Rosemary and Rue Part III

rosemary_and_rue_read_along McGuireWelcome everyone to the read along of Seanan McGuire’s Rosemary and Rue, Book 1 in the October Daye series. Anyone is welcome to join us! Check out the info at the end of the post.

This week’s host is Anya at On Starships and Dragonwings. We’re covering chapters 15-20 below, so beware of spoilers if you have not read that far. I’m doing the audiobook version (which is awesome) but I apologize now for any misspellings of names and such.

1. We finally get to meet Lily in person! What do you think? Does she live up to the buildup in the first part of the book? We also meet Julie for the first time. Does it surprise you that Toby seems to have more friends than she lets on?

So first, I was totally off in one of my answers last week – about the pond holding magical healing powers for Toby.

Lily seems to have all the common sense that Toby lacks. But she also has a much longer view and I think her powers are confined to this particular garden. I am unsure if Lily ever leaves the garden. There’s still a fair amount of mystery to her, but yes, I feel she lives up to the buildup. I look forward to learning more abut her.

Julie and Toby seem like great friends, practically finishing each other’s sentences kind of friends. After seeing how Toby has all these other friends that she has not bothered to contact since her return from the pond, I was not surprised to see she had yet one more. Let me just say that Mary Robinette Kowal does this great near-pur voice for Julie in the audiobook.

2. Tybalt to the rescue! Do you buy his excuse for why he chose to save Toby’s life? Ulterior motives much?

In part, it makes sense. He could always get out of it by presenting the chest to her corpse and then someone else would be free to pick it up. The letter of the promise is maintained. However, it looks like ties to Tybalt are more complex than we know. Toby is great friends with one of his nieces? distant  offspring? And I suspect there may be agreements between the Court of Cats and Sylvester’s court. Plus, I think Tybalt genuinely likes Toby and may have been flattered by her trust in him when she entrusted him with chest.

3. Toby gets together with Devin in this section. Their relationship is a bit fraught, what do you think? Is it good she is relying on Devin or do you think it is unhealthy?

I think it is unhealthy but not sure it goes any deeper than that. Devin has served a purpose in the gran scheme of Changelings and Fae life for perhaps centuries, right? How long do Changelings live again? So, it might only be a few hundred years, but still, he has become this useful place for unwanted Changelings to go. I don’t like him or how he treats the kids, but Toby makes some strong arguments about how everyone has to choose when to grow up and show some spine to Devin before they’re ready to move on with their lives.

Still, it all smacks of co-dependence. Devin likes the power and Toby likes the attention.

4. That freaking doppleganger! Did you suspect Gillian was fake? Do you think Toby should try to get to know Gillian now that she is older?

Yes, I suspected Gillian was something with malevolent intentions right off the bat. It was too coincidental that Toby’s daughter would pop on by at this moment. I didn’t know if it was a strong glamour or perhaps a possession of the real Gillian. I had not thought of a doppleganger.

Yes, I think Toby is ready to take that tough step. Through all this misadventure, she’s reconnecting with all her fae friends and it’s not as painful (in most cases) as she thought it would be. It would be tough if her daughter rejected her, but that might only be her initial reaction. Toby can’t know unless she reaches out to her.

5. Finally, we only have a few chapters left, any idea how everything is going to shake out? Ideas on who is behind it all yet?

Well, I don’t particularly like Devin, but that doesn’t mean he’s evil, just a jerk on a power trip. Is it wrong to hope it’s him and that he is soundly vanquished at the end of the book? But then there’s Connor’s wife (Luna’s daughter) Ralin or Raslin or some such. She’s not firing on all cylinders so while she might be part of it, she wouldn’t be the master mind. I trust Sylvester and Lily and mostly Tybalt.

I fully expect Toby to end up with a few more scars before this is over.

Other Tidbits:

If I ever get shot with a cold iron bullet, I want some sexytimes healing!

Devin’s kids who are sent to guard Toby seem like a fun pair. I think we met them last week. I am hoping Toby can help them see they don’t have to be dependent on Devin.

Do you think the doppleganger had to meet Gillian in order to look like her, or would a picture suffice? Should I be worried for Gillian’s safety?

 

Info on the Read Along

Here’s the schedule:

Week 1: Saturday 9th January, Chapters 1-6, hosted by Lisa at Over the Effing Rainbow
Week 2: Saturday 16th January, Chapters 7-14, hosted by Lynn at Lynn’s Books
Week 3: Saturday 23rd January, Chapters 15-20, hosted by Anya at On Starships and Dragonwings
Week 4: Saturday 30th January, Chapters 21-End, hosted by Over the Effing Rainbow

You can catch the weekly questions and links to folks’ weekly posts over at our GoodReads group SF/F Read Alongs. Have a look  around and you’ll see we have other upcoming SFF read alongs planned. As always, you’re welcome to be lurker, a commenter, or do your post.

Kushiel’s Scion Part III

Elderly Waffles has no idea whats going on.

Elderly Waffles has no idea whats going on.

The Terre D’Ange Cycle by Jacqueline Carey (of which Kushiel’s Scion is Book 1 of the second  trilogy) is one of my all time favorite series. The read along continues! Everyone is welcome to join in. Here is the SCHEDULE for the read along.

This week, Emily at Emma Wolf is our host. We’re covering the Chapters 20-27, so be prepared for spoilers below! Sorry for getting this up late – was in hospital for pneumonia for nearly a week.

1) Maslin says that Imriel’s gift of Lombelon made the estate small by so easily discarding it. Eamonn says it was Maslin that made it small. Who do you think is right?

Eamonn’s right about this one. I can see how Imriel’s actions might have given that initial punch to the gut ‘oh my! this is a small gesture to him’ feeling. But Maslin had months (years?) to decide that Lombelon was too small for him and he could have decided otherwise. Still, he is a young man and probably feels he has much to prove. His dad was an excellent swordsman, once a hero of the realm, and then a betrayer of the realm who saved the kingdom despite that. So, yeah, I can see how Maslin felt that living a quiet life managing a pear orchard while sipping pear brandy was too small a life for him.

2) What do you think of Imriel’s oath to Sidonie? Do you believe him? Would you believe him were you in Sidonie’s position? When he makes this oath, Imriel is still fairly young and doesn’t have a lot of experience in politics. Do you think there’s anything that could change his mind?

I think it was made from the heart and on the spur of the moment. It was genuine and Imriel didn’t really have to think about it because he honestly has no intentions to be lord of anything, let alone wear a crown.

I think if I was Sidonie, it would be difficult to accept the oath had I not known Imriel for years at this point. Alise speaks his praises and he’s shown no court ambition whatsoever and rarely comes to court and even then, has to be ordered to by someone of authority half the time anyway.

I think Sidonie would have to turn into quite the monster for Imriel to even consider going back on his oath and that is just really unlikely. Plus, if she did, I think her mom would paddle her ass in front of the entire court.

3) Things change between them during a hunt. What do you think?

They each got to see the other with their court masks down, briefly, and I think that is why they connected. Also, Imri then got his own hands  dirty sewing up Alise’s dog Celeste. Of course that couldn’t fail to touch Sidonie’s heart. I like that Imriel asks Sidonie (much later at the Longest Night?) if they will talk about it. I think, at this point, that Imri is much more willing to acknowledge his emotions on any subject than Sidonie is.

4) Imriel becomes the unwilling target or subject of potentially a treasonous plot. What do you think of Bertran’s reaction? Of Ysandre’s reaction and advice to Imriel?

That was pretty rude of Bertran, especially how he changed some of the facts around when he reported the incident. I think it also shows that perhaps all along he felt that Imriel was fine for drinking and dicing with but that he would never trust him in a position of power.

Unfortunately, Ysandre is right. Barquiel is best handled quietly in house if Imri wants any justice. Barquiel would never admit in public he had a hand in it and trying to force him t do so would probably lead to a duel that Imri would lose, and perhaps lose badly. I am very glad that Ysandre acknowledged how fucked up it all is while also laying out the options and explaining why she strongly recommended the path she did.

Besides, knowing Ysandre, Barquiel probably got a severe tongue lashing in her cold, calculating way, and perhaps some other punishments were laid upon him that Imriel will never hear about.

5) What do you think of Talorcan and Dorelei and the idea of the betrothals?

So far, we know little of them. Drustan, of course, speaks highly of them and I don’t think he would do that just to hurry some betrothals along. As he and Ysandre have said, it’s still up to the kids involved and they won’t force them into it.

I don’t think Alise would mind living in Alba, at least part of the year, and Talorcan seems to be a gentleman, not pushing Alise. But we’ve seen very little of him, so hard to say. If both Alise and Imriel marry Alban royalty, that could solve a lot of political issues, placating the masses of nobles.

6) Mavros takes Imriel to Valerian House and forces him to confront…less vanilla sex, if nothing else, and Imriel eventually gives in. What do you think of this? Was Mavros too pushy? Why did Imriel give Sephira her own signale?

Overall, I think it was a needful and insightful experience for Imriel. I don’t think Mavros was too pushy. After all, he kept telling Imriel he didn’t have to do anything, that everyone abided by Elua’s sacred rules of consent, and love and mutual pleasure was at the core of things. I think Imriel needed to see it before he believed it.

I’m glad that he had such a chat with Sephira and that she was honest with him about why she desired him and how she desired him. At the end, I think Imriel gave the only signale he knew (Sephira’s sunshine) because he needed to be done so that he could have time to process him own emotions. It was a lot of break throughs for him in a short period of time.

Other Tidbts:

I liked Phedre’s comment that she was happy as a teen, but that she was also vain and a silly thing.

I love that Phedre’s household went as Skaldi deities. It shows that old wounds can be set aside, if not healed yet.

It’s very sweet how much Imri misses his Eamonn, who gets to go off to college.

And here is the current list of participators:
Allie at Tethyan Books
Lisa at Over the Effing Rainbow
Lynn at Lynn’s Book Blog
Emily at Emma Wolf
Susan (me) at Dab of Darkness

We also have a Goodreads Group started for SF/F Read Alongs in general, and there is a specific folder for this read along. You are welcome to follow the fun there as well. If you want to be on the weekly email, just leave me a comment or shoot me an email with KUSHIEL’S SCION in the subject (nrlymrtl@gmail.com).

Rosemary and Rue Part II

rosemary_and_rue_read_along McGuireWelcome everyone to the read along of Seanan McGuire’s Rosemary and Rue, Book 1 in the October Daye series. Anyone is welcome to join us! Check out the info at the end of the post.

This week’s host is Lynn at Lynn’s Books. We’re covering chapters 7-14 below, so beware of spoilers if you have not read that far. I’m doing the audiobook version (which is awesome) but I apologize now for any misspellings of names and such.

1. We finally get to meet Devin and Sylvester. They’ve both played important roles in Toby’s life. What were your initial impressions of both of them and the worlds in which they live. What were your first thoughts about them?

Devin comes off as a bit slimy. He has his rules and, so far, seems to hold to them. He fills a void for those unwanted or wandering misfits. Toby has some fondness for him still, so he can’t be all bad. Still, I think of him as a bad, unhealthy habit that can still give a little sugar rush upon first consumption.

Sylvester rules with a light touch. I like him far better. He has genuine affection for Toby and I really do wish she had gone to him sooner. Still, I think I understand why she didn’t – she doesn’t feel worthy for some reason.

2. I’m totally intrigued by the Hope Chest – do you have any ideas about what exactly it is and what might be the significance of it being found?

Well, I don’t have any solid ideas, but I have to assume that the name – Hope Chest – has some significance. Does it hold the hopes of Evening or the hopes of whoever holds it?  Does it make those hopes come true? Or does it twist them? So far, everything to do with the fae has had some price. Everything is a trade. So I am guessing this Hope Chest exacts some price on the user or bearer.

So far, both Toby and Tybalt seem quite surprised at its very existence and yet they both know what it is. Toby, we know, hasn’t been alive all that long compared to many of the fae we have met. Not sure how old Tybalt is, but probably at least 100, but maybe 400 or more. So, that probably means that tales of Hope Chests feature in fae lore and bedtime stories and yet I don’t know the real significance of it yet.

3. Tybalt – I was curious as to Toby’s reasoning to trust him with the Hope Chest – what do you think?

Even if you are on the outs with someone, if you understand their nature and know that they will hold to their word, then you can make use of them. So, I agree with Toby’s reasoning here. It will make the Hope Chest far harder to find.

However, everyone has that price at which they will trade away their promise. I wonder if Tybalt will be pressed or tempted to do so at some point.

4. We experience the reaction of other members of the fae to the murder of Evening and Toby telling them about the Queen’s reactions – did their reactions give you any clues at all??

I think Sylvester’s and Luna’s reactions were closest to what Toby was expecting – that sense of true loss and worry over the murder of such a powerful and long-lived fae. Raysel is not firing on all cylinders so I am not sure yet if her laughing outburst means anything. Sylvester or Luna (I forget which) told Toby she would be wise to stay away from the Queen and to not trust her. I think that was rather self-evident to Toby, but it’s good to hear from another source. And perhaps Sylvester and Luna have reasons of their own for not trusting the Queen.

5. What were your thoughts on Raysel and Luna?

I’m really very curious as to what Raysel and Luna underwent for 12 years. I think it is significant they went missing at the same time as Toby. Obviously, Luna weathered it better. Perhaps that is because she has Sylvester to confide in. Perhaps it is because she underwent less. Raysel has gone off her rocker and I hope she can confide in someone and get back to good. However, I expect we shall see a tragic ending for her.

6. That ending, did we just end up back in the first post? – what is going on? Speculation?? Lets just talk about it please.

Ah yes, being ambushed by a freaking red cap! I did like how Toby rattled him around the back seat before trying to flee on foot. She’s badly injured but I suspect that particular pond holds some healing powers for her now. I am not sure if she will change into a fish and then be healed, or be healed in her natural form and wake up cold and damp on the pond’s edge in a few hours. Perhaps she now has this special power to change into a koi fish in any body of fresh water and heal herself and this is how she will discover that ability.

Other Tidbits:

Sounds like Toby’s old beau at Sylvester’s court may still hold a little flame for her. Still, when Toby described him as a surfer, I can’t help but think of all the bad surfer comedies and it’s hard for me to take him seriously.

Luna’s rose garden sounds awesome and creepy at the same time. It kind of reminded me a bit of this rooftop garden from Scott Lynch’s series The Gentlemen Bastards, a place where Jean learned to fight – and his balance and of limb placement were greatly improved by the blood drinking plants.

I liked how Tybalt helped Toby make it through sunrise. Like a cold splash of water there!

Info on the Read Along

Here’s the schedule:

Week 1: Saturday 9th January, Chapters 1-6, hosted by Lisa at Over the Effing Rainbow
Week 2: Saturday 16th January, Chapters 7-14, hosted by Lynn at Lynn’s Books
Week 3: Saturday 23rd January, Chapters 15-20, hosted by Anya at On Starships and Dragonwings
Week 4: Saturday 30th January, Chapters 21-End, hosted by Over the Effing Rainbow

You can catch the weekly questions and links to folks’ weekly posts over at our GoodReads group SF/F Read Alongs. Have a look  around and you’ll see we have other upcoming SFF read alongs planned. As always, you’re welcome to be lurker, a commenter, or do your post.

Kushiel’s Scion Part II

Elderly Waffles has no idea whats going on.

Elderly Waffles has no idea whats going on.

The Terre D’Ange Cycle by Jacqueline Carey (of which Kushiel’s Scion is Book 1 of the second  trilogy) is one of my all time favorite series. The read along continues! Everyone is welcome to join in. Here is the SCHEDULE for the read along.

This week, Allie at Tethyan Books is our host. We’re covering the Chapters 12-19, so be prepared for spoilers below! Sorry for getting this up late – was in hospital for pneumonia for nearly a week.

1) In this chapter, Katherine and Roshana introduce Imriel to some innocent regional courtship games.  What do you think of the differences between the two games?  Do you remember anything similar from when you were a teen?

I think both were pretty innocent, yet I can see why one scares Imri more than the other. he’s dealing with his triggers and figuring out what he can and can’t deal with right now. I do wish they had started with Katherine’s version and once Imri got a few kisses in, moved on to Roshana’s version. Perhaps that would have made it less scary for Imri.

The closest thing I had as a teen was spin the bottle. Yep. Pretty tame and boring. But at the time, it was bold and awesome.

2) How do you think Imriel’s ideas of love and sex are affected by the model set by Joscelin and Phedre? Do you think they’re doing a good job getting him through these awkward years?

I think it’s both good and confusing for him. On one hand, he saw what Phedre was like in Darsanga and how her body responded, willing or no, acting or no, to the Marhkagir. So, he’s seen this darker side to her passions. But then he has had 3-4 years of living with them and seeing their loving, monogamous relationship. I’m sure he hasn’t heard or seen any violent lovemaking between the two. Now that he’s coming into his own, I am sure he feels conflicted – be like the tame, deeply loving Joscelin, or like the loving on the edge Phedre?

And yes, I think Phedre and Joscelin are doing a great job of raising Imri. It’s a total balancing act, giving him enough space to figure out these personal likes/dislikes and also keeping him safe, and providing honest answers, and guidance.

3) Imriel is getting a lot happier and easier at court these days.  Is there anything that was particularly notable for you in this period, during the apple-picking party or on the Longest Night?

I really like that Imri takes a big brother’s interest in Alise, trying to include her in activities like the apple-picking contest. Then there is Mavros having his back at court in the Hall of Games; that was unexpected and cool of him. Imri is still learning what to do with his anger (that I think nearly all of us experience in our teen years) and it’s great that Joscelin lets him get that anger out during sword practice.

4) Imriel comes of age in this section, and spends his first night in the Night Court, at Balm House. What do you think about his experience with Emmeline?

Sacred. Loving. Healing.

This night with Emmeline did a world of good for Imri. It showed him that he can participate in sex in a loving way and that his fears of a darker, more violent sexual side is either not there or can easily be held in check.

5) Imriel has also made a new close friend, Eamonn mac Grainne!  What did you think of their fight?  How do you think their closeness will affect his image at court?

This is a great friendship because the two are so far removed from each other’s worlds that they can confide in each other without the preconceived notions. Imri’s heard some stories about Eamonn’s family and Eamonn has heard some stories about Imri’s family, but they don’t know the characters by sight and the folks around them don’t have these stagnant opinions of their forebears.

I think Imri has realized that some at court believe they are lovers and he’s taken a healthy attitude of ‘So what!’. His friendship with Eamonn means more to him than what others think of it.

Other Tidbts:

When Imri confided in Eamonn concerning the Marhkagir, I wanted to applaud his bravery. After hearing the story, I wanted to kill the Marhkagir all over again.

I think it’s great that Phedre and Imri can, on occasion, joke a little about their first few meetings in Darsanga.

And here is the current list of participators:
Allie at Tethyan Books
Lisa at Over the Effing Rainbow
Lynn at Lynn’s Book Blog
Emily at Emma Wolf
Susan (me) at Dab of Darkness

We also have a Goodreads Group started for SF/F Read Alongs in general, and there is a specific folder for this read along. You are welcome to follow the fun there as well. If you want to be on the weekly email, just leave me a comment or shoot me an email with KUSHIEL’S SCION in the subject (nrlymrtl@gmail.com).

Rosemary and Rue Part I

rosemary_and_rue_read_along McGuireWelcome everyone to the read along of Seanan McGuire’s Rosemary and Rue, Book 1 in the October Daye series. Anyone is welcome to join us! Check out the info at the end of the post.

This week’s host is Lisa from Over the Effing Rainbow. We’re covering chapters 1-6 below, so beware of spoilers if you have not read that far. I’m doing the audiobook version (which is awesome) but I apologize now for any misspellings of names and such.

1. So, first impressions time! What do you think of the book setup, first of all? Setting, magic system, Faerie in general?

I like that Toby comes off as pretty darn normal at first. Yes, she’s doing a little fairie magic to track this guy, but she has a home life with a fiance and a kid. She even has a human job as a private investigator. She’s not all caught up in the romance or mystery or magic of being a Changeling and having access to this world of Fairie.

2. Now let’s take Toby Daye herself. We get to see some of how she’s grown up and how she fits in, or doesn’t, in the modern world as it is post-fish. What are your initial thoughts on her?

I wasn’t expecting this! Which is great. Right off, Toby looses something (14 years of her life) and it really affects her. I can respect that she wants out, completely, from the world of Fairie but at the same time, she is what she is. She can’t change that.

I totally understand her not being able to swiftly catch on to all the modern tech. It’s daunting! I spent about 10 years behind a security fence (not prison! it was a national lab) where I couldn’t have a cell phone. So I had this el cheapo one for the car for making personal calls on the way home. Once I left that office job, I suddenly have time to explore touch screens and such. Ugh! I am a slow learner. It was so foreign to my old flip top with actual punch buttons phone. So, I feel Toby’s pain.

3. We have yet to properly meet certain characters (Devin and Sylvester), though we’ve gotten brief intros to others (Tybalt and the Queen of the Mists)… Who stands out for you among these secondary characters, and why?

Sylvester has made an impression as he seems to truly believe in Toby, as he knighted her against all tradition. So, I expect he’s a really decent guy. From what Toby has said of Devin so far, he’s like the toxic ex-boyfriend that still holds some allure.

I like that Toby has people in her life offering help or home cooked meals regularly, like what’s his face from the super market and his wife.

4. Toby has a murder mystery to solve. Any initial thoughts on the whodunit?

Nothing solid yet. I think that guy she was tracking at the beginning 14 years ago is tied up in this some how. I mean, why else have him there? And it would give Toby a chance for some pay back for turning her into a fish.

Other Tidbits:

I like that Toby and others have limits. But we really see it with her and how she gets headaches when she is pushing the limit on what she can cast, etc.

I really wonder what Toby did to earn a knighthood from Sylvester. It sounds big, whatever it was.

I need a fancy receipt to wave in front of authority figures while I spout some little chant in order to get what I want. Don’t worry! I wouldn’t do anything nefarious with it!

Info on the Read Along

Here’s the schedule:

Week 1: Saturday 9th January, Chapters 1-6, hosted by Lisa at Over the Effing Rainbow
Week 2: Saturday 16th January, Chapters 7-14, hosted by Lynn at Lynn’s Books
Week 3: Saturday 23rd January, Chapters 15-20, hosted by Anya at On Starships and Dragonwings
Week 4: Saturday 30th January, Chapters 21-End, hosted by Over the Effing Rainbow

You can catch the weekly questions and links to folks’ weekly posts over at our GoodReads group SF/F Read Alongs. Have a look  around and you’ll see we have other upcoming SFF read alongs planned. As always, you’re welcome to be lurker, a commenter, or do your post.

The Beginning of a Bizarre Friendship by Bijhan Valibeigi

ValibeigiBeginningOfABizarreFriendshipWhere I Got It: Kindle Unlimited

Publisher: Bijhan Valibeigi (2015)

Length: 98 pages

Series: Book 1 Time Wars Tales

Author’s Page

In the far, far future, vampires have taken over Earth and forced humans outward into the galaxy. Yet there are these time travel warriors who travel to the past in hopes of reclaiming the future. In this tale, the battlefront is modern day Seattle, Washington.

This is a fast-paced story with some fun tech, quirky characters, and one vengeful vampire. Agent Mu, as she comes to be called, kind of stumbled upon this gig. Out of work and out of money, she’s kicking around Seattle trying to figure out her next move when she comes upon two men in an alley fighting. Pretty soon, things turn weird and gory as one starts biting into the other. Once the attacker flees, our would be hero approaches the remaining man, who tells her to make the drop. Yep, there’s a touch of spy-ness going on here too, which makes the book extra fun.

So, she makes the drop and things happen pretty fast from there. Pretty soon, her handler is assuming she knows what she’s doing and she gets her cool vampire killing, gadget using, spy name of Agent Mu. She rolls with it, because what else does she have going on anyway?

There’s plenty of cool tech here, including Johnny, who is a very fancy personal assistant device. Though if you called him that, he would take it as an insult. There’s various weapons, a cool car, and fancy house with all sorts of tech built into it. Then there is the Gynoid – a humanoid automaton with lots of cool capabilities. But for some reason, it doesn’t have a mount or pocket or such for holding Johnny while the team runs around.

One of the things I liked about this tale was that you didn’t know the gender of our main character until the conversation where she gets her spy name. It’s left up to the reader to build an image of the main hero based on their first impressions. Also, and this is just my interpretation, I think she swings both ways. While there is no sex in this story to confirm yeah or nay on that, it’s great to see the door left open.

So over all, it was a very fun ride. My few criticisms are small. For instance, Gynoid has all sorts of trays and compartments and mounts, so why not one for Johnny? The tale doesn’t really include info about the vampires of the future, and yet there’s that whole spiel about them taking Earth in the far future in the book’s description. So I  would have liked a little more backstory within the actual story.  Other than that, I had a lot of fun with it. I loved the toothbrush and the comedy that brought into the story.

What I Liked: Lots of fun; cool tech; our main character Agent Mu; the toothbrush; Johnny and his sensitive ego;  the vampire hunt.

What I Disliked: Very minor – the tale could have used a bit more backstory built into it.

I, Mars by T. A. Uner

UnerIMarsWhere I Got It: Kindle Unlimited

Publisher: T. A. Uner (2014)

Length: 78 pages

Series: Book 2 Mindcop Dossiers

Author’s Page

 

Note: While this book reads just fine as a stand alone, it does contain some major plot spoilers for Book 1 (Doctor Mars).

Set approximately one year after Book 1, Liberty Rise is still a Mindcop and she’s still partnered with the smoking Muir. Things are brewing at the mining colony Javelin on Mars’s moon Phobos. Slow Fly has worked hard over the past year to take over the colony. Now, he’s putting on the finishing touches, getting his master computer up and running, and nearly ready to declare his superiority over Mars and the other moon Deimos. Liberty and Muir will have something to say about that!

This book was just as fast moving as Book 1 but was nearly twice as long. I really loved Book 1. The author did a great job in that book creating the setting, the Mindcops, the characters, and the plot, all swiftly and concisely. Here, we already have the setting and many of the characters, so I felt things could slow down a bit and have a bit more detail. The plot wasn’t as neat and tidy as Book 1. There was only a smidge of character development.

With that said, this is still brain candy. It moves along swiftly, so I was never bored. Liberty Rise continues to be interesting. We learn a bit more about her upbringing as a mutant as we get to meet her mom. Then we also have Mr. Bose, Liberty’s and Muir’s boss. He’s an interesting character, being mostly calm and yet decisive. He does a great job of holding the team together when the crap starts flying. Meanwhile, Slow Fly, our evil one, continues to be interesting, though not as thoughtful and sinister as in Book 1. He’s out there, not hiding in the shadows. Folks on Phobos know who he is and that he is trouble.

So we have this mystery with Liberty’s old boyfriend Cal Murray. There’s been no word of him this past year. But now she has questions for Slow Fly about him, forceful questions. Then Slow Fly is trying to build some world domination scheme involving his super computer Regulator and a nuclear arsenal. In this regard, he reminded me a bit of Brain from that cartoon Pinky and the Brain. I don’t think he understands what it takes to build nuclear pits and then to install them in space worthy warheads, even in the 22nd century. Lastly, we have some miner rebels that want to overthrow Slow Fly and banish him. He finds this annoying and the executions will continue until he is no longer annoyed.

There’s a bit more humor, albeit dark humor, in this book than in Book 1. Also, the story continues to be diverse, having several female characters and various ethnicities. I love seeing this in SF. Over all, it’s still a worthy series. I enjoyed my time reading this book and I plan to continue on with the series.

What I Liked: Mars setting; Slow Fly has grand aspirations; Liberty Rise kicks butt!; Muir is still a lovable annoying smoker; diversity in characters; still a worthy series.

What I Disliked: The plot wasn’t as tight as Book 1; the pacing was very fast and I felt things could have slowed a bit and added a little more detail.

What Others Think:

Seikaiha’s Blah-Blah-Blah