Category Archives: Book review

Utopia by Thomas More

Mr. Curiosity is studying medieval history this year. As part of his work, he’s reading several medieval pieces of literature. This was one of his choices for the year. I read the books alongside him.

Translated by: Robert M. Adams

Published: originally in 1516, this edition in 1975

Genre: classic philosophy

Length: 85 pages

Setting: Utopia, a medieval society

Summary: Short version: More’s description of a society set up to benefit all Continue reading

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The Realms of the Gods by Tamora Pierce

Miss Adventure got me reading the Protector of the Small series which takes place after the events in this series. I decided to make an effort to finish listening to this book (which I’ve had on my plate for months), the fourth book in the Immortals series.

Published: 1996

Genre: YA fantasy

Length: 347 pages

Setting: mostly the Divine Realms and a bit of Tortall, soon after the events of Emperor Mage

Summary: Short version: A final confrontation between the powers of Chaos and Order Continue reading

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Haunted by Sarah Gailey

Flamingo tongue on a sea fan

This is the VERY LAST short story in the Event Horizon 2017 collection of short stories highlighting authors who are eligible for the 2017 Campbell award for best new writer. Guess I need to find the 2019 version and start reading some newer stories!

Published: March, 2016 in Fireside Quarterly (you can read it for free at that link)

Genre: ghost story

Setting: a random house, present day

Summary: Short version: The origin and end of a haunted house Continue reading

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Smoke and Iron by Rachel Caine

This is the fourth book in the Great Library series. We borrowed it from a friend because the library only has the first three books.

Published: 2018

Genre: YA alternate history/fantasy

Length: 448 pages

Setting: Alexandria, immediately after the events of Ash and Quill

Summary: Short version: Jess and his friends make their move to remove the Archivist

Long version: Jess and Dario have put into play a scheme to get them back to Alexandria. They put it into lace without telling anyone else but Morgan, since she’s critical to its success. Morgan is sent back to the Black Tower where she makes contact with Eskander, a powerful Obscurist. Wolfe is sent back to prison and he works hard to not allow the setting to break him. Jess is impersonating Brendan, his twin, in order to have some freedoms in Alexandria. The others are prisoners on a ship, being taken back to Alexandria by Anit. They hijack the ship and get support from the King of Spain. In Alexandria, the goal is to minimize bloodshed and encourage Scholars to support a regime change. The Archivist has planned a Feast of Greater Burning and developed a dragon automaton to hold onto power. Jess and his allies disrupt those plans, although the Archivist escapes.

Final thoughts: Delightful, if not quite as compelling as the first few. I certainly devoured the book since I needed to know what happened next. The book is chock full of peril. It’s a constant driving to a final confrontation. Perhaps that’s why I felt a little let down at the end. There was so much build up that the conclusion felt anticlimactic. It didn’t help that the Archivist escaped. That felt like a cheat to require one more book. Also, I didn’t appreciate Brendan’s death at the end. I felt like the author knew someone important had to die, but it couldn’t be than main characters. Therefore, Brendan is elected to be the sacrificial lamb.

This book was told from everyone’s point of view. That differed from the previous books but was necessary because the characters were split up. I enjoyed Morgan and Khalila’s chapters best. Morgan continued to rail against the restrictions placed on Obscurists. She does learn there are limits to even her great powers. I was happy Eskander was able to fix her so she was no longer an energy vampire. Khalila’s arc went the other way. She kept moving into leadership roles without actively seeking them out. I fully expect her to become the next Archivist. I still wonder what Jess’s role in the Library hierarchy will be. Everyone else is wonderful at their field (perhaps excessively so – I get annoyed when all the wonderful people come together. Where are the average people?), but Jess doesn’t really have a specialty.

Title comes from: It follows the naming convention of the series. Otherwise, I’m not really sure.

Reading challenges fulfilled: book #29 for 2019

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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Oxygen by Carol Cassella

Mr. Curiosity came across this book as he was looking for something for himself and thought it sounded like a book I would enjoy. I was thrilled to put one of his recommendations on my TBR. I was looking for something non-fantasy to read, and thought this would fit the bill.

Published: 2008

Genre: medical thriller

Length: 288 pages

Setting: Seattle, Washington and Houston, Texas, present day

Summary: Short version: A child dies under Marie’s care and she is devastated Continue reading

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First Test by Tamora Pierce

This is the first book in the Protector of the Small series. Miss Adventure has been encouraging me to the read the series and I finally got around to starting it.

Published: 1999

Genre: middle grade fantasy

Length: 240 pages

Setting: Corus, the capital of Tortall, after the conclusion of the War of the Immortals in Pierce’s Immortals series.

Summary: Short version: Keledry experiences sexism after becoming the first girl to openly start page training Continue reading

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When Alya Met Rigel by S. L. Saboviec

Dixon Hill Lighthouse on San Salvador, Bahamas

This is the next short story in the Event Horizon 2017 collection of short stories highlighting authors who are eligible for the 2017 Campbell award for best new writer.

Published: May, 2016 at AE

Genre: science fiction short story

Setting: East Neptune Space Station, future

Summary: Short version: Alya meets Rigel when he steals an expensive item from her shop Continue reading

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