Review – A Study in Sable

A Study in Sable (Elemental Masters #11)A Study in Sable by Mercedes Lackey (Elemental Masters #11)
Synopsis from GoodReads:
Psychic Nan Killian and Medium Sarah Lyon-White—along with their clever birds, the raven Neville and the parrot Grey—have been agents of Lord Alderscroft, the Elemental Fire Master known as the Wizard of London, since leaving school. Now, Lord Alderscroft assigns them another commission: to work with the famous man living at 221 Baker Street—but not the one in flat B. They are to assist the man living in flat C. Dr. John Watson and his wife Mary, themselves Elemental Masters of Water and Air, take the occult cases John’s more famous friend disdains, and they will need every skill the girls and their birds can muster!

Nan and Sarah’s first task: to confront and eliminate the mysterious and deadly entity that nearly killed them as children: the infamous Haunt of Number 10 Berkeley Square. But the next task divides the girls for the first time since they were children. A German opera star begs Sarah for help, seeking a Medium’s aid against not just a single spirit, but a multitude. As Sarah becomes more deeply entwined with the Prima Donna, Nan continues to assist John and Mary Watson alone, only to discover that Sarah’s case is far more sinister than it seems. It threatens to destroy not only a lifelong friendship, but much, much more.

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Review – Vicious

Vicious (Vicious, #1)Vicious by V.E. Schwab
Synopsis from GoodReads:
Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong. Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end?

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Review – The Rithmatist

The Rithmatist (The Rithmatist, #1)The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson, Illustrated by Ben McSweeney
Synopsis from GoodReads:
More than anything, Joel wants to be a Rithmatist. Rithmatists have the power to infuse life into two-dimensional figures known as Chalklings. Rithmatists are humanity’s only defense against the Wild Chalklings. Having nearly overrun the territory of Nebrask, the Wild Chalklings now threaten all of the American Isles.

As the son of a lowly chalkmaker at Armedius Academy, Joel can only watch as Rithmatist students learn the magical art that he would do anything to practice. Then students start disappearing—kidnapped from their rooms at night, leaving trails of blood. Assigned to help the professor who is investigating the crimes, Joel and his friend Melody find themselves on the trail of an unexpected discovery—one that will change Rithmatics—and their world—forever.

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Review – By Heresies Distressed

By Heresies Distressed (Safehold, #3)By Heresies Distressed by David Weber
Synopsis from GoodReads:
Now the battle for the soul of the planet Safehold has begun.

The Kingdom of Charis and the Kingdom of Chisholm have joined together, pledged to stand against the tyranny of a corrupt Church. The youthful Queen Sharleyan of Chisholm has wed King Cayleb of Charis, forging a single dynasty, a single empire, dedicated to the defense of human freedom. Crowned Empress of that empire, Sharleyan has found in Cayleb’s arms the love she never dared hope for in a “marriage of state.” In Cayleb’s cause, his defiance of the ruthless Group of Four who govern mother Church, she has found the task to which she can commit her mind and her courage. It is a cause for which she was born.

Yet there are things Sharleyan still does not know. Secrets Cayleb has not been permitted to share, even with her. Secrets like the true story of humanity on Safehold. Like the intricate web of lies, deception, and fabricated “religion” which have chained humanity for almost a thousand years. Like the existence of the genocidal alien Gbaba, waiting to complete mankind’s destruction should humans ever attract their attention once more. Like the existence of a young woman, Nimue Alban, nine hundred years dead, whose heart, mind, and memories live on within the android body of the warrior-monk she knows as Merlin.

And so Empress Sharleyan faces the the great challenge of her life unaware of all that task truly entails…or of how the secrets the man who loves her cannot share may threaten all they have achieved between them…and her own life Continue reading

New Year, New Changes

Hello everyone and Happy New Year (a few days late).  I know I’ve posted two reviews since 2017 began, but I do have a bit of housekeeping/updates to talk about.  Apologies for the delay in posting this.

Last year, I started to fall behind in commenting on other blogs, following them, etc.  I’m going to try to be better about that this year.  When life gets busy, blogging seems to be the first thing to suffer, and I deeply regret that.  So hopefully, I’ll do better this year.

Secondly, there are going to be some changes to my review format.  Usually, I open with a synopsis of the book and then word vomit my way through a review.  I’m going to attempt to clean that up a bit by giving ‘What I Expected’ vs ‘What I Got’.  I’m expecting the second of those sections to be both longer and more rambling, but at least there will be some kind of format.  If it doesn’t work, then I will go back to what’s become standard here.  We’ll just have to see together.

Finally, challenges.  I’ve tried twice now to get through the When Are You Reading? Challenge, and while I made it through more this year than last year, I still didn’t come close to finishing.  It has certainly challenged me to read outside my comfort zone, but I don’t think I’ll be officially participating this year.  Good luck to everyone who is.

There is, however, a challenge I’m participating in: the Beat the Backlist 2017 Challenge.  I chose it because it looks like an easy (for me) challenge, which is kind of what I would like after how crazy awful last year was.

Once again, Happy New Year to all!