Aurora in Four Voices by Catherine Asaro

Why I Read It: Author Paula Jordan wrote a great Asaro fan piece on Darkcargo.com that got me interested.

Where I Got It: Review copy from the publisher (thanks!)

Who I Recommend This To: Fans of Scifi based on math, physics, and damn good plot.

Publisher: ISFiC Press (2011)

Length: 274 pages

Aurora in Four Voices is not only the title of Catherine Asaro’s book, but also the title of the first short story in this collection. This book was my introduction to Asaro’s works; Paula and Lady Darkcargo have been fans of Asaro for some time and I have to say, they know what they’re talking about. This book was comprised of 5 short stories, plus goodies. There is an intro by Kate Dolan and an afterward by Aly Parsons. There is also a short chapter by Asaro on the math used in her science fiction stories.

On that note, Asaro throws in bits of math and physics through out her tales. But if you don’t get it, it isn’t a big deal. The Story still goes forward. If you do get the math and physics references, then you can feel like a Smarty Pants. Which always boosts my ego just above level for a little while. (And no, I didn’t get all the math and physics, but I had a darn good time trying.)

Jigan and Aurora in 4 Voices

Aurora in Four Voices (46 pages)

For those of you who have read Asaro’s works, you will probably be familiar with the two main characters in this tale – ISC Imperialate Messenger Soz and Jato. Soz is our biocomputer enhanced heroine. She is strong and beautiful, has integrity, becomes slightly flustered in her personal relations. This makes her a very approachable character. Jato is this angry, lonesome man that has been trapped on the world of Ansatz in the city of Nightingale for several years for a crime he didn’t commit.

Intriguingly, Jato isn’t computer savvy. The Dreamers, natives of Nightingale, find him ugly and rarely interact with him. Over his lonesome years, he has made this beautiful bird sculpture  – it’s proportions correspond perfectly to a fugue he dreamed up.

Granite Crankenshaft, a master Dreamer artist, is using Jato to create his master art – which is the dark side of the Dreamers – the Aristo. Aristo are the ancestral founders of Ansatz and are now known as the compassionless Traders who are trying to dominate the Universe through slavery.

So here is Soz, merely for a day or two while minor repairs are made to her ship. Plopped right down into a minor mystery of why Jato is being held on this planet for a falsified crime. The chemistry between Soz and Jato was alternately fumbling and steamy. I was sucked in by the depth of character and then swept along by the scenery, and driven to the end of the story by the gripping plot.

Ave de Paso (14 pages)

The location is Southern NM, a most breath-taking locale. The two main characters are native Mayan Mexicans, cousins Manuel and Tina. They are there to mourn her mother, his aunt. In doing so, she sees the Earth God Yahval Balamil. He wants them both and tries to take possession of each in turn.

I could definitely tell there was a bigger story here – each character has history, with each other, and separately. When I finished this short story, it left me wanting more. I especially liked how Asaro caught the nitty-grittyness of the desert.

The Spacetime Pool (72 pages)

Janelle is a strong, intellectual female thrown completely out of her element into an alternate universe where women are valued by the wealth or alliances they can bring to a marriage, and then on their beauty and child-producing ability. Intelligence is last on the list. Dominick and Maximillian are two warring brothers, thrown at each other’s throats over a prophesy made before their births. And Janelle is at the center of that prophesy.

Asaro throws in a few mathematical puzzles throughout the story. But even if you have no idea what Riemann sheets are or the Fourier number, that’s OK. The story still holds together and carries you forward.

I really enjoyed this novella and read it all in one sitting, staying up later than I should have on a work night. When it was done, I felt satisfied, but yet still craving…maybe not an immediate second helping, but more of the same for the next meal. Thank goodness, there were still two more stories in the book.

Light and Shadows (20 pages)

Kelric Valdoria is a test pilot on planet Diesha. Jessa Zaubern is the red-headed engineer for Glint, the test aircraft. Kelric is missing his dead love Cory, driving him to suicidal thoughts.In his grief, he has few interactions with people – his primary conversations being about the new aircraft Glint with his CO or the engineer.

There are a few paragraphs that talk about light speed and how mass increases, etc. Also the time-travel stuff. The concept of the inversion engine was a new one for me, and having it introduced in the middle of an engaging tale means that it will stick with me.

Reading Asaro makes me smarter.

Cities of Cries (88 pages)

Major Bhaajan is hired for a discreet job back on her home world of Raylicon in the City of Cries. She has been engaged by the aristocratic Majda Family. She has to find a missing Prince.

Asaro set up an interesting dynamic by making the Majda a matriarchal society – the women rule the family, the finanaces, and the military. Men are kept secluded and are treasured for thier beauty, nurturing character, and fertility. So, if a cossetted Prince goes missing, it is a big freaking deal.

Bhaajan engages some of her underworld contacts in tracking this handsome MIA down. In digging up her old contacts, she reignites more than one flameable relationship.

I loved all the tech in this story – the little beetle bots, the dampers, the cloaking tech, the weapons, the bio-enhancements. Throwing in a bit of mystery and a bit of romance rounded out this ride to make it a most excellent tale.

What I Liked: The math and physics used as base for the stories; strong realistic female characters; the wide variety of worlds in this one collection.

What I Disliked: That I am a dork and waited so long to discover Asaro.

Note: This review was originally published on Darkcargo.com on 12/04/2011 and republished, and reformatted, here with permission of Lady Darkcargo.

The Florians by Brian Stableford

Why I Read It: I needed an epic scifi, seed the galaxy kind of story.

Where I Got It: Review ecopy from the publisher (thanks!)

Who I Recommend This To: If you are conflicted about spending money on the Space Program, this book has great arguments on both sides, all wrapped in an engaging story.

Publisher: Wildside Press (2012)

Length: 203 pages

Series: Daedalus Mission 1

Alex Alexander believes in the need for the human race to spread itself throughout the universe, starting with the nearest inhabitable planets. Earth sent ships to colonize these planets decades ago and then the governments of Earth sank into chaos. Alex, a scientist and adventurer, sees hope in reigniting Earth’s efforts to populate the galaxy by sending a crew on the Daedalus mission to reforge meaningful contact with the surviving colonies.

Brian Stableford told this story through Alex’s eyes using his endless hope, his keen intellect, and his sometimes rash decision-making abilities to keep me very entertained. The crew is made up of a variety of scientists (like Karen), and communicators of one sort or another (Nathan & Mariel). The planet of Floria is the first on the stop. The Daedalus Mission is to provide scientific assistance with any difficulties the colonists may be having permanently adapting to their new planet. In all ways, the Florians appear on the surface to be completely adapted, healthy, with a strong spreading colony. Yet Alex isn’t convinced – all the Earthly transplants are giants compared to Earth norms – the Florians averaging 7-9 feet tall. Watching Alex peel apart this mystery, exploring the odd native flora and fauna of Floria, was a treat for the biologist in me.

The Florians presented a nice quandary about a society kept intentionally ignorant of certain lines of science, such as those leading to firearms. Having the Daedalus, ignorant, unexpected strangers, set down in the midst of an ongoing power struggle between two components of that society provided an engaging background for Alex to do his thing: figure out if the Florian society  is viable long-term. Imagine being surrounded by giants, in a situation where your physical resistance is futile, leaving you to rely on your wits. I am so glad it was Alex’s wits, and not my own, that uncovered the mystery of the Florians.

What I Liked: The weird, creepy, crawly fauna of Floria; the book opens with an excellent debate covering the pros and cons of spending money on a space program; Alex’s sense of humor; the mystery at the heart of Floria.

What I Disliked: While there was 1 key female support character, I would have liked the women to have a bit more central role.

Brain Wave by Poul Anderson

Why I Read It: I felt like some classic scifi.

Where I Got It: The library.

Who I Recommend This To: It was short, and excellent. Need to feed your brain in a time crunch? This is excellent science fiction.

Narrator: Tom Weiner

Publisher: Blackstone Audio (2011)

Length: 5 CDs

Brain Wave was my first Poul Anderson book, and it was quite good. Set in near-future Earth, this short novel (only 5 audio discs) opens with following a variety of people, of differing IQs, around in their daily lives. We have Archie Brock, with an IQ high enough to carry out menial chores once demonstrated, Dr. Corinth and Helga with several other scientists, and Sheila Corinth who is capable of seeing to herself and running a household.

The Earth, moving through the galaxy, and the galaxy moving through the universe, has moved outside of a dampening field. Over a period of weeks, the humans and other intelligent beings of the planet begin to change. IQs are rising. Poul Anderson did a masterful job of capturing the issues that could arise if everyone, humans and animals, all had a sudden increase in intelligence. How would governments and societies reform themselves? How would we learn to cohabitate with other intelligent species, like cows, horses, and pigs? How would we convince people to take care of menial, laborious tasks, such as garbage collection? How soon would we populate the stars? And the book ends with a sweet and hopeful scene.

Tom Weiner was our audio artist for this novel, and he raised the bar for single-person audiobook performances. His range of voices was impressive, capturing nuances of the moment. There was a plethora of accents called for in this novel, since it involved the whole planet. In addition, a few animal voices were required. I look forward to more of his performances.

What I Liked: Thought-provoking premise; Archie Brock was a moving character; the questions raised about how to treat livestock that can hold a conversation.

What I Disliked: I kind of wish Anderson had made this novel a big longer, to play with the idea a bit more.

Note: This review was originally published on Darkcargo.com on 06/30/2011 and republished, and reformatted, here with permission of Lady Darkcargo.

Emperor: The Death of Kings by Conn Iggulden

Why I Read It: Enjoyed the first book in series, love the time period.

Where I Got It: paperbackswap

Who I Recommend This To: Roman Empire fans, Julius Caesar aficionados

Publisher: Harper Collins (2004)

Length: 677 pages

Series: Emperor Book 2

Book 1 in this series was good, like a scoop of chocolate icecream. Book 2 is even better, like nutella on my icecream. At the end of Book 1, young Julius had to leave Rome as Sulla assumed complete control. Book 2 finds him on a ship patrolling for pirates and eventually Julius gets his ass stomped by a crew of swarthy sea bandits. Julius, his commanding officer, and a handful of other Roman soldiers are held for ransom, for months, in a cramped, dirty space. Yeah, that’s the sucky side to being in the Roman Navy.

Once free of the pirates, Julius and crew end up on the northern coast of Africa, with just the stinking, deteriorating clothes on their backs. through force of personality, Julius gathers up a ragtag army and goes pirate hunting. He eventually ends up in Greece, in time for Mithridates great final Grecian rebellion. After that, he returns to Rome for some political wrangling and assassinations. Spartacus’s slave rebellion follows that ups.

Julius Caesar lived in interesting times and he is still a young man at the end of this novel. In Book 1, I found Conn Iggulden‘s writing style compelling, yet simple. In Book 2, he has honed his story-telling ability to a riveting point, keeping me up far too late on a work night traipsing around with Caesar. I found myself reading 100-page chunks of this book at a time. Images from this book have stuck with me, such as Julius threatening the pirate captain, the formation of the Tenth legion after they suffered their punishment for cowardice in battle, his reunion with his wife Cornelia, Brutus’s blossoming relationship with his mother. I loved the juxtapositioning of Rome, a civilized, beautiful city, run by the shadowy side of politics versus the deadly open-field warfare in Greece.

What I Liked: tagging along as Brutus and Julius become men; reformation of Primegenia; the author’s version for the source of Caesar’s seizures; the factual descriptions of the Roman army in the field and on the march; the historical notes at the end of the book.

What I Disliked: The last 50 pages wrapped up several points in a hurry, and I wish the author had been given another 50 pages to flesh the ending out a bit.

Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed

Why I Read It: Darkcargo raves about this author.

Where I Got It: Won it from Goodreads, supplied by publisher (thanks!).

Who I Recommend This To: Those into fantasy adventure with flawed, fascinating characters.

Publisher: DAW (2012)

Length: 288 pages

Series: Crescent Moon Kingdoms Book 1

Late last year, I joined Goodreads, a book community site that has several on-going giveaways at any one time. That is where I won Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed, who Darkcargo has been stalking politely and professionally following for some time now. I received my ARC in the mail about a week ago. Throne of the Crescent Moon is due to be out, in hard back, February 2012, and is to be the first in a series.

This magical, nitty-gritty tale is set in the Kingdom of Abassen, primarily in the cit of Dhamsawaat. Adoulla Mahkslood is a professional ghul hunter and an overweight old man. He is assisted by the young, and overly pious, Raseed bas Raseed, of the forked sword. They start off with a simple quest to kill some ghuls in nearby marshlands, about a day’s ride away. There, they discover more than they expected – indicating deeper and darker magic is a-foot. Unexpectedly, the desert tribeswoman Zamia Banu Laith Badawi renders aid. She had been tracking the ghuls in order to avenge the dead of her tribe. She is full of pride and anger and loss and will not stop her hunt until she has killed the jackalman-beast monster that slayed her people.

And all that was just the first night of reading. You can see how I was sucked in to the story from the beginning.

As these unlikely heroes attempt to unravel the mystery to this evil and defeat it, they are assisted by long-time friends to Adoulla – husband and wife Dawoud and Litaz. One’s a mage and the other an alkhemist. All their efforts are integral in fending off this ghul-raising evil and saving the city of Dhamsawaat. Perhaps. And that is why I am glad there is another book in the wings. Last night when I finished Throne of the Crescent Moon, I truly wasn’t ready to say goodbye to these characters.

I really enjoyed this book, for a number of reasons. Characters, places, magics, and cultures new to me – not based on European mythologies. Also, each character was flawed in some way – which made them very real to me. And despite their imperfections, they were still fighting for the good. The bad guys are really bad – like no qualms about killing little kids or stabbing you in the back kind of bad. I appreciate this in a fantasy – it makes the struggle for good all the more important.

The play of light and dark makes for a whorling gem of a tale. The relaxing use of cardamom tea in between action scenes had me wishing for a hot cup myself. Saladin Ahmed sprinkles his prose with references to foreign places that make this story all the more tangible; camels trained to sniff out ink mushrooms and honey fried colocasia roots are just two such examples. All in all, Throne of the Crescent Moon is a most engaging book and I fully encourage you to check out his works.

What I Liked: Fantasy set in a non-European culture; flawed, real characters; cardamom tea; really bad dudes.

What I Disliked: Now I have to wait so long for the next in the series.

Note: This review was originally published on Darkcargo.com on 01/08/2012 and republished, and reformatted, here with permission of Lady Darkcargo.

The Last Watcher by D. B. Clifton

Why I Read It: Spooky & suspenseful – just what I needed to start the day.

Where I Got It: Won it from Reviews by Martha’s Bookshelf (thanks!)

Who I Recommend This To: Those into dark guardian against evil stories.

Narrator: Simon Prebble

Publisher: Mind Wings Audio

Length: 1 hour and 2 minutes

Series: This is the 1st part in a 4 part adventure.

This story starts with a young, unassuming man, Philip Thomas, traveling through the old Byzantine lands – Turkey, Bulgaria. His beloved and trusted mentor recently died from a horrible, wasting, painful disease and he is racked by his doubts in God. This young seminary student ends up driving the backroads of Bulgaria and running out of gas. Sigh. It’s happened to me to, just not in Bulgaria.

He takes to his feet, and that is when the spooky shit starts to happen. The imagery was vivid and detailed enough that I could picture myself walking side by side with this young man – the odd scrabbling sounds in the dark, the intense feeling of being alone in unknown woods. He ends up at a cabin that is filled with religion icons, music, and an elderly monk who is a guardian of some trapped evil.

While this was a short listen, D. B. Clifton thoroughly entertained me. I look forward to reading more of his work, and completing The Last Watcher series. In an hour, Clifton took our main character from feeling lost and disillusioned to finding his place in the world, along with a realization of his on mortality.

Simon Prebble provided an intense performance in this demonic religious drama. His Bulgarian accent and Greek pronunciation were quite believable.

What I Liked: The intensity of the story; the Bulgarian monk & his music appreciation; the mystery of the situation; unifying take on religion.

What I Disliked: All male cast.

Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Why I Read It: I was looking for something outside my normal genres.

Where I Got It: The library.

Who I Recommend This To: This was a tough story. If you’re looking for a well-written tough story, then this might be the one for you.

Narrator: Lisette Lecat

Publisher: Recorded Books (2004)

Length: 10 CDs

I haven’t decided yet whether or not I liked Purple Hibiscus, but it made me think; and I truly enjoy thinking. Every once in while I stick with a book not because I particularly like the subject, enjoy the prose, or find the text entertaining; I stay with it because it is stretching the few brain cells that call my head home. You know what I mean?

C. N. Adichie‘s writing kept me engaged for 10 discs (appr. 11 hours). The setting is Nigeria near present day. Kambili (15), her brother Jaja (17), and her mother all live under the tyrannical roof of her well-respected father. A main theme throughout the story is domestic abuse and how these 3 survive, told through the eyes of Kambili. Her family is rich and privileged; Kambili and Jaja go to private school, the family has at least 2 vehicles and a driver, they have wait-staff, etc.

As the story unfolds, Kambili and Jaja get to go to their aunt’s house for a short visit, their first unsupervised visit away from home. Of course their father sends them with modified schedules; yes, he has day-to-day schedules for everyone in his household. For the first time the kids are free to laugh, watch TV, and listen to music throughout the day. There is even singing, something their father sees as unchristian and therefore not allowed in his house. The kids start to bloom into real people in the few short visits they have at their aunt’s.

Kambili and Jaja of course have to adjust to a less privileged household – like no indoor running water, no guaranteed 24-7 electricity, no guaranteed petrol for the car, no daily meat for supper. But they gladly trade all their privileges for bunking with their cousins, the lack of indoor ventilation, no daily sodas, and the enjoyment and freedom of their aunt’s house. While much of the book was a bit tough to listen to, the book is hopeful and left me with a believe that life would turn out OK for Kambili.

Lisette Lecat was the audioartist for this book and she did an outstanding job. There are sounds in the Nigerian tongue that just don’t exist in the American span of dialect. She pulled off both female and male voices and brought forth the emotional sides to the characters.

What I Liked: Being saturated in a foreign culture; the blooming of the main characters (the children); the book ends with hope; the author took on a tough subject.

What I Disliked: Familial physical abuse can be tough to listen to.

Note: This review was originally published on Darkcargo.com on 08/04/2011 and republished, and reformatted, here with permission of Lady Darkcargo.

Earth Unaware by Orson Scott Card & Aaron Johnston

Why I Read It: My man & I are Orson Scott Card fans.

Where I Got It: From the publisher through Audiobookjukebox.com (thanks!)

Who I Recommend This To: Space opera fans, Ender’s Game fans

Narrators: Stefan Rudnicki, Stephen Hoye, Emily Janice Card, & cast

Publisher: Macmillan Audio (2012)

Length: 12 CDs

Series: The First Formic War, Book 1

Let me say this up front: This is one of the best books I have listened to this year so far.

Set in the same universe approximately 80 years before as the well known Ender’s Game series, this book covers the first contact between humans and the alien Formics (AKA Buggers, Ormigas). Victor (Vico) Delgado is a free miner, living with his family on the ship El Calvador mining precious metals from asteroids. His young life is about to take a turn as his best friend, and second cousin, Allejandra decides to leave El Calvador to live with the Italians. Bereft of his close friend, and perhaps his first brush with love, he must adjust. But while he is trying to adjust, things start to happen pretty quick, like cousin Edimar spotting something unknown in the starry sky moving at incredible speed – perhaps an alien ship.

Lem Jukes is an intelligent man, but driven by corporate greed. the Jukes Corporation have a new toy – a big toy that can disintegrate asteroids of various sizes, freeing up the metal for easy collection and huge monetary gain. Lem also has an overbearing father, Ugo Jukes, head of the corporation. Lem is driven to stand on his own and prove his worth and he has many opportunities in this story to do so. Lem turned out to be one of the more complicated characters in that he has some inner conflict going on.

I really enjoyed how this tale captured space culture; those bred and born in space have physiological differences to those bred and born in a gravity environment. The laws of physics, theory of gravity, and the known limits of human endurance weren’t ignored willy-nilly in this space opera, which was quite refreshing. The characters started off simple, in their little worlds, doing their every day deeds; and then they quickly had to grow and morph into something more as the threat of alien invasion became apparent.

The full narration cast was awesome, a truly quality performance. Stefan Rudnicki performed as Witt, a leader of the elite international armed forces called MOPS. Rudnicki’s voice could make remote control assembly directions sound intimate and exciting. Vico and his myriad of emotions he exhibits throughout the tale were portrayed well by the narrator. Emily Janice Card, the daughter of Orson Card, had a smaller performance but one that gave her the opportunity to show off her praise-worthy ability to roll her Rs. This audio version includes a short interview with the author at the end of the book (I love such bonuses).

What I Liked: The free-miner culture of close-knit family; alternately hating and praising Lem Jukes; Imala Bootstamp who shows up late in the tale (no nonsense lady); Mono, an aspiring machinist; there’s always something going on in this book, from start to finish; zero-gravity and how it affects everything.

What I Disliked: I now have to wait months for the next in the series. Sigh.

Books That I’ve Been Meaning To Get To

My best good buddy over at Darkcargo.com is doing a BTIBMTGT Party and I am bringing my books to play.

In her words:

Maybe your BTIBMTGT pile includes a classics or two, maybe a book that (gasp) is non-fiction, perhaps your hang-up is…well, I don’t know what your hang up might be, but some of the hitches in my get along are:

  • I’ve heard a lot of wonderful things about this book and I don’t want to be disappointed.
  • It’s big. I’ll read it when I finish these seven-thousand other shorter books.
  • I don’t have a copy. (??? don’t look at me like that! I dunno, these things happen.)
  • I’m not sure I can or want to review this book on my blog and so I should read these others that I feel more comfortable reviewing.
  • No one should know that I read this book…and live to tell the tale.

So here’s what I thought would be fun. Gather your books and arrange your affairs for whatever time is good for you to do LeaveMeAlone Booky Time, sometime over the weekend after next weekend (23rd-27th August-ish).

On YOUR BLOG, I want to read a post about the books that you tried on for size and fit, I want to know why you chose them, what you thought of them and so on. They don’t have to be whole reviews for the whole book, just the initial impressions. (If a post like this doesn’t fit well in your blog for whatever reason, I’m happy to post guest posts here.) I’ll continue to post cross-links for the participating blogs so that we can go and explore.

If you want to play with us, you can sign up for email updates and Organizing Book Readers (worse than herding cats) kind of stuff either here in the comments or over at Darkcargo’s Post.

As you can see by the pictures, I have a nice little stack of books ready to go. You?

Watership Down by Richard Adams

Why I Read It: This was a monthly Darkcargo book selection.

Where I Got It: The library.

Who I Recommend This To: Those who like little bunny stories.

Narrator: Ralph Cosham

Publisher: Blackstone Audio (2010)

Length: ~16 hours

Lots of fuzzy bunnies. They’ve got ambitions, bad dreams, prerogatives. Watership Down starts off with one rabbit that has been blessed with the gift of foresight having a bad feeling and that is why he and those who will follow must leave the warren. A handful of connies set out, not really knowing where they are going nor really why, except Fiver has a vague, deep feeling of dread towards the warren.

Soon Fiver is proved right and we learn of the doom of the home warren.  The rabbits have made it to a new warren, very laid-back, breakfast served every day by humans.  Fiver and Hazel and crew consider staying for a while. However, soon Fiver is expressing his concerns and fears and the hares must move on after a nasty encounter with a wire trap.

They find a nice cozy place and dig a new warren, something male rabbits typically don’t do even though they are capable. They have no ladies with them and soon this becomes something they must acquire. They befriended a gull when they tended to it so his wing could heal up. The gull then scouts out the nearby area for other connies and tells of a nearby warren. A delegation is sent to this warren which is very organized and militant in nature lead by a general of a bunny named Woundwort. He is hard core.  And he is not interested in letting any of the does leave. Indeed, he isn’t interested in letting the delegation leave.

And I will leave the story there, so that you can find out for yourself how it ends.

Most of you have probably read this book or seen the cartoon movie. I saw the cartoon when I was a kid and it really turned me off on this book – violent, bloody hares. But I am glad to say that the book is much more civilized – most violence is referred to and not described in detail.

There was a little beforeward from Richard Adams where he explained that he started off by telling this story in shorter bits to his daughters during car trips. His daughters eventually demanded he put the tale to paper, which he did. However, he couldn’t find an English publisher for it and so the manuscript came to the US, where is was first published. Shortly there after, it made it’s way over to England and was a big hit.

I enjoyed how the rabbits had their own mythology and stories. There are several segues into these tales and they were instructive and imaginative. While there were few female characters, probably because they came into the story late, they are considered integral in sustaining the new warren.

Ralph Cosham is the voice actor for this audiobook and he did a great job. I really enjoyed listening to his voice – an even cadence and smooth pronunciation of rabbit names and words.

What I Liked: The bunny myths; Woundwart is a badass; the gull and the whole idea of interspecies cooperation.

What I Disliked: Fiver’s foretelling ability is used to kick the story off and again whenever things are boring; no true, filled out female characters.

Note: This review was originally published on Darkcargo.com on 02/02/2012 and republished, and reformatted, here with permission of Lady Darkcargo.