A work in progress!

A Song In Honor Of Brooke's 11th Gotcha Day

Friday, March 30, 2012

I wrote this song for Brooke's 10th birthday, but I think it deserves a reboot in honor of her 11th "Gotcha Day," as greyhound adoption people call the anniversary of the day that we brought our beloved hounds home. Not much has changed in the last two and a half years, except that now she begs to have her teeth brushed and I have to beg her to eat most of the time. But she's still my sweet, exasperating, funny, incredibly beautiful, darling girl. She's just such a character, I'm so grateful for every moment that I've been able to spend with her.

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Sung to the tune of How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria from The Sound of Music. And heavily lifted from the same:

She runs around and scrapes her knee
She likes to sniff my hair
She barks at me before dinner
And sleeps upon the stair
I'd like to think she loves me
But she really doesn't care
I even caught her trying to run away!

She's always late for teeth brushing
And she sheds a great deal
She's always late for everything
Except for every meal
I hate to have to say it
But I very firmly feel
Brookie's not an asset to the household

I'd like to say a word in her behalf
Brookie makes me laugh

How do you solve a problem like my Brookie?
How do you catch a cloud and pin it down?
How do you find a word that means my Brookie?
A flibbertijibbet! A will-o'-the wisp! A clown!

Many a thing you know you'd like to tell her
Many a thing she ought to understand
But how do you make her stay
And listen to all you say
How do you keep a wave upon the sand

Oh, how do you solve a problem like Brookie?
How do you hold a moonbeam in your hand?

When I'm with her I'm confused
Out of focus and bemused
And I never know exactly where I am
Unpredictable as weather
She's as flighty as a feather
She's a darling! She's a demon! She's a lamb!

She'd outpester any pest
Drive a hornet from its nest
She could throw a whirling dervish out of whirl
She is gentle! She is wild!
She's a riddle! She's a child!
She's a headache! She's an angel!
She's a girl!

How do you solve a problem like Brookie?
How do you catch a cloud and pin it down?
How do you find a word that means Brookie?
A flibbertijibbet! A will-o'-the wisp! A clown!

Many a thing you know you'd like to tell her
Many a thing she ought to understand
But how do you make her stay
And listen to all you say
How do you keep a wave upon the sand

Oh, how do you solve a problem like Brookie?
How do you hold a moonbeam in your hand?
 

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Review: The Dead of Night by Peter Lerangis, Cahills vs. Vespers Book 3

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Dead of Night (The 39 Clues: Cahills vs. Vespers, #3)The Dead of Night by Peter Lerangis

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This wasn't my favorite in the series. This series is always a bit strange with the author changing every book, some of the books just work better than others, and this one wasn't one of the best. The storytelling was smooth enough, and I felt like Lerangis captured some of the emotional jeopardy and growth that the kids are going through, but it wasn't as exciting as I've come to expect, and the historical content was very disappointing. I still like the addition to the series of Atticus and Jake, and we saw a bit more of Evan in this installation as well. I liked what Ian's story as well. And Dan's continued struggle with his darker emotions was interesting. But this really wasn't the best entry in the Cahill vs. Vespers series or certainly the 39 Clues series. 

In addition, I have to reiterate how disappointed I am that Scholastic chose to print these books in China.

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Review: Undone Deeds by Mark Del Franco

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Undone Deeds (Connor Grey, #6)Undone Deeds by Mark Del Franco

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


This book was a real mixed bag for me. I've liked this series very much and I was really looking forward to this final book. Del Franco writes great characters and I was eager to see how they were doing and what was going to happen next. Not only Connor, but secondary characters are also well developed. There's conflicted cop Murdock, new to his Druidic skills, as are his bitter and angry brothers who are targeting Connor with their wrath. Smart forensic scientist Janey is a treat. Connor's mom was newly introduced but well-used element with her fun, fluttery, but very clever and deeply perceptive ways. Joe is always great, although I missed some of the humor this time, maybe he was just too familiar, but the loyalty was there. Eorla was gracious and charming, as was Ceridwen, who also had a splash of humor. And of course there's Meryl, brilliant, wise, sarcastic, cautiously loving, loyal, bold and sassy Meryl.  And there were appearances by many more favorites including Tibbit, Keeva, Briallen, Dr. Gillen. The vivid and well developed characters helped make the story come to life.

But Del Franco did tend to repeat himself a lot, that got a bit irritating. For example, he mentions the abandoned and fire damaged buildings over and over again. It's nice to set a scene, but I got it the first few times it was mentioned. There were also infodumps about the past books, but the truth is that I did need them, there was a lot of detail that there was no way that I could have remembered. Maybe that means that things were just to complicated or confusing, considering how things turned out in the end, but I needed the reminders so I was glad they were there.  

My biggest issue is what felt like a major change in Connor's direction and character. The series started out with Connor being a down on his luck PI because his abilities were not working. He was investigating cases with Leo Murdock. Then the long story arc kicked in with Vize and the budding war web Maeve, fine, but Connor was still involved as a representative of the government and a Druid. This book took things in a whole other direction with what Connor's roll in everything was. And there isn't much where I can look back and say, yeah, sure, he was laying the groundwork for that there. Things are just suddenly really different for Connor in this book, who he is, who he's been, what everyone else around him has known about it, and what he's going to have to do about it.

And frankly, I really didn't understand a lot of went on near the end of the book as well. We got answers, which was great. But I didn't always understand them or their implications very well. The mystical stuff was odd and confusing more than thrilling. And then there's what should have been a big emotional moment and I totally missed it. When I saw how characters were responding afterward I realized what must have happened and went back to read it and still missed it, not much of a killer climax after all. 

I read a lot of urban fantasy. I like big cool trick-me endings. If he could have pulled something off that felt magical and wonderful I'd be the first to be telling everyone all about it. I really, really wanted to love this book. But I really just didn't understand a lot of the choices and then almost anything about what happened at the end. 

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Review: A Perfect Blood by Kim Harrison

Monday, March 26, 2012

A Perfect Blood (The Hollows, #10)A Perfect Blood by Kim Harrison

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I didn't have the problem with the introspective tone of this book that some reviewers had. After everything that Rachel has been through, if she hadn't been thinking some serious thoughts about her situation I think I'd be complaining about how shallow she is. I like the character development that Harrison is bringing to series. Rachel started out so young and brash, and now she's still bold and brave, but it's being tempered with wisdom and experience. 

So again, some people seemed to think that the beginning of the book was slow, but I liked it. I liked seeing the consequences of what coming out as a demon, plus just the chaos of the recent events in her life, means to Rachel's life. Smaller but really frustrating things like not being able to get a driver's license because she can't be listed as human, witch, vampire or were. Emotional things like having to ask her ex-boyfriend, Marshall, to invoke some charms  because her blood is too skewed toward demon now and it won't invoke complex witch charms anymore. She doesn't know any other witches since her mom moved away, showing how isolated she's become, that she has to call the ex who deserted her when she was shunned. And big things like how the F.I.B. and I.S. kept demanding that she provide a list of the curses she can do so they can blame her if something happens because they don't trust her, even after everything she's done for them over the years. It's no wonder that the woman has a lot on her mind, even before she finds out that a hate group that targets non-humans is calling her out specifically and torturing people to do it. 

I'm not saying it was a perfect book by any means. I hated when Rachel ran away from her bodyguard, that was childish and annoying, not bold. And there were several lazy things that went on that bugged me writing-wise. But overall I thought it was fun. I liked seeing Rachel trying to figure our what it means for her to be a demon in the human world. I really liked the developing relationship with Trent, I always have. I liked the new character Wayde. The action was good, as usual. There were a lot of good quotes that captured the characters throughout the book, great funny lines. For the tenth book in a series I'm pretty impressed that there's still such a strong story arc with character development not only for the main character but also for the supporting cast. And I'm definitely still interested to see where the author takes us next. 

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Doctor Who Quote: 2007 Christmas Special

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Voyage of the Damned

The Doctor: Right then, follow me.

Rickston Slade: Hang on a minute. Who put you in charge, and who the hell are you anyway?

The Doctor: I'm the Doctor. I'm a Time Lord. I'm from the planet Gallifrey in the Constellation of Kasterborous. I'm 903 years old and I'm the man who is gonna save your lives and all 6 billion people on the planet below. You got a problem with that?

Rickston Slade: No.

The Doctor: In that case, allons-y.

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Review: Sacrifical Magic by Stacia Kane

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Sacrificial Magic (Downside Ghosts, #4)Sacrificial Magic by Stacia Kane

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


It’s funny how things can change over time. When I first encountered this world I liked it a lot, but I didn’t love it. It was wonderfully written and vividly portrayed, and I did like the characters. Well, they weren’t always so likable, but I did like reading about them! But initially I wasn’t completely enamored by the system of magic or the oppressive Church, or the language shift that the Downside people used, it just didn’t feel completely legit to me when I read the first book. l wasn’t sure it could all have happened in a short period of time. But now I’m a total convert. This world feels completely real to me from top to bottom, Kane has imagined and portrayed every single nuance in this book to perfection and it’s honestly just fantastic. She has that trick of making it seem effortless, every scene is so vivid and detailed without being belabored and overdone; it makes me feel like I’m walking down the dark streets in Chess’s shoes, not always such a comfortable feeling, let me tell you.

But Kane’s greatest skill is that while she writes lovely scenes and a terrific mystery full of fascinating magic, what she does best is that she grounds it in heartbreaking and totally identifiable emotion. I’ve noticed before in fantasy novels that it’s important for authors to strike a balance, if they have a lot of magic in one area then they need to ground the book in reality in another area to make things a bit relatable for the reader. So, for example, if the hero is magical being like a vampire or a werewolf then maybe the world he or she lives in will be one very much like ours. Or in this case, since the world is an alternate reality with ghosts and magic, and the mysteries that Chess, Terrible and Lex are solving are pretty wild and fantastic, Kane grounds the book with the emotional stories. The love story between Chess and Terrible is one that anyone could relate to, both the flush and joy of first love and the anxieties and insecurities that come with it. And then there are Chess’s personal struggles with her depression, anxieties and self-hatred, as expressed in so many ways, one of which is her drug use; this part of the story is just so deeply and achingly heartbreaking. Having these layers to the story is not only great literature, it also gives the fantastic and adventure elements of the story a strong foundation.

I’ve seen a few people say in their reviews about these books that Chess’s drug addiction makes them uncomfortable. But I think if you read these books you’ll see that there is nothing here that glorifies or promotes drug use in any way, shape, or form, in fact it’s certainly the opposite. It’s just a way too honest and painful exploration of how a functioning addict lives. It’s way more literary than most popular fiction is all, it’s more Oprah than romance novel on that level. Each book goes deeper and deeper into the experience and her history, how she got here and what the consequences are. It’s in no way taken lightly. I think maybe it’s easy for some people to judge and react harshly when they've never been there. I haven't either, but as a person with a chronic illness there have been times when I'm reading these books when I've sympathized, I have to tell you. There are times when I just want my chronic pain to go away, when I wonder what it would feel like if it took more than one pill or took it sooner than prescribed, wondered if I could actually stop hurting for just a few minutes. It's a slippery slope and it's easy to judge. And I guarantee you, when you read this book and you see what Chess suffered through and how she became and addict, your heart will break for her. You will judge a lot less.

OK, on to a few specific points about the book:

I just loved in the beginning how awkward she was in the scene with the other Debunker. She mentioned that she wasn’t the type of person who knew the right thing to say in the moment to reassure the other guy, like she was never the girl at the party who could come up with the witty remark, but was the one who thought of the funny thing to say later. It just felt so relatable to me, because aren’t most of us that gal?

I loved that Elder Griffin was getting married to another man! That was a surprise, the Church seems so conservative in so many ways. But it’s interesting too, I really like that layers of what the Church is and how it functions keeps being revealed and that it all holds together and makes sense. Kane really understands this world, she isn’t writing off the cuff, she has a plan for the characters and this world and it’s so fun to see it being revealed. I just hope that Elder Griffin, and his hubby-to-be, are both actually nice guys. I hate to be suspicious, but as a reader I’m always suspicious of everyone. He seems so sweet, I hope he really is. Chess needs someone in her corner.

Sexy scenes aren't really important to me in general, but I have to say that Kane writes good sexy scenes. She doesn't say any of the stupid cliche things. They’re original and much more real than most authors without being at all raunchy. She also taps into emotion at the same time.

It freaked me out to see that in her screwed up head Chess sees the drug use as not just as escape but also as a form of control, the one thing she can do to control her life, even though it really makes her life out of control and in the hands of Bump and Slowbag and Lex and everyone else.

I've come to really enjoy the quotes at the beginning of the chapters. They’re from various Church manuals about how people are supposed to live their lives. It really sets the tone for the world and the creepy nature of the Church. At first they seem sarcastic, because to us (modern people in 2012 or so) the Church will seem like an oppressive, totalitarian kind of government/religion. Except you have to remember that Chess really believes this stuff, it's part of the weird duality of her character. Not only does she feel safe and respected at work, but she actually does believe in the Church and the Truth.

The scene where Chess and Terrible have a huge fight was really tough to read. They both said things they were going to regret out of hurt feelings and temper, it was all too realistic. It was part of what I talked about above about emotional realism in this book. This scene was so completely real, it blew me away.

I love the way he loves her, it's for the right reasons despite all of her many flaws. They really love each other's minds and hearts. And the stories and mysteries in each book have really showcased them being able to see the best in each and worst in each other as they've solved the mysteries together. Their relationship is one of the most tender and well-developed that I’ve seen in urban fantasy.

I figured out one of the big secrets in the middle of the book. I’m not really complaining, authors need to give hints and it wasn’t obvious or anything. It was just one of those things where the character had to be in the book somewhere so I guessed and guessed right. It didn’t spoil anything.

I like the continuing relationship between Lex and Chess a well. Kane strikes the right balance emotionally with them, keeping a level of humor, light sexiness and friendliness that makes their ongoing connection make sense. And I like that it’s not really a love triangle, unlike the typical urban fantasy scene. There is a connection, there’s tension between Lex and Terrible that Lex uses to his advantage, Lex may even have some unresolved feelings for Chess, and she may even have a bit of attraction to her former lover, but she is not interested in him at all, she really is totally devoted to Terrible. It just feels like an honest situation between former lovers, the connection feels real. As usual from Kane.

Small spoiler comment here, not important overall, don't stress about it if you don't like spoilers: I like the relationship Chess is developing with Blue, it would be interesting to see how she would do with a female friend. And this would be have some interesting levels too since she’s Lex’s sister, and a pretty complex character on her own as well.

So, the end, that’s the big question, right? Without giving any spoilers, I’ll just say that it was super emotional. At one point I had my hand over my mouth, worried about what Chess was going to do. But to be completely honest, then there was a point where I did disengage a tiny bit and it didn't quite have the impact it was supposed to. Somehow the buildup just worked better than the actually finale for me. But I am glad about how it turned out, of course. Except for the big change in the end, that’s scary. Things are going to change in the next book, I’m worried. (Teaser, sorry!)


So, to try and sum things up a little bit, Chess’s emotional story, both the romance and the drug addiction, as well as her strength and bravery when it comes to doing her work and defending the people she cares about, adds tremendously to the fact that these books are serious novels with a lot of layers to explore, not just light adventures. They’re still a lot of fun to read, don’t get me wrong. The mysteries are exciting and interesting. It’s not going to depress you, I’m super sensitive to that, I hate dark and depressing books. The balance it terrific, it’s fun, exciting, thoughtful and smart writing with layers that will leave you thinking for a long time to come. I really recommend this book and this series.

**I received an advance review copy of this book from NetGalley.

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Dancing away the pounds - impossible standards of beauty

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Well, I screwed up, in trying to re-post this I deleted this by mistake, so now I have to rewrite it. Sorry for the confusion, I know it won't be as good the second time around. I guess I learned a good lesson about backup up everything I write, too.

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With Dancing With the Stars starting this week, I know that it will be the beginning of a media frenzy about the weight of the the contestants and the pros. It often seems like the show becomes more about the size of the womens' waists more than their considerable accomplishments. Some of the contestants seem to view the show as a version of The Biggest Loser more than a dance contest. And what really makes me crazy is all of the articles about what the pros eat. They all (or at least the ones who let themselves be quoted in the magazines) seem to eat extremely restricted 1200-1400 calorie a day diets. If these professional athletes who exercise 5-8 hours a day can't eat like normal human beings, then what does that say for the average woman? What has happened to our standard of beauty in this country that these woman have to practically starve themselves to meet some arbitrary standard of beauty that their industry and our beauty standards have set for them?

What has really brought this to my mind is that my niece was visiting this weekend. She's 14 and takes dance 3 days a week. She's in great shape but she will never be a skinny girl, she has beautiful curves and a strong, perfect body. She seems OK with that, but she must have insecurities. Every teenage girl does, and a girl in the dance industry must have double or triple those insecurities, especially one who loves ballet. And I watch these shows and I really fear for her. At least when I watch So You Think You Can Dance many of the women are strong and curvy, their legs are strong and muscular and they don't have little skinny stick arms. I much prefer the aesthetic of that show and that portion of the dance industry to what I see in ballroom and ballet. Do you remember the scandal on DWTS when Cheryl, one of the most talented dancers and choreographers on the show, gained 3-5 pounds? And one of the male dancers pointed it out and claimed that she and Lacey-of-the-stunning-legs (I'm straight as can be but that girl has the best pins in the business, I love watching her, who in their right mind doesn't?) were too fat? It was crazy, it was all over the news shows, the women were humiliated, and for what? When did being a size 2 become the goal? It's impossible and unhealthy, mentally and physically, for women to aspire to this arbitrary standard of beauty. Yes, it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle and to keep your body at a weight that supports overall health and wellness. And no, there is no magic formula, so please stop buying magazines with articles about what famous people are eating. It's always the same thing. Eat less, exercise more, eat a well balanced diet, it's always the exact same information. But most of all, please stop holding yourself and other women up to this impossible standard of beauty. The pressure is too much for anyone at any age, much less little girls who are watching everything that we do and say.

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Timing, reading and writing

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Have you ever noticed that some books take longer to read than others? Sometimes I just blaze through a book in six to eight hours or two long reading sessions, and other books that are the same length take several days instead. And usually I can't tell any major obvious difference between them. The ones that go quickly tend to be more humorous, an urban fantasy book with a lot of banter perhaps. But not always. It certainly isn't a reflection of the quality of writing, some of my very favorite writers fall into the category just mentioned, skilled beyond my ability to describe, so the fact that I blaze through their books is both fun and frustrating because the joy is over way to quickly. Of course sometimes the shortness of the reading experience it is a reflection of one of my big pet peeves, when publishers these days sell a book with huge margins, blank pages between chapters and double spaced text, so a hardback book sold for full price is really the length of a novella, but that's an obvious problem. Does anyone have any ideas about this? What makes a book read quickly or slowly for you?

And how come some reviews are so easy to write, and others are such bears? Again, this isn't in any way a reflection on the quality of the book either, in fact sometimes it's the opposite. Sometimes the easiest reviews to write are the ones where the flaws in the book just jump out at me. Unfortunately, the ideas for the review seems to flow more easily that way. But when I've loved a book the ideas tend to be so much more complex and layered. There is so much that I want to say and I can never say it the way I want to, so I wrestle with the review and it never turns out quite the way I want it to. It can take hours to labor over these reviews, but it's still some of the most satisfying and rewarding time that I spend these days. I don't really enjoy pointing out the bad stuff in the books I read. I do it because I think I should; as a reviewer I think my friends and people who read my reviews are looking for honesty from me, so I try to tell it like I see it. I really try not to be mean, just as honest as possible. But I do really enjoy sharing the good stuff, especially when it's an author that I've been following for a long time, or a new author who's just starting out. It's a chance to express myself and my thoughts on the book, to support their careers a little bit, and to maybe turn a friend onto a super cool book that they might not have read otherwise. And the Internet and blogging gives me a chance to get feedback and to find out if I'm having a little bit of an impact, which is really rewarding. When a friend on Twitter says that she's going to read a book because I recommended it, it's just a really satisfying feeling. Or when I get an email that says that someone has "liked" one of my Goodreads reviews. Or when I see that I'm starting to get hits on this blog for my reviews. So thank you, everyone, for your support. And I'd love to see any comments you have about what makes reviews easy or hard for you to write, or what you think makes books read quickly or go really slowly.

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Author appreciation

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

This is a copy of the post I made on Tumblr the other day. I guess it was a sign that a resumption of blogging was in my future! Clearly my mind and spirit was getting in the mood even before NetGalley gave me the push to get my act together.

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It occurs to me that as much as it makes me crazy to wait a year for the next book in all of my favorite series, it’s probably really good that there are some things in this world that can’t be massed produced. We’re so lucky in the developed countries that we have so many forms of instant gratification. We don’t even have to watch repeats of TV shows over the summer anymore, there are always new shows to watch throughout the year now. There are so many ways of finding new music, artists, podcasts, whatever you’re into, it’s out there. But each of those artists only has one voice and so much time available, making whatever they’re able to produce precious. And I, for one, am really grateful for every word that my favorite writers produce. I don’t have a creative bone in my body and I really treasure the hours I spend lost in their worlds. The fact is that most of them don’t do it for the money. There sure isn’t much money there, even for those who manage to eke out a living at it. They do it because they love to do it, even can’t imagine a life without doing it. But that doesn’t make it an easy life for most of them. So I just want to say how much I appreciate you, my dear authors. And that I am eagerly awaiting that next book!

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Review: Fool's War by Sarah Zettel

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Fool's WarFool's War by Sarah Zettel

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I really loved this book. I found it because the SciFi and Fantasy Book Club read When Gravity Fails and one of the discussions that came from it was a search for other science fiction books featurning Muslim and Arab characters. I really enjoy books with international or intercultural storylines and the descriptions of this one really caught my attention. A female Muslim captain certainly seemed like a different perspective that would be pretty fascinating if done well, it sure isn't something you see a lot of in fiction or non-fiction! And done well it was, I was really pleased with almost every aspect of this book.

The cultural aspects were quite interesting. Katmer Al Shei, the chief engineer and part owner of the Pasadena, basically the captain, is a very devout Muslim. She and her cousin, Resit, the ship's lawyer, wear kijabs (what we call hijabs, the head coverings many observant Muslim women wear), although Al Shai covers her mouth and Resit does not because she says that no one would trust a lawyer who doesn't show her face. The women are both very observant, attending prayers several times each day and following as many rules of their faith as possible while traveling in space. In addition, it was interesting to see the author's vision of how Muslims might be perceived in the future. In this version of the future there was a castastrophic event called the Slow Burn 300 years ago that the Muslims were blamed for. They scattered across the setteled space, along with other cultural and religious groups, but there is still a lot of negative feeling toward them. It's pretting upsetting that a book written in 1997 was already so prescient about so many people's inability to forgive and forget. But I have to say that it felt realistic, it wasn't written in dramatic way, or like it was trying to illustrate a lesson in any way other than in a way that good literature does. It just felt like a natureal part of the landscape as it was presented, a piece of the bigger puzzle.

Other than the Muslim religion, there wasn't a lot of other traditional Earth culture presented, but there were several other interesting cultures that were central to the story. The most interesting was the Fools. This was such a neat idea right from the start. People who are traveling around in tiny ships for months to years at a time are under a tremendous amount of stress, so they need pressure valves, entertainers, confidants, clowns - Fools. And of course these Fools have to be untouchable or the people who do will get blackballed, how else can the Fools have the freedom to do their jobs properly?

Other than the Fools there was also the Freers, people who think that true freedom can only come from humans living in space and building environments to suit their growing needs. If they had it there way human would never touch another planet again. They also think that AIs are born when they capture the souls of dying humans and do everything they can to fostor that happening, even though to this point no one has ever figured out what has caused an AI to become independent.

I found this book to be completely engaging from beginning to end. By the middle it got really tense and exciting, with a big twist that really surprised me and changed things around completely. But what made it work most of all was the characters. I can see why some of the reviews I saw compared it to Star Trek, both because of the multicultural cast and the well-rounded story, but it also has quite a bit of Firefly as well. These guys are more on the up-and-up (although Al Shei's partner certainy isn't!) but they're independent operators trying to make it in a system that isn't always so friendly.

All right, I can't say too much more without giving anything away. Read it, it's just a great novel all around, smart and entertaining.



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Testing mobile blogging

Turns out that blogger has created a pretty nice iPhone app since the last time I checked. It seems pretty easy to use, although I can't actually look and see if I've chosen the right picture or not, that's a flaw. And I don't think I can tag the post, but that's not a huge thing. Anyway, I hope I picked the right picture of Brooke. She sat with me for a whole 35 minutes last night! Quite a big deal since she only sits with me a few times a year and usually only for a few minutes at a time when she does. I wasn't even eating anything, it was really quite an occasion. You'll have to excuse my hand in the picture, if I don't keep scratching her or rubbing her belly the whole time she'll leave. I know, I'm a sucker. But isn't she pretty?

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Review: The Mortal Bone by Marjorie M. Liu

The Mortal Bone (Hunter Kiss, #4)The Mortal Bone by Marjorie M. Liu

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I love the series. I might be a bit hesitant about all of the different pieces of Maxine's heritage that we keep finding out about, it's getting to seem a bit much. In addition to the major story about "the boys," and Maxine and her mother's line being their prison for over one thousand years, she also has some scary dark power inside her (a god?), Jack is her grandpa, and now there's this stuff with her dad. The stuff with her dad in this book is really interesting and it does explain a lot going right back to the beginning of the series with the labyrinth and the armor, it's fun to look back and see how the pieces fall into place. So far Liu does seem to be pulling it together in a way that makes sense and feels logical and very much planned and not like one of those authors that gets so caught up in having cool monsters and demons and gods and stuff that she just throws everything into the book whether it serves the story or not. Liu has always been thoughtful and masterful in her storytelling, so I'm going to trust that she's taking me somewhere terrific and just go with it.



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Linking Goodreads Reviews

Well it looks like I'm going to have to start linking my Goodreads reviews. I didn't realize that NetGalley lets you download their ARCs to your nook (or kindle, iPhone, etc.), and that they have ARCs from great authors like Stacia Kane, and publishers like Angry Robots, and now I really want to work with them! So I'm going to start linking all of my reviews to my blog so they can see that I read and publish a lot, and do have quite a few followers. Plus I read and reviewed 231 books last year, that's probably quite a few more than most reviewers and bloggers. Most of my friends usually see my reviews either directly from Goodreads or by following a link from Twitter, so I haven't really focused on the blog too much, but I have had some ideas for posts that I haven't pursued as well, so maybe it's a good time to do that as well. In fact, I had something that I wanted to say yesterday that I wrote on Tumblr because it was easier to do it on the iphone, so I'll try to figure out what the mobile updates option for the blog is that I saw suggested when I signed in and then keep everything centralized through this location from now on. Thanks for the inspiration, NetGalley!

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My new little sweetheart of a mutt

My new little sweetheart of a mutt

Such a goober

Such a goober

Always in my heart

Always in my heart

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