Tag Archives: published: 2015-09

Witches of Lychford by Paul Cornell

Witches of Lychford

Book Info

Title: Witches of Lychford
Author: Paul Cornell
Published: September 8, 2015
Pages: 144
Publisher: Tor.Com
Publisher’s Website: link
Rating: ★★★

Review

The people of Lychford are divided over something that could change their little town forever: a major supermarket chain wants to open up a storefront. Emotions run high on both sides–those who see it was a step forward for Lychford and those who feel like it goes against everything their town has become. But Judith Mawson, seen by many as the village crackpot, knows the truth: the threat is much bigger than anyone realizes. In order to do anything about it, however, she’s going to need to enlist others. Enter Lizzie, the new vicar, still in mourning over a lost love, and Autumn, Lizzie’s former friend, an agnostic-turned-mystic. Not only will Lizzie and Autumn learn the truth about Lychford, they will also learn the truth about why they lost touch years ago. By uniting with Judith to save Lychford, they may just find the healing they both need at the same time.

I really wasn’t sure what to expect when I picked this one up, but I was pleasantly surprised. This is a complex, engaging, and well-developed urban (can I really call it “urban,” though?) fantasy tale with some twists that will keep you on the edge of your seat. The backstory here is rich, and it’s revealed over the course of the story in an almost seamless way. I can safely say this is one of my Hugo nominations for this year.

Big Bang Generation by Gary Russell

Big Bang Generation

Book Info

Title: Big Bang Generation (Doctor Who)
Author: Gary Russell
Published: September 8, 2015
Pages: 240
Publisher: Broadway Books
Publisher’s Website: link
Rating: ★★★

Review

Sometimes we need to be careful what we decide to seek. For Professor Horace Jaanson, who has studied ancient history all of his life, it’s finding the most important artifacts of the past, long lost and hidden. But sometimes those things are lost for a reason. And when Jaanson’s expedition is usurped by an unlikely band of explorers, he might start to regret his search. Things are more complicated than they seem and the leader of this newest group calls on an old friend, The Doctor, to help them sort out the mess–a mess that might actually lead to the end of the universe and all existence. After all, there is a reason the Ancients made their technology difficult to find in the first place…some things should be left alone.

It’s difficult not to enjoy an adventure with The Doctor, though I didn’t really feel like there was as much of his personality in this one as I would have liked. This is partly due to the very large cast of characters, keeping them all sorted, and sometimes trying to figure out how they pop in and out from scene to scene. The character of Bernice Summerfield is also a big personality, often taking charge of conversation but not always the situation. This was my first experience with her, so perhaps I wasn’t really prepared for that, either.

Overall, though, an enjoyable adventure with enough ties to the current incarnation of The Doctor to make it work.

[Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher via BloggingForBooks in exchange for an honest review.]

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Black Beauty by Constance Burris

I’m excited today to be a stop on the blog tour for Black Beauty by Constance Burris. I reviewed her book Coal in mid-August as part of the Diverse Book Tours program, and am glad to both be able to read and review more of her work!

Review

Black Beauty by Constance BurrisTitle: Black Beauty
Author: Constance Burris
Published: September 26, 2015
Pages: 176
Publisher: Constance Burris
Author Website: link
Rating: ★★★★☆

The youth of the Vista Apartments haven’t exactly had perfect childhoods–it’s not the best of neighborhoods–but they do the best they can for themselves. And all of them have been warned to avoid their neighbor, “Crazy” Jade. Voodoo priestess? Witch doctor? Witch? Depends on which person you ask. But there is definitely something about her that makes that warning one that everyone should heed for there are dire consequences for any to stumble too far into her path.

What an interesting read! The intersecting lives of everyone involved in this story make for a very interesting introduction to the world in which this all takes place–lots of background on everyone comes organically from learning how they connect together. And even though the main plot of the story builds to where a reader might think it would go, there are some unexpected twists at the end that definitely surprised me.

For those how have read Coal (which I definitely recommend), this also serves as a nice prequel. While it’s not set in the same place and time, it provides some important backstory…and I’ll just leave it at that. Personally, I would like to know what happens to some of the characters that we leave here…maybe they will show up again in the Everleaf series…

[Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.]

Author Profile

Constance Burris is on a journey to take over the world through fantasy, horror, and science fiction. Her mission is to spread the love of speculative fiction to the masses. She is a proud blerd (black nerd), mother, and wife. When she is not writing and spending time with her family, she is working hard as an environmental engineer in Oklahoma City.

Giveaway!

Constance is giving away two Amazon gift cards ($10 USD each) and two e-book copies of Black Beauty as a part of this tour. Sign up below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

To Love a Traitor by J.L. Merrow

To Love a Traitor by J.L. MerrowTitle: To Love a Traitor
Author: J.L. Merrow
Published: September 15, 2015
Pages: 167
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publisher Website: link
Rating: ★★★

In post-World War II London, George Johnson seems to be your average solicitor’s clerk looking for a room to rent. But there’s more to George than meets the eye. For one, that’s not his real name. And the reason he’s seeking the specific lodgings he’s chosen is so that he can investigate Matthew Connaught, a fellow lodger who served with his older brother during the war. The circumstances surrounding George’s brother’s death were questionable, and he’s recently learned there may have been betrayal involved. And if Matthew is the traitor, George intends to find out. But as George gets to know Matthew, he wonders if the man is capable of doing something so heinous…and he finds himself drawn to the man in very unexpected ways. But secrets can only be kept for so long, and eventually the truth will out…

I enjoy a nice historical romance, and this one definitely hit the spot. The investigative aspect, the subterfuge, and the way the relationship develops create an intertwining plot that makes for a uniquely original yet familiar-feeling story. Matthew is a great character that I truly enjoyed getting to know. He’s not only likable, but he’s fun-loving, noble, and deeply caring. The contrasts that exist in this story are stark when they need to be, and there’s a rich world in what is a relatively short novel.

Definitely recommend this one!

[Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.]

Breaking Up Point by Brian McNamara

Breaking Up Point by Brian McNamaraTitle: Breaking Up Point
Author: Brian McNamara
Published: September 14, 2015
Pages: 288
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
Publisher Website: link
Rating: ★★★

Brendan Madden is starting his first year at college away from home and is looking forward to the possibilities. He feels like the fresh start will provide him the opportunity to be open about who he is–and his sexuality–without needing to worry as much about what his family or his friends from home might think. Here, he won’t need to hide his relationship with Mark, his closeted boyfriend from back home, either. But college also provides many opportunities to see what one’s life could be like, to interact with and learn from other people, and to pursue one’s passions. And Brendan finds himself wondering if hiding himself–any part of his life–is holding him back from truly living. What if Mark decides to never come out? What if Brendan can’t tell his sisters that he’s gay? What if they react poorly? And what if he meets a guy on campus, there’s a mutual interest, and he wants to know what it’s like to be in a relationship that doesn’t need to be kept a secret? Perhaps, in his first year of college, Brendan will be forced to answer all of those questions and more.

I really enjoyed reading this. Brendan’s narration is a unique and authentic voice, one that I found really helped me get into the mindset of someone in his situation. There is so much that I think is relatable for anyone who has been through that similar life transition of getting to college and immediately feeling like they can be more open about various aspects of their lives. And the way Brendan approaches the situations he faces came across as very true to someone with his life experiences.

This is a sequel, though I didn’t really catch onto that until later in the book when I found myself wondering if some of the references being made might have more to them. That said, I don’t feel like not reading the previous book stood in the way of my enjoyment of this one (though, as with all sequels, it probably helps to have read it). This is also definitely a new adult text, both characterized by the age of the main character and also the fact that some more adult themes do come up in a couple of places.

This is definitely worth a read. It’s quick and entertaining, while also having some real depth and emotion to it at the same time.

[Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.]

Archmage by R.A. Salvatore

Archmage by R.A. SalvatoreTitle: Archmage (Homecoming, Book 1)
Author: R.A. Salvatore
Published: September 1, 2015
Pages: 384
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
Publisher Website: link
Rating: ★★★

The story of the returned Companions of the Hall continues in the start of a new series. Having been victorious in the war with the orcs, Bruenor Battlehammer is prepared to lead the dwarves back go Gauntlgrym to reclaim it for their people. But Drizzt and company cannot let their guard down. Even when further victories are in sight, there are forces in the Underdark that are still moving against him…and their plans don’t even seem anywhere close to finished.

I was totally pulled back into this storyline when I read the Companions story during The Sundering, and I have been continuing with the Drizzt books ever since. They are the type of high fantasy that got me reading the genre many years ago, and I enjoy being able to go back to my roots a bit with a fresh perspective.

This was a slow mover. Like really slow. Though that’s been the trend with the past couple of stories here. In part, I think it stands out because it’s in contrast to the books that came right before, which were full of action (interspersed with the various political maneuverings of the drow). But it’s still clear this is moving toward something. And I’m looking forward to whatever epic scene is yet to come.

[Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.]