adventure

The King is Dead in “Theft of Swords”

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Theft of Swords by Michael J. Sullivan
Orbit: November 23, 2011
Genre: Fantasy
Source: Free From Library

Beach Vacation
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Theft of Swords is a pretty traditional fantasy read. There’s adventures and sword fights and a dash of magic thrown in for good measure. If you enjoy more descriptive works in the fantasy genre Theft of Swords is likely to appeal. For those who appreciate a greater depth of characterization, you may want to approach with caution.

Royce Melborn, a mysterious master thief, and his equally enigmatic mercenary partner, Hadrian Blackwater, have been contracted to steal a sword. Unfortunately the theft does not go as planned and the duo are implicated in the murder of the king. So, naturally, they kidnap the new king, with the help of the new king’s sister. Politics, they just got more exciting. (more…)

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The Lyre Thief

21895680The Lyre Thief by Jennifer Fallon
Genre: High Fantasy
HarperCollins / Voyager: March 1, 2016
Source: Free from publisher and library

Outstanding Adventure!
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Jennifer Fallon always delivers complex and fast-paced fantasies, and I loved this book at least as much as her other works set in the world of the Hythrun Chronicles, if not more. The characters are complex, the narrative voices distinct, the action tense, and the plot tightly woven.

The Lyre Thief continues the story of the Demon Child… sort of. The heroines are really two half-sisters, who are also half-sisters of the high-maintenance and clever High Princess of Fardonhya who played a supporting role in the Demon Child trilogy. this is a complex fantasy that brings together the politics of several countries within a continent, mixes them with the gods of thieves, death, love, and lies, and tells the intimate stories of several individual characters.

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Swashbuckling Adventure with “Delilah Dirk”

17261174.jpgDelilah Dirk & the Turkish Lieutenant by Tony Cliff
First Second: August 27, 2013
Genre: Adventure; Historical Fiction
Source: Free From Library

I’d go there again!
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Delilah Dirk is a graphic novel that has been on my radar for a while. I loved the idea of an adventurous young woman taking her sidekick on a wild ride. The fact that Delilah Dirk is also a historical graphic novel, also very much caught my eye.

Set in 1805, Constantinople, Mr. Selim is a lieutenant in the Turkish Army, and he’s arguably not a very good one, preferring calm interspersed with cups of tea. When Miss Dirk is arrested and he comes into contact with her as one of his jailers, Selim is reluctantly intrigued. When Delilah stages a explosive escape and Selim is thought to be complicit, he has no other choice but to join Delilah in her adventures despite his unadventurous spirit. (more…)

Not Stepping Into These Woods: “Empire of Night”

21480854Empire of Night by Kelley Armstrong
HarperCollins: April 7, 2015
Genre: Fantasy
Source: Free From Library

I’d go there again!
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Empire of Night is Kelley Armstrong’s second book in her Age of Legends trilogy, and it’s a book that leaves me anxiously awaiting the final installment’s publication.

Empire of Night picks up soon after the events of the previous book, Sea of Shadows. Moria and Ashyn are more or less prisoners in the opulent court of the Emperor. Both young women are frustrated at the Emperor’s lack of action on behalf of the missing children of Edgewood. However, soon both Moira and Ashyn are able to strike out and discover the truth when they are sent by the Emperor to discover what Alvar Kitsune has done with the missing children.  (more…)

On the Run and in the Snow in “Darkness”

25246755Darkness by Karen Robards
Gallery Book: March 29, 2016
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Source: Free From Publisher

The view was nice, but the food was bad
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I’ve been on a bit of a romantic suspense kick as of late (see Shattered Duty), so Robards’ Darkness really appealed. Stranded on a desolate island in Alaska, plus a mysterious hot dude, what wouldn’t work? For me, something was missing. The setting and thriller elements were off the charts, but the romance was a little lackluster.

Dr. Gina Sullivan is an ornithologist studying the wildlife on Attu island and when a plane crashes pretty much right next to her, Gina finds herself battling memories of her own tragic plane crash and rescuing the lone survivor. Cal is the only survivor of the plane crash and when he refuses to give Gina information about himself or the crash and then turns his suspicion on her, Gina is ready to leave the guy the freeze. Then that pesky conscience intervenes. And before any real trust can build, Gina and Cal are on the run from some sketchy military type folks who are intent on killing any person that’s on the island. Let the games begin. (more…)

Space Adventure Goes Sideways in “Starflight”

21793182Starflight by Melissa Landers
Disney-Hyperion: February 2, 2016
Genre: Science Fiction
Source: Free from publisher

Beach Vacation
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Space adventure? Count me in!

When I heard about Melissa Lander’s Starflight I was pretty darn excited. I am a huge fan of anything set in space and if there isn’t an over abundance of science-y things, that makes things even better (for me, at least). Facts matter not! Starflight was a fun, space-set adventure, perfect for readers looking for something fast-paced and entertaining.

Solara Brooks is a young woman with a past. She’s branded as a criminal and because of that she can’t get a job. Desperate times call for desperate measures and Solara indentures herself to former classmate, Doran Spaulding, so that she can get passage aboard a ship. Doran had made Solara’s high school life…not pleasant and doesn’t do much better now that she’s working for him (and I do mean that she works, she’s doing his laundry, fetching his meals etc. I thought the whole servant thing would be more problematic than it was). Of course, the tide turns when Doran’s framed for a crime he didn’t commit and now has to rely on the very woman that he’d rather ignore. Space adventure gone sideways.
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Spies at the Congress of Vienna in “Vienna Waltz”

9341394Vienna Waltz by Teresa Grant
Kensington: April 1, 2011
Genre: Historical Mystery
Review Source: Free from library.

Outstanding Adventure!
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Vienna Waltz is a historical mystery set at the Congress of Vienna in November 1814. Our principle investigators are married duo Malcolm and Suzanne Rannoch. Malcolm is part of the British convoy of diplomats attending the Congress with Lord Castlereagh; he’s part attaché and part spy. Suzanne has her own skill set and proves to be a valuable asset when Princess Tatiana, a woman rumoured to be the mistress of some of the most powerful men at the Congress, is found murdered.

Teresa (a.k.a. Tracy) Grant has been on my radar for a long while; however, I’ve always been hesitant to pick up the series since it has a very strange publication order. Originally, the series began with Malcolm and Suzanne as Charles and Melanie Fraser. Later, the author changed publishers and the characters changed into their existing form. Basically what I was worried about is how exactly I should read these books. Luckily, the author has shared a handy guide on her website and gives readers a recommended reading order. It’s this reading order that I’ve decided to go with. (more…)

“Clockwork Samurai” Disappoints

25014330Clockwork Samurai by Jeannie Lin
InterMix: December 1, 2015 
Genre: Steampunk
Review Source: Free from publisher.

The view was nice, but the food was bad (meh).
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Clockwork Samurai is the second in Jeannie Lin’s Gunpowder Chronicles. I really enjoyed the first book, steampunk fan that I am so I was thrilled to get my hands on an advance copy of the next installment.

Clockwork Samurai takes place a year after the events in book one; Soling is working as a physician and has attracted the notice of the drug addicted Emperor. Chang-wei continues to work with the Ministry of Engineering and to encourage the Emperor to consider an alliance with the Japanese. When the Emperor agrees, Chang-wei embarks on a covert assignment in Japan to seek out a man that Soling’s father was in contact with before his death. Seeking to escape the politics of court, Soling accompanies Chang-wei, much to his chagrin. (more…)

A Desperate Fortune: Captivating Dual Timeline Romance

22221136A Desperate Fortune by Susanna Kearsley
Sourcebooks Landmark: April 7, 2015
Genre: Dual Time Historical Fiction
Review Source: Free from publisher

I’d go there again!
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It’s no secret: I love Susanna Kearsley‘s books. They share a place in my heart with Sara Donati‘s books.

A Desperate Fortune follows two women: modern-day Sara Thomas, who has Asperger’s Syndrome, and Mary Dundas, a second generation Jacobite exile. Sara’s story and Mary’s story, which both begin in the same town in France, are intertwined as Sara reads and translates Mary’s diary.

A natural programmer and cryptanalyst, Sara leaves her job because they want her to work with a team, which is something she refuses to do (because of a past betrayal). Her cousin, a slightly older woman, who has been her champion and best friend all her life, sets her up with a temporary position decrypting Mary’s diary. As she settles into the little town and to work decrypting the diary, Sara meets the local residents, including a young divorced father, Luc, his son, Noah, and Noah’s mother, the cook where Sara is staying. Both Luc and Noah help Sara with her research. As the days and weeks pass, she begins to care about the family, but especially Luc. Hiding her Asperger’s is a challenge, but Luc and Noah help her realize that the people who deserve her love are the ones who love her for herself.  (more…)

Feminism vs. Time Travel in ‘Weighing Shadows’

weighing shadows Weighing Shadows by Lisa Goldstein
Night Shade Books: November 3rd, 2015 (Science Fiction)

Review copy provided by the publisher via Edelweiss

Outstanding Adventure!
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Fellow Book Adventurers, the only thing I did not like about this book was that there wasn’t enough of it.

I’d read Goldstein before – The Red Magician, which I reviewed a year ago, opened my eyes to Jewish magic, set in the Holocaust. With Weighing Shadows now behind me, I am determined to catch up on everything she’s written.

Ann Decker, our heroine, is a loner. A foster child with a difficult past, she employs her hacking skills at a small computer maintenance shop, fixing customers’ computer problems. Until the day she is followed home by a strange woman, who, even more strangely, offers her a job. Intrigued, Ann goes through the interview process and accepts the job – even though she is not told what the job is until after she accepts . (Demonstrating a surprising lack in survival skills here, but we can ignore that).

Turns out, this organization time travels. Purportedly to fix the past so in the future humans don’t destroy the world. So, as you might expect, she’s really excited about going on her first assignment, to ancient Crete. Society is matriarchal, with a queen who takes a consort for seven years (the Minos), before sacrificing him to the goddess, Kore. Unfortunately for Ann’s time-traveling team, things go wrong. Before she can blink, they’ve been arrested on suspicion of treason. On the trip, Ann encounters another time-traveler, one who warns her that the Company is not at all benign.

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