Posts Tagged ‘book reviews’

(book review) The String Weavers, Book 1


First of all, I don’t read a lot of YA, but for some reason, science fiction YA is something like crack to me.  I’ll speed through it.  It might be because one of my favorite re-reads when I was younger was Podkayne of Mars.  Madeline L’Engle was one of my go-to authors (she still is, to be honest).  So when my friend J.A. Marlow mentioned she had a YA science fiction novel, I knew I had to read it.


The String Weavers (String Weavers Book 1) did not disappoint.  I will not lie – I read this book in two days.  And it’s not a small book.  It’s not a simple book.  It’s a lush, vibrant, amazing book that sucked me in to its worlds and wouldn’t let me go until I came out gasping on the other end.


This is the story of Kelsey Hale, a  normal sixteen year old girl.  Well, if normal girls could hear phantom music, have food disappear on her and see ghosts.  Doesn’t everyone?


Well, no.  Turns out Kelsey’s bracelet, a gift from her dead mother, is a Weaver band – a special piece of jewelry that aliens use to travel the Strings and help keep the Universes (yes, with an “s”) untangled.  There are Phoenixes to help them, but there is also danger – and that danger has just come to Kelsey’s home, and kidnapped her and her father.


What I liked about this book was that Kelsey was really real.  She didn’t automatically become a badass – she’s a teenager, thrust into an incredible situation, and she doesn’t just rise to the challenge.  She falls sometimes.  She breaks some things (mostly rules).  She gets into trouble.


And damn, is this well-written trouble.  I had a lot of fun reading this, and I have already bought the second book The Phoenix Eggs,  and I promise you there will be a review of that soon.  There are some typos that I did notice, but they didn’t detract from the story.


Disclaimer: I do know J.A. Marlow as a friend, and I did receive a free copy of the book to review.

(review) The Sekhmet Bed, by L.M. Ironside

the Sekhmet Bed


Look, a book review!  Today’s book is The Sekhmet Bed (The She-King Book One) by L.M. Ironside.  I downloaded this on a whim for free when it showed up on BookBub one day (and by-the-by, if you are a book person and not signed up with BookBub, why not?  I’ve found some great books this way), because I’m a sucker for Ancient Egypt and Hatshepsut in particular.  I wasn’t sure how I would like this book, but I was sucked in, and ended up staying up until 2 am to finish it.


This book is the story of Ahmose, the second daughter of the Pharaoh, and how she must guide Egypt when she is unexpectedly thrust into the role of Great Royal Wife, over her older sister (who was expecting the post).  It is a love story, but it’s not a typical love story.  In a way, it’s a love story between Ahmose and Egypt, because everything she does is for her country.  Including facing her biggest fear: becoming pregnant and having an heir.


The language of the story is lush and vibrant, very evocative of the Nile and Egypt.  It swept me away, so much so that I didn’t realize how very late it was.  I didn’t even realize that the ball game had ended and the Red Sox had won.  That should tell you how much this book sucked me in.


It is also the story of the birth of Hatshepsut, the female Pharaoh, and I love the way Ironside portrays the family dynamics.  After all, women are not Pharaohs.  Women are Great Royal Wives, or concubines, or priestesses – but not Hatshepsut, for reasons that become evident as the book evolves.  It’s a great mix of magic and politics, which is exactly what I feel Ancient Egypt should be like.


This is an ebook only, and it’s the first in a series (obviously).  I will be buying the second book, The Crook and Flail, soon, and I would recommend this for folks who do like speculative fiction, Ancient Egypt, and politics.  Because that’s what this book is, in spades.

(reviews) Book Review: Maven

Wednesdays are going to be book review days on the blog.  I’m finding I’m not reading as much as I should, so I’m hoping this will prod me on.  I’m not getting paid for these, and I’m not getting sent books – these are a combination of old books, new books and, well, my own eclectic tastes.  I tend to lean more towards mysteries and romances, so be warned.


Today’s book is Maven, by my friend Starla Hutchton.  I went out and bought this on my Kindle the first week it was available, because honestly, her writing is that damn good.  I don’t normally read science fiction, but I didn’t get a heavy science fiction vibe from this one.  The science is there, and it’s a big part of the story, but it’s not in your face.


Maven is the story of Dr. Lydia Ashley and Daniel Brewer, two brilliant young people on very different paths when they meet aboard the Endure, an undersea exploration submarine that made me remember the old SeaQuest  TV show (shut up, yes, I’m showing my age).  This was a smart, fun read that sucked me in right away and dragged me through.   Someone’s been doing some unorthodox experiments in the lab Lydia arrives to take over, and it isn’t long before she and Daniel are involved in a clandestine search for who it was.  And who is bankrolling it.


I’m a very character-driven reader – the plot can be stellar, but if I don’t like the characters, I’m not going to finish the book.  (I’m looking at you, Thomas Covenant)  This book kept me an hour later at my desk at work because I kept telling myself  “Just one more page!”  I liked not only Lydia and Daniel, but the supporting cast as well.  Starla does an excellent job of bringing her  world to life, and I can’t wait for book two to come out.


In short, if you like character-driven, smart romance, this is a great book for you.  Go and buy it!