Monday, February 18, 2019

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers, #1)The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow! Fun, funny, thoughtful, exciting....

This was a treat! I really enjoyed to worldbuilding Chambers put into this, and the layered backstories of the characters, along with the varied cultures and attitudes of the alien cultures. It's episodic qualities made it feel like a full season (seasons!) of a really good SF show. More, please!


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Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Star Wars Omnibus: Shadows of the Empire by Steve Perry

Star Wars Omnibus: Shadows of the EmpireStar Wars Omnibus: Shadows of the Empire by Steve Perry
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Fun adventure in the time of the "Legends." Lots of different episodes, and the introduction of the nefarious "Black Sun" criminal syndicate.


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Cloak by S.D. Perry

Cloak (Star Trek: Section 31, #1)Cloak by S.D. Perry
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Nice TOS introduction to Section 31. picked this up on one of the Trek discount sales - didn't know what to expect, but it was a nice "original Trek" story which only glanced off of Section 31 - I appreciated the subtle touch, as well as the great original series call outs and characterizations.


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Relic by Alan Dean Foster

RelicRelic by Alan Dean Foster
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Charming story about the last man in the universe, a "relic" preserved and treasured by the aliens who resecued him.


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Monday, January 21, 2019

How Not to Get Shot: And Other Advice From White People by D.L. Hughley

How Not to Get Shot: And Other Advice From White PeopleHow Not to Get Shot: And Other Advice From White People by D.L. Hughley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Funny, thought-provoking, timely.

His summation (sorry if this is a spoiler): "Don't be black."


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The Space Merchants by Frederik Pohl

The Space Merchants (The Space Merchants, #1)The Space Merchants by Frederik Pohl
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Very prescient. A crazy future world where advertising *rules*. Can you imagine it. (Oh, guess I don't need to).


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Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Lost Souls by David Mack

Lost Souls (Star Trek: Destiny #3)Lost Souls by David Mack
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“We can fight for hope, or we can give in to despair. The choice is yours, Jean-Luc. Let me know what you decide.”

Thrilling conclusion! An interesting sweep of time telling us how the Borg became what they became. And reflections on love as well! And more than a few good quotes!


" Don’t mistake optimism for foolishness or compassion for weakness.

With patience and courage, this can become a time of hope. As long as we remain united, we will emerge from these dark and hideous days into a brighter tomorrow, and we will do so stronger, wiser, and safer than we were before. Together, we can become the future that we seek and build the galaxy we want to live in. It will not come about quickly or easily. But until it does, never flinch, never weary, and never despair.


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Monday, January 07, 2019

Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson

Leonardo da VinciLeonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Daunting! Inspiring! Fascinating!

This is one of those books that - over the lonnnng time it takes to finish (even as an *audio* book) - puts me in the mode of telling people all the "things I learned about Leonardo!" at the drop of a hat - any hat.

Alfred Molina's excellent reading paired well with Isaacson's exhaustive recounting of da Vinci's life. There is so much to tell! So much accomplished! So much abandoned! There's no bottom to the well of amazing things da Vinci tried to do - even when he failed or gave up, he broke new ground.

Isaacson's final words (read by the author) are particularly inspiring - not promising that we can *be* a Leonardo, but challenging us to follow his example of boundless curiousity. To which I can only add "Amen!"


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Friday, January 04, 2019

Astounding: John W. Campbell, Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, L. Ron Hubbard, and the Golden Age of Science Fiction

Astounding: John W. Campbell, Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, L. Ron Hubbard, and the Golden Age of Science FictionAstounding: John W. Campbell, Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, L. Ron Hubbard, and the Golden Age of Science Fiction by Alec Nevala-Lee
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

"Astounding" - not just the book (or magazine) title - it's a good description of this remarkable book.

Following the career of John W. Campbell and how he managed the magazine "Astounding" (now known as "Analog") and nurtured (even directed) the careers of many notables of the so-called Golden Age of Science Fiction. Arcing through history, through the depression, WWII and on to the 60's, it's a good survey of SF, and the culture around it. Sometimes I felt like I learned more about favorite authors than I wanted to know - but it's an excellent survey for anyone interested in SF.


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Monday, December 31, 2018

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Vol. 8: My Best Friend's Squirrel by Ryan North

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Vol. 8: My Best Friend's SquirrelThe Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Vol. 8: My Best Friend's Squirrel by Ryan North
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

USG meets the Silver Surfer! She steals his board! Doreen never disappoints!!


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Friday, December 28, 2018

Things That Make White People Uncomfortable by Michael Bennett

Things That Make White People UncomfortableThings That Make White People Uncomfortable by Michael Bennett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Powerful, inspirational - funny at times, and very meaningful. Recommended!! Do not miss it!


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Tuesday, December 25, 2018

The Poison Squad: One Chemist's Single-Minded Crusade for Food Safety at the Turn of the Twentieth Century by Deborah Blum

The Poison Squad: One Chemist's Single-Minded Crusade for Food Safety at the Turn of the Twentieth CenturyThe Poison Squad: One Chemist's Single-Minded Crusade for Food Safety at the Turn of the Twentieth Century by Deborah Blum
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Excellent - the history of the fight to regulate food and drugs. A battle that is clearly still being waged.


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Monday, December 17, 2018

Star Trek Prometheus: In the Heart of Chaos by Christian Humberg

Star Trek Prometheus: In the Heart of ChaosStar Trek Prometheus: In the Heart of Chaos by Christian Humberg
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Fun, satisfying conclusion to a nice trilogy.

Rage, faith manipulated to fuel terrorism, prejudice exploited... where do SF writers get these crazy ideas? (Well, maybe ... the news?)

A nice ending with some nice twists and turns. I enjoyed this trilogy - the first Trek books translated *from* German for English readers. I like the crew of the Prometheus (and the ship, too) - I hope they get a chance to continue their adventures!


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Star Trek Prometheus: In the Heart of Chaos by Christian Humberg

Star Trek Prometheus: In the Heart of ChaosStar Trek Prometheus: In the Heart of Chaos by Christian Humberg
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Fun, satisfying conclusion to a nice trilogy.

Rage, faith manipulated to fuel terrorism, prejudice exploited... where do SF writers get these crazy ideas? (Well, maybe ... the news?)

A nice ending with some nice twists and turns. I enjoyed this trilogy - the first Trek books translated *from* German for English readers. I like the crew of the Prometheus (and the ship, too) - I hope they get a chance to continue their adventures!


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Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Mere Mortals by David Mack

Mere Mortals (Star Trek: Destiny #2)Mere Mortals by David Mack
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

More adventures in a large arc of Trek's war against the Borg.


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Sunday, December 09, 2018

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Vol. 7: I've Been Waiting for a Squirrel Like You

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Vol. 7: I've Been Waiting for a Squirrel Like YouThe Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Vol. 7: I've Been Waiting for a Squirrel Like You by Ryan North
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Dinosaurs!! Ultron! Doombots and romance for Nancy!?

Also - lots of Computer Science humor!

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Saturday, December 08, 2018

The Consuming Fire by John Scalzi

The Consuming Fire (The Interdependency, #2)The Consuming Fire by John Scalzi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Mean people, treachery, complicated backstabbing - what's not to like?

Scalzi continues his Interdependancy series in fine style. Plenty of plot twists, interesting ideas and more. Now I just have to wait for the next one....

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Friday, November 30, 2018

Star Trek Prometheus: The Root of All Rage by Christian Humberg

Star Trek Prometheus: The Root of All RageStar Trek Prometheus: The Root of All Rage by Christian Humberg
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

On and into more mystery....

The Federation and their (hotheaded) Klingon allies seek an answer to the mystery of attacks and terrorism seeming to originate from a previously reclusive race, the Renao. Humberg and Perplies do a good job taking old canon (Spock, Lwaxana Troi, et al) and weaving it with their crew of the Prometheus. And next, we'll see how the sort it all out.....


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Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Almost Everything: Notes on Hope by Anne Lamott

Almost Everything: Notes on HopeAlmost Everything: Notes on Hope by Anne Lamott
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hope. It's what we need.

Refreshing, honest as always. This is a good and thoughtful book, again, as always. I enjoy Lamott's quiet and quirky faith - it gives me something to aspire to.


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Friday, November 16, 2018

Arabella and the Battle of Venus by David D. Levine

Arabella and the Battle of Venus (Adventures of Arabella Ashby #2)Arabella and the Battle of Venus by David D. Levine
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Excellent adventure of the steampunk-alt-history-regency variety!

I *think* I'd get more if I knew more *real* history, but still, this is a great swashbuckler! In a universe with wooden spaceships and Napoleon in exile on the Moon (till his escape), there is no limit to the action as Arabella fights to travel from Mars to Venus to rescue her fiance from a French prison camp. Lots of twists and turns in a terrific adventure!


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Tuesday, November 06, 2018

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Vol. 3: Squirrel, You Really Got Me Now by Ryan North

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Vol. 3: Squirrel, You Really Got Me NowThe Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Vol. 3: Squirrel, You Really Got Me Now by Ryan North
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Time travel!?! Dr Doom?? These are the greatest!


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The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Vol. 4: I Kissed a Squirrel and I Liked It by Ryan North

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Vol. 4: I Kissed a Squirrel and I Liked ItThe Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Vol. 4: I Kissed a Squirrel and I Liked It by Ryan North
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Computer Science!! It's *IN* there! Another great set of adventures for Doreen!


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Station Rage by Diane Carey

Station Rage (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, #13)Station Rage by Diane Carey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Classic DS9 from the early days - a nice plot with resurrected Cardassians sabotaging the station while other Cardassians assemble to deal with the loose ends said resurectees represent.


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The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Vol. 5: Like I'm the Only Squirrel in the World by Ryan North

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Vol. 5: Like I'm the Only Squirrel in the WorldThe Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Vol. 5: Like I'm the Only Squirrel in the World by Ryan North
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Canada! Ant-Man! Avengers! What's not to love!?!?


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Saturday, October 27, 2018

Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries by Kory Stamper

Word by Word: The Secret Life of DictionariesWord by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries by Kory Stamper
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In a word? Fascinating!

Stamper does a tremendous job making clear the mysterious (and complicated) world of lexicography. With humor she makes sure you'll never take a dictionary for granted again!


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Gods of Night by David Mack

Gods of Night (Star Trek: Destiny #1)Gods of Night by David Mack
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Complicated, interesting and mysterious!

Mack weaves a complicated story,weaving back and forth in time to introduce the Caeliar, what I think are going to be the anti-borg.


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Arabella of Mars by David D. Levine


Arabella of Mars (Adventures of Arabella Ashby, #1)Arabella of Mars by David D. Levine
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow!
This is really hard to describe - sword and planet, regency, steampunk, alt-history.... where to begin.

It's a remarkable concoction, with wooden spaceships plying the solar system - battles in space, fighting over inheritance, clockwork computers.... worth reading! Amazing.


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Monday, October 08, 2018

Enigma by Michael Jan Friedman

Enigma (Star Trek: Stargazer, #5)Enigma by Michael Jan Friedman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

More trials for young Cap'n Picard.....

A mysterious crew member, a mysterious enemy, a cantankerous admiral... the Stargazer saga continues. Good mysteries and characters in this prequel to the adventures of Captain Picard of the Enterprise.

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Sunday, October 07, 2018

Solo: A Star Wars Story by Mur Lafferty

Solo: A Star Wars Story (Expanded Edition)Solo: A Star Wars Story by Mur Lafferty
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Excellent adaption of the movie, terrific reading (as always) by Marc Thompson.

This novelization is a great example of how the movie tie-ins can work to turn a fun action movie into a very good SF story. When it works (and it does very well here) the author can add the logic, narrative and exposition a fast paced movie inevitably lacks. I love the background parts (Han's Imperial service, L3-37's awakening and transition) that are now in my mind's eye version of the movie.

Thompson as narrator does his usual job of creating - from one voice - a full cast of characters. His rendition Dryden Vos and Becket are particularly striking.

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Thursday, September 13, 2018

The Fated Sky by Mary Robinette Kowal

The Fated Sky (Lady Astronaut, #2)The Fated Sky by Mary Robinette Kowal
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow! I need more stars - five aren't enough.

Kowal completes her Lady Astronaut saga with the first human journey to Mars, in her alt-history of human spaceflight. She weave together a fabulous mix of issues - from race relations to climate denial to ... just read it - I can't begin to describe the blend she has skillfully created here.

I certainly hope this is not the end of this saga - but this is a fine and fitting capstone to the duology!

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Sunday, September 09, 2018

Oblivion by Michael Jan Friedman

Oblivion (Star Trek: The Next Generation: Stargazer, #4)Oblivion by Michael Jan Friedman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Guinan! A nice backstory for Guinan, and adventure for young Picard. Complicated and good multi-threaded story as Friedman fills in Picard's history as a young captain.

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Saturday, September 08, 2018

Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World – and Why Things Are Better Than You Think by Hans Rosling

Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World – and Why Things Are Better Than You ThinkFactfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World – and Why Things Are Better Than You Think by Hans Rosling
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Excellent - I can see why Bill Gates is giving copies to college students.

Rosling does a fabulous job of giving a clear eyed picture of facts, why we ignore them or are blind-sided by our prejudices. Read it!

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Saturday, September 01, 2018

Three by Michael Jan Friedman

Three (Star Trek: Stargazer, #3)Three by Michael Jan Friedman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

More history-of-Jean-Luc.....

Nice mix of adventure and character development on the Stargazer. A nice interleaved story line that had some good plot points and twists!

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Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Run Forever by Amby Burfoot

Run ForeverRun Forever by Amby Burfoot
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Thoughtful, useful - a great book for a runner of any level.


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The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Vol. 1: Squirrel Power by Ryan North

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Vol. 1: Squirrel PowerThe Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Vol. 1: Squirrel Power by Ryan North
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Yes! Along with Ms. Marvel Squirrel Girl gets my vote as the superhero I've been waiting for!

Funny, clever and more - this is terrific... on to volume two!!


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Wednesday, August 15, 2018

In the Empire's Service by Michael A. Stackpole

In the Empire's Service (Star Wars: X-Wing Rogue Squadron, #6)In the Empire's Service by Michael A. Stackpole
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Fun! Did you know that archive.org has books you can check out? Even comic... er, graphic novels?


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Progenitor by Michael Jan Friedman

Progenitor (Star Trek: The Next Generation: Stargazer, #2)Progenitor by Michael Jan Friedman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

More Picard! More adventure!

It's a race! Picard and a team endure a daunting race to assist his chief engineer. There's romance (of a sort), there's rescue... and meanwhile a nasty admiral keeps plotting against poor Picard....


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Sunday, August 12, 2018

A-Force, Volume 1: Hypertime by G. Willow Wilson

A-Force, Volume 1: HypertimeA-Force, Volume 1: Hypertime by G. Willow Wilson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Pretty fun adventure, even if it had my head spinning!


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The Force Awakens by Chuck Wendig

The Force Awakens (Star Wars)The Force Awakens by Chuck Wendig
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Nice adaption of the movie.

Hard to fault it - the story is told and shown, not a lot of room for change.

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Mr. Monk Goes to Hawaii by Lee Goldberg

Mr. Monk Goes to Hawaii (Mr. Monk, #2)Mr. Monk Goes to Hawaii by Lee Goldberg
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Say Aloha to Mystery!

That works *both* ways - "hello," since this is chock-full of mysteries for Monk to solve AND "goodbye," since Mr. Monk solves them all. This is yet another terrific entry in the Monk novels.

Seeing Mr. Monk try to manage life in the island paradise is fun - and funny. The mysteries are clever and "fair" - there are clues and satisfactory solutions. A good fun read!

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Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Gauntlet by Michael Jan Friedman

GauntletGauntlet by Michael Jan Friedman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Well, if Picard's coming back - what better time to read about his history?

This is a nice backstory showing Picard's beginning as a commander - as a CAPTAIN, that is - even younger than Kirk! It's a decent space opera yarn, and with details of crew and their development. On to the next one!

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Saturday, August 04, 2018

Proud: My Fight for an Unlikely American Dream by Ibtihaj Muhammad

Proud: My Fight for an Unlikely American DreamProud: My Fight for an Unlikely American Dream by Ibtihaj Muhammad
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Inspiring story!

Muhammad tells an amazing story - how she became an Olympian, to say nothing of a Barbie doll! Worth reading!

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Friday, August 03, 2018

Thrawn: Alliances by Timothy Zahn

Thrawn: AlliancesThrawn: Alliances by Timothy Zahn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Past, Present and Future in a tapestry.

Timothy Zahn is one of the few authors in Star Wars who can push the GFFA from space-fantasy to real nuts-and-bolts science fiction. And doing it with Thrawn is just amazing.... Thrawn continues to delight in his SherlockHolmesian brilliance - he's a great character in canon *AND* in "Legends!"

This story serves as a pre-prequel to Thrawn (that is if Thrawn is a prequel to this) - showing us Anakin and Thrawn's first meeting. Weaving their adventure (along with Padme) with the "present day" story of Vader and Thrawn dealing with an enemy in the wild regions - in a territory where their first meeting occurred. It's deftly done.

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Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Good News for a Change: How to Talk to Anyone about Jesus by Matt Mikalatos

Good News for a Change: How to Talk to Anyone about JesusGood News for a Change: How to Talk to Anyone about Jesus by Matt Mikalatos
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Mikalatos never disappoints. And he has range - from thoughtful fiction, interesting Bible translations, and more - I'm never sorry I pick up his books.

This is a thoughtful, respectful and contemporary guide for evangelism - worth reading for anyone looking for ideas, even if they aren't "evangelizing."

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Sunday, July 29, 2018

One Small Step by Susan Wright

One Small Step (Star Trek: Gateways, #1)One Small Step by Susan Wright
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

TOS to the max..... but more than TOS in the series.

This kicks off a multi-volume series of Trek adventures, covering multiple eras. Came into my library thanks to a the current back-list ebook special (all 8 books for $.99 each). I missed these when they first came out, so it's an interesting addition to my books.

This one covers the aftermath of "That Which Survives," and features a sneaky race that impersonates Losira's people, solely to swipe whatever technology they can acquire. Ends with a cliffhanger - a good way to keep you coming back to the series to find out what happens.

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Saturday, July 28, 2018

The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal

The Calculating Stars (Lady Astronaut, #1)The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Out of this world!

This book lands in "history" and "sf" for categories, since Robinette-Kowal does such an excellent job of weaving real history and experiences into her alt-history story of an early-50's international space program driven to give humanity a second chance. A meteor strike devastates the world - but leaves a legacy that will ruin humanity's future... unless they are able to establish human settlements on other planets.

The details of flight, history of WASP and human calculators is terrific - really unbeatable - I can't wait for the next installment.

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Sunday, July 01, 2018

Thor, Volume 1: The Goddess of Thunder by Jason Aaron

Thor, Volume 1: The Goddess of ThunderThor, Volume 1: The Goddess of Thunder by Jason Aaron
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So much about the Marvel Universe I don't know...
... But still, I really enjoyed this one - featuring Thor GODDESS - a very interesting outing for the defenders of Midgard. I'm sure if I knew *more* about these characters I'd get more out of it, but the authors do a good job moving the story along, and pulling the newbies (me) along. Thanks again, Amazon Prime for a free read... though I suspect it may lead me to more purchases.

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Saturday, June 30, 2018

The Clockwork Crown by Beth Cato

The Clockwork Crown (Clockwork Dagger, #2)The Clockwork Crown by Beth Cato
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

And, WOW again! Very enjoyable sequel to the Clockwork Dagger.

Cato does a great job through books creating a tapestry of a fantasy/steampunk adventure. The action continues and, as in the first book, the twists and turns are both surprising and satisfying. As noted, I hope she returns to this world again - it's a remarkable creation. The blend of SF and fantasy themes is really nicely crafted and enjoyable.

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Friday, June 29, 2018

The Clockwork Dagger by Beth Cato

The Clockwork Dagger (Clockwork Dagger, #1)The Clockwork Dagger by Beth Cato
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Quite a mix! I read this for a bit of steampunk, and found much more. Cato crafts a whole world, something like our Victorian era, with airships and more. It's a bit of an Anastasia story - with a lost princess and a kingdom wracked with war from rebels. And then there is the fantasy - the protagonist is a "medician" - something like a doctor, but drawing on a mystical power. A veteran of the war, she is seeking peace... but instead contends with assassins, hidden princess, and more cloak and dagger.

A fascinating world - I'd love to see more of it (well, I have the sequel - but I hope she'll do more!)

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Sunday, June 24, 2018

Fluency by Jennifer Foehner Wells

Fluency (Confluence, #1)Fluency by Jennifer Foehner Wells
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Interesting - my xenolinguistic sort of thing.

Ishould have finished this far sooner, but ... you know, when you have a Kindle your queue of "books being read" seems (at least mine) to grow without bound.

An interesting story of a NASA expedition to an abandoned alien ship. The linguist is critical to learning how the ship works and what can (and should) be done with it. A cliff hanger of course....

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