Alphas: Origins by Ilona Andrews

I couldn’t do it. I’ve enjoyed some of the other Ilona Andrews books that I’ve read, but I couldn’t bring myself to like this one—not even a little bit. There are just some themes that should not be in fiction at all, and especially not mucking up decent SciFi and Fantasy.

And the number one theme that fits that category is the romance novel trope of Stockholm Syndrome.

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An Awesome Bundle of SciFi Books

Humble Bundle is doing an offer right now that I immediately had to purchase: Women of Science Fiction and Fantasy book bundle. At the lowest price point you get books like Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler and Kate Elliot’s Jaran. And since this is the Humble Bundle, you can pay as little as $1, and get some great books.

If you pay slightly more you’ll get Robin McKinley, more Octavia Butler, Elizabeth Hand, Jo Clayton, and others. And if you pay $15 or more you get even more books. This is a great deal for anyone who likes Science Fiction. I haven’t read every book in this bundle, but the ones I have are excellent. When I found out about this bundle I immediately went and paid for the top tier, as these are books I know I would want to read or re-read as the case may be.

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A Different Type of Urban Fantasy Series

InCryptid Series Review

InCryptid Series Review

Lately I’ve been filling my book shelves with urban fantasy books and I especially like reading books in a series. The benefit to a series is that if I like the characters and the books, there are more. I don’t have to wait. I hate waiting. 🙂 I first read the “October Daye” series by Seanan McGuire and when I ran out of books, I discovered her “Incryptid” series.

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Annoying Your Readers

The Twenty-Sided Sorceress Review

I’ve been reading the fast and fun series by Annie Bellet called The Twenty-Sided Sorceress series. I have read the first five books of this seven-book series. They are:

This is, as I said, a fast and fun series about a sorceress who is also a gamer. She plays Dungeons and Dragons, video games, and likes pop culture, especially nerdy pop culture. This means there are a lot of quips and quotes from a multitude of fantasy and scifi works. Fans, like myself, will enjoy the references and the apparent in jokes that she regularly works into the stories.

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Stealing Symbols & Souls Stole My Heart

There are some books that I wish would never end. I wish I could live in their world and follow the adventures of the characters forever. Stealing Symbols & Souls is one of those books. I started reading this book and couldn’t put it down. In fact, the way I got myself to put it down was by reminding myself that if I read it too fast it would be over. And since this is the first (hopefully) in a series of books about Stephanie Blackraven and her friends, there’s nothing yet to follow it. (Hint, Hint, D.T.…)

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Banished of Muirwood Book Review


When I first started reading this book I was pleased to see that it wasn’t just another cookie cutter high fantasy novel. The characters are interesting and the world is different enough from our world or other fantasy worlds to be engaging, but not so much that I was confused. It starts out like a coming of age story, with the main character, Maia, traveling with a hired killer called a kishion. She is either on the run or in hiding—it’s not clear which and has to make her way across some inhospitable lands to save herself and her kingdom.

But then confusingly, the timing would change and suddenly we’d be back seeing what her life was like as a young child and then growing up. After two or three abrupt shifts like that it becomes clear that she is reliving her past when she falls asleep. Those transitions are very rough, and I almost didn’t make it through the book because I didn’t understand what was going on. That type of writing device can be interesting, but it tends to jerk the reader out of the story. And I didn’t really like that.

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World War 97 Part 1

Update: Book Discontinued Prior to February 25, 2017

I just discovered that this book is no longer available for sale on Amazon, and I cannot find it anywhere. But I have left the review intact in case Mr. Normoyle reconsiders.

###Review of World War 97 Part 1

I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, and I was not disappointed. In fact, if there was any disappointment at all, it was that it’s a serial and I had to wait to read Part 2. The story starts out quickly with a character who is immediately engaging and interesting. It’s a fun surprise to learn that his brother is the president of the United States. So often books star the obvious people, and I’ve always wondered what it would be like to be a sibling of someone famous. Not that this book really answers that question…

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Mystery, SciFi, Alternate History—It’s All Here

Different World: A Gina Stone MysteryThis story is hard to describe. It’s an alternate history story, but it’s set in modern day Seattle. It’s a modern crime investigation, but the deaths are being discovered in the 1800s. It’s science fiction, but it’s also a murder mystery.

I started reading this book and immediately got hooked. The main character, Gina Stone, is engaging and interesting. She presents a believable portrait of a beleaguered police officer who has decided to take a less stressful job in a small town. It’s just that her small town is New Essex and it’s across a portal in a world where the American revolution never happened.

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Friends Change—More Great Space Opera

A few years ago I got to read and review the book Gift of Change by D. T. Sanders (Buy on Amazon). So when the sequel came out, I was intrigued.

From the very first page, Friends Change did not disappoint. It is just as fast-paced and fun as the first book, but with a lot more characterization.

Jason and Fallon Change A Lot

The change in the title of this story is not a misnomer. Jason and Fallon go through momentous changes in this book and come out at the end almost inhumanly different. Their lives are very scary and I would not want to live them, but reading about them sure is a lot of fun!

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Finished my Christmas Present—Peacemaker



Peacemaker
is the fifteenth book in the Foreigner series. And the protagonists for this book are Bren Cameron and Cajeiri the heir. It starts almost immediately where Protector leaves off, with a bit extra at the beginning and end.

I read this book as a Kindle ebook, so I realize that a lot of the issues I had were because of poor formatting in that version, but it still made it hard to finish completely.

But let me start at the beginning. The first 12% of the book (according to my Kindle) was exposition explaining how the characters got to the point we were at in the book. I realize that after 14 novels in a series, this type of thing is needed for people who haven’t been reading it since book one, like I have. But let me tell you, exposition gets very boring after a while. I struggled with completing that first section, and considered skimming until there was some action several times. But I did wade through it. If you’re going to skip, I recommend moving to when the train they are on gets to the Bujavid. It’s pretty boring up until that point.

The next portion of the book was the actual story. It jumped between Bren and Cajieri and was basically a build up to Cajieiri’s fortunate ninth birthday. There were three human children from the space station visiting Cajieiri and Jase-aiji was there from the station as well. Meanwhile Bren and his bodyguards are enlisted to clean up the assassins Guild.

If you’re wondering why the description is so sparse, it’s because the book was pretty sparse. There was very little from Jago, and even Bren didn’t have much action. Banichi had been injured in Protector and he was still injured in this book, and so that was repeated many times. Even the hijinks of the kids were pretty tame, as they were all on good behavior. The worst thing to happen was Cajieiri forgetting his birthday speech, and so making one up on the spot. Bren was hit in the head in the Guild operation, but other than being light headed, he was okay too.

The only other excitement was Cajieiri’s mother. But I won’t say what in case you want to read the book.

At the end of the book is another 8% of exposition in the form of a report from Geiji-ji and commented on by Bren. This report is basically a summary of the events leading up to book one in the series and then covering the actions that happened during the series. I honestly don’t know everything it covered, as I got bored again and stopped reading.

However, if you’re not already interested in Bren and Cajieiri, I would give this book a pass. I would have liked it more if there were either more action or less exposition, or best, both!