Book Reviews

Arabella of Mars Book Review

When I can hear the swell of theme music from words on a page, and happy tears jump to my eyes because the heroine is triumphant in both her quest and her wholly requited romantic inclinations, that means I've read a damn fine Steampunk Adventure Regency Romance Novel. Of which ...
Read More

The Top 10 Things I Love About Viola Roberts

When you narrate multiple books--"play" a character over and over--you feel like you know them. It is different from just reading a novel and archiving it off your kindle. Some months (like say, April, May, June), I'm living with Viola Roberts during every waking moment: recording her voice, hearing her ...
Read More

Team Momentum

Available now on Amazon, a book workshopped in my writing group! If you enjoyed The Laundry Files novels by Charles Stross, you'll enjoy this new book by Richard Hein. Richard's work is darkly hilarious and his plot twists surprising. It was fun reading the draft and I'm impressed by his polishing ...
Read More

The Venom in the Valentine

In the spirit of full disclosure, I provided developmental editing for this installment of the Viola Roberts Cozy Mysteries. Even seeing it in its raw form, this is my favorite read so far in the series. Shea MacLeod has climbed to new writing heights with her unique way of mixing ...
Read More
Angel's Devil (Jake Brand, PI #1) by M. Louis

Angel’s Devil (Jake Brand, PI #1)

I listened to the audiobook on a long drive. I'm not usually a fan of crime thrillers, but this had enough of a mix between Jake, the main character's, inner world and the outer world to hold my interest. I suspect I would not have finished this book if I'd ...
Read More
The Time Traveling Fashionista Series

The Time Traveling Fashionista Series

Full disclosure: this series was recommended to me by my 11yr old niece. I’m reading it specifically to discuss with her, and I am not a regular YA reader or audience. That said, this series of three (so far) books are quick, fun, reads that are fresh in their optimism ...
Read More
The Danish Girl, by David Ebershoff

The Danish Girl

This is a beautifully written novel, my criteria being that never once was I ejected from the prose by what felt like an out of place word. I enjoyed the portrayal of deeply interesting characters with unique life experiences, and took it at its word that it was not trying ...
Read More
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies #1) by Seth Grahame-Smith, Jane Austen, Philip Smiley (Illustrator)

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

This is a book with 319 pages, of which, when combined, perhaps 3-5 pages of the contents are very clever and amusing. Do not neglect the Reader's Discussion Guide, which is perhaps the part of the book containing the utmost hilarity. The rest of the book is the borrowed genius ...
Read More
The Final Empire (Mistborn #1) by Brandon Sanderson

The Final Empire (Mistborn #1)

I didn't start this book April 19: I RE-started it. I actually began months and months ago and put it down to read or...do ANYTHING else...a few times. That's to tell you this is a slow to start book. The Last 33% of the book is fantastic though, delivering all ...
Read More
Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (Dirk Gently #1) by Douglas Adams

Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency (Dirk Gently #1)

Re-reading out of order, which makes me want to turn around and re-re-read Long Dark Teatime RIGHT NOW. Alas, I will move on to other books looking for wonderful locations for my Pilgrimage. This book turned out to be chockablock full of not just geographical places but buildings - with ...
Read More
The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul (Dirk Gently #2) by Douglas Adams

The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul (Dirk Gently #2)

This remains one of my all-time favorite books, by one of my favorite authors. This re-read was to plumb the content for locations I want to visit during my upcoming 42 for 42 trip: I am traveling to 42 places that occur in Douglas Adams' novels for my 42nd birthday ...
Read More
Shadow of Night (All Souls Trilogy #2) by Deborah Harkness

Shadow of Night (All Souls Trilogy #2)

Better than Book One. Far more compelling, and I was interested to know what happened to the characters. Overall, I find the book still too choppy with writing not rich enough to really convey what is happening in the characters internal worlds and external environment. Almost as if the author ...
Read More
A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy #1) by Deborah Harkness

A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy #1)

If I could give this a 2.5, I would, because it is just below average, but not by much. After consideration, I can't give it a three though, because of the ending. The end of the book is a blatant, unapologetic cliffhanger. Not even a pretense that this could be ...
Read More
The Mysteries of Pittsburgh by Michael Chabon

The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, by Michael Chabon

My introduction to Chabon was the Yiddish Policeman's Union, and I fell in love with his rich and savory writing style. This book is not for the average reader interested in love triangles, motorcycle chases, or jewel thieves, but it does have all of those things. The Mysteries of Pittsburgh ...
Read More
Without a Summer (Glamourist Histories #3) by Mary Robinette Kowal

Without a Summer (Glamourist Histories #3)

Reviewing a single book in a series is often difficult. As a "series addict," I believe books should both 'stand on their own merits' and 'be read in context.' In the spirit of full disclosure, I sometimes choose to only read a series-author's books if there IS a series, and ...
Read More
Shades of Milk and Honey, by Mary Robinette Kowal

Shades of Milk and Honey, by Mary Robinette Kowal

This book has 302 pages and took me four hours. They were four WONDERFUL hours. I love Jane Austen, but more than that, I love Fantasy. SOMEONE WROTE BOTH!!!! This book is a perfect example of what it is, and a perfect thing I never knew existed. I am so excited ...
Read More
Jane and the Madness of Lord Byron (Jane Austen Mysteries #10) by Stephanie Barron

Jane and the Madness of Lord Byron (Jane Austen Mysteries #10), by Stephanie Barron

This installation of a series beloved to me seems to have less "Jane" and more madness. While I am glad that Jane and Henry get to enjoy each other's company, the other characters, and even the settings of this book, feel less solid than I have come to expect. Perhaps ...
Read More
Northern Exposed by Darren Burrows

Northern Exposed, by Darren Burrows

This book is worth five stars for fans, but only two stars as a book. It has great background info if you loved Northern Exposure, but it is not well written. It is repetitive. It is dry. I laughed twice in 225 pages, and only once seriously (evil bear cub) ...
Read More
Diary of a Provincial Lady (The Provincial Lady #1) by E.M. Delafield

Diary of a Provincial Lady (The Provincial Lady #1)

This book had funny moments but in thinking about it overall, can only be recorded as an obligation. I am saddened because it was gifted to me by a Dear Friend who enjoyed it enough to purchase a copy for me, which I AM very grateful for. Despite the fact ...
Read More

The Scroll of Years (Gaunt and Bone #1), A Book Review

Having finished The Scroll of Years by Chris Willrich only moments ago, I hereby judge that it is not an average, everyday book. By that I mean it is not about a cast of characters placed in stories and committed to the written word. Instead, Willrich has written a magical ...
Read More