Against the Tide by John Ringo

Published: 2005

Genre: a mashup of science fiction and historical fiction

Length: 400 pages

Setting: 36th century Earth

Interest: It’s the third book in the Council Wars series, following Emerald Sea. I enjoyed the first two books (they hit all the right buttons for me), so I was thrilled to see this in the library.

Summary: New Destiny is trying to beat the UFS forces, this time by sea. The Naval officers have no idea how to run a war, so Edmund (with the help of Herzer) takes over and has to redevelop the whole Navy and push back an invasion fleet. There are some setbacks – it doesn’t help when Herzer’s carrier has to be diverted to pick up a new council member. Megan managed to kill Paul and get the harem out. Megan and Herzer also fall instantly in love. There’s a big battle at the end that the good guys barely manage to win.

Final thoughts: Just as good as the other two – I could hardly put it down. Battles and drama and good characters and cool tech and genetic modifications.

Title comes from: The story focused on naval battles and they tried to turn back the invasion forces of New Destiny

Reading challenges fulfilled: None since this was a review of a book read in a previous year.

If you’re interested in purchasing the book, you can click on the cover image to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!

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What I Will Be Reading #13

I’ve been banging away at my reading list, and it almost got down to a single column of text. No fears of running out of books to read though. I found a few new books to add to my reading list. They include:

The Knowledge: How to Rebuild Our World from Scratch by Lewis Dartnell. I found this book through a GeekDad. I’m not a survivalist, but I do believe in reasonable planning. I also like to be able to do things myself, without having to rely solely on getting essentials from the store. This book sounded like it would be a nice addition to my bookshelf.

The Wise Man’s Fear: The Kingkiller Chronicle: Day Two by Patrick Rothfuss. I just finished the first book in the series (The Name of the Wind) and loved it, so of course I’m going to read the next one.

And the Skylark Sings with Me – Adventures in Homeschooling and Community-Based Education by David Albert. I found this one from reading Natural Born Learners: Unschooling And Autonomy In Education. It’s all about a family’s adventure into child-led learning and away from school-based learning. Sounds interesting and appropriate to read.

And those are my new books – any others I should add to my list?

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The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

Subtitle: Kingkiller Chronicle: Day One

Published: 2007

Genre: epic fantasy

Length: 662 pages

Setting: the Commonwealth

Interest: I found Rothfuss’ blog when he did a Worldbuilders fundraiser. He talks about Kvothe and Bast frequently and has a fair bit of merchandise to go along with the book. I decided it was time to finally read the book, after hearing about it so often.

Summary: Kvothe is currently an innkeeper in the backwoods of the Commonwealth. Chronicler arrives one day and convinces Kvothe to tell him the true story of his life. Kvothe is a Ruh and was born into a well-respected troupe. He was uncommonly smart and wanted to go to the University one day. His parents were killed by the Chandrian, whom most believe to be a fairy tale. He eventually makes it to the University and manages, against all odds, to be accepted and pass through the ranks swiftly. To help support himself, he plays the lute in nearby taverns, which is where he runs into Denna. She’s in and out of his life as he continues his studies.

Final thoughts: This is my kind of book. I was sucked into the world from the start and couldn’t put it down, which can be a problem with a 600+ page book. There is magic in the world, with logical rules (Harry Potter’s world bothers me because there’s no rules to the magic). Kvothe is pretty smart and usually comes out ahead in an altercation, but not always. There is a big story in Kvothe’s life. We see how he ends up (as an innkeeper, waiting for death), but only the first part of how he got to that point. I can’t wait to read more.

Title comes from: Kvothe’s goal in the University is to learn the Name of the wind so it does what he commands. He speaks it once unconsciously, but still needs more training to do it on a conscious level. The subtitle comes from the fact this is the first day (he allotted three to Chronicler) of telling his story.

Awards won: the Quill Award in 2007 and the Alex Award in 2008

Reading challenges fulfilled: 56/100 in my 100 Book Challenge, and an N in my title Alphabet Soup challenge

If you’re interested in purchasing the book, you can click on the cover image or subtitle to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!

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A Wind in the Door by Madeline L’Engle

Published: 1973

Genre: YA science fiction

Length: 211 pages

Setting: around the Murry’s house, a few years after the events of A Wrinkle in Time

Interest: It was Mr. Curiosity’s bedtime story that I happily agreed to read again.

Summary: Charles Wallace is having problems. He’s off to Kindergarten and doesn’t fir in well because of his intellect. He also has a problem with his mitochondria that makes him very tired all the time Meg and Calvin are recruited by the Teacher Blejany to help Charles Wallace. Turns out, the Echthroi are trying to X Charles Wallace’s farandolae (they live inside mitochondria) to kill him. To protect Charles Wallace, Meg (with the help of Calvin and the cheribum Proginoskes) needs to name their horrid principal, Mr. Jenkins, convince the farandola Sporos to Deepen, and save Mr. Jenkins from possession by the Echthroi.

Final thoughts: I love these books. Meg makes for a great everywoman protagonist. She’ doesn’t do her heroics because she’s brave or has special powers, but because she cares for others. She’d rather someone else do it, but if she’s all there is, she’ll do what needs to be done. I’m sure I didn’t get all the nuances of the story when I was young, but it made an impression on me. I love L’Engle’s writing style as well. She brings you right into the conflict between good and evil, and you aren’t quite sure that good will win.

The book made a good read-aloud. The chapters were usually too long to read in one night, but the writing is clear and keeps you on the edge of your seat most nights. Nothing too scary, though.

Title comes from: It’s the name of the last chapter in the book. I believe it refers to how Meg filled the Echthroi and saved Charles Wallace

Reading challenges fulfilled: 55/100 in my 100 Book Challenge.

If you’re interested in purchasing the book, you can click on the cover image to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!

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The Search for Delicious by Natalie Babbitt

Published: 1969

Genre: middle grade fantasy

Length: 167 pages

Setting: the Kingdom, equivalent to the Middle Ages

Interest: It was recommended by the Modern Mrs. Darcy, based on some books I said I enjoyed. I posted the details in this What I Will Be Reading post. Yes, I read two of her recommendations in a row.

Summary: DeCree, the Prime Minister, is creating a dictionary for the land. Each definition provides an example of what the word represents. That’s all well and good, until he gets to the entry for “delicious.” No one can agree on the type of food that is the paragon of deliciousness, and everyone in the city starts fighting about it. Gaylen, DeCree’s Special Assistant, is sent throughout the Kingdom to poll everyone on what they consider to be delicious. Unfortunately, riding out ahead of him and stirring up trouble, is Hemlock. Hemlock wants to depose the King and rule instead. He dams up the river at the source. However, Gaylen is able to get the mermaid’s help in breaking the dam. Once the water is flowing again, everyone is able to agree that “Delicious is a cool drink of water when you’re very, very thirsty.”

Final thoughts: A sweet book. I could tell it was almost 50 years old because the tension and strife in the story weren’t really all that tense. Gaylen gets to go on a journey through the kingdom and find the wold dweller, dwarfs, and mermaids which most people didn’t believe still existed. He makes the good choices and is able to save the kingdom. This would make a good bedtime story for a younger child. The chapters are short, nothing is too scary, and everything comes out right in the end.

Title comes from: It describes Gaylen’s quest and the reason for his journey throughout the Kingdom

Reading challenges fulfilled: 54/100 in my 100 Book Challenge.

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Grave Peril by Jim Butcher

Published: 2001

Genre: urban fantasy

Length: 436 pages

Setting: Chicago, present day

Interest: It’s the third book in the Dresden Files series, following Fool Moon.

Summary: Something has been making the ghosts restless. To keep things safe, Harry enlists the aid of Michael, a true White Knight. At one point, Harry goes into Nevernever and is nearly caught by his godmother, a faerie to whom Harry promised his life during a previous crisis. There is a Nightmare running around eating psychic pieces of people, and Harry is invited (as a representative of the Wizard’s Council) to the ascension of Bianca to the Red Court of the vampires. While they know it’s a set-up, Harry and Michael go to the party anyways. They are able to figure out what the Nightmare is and who’s been riling up the ghosts. Harry is captured and Michael’s pregnant wife is attacked, but Harry is able to make it all right in the end.

Final thoughts: As per usual, some fun urban fantasy. I like how time passes between books, and the events of the story zip by. Not much downtime in this story! I also like how the vampires are a bit different from in other books (particularly the Laurell K. Hamilton vampires), and each court has different powers. For example, a Red Court vampire can drug a human with its saliva.

Title comes from: Ghosts are causing lots of problems, particularly the ghost of a sorcerer Harry helped capture, putting Harry in danger.

Reading challenges fulfilled: None since this was a review of a book read in a previous year.

If you’re interested in purchasing the book, you can click on the cover image to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!

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Fables Volume 14: Witches

Published: 2010

Genre: comic book compilation, fairy tales

Length: 184 pages

Setting: New York City and the Farm, present day

Interest: I’ve read all the other volumes and loved them, so of course I read this one when I had the chance.

Summary: There’s a couple of storylines we follow in this volume. In one, we see how The Dark was initially captured. Totenkinder wants to try to capture him again, but it requires that she return to her earlier form of Bellflower. Medea is sent to keep tabs on The Dark. The business office has been disassociated from its door, so Bufkin is trapped there with all the monsters who were trapped in the well. He has to figure out how to kill Baba Yaga and trap a djinn. The last two issues were about a baseball game in Haven that lead to a goblin eating another Haven resident, which meant Ambrose would have to figure out a way to resolve that conflict.

Title comes from: The series is called Fables because the characters in the comics are characters from our fables. The volume was called Witches because it focused on the witches of Fablehaven and how they would address The Dark.

Reading challenges fulfilled: None since this was a graphic novel, not a book.

If you’re interested in purchasing the book, you can click on the cover image to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!

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