Honor Among Thieves – Rachel Caine and Anne Aguirre

Honor Among ThievesFrom the publisher, “Petty criminal Zara Cole has a painful past that’s made her stronger than most, which is why she chose life in New Detroit instead moving with her family to Mars. In her eyes, living inside a dome isn’t much better than a prison cell.

Still, when Zara commits a crime that has her running scared, jail might be exactly where she’s headed. Instead Zara is recruited into the Honors, an elite team of humans selected by the Leviathan—a race of sentient alien ships—to explore the outer reaches of the universe as their passengers.

Zara seizes the chance to flee Earth’s dangers, but when she meets Nadim, the alien ship she’s assigned, Zara starts to feel at home for the first time. But nothing could have prepared her for the dark, ominous truths that lurk behind the alluring glitter of starlight.”

I enjoyed this science fiction romp.  I would have preferred a bit less time at the beginning because I was eager for them to get to space and explore the galaxy.  But we did get to know Zara and part of why she was chosen to be an Honor and travel with Nadim, a young Leviathan.  Zara and Nadim connect quickly and that close bond was well written.  The reader is kept guessing about the true motive behind the Leviathan partnering with humans.  While the idea of traveling inside a living being is not new, this is a fine addition to this particular subgenre.  An engaging, enjoying ride into the depths of the galaxies.

eGalley review                                         Publication date 2.13.18

Posted in adventure, science fiction, Uncategorized

Winterfolk – Janel Kolby

WinterfolkAt one time, when Rain was a little child, she had a home and a mother.  Then she and her father lived in a car.  Now, they live in a tent in the woods outside of Seattle where they have been for several years.  Rain has learned to stay quiet and hidden to not bring attention to herself and the others who live in the woods.  One day, the city puts up notices that everyone will be banned from the woods and Rain’s future is more unsettled than ever.

The author focuses on one day in Rain’s life.  King, who protects and provides for Rain, takes Rain into Seattle for a shower, laundry, and food.  She experiences riding a bus for the first time and a visit to the public library.  All does not go as planned.  The two are chased and separated.  Rain runs from those that would help her.  The author guides the reader into seeing the world through the very sheltered and unaware life of teenager Rain.  It is a quick read but good and tells a story worth telling.

eGalley review                                           Publication date 2.6.18

Posted in gentle reader, realistic fiction, Uncategorized | Tagged

A Time of Love and Tartan: A 44 Scotland Street Novel – Alexander McCall Smith

A Time of Love and TartanIt was lovely to be back in Edinburgh among the folk of Scotland Street, and to catch up on what has been happening. Let’s see . . . Pat is tempted to get involved with Bruce again, Matthew and Elspeth are looking for help with the triplets, Bertie (dear, sweet, Bertie) is coping with life, Domenica and Angus are settling into married life, Big Lou is Big Lou. The big surprise involves Stuart and Irene. I love these people. They cope with the sort of trials we all have. Nothing traumatic happens. I can relax and read, knowing that everything will be all right in the end. It helps to have read the previous books, but one can enjoy the book without the back stories.

eGalley review                                                 Publication date 2.6.18

Posted in adult, gentle reader, realistic fiction | Tagged

The Oceans Between Stars – Kevin Emerson

The Oceans Between the StarsFrom the publisher, “It is Earth year 2223, but the Earth, along with the entire solar system, is gone.

Liam and Phoebe, having barely escaped our exploding sun with their lives, are in stasis for the decade-long journey to the rogue planet Delphi, where they hope to meet up with the rest of the human refugees, find help for their injured parents, and pass along the devastating things they discovered on Mars: that someone destroyed their world intentionally, and that that someone might still be after them, trying to finish the job.

Phoebe is carrying her own dark secret. One that finds her waking up secretly at various points in their journey, changing their path through space. One that will decide the fate of the human race, and many more besides. One that, very soon, she must reveal to Liam, whether he’s ready for the truth or not.”

This book follows the fantastic, Last Day on Mars, that must be read first.  Interdimensional travel can get a bit confusing as it is.  Phoebe’s secret past is revealed in the early chapters.  She deals with her moral conflict throughout their journey and rightly so.  Her character is perfectly complex.  Meanwhile, Liam is just plain fun to read.  Grit and determination combined with fast thinking helps him through situation after situation that would have been an end to anyone else.  The fate of the entire universe appears to be squarely on his shoulders.  This sequel is an exciting ride that continues this brilliant contribution to YA science fiction.  Highly recommend!

eGalley review                                    Publication date 2.13.18

Posted in adventure, highly recommend, science fiction, Uncategorized

A Dangerous Crossing – Rachel Rhys

A Dangerous CrossingThe government assisted-passage scheme designed to meet the needs of Australians for domestic help seemed heaven sent to Lily, an excellent way to leave her past behind. And Lily wasn’t the only one trying to escape the past. Her shipboard friends, Americans Eliza and Max; gentle, sweet Edward; Maria, a troubled Jewish refugee; and loud, boring, fascist, George, also had reasons to run and hide. This is a beautifully written novel. I was totally drawn in from the opening chapter, a scene from the end of the voyage. It is 1939, Sidney, Australia. A striking figure dressed in a fashionable green velvet suit, with a slim skirt, green leather shoes, fir stole, green hat with a veil covering the face, is being led down the gangplank, shackled, escorted by two policemen. And so, we know that a crime will be committed on the voyage. All through the book I was examining the characters, looking for motives, trying to figure it out. The descriptions of life aboard ship, the rooms, food, entertainment, separation of classes, were vivid and were so unlike a modern cruise ship. I was totally drawn into the scene, saw and felt what the characters saw and felt and could not put the book down. I highly recommend this book.

eGalley review                                                    Publication date 1.9.18

Posted in adult, highly recommend, historical fiction, Uncategorized | Tagged , ,

The Firemaker – Peter May

The FiremakerDr. Margaret Campbell is a total disaster. Sleep deprived after a long flight to Beijing, totally unaware of local customs and courtesy, the welcome banquet did not go well. And things went downhill from there. Margaret, a forensic pathologist, has come to Beijing for a series of lectures at the university, hoping to find distraction from her life in Chicago. Because her expertise is burn victims, she was asked to help with the autopsy of a burned body found in a city park, and then to assist police detective and newly appointed Section Chief, Li Yin, in the investigation. The culture clash between the two is monumental. This is the first book in an early series by Peter May, originally published in 1999, so if you are one of his fans, don’t expect the depth and atmospheric feeling of the Lewis Trilogy. That being said, I enjoyed it and look forward to the next book. It will be interesting to see his writing gradually mature.

eGalley review                                      Publication date 1.9.18

Posted in adult, mystery, Uncategorized | Tagged ,

The Outcasts of Time – Ian Mortimer

Outcasts of TimeDecember, 1348. John and William are slowly making their way home through a Devon countryside devastated by the black plague. Death is everywhere. The world is dark, bleak, without hope. John and William are infected and are without hope. They will surely die soon and fear they will pay for their sins in the afterlife. But they each hear a voice giving them a strange choice. They can go home and live their last 6 days with loved ones or choose to seek salvation through the centuries, living one day each 99 years. They choose to see the future. This is a rather strange book, with a tiny peek at the changing world every 99 years, seen through the eyes of a bewildered pair. Each day is painted in great detail, noting the changes in clothing, speech, technology, manners. I enjoyed the book, but I’m still trying to decide what to make of it. I suppose it is a morality tale, or maybe not. It surely is a new way to look at history.

eGalley review                                                       Publication date 1.2.18

Posted in adult, historical fiction, science fiction, Uncategorized | Tagged