Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Top Ten Bookish Goals


 Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week a new Top Ten list will be posted. Everyone is welcome to join. Link back so everyone can check out other bloggers' lists. It's a fun way to get to know fellow bloggers.

This week is Top Ten bookish resolutions or goals. Interesting one! I don't normally set a lot of resolutions or goals- mood reader here!- but I have a few things I'd like to do more (or maybe less of) in the new year. So... here we go!     

1) Read more urban fantasy. I failed at this last year, big time, but this year I'll try again. I'm just picky I guess with UF.  

Three Days to Dead (Dreg City, #1)

2) Re- read more. I have a lot of books I'd like to revisit, and even reviews I'd like to re- do. So yeah maybe more re- reading. 

3) Read some older sci-fi. I used to read a fair amount, but SciFi Month and Vintage Science Fiction Month have inspired me to read more backlist stuff.  

Star man's son

4) Maybe request some ARC's. I have a Netgalley account but never use it, and as a mood reader I tend to avoid ARC's, but maybe I'll actually request a few this year??

5) Read more science fiction and fantasy. 2017 seemed like it was the year of the psychological thriller for me, I read a ton of those, and while I love 'em I want to get back to more SF/F. 

6) Reply better to comments. Sometimes I do okay and sometimes I don't- depends on the week- but I appreciate every comment and would love to answer every one. 

7) Do more bookstore spotlights. I used to do these but kinda got away from 'em, so maybe in 2018 I can spotlight some of the fun indie and other bookstores in the area. 

8) Buy more Funko's.  

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9) Do more discussion posts. I've done a fair amount but not as many lately? 

10) Read some mysteries. Even though I want to focus on SF/F this year, I have been meaning to read Agatha Christie, as well as some cozy authors I've been thinking of. 

Tuesday Tag #74

The Extinction Trials (The Extinction Trials, #1)

Only the strongest will be chosen 
Only the reckless will survive 

I don't know, I think I like this one best

The Hunger Games meets Jurassic Park  

Monday, January 15, 2018

On the Run Part 17

The rain had been constant, falling in sheets all day. It was the kind of rain that chilled you to the bone, made you want to be home with a cup of something warm. But they were here, on Tantalus IV, for the Gate, and everything had gone wrong from the start. Martinez had just started interfacing with the Gate when the pulse beam took his head off, and Christie hadn't been far behind. She tried to cover them- she was security on this mission- but they were in a crossfire and she went down quickly. He had just looked at her, at the eyes staring, unblinking, into the driving rain, until Anna had snapped him out of it. 

"Come on! We have to go," she screamed over the wind. Somehow the Gate was still open- thank God for that- and it was humming. All they had to do was step through. But Christie was just lying there...

Anna was pulling him now, and it was a miracle they hadn't been hit. He couldn't pinpoint where all the fire was coming from, but...there. A flashpoint. With a roar he raised his weapon and fired, causing something to erupt in flames, but whether it was the shooter or just the cover they were using he couldn't say. Not caring, he fired again, repeatedly. Targeting any muzzle flash he saw, he yelled at Anna to go. 

"Go! I'll cover you," he screamed into the rain. 
"I won't leave you," she called back. "We go together or not at all."
"Go!" he yelled. "We don't have time. I'll be right behind you."
She said nothing, kept firing, then looked at him. "You better be," she said as she looked into his eyes. Then she was gone, diving headfirst through the Gate. He continued to fire into the rain, anywhere and everywhere. 

Over the whine of his overtaxed pulse rifle he could hear thunder, and if anything it was raining even harder now. Visibility was zip although he could hear shouts of "take him alive" and "move in." He wondered about that as he sprinted for the Gate. It could shut down at any moment. He heard pulse fire around him, felt more than saw the blast that bloomed in his peripheral vision, and then he was there. I am coming, he thought. And then, with a last look back, he leapt through. 

Eric woke, heart racing. He reached over but Anna wasn't there, her side of the bed cold. She didn't come back last night. Should he be worried? Anna could take care of herself, had gone to her place to get some things, but he had assumed she would come back. He picked up his com- no messages- and settled back into his pillow, worrying. With everything going on...

Throwing off the covers he rose and went to the window, peering out at the night sky. The ever- present traffic was there, of course, a swarm of fireflies passing in the night. The lights of the city went on forever. Paxus had always felt safe, easy to lose yourself in. Now even that was shattered, with the news they'd received yesterday. Rogue teams, a "master Gate" having been discovered, and of course the recent attempts on their lives. They'd been assured that they were safe, that they were being watched, but he wasn't so sure. The fact that kill teams had come through the Gate network told him all he needed to know.

His com chimed and he hurried over to the bed to grab it. He was hoping for Anna but instead the call was from unknown. Hesitating, he answered. "Yes?"
There was silence for a moment.
"We need to talk."
"Well, hello Andreas."

Friday, January 12, 2018

Sunday Post #228

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer
Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews
It's Monday! What Are You Reading is hosted by Book Date 
Well it warmed up this week (that being relative) but at least is's not zero! I'll take it. And I had a better reading week, so yay for me. After a little bit of a late December slump I seem to be full speed ahead so that's good. Hope everyone is having a great first part of 2018. 

I finished the River At Night this week- great story! - and am debating what to read next. Maybe Vault of Dreams which I acquired thanks to Shannon at It Starts At Midnight or The Woman in the Window, which is getting ALL the buzz. I'm still binging Longmire too on Netflix- I'm into S3 now.    

Last week I reviewed The Complete Morgaine, an old school SF book that partially inspired my Gates stories, and also Intrigue in Capri, a short novella in the Amory Ames series. This week I'll be taking a look at The Young Queens (the new Kendare Blake novella) and The Birthday Girl. And... I'm happy to report that On the Run 17 will be up Monday! If you need to catch up you can find previous installments here.    

The River at NightThe Birthday GirlThe Complete Morgaine (Morgaine Saga #1-4)Intrigue in Capri (Kindle Single) (An Amory Ames Mystery)The Young Queens (Three Dark Crowns, #0.5)

Song of the week 

Your love's contagious, one kiss is dangerous
But I have more to risk, than you to lose


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What Alice KnewThe Vault of Dreamers (The Vault of Dreamers, #1)The Woman in the Window


Talk Nerdy To Me rants about Star Wars again (and less f- boms this time)


Cemetery by Kirokaze

Saturated Future

Antarctic Base

Murder on the Orient Express art from Pinterest
**Orient Express. Andrew Davidson.

Bookcover Spotlight #136

Four Wives


Thursday, January 11, 2018

The Complete Morgaine

The Complete Morgaine (Morgaine Cycle)

There are some books I've always wanted to read but just never have. The Morgaine books by C.J. Cherryh are among those. The plot is one that has always appealed- a woman who must travel from world to world, closing the Gates that are disrupting time and space- that pretty much had me right there. For some reason however I never got around to these. I've owned various copies over the years, from used bookstores, and lost them in moves and such- but with Vintage SciFi Month here they came to mind again. And the books have just been released in an omnibus edition- The Complete Morgaine. Naturally I snatched it up, and dove in- and am glad I did. 

The Morgaine series consists of four books- Gate of Ivrel, Well of Shiuan, Fires of Azeroth, and Exile's Gate. They are the story of Morgaine, a woman who is the last surviving member of an expedition sent to close the Gates. The Gates have been around for millenia and were the cornerstone of a great empire that spanned the stars- but when someone went back in time and changed... something... all  of reality began to unravel. It was expected that this expedition would never return, and that it might even span generations to accomplish its task. 

This is not only Morgaine's story, however. The first book introduces us to Vanye, a man who is exiled for kinslaying. He wanders alone until he chances upon Morgaine coming through a Gate- it has been a hundred years since anyone has seen her, although for her it has only been months. She claims Vanye as an ilin, someone who will owe her a years service- as an exile he must honor that claiming. And so begins a fascinating relationship that explores the bounds of honor, duty and sacrifice. 

Vanye fears Morgaine at first, and obeys her because honor demands he must- and she sees him as a tool only, someone who can help her navigate his world as she seeks to close a Gate. Over time they begin to have regard for each other, and their bond becomes something more than just duty and honor. Always though the objective remains- the Gates must be closed. To do so Morgaine will sacrifice anything- herself, Vanye, anyone. There are so many times I wanted to get into Morgaine's head, to get answers- but the story is told from Vanye's perspective, and there is more mystery to it that way. I loved seeing how their relationship developed- from strangers to friends to an unshakable bond that transcends worlds. And the ending of the first book is one of the more enjoyable and thought provoking endings I've read in some time. 

There are so many beautiful moments in these books. In book two they are on a world of riven moons, a world where floodwaters are rising, and they look up and see the moon fragments bathed in moondust. The books explore honor and duty and Vanye is compelled to keep his oath to Morgaine, even if it means dooming an entire world. How far must one go to honor an oath, measured against human lives? And when the villain they pursue appeals to Vanye to save these people, what choice can be made? 

I think the third book- Fires of Azeroth- is my favorite of the bunch. I found that world the most interesting and also enjoyed how the villain's motivations were called into question, and the surprising twist to his story. The book ended well also, and I can see why the author considered the story told at that point. In many ways I would have been satisfied to leave it there, but the fourth book picks up right after the third one although it was written years later, and to some extent I found it unnecessary. 

If there is a weakness to the books it is the same thing as the books' strength- the interaction between Morgaine and Vanye. This is a story of their relationship and how it grows as much as it is about Gates and adventure. I enjoyed the nuances and growth, of getting to know them as people, but but if you're more interested in straight up action then the personality stuff might get tedious by the fourth book. I would have been happy to leave their story as complete after the third book, it just has closure- but I'm glad I read these and highly recommend them if you enjoy a mix of science fiction and fantasy with well rounded characters.  


I know not everyone likes long reviews so feel free to skip this if desired, I just wanted to share more thoughts on the series. Feel free to comment and discuss, whether you've read these or not. Do you like complex character development as a focus of a fantasy story or are you more interested in plot? 

One of the compelling things about this series is the villain Roh who enhances his lifespan by taking others' bodies. As ruthless a villain as he is, he often is the means by which Vanye survives, and they have a curious relationship as well. Roh was his kinsman- the man who took his cousins body is his cousin, to a certain extent- their personalities merge over time- and while Vanye is honor bound to kill Roh at Morgaine's command, he also finds himself allied with Roh at times due to events. 

How far should one go to honor an oath?  Would you let others die if it was necessary to fulfill that oath? Vanye's society holds oaths as sacred, and he really struggles with balancing that against the needs of those who are caught up in Morgaine's wake. Everywhere she goes death and destruction seem to follow, not because she is evil but because she is focused on her task- closing the Gates- and nothing else matters. To not do so, to fail, means all reality could collapse- so she does not have the luxury of choosing this or that. She does what she must. And Vanye must follow her on faith. 

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Can't Wait Wednesday/ Midweek Stuff


 So here's a midweek round up of what I'm reading watching, etc. Plus Can't Wait Wednesday, hosted by Wishful endings. So sit back, raise a cuppa, and see what's new! And share what you're up to.  

This week my Can't Wait pick is Record of a Spaceborn few, the third Wayfarers book.       

Record of a Spaceborn Few (Wayfarers, #3)

What I'm Reading

The Extinction Trials (The Extinction Trials, #1)

What I'm Watching

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Misc Stuff

Talk Nerdy To Me talks Star Wars (with less f- bombs this time)  

Okay- question of the day.

I saw a question like this on a blog somewhere recently, wish I remembered where (if you remember please let me know, I'd like to give credit) but it was fun and I wanted to do a version of the werewolf vs vampire debate.

You are caught between a werewolf pack or a group of vampires. And these are not sparkly vamps but vicious. cold- blooded undead. But they do live a long time and they often have important roles in society due to their longevity and knowledge. The werewolf pack however offers a relatively normal life (when you're not howling at the moon) plus a support network, and while not as long- lived as vamps they heal quickly. Which group do you choose?