Beemo's Books

I'm a single mom who reads too much.

exactly what it said it was

The Goblin Emperor - Katherine Addison

The blurb tells you the story and that's exactly what you want. The trick is to find more inside than on the cover and Katherine Addison does that. I gave this 4 stars because I found a lacking of background. I wanted to know why Goblins were less than elves at least to some, why the government is set up the way it was and lots of other questions not answered from reading. None of this of course is important to the story. 

 

Addison was able to bring to life a young goblin and drop him not so gently into palace politics, just as the blurb described. We feel sorry for Maia and understandably so, and we watch him grow into the role as emperor rather quickly truly but again I felt this is where more could have been told. I do hope there is a sequel but the way the story ended I doubt it because Maia has become his own man. 

 

Addison's writing was flawless and the dialog seamless even with the royal plurals used throughout. A little lacking with some background descriptions but not horribly so that I couldn't imagine where the story was taking place. 

 

This would make an excellent movie, made for tv movie anyway and I do recommend reading it and her other works under her real name, Sarah Monette.  

SPOILER ALERT!

Mildly Surprised

Rookie Privateer (Privateer Tales Book 1) - Jamie McFarlane

I received this ebook free from joining the author's mail list. Hey I like freebies and space opera so what can go wrong. I wasn't expecting much, but was happily surprised the story was good. 

 

Space operas fit a nice genre, we get a crew- usually inexperienced in some way; a space ship of some sort or space station, and a little exploration where we meet a bad guy and kick some ass. It's a simple plot line that has given us many episodes of good television and many books. This story did not disappoint. I was surprised actually with the dialog and details. At some points I felt a bit too much detail. Did I really need to know how a space ship's septic system works? Jaimie McFarlane is on book 11 of this series and I recommend reading them all. 

 

The characters were young to start and I couldn't find myself really empathizing with them, after all they just finished high school and I'm well much older, but McFarlane's writing gave the reader the chance to see through the characters eyes which helps forget the age gap. I'm sure I'm not the intended audience for these stories.

 

The plot developed easily and at times I knew what was going to happen, but that's the genre more than the lack of story. I liked it and look forward to working my way through the series. It only took me a few days to read, unlike other stories where I forced myself to finish it. This flowed through quickly and even with all the details on space septic tanks I want to know to more about our characters and this new world.  

I'm hooked

Civilly Disobedient (Calm Act Genesis Book 1) - Ginger Booth

I was given this story free just for joining the author's reading list. Me and freebies get along great.  Civilly Disobedient, does everything you want a short intro story to do. We meet the characters, at least some of them. We get a brief look into the world being built, in this case one where civil rights aren't guaranteed and food is a bit hard to come by; and we get a glimpse into what is going to happen or at least what might happen. 

 

I was impressed with this short story by Ginger Booth. So much so I purchased the books in the series just so I can see what happens. I want to know. 

 

Civilly Disobedient introduces us to Dee, our main character in this story. We see a few days through her eyes. She's a bit privileged and knows it enough to see how lucky she has it but how something needs to be done to help others. 

 

According to the blurbs on the series there is a whole conspiracy going on and we get to see it from the eyes of those involved from Dee to the military and hopefully it's as good as this first story. 

 

The author's writing is easy and fast. No big words to bog me down or ideals I can't recognize. There is a bit of familiarity to the writing like, I've been here before but not so much that you put the book down or figure out what happens before the author wants you to. 

 

If you are looking for a quick dystopian story that isn't cheesy or so convoluted it can't happen then try this out and if you finish the Calm Act series before I do.. don't spoil it. 

Doesn't age well

Vector Prime - R.A. Salvatore

Perhaps my love of Star Wars is so strong I remembered this book better. So far this re-read has been slow. I'm about 50% done and it's slow going. Salvatore details each fight sequence with precision that seems to not draw me in so much as put me off and skip a few lines. Perhaps it's my mood or something else, but I remember this book as being full of excitement instead of a long drawn out rendering . Now I do recall the death of a main character (wont say just in case) and maybe that is making me read so slowly, my denial?  

 

still half to go and hopefully I won't find something else to distract me, except the new issue of Clarkesworld has come out so maybe after a few short stories I will appreciate Salvatore's story.. 

A little pick me up to help bide the Time til Rogue One

Vector Prime - R.A. Salvatore

Where do you start with all the Star Wars Canon that is out there, I chose familiarity. I got the Skywalker and Solo families in Vector Prime. A decent starting point as most are done being heroes and on their way to playing politics. I'm only on chapter 4 but so far it's giving me the Star Wars fix I need til Rogue One comes out

Too much

The Element of Fire - Martha Wells

I looked up the author of a Night at the Opera, after listening to it on the Podcast. This is her first book in a series of three I think. It's good but it has so much detail I'm overwhelmed by it. Too many characters but if it's a series you do need to introduce them all. I'm only about half way through it and this was written in the early 90s where we liked all the detail. I'm not totally turned off of the writing so I will finish and at least I don't feel stupid like I did with Chiang's stories. 

Reading progress update: I've read 40%.

Stories of Your Life and Others - Ted Chiang

This is slow going mainly because the author makes me feel stupid and I really hate being reminded that. The third story, Division by Zero, was about a mathematician, suicide and marriage. I'm beginning to believe Chiang is some sort of math genius and likes to remind the rest of us how great he is. Without having any appreciation for math, I couldn't feel for the character or how hard it must be for her to accept her solving some math problem that proved her entire life was a waste of time. In that context I can possibly understand how horrible it might be but I hate math so I didn't care that she lost it.

 

Throughout this story Chiang uses math proofs or definitions to introduce the chapter, I about gave up half way through but I persevered, finished the story and quickly found some silly war book to read to get my head away from math. 

 

I will eventually finish this just to see how much more about math Chiang can interweave within his characters but I think the Goblin Emperor is calling me much louder than Chiang's math stories.  

My new favorite past time

To turn my mind off before bed I've taken to listening to podcasts of short stories. Last night I listened to an old episode from Podcastle. Episode 400 was Martha Wells' Night at the Opera. I thought it was great. I've not read anything by this author but I sure am going to look up all her books and stories and hope to find them cheaply. (No offense to her writing but I work at KMart and can barely afford rent let alone my reading habit.)

 

Our main character, Reynard is perfect. He's your typical anti-hero in the style of Malcolm Reynolds only with more class. I don't know the whole world Martha Wells has built but I sure do want to. From this story Reynard is asked to help an aristocrat family with a sorcerer blackmailer. Just the blurb had me hooked. Throw in excellent dialog and great descriptive settings, not to mention awesome narration from our actors and I wanted more. I was disappointed when it ended only because my appetite for this world was whetted. 

 

I recommend Martha Wells and Podcastle. 

SPOILER ALERT!

a bit far fetched

The War Planners: Omnibus Edition - Andrew  Watts

I got this free and it wasn't horrible. A different genre than I usually read but it hey for free. The premise that China is attacking and how our characters find out is a bit far fetched, in fact that was the main problem for me for this story. The writing was done well and the characters were for the most part believable. I just couldn't get past the way the Red Cell was established, the kidnappings, and how they were used.

 

I mean really are we all that naive that if someone kidnapped us and said our expertise is needed on a remote island to help plan a war so we can then stop it and we go along? I couldn't accept that so the book for me is only 1 1/2 stars. It might make a better made for tv movie and who knows the second book may be better. The ending was good and it left me almost wanting to go get the second one, but not enough.   

Reading progress update: I've read 25%.

Stories of Your Life and Others - Ted Chiang

I finished the first two stories, Tower of Babylon and Understand.  As with any short story anthology you try to discern the theme throughout the book, so far maybe with the title's help, Stories of Your Life and Others, I can almost get a picture but I'm still intrigued. 

 

The writer's use of different style to show a different time was apparent with the second story and hope it progresses. Our first story was based on the tower of Babylon and the lives of those who built it and the why of it all. Chiang used language more similar to that ancient time with his dialog, or at least how we would perceive them. The story was fine, I'd give it a 2  1/2 rating just because of the use of the descriptive narrative and the language syntax. I came away not knowing the why of the story, what was the author trying to teach me. 

 

The second story Understand was a real change in the use of dialog and descriptive words to present a future time but not so far we didn't know when we were, after all the CIA was still around and doing what they do best or worst depending on how you look at it. But the concept was truly enlightening. The idea of a treatment to help regenerate brain neurons and thus make you smarter has been done before in many SYFY shows and stories, but this one was much different. .This was more about the changes within the person itself and how he perceives his world. I would definitely rate this one a 3 1/2. Chiang's use of dialog changed dramatically as our character got smarter. At times I had no clue what was being said or done within the character's brain. I'm sure that was the intent but it left me behind and made me realize how stupid I am and I didn't like that. 

 

I am looking forward to the next two stories.

Short story extravaganza

Stories of Your Life and Others - Ted Chiang

This book kept popping up on my news feed. It has great reviews and I'm a sucker for short stories. I admit I've never read anything by Ted Chiang, never heard of him, but that's not his fault I am horrible with names and remembering titles half the time. The stories I usually remember if they are good. I named my son Corwin after a character in a book and forgot the book for the longest time.. I remembered most about the story not the title, typical me. My point is Ted Chiang may be an awesome writer and have been around for years. I'll find out after this book.

 

So far only half way through the first story, Tower of Babylon. Let's hope this lives up to the rave reviews and more importantly for me I actually remember the titles and author. 

Let's hope it's as good as it's hype,

Uprooted - Naomi Novik

It was on my reading list and since it just won an award I figured it should be worthy of my time. I'm being cheeky I am looking forward to this. 

SPOILER ALERT!

Reading progress update: I've read 100%.

Architects of Destiny (Cadicle #1) - Amy DuBoff

I had such high hopes and I'm not sure why so I felt let down really. I wanted more to this first installment. More on the differences between the Dynasties and the regular people, more about the Priesthood and the TSS. What I got was just a little story. A typical story. The heir doesn't like his planned life so he goes off to see the world and then ends back to the planned life. 

 

I think the story would have been better for me if the first part of our main character Cris leaving his world and seeing the other 99% live would have been longer. More adventures before succumbing to the planned life. 

 

There are a few twists in that he doesn't know his life has been totally planned or that he has started that path. And the next book is supposed to investigate more but I'm in no rush to find out. 

 

The writing was easy and quick. I finished in no time and by no means was the book a struggle to finish like some have. It was just not what I expected so I felt let down and will not rush to finish the story arc. 

HUH?

Earth Last Sanctuary (Universe in Flames Book 1) - Christian Kallias

This was an odd story. The premise is your typical space adventure. Bad guys trying to rule the universe; a group of rebels trying to stop them; and Earth caught in the middle. The fight scenarios were done well and fun to read. You could almost imagine yourself in the space fighter spinning and shooting. It was fun. Then you bring in a goddess and the story just falls. I almost put it down then but continued on because the fighting was enjoyable and almost made up for the lost Olympian gods.

 

I felt the author over simplified the story a bit and well dumbed it down. Perhaps the intended audience is much younger but it just didn't seem to flow well. 

 

I really doubt I will hunt down the rest of the series. But if you like simple action with a bit of love and gods thrown in then check it out. There are four books in the series. 

Another great Clarkesworld story

So Much Cooking, by Naomi Kritzer  Audio Version

This is another great story that makes you think. I'm still stuck in short story mode and have been reading and listening to old issues of Clarkesworld. I listened to this audio version in the hopes of settling my mind to go to sleep. (too much pain lately) Instead I found myself listening intently and looking up the back issue for the story to read later. 

 

The concept was great. A simple cooking blog that goes on to tell a story of a virus outbreak and how the population deals with it. Showing how the virus spread by the lack of ingredients available to cook with was ingenious. There wasn't a great amount of detail on the virus or anything at all really which allowed me as reader to fill in the blanks. Each blog entry portrayed the lack of resources and yet still allowed hope to shine through.

 

I really enjoyed this story and am glad my subscription to Clarkesworld continues to be a good investment.

 

This was an older issue from November 2015 but still great.  

The Fifth Season - N.K. Jemisin

I started this last night and it's intriguing so far. The opening is mind blowing.

 

Let's start with the end of the world, why don't we?  Get it over with and move on to more interesting things..

 

Wow what a way to start.. I hope the rest is as good. I've not read anything from N.K. Jemisin but I will be looking out for this author if the story ends as well as it starts.