives, while Fleurette added some levity. I also liked that the book resisted falling into a romance, even if the elements are there. All in all, I think the best way to tell you how much I liked this book is to say that I read it AND HALF OF BOOK TWO in one day. To say I devoured them would be an understatement.

Description of Lady Cop Makes Trouble:

After besting (and arresting) a ruthless silk factory owner and his gang of thugs in Girl Waits with Gun, Constance Kopp became one of the nation’s first deputy sheriffs. She’s proven that she can’t be deterred, evaded, or outrun. But when the wiles of a German-speaking con man threaten her position and her hopes for this new life, and endanger the honorable Sheriff Heath, Constance may not be able to make things right. 

Lady Cop Makes Trouble sets Constance loose on the streets of New York City and New Jersey–tracking down victims, trailing leads, and making friends with girl reporters and lawyers at a hotel for women. Cheering her on, and goading her, are her sisters Norma and Fleurette–that is, when they aren’t training pigeons for the war effort or fanning dreams of a life on the stage. 

Review:

While I didn’t love this book quite as much as the first, I still greatly enjoyed it. The one thing holding me back was that Constance really pushed her luck and repeatedly disobeyed orders in this one and heroes/heroines that get away with what other characters wouldn’t is one of my pet peeves in books. Beyond that however, I continued to love Constance as a character, really liked seeing Norma start to step out of her shell and grow, and I was happy to see the Sheriff solidified into and even more solid character too. I look forward to continuing the series.

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…

Review:
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 To See the Sun, by Kelly Jensen

I received a copy of Kelly Jensen‘s To See the Sun through Netgalley.

Description from Goodreads:
Life can be harsh and lonely in the outer colonies, but miner-turned-farmer Abraham Bauer is living his dream, cultivating crops that will one day turn the unforgiving world of Alkirak into paradise. He wants more, though. A companion—someone quiet like him. Someone to share his days, his bed, and his heart.

Gael Sonnen has never seen the sky, let alone the sun. He’s spent his whole life locked in the undercity beneath Zhemosen, running from one desperate situation to another. For a chance to get out, he’ll do just about anything—even travel to the far end of the galaxy as a mail-order husband. But no plan of Gael’s has ever gone smoothly, and his new start on Alkirak is no exception. Things go wrong from the moment he steps off the shuttle.

Although Gael arrives with unexpected complications, Abraham is prepared to make their relationship work—until Gael’s past catches up with them, threatening Abraham’s livelihood, the freedom Gael gave everything for, and the love neither man ever hoped to find.

Review:
I thought this was really lovely. There wasn’t a lot of action, most of the tension being either in someone’s fear something might happen or in the two men tiptoeing around getting to know one another, but it was nice. Jensen’s writing is beautiful and there was a happy ending for all, except the baddies (who predominantly remained faceless).

I did side-eye the gendered representation of the men though. I don’t mean to suggest all men have to be giant paragons of masculinity, but in the face of jokes about Gael being purchased as Bram’s “wife,” the fact that he’s the physically smaller of the two and excelled at cooking, cleaning and sewing (and genre-wise, came with a kid and was the one that needed to be rescued) almost made him feel uncomfortably misgendered.

I suspect that Jensen gave him some of these same qualities in an attempt to show that a man can still be a man even if he’s not ringing each coded ‘male’ bell. Which just goes to show the thin line authors walk, trying to avoid being stereotypical in one direction only to have someone say they’re being stereotypical in another.

At least Jensen was scrupulous about consent, both spoken and unspoken, even when one partner didn’t initially understand that the other was protecting him in this regard (or that he needed it). She broke convention in not only allowing the smaller man to ‘top,’ but even addressing the ridiculous trope that it’s always the bigger man that does.

I also appreciate that both men were a little older, Bram being almost 50 and Gael 29. Plus, Bram was just one of the most lovable leads I’ve read in a while. So were Geal and Aavi, but Bram stole the show for me. All in all, I really loved this. I don’t hand out a lot of 5-stars, but To See the Sun deserves one.