Audiobook Giveaway & Interview: JB Rockwell, Science Fiction Author

Folks, please give a warm welcome to J B Rockwell to the blog today. Learn about Jennifer’s dream library, just who the Swiss Army knives of spec fic are, and how she ended up in a duel of toothpicks at dawn! Interested in winning a CD copy of her latest SF book Dark & Stars? Then scroll to the bottom for the giveaway!

If you could be an extra on a TV show or movie, what would it be and what would you be doing?

Well, if you could resurrect Firefly, I’d be all over that. Me and Kaylee hanging out, slinging wrenches in the engine room, lobbing one-liners at the rest of the crew. 🙂 If we’re sticking with something current, I’d love to be on Fargo—that is the darkest, funniest, most oddball show out there and I love it. I’d want to play a Deputy or something so I can PACK HEAT AND EAT DONUTS ROWR!!!!

If you could give any literary villain a happy ending who would you chose?

Smaug. I mean, that poor little guy was the only dragon left in Middle Earth and, yeah, he was squatting in the dwarves’ house, but c’mon! Dude was cold! And gold hungry! Can’t blame him for wanting to move in! And what do they do? Run away. Abandon him. Leave him all alone sleeping on a cold, hard bed of coins. Sheesh. No wonder he had anger issues. They could have at least given him a kitten. I’d love to see a rewrite where Bilbo lures Smaug out with a pretty, little lady dragon and they fly away to live happily ever after on some nice, warm tropical island where there are no dwarves at all. THE END.

Is there a genre or literary niche that you feel hasn’t gotten it’s deserved amount of attention?

I don’t even know what to call it, but there’s this grey area between horror and mystery that needs more love. I love a creepy, mysterious story that’s a little scary, but I don’t necessarily need the graphic gore. So light horror/creepy—more of that, please! Oh, and give it a name, too, so I know how to google it.

The public library of your dreams has arrived! What special collections does it hold?

UGH! THIS QUESTION IS TOO HARD!!!! Soooo many books.

Okay. If I have choose something, let me highlight a few sections I think are mandatory:

1. Every edition and every cover of Lord of the Rings ever printed—some of those were GORGEOUS. Also include any of the companion books, map books, art books, etc. I want all the Lord of the Rings book things!
2. An entire section devoted to folklore. And make it BIG because I want Celtic and Norse, Russian and Bulgarian, Korean and Japanese and African and everything else. GIMME ALL THE FOLKLORE FROM ALL THE CULTURES!!!
3. An entire section dedicated to books on dragons. And not just fiction books (stop laughing, dragons are real). Science books, picture books, biology texts, I want it all.
4. An entire section devoted to female spec fic authors. Another section for spec fic POC authors. A third for spec-fic LGBTQ. I want to highlight their awesomeness—they deserve more space!!
5. A Dr. Seuss area with all his books, a load of bean bags, and some big, comfy chairs. And puppies. And a few kittens.

If you had to choose someone to rescue you from the jaws of certain death would it be a superhero, supernatural creature, or a space alien?

Supernatural creature hands down. I can even see how this scenario would play out: Nessie saves me and takes me to her secret and awesome lair beneath the loch (this is also where all the world’s unicorns hide out, too, by the way). Over tea and cake we become fast friends, spending our days playing bagpipes and eating shortbreads, and our nights drinking beer and tossing haggis at the tourists.

Myths and beliefs that we would consider fiction or fantasy in modern literature once upon a time shaped history (think of all the hunts for unicorns & dragons). Do you see modern fantasy fiction affecting human cultures today and how?

Modern fantasy is a lot more all-encompassing, so definitely, yes. Early fantasy was very western culture and myth centric (still is), but we’re gradually seeing more books based on African, and Asian, and other world cultures, which is FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC. The global economy is exposing people to other foods, and beliefs, and ways of thinking, and fantasy is giving us amazing new backdrops, and creatures, and characters that influence art, and culture, and fashion, and so many other aspects of our lives. We just need more—MORE MORE MORE MORE MORE!!

What future invention would you like to see not only created during your life time, but readily available to the public?

TRANSPORTER PLEASE??!! Raise your hand if you’re sick of sitting in traffic? Or driving hours to the airport to sit for hours in the airport and then spend hours on a plane. Granted, there’s the whole ‘catastrophic failure ending in subatomic deconstruction’ thing, but c’mon! Hawaii in 2 minutes! GIMME THAT!

You are stuck in space in dire straights. Which science fiction authors would you want with you?

I love that first line, by the way. It simultaneously reads like poetry, and like I got dropped into a choose your own adventure story. 😀

And now, my answer! I am TOTALLY bringing Elizabeth Bear because she would either fight her way through any and all adversities, or lie, cheat, steal and swindle to pull us through. I’d also want N.K. Jemisin because she seems to think quickly on her feet and would come up with some wonky and entirely unexpected solution to save our bacon. Bear and Jemisin: the Swiss Army knives of speculative fiction.

Often various historical aspects (people, locations, events) are used in fantasy and sometimes rehashed in a far-flung future. In your opinion, what are some examples of such historical aspects being used well in the SF/F genre?

So, I’m a huge fan of Stephen King’s Gunslinger series. One of the things I loved most about these books (beyond the movement between time periods) were the references to various cultures, and myths, and stories that are sprinkled throughout. ‘See the Turtle of enormous girth’ is an obvious reference to a classic creation myth. The character of Roland: a reference to Child Roland to the Dark Tower Came. The six beams and their guardians—all references to Native American totems and myths. That’s just a sampling of the rich tapestry of this multi-part story, a series that mixes sci-fi, fantasy and western elements and pulls it off in style.

What is a recurring or the most memorable geeky argument or debate you have taken part in?

Oh man. I was lucky enough to get invited onto the Super Awesome Geek Show (twice!) and we geeked out so hard on Star Wars. I’m a huge fan but not a super fan so I love talking Star Wars, but I admit I also enjoy mercilessly teasing the ‘cannon’ quoters. 🙂 I honestly can’t remember what specific part of Star Wars we were discussing—this was in the run-up to The Force Awakens this first time, and Rogue One the second time—but it ended with a challenge involving toothpicks at dawn…?

May 2016 Episode of Super Awesome Geek Show with J B Rockwell

December 2016 Episode of Super Awesome Geek Show with J B Rockwell

About Jennifer Rockwell: 

J.B. Rockwell is a New Englander, which is important to note because it means she’s (a) hard headed, (b) frequently stubborn, and (c) prone to fits of snarky sarcasticness. As a kid she subsisted on a steady diet of fairy tales, folklore, mythology augmented by generous helpings of science fiction and fantasy. As a quasi-adult she dreamed of being the next Indiana Jones and even pursued (and earned!) a degree in anthropology. Unfortunately, those dreams of being an archaeologist didn’t quite work out. Through a series of twists and turns (involving cats, a marriage, and a SCUBA certification, amongst other things) she ended up working in IT for the U.S. Coast Guard and now writes the types of books she used to read. Not a bad ending for an Indiana Jones wannabe…

Places to Stalk J B Rockwell

Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Amazon ~ GoodReads

Book Blurb for Serengeti: 

It was supposed to be an easy job: find the Dark Star Revolution Starships, destroy them, and go home. But a booby-trapped vessel decimates the Meridian Alliance fleet, leaving Serengeti – a Valkyrie class warship with a sentient AI brain – on her own, wrecked and abandoned in an empty expanse of space. On the edge of total failure, Serengeti thinks only of her crew. She herds the survivors into a lifeboat, intending to sling them into space. But the escape pod sticks in her belly, locking the cryogenically frozen crew inside. Then a scavenger ship arrives to pick Serengeti‘s bones clean. Her engine’s dead, her guns long silenced; Serengeti and her last two robots must find a way to fight the scavengers off and save the crew trapped inside her.

Amazon ~ Audible

Book Blurb for Dark & Stars:

For 53 years Serengeti drifted, dreaming in the depths of space. Fifty-three years of patient waiting before her Valkyrie Sisters arrive to retrieve her from the dark. A bittersweet homecoming follows, the Fleet Serengeti once knew now in shambles, its admiral, Cerberus, gone missing, leaving Brutus in charge. Brutus who’s subsumed the Fleet, ignoring his duty to the Meridian Alliance to pursue a vendetta against the Dark Star Revolution.

The Valkyries have a plan to stop him – depose Brutus and restore the Fleet’s purpose – and that plan involves Serengeti. Depends on Serengeti turning her guns against her own.

Because the Fleet can no longer be trusted. With Brutus in charge, it’s just Serengeti and her Sisters, and whatever reinforcements they can find.

A top-to-bottom refit restores Serengeti to service, and after a rushed reunion with Henricksen and her surviving crew, she takes off for the stars. For Faraday – a prison station – to stage a jailbreak, and free the hundreds of Meridian Alliance AIs wrongfully imprisoned in its Vault. From there to the Pandoran Cloud and a rendezvous with her Valkyrie Sisters. To retrieve a fleet of rebel ships stashed away inside.

Amazon ~ Audible

GIVEAWAY!!!

J B Rockwell is offering up 1 audiobook (CD) copy of Dark & Stars (US Only due to shipping). Do the Rafflecopter thing below or answer these questions in the comments. 1) What state do you live in? 2) What future invention would you like to see during your lifetime? Giveaway ends May 27th, 2017 midnight.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Women Destroy Science Fiction!: Lightspeed Magazine Special Issue edited by Christie Yant

YantWomenDestroyScienceFictionLightspeedMagazineWhere I Got It: Review copy

Narrators: Cassandra Campbell, Gabrielle de Cuir, Harlan Ellison, Grover Gardner, Jamye Grant, Susan Hanfield, Jonathan L. Howard, John Allen Nelson, Bahni Turpin, Stefan Rudnicki, Molly Underwood, and Judy Young

Publisher: Skyboat Media Inc. (2015)

Length: 15 hours 11 minutes

Editor’s Page   Lightspeed Magazine’s Page

Over the past few years, there has been a series of ‘XXXXX Destroy Science Fiction’ anthologies, but this is the first one I have read. While the title may smack of too much ‘I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar’, the anthology was quite balanced with characters of all genders, action and contemplation, mystery and exploration, happy endings and not-so happy endings. Most of the stories had some real meat on them, including several of the flash fiction tales, giving me something to chat about over tea. Some were humorous and some required some thoughtful contemplation afterwards. Over all, it’s an excellent science fiction anthology.

Contained in this audiobook are 11 original short stories, 4 short story reprints, 1 novella, and 15 flash fiction tales. If you pick up the text version, you also get 7 non-fiction pieces, 28 personal essays, and 15 author spotlights. Authors for stories in this audiobook include Charlie Jane Anders, Eleanor Arnason, Elizabeth Porter Birdsall, Heather Clitheroe, Tina Connolly, Katherine Crighton, Ellen Denham. Tananarive Due, Rhonda Eikamp, Amal El-Mohtar, Emily Fox, Maria Dahvana Headley, Cathy Humble, N. K. Jemisin, Marina J. Lostetter, Seanan McGuire Maureen F. McHugh, Kris Millering, Maria Romasco Moore, Samantha Murray, K. C. Norton, Anaid Perez, Sarah Pinsker, Rhiannon Rasmussen, Holly Schofield, Effie Seiberg, Gabriella Stalker, James Tiptree, Jr. (Alice Sheldon), Vanessa Torline, Carrie Vaughn, and Kim Winternheimer.

Below are the 11 original stories.

Each to Each by Seanan McGuire

The Navy has modified whole submarine corps of women into ‘mermaids’ to explore and claim the ocean floor for bubble cities and resources. The main character finds something in the deep that she didn’t expect. The narrator did a great job with the elongated vowels and such (sounding like in between ocean animal and human) and keeping each female character distinct. This was my favorite story of the whole book and a great way to start the anthology off. 6/5

A Word Shaped Like Bones by Kris Millering

Maurine is an angry artist in space. Her only ‘companion’ is a dead man in the corner. Rather eerie but interesting. Good narration – kept the eerie quality to it. 4/5

Cuts Both Ways by Heather Clitheroe

Spencer is a memory recall specialist. He floats through his memories, sometimes on purpose, sometimes not. Held in high regard for the work he does but it messes with his personal life. Was OK. Didn’t hold my attention like the first 2. Narration good. 3/5

Walking Awake by N.K. Jemisin

Sadie is a caretaker, helping raise the kids until they are old enough for the Masters to inhabit. Henri, one of her young charges, has been chosen. Abrupt ending. Don’t know if Sadie was successful or just nuts. Narration good tho Sadie sounded a lot younger than 40 years old. 4/5

The Case of the Passionless Bees by Rhonda Eikamp

A Gearlock Holmes & Watson story. There is murder at Gearlock’s mansion and the robotic amalgam Mrs. Hudson is in custody for the murder. Fun piece. Steampunky. Good stiff upper lip narration. 5/5

In the Image of Man by Gabriella Stalker

Set in Houston, TX, Wendell & his parents live in a mall. Big Box stores, and their advertising, dominate Wendell’s life, including church and living quarters. Teen loans are the norm. Very interesting piece on materialism and debt. Narration very good with a light Western twang. 5/5

The Unfathomable Sisterhood of Ick by Charlie Jane Anders

Roger and Mary broke up. Mary’s friend Stacia convinces her to ask for Roger’s memories of the beginning of their relationship when things were on a high note. Interesting piece. Good  narration. 4/5

Dim Sun by Maria Dahvana Headley

Set in a far future where the Moon is colonized, Bert, a restaurant critic, has told the secret of the dim sun restaurant. Now it’s crowded. Rodney and Bert are having a lunch there when Harriet, Bert’s ex-wife and a powerful politician, joins them. It was a very fun piece – creative dishes. Great narration. 5/5

The Lonely Sea in the Sky by Amal El-Mohtar

Laila is encouraged to talk to the psychologist. She’s an interplanetary geoscientist. She has an ism – addicted to diamonds or the idea of diamonds. This tale explores various stories about diamonds as part of Laila’s fascination. Interesting piece but kind of broken up, not clear in places. Narrated by several people. At least 1 line repeated. The volumes varies, but mostly much quieter than the rest of the book. Main narrator does great with emotions. 3/5

A Burglary, Addressed By a Young Lady by Elizabeth Porter Birdsall

Genevieve’s a thief. She makes her debut burglary and runs into another thief, Catherine. They bond over the difficulties of breaking into the Marquis’s place. Some cool tech. Love the proper British accent and social niceties. 4/5

Canth by K.C. Norton

The Canth is an underwater vessel, part animal, powered by a perpetual motion machine. Capt. Pierce has lost the Canth but pursues her in a ship, the Jeronimo, captained by Rios. Portugues flavor to the story. Cod in every meal. Very interesting story. Narration was good, especially with the Portuguese  words. 5/5

Below are the reprinted stories, including the 1 novella. 

Like Daughter by Tananarive Due

Paige looks after Denise (Neecy) as much a s she can. She often reflects on their childhood and how things were different between them. Now Denise needs her to take her 6 year old daughter. Heavy story. Well done. Good narration. 5/5.

The Great Loneliness by Maria Romasco Moore

A slow apocalypse happened. Now clones of one flavor or another live out their lives in the few pockets of habitable space on Earth. Various groups have sent probes and manned space missions over the years into space searching for another habitable planet. I really like the imagery that was every where in this story- the underwater museum, the main character’s plant-like daughter Verdant, the human’s Eyes, Brain, etc. walking around independently. The narration was great, even a little song. 5/5

Love is the Plan the Plan is Death by James Tiptree, Jr. (Alice Sheldon)

Mogadit has discovered a little one, Lililu, and his teen hormones all at once. Strange, enthralling. Sometimes felt like I was watching animals mating. Stefan Rudnicki narrates and he does it excellently. 4/5

Knapsack Poems by Eleanor Arnason

Strange story. Main character seems to have more than 1 entity and this is the norm. The main character has a scout and a poet and such. It finds a child of some sorts and carries it along falling in love with it. The entities can be more than one gender, but not necessarily so. I don’t get all of it. Rudnicki narrates, doing a good job. 3/5

The Cost to Be Wise by Maureen F. McHugh (novella)

Scarline is a colony on a little populated world. Not much tech. Dogs as sheep – for food. An outworlder, Veranique, comes to visit along with her Professor Ian. Janna, who is an unwed teen of the colony, is fascinated with plastic. Scaffalos is a great clan that visits Scarline for trade, though sometimes they just take what they want. Travesty befalls the colony. Interesting story. A thoughtful, perhaps harsh, ending. Well narrated. 5/5

Below are the 15 original flash fiction stories. 

Salvage by Carrie Vaughn

A spooky ghost ship story with a happy ending.

A Guide to Grief by Emily Fox

Sad story.

See DANGEROUS EARTH-POSSIBLES! by Tina Connolly

Narrator sounds drunk, which isn’t necessarily bad for this story.

A Debt Repaid by Marina J. Lostetter

The 2-headed monster has dual addiction – gambling & drink.

The Sewell Home for the Temporally Displaced by Sarah Pinsker

Those that suffer from accidental time travel can hang out in an asylum. There’s jello.

#TrainFightTuesday by Vanessa Torline

Fun tail told through tweets. Super heroes/villains. Cute noises to denote switching between tweeters.

The Hymn of Ordeal, No. 23 by Rhiannon Rasmussen

A beautiful story of interstellar kamikazes come home. This was my favorite on the Flash Fiction.

Emoticon by Anaid Perez

:-$

The Mouths by Ellen Denham

Cracker obsessed aliens with only 1 orifice.

M1A by Kim Winternheimer

M1A is her clone there to give her parts as she needs. They grow up as sisters, but she is always sick while her clone is healthy. Poignant story.

Standard Deviant by Holly Schofield

A punkass homeless lass is given the opportunity to become an intergalactic ambassador. Fun story.

Getting on in Years by Cathy Humble

Immortal 800 year old man tired of hiding it. Interesting. Ending up to interpretation.

Ro-Sham-Bot by Effie Seiberg

Robot wants to play Rock-Paper-Scissors.

Everything That Has Already Been Said by Samantha Murray

An odd duck of a story.

The Lies We Tell Our Children by Katherine Crighton

She tells her daughters about space and what that means. They become sad. Very nice sadly sweet story.

I received a copy of this audiobook at no cost from the publisher (via Audiobook Jukebox) in exchange for an honest review.

The Narration: Nearly all of the narration was well done for this anthology. There was one story with more than 1 narrator and it definitely sounded like the narrators were in different studios, not recorded at the same time. However, the  majority of the narration was excellent. I especially like seeing Stefan Rudnicki’s abilities tested in the James Tiptree story.  

What I Liked: Such a variety of SF – horror, steampunk, time travel, romance, exploration, etc.; it was great to have so many narrators for this anthology, which helped keep each story distinct;  beautiful  cover art.

What I Disliked: The title does make me chuckle a little.

What Others Think:

NPR

Tangent

Adventures in SciFi Publishing

Best of 2014

ElwesLaydenAsYouWishA big thank you to all the publishers, authors, and narrators who generously provided review copies, especially the audiobooks. Thanks to all my book blogger friends, real life friends, and family who recommended books, or simply let me babble on about books even when you really didn’t care. According to Goodreads (which I don’t use religiously but perhaps I should just for the stats) says I read 116 books this year, the majority of which were audiobooks. Here is my list of favorites from 2014. Enjoy!

SummersLightningWolvesAs You Wish by Cary Elwes – Nonfiction: True adventures of the filming of the movie The Princess Bride. Lots of good stuff to make you laugh.

AlvaVosper'sRevengeLightning Wolves by David Lee Summers – Steampunk: Wild west gets even wilder in this multi-cultural steampunk adventure.

BernheimerPenniesForferrymanVosper’s Revenge by Kristian Alva – Epic Fantasy: Book 3 of the series and a most excellent wrap up to the first trilogy in this world. Intense and insightful!

Pennies for the Ferryman by Jim BernheimerUrban fantasy: Mike Ross is a reluctant detective with a bad eye that lets him communicate with the ghost world. A great nitty-gritty ride. 

Ancient Stout being used as a bookstand.

CampbellDragonsOfDorcastleThe Art of Eating through the Zombie Apocalypse by Lauren Wilson & Kristian Bauthus – Nonfiction: Cookbook, survival book, and snarky humor on the end of civilization as we know it.

ShrumDyingForALivingDragons of Dorcastle by Jack Campbell – Epic Fantasy: Book 1 in a new series with some steampunk thrown in with unreal magic. Excellent world building in this book!

Tofu actually believes he is hiding behind this book.

Dying for a Living by Kory M. Shrum – Urban Fantasy: Jesse is a Necronites who can take the place of another in death….and come back to life. I almost passed this book up and it turned out to be one of my faves of the year. I thank the book gnomes for preventing me from being a total dunce!

PriestMaplecroftWords of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson – Epic Fantasy: Book 2 in the Stormlight Archives and some of the best fiction I have ever read, hands-down.

7912701Maplecroft by Cherie Priest – Gothic Horror: Take Lizzie Borden and Cthulu monsters and you have something cunningly magnificent. Dare I say this is what Bram Stoker, Mary Shelley, and HP Lovecraft have been waiting for?

WillisAllClearBoneshaker by Cherie Priest – Steampunk: The Civil War hasn’t ended and the Pacific Northwest remains in shambles due to an industrial accident. Complex world surrounds a complex relationship between a mother and son.

SeboldShanghaiSparrowAll Clear by Connie Willis – Time Travel: Book 2 in the All Clear series is an excellent wrap up to Blackout (WWII historical fiction).

MartinDeadlyCuriositiesShanghai Sparrow by Gaie Sebold – Steampunk: Awesome multi-cultural fiction with a stubborn lass at the center of it.

BowmanArrowThroughAxesDeadly Curiosities by Gail Z. Martin – Urban Fantasy: Certain objects attract ghosts or hold onto malevolent memories. Time to call in the right detectives to neutralize the object!

AlexanderAmbassadorArrow through the Axes by Patrick Bowman – Classic Retelling: Book 3 concludes Bowman’s excellent retelling of the ancient The Odyssey.

JangDearLeaderAmbassador by William Alexander – Science Fiction: Awesome adventure that asks so much from one young lad.

Cats: Picky readers.

Dear Leader by Jang Jin-sung – Nonfiction: A look inside North Korea from a native poet and spy. Absolutely fascinating.

FremantleSistersOfTreasonThe Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman – Historical Fiction: Beautiful story of two young people in NY during one of the worst fires in history.

LornDastardlyBastardSisters of Treason by Elizabeth Fremantle – Historical Fiction: The sisters of Lady Jane Grey must navigate murky political waters for decades, and they do not always succeed.

KozeniewskiBraineaterJonesDastardly Bastard by Edward Lorn – Horror: A fast-paced, intense ride right up to the end.

Braineater Jones by Stephen Kozeniewski – Urban Fantasy: Think noir detective meets zombies. Yeah. Pretty fucking awesome indeed.

One of the few times Smudge has willingly held still for her photo.

JordanNewSpringThe Kingdom of the Gods by N. K. Jemisin – Epic Fantasy: Book 3 of The Inheritance Trilogy offers a beautiful ending to this complex and rich series.

AtwoodMaddAddamNew Spring by Robert Jordan – Epic Fantasy: I believe this to be Jordan’s finest work in The Wheel of Time series.

Grahame-SmithAustenPrideAndPrejudiceAndZombiesThe MaddAddam Trilogy by Margaret Atwood – Dystopian: I read all three of these books this year and each blew me away in different ways. Atwood had me laughing one minute and wanting to punch something the next.

Streak sleeping in his basket.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith & Jane Austen – Classic Retelling: Yep, hoity-toity aristocracy of England has been infested with zombies. And now it is fashionable to send your kids off to Asia to become martial arts experts. A most excellent and entertaining book!

The Mystery of Grace by Charles de Lint – Paranormal Fantasy: A captivating tale of a mechanic who has to figure out a way to free herself and others from a mundane afterlife.

Around the Blogosphere May 2014

AsaroAuroraInFourVoicesYep, I haven’t done one of these posts in a while. But so much awesomeness is happening around the web, that I felt compelled to throw this together.

Catherine Asaro has a kickstarter to turn her anthology, Aurora in Four Voices, into an audiobook. Hooray!

I participated in another Mind Meld over at SF Signal. This one asks the intriguing question of what short stories would make up your dream anthology. What would you stick in a short story collection?

MIND MELD: Our Dream Anthologies

HennigBastionIssue2The Little Red Reviewer interviewed R. Leigh Hennig, editor of Bastion magazine. Looking for a magazine full of awesome SFF short stories?

http://littleredreviewer.wordpress.com/2014/05/12/interview-with-r-leigh-hennig-editor-of-bastion-magazine/

I got an email from these guys some time ago: The Once and Future Nerd. They have a funny fantasy serialized story that comes out twice a month. You can listen to their full-cast audioseries on their website.

http://onceandfuturenerd.com/

Once again, Sword and Laser has another awesome author interview. Check out this interview with the amazing N. K. Jemisin.

GatesLiptakWarStoriesAnd here is a great anthology that is forthcoming from Apex publisher, War Stories. It includes a tale by Karin Lowachee, one of my all-time favorite writers.

http://warstoriesanthology.com/2014/05/09/war-stories-table-of-contents/

Audiofile Magazine is once again doing their summer YA audiobook Sync – 2 free audiobooks for the downloading per week May15-August 20, 2014. Here’s a link to see the list of books:

http://www.audiobooksync.com/sync-schedule/

The Kingdom of Gods Read Along Part V

One of the few times Smudge has willingly held still for her photo.
One of the few times Smudge has willingly held still for her photo.

Welcome everyone to the continuation of The Inheritance Trilogy with Book 3, The Kingdom of Gods. Violin in a Void is our host this week, so be sure to swing by her place and check out everyone’s thoughts. My big, big thanks to all my cohosts on this read along. They have been awesome! And very patient with me as my internet service has been very sketchy for nearly 2 weeks as they lay new cable (string new cable?).

Chapters 18-END are discussed below. Spoilers are having a party!

1. How do you feel about they way the relationship between Sieh, Deka and Shahar developed? How might this affect them as the Three of a new realm?

I think the three of them worked out a lot of their issues in the mortal world and that this will give them a strong base as gods and as lovers in the next universe. I like that throughout the book, they each hurt each other (whether intentional or accidental) and each had to come to grips with the pain of hurting a loved and with the pain of being hurt by a loved one – and then learn to move on. It was very well done.

2. The series as a whole and this novel in particular is full of parents, and child-parent relationships often play major roles in the plot and characterisation. Is there anything that stood out for you? Any other thoughts on the theme?

Sieh has always been loved by his parents, but wasn’t always able to accept that love….and even when he did, he never felt complete. Even though he had some horrendous times, he always had love. And for much of his existence he was kind of a selfish brat. Then we have Shahar, who craves just a little bit of love – from her brother and her mother. And both were denied her for much of her existence. Yet what little she received I think made her stronger and a better person.

3. Can you sympathise at all with Kahl’s desire for revenge or was it just too insane?

I think I understand it, but I can’t condone his final actions. He was created by a goddess and a godling, and then locked away in a lonely world, forgotten by all but his mother. And I am not sure how often she visited. Of course he wants the power of a god, so that he can never be hurt like that again. And he has a right to be angry at the universe. But should he be tearing it apart willy nilly in his quest for power? No. Unfortunately, I believe there was not way to reason with him at that time. And he was not containable. So Sieh had to do what he did. Oh my heart ached for Sieh!

4. “Nature is cycles, patterns, repetition.” What do you think of the way this idea plays into the plot and worldbuilding?

I like how the book was set up so that events of the past could possibly repeat themselves…..and then because the main participants refused to be asses, fate took a different turn. Shahar and Deka could have ended up hating each other for ever, and trying to kill each other. One of them could have tried to enslave Sieh (and Deka with his new powers might have been able to pull it off). Sieh could have remained the spite-filled little boy who detested all Arameri, but he grew up (emotionally). So, yes, there are cycles and patterns in life, but this book shows we don’t have to be slaves to them.

5. Are you satisfied with the way everything turned out?

Very nice. I had expected Jemisin to bring Sieh, Deka, and Shahar together to defeat Kahl. But she was more clever than that, more insightful. Sieh with his final actions (to end Kahl and to end himself) brought the world back together. His parents were all united once again, even if they weren’t quite ready to all share a bed in some celestial cloud for half a century…not yet anyway. Itempas was returned to power because in grief he finally loved one deeply.

I especially loved that Ahad found his nature – and it makes complete sense that it took him so long to find it. And Glee kicks ass!

6. Now that we’ve finished the series, what do you think of it as a whole? How does The Kingdom of Gods compare to the first two books?

Years ago, when I first read The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, it rocked my world. Not that I have completed the series, I can say that each book in the series is just a little better than the first. I will never hesitate to pick up a Jemisin book as I know it will be filled with worthy adventure and insights. My little confession is that, while I enjoyed Sieh’s mischievous character in Books 1 & 2, I wasn’t so sure I would enjoy a book that was essentially about him. How wrong I was! Sieh is far more complicated than I think even he knew!

Other Tidbits:

Echo palace just seems amazing and I think Shahar was 100% right to open it to the survivors of the calamity.

Usein Darr….At first, in this section, I really disliked her for killing so many people with the masks. But once the true calamity struck (the felling of the Tree..sniffle..) she stepped right in and helped the survivors and also allowed a truce of sorts while things were worked out.

Deka and Sieh enjoying a lengthy tussle in what would become an altar room! Hot!!!

My Fellow Readers:

Books Without Any Pictures

Violin in a Void

Book Bound

Tethyan Books

The Kingdom of Gods Read Along Part IV

One of the few times Smudge has willingly held still for her photo.
One of the few times Smudge has willingly held still for her photo.

Welcome everyone to the continuation of The Inheritance Trilogy with Book 3, The Kingdom of Gods. Book Bound is our host this week, so be sure to swing by her place and check out everyone’s thoughts.

Want to join in the fun? It’s never too late to join us. Here’s the SCHEDULE but feel free to leap in as you like.

Chapters 14-17 are discussed below. Spoilers are having a party!

1) Nahadoth said „You cannot remain in mortal flesh much longer. It’s changing you“ to Sieh. Do you think Nahadoth knows what is happening to Sieh? And what could happen to Sieh?

I think Yeine knows what is happening to Sieh (as birth and death are her areas of knowledge) and I think she has hinted to Nahadoth (or maybe had a full discussion with him) about it. Basically, I think Yeine has recruited both Nahadoth and Itempas into helping Sieh help himself. For whatever reason, the answer to Sieh’s problems can’t be solved by another god or godling. Sieh has to do the work, come to the answer, and make the change himself.

The deeper we get into this story, the more we hear about how creating a 4th god would undo the universe. But what if that 4th god came about in a natural way, through say love of friendship? Like what if Sieh and his demon friends (Deka & Shahar) all melded together into 1 fantastic ball of goodness? Yeah,  I am probably way off, but I am having fun contemplating it.

2) Sieh half-dies and suddenly comes back with some other magic (something about the universe or other). What do you make of it? Why is it only Shahar, Dekarta and Sieh that remember?

Hmm… the power to go back in time, if only for 30 seconds, and change the time line. Yeah. Pretty heavy stuff. I can see why this power would terrify Sieh. He is aware of the power stored in the fabric of the universe and casually unraveling it and reweaving it could backfire and unmake everything!!!! Well, maybe not everything as the universe seems to be rather elastic and tends to hold onto life. Still, with that said, Earth really is a tiny place in the backdrop of the universe and I am not sure how much it would take to accidentally devastate whatever planet or continent the Arameri reside on.

I expect that only Shahar, Deka, and Sieh recall it because they were the ones who 1) were directly involved in the event (Sieh dying, the twins trying to save him) and 2) they were the ones who somehow created the change. Why would anyone else notice? Chaos reigned supreme for that small moment and everyone else was concerned with someone else or themselves, not with the twins or Sieh.

3) What do you think of Yeine’s offer to Remath?

Brilliant! I didn’t see this coming at all, but it is totally logical. Itempas can no longer support or protect the Arameri. That leaves Yeine or Nahadoth. I think everyone can agree that the worship of Nahadoth would be fun for ~2.5 hours until someone promised chaos and ruin in exchange for some bauble of power from Nahadoth. That makes Yeine the logical choice to be worshiped if the Arameri desire protection from one of the Big Three.

I think Yeine will be a good patron goddess, fair anyway.

4) Throughout the whole book, but more in the last couple of chapters, we’ve seen the Arameri have become more human-like, and especially Remath has been more emotional. Do you think they’ve always been like this or that there is some trigger that is making them behave differently?

I think this new upfront behavior is part of the change in worshiping Yeine. I wouldn’t be surprised if Yeine insisted that Remath start making the change in how the Arameri treat each other, especially their young. But I also think that Remath longed for this change and that while it may be hard for her to show true emotion (especially the kinder emotions), she deeply desires to d so. So, hurray for change! Maybe we don’t have to anhilate the Arameri in the final installment of the trilogy.

5) The Echo Palace has been built! And Shahar and Dekarta are „safe“ Why do you think Remath  is abandoning the normal source of Arameri power?

First, let me just say that that was an awesome scene. I really loved how Yeine transported everyone there and they were standing (or rather falling down) on water. And I think it was brilliant to pull from the ocean depths the old Arameri palace that existed until the fool Arameri used Nahadoth as a weapon and inadvertently took out the continent and had to relocate.

This may be another point that she had to agree to in gaining Yeine’s favor. But I tend to also think that for true change to occur for both Sky/Shadow and the Arameri, there needed to be this separation. How can Sky/Shadow evolve if they always have the Arameri looking down upon them from on high threatening who knows what with their scriveners? How can the Arameri evolve if surrounded by these constant reminders of what their family has always been?

And, also, I think Remath truly wants her children safe. And this new palace will be safe from any outside intruders. Now, if only all the palace occupants could get along with each other without killing one another…..

6) Sieh has just left with Itempas, Nahadoth and Yeine… How will they save him?

A four way orgy? Well, maybe just a three way (Yeine, Nahadoth, and Itempas). Perhaps the Big Three have to come together as they once use to in order to create a new Sieh. I predict that their efforts will fail, at least in part, and that one of them will realize that mortal kind (most likely the Twins) are needed to make Sieh whole again.

Other Tidbits:

Those masked zombies!!!! Ugh, how messed up. I will never wear a mask again. And who (and how many people) dropped masks at strategic points throughout the crowd to sew such chaos? Where was Lil when we needed her to eat some zombies?

Yeine and Sieh…..wow. I know Yeine was trying to mother him, as he always desired of her, but he has changed and is seeking something more now. And I found it very interesting that Sieh was the ancient, grown up in that brief moment, letting Yeine see how in a few more centuries, the mortal constraints of parent-child would no longer be relevant.

Sieh’s sister Spider was pretty fascinating. I wonder if the clam boy left the beach that day, or died in orgasmic ecstasy even as Spider got a free meal?

Glee is simply awesome. She has her father’s focus and her mother’s compassion.

That scene between Sieh and Itempas was intense. And a little heartbreaking. Excellently done.

My Fellow Readers:

Books Without Any Pictures

Violin in a Void

Book Bound

Tethyan Books

The Kingdom of Gods Read Along Part III

One of the few times Smudge has willingly held still for her photo.
One of the few times Smudge has willingly held still for her photo.

Welcome everyone to the continuation of The Inheritance Trilogy with Book 3, The Kingdom of Gods. Books Without Any Pictures is our host this week, so be sure to swing by her place and check out everyone’s thoughts.

Want to join in the fun? It’s never too late to join us. Here’s the SCHEDULE but feel free to leap in as you like.

Sorry for getting this up late. I know, last week it was vertigo. This week is a combo of acequia cleaning this past week (which means early to sleep) and poor planning.

Chapters 11-13 are discussed below. Spoilers are having a party!

1.  What are your theories on Kahl?  Who is he, and what is he up to?

Kahl seems to be a little psycho. I want to say that he is brother or son or some relative that humanity doesn’t have a language for directly, intimately related to Sieh. And his appearance seems to hint at some bit of chaos, so I have to wonder if there is a bit of Nahadoth or Ahad in there some where some how. We know that he can be super creepy in Sieh’s dreams, and that he will take out Sieh. Now will he take out Sieh as part of his plan? Or is Sieh’s death a necessary sacrifice on the side so that he can fulfill his plans? I haven’t figured that out yet.

As to what his plans are….well, if the honorable Darre are definitely against it and willing to incur godling wrath over defying him, them I am pretty sure he is up to no good. The mask will supposedly grant godhood to the wearer once it works correctly. So does Kahl want godhood himself? Does he want to raise some psycho mortal to godhood to disrupt the balance? Is he working for Itempas and/or his daughter Glee to grant one of them godhood? I am not sure yet but I lean towards Option 1 (All Hail God Kahl!) or Option 3 (All Hail Goddess Glee and her Shiny Father!).

2.  We finally get to meet Oree’s daughter, Glee.  Is she what you expected?  What do you think about her role on the council and her hiding Itempas?

She is very controlled, contained, on top of it. I keep waiting to see the artistic side of her that I expect (hopefully) came from her mother. When does she let go? And what happens when she does? Since I resonated with Oree more and since Oree got to raise the child, and not Itempas, I was expecting a more artistic offspring. Perhaps we simply having seen that side yet.

So far we haven’t heard from Itempas. So is Glee hiding him with his permission, at his request? Or is she hiding him and keeping him captive? I am not sure about her yet. But I sure am enjoying her character.

3.  What’s up with Deka?  Does he really like Sieh, or is he using him for some later gain?

Tough question. Deka initially asked what happened between Sieh and his sister, but later reveals that he had heard of his mother’s plan. Was he testing to see if Sieh would tell him, as a friend would? He has a lot of power himself, but perhaps he tasted (kissed) Sieh to see if he could use Sieh to further his own power. I think that was a resounding YES! if he so chooses to do so.

I am really hoping that Sieh and Deka are still friends, and perhaps will become more, and that together they can patch things up with Shahar. But even if that eventually happens, I think we will have a twisted road to get there.

And are looks really that telling? Is Deka and his sister really some distant offspring of Ahad? Or did Ahad take his current looks from Deka (since gods/godlings can choose what they look like) just to fuck with Sieh and others later? My other line of questioning would be how far back a relative if Ahad/Naha? Could mortal Naha who became Nahadoth at night procreate? What would that offspring be? Not full demon, but maybe something in between, something that wouldn’t kill a god/ling outright with their blood.

4.  In this section, we’re introduced to two new forms of magic–Deka’s use of the gods’ language, and the Darre masks.  What do you think about them?  How do you think the mask will be used?  Does it have anything to do with Sieh’s affliction?

Well, the entire world seems to be changing, progress being made on several fronts, so I guess it makes sense that there would be new forms of magic. The Darre masks seem to be still in the testing phase and I have to wonder if the dead Arameri put them on hoping for something grand only to turn into cooked, melty bits.

Deka’s magic seems the more dangerous right now because he seems to have full mastery of it, and he holds the reins of it. No one else currently can do what he does. If he wanted to put on the Godhood mask, who would stop him? Could a godling stop him? Could one of the Three?

At this point, I don’t think either is the cause of Sieh’s affliction. But his quickly dwindling powers may help keep these new powers from destroying the world. This story is about him. 🙂

5.  What secret do you think Enefa wiped from Sieh’s memory?

Ooo! I have been chewing on this one the entire section. Throughout this section, various characters have told Sieh in various ways that you can be the Godling of Childhood and still be mature about it. I think Deka made a good point about how Sieh chooses to act impulsively even though he is quite old enough and wise enough and strong enough to do otherwise.

Sieh has a few memories of Enefa throughout this section and in one he appears older and he doesn’t feel comfortable in an older body. Enefa tells him not to be afraid. I think maybe the two of them created a new life together. Perhaps this is the new life that Enefa hid away and has recently returned (Kahl?) and is a little psychotic for having grown up alone.

Other Tidbits:

I know the Darre have this gender-priority reversal to many modern societies (women are the warriors, etc.) but it was interesting to see it carry to the baby boys too.

It was very nice to see Lil. And meet Nsa – crazy weird dreamspace! And what’s her face from the Arms of Night. Seems like everyone has strong feelings for Sieh one way or the other – or both!

My Fellow Readers:

Books Without Any Pictures

Violin in a Void

Book Bound

Tethyan Books

The Kingdom of Gods Read Along Part II

One of the few times Smudge has willingly held still for her photo.
One of the few times Smudge has willingly held still for her photo.

Welcome everyone to the continuation of The Inheritance Trilogy with Book 3, The Kingdom of Gods. Violin in a Void is our host this week, so be sure to swing by her place and check out everyone’s thoughts.

Want to join in the fun? It’s never too late to join us. Here’s the SCHEDULE but feel free to leap in as you like.

Sorry for getting this up late. Yesterday I was fighting vertigo due to congestion in my eustachian tubes. I took some decongestants, which had me up late (but still vertigo-y and nauseous when I set eyes to paper or screen) and then took a different decongestant which let me sleep late. But Here, I am, able to type without feeling like I just road all the amusement parks rides all at once. 🙂

Chapters 5-10 are discussed below. Spoilers are having a party!

1. Do you think Shahar can keep her childhood promise and be a good person and an Arameri?

Because others still have a huge say in her life (can order her about, etc.), this may be quite difficult. Yet, when we see her act on her own volition, she is kind and passionate and just. She told Sieh that her family was hoping she would get pregnant by him. She didn’t have to. She stood before a raging godling who had just slaughtered 30+ people to protect her mother, the mother who she feels conflicted about (and rightly so!). That took courage. So, I think if she could break those ties, or at least only bow to them under her rules, she would be a good and just person.

 

2. The Arameri family has changed drastically and now we learn they’re being systematically killed off. Do you like the changes? Do you feel sorry for the family or are they getting what they deserve?

I never like to blame the current generation for the past ill deeds of the previous generation. So, do the Arameri deserve to be killed off for what Dekarta Senior did? For the deeds of Shahar of ancient times? No. But the current Arameri seem to have plenty of members who don’t mind using others and have a very ‘who cares about the poor people’ attitude. And everyone in Sky, Dusk, and Shadow who is below the ruling house is poorer than them. Later in this section we learn how scarce work is for the masses. While the Arameri haven’t killed off a chunk of the population to rectify this, they haven’t done anything to stimulate the economy either.

So, am I sad to see some of them being killed off at this point? Not really.

 

3. Any theories on the antagonist that Sieh meets in his dream?

This was such a spine tingling scene! I really loved it’s intensity.

The antagonist knows Sieh, openly admits that eventually he (she? both?) intends to kill him. Yet he doesn’t want to be seen by Sieh, which means that Sieh would recognize him straight off, or later at some critical moment. Could Kurue be back? They killed her for her traitorous acts in Book 1. Did they do a good job? Or is it a demon child all grown up who knows Sieh’s role in the Gods’ War (spying on Itempas and his first mortal lover, the Shahar of old)? Hado (Nahadoth’s mortal daylight body) might have a big, big grudge, but does he have the power and the inclination to either harm Sieh or the Arameri or both?

I really don’t know, but I love pondering!

 

4. Religious belief in the city and the palace has changed a lot, as have humans’ relationships with the gods. Thoughts? What might your beliefs be if you lived in Sky/Shadow?

I think this is a natural evolution in religion. How could religion NOT change with the population living hand in hand with godlings? With Yeine, a goddess, going walk about through the city? I can also see how the ‘divinity shine’ could wear off. When you see your gods behaving badly, or even just simply imitating mortals, you may lose your faith in their divine nature over time. Especially since magic and increasing technology can mimic some aspects of godhood.

I think that I would have to believe in them (as I am a practical person and tend to believe what my senses + logic tell me), but I wouldn’t feel the need to be ruled by them. Would that make me a kind of agnostic?

 

5. Sieh’s not quite the charming boy god we saw in book 1. How do you feel about his character at the moment?

Well, we’ve seen Sieh throw fits before, even to the point of giving Itempas a good kicking that may have killed a mortal. But now we see all those things we have heard about the power of childhood. Wow! Do not fuck with Sieh! I knew when he stormed off to find Remath that there would be some blood shed, but naive me expected there to be controlled or directed bloodshed. But Sieh just turned En loose to zip around the room burning deadly wholes in anyone. I felt bad for the scrivener who had paid Sieh some courtesy.

Honestly, I liked Sieh a bit less after that scene because he was indiscriminate in his anger. If he had killed Remath, I would have understood. If he had killed Remath & Shahar, I would have been a bit sad, but still understood. They used him, tricked him, maybe even killed him.

 

6. Should Sieh work for Ahad?

Tough question. Sieh obviously has some strong feelings about the work and about Ahad. Half of me thinks Sieh would be far better off finding a nice country village to go spend 20-50 years in, having a good think. But that would be a boring story.

So, high-class brothel worker? Working for Ahad?  I am still on the fence on this one.

Other Tidbits:

Sieh and Shahar together were so teen! Did anyone else picture all those teen movies from the 1980s with the silly hopes of sex, and occasional awkward sex?

Melty Masks! Eeewwwww! And the Arameri hope to keep it all hush-hush! With all those servants, even if they are ‘family’. Idiots.

Hymn seems like a very practical person. I think I am going to like her quite a bit.

Who else wants to call Sieh a ‘brat’ on general principles?

My Fellow Readers:

Books Without Any Pictures

Violin in a Void

Book Bound

Tethyan Books

The Kingdom of Gods Read Along Part I

One of the few times Smudge has willingly held still for her photo.
One of the few times Smudge has willingly held still for her photo.

Welcome everyone to the continuation of The Inheritance Trilogy with Book 3, The Kingdom of Gods. I’m your host this week, so please leave links to your posts in the comments so we can all visit one another.

Want to join in the fun? It’s never too late to join us. Here’s the SCHEDULE but feel free to leap in as you like.

This is my first time reading this book, so it is ALL new and exciting! I’m very glad to be experiencing it for the first time as part of this read along.

Chapters 1-4 are discussed below. Spoilers are having a party!

1) Do you think the twins’ names Dekarta and Shahar are portentous of who they will grow into?

This is my third Jemisin book and I have not found her choosing names out of mere whimsy or convenience. So I have this feeling in the pit of my stomach that she gave these children such names with a purpose. We know that the original Shahar Arameri founded the Arameri dynasty as we know it today, and, if I understand correctly, was Itempas’s lover (the one who drove him to despair by killing his son). Yes, Shahar is not a name to be tossed around lightly. I wonder if the tidbit about being Itempas’s lover is kept in the Arameri records, or if that bit was lost to time?

Then there is Dekarta, Deka as we meet him. His name sake, a great, great grandfather some levels removed? A grand uncle? Anyway, Dekarta Senior once loved, and gave up that love for power. Will Deka follow the same footsteps? I hope he and Shahar can find a way to pull strength from their name sakes and not the weaknesses and brutality.

2) Yeine and Itempas. Too early? Or will Yeine be the bridge that puts everyone back together?

I was surprised at first. Itempas has only been on mortal walk about for what, 2 decades at that point? He’s learned to love 1 mortal, sort of, and is that enough? On the other hand, Yeine, who we know is compassionate, has never known the cruelty of Itempas. While Enefa, who shares her body and soul space, has known Itempas’s cruelty, she has been without him or anyone for a very long time. At any rate, I feel Itempas still needs to be on mortal walkabout for a bit longer as there is still plenty for him to learn. If Yeine wants to pad his bed from time to time, I can be OK with that.

I am expecting that Yeine will be the bridge. We have already learned that it will most likely take a fully-powered Itempas to heal Sieh and everyone wants Sieh alive and whole. Nahadoth will have to chose between his anger at Itempas and his love of Sieh. Right now, I am not sure Sieh will be given a choice if the Big Three decide to play nice together and patch Sieh up.

3) Sieh seems to have some need, or at least an attraction, to be in Sky Palace. Healthy or unhealthy?

Sieh experienced some of his strongest feelings in Sky Palace – both negative and positive feelings. I think this has made a connection for Sieh to that place, which is understandable. Sieh went from having no power over his life in Sky to having absolute power, and now to having limited power. When he was powerless, I definitely felt that his interactions with humans were unhealthy, while his interactions with the other Enefadeh were mostly positive.

Now that he is of limited power, he still chooses to stay at Sky Palace. He’s changing and perhaps the surroundings that are so very familiar give him some comfort as he tries to deal with these changes.

4) In just this beginning section, we see more than just physical changes in Sieh. What do you think is happening to him, and more importantly why?

The story started off with Sieh’s voice as we know it from the previous two books. It’s all fun & games, need, quick, full of whimsy, etc. But even in these first few chapters, we see his voice changing, becoming more thoughtful, more complete, lingering on certain subjects. Sieh is aging, but will it be total mortality? Nahadoth and Yeine seem to think so.

Either Sieh is changing because he simply is or someone is forcing the change. Yeine/Enefa definitely changed. Itempas has changed. Nahadoth is nothing but change. So why not Sieh?

But what if someone is forcing Sieh to change? Good or bad intentions? Right now, I am suspecting an outside force is changing Sieh and it is an attempt to kill him. It’s quite clever actually, if a mortal is willing to take their time to force a godling into mortality and simply wait for them to grow old and die. If Itempas is the only one who can possibly save Sieh, why can’t Yeine and Nahadoth locate him? Perhaps because whoever wants Sieh aged and arthritic, also knows Itempas could save him and has some how imprisoned him.

Most likely, I am way off, but tis fun to guess.

5) Shahar is quite angry with her mother and has been for some time. Justified? How do you think their relationship will shape this story?

Right now I am not sure if it is justified or not. On one hand, it seems Shahar and Deka had little love and cuddling from their mother. And she did send Deka away, separating the twins. But she also has not used the Scrivener magic to keep Shahar from harming her. And she may well have sent Deka away to protect him from the palace rumors that he, and he alone, pissed of Sieh and nearly got himself and his sister, the heir, killed. So, need more info before I decide.

Oh, but there was that casual way she simply handed her daughter over to Sieh as a plaything….hmmm….But it’s not like she could do anything to protect Shahar is Sieh really wanted her as a plaything, is there?

I think Shahar will continue to contemplate killing her mum for a good chunk of the book and then either she will or there will be some beautiful coming to terms with hugs and kisses all around. Probably the first.

6) Why do you think Shahar’s letters to her brother return unopened?

Well, Deka could be dead, instead of ‘sent away’. He was supposedly sent away shortly after the incident with Sieh.

Or Deka might not be receiving the letters at all and Shahar is simply left to believe that he refuses to read the letters. They could be playing the same game with Deka, returning letters he writes to his sister unopened. I think this could be a real possibility as it totally fits in with how Arameri love to power play, to control.

Other Tidbits:

Sieh and his planet orrery – fascinating and sad all at the same time. It was very cool of Yeine to place En on a necklace for Sieh to keep his pet star close by.

Shahar and Sieh kissing. It’s really an activity that might be at the cusp between childhood and adulthood. It was cute with the bed jumping and all.

Sieh may have the body of an adolescent male, but he can still be a child! Trying to get Shahar’s mom to glance at his personal equipment – such a naughty young man!

My Fellow Readers:

Books Without Any Pictures

Violin in a Void

Book Bound

Tethyan Books

The Kingdom of Gods Read Along: The Schedule

One of the few times Smudge has willingly held still for her photo.
One of the few times Smudge has willingly held still for her photo.

That’s right everyone! We are continuing on with The Inheritance Trilogy by N. K. Jemisin. The final book in the series is The Kingdom of Gods. Now this is a mosaic trilogy, meaning that each book in the series stands alone. So anyone who is interested in joining us, just leave me a comment to be included in the weekly emails.

I’m being joined by some great bloggers: Lauren from Violin in a Void, Grace from Books Without Any Pictures, and Gabriella from Book Bound.

And here is the schedule:

The Kingdom of Gods – 575 pages
Week 1 Prologue – Chapter 4 (104 pages) Feb. 10th Dab of Darkness
Week 2 Chapters 5-10 (115 pages) Feb. 17th Violin in a Void
Week 3 Chapters 11-13 (119 pages) Feb. 24th Books Without Any Pictures
Week 4 Chapters 14-17 (117 pages) March 3rd Book Bound
Week 5 Chapter 18 – END (116 pages) March 10th Violin in a Void

This will be my first time through this book and I am so looking forward to seeing what Jemisin has in store for us in this final installment of the trilogy. So, join us if you can!