Narilka redacts her reading in 2023 - part 3

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Narilka redacts her reading in 2023 - part 3

Redigerat: dec 9, 8:36 am

Time for a new thread as the old one was getting long. Thanks fuzzi for inspiration for the title :D

My Rating System
- Absolutely horrible, don't bother

- Meh, I finished the book somehow but would not recommend it

- An entertaining read

- Highly enjoyable, I would probably recommend this book

- Excellent! The book may not be perfect but it was perfect for me. Possibly a new favorite.

A star is given for a book that falls between those categories.

Currently Reading

Listening To

Redigerat: dec 8, 9:42 am

Books Read in 2023
1. The Buddhist Enneagram by Susan Piver
2. Tress of the Emerald Sea by Brandon Sanderson
3. The Wizard's Butler by Nathan Lowell
4. Side Jobs by Jim Butcher
5. Big Trouble by Andrew Seiple
6. The Atrocity Archives by Charles Stross
7. Magic Tides by Ilona Andrews
8. The Concrete Jungle by Charles Stross
9. Freddy's Magic Garden by Angelina Dayan
10. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling
11. Gobbelino London & a Scourge of Pleasantries by Kim M. Watt
12. At Large by Andrew Seiple
13. Ghost Story by Jim Butcher
14. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling
15. Sixteen Ways to Defend a Walled City by KJ Parker
16. Going Rogue by Drew Hayes
17. Well Done by Andrew Seiple
18. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling
19. Cold Days by Jim Butcher
20. Gobbelino London & A Contagion of Zombies by Kim M. Watt
21. Quarter Share by Nathan Lowell
22. The Frugal Wizard's Handbook for Surviving Medieval England by Brandon Sanderson
23. Skin Game by Jim Butcher
24. The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by NK Jemisin
25. Dragon Hack by Andrew Seiple
26. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by JK Rowling
27. Brief Cases by Jim Butcher
28. Waybound by Will Wight
29. Magic Claims by Ilona Andrews
30. Peace Talks Jim Butcher
31. Friends with Bunny Feets by Andrew Seiple
32. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by JK Rowling
33. Battle Ground by Jim Butcher
34. Yumi and the Nightmare Painter by Brandon Sanderson
35. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie
36. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling
37. 14 by Peter Clines
38. The Metaframe Adept by Graeme Rodaughan
39. Piranesi by Susanna Clarke
40. The Fold by Peter Clines
41. Thunder Dog by Michael Hingson
42. Beware of Chicken by Casualfarmer
43. Spellslinger by Sebastien de Castell
44. All Systems Red by Martha Wells
45. Artificial Condition by Martha Wells
46. The Dream, The Journey, Eternity and God by Sara Landon
47. Rogue Protocol by Martha Wells
48. The Silva Mind Control Method by Jose Silva
49. Beware of Chicken 2 by Casualfarmer
50. Starter Villain by John Scalzi
51. Rule of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo
52. The Sunlit Man by Brandon Sanderson
53. Exit Strategy by Martha Wells
54. Fugitive Telemetry by Martha Wells
55. Dead Moon by Peter Clines
56. The Mutt for Me by Don Hughes
57. Gobbelino London and a Complication of Unicorns by Kim M. Watt
58. Terminus by Peter Clines
59. Network Effect by Martha Wells
60. A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik
61. By Book or By Crook by Eva Gates
62. Defiant by Brandon Sanderson
63. The Last Graduate by Naomi Novik

Fun Stats
Books Read: 63
Total Pages Read: 16457
Audio Book Hours: 220h 29m
Rereads: 9
TBR Challenge: 9/12

2023 Series Stats
In progress: 18
Up to date: 15
On Hold: 5
Completed: 7
Abandoned: 8

Mount TBR
Start 2023: 216
End 2023: ?

Redigerat: nov 24, 7:23 pm

TBR Challenge

A new year, a new list - happy 2023! I'm (mostly) freshening up both my lists this year. Aiming for 12 read.


1. Gobbelino London & a Scourge of Pleasantries by Kim M. Watt Read Feb 8
2. Entangled Life by Merlin Sheldrake
3. The Atrocity Archives by Charles Stross Read Jan 20
4. Thunder Dog by Michael Hingson Read Aug 20
5. Terciel & Elinor by Garth Nix
6. Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don't Know by Adam Grant
7. Rule of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo DNF Oct 2
8. Spellslinger by Sebastien de Castell Read Aug 31
9. Piranesi by Susanna Clarke Read Aug 13
10. The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents by Terry Pratchett
11. Ghost Story by Jim Butcher Read Feb 20
12. Artificial Condition by Martha Wells Read Sept 9

1. Foreigner by C. J. Cherryh
2. Digital Fortress by Dan Brown
3. A Cat Named Darwin by William Jordan
4. Someone Like Me by MR Carey
5. Black Powder War by Naomi Novik
6. Thud! by Terry Pratchett
7. You Are the Placebo by Joe Dispenza
8. By Book or By Crook by Eva Gates Read Nov 22
9. Swordheart by T. Kingfisher
10. Uncanny Collateral by Brian McClellan
11. Terminal Alliance by Jim C. Hines
12. My Life in a Cat House by Gwenn Cooper

Redigerat: dec 8, 9:41 am

My Personal Incomplete Series Challenge
Keeping my never-ending series list going for yet another year.

Series Stats Summary
In progress: 18
Up to date: 14
On Hold: 5
Completed: 7
Abandoned: 8

In Progress
Discworld: Rincewind - 6/8
Discworld: City Watch - 6/8
Discworld: Tiffany Aching - 3/5
Discworld: Overall - 32/41
Temeraire - 2/9
Joe Ledger* - 6/10
World of the Five Gods - 2/3
Space Team* - 4/11
Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot Mysteries - 1/4
Awaken Online: Tarot* - 1/3
Of Cats and Dragons* - 1/5
Hunter - 1/3
Nathaniel Cade* - 2/3
Spells, Swords and Stealth* - 3/5
Gobbelino London, PI - 3/7
Blasphemy Online - 1/3
Threadbare Pt 2* - 1/3
Murderbot - 6/7
Scholomance* - 2/3
Lighthouse Library Mysteries - 1/4

Up to date and waiting
The Band - 2/2 - #3 expected 2024
The Darkwater Legacy* - 1/1 - #2 expected 2023
The Brackenford Cycle - 4/4 - #5 TBD
5-minute Sherlock* - 2/2 - #3 TBD
The Witchlands - 4/4 - #5 TBD
World of the Others - 3/3 - #4 TBD
Mystwick* - 2/2 - #3 TBD
The Locked Tomb - 3/3 - #4 expected 2024
Aurelia Ryder - 1/1 - #2 TBD
Innkeeper Chronicles - 5/5 - #6 TBD
The Wizard's Butler* - 1/1 - #2 TBD
Kate Daniels Wilmington Years - 2/2 - #3 TBD
The Dresden Files - 17/17 - #18 TBD
Beware of Chicken* - 2/2 - #3 expected 2023

Temporarily On Hold While I Try to Reduce my TBR
The Burning - 1/2
The Folk of the Air* - 1/3
Awaken Online* - 4/6
The Siege - 1/3
Spellslinger - 1/6

Completed in 2023
Small Medium* - 3/3
Cradle - 12/12
Harry Potter - 7/7
The Metaframe War - 7/7
Sanderson's Secret Projects - 4/4
Threshold* - 4/4
Skyward - 4/4

Abandoned in 2023
Laundry Files - 1/12
The Vampire Knitting Club - 1/13
King of Scars - 1/2
Trader Tales from the Golden Age of the Solar Clipper - 1/?
Inheritance Trilogy - 1/3
The Book of the Ice - 1/3
The Goddess War - 1/3
Manners and Monsters - 2/5

*Indicates series on audio

sep 17, 9:04 am

Happy new thread!

sep 17, 9:24 am

Happy New Thread!

sep 17, 9:42 am

>5 clamairy:, >6 Karlstar: Thanks!

I'm going to attempt to play a little catch up on all the reviews I'm woefully behind on :)

sep 17, 9:42 am

19. Cold Days by Jim Butcher

Cold Days, the fourteenth entry in to The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher, is a fresh breath of pure winter air after Ghost Story. As hinted at by the title, this is all about Harry learning what it means to be the Winter Knight. Being the Winter Knight definitely has it's challenges. First Harry has to survive Mab's idea of proper training, then survive the Winter Court's idea of proper court politics, followed by surviving the fight for control of the Mantle itself and, if that wasn't enough, finally survive the first job Mab gives Harry in his new role: kill an immortal.

Now this is what a Dresden novel is supposed to be like! Fast paced and funny, with some tricky situations for Harry to navigate as he adjusts his thinking to the additional responsibility he's taken on. And lots and lots of action. While I found Harry's time in the Winter Court interesting, I'm glad it didn't last too long and we were back to Chicago fairly quickly. I felt bad for Harry having to basically attempt to revive/renew many old relationships that were harmed from actions of the previous two books. At the same time, because of this, the story continues to allow these characters to grow and deepen with complexity. As I think back to how far Harry has come from Storm Front, I'm blown away at his growth while also retaining his core values after all he's gone through.

I'm also impressed with how well Butcher has planned out his series. Story threads that were started at the very beginning of the series are beginning to tie together and give a fuller view of things that were only hinted at previously. Being given new insights into what's been moving behind the scenes also allows for new story arcs to start. I have so many thoughts and questions. All I know is I'm excited to see where this is all heading.


sep 17, 10:34 am

20. Gobbelino London & a Contagion of Zombies by Kim M. Watt

My favorite feline PI and his trusty human sidekick are back in Gobbelino London & a Contagion of Zombies, the second entry in the Gobbelino London, PI series by Kim M. Watt. The story opens with Gobbelino and Callum walking through a local cemetery when a dog wanders over carrying an arm in it's mouth like a stick, looking to play. Callum wants to investigate where the recently unearthed limb has come from and return it to the owner while Gobbelino thinks taking a job without pay is a bad idea. Bad idea or not, it's not long before the detective duo are immersed in a problem with slightly whiffy body parts that don't belong to them and going to any lengths to prevent the end of custard as we know it. It's a cat thing.

This follow up to Scourge of Pleasantries is just as enjoyable as the first. While I'm not normally a big fan of zombie stories, Callum and Gobs make solving the problem so darn fun that I didn't mind all the highly questionable meal choices. Gobs continued inability to get human idioms correct, as well as his unique view of the world, are a delight. I may have to start using his saying of "no baby goats" haha! Adding to the enjoyment factor are the new characters Callum and Gobs meet along the way. I hope Gertrude becomes a recurring character in the series. Gobs needs to keep his flow of super tasty cat treats flowing.


sep 17, 11:23 am

21. Quarter Share by Nathan Lowell

Ishmael Wang finds himself at a crossroads in life. Just as he was preparing to start university, Ishmael's mother dies, leaving him in a predicament. Ishmael's mother used to work for the university, which made attending there affordable and provided for their housing. Finding himself about to be evicted from his home and with his credits running low, Ishmael takes the only opportunity he sees available to him - enlisting for two years as a galley helper on a deep space commercial freighter.

Quarter Share is the first book in the series Golden Age of the Solar Clipper by Nathan Lowell. This is a no stakes, slice of life story about Ishmael learning to be a trader while making the best coffee ever for the crew onboard the SC Lois McKendrick. I enjoyed the slice of life aspect to things for the most part and found the story pretty relaxing. It should appeal to those who like there science fiction with a lot less action. For myself, even for low stakes I do need a bit more challenges for the characters to overcome instead of everything seeming to be so easy. Ishmael took on any task with a relatively low effort and it seemed like he breezed through becoming an advanced trader with little difficulty.

I listened to the audio book narrated by Jeffrey Kafer. Kafer's narration worked well with the story, bringing the characters to life as they went about their work onboard the ship. This title is currently available on Audible Plus.


sep 17, 12:12 pm

>9 Narilka: I very glad to hear you liked Gobbelino London & a Contagion of Zombies. Might have to break down and buy it because I enjoyed the first one so much. For some reason my library does not have the series available as ebooks.

sep 17, 3:52 pm

Happy new thread! >1 Narilka:

sep 17, 6:39 pm

>11 clamairy: I have the third one in my TBR too :) Such fun books.

>12 jillmwo: Thanks!

sep 17, 6:39 pm

Rogue Protocol Ch 1 It was nice to get a snippet of Dr Mensa again and see how MB responded. MB has feelings! It would probably be horrified (or at least embarrassed) to realize that lol

MB's laser focus on it's personal mission is interesting. I wonder what it plans to do after uncovering the bad actors. A little retribution or turning over to authorities?

sep 17, 9:13 pm

Happy new thread!

sep 18, 9:52 am

Happy new thread! Glad to hear the second Gobbellino London book is as good as the first!

sep 19, 10:48 am

sep 19, 10:48 am

Rogue Protocol Through Ch 3 Miki is so sweet. Very child like. I wonder if the human couldn't have a kid so "adopted" Miki instead. Poor MB doesn't know how to respond lol

sep 20, 1:14 pm

Rogue Protocol I finished. This is my favorite Murderbot book so far. What a sad ending! Poor Miki, it was such a sweet bot and truly seemed to care about her human. Too bad that relationship wasn't further explained. Again, the pro and con of the novella format. That was quite a feat of writing to get us to care in 150 pages but also a tad frustrating because I want more :)

This character growth for MB is profound. It's learning it's has more in common with humans that it thought and also that it had some wrong assumptions about humans along the way due to its previous employment. Seems its discovering that being a rogue SecUnit has some wrong assumptions about it too. No murderous rampage yet.

I'm excited to think we'll be returning to Mensa's team next. Here's hoping GrayCrys get some comeuppance.

sep 25, 11:19 am

I finished Beware of Chicken 2. It was just as enjoyable as the first, though I was starting to get book fatigue around 75%. Apparently I prefer my audio books in the 8-12 hour range and this was 18 hours. I still plan to pick up the 3rd when it releases on audio as I enjoy these characters and their antics.

I started Starter Villain this morning. I loved that dedication by Scalzi, very sweet. I'm listening on audio so don't have an easy way to repost it as I didn't write it down as I was listening. I'll have to search for it later.

sep 25, 12:21 pm

>20 Narilka: Ah, that one needs to go on Mount Tooby. Scalzi is such an unabashed cat lover.

Redigerat: sep 25, 2:34 pm

Thank you Amazon! Here's the dedication for Starter Villain:

This book is dedicated to:
Everyone who could make someone's day worse, but tries to make it better instead.
Thank you. It's more important than you think.
Also, to Sugar, Spice and Smudge, my current set of cats.
You all are a real pain in my ass, and I love your stupid furry faces.

Edit: and now it's added to the work's page.

sep 25, 3:44 pm

>22 Narilka: Ha! That's perfect.

sep 25, 5:55 pm

>22 Narilka: Love that. I'm way behind on my Scalzi reading. I think he is one of those authors I save for when I really need a book I love reading, because I am almost sure to like his books.

sep 26, 12:56 pm

Starter Villain I am absolutely loving this book!

Through Ch 9 That was possibly the most entertaining and hilarious memorial service ever. I loved how tactful the mortician was able to remain through it all though Charlie is basically having one huge, if controlled, freak out.

Man I wish I could have a cat centered computer system for my cats to type into and communicate through in plain english. Not that they need our language, I'm reasonably well trained at this point, but it would be nice for more complicated answers.

It is ultra adorable that the kitten Persephone is an intern :D

Sentient dolphins. OMG that would be so awesome even if all they do is swear lol talk about useful!

That definition of "villain" is a masterwork: "Which is to seek out, fund and create the sort of technologies and services that bring disruptive change to existing industrial and social paradigms, and offer them, on a confidential basis, to interested businesses and governments."

I am starting to see, right along with Charlie, how this could be pretty beneficial from a certain perspective lol

It's books like this and Kaiju that make Scalzi an insta buy for me.

sep 26, 3:17 pm

>8 Narilka: You really made me want to get back into the Dresden Files with that review.

>22 Narilka: I've been keeping my eye on Starter Villain, now I may have to pick it up soon.

Count that as 2 BB's.

sep 26, 3:27 pm

>25 Narilka: This is one that I will most likely borrow and then buy when it goes on sale. I know... I'm not cheap exactly. It just kills me to pay $15 for an ebook.

sep 26, 8:03 pm

>26 Karlstar: YAY!!!

>27 clamairy: Yeah, I don't blame you. You can probably get a hard cover for that price. I used an Audible credit for the book. I like how Wil Wheaton narrates Scalzi's stories.

sep 26, 8:43 pm

>28 Narilka: Oh, I might break down and do that, then. I loved Wil's narrations for Agent to the Stars and Lock-in.

sep 26, 8:59 pm

>25 Narilka: That looks fun!

sep 27, 5:03 pm

Starter Villain Through Ch 15 I love how fish out of water Charlie is. I also like that he's still a good person and trying to protect the evil bastard in that poorly executed assassination attempt.

I'm very curious as to what role Hera will play at the big shin dig. Personal security? Will she be on Charlie's shoulder or something the whole time?

Is it bad that I can actually get some of the villainous logic and even agree a bit??

I'm afraid I'm going to finish this too quickly :)

sep 30, 3:50 pm

Starter Villain Through Ch 22 Is it me or is Charlie already a better Villain than several who have been in the business for decades? I'd say his business journalism and middle school teaching jobs weirdly prepared him for some of this, specifically the human management side.

okt 1, 8:52 am

So I've been attempting to read Rule of Wolves on my Kindle. I haven't made it very far in a week. I think it's been too long since I read any Grishaverse that I've lost the connection to the characters. The story is generally interesting but not gripping. I am debating a DNF.

Redigerat: okt 1, 10:11 am

I finished Starter Villain. This was a highly enjoyable and satisfying read. The twists were appropriately twisty and the plot appropriately villainous. I especially loved all the crates in the vault being empty lol And the labor dispute ending in forming a union! For dolphins and whales!

I had no idea that button boards for animals are an actual thing and have now gone down the internet search rabbit hole. I am seriously debating trying this. Perhaps this will be a Christmas present this year. Edit: I sent my husband a link. He vehemently rejected the idea lol

Next up I am continuing my reread of the Threshold series with Dead Moon. It seems appropriate for the month.

okt 1, 3:57 pm

22. The Frugal Wizard's Handbook for Surviving Medieval England by Brandon Sanderson

Here at Frugal Wizard Inc.©, we provide the highest quality experience at a fraction of the prices charged by other dimensional toursim companies.

A man wakes up in a clearing with no idea who he is or where he's at. All he has is the clothes he is wearing and the scattered pages of a guidebook. Apparently being hunted, the man's only hope is to recover his missing memories and gain the trust of locals while collecting as many pages of the guidebook as he can to figure out what's going on. The the guidebook is titled The Frugal Wizard's Handbook for Surviving Medieval England.

We believe that the Interdimensional Wizard™ deserves options. Predetermined, groomed experiences are right for some, but others prefer a more rugged experience, full of unexplored lands and adventure.

This was a fun and different type of story from Sanderson's regular writing. Not set in the Cosmere, our hero finds out he's in an alternate dimension of Medieval England, where things are both different and similar to the fragments he remembers from childhood history classes. Absolutely up to expectation, the story features an interesting blend of modern technology with "boasting" magic that combine to give the world a unique feel. I admit I initially had a hard time with other ways flavor was added to the world in the form of misspelling of names and things from our world, modern or otherwise. Once I got used to it I was able to relax into the story.

As the story unfolds, we learn more about our main character and his background. It comes as a surprise and emphasizes the hero journey he finds himself on. I ended up liking him and the locals who join him on his quest.

Your life isn’t unremarkable. You are merely living in the wrong time. Find your Perfect Dimension™. Embrace your destiny— whether it be to bring Promethean light or exert relentless domination— and travel the dimensions. Become a wizard.

Unexpectedly entertaining were all the marketing blurbs spaced throughout the story. Frugal Wizard Inc.© has one heck of a marketing department. Also funny was our main character's need to constantly rate things. I'm sure your enjoyment may vary depending on if you find either of those as humorous as I did.

There is a classic Sanderson twist at the end that I did not see coming even with all the hints. The ending is left open enough that Sanderson could write more in this universe in the future if he wanted.

I received my Kickstarter hardback copy after I had finished the ebook. The physical book is absolutely gorgeous. I can't wait to reread it with all the art and doodles in context.


okt 1, 7:25 pm

23. Skin Game by Jim Butcher

Skin Game is the fifteenth entry in The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher. Working for Mab has its drawbacks. For example, Harry being loaned out to the Evil League of Evil for a heist to settle one of Mab's debts. Harry finds himself working with his most despised enemy to break into a high-security vault so they can steal something from the Nevernever. Harry's going to have to watch his back to survive this mess.

I love a good heist! Harry is forced to team up with his enemies as they embark on an Ocean's 11-style trip to the underworld. This makes for a hell of a good time and something I had never really considered: that even the paranormal sometimes want to store something in a vault.

There is a lot to unpack character wise in this installment. While not everyone has page time, I enjoyed the ones who did. I did not see that change for Butters coming at all! I love how Butters is embracing his inner nerd as part of his new role. It feels true to character. I feel a small pang of loss that Bob and Harry aren't working partners any more though it seems that Bob and Butters work well together. It is in turns frustrating that Murphy has to sit this one out and yet makes total sense so that it gives Michael an opportunity to join in. He is uniquely suited to this undertaking and helping watch Harry's back. We're also introduced to Goodman Grey this book which opens up some interesting ideas given how much of a contrast he is to the only other skinwalker we've met in the series so far.

There are so many other reveals in this one that it's hard to keep track. I'm very curious to how some of this will play out over the rest of the series. I'm also sure that's not the last we've seen of the Denarians. Thank you Mr Butcher for finally having Harry make a move on his relationship problem!


okt 2, 12:52 pm

I started Dead Moon. I appreciate that Clines gets right to it. In Ch 5 things are already going sideways :D

Redigerat: okt 2, 3:59 pm

Yeah, I'm going to DNF Rule of Wolves @ 25%. I didn't read it at all yesterday and didn't miss it. That's my sign. Perhaps if I ever want to return to the Grishaverse again I'll do a series reread and try again.

Instead, I'm starting Sanderson's Secret Project 4 - The Sunlit Man. I love this cover!

I'm excited to get started tonight.

okt 2, 6:09 pm

>38 Narilka: It's very cool! I hope you love it. Sadly I am only about 12% of the way through the 1,000+ page The Shadow Rising, so The Sunlit Man will have to wait a bit.

okt 2, 7:02 pm

>39 clamairy: Oh my lol Wheel of Time is definitely a series of door stoppers. Good luck finishing up.

okt 3, 12:51 pm

The Sunlit Man Ch 1, Cosmere question BEUs. Breath Equivalent Units as a measure of investiture. Very interesting. Is this used in Stormlight or something new here? I know breath is from Warbreaker.

Through Ch 6. I got some Mad Max vibes based on Nomad's (and our) introduction to this land. Hopefully with the investiture they just absorbed Nomad and Aux will be able to understand the language and we can learn a lot more about the people here.

The world itself is pretty unique. What an awful way to live, always having to be in the move or be incinerated. Unless Aux's speculation is right and it's a creation, not strictly nature, then it could possibly be reversed.

okt 8, 8:32 am

The Sunlit Man Through Ch 10 A mistborn connection!! This is fun :D

Seems multiple planets enter the space age in a general way.

Through Ch 32 We are about to go on a Mission Impossible. Cue the music...

What I'm most curious about at this point is the sun. If the sun was normal above the clouds, what is in the clouds that converts it into a death ray? Is it a natural phenomenon of the planet or was it put in place? Perhaps the answer will be in the maelstrom.

okt 8, 8:33 am

Dead Moon In Ch 7 and we have zombies!! :D

Through Ch 10 I love Callie and Jake's exchange around here. She's all "its weird how fast they're moving" and he's like "A zombie invasion and the weird thing is their movement speed?" lol

My brain has been super weird on this reread. I get Oingo Boingo's "Dead Man's Party" in my head while reading LOL

okt 11, 10:07 am

I finished The Sunlit Man. This is definitely one for Cosmere fans and particularly those who are up to date with Stormlight Archives, which I am not. I enjoyed getting to know Nomad, Aux and the people of Beacon. It was a darker story overall given the set up for the world the story is set on. I think I'd like to reread this after I've read Stormlight and see how that changes the story when I can see all the connections.

Next up, back to Murderbot and Exit Strategy.

okt 12, 4:39 pm

Exit Strategy Ch 1 & 2 As a person that has tons of ad blockers installed MB has landed in a ad-inundated corporate dystopia lol Oy.

I'm so excited that we're going to reconnect with Mensah and team! Poor MB feeling responsible for the situation Mensah has found herself in too.

okt 14, 11:45 am

Exit Strategy through CH 4 I love how even through all the awkwardness, MB does care about this group of humans, giving them a survival plan is it heads off to rescue Mensah.

I shut my risk assessment module down. has to be the best ending line. I am expecting some awesome mayhem coming right up :D

Dead Moon Ch 32. Just when you think things are almost ok... the tentacle horror shows up lol Greed ruins the day yet again.

Kind of interesting how the squale fragment is trying to rebuild its body by absorbing human bodies into a weird mess, kind of like how Andrew in the Fold had other people's body parts grafted on to him.

okt 14, 12:47 pm

So...I have hesitated to listen to Dead Moon because of mixed reviews. I really loved 14 and the subsequent books set in the same loose world (The Fold more than Terminus), but wonder how connected this one is? Folks seem to think it's pretty weak and not necessary to fill in the larger story the other 3 told. Can you elaborate without spoiling? LOL, thanks.

okt 14, 4:29 pm

>47 Bookmarque: The connection is minor - some of the universe mysteries come in to play but not in the grand way as they do in 14 or The Fold. It's set something like 150 years in the future with a whole new cast and, per the title, on the moon. It's a good Halloween read if you're wanting something seasonal don't mind a little more scifi horror than the other books. Ray Porter's narration is fabulous as always.

okt 15, 7:28 pm

Exit Strategy Ch 5 & 6 were satisfying. Murderbot explores feelings! I about melted when it let Mensah hug it lol

The whole rescue scene - damn MB is clever. I also loved how even though it rescued Mensah, the humans rescued it right back. That feels appropriate. Now how about they get off this port and retrieve their mail with all the damning evidence against GreyCris. At least that's where I'm guessing this is heading.

I also noticed that MB did its best to not kill anyone or anything.

I finished. That was a nice ending for the original story arc. I was very surprised that MB damn near lost itself, its personality, but going so deep into the other bot to save everyone. That was an even bigger sacrifice than just getting blown up IMO.

It's pretty awesome that others want to hire "Rin" again and see the value of a free SecUnit. It gives hope that there could be others like MB out there if they were to hack their own governor units.

I'm moving straight on to Fugitive Telemetry which is technically book 6 in publication order but chronologically follows book 4.

okt 15, 7:37 pm

>44 Narilka: I am also not up to date. Oh well. Hopefully I will enjoy it anyway. I'm glad you didn't hate it. :o)

okt 17, 7:40 am

I'm hoping you get to Foreigner, and don't let the slow start stop you from continuing. I've read a majority of CJ Cherryh's works and have learned that she gives you a roller coaster situation...first that slow crawl up the slope and then the downward rush into an incredible ride!

okt 17, 10:01 am

>51 fuzzi: I absolutely agree with you. It's been my observation of Cherryh's work as well.

okt 18, 10:36 am

Fugitive Telemetry Ahh, a murder mystery for Murderbot! Ch 2 So how long is it going to take Security to realize that MB knows what it's talking about? lol

I do hope MB gets to upgrade Mensah's security set up at some point. Sounds like it's needed.

Ch 4 MB's attempt at misdirection lol MB has a ways to go before really understanding human humor lol

And finished. This was fun. I was also tricked into thinking it was a human murderer and surprised at the final reveal. I loved all the bots on the station going to defend/avenge one of their own.

Seems MB has made another friend or two whether it likes it or not :D

I was thinking after my long, difficult day at work yesterday that Murderbot is my spirit animal. Or spirit organic robot. Whatever lol All I wanted yesterday was to escape meetings so I could go do some low level entertainment :D

Redigerat: okt 18, 3:53 pm

I also finished Dead Moon. It was fun. Also by listening to them closer together I noticed an interesting parallel I missed my first time through. I'll be moving on to the final book, Terminus, as my next audio book.

Still not sure what regular reading book I want to start. Is Foreigner more on the serious side or does it turn into a thriller? I don't own the whole series so this would be my sampler to decide if I wanted to take the full plunge in the future.

okt 18, 4:26 pm

24. The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by NK Jemisin

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is the first in the Inheritance Trilogy by NK Jemisin. The plot is fairly straight forward - Yeine Darr is summoned by her grandfather, the ruler of the world, to the ruling city of the kingdom to be named one of his heirs and told she's now in a weird 3-way duel to the death to see who will be the next ruler. Can Yeine, who has never been to court before since her mother was banished before she was born, survive?

I'm not sure what I was expecting when I first started this and I found myself surprised by how much of a YA read this is so be prepared for some YA tropes. The story is told primarily by the main character is a bit jerky, which was confusing at first but makes much more sense half way through after the first reveal. The plot is slower and gradually revealed over time Yiene is a decent enough protagonist and, while I can empathize with being put into a situation you're unprepared for, I initially had a harder time buying into it at first. We are told Yiene has been trained as a competent ruler by her mother, has been running her small kingdom for a little while and is also a warrior, none of which serve her as she thrust into court life. I guess I expected Yiene to be slightly better at politics than she was initially. The character eventually grew on me as she learned the ins and outs of court life.

The part I enjoyed most was how this story felt a lot like the telling of a myth. The three gods, their interactions with each other and how they interact with mortals was fascinating and reminded me of Greek gods with their meddling ways.

The ending seemed to tie up the story nicely and I think could be read as stand alone. I'm not entirely sure where the second book would go next unless it's more like a trilogy of loosely related stories instead of one story arc in three books.


okt 19, 5:02 pm

I opted to start The Mutt for Me which I won in a giveaway. It's a nice little animal memoir about a man who had volunteered in an animal rescue for years, helping pets get adopted, before he finally adopts his first dog. I'm enjoying it a lot. It's also a fast read so I'll probably finish today or tomorrow.

okt 20, 1:33 pm

I did finish The Mutt for Me quickly. It was heartwarming and lovely. I'm back to a conundrum of what to read next. I may just try the first chapter of several books and see what sticks.

okt 20, 7:32 pm

25. Dragon Hack by Andrew Seiple

Dragon Hack is the first in the Blasphemy Online trilogy by Andrew Seiple. The story centers around teenager Richard Royal, living in a church-controlled dystopia. Richard finds his only break from his broken home life and bullying at school in the online gaming. Introduced to a very illegal online game, Rich logs in for the first time and finds himself in a dragon body, a quest to see to pledge himself to an evil power and very little instructions. It's not long before Rich figures out there's a lot more to this game it appears as it seems to be affecting him in realspace too.

The series serves as an origin story for the world of Threadbare. It is vastly different from the Threadbare books, being more of a traditional litRPG, so make sure you go in with adjusted expectations.

The story has a rough beginning and is on the cliche side to start. Our "hero" being a teenage boy has the ambition of what I assume typical teenage boys want - to get laid. Since he has little prospects in reality, he thinks maybe this new illegal game may be his option. After finally logging in the story turned into a fun and intriguing adventure. Obviously Richard has been chosen for something else in Generica Online though that's not fully revealed yet. I liked seeing the early version of the world and from a whole new perspective. It gives background on the mysterious "players" from the Small Medium series along with a hint as to what may have happened to them all. The whole consciousness swapping plot turned out satisfactorily. Plenty of different ways this can go next.

I listened to the audio book narrated by Nick Podehl. I liked Nick's narration well enough so I was surprised to see that there is a narrator swap for the rest of the series. The new narrator does not get very favorable reviews so it's highly probably I'll be continuing this series on my Kindle. Assuming I can hold off from starting the second Threadbare trilogy first.


okt 20, 7:35 pm

26. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by JK Rowling

Reread 2023: It's been so long since I read the later books in the series that, while I remember the main plot arc, I've forgotten a lot of the details. This made for a fun rediscovery of the Order of the Phoenix. I'd remembered this was where the series takes a much darker turn but I'd forgotten just how grim it was. I am impressed with how much depth and detail the book packs in. Poor Harry, so angry and irritated for most of the book. It's not without reason though it made some parts difficult to read. I usually hate when characters withhold information from each other but man that huge reveal with Dumbledore made a whole lot of sense. I loved how even Neville had some growth and more confidence. I wish we'd had a little more time with the new student addition, Luna. Dolores Umbridge is a near perfect villain, one that is so easy to hate. I had completely forgotten how she'd gotten her comeuppance and had thought she lasted another book. Guess I'll find out soon.


okt 20, 7:37 pm

27. Brief Cases by Jim Butcher

Brief Cases is the second collection of short fiction in the Dresden Files. It contains 12 stories that range from historical events in the Wild West to a sweet day at the zoo for Harry's first "normal" dad experience. We also get more stories from different perspectives, some I found surprising. As with Side Jobs, Butcher provides an introduction to each story with a little background about how/why he wrote it and also where it fits in the series. This is a great collection and a must read for fans of the series as it addresses small questions of things that aren't explained in the main books.


okt 21, 8:20 am

Gobbelino London and a Complication of Unicorns won me over with its opening line: "I have faced creatures from the void - well, a couple of different voids, actually - furious sorcerers, very small dragons, dentists, cats of the Watch who give the feline kind their bad reputation, humans who do the same for their kind, and, most recently, the ravenous undead, a mad mortician, zombie-fied chickens, and a cake-wielding reaper."

Time to see just how bad unicorns turn out to be in this world. Through ch 3 and already learned never take on imps or pixies as clients and that history really does have teeth. Specifically Callum's past is rearing its potentially ugly head. And feline wisdom of "Discretion is the better part of value, or whatever." :)

okt 21, 9:16 am

>61 Narilka: Thank you for the reminder to get to the second book in that series. I love the humor.

okt 21, 8:33 pm

>61 Narilka: For some deviant unicorns there's Charles Stross' Equoid.

okt 22, 10:00 am

>61 Narilka: and >63 quondame: I am both intrigued as well as somewhat alarmed. I had no idea that there actually were deviant unicorns.

okt 22, 10:20 pm

>64 jillmwo: You should be alarmed!

okt 23, 7:26 pm

>63 quondame: Putting that on my wish list to keep an eye out for.

>64 jillmwo: I think the ones in my book are mostly bad tempered based on the rumors. Still waiting to meet one.

okt 25, 8:44 am

Gobbelino London and a Complication of Unicorns through Ch 11 Progressive trolls and a pocket universe gone wrong. Callum's past catching up with him is definitely not good. I really wish Gobs didn't insist on going back to Dimly. I doubt the two witches will be able to help out a second time.

okt 27, 2:53 pm

Gobbelino London and a Complication of Unicorns through Ch 18 It's obvious by now that Kara wasn't kidnapped and is obviously in on the con. The question is if she's the mastermind or just a lieutenant/henchman. I'm also wondering if Poppy rescued the unicorns from the "mean people" as she put it. She seems to genuinely care.

okt 30, 8:52 am

Gobbelino London and a Complication of Unicorns Finished. That was fun. The author has an amazing knack for writing chaotic and hilarious climax scenes. Soooo much mayhem in the warehouse lol I'd love to see that on a big or small screen.

So I was right about Poppy and half right about Kara. Even though the hint was dropped about Ez, I skipped right over it.

okt 30, 8:45 pm

I finished Terminus today too. That was quite enjoyable and a great halloween read. I'm glad I reread the series. Hopefully Clines returns to this world some day.

Next up, I'm starting A Deadly Education on audio and Network Effect as my regular read.

nov 7, 10:53 am

I finished Network Effect and loved it. I had to make an unexpected trip for a family health emergency so missed out on my regular commentary. (My family member is doing ok and seems to be on the road to recovery so far.) Very basic spoilers for the whole book. Murderbot has feelings! Feelings for ART!!! Now I have feelings lol

I like how we gained a first hand view of what has been meant by alien remnant contamination. I also like how we have another rogue SecUnit and that Wells is breaking her in world stereotype of them all being murder machines. I hope we get to hear about Three's updates in the future.

I'm very much looking forward to the new book releasing this month.

I started Entangled Life next for something a little different. I'm at 10% in and enjoying it. It's a slower read for me so I make sure I understand it all, which I still might not :) The author is doing a good job of keeping a balance between easy enough for the layman with some technical biology bits about fungus.

nov 8, 7:37 pm

A Deadly Education It has an interesting set up. Somewhere in Ch 2 So a Hunger Games/Harry Potter! Only it's the school that eats the students instead of students against each other.

Seems we have a romantic set up right off the bat. I'm trying not to roll my eyes.

I discussed this with my other book club and they let me know that this actually started off as Harry Potter fan fiction. I've never read "professional" fan fiction before so this is an interesting experience. Apparently Naomi Novik is a bit supporter of the fan fic scene.

I'm almost done with Ch 3 and I find the book interesting but I'm not feeling that urgent "need to read" hook yet. I hope this changes after we get past the necessary background information and dig into the story more. I do think it's clever of El to turn her annoyance of Orion's "help" into something to make her own situation better/safer. For now anyway.

Redigerat: nov 9, 8:49 pm

>72 Narilka: I absolutely loved the Scholomance series. Yes, Naomi Novik is one of those authors with roots in the fanfic world, in which there are many splendid writers who explore other authors' worlds and characters in conversations built of stories.

I find the trilogy inventive and engrossing, among the best fantasy books of the last 5 years.

nov 9, 7:56 pm

>73 quondame: That's high praise indeed!

nov 10, 8:47 am

A Deadly Education. Had further discussion with my group about El and we agree that she's been forced to be more "mercenary" as a way to survive, vs just being manipulative. It was also pointed out that their whole society is this way as a means of survival. This has helped me re-frame the story in a positive way. I've just started Ch 6. I was finding El's voice... not annoying exactly but it wasn't working for me. Re-framing it as her needing to be mercenary to survive, as well as being a prickly teen, has helped me to empathize with the character.

I've also hit the part where I realize this is an enemies to friends relationship which is refreshing.

nov 12, 6:29 pm

A Deadly Education Finished Ch 6 and part way through 7 That monster slaying was plenty gory. It could almost fit for Halloween heh

Interesting choice El makes to keep quiet about it. I think it's great that the friendship is shining through with how worried Orion was about her. Too bad no one recognized her magic there, either the cause for why she's so drained or what she did with the "recharge". When/if any of the enclaves figure out her depth of power, they'll all want her to join.

nov 13, 10:11 am

A Deadly Education Ch 8 hehe someone is finally starting to figure out just how powerful El is and how well she's kept it hidden. This is setting El up for some great allies.

I suspect this might be attempting to set up El to found/form her own Enclave after graduation. She obviously has the power and perhaps her mom would join that.

nov 13, 10:14 am

Entangled Life has been interesting, if slower going. In 3 chapters I've learned way more about fungi that I've ever known in my whole life - especially around truffles, how mycellium works and lichens in general. Sheldrake's passion for the subject is on every page.

nov 13, 10:39 am

I'm a little bit of a mushroom nut, but I couldn't get through Entangled Life. Too precious, repetitive and anthropomorphic for my tastes. I'd read other books, some of which are only "field guides" that told me more and in a more scientific way.

nov 13, 3:20 pm

>78 Narilka: & >79 Bookmarque: I bought this one as a trade paperback, but I think I will be doing it as an audio. When it gets repetitive my attention will just flit off elsewhere for a bit.

nov 14, 10:52 am

>79 Bookmarque: I can understand that.

>80 clamairy: I think audio may have been a better choice for me too. I tend to fall asleep easily reading it at night lol

nov 17, 1:30 pm

A Deadly Education Ch 9. I feel like Murderbot. I need to go have a private emotion. It's very sweet for El to go through what it feels like to be seen for her and actually liked for her. That little group is well on their way towards a great alliance. Now she just needs to get Orion onboard.

Nice backstory on Orion too. Poor guy.

Finished! I absolutely loved when the book went meta and El explained "I'm the 'love me and despair' version" when talking about her name LOL Like a double fan fic or at least an extra Tolkien nod. You can never go wrong with a nod to Tolkien :D

And awww, they actually ARE dating. HAHAHAHA This has to be my favorite relationship in a YA story in years. It felt very organic, growing over time.

It's also great that El made female friendships too. Real ones. And had girl talk!

Interesting hook for book 2. I wonder if mom's warning is because Orion is in an Enclave or something else. Too bad that note didn't have more details.

nov 19, 4:41 pm

I started The Last Graduate this morning. I like how this picks up literally where book 1 left off. Same line even!

Ch 1 It appears Scholomance is setting El up to act as a mentor (and protector?) for this group of freshman.

I'm starting to think the school has reasons for everything it does and being infested with deadly mals is just an unfortunate side effect. However the "trail by fire" set up does prepare the kids for the real world so it accomplishes that goal too in addition to academic learning.

nov 21, 12:46 pm

I set aside Entangled Life for the moment and started By Book or by Crook. It's a cozy mystery set in a North Carolina lighthouse that's been converted to a library. The murder happens by chapter 2, in the rare books section naturally, and now it's up to the new assistant librarian, Lucy, to help figure out who the murderer is before the wrong person goes to jail. On top of it all, it's not long before a couple of rare and valuable books also go missing from the library. It's hitting the right spot for a lighter read and pretty typical for a cozy mystery. There's even a library cat! Admittedly, Lucy hasn't really done much sleuthing so far, mostly just overhearing conversations. There is a set up with one of the locals trying to scare Lucy with stories about the library being haunted to try to get Lucy to go home to Boston. I'm hoping that character is either the murderer or the thief (I'm thinking different people at the moment) so she won't be in the next book if I continue the series. The I don't like character, Louise Jane, one bit. Also the obligatory 2 potential love interests and a surly jerk of a police captain.

nov 21, 1:09 pm

I've been horribly lax at keeping up with proper reviews this year. I'm going to attempt to make up for that a little this holiday week.

Redigerat: nov 21, 1:33 pm

28. Waybound by Will Wight

With the release of Waybound, Will Wight's Cradle saga is complete. What a fun and exciting ending it is! The story is jam packed with everything the Cradle books are known for - humor, action, Monarchs, Dreadgods, progression, Dross - only dialed up even higher. I don't know how Wight managed that but he did. My only complaint is there wasn't enough Eithan. Seems like I say that a lot in the later books. I liked where all the characters ended up, especially Lindon & Yerin's HEA and the reunions at the end. The bloopers were hilarious so be sure not to miss them.

It seems like not that long ago that Lindon was just a lowly unsouled with no hope of a future. I have thoroughly enjoyed joining Lindon, Yerin, Eithan and all the rest on their progression through the world of Cradle. While I hope there will be a sequel series in the future, this was a satisfying ending to their journey. I already know I'll be rereading the whole series again in the future.


nov 21, 1:35 pm

29. Magic Claims by Ilona Andrews

Magic Claims is the second in the Kate Daniels: Wilmington Years series by Ilona Andrews. Yeah, Kate and Curran really don't know how to keep a low profile. Not long after events in Magic Tides the power couple is approached with an offer they can't refuse - save a town from a mysterious evil in the nearby forest that's holding it hostage and own the land when they're successful. The clock is running out as the deadline for the town's "sacrifice" is fast approaching.

That was fun! I'm liking the novella format of these books. They're just the right size to be satisfying (though I wouldn't turn down another full length Kate Daniels). While there were a couple things that seemed very convenient, the story was just so much fun I didn't mind too much. I like the plans Kate and Curran have for their new life. It leaves so many directions for the story to go. Perhaps this will act as a bridge to another full series.


nov 21, 1:44 pm

>86 Narilka: I really have to start this series! The ratings are through the virtual roof.

nov 21, 2:17 pm

>88 clamairy: I hope you enjoy it if you give it a try :)

nov 21, 2:35 pm

30. Peace Talks Jim Butcher

"Some free advice for you: Never fight an old man. They've been there, done that, written the book, made and starred in the movie, designed the T-shirt, and they've got no ego at all about how the fight gets won."

Peace Talks is the sixteenth entry in The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher. The Accorded nations have decided it is time to end hostilities and have chosen Chicago as the location to host Peace Talks. The White Council is providing security for the event and have drafted Harry Dresden as part of the team. Nothing could possibly go wrong with all the main powers of the supernatural community gathered in one place...

Butcher sure packed a lot into this one. While the story mostly serves a set up for Battle Ground, a lot was covered. The story was surprisingly deep with poignant thoughts and moments around family, home and love, in addition to all the politics surrounding the talks. Harry being Harry there are plenty of eye roll worthy ogling and funny moments too.

Speaking of family, Harry and Ebenezer finally face some of the outstanding issues between them. I feel bad about Ebenezer. He's let his hate run away with him. I don't really expect anything much here other than him being a royal pain in Harry's side. And scaring poor Maggie. Maybe I'll be surprised and he will come around eventually about Thomas. Even though he can be a difficult old man, Ebenezer is truly a bad ass. It was highly enjoyable witnessing a battle with a Senior White Council member in it.

Butcher also did his research on Irish myths for this story. I hope I didn't spoil the second book for myself by looking up the Fomor and Ethniu as he's been pretty true to the myths so far.

If they had to break it into two books, I like where this ended. The stage is well set for Battle Ground without really being a cliff hanger. The only thing missing is Lugh of the Tuatha if Butcher is going to keep following the myth. I hope Chicago survives the battle to come.


nov 21, 2:54 pm

31. Friends with Bunny Feets by Andrew Seiple

Once upon a time there was a teddy bear who rescued his little girl, saved a kingdom and thought they had their happy ending. However, happy endings don't last forever. Trouble has returned to Cylvania as a hidden conspiracy seeks to overturn the new order of things. There's also something wrong with Celia and Threadbare is having trouble determining what the cause is.

Friends with Bunny Feets, the fourth book in Andrew Sieple's Threadbare series and the beginning of Threadbare's second story arc. Readers will want to have completed the original Threadbare trilogy and the Small Medium trilogy before diving in. There were no connections back to Blasphemy Online's story or characters so far.

The first half of the book is a rough/slow start with heavy politics and a tad depressing after how hard Threadbare and crew worked in the original trilogy. The kingdom of Cylvania has undergone great changes between books.

With all the background out of the way, the story moves on into a nice adventure and the second half feels like a Threadbare novel again. There are multiple story threads happening at once to set up for the remaining books. It was great being reunited with some of my favorite characters again. I hope for more of that in the next books. I also can't wait to see how Chase and Threadbare work together. Seems like a good combo for fun shenanigans.

It ends with an interesting twist for the toys and hopefully something to help Celia out. I'm looking forward to continuing the series.

I listened to the audio book narrated by Tim Gerard Reynolds. He is absolutely perfect for this series. I'm glad he was kept on as narrator.


nov 21, 2:57 pm

32. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by JK Rowling

Reread July 2023: It's amazing how much of this book I had forgotten over the years. This one has a lot of character building, plenty of relationships and the most serious tone of the books so far. I'm impressed with how Rowling doesn't shy away from the gravity of the events that happen. By the end I found myself so completely wrapped up in the story that even though I did remember the final climax it still caught me by surprise and left me just as shocked and sad as the first time I read it.


nov 22, 8:18 pm

The Last Graduate I'm just a few minutes into Ch 4 Awww, they're working on mouse familiars and she named hers Precious to keep the Tolkien theme LOL And the mice seem to be picking up some personality cues from their wizards :D

Yeah, it seems this is building to El wanting to form her own enclave using that book she has.

Interesting problem they all have with the mals gone and not enough magic.

So how long before Orion formally joins the little group?

I'm guessing since this chapter gets us through midyears that most of the book will be prepping for the graduation run.

Also interesting how in a momentary lapse El uses her powers in front of an enclaver and now they all know. She's in for an interesting rest of the school year.

Redigerat: nov 23, 8:51 am

Happy Thanksgiving!

nov 23, 10:36 am

Happy Thanksgiving to you!

nov 24, 7:50 am

>94 Narilka: Hope you day was awesome!

nov 24, 9:39 am

>96 clamairy: It was pretty great :) Hope yours was too!

nov 24, 9:43 am

I finished By Book or by Crook. It hit the cozy mystery spot pretty well though it had some glaring editing issues, which was weird. I hope the second book is free from those as I'm planning to give it a try. Lucy mostly got the hang of sleuthing by the end which was a nice character growth for her. While my hopeful person wasn't the killer, I did figure it out too just ahead of our lead so that was fun. I guess Louise Jane is set up to be the series frenemy.

Next up, Defiant.

nov 25, 7:19 pm

The Last Graduate About a third of the way through Ch 5 Aww, El is turning out to be a great human being while keeping her surly exterior. A healing spell without any strings attached?? Plus sharing that moment giving Orion mana? Good little chaperone mousie lol

Half way through Ch 7 And there's the romance. Impressive how Orion restrained himself.

I like how the school sets up obstacle courses for the kids to practice with. That's actually nice of it.

nov 26, 2:17 pm

33. Battle Ground by Jim Butcher

"Speak for yourself," Murphy said. "I just gave my last grenade to a Valkyrie and ordered her to blow up a kraken. I'm having a ball."

Battle Ground is the seventeenth entry in The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher. The title of the book is literal. If you don't enjoy action and battle scenes, you're going to hate this book. Luckily I'm an action junkie and enjoyed every minute of it.

So much happens in this installment that I'm assuming is to set up for the remainder of the series. And I thought Changes changed everything! This is even more fundamental of a shift in the story now that humanity, at least in Chicago, knows some of the truth. The story was also was one heck of an emotional roller coaster beginning to end. I think just about every secondary character, and many of the bad guys, make an appearance in this book. I still can't believe Butcher did that to Muprhy. At least she got to have some fun first. Nor did have any clue as to Marcone and all he's been up to. And Butters being MVP in the battle. Who would've ever expected that from where Butters started? Also, Harry has had the Winter mantle long enough that he's starting to think a little like a fae.

My copy also contained a short story titled Christmas Eve about Harry and Maggie on their first Christmas together. It was heartwarming and adorable.

It feels odd to be caught up on the series after taking my time reading it. Yet now that I'm caught up, it's going to be fun to start speculating and see if I can guess anything that's heading Harry's way next correctly.


nov 27, 10:41 am

Defiant Finished Part 1. For anyone wondering, you can start this without having read the novellas. A friend confirmed that the important parts of those are contained in the prologue. I was feeling a bit concerned since I noticed they were referenced in the first couple chapters and I hadn't read them yet and didn't want to stop. Anyway, I'm finally feeling hooked by the story again :) Interesting that Spena is almost having PTSD and definitely heavy guilt. I'm sure she'll pull through it by the end. She really does need to figure out how to block Brade from linking to her whenever. That's a pretty huge security risk. Her merging with Chet is having some very interesting effects. I can't wait for her to master them like she did on that raid.

I'm not sure what to make of MBot as a ghost. I don't think he's really a ghost exactly, though definitely is incorporeal so technically the description fits. I hope they can find a new... something? Body doesn't feel right lol To inhabit again.

I'm loving all the various slug types and it's so adorable to have a slug holster.

Redigerat: nov 30, 6:51 pm

Defiant through ch 11 Their date was very sweet. I think Sanderson has gotten better at writing relationships.

Spensa is freaked out and fighting with herself over the merge with Chet. It's going to be OK. You're in a Sanderson novel ;) She'll figure it out once she can relax.

dec 6, 9:09 am

I'm behind on posting.

Defiant finished Part 2/Ch 22. While it's completely understandable that Spensa would not be of sound mind after going through all her experiences with the Superiority and the Nowhere, the self-tortured "I am a monster, I am a weapon, I should be the only one having to make hard decisions so I can save others from feeling the way I do, no one understands me" got old fast. It's turned this book into a slog to read. Part of my enjoyment of the series is Spensa being Spensa. I realize this is for character growth but I'm not enjoying it.

I enjoyed the slice of life moments with Hesho and then the crew cleaning. That was nice. I'm glad Spensa had that semi-return to normalcy just in time for Brade to force the plot along. Ironically I'm also irritated with Brade for spoiling such a nice moment lol

Through Ch 30. Gran Gran is my hero. Such a great speech!

Ok, so now Spensa has gone OBE (out of body experience). And she's still just sort of wringing her hands in inaction. A lot of metaphysics in this series. At least with the fake ship fight we saw a little of the old Spensa again, which I've missed. She's also been making really poor decisions, falling for whatever Brade has planned. I think this is for character growth but I'm finding it more annoying than anything. Not sure YA is working for me right now as I DNF'd another YA not long back too.

Winzik was evil murdering Comfort. Glad Brade betrayed him and Spensa finished him off.

And finished the book. It did work for me, it was a proper ending to the series and satisfying. Ch 30 is a the turning point. I just wish I'd enjoyed the previous 300 pages to get there more. Scanning GR reviews there are a lot of 5 stars so either others are more forgiving or they enjoyed the whole book more. I'll likely give this 4 stars.

dec 6, 2:06 pm

The Last Graduate through Ch 10 I like how the story is showing the depth and breadth of El's powers with all these practice runs. Before it was all telling. This is finally the dark sorceress using her abilities.

Mid way through Ch 12 Feels like the school is setting El up, letting her make her own (probably wrong) conclusions about to the creatures being gone.

It is sweet that I think the school appreciates that she wants to get everyone out and support its stated mission even if it's not what the builders ever really cared about.

I do like how the school is a character.

dec 6, 2:31 pm

>86 Narilka: those look like fun. Is it set in Wilmington, NC? We lived there for several years, so that would be kinda cool. Do these work without having read all the prior Kate Daniels books?

dec 6, 3:34 pm

>105 Jim53: Yes it is set in Wilmington NC. I think you may have a problem without some of the general background on the series. Have you read any of the Kate Daniels books?

dec 6, 3:44 pm

>104 Narilka: I just finished this one recently, and agree with you about the storyline development; it's gone some surprising places for sure! The ending made me want to start the next one right away but I've got too much other stuff lined up so it will have to wait but hopefully not for too terribly long.

dec 6, 3:46 pm

>104 Narilka: Yes, all of that. I do love this series!

dec 8, 8:30 am

I finished The Last Graduate. Be still my beating heart! Now that's a proper cliff hanger of an ending. I'm glad this series is complete so I can move directly on to The Golden Enclaves. I am a bit sad for the Scholomance. It's not really destroyed, just going to be floating in space, full of angry mals, for who knows how long. I know it's not living exactly but it's a terrible fate for anything sentient, which the school is. Oh and with Orion for however long he lasts if El can't find a way back to grab his monster killing ass through the door. Wish the kid would've just stuck to the plan but sadly this is directly in line with his character. It's probably the one time he's really been able to feed his power properly and might have been too big of a high to resist.

dec 8, 10:20 am

The Golden Enclaves I started just as soon as I finished the last book. First, thank you Ms Novik for NOT making us suffer and picking the story up immediately after that cliffhanger.

About 10 minutes into Ch 2 Holy hell the gut punches just keep coming. That seems to be it for Orion :( El can't say she didn't try with all the power she had available. Mom's warning about Orion was a misunderstanding of his power and seems irrelevant. AND the dang golden sutras was an open ended request with El and possibly Orion paying the price for them? Oy. I think the commune is very very luck that El is (1) a fundamentally good person and (2) out of power at the moment. If anything was going to get her to give in and lash out, it would be this series of events.

I had to stop for work where Lisel just showed up. Hopefully she has some good news or can use her super smart brain to help El think of what to do next.

dec 9, 9:07 am

>106 Narilka: I haven't read any Kate at all. Would the first one or two of the main series give me enough to proceed to Wilmington? Are they reasonably edible?