August 2019 — A Wrap-Up

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The Realms of the Gods by Tamora Pierce

The Tortall Universe is made up of several interlocked series. As you forge ahead, you keep meeting familiar characters from the previous books. It is nice to see that they are happy but they are written so as not to overshadow the protagonist of the book at hand. The Realms of the Gods is the last book in The Immortals Quartet. I reviewed it here.

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The Girl with the Windup Heart by Kady Cross

Another last book in another series. The covers for all the books in the Steampunk Chronicles are pretty. I reviewed it here.

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Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve

Since Peter Jackson was directing the movie, I thought I’d get a move on and start this series before I watched it. This is the first book in a quartet and it failed to make a lasting impression. Find my rant here.

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Terrier by Tamora Pierce

Another series within the Tortall series. I liked the first glance this one provided into the slums. I am going to read the others, but here’s the review for Terrier.

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Artemis Fowl and the Lost Colony by Eoin Colfer

Another great addition to the series where we are introduced to a possible love interest for Artemis. Minerva, if I remember correctly, is as smart as Artemis with one crucial difference, separating the two: she is still in the trying-to-take-over-the-world phase! And I know, Artemis may be too young for love, but I don’t think he is too young for crushes! Observe an exchange between the two:

‘That’s it? Do you want me to distract the bad man with some witty banter, like you do with Holly?’
‘No. That won’t be necessary. Just open your hand.’
‘Should I look scared?’
‘That would be appropriate.’
‘Good. Shouldn’t be a problem.’

Butler remains my most favorite character of the series. His hulking size and menacing manners belie how kind he can be. I loved this scene and couldn’t stop imagining how it’d look in a movie:

Artemis. I imagine the police are already on their way.’
‘Maybe you could just scare them a bit.’
Butler grinned. ‘My pleasure.’
The shooting stopped and the security door drooped slightly on its hinges. Butler ripped the door open smartly, yanking Billy Kong inside, then jammed the door closed again.
‘Hello, Billy,’ he said, pinning the smaller man to the wall.

Foaly is hella smart and finds it difficult to stomach a little boy can get past his digital defenses. But, he can also be very cute and quirky about things. Observe:

There were two more guards in the sitting room, sneaking an espresso. Foaly dropped them where they stood. And then flashed out a fan laser burst to evaporate the coffee before it hit the rug.
‘It’s Tunisian,’ he explained. ‘Very difficult to get coffee out. Now they can just suck up the grains.’

Oh, and there are demons in this one. Important plot point I know, but I couldn’t stop gushing about my favorite characters before.

I am constantly struggling between reading all of these books in one go and saving them so I can savor them. For now, I have shown some semblance of control and just read one.

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Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

I dunno what to say about this one. I don’t even know how I managed to finish it. Boring as heck with a main lead who is irritating to say the least. The story goes nowhere and even when the character seems like she’s evolving, it is only that she makes an effort to improve her physical appearance. Why is this book? Why?

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Eleventh Grave in Moonlight by Darynda Jones

I have already whined about my issues with this series, so no broken records. But this problem has just made itself known aside from the fact that even though Charley has NO clue about the extent of her powers, she keeps pitting herself against the baddies. In one case, it results in the death of several people. Other than that, the humor is awesome:

When a text came through that read, Do you think Justin is cute? Amber giggled.
I punched Garrett on the arm.
“What?” he said, rubbing his biceps as though he actually felt my paltry effort. “I have nieces. I know how they think. And every school on the planet has at least one Justin. It’s a statistical fact.”
He had me there.

Also, now God is actively trying to kill her. Bring on the next book!

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Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

After all the ravings of my friends who loved it, I really wanted to like this book. But it fell flat for me. It was much too short, and by the time I had begun connecting with the protagonist, the book had already ended!

The story is about a janitor with an IQ that doesn’t match his age. He begins night school where he meets a teacher who recognizes the hard work he is putting into learning. She recommends him for an experiment that would quadruple his intelligence but with a downside — the effects are temporary and regressive.

Less sci-fi than a book that gets you in the feels, if you’ll let it!

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Manners & Mutiny by Gail Carriger

Another stellar cover. Now that I had begun liking this series, it just had to end! The conclusion shows us that Sophronia finds a love interest and the school closes for good. But before that, you’ll find all the silliness, the improbability, and the wittiness that you can expect from any Gail Carriger novel. The first, because Lord Akeldama makes an appearance, and silliness is guaranteed when that happens. The second because there is a plot and like always, no one can see it, except for Sophronia. And the last, because, well, look who the author is!

I need to start the Custard Protocol series because life without Ms. Carriger’s writings becomes boring too quickly.

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Dragon Fall by Katie MacAlister

The series is improving. The heroines are less agreeable to being bossed around. The males accept that they are being irrational but they cannot help it. But there are still things that make me go, WTF?

For instance, the female lead’s family has her admitted into an asylum. Her sister, later claims, this was for her own protection. But that doesn’t hold water when the sister has been part of the supernatural world for a long time and knew the heroine was telling the truth. So, instead of explaining things, she got her the heroine admitted…y’know like any normal family would!

And there was the whole brooding hero routine of Kostya. Yes, you have been under torture and experienced many betrayals — who hasn’t? But how is that keeping you from answering any questions with a simple yes or no? Why are you like this?!

Overall, a fun book!

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The Perils of Growing Up Werewolf by Andrew Buckley

I liked the first one…a lot. This one was good too. But what I find frustrating is that Colin had saved the town’s collective ass. How can the powers that be not listen to him or treat him like a kid? He is a werewolf who ate his teacher’s heart, saved the girl, and the town. Cut him slack, even if he did wolf out in the middle of the street. He’s new to his powers, has only one mentor-strong wolf pack, is a teenager, and is also bigger as a wolf than his mentor.

Anyway, a wizard is sneaking around the town and trying to take over. Nobody believes Colin as usual but he comes through for them anyway! Stupid town!

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Gideon Smith and the Brass Dragon by David Barnett

Continuing from where left off Gideon in the last book, this one has him searching for Maria and the pirate who ran away with her and the ship. This time, we are thrown into Arthur Conan Doyle’s Lost World along with Darwin and Rubicon — Darwin’s cyborg. Gideon and Bent rescue them while Rubicon pulls a Billy move (from Jurassic Park Part 2) and smuggles a T. rex egg back to the Empire. The result is a Kaiju-like visit from Mommy Rex in search of her young. We also meet Native Americans and witness the birth of the United States — all of which happens in the usual Barnett alternate history manner.

As long as you don’t mind creatures from diverse fictional and nonfictional worlds and alternate historical events taking over your current read, which btw is set in a Steampunk era where the British Empires rules supreme, you’ll enjoy this series! I do.

The Devil's Disciple

The Devil’s Disciple by George Bernard Shaw

Maybe it is the wit. Or, it could be the casual referencing to feminism and Mary Shelley’s mom . Whatever the reason. I don’t think I’m capable of not enjoying a book by Shaw! This one has three main settings. A man dies and leaves most of his belongings to his black sheep of a son. His widow — a woman of sour disposition and always disapproving of everything — doesn’t get much. The first setting is the dead man’s home and the reading of his will.

The second setting is that of a parson’s home. The black sheep son goes to visit the parson just because he likes making people uncomfortable — in this case, the parson’s wife who keeps swooning at the thought of entertaining him.

The third setting is the trial where the son’s being sentenced to death for fighting against the colonizing British.

This less than 150 pages long book managed to make me laugh multiple times even in such grim circumstances. Give it a read; you won’t regret it!

All in all, August was good for me. How was yours?

9 Comments Add yours

  1. Judi Lynn says:

    Your reviews are a bit irreverent and that’s why I enjoy reading them so much! And they still give me the idea and feel of the books. Totally enjoyed these.

    Liked by 1 person

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