By Blood by Ellen Ullman

Book Review

 


By BloodBook Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery

Book Series: N/A

Released: 2/24/2012 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Pages: 378 Price: $16.00 Paperback

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I borrowed this audiobook from my library

 

 

Book Synopsis:

San Francisco in the 1970s. Free love has given way to radical feminism, psychedelic ecstasy to hard-edged gloom. The Zodiac Killer stalks the streets. A disgraced professor takes an office in a downtown tower to plot his return. But the walls are thin and he’s distracted by voices from next door—his neighbor is a psychologist, and one of her patients dislikes the hum of the white-noise machine. And so he begins to hear about the patient’s troubles with her female lover, her conflicts with her adoptive, avowedly WASP family, and her quest to track down her birth mother. The professor is not just absorbed but enraptured. And the further he is pulled into the patient’s recounting of her dramas—and the most profound questions of her own identity—the more he needs the story to move forward.

The patient’s questions about her birth family have led her to a Catholic charity that trafficked freshly baptized orphans out of Germany after World War II. But confronted with this new self— “I have no idea what it means to say ‘I’m a Jew’”—the patient finds her search stalled. Armed with the few details he’s gleaned, the professor takes up the quest and quickly finds the patient’s mother in records from a German displaced-persons camp. But he can’t let on that he’s been eavesdropping, so he mocks up a reply from an adoption agency the patient has contacted and drops it in the mail. Through the wall, he hears how his dear patient is energized by the news, and so is he. He unearths more clues and invests more and more in this secret, fraught, triangular relationship: himself, the patient, and her therapist, who is herself German. His research leads them deep into the history of displaced-persons camps, of postwar Zionism, and—most troubling of all—of the Nazi Lebensborn program.With ferocious intelligence and an enthralling, magnetic prose, Ellen Ullman weaves a dark and brilliant, intensely personal novel that feels as big and timeless as it is sharp and timely. It is an ambitious work that establishes her as a major writer.

My Review:

Another full disclosure time. I picked this book because the author’s last name began with a U.  I only need an author with an X to have read a book by an author of every letter in the alphabet.  Feel free to give me your recommendations below.   Now for the review.

I’m not usually a fan of historical fiction.  I’m also not usually one to read about the Holocaust.  Not that I am a denier or have anything but the deepest respect for the suffering that people went through.  I simply tend to be a sensitive person and I have trouble separating myself from the fiction I read.  I get emotionally distraught and it affects my mood and how I behave towards those around me.  So I tend to stay away from topics that could upset me.  Not the correct behavior I know but it is the approach I take in reading.  Life sucks why would I want to read about more suffering.  Still, I selected this book from my library because it sounded interesting and filled a reading requirement I needed.

I’m so glad I did.  This book captivated me.  Much like the narrator of the story, I became obsessed with the life the patient was revealing to her therapist.   I guess I am a bit of a voyeur too.  It was a bit of a strange read, however, and I get some of the criticism that has been posted in other reviews.  I almost find myself dividing the book into two different plots.  One plot thread revolved around the therapist and her patient and the other was the professor and his odd circumstance.    The eavesdropping on the therapist and patient being the more compelling plot.

So let’s deal with the professor first.  He needs help.  Serious help.  I can see why he was put on leave and was described as creepy.  It is exactly what he is, creepy.  Some say that his purpose was not well-defined but I disagree.  I think he probably got in trouble for sexually harassing a student and the institution he works for wanted him to disappear for a few months in hopes that the drama he stirred up would be forgotten or blow over.  While I did find him creepy I have to say I did not totally despise him.  I almost feel bad for him as I truly feel he needs help before he hurts someone.  Or it could be that I feel a tad guilty knowing I have become as obsessed with the patient’s story as he has.

Now for the therapist and her client.  This was a moving story and the sole reason I’m glad I listen to this book.  The patient’s story is that of a young woman in search of her identity.  Like many of us, she did not feel like she fit in and desperately needed to connect with her origins to make sense of the life she now leads.  What she learns is not pleasant and logically speaking should hold no reflection on who she is as a person but I can not say I would feel differently if I was in her shoes.  This part of the story is so worth wading through the creepy professor parts.

My Rating: 4 Stars

The Flicker Men by Ted Kosmatka

Book Review

 


The Flicker MenBook Genre: Science Fiction, Thriller, Mystery, Audio

Book Series: N/A

Released: 7/21/15 by Henry Holt and Co

Pages:352  Price:$25.66 Hardcover

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I borrowed this audiobook from my library.

 

 

Book Synopsis:

Eric Argus is a washout. His prodigious early work clouded his reputation and strained his sanity. But an old friend gives him another chance, an opportunity to step back into the light.

With three months to produce new research, Eric replicates the paradoxical double-slit experiment to see for himself the mysterious dual nature of light and matter. A simple but unprecedented inference blooms into a staggering discovery about human consciousness and the structure of the universe.

His findings are celebrated and condemned in equal measure. But no one can predict where the truth will lead. And as Eric seeks to understand the unfolding revelations, he must evade shadowy pursuers who believe he knows entirely too much already.

My Review:

I’m not exactly sure why I stuck this book out.  I’m also not exactly sure what the book was about in all actuality…  Some of it might be that I wasn’t paying close enough attention, some might be the book was plotted well, some might be the science going over my head.  I didn’t hate the book, I finished it after all but this book left me feeling eh.

There were parts I found intriguing and other simply annoying.  I did like the science and found the experiment the story revolves around interesting.  The delving into politics a little less so…  I almost turned it off when it started venturing down a religious path but being in the middle of an exercise session and nothing else to listen to decided to press on for at least the rest of the hour.  I eventually decided the author wasn’t trying to convert me into any sort of thinking and chose to stick the book out to the end.

The book has a vastly different feel at the end than it did in the beginning and I think that is what hurt it for me.  I didn’t really care for the shift.  I’m still not entirely sure how the book ended as by the last hour or two it was simply background noise and I was only half listening. I appreciated some of the questions the author brought up in the plot but I struggled to find a character to connect with.

It wasn’t a bad book just not a terribly good one in my opinion.  I probably should have stopped listening after the first part.  The middle I did enjoy and probably the reason for the second star I am giving it.  I’m not quite sure what type of reader this book is meant for just that it most likely isn’t me.

My Rating:2 Stars

Bottomland by Michelle Hoover

Book Review

 


BottomlandBook Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery

Book Series: N/A

Released: 3/1/16 by Grove Press

Pages: 336  Price:$16.oo paperback

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I borrowed this book from my library.

 

 

Book Synopsis:

At once intimate and sweeping, Bottomland—the anticipated second novel from Michelle Hoover—follows the Hess family in the years after World War I as they attempt to rid themselves of the Anti-German sentiment that left a stain on their name. But when the youngest two daughters vanish in the middle of the night, the family must piece together what happened while struggling to maintain their life on the unforgiving Iowa plains.

In the weeks after Esther and Myrle’s disappearance, their siblings desperately search for the sisters, combing the stark farmlands, their neighbors’ houses, and the unfamiliar world of far-off Chicago. Have the girls run away to another farm? Have they gone to the city to seek a new life? Or were they abducted? Ostracized, misunderstood, and increasingly isolated in their tightly-knit small town in the wake of the war, the Hesses fear the worst. Told in the voices of the family patriarch and his children, this is a haunting literary mystery that spans decades before its resolution. Hoover deftly examines the intrepid ways a person can forge a life of their own despite the dangerous obstacles of prejudice and oppression.

My Review:

Alright, confession time.  I’m breaking my rules by reviewing this book.  I swore after a psycho author harassed me at work I would never review an All Iowa Reads book again.  Ever.  I would read them of course so I could participate in the book discussion held at my library but my thoughts of that year’s title would not leave that room and never be posted on my blog again.

So, why am I reviewing this year’s selection?  Well, mainly because I really liked it.  This is by far the best All Iowa Read’s selection that I have read in my years working in a small town Iowa library.  I am totally shocked!  I have to give props to the panel this year’s title was a good call.

There was so much I could relate to in this book.  Being from Iowa I knew this family, or rather one just like it.  In fact, my best friend growing up was a first generation German and I remember spending so much of my youth at their farm.  I felt like I knew these people and could identify with them even though I am only part German.  I have a feeling that most people are going to be able to either see themselves or someone they know in these characters.

Surprising that isn’t what hooked me, though, it was the mystery of what happen to those girls that held my interest.  This was a well-crafted puzzle that I didn’t quite figure out and was pleased to see how everything turned out.  I also thought this book was very timely for the current immigrant drama going on in our country.  So many forget that their family too came from elsewhere and that they probably weren’t welcome here either.  It seems that after a few generations we forget to have any compassion to those just arriving and how much new blood contributes to our society.  The book delves into to sexism and should remind us just how far woman’s rights have come and just how far they have yet to go.

This was a surprisingly good listen.  I find myself still reflecting on it and remembering my childhood.  I’ve lost connection to that childhood friend and her family, it often happens.  I wish them well, though, and thank them for letting me experience their culture for a time.

My Rating:4 Stars

Agents of Dreamland by Caitlin Kiernan

Book Review

 


Agents of DreamlandBook Genre: Science Fiction, Horror, Mystery

Book Series: N/A

Released: 2/28/17 by Tor.com

Pages:112  Price: $2.99 E-Book

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I received a copy of this book from the publishers through Net Galley for an honest review.

 

 

Book Synopsis:

A government special agent known only as the Signalman gets off a train on a stunningly hot morning in Winslow, Arizona. Later that day he meets a woman in a diner to exchange information about an event that happened a week earlier for which neither has an explanation, but which haunts the Signalman.

In a ranch house near the shore of the Salton Sea a cult leader gathers up the weak and susceptible—the Children of the Next Level—and offers them something to believe in and a chance for transcendence. The future is coming and they will help to usher it in.

A day after the events at the ranch house which disturbed the Signalman so deeply that he and his government sought out help from ‘other’ sources, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory abruptly loses contact with NASA’s interplanetary probe New Horizons. Something out beyond the orbit of Pluto has made contact.

And a woman floating outside of time looks to the future and the past for answers to what can save humanity.

My Review:

Well, that was weird and I’m not quite sure what I just read.  It was science fiction that read more like a horror story (of which I usually steer clear of, not a fan of scary).  It almost felt like an episode of the X-Files or the Twilight Zone.  The story is short, however, which encouraged me to press on as I figured the book would need to get to the point pretty quick.  So stick with it as after three chapters I had a pretty good idea where the author was taking us.

The story jumps back and forth in time but the author is helpful in sharing the date of the current action at the beginning of each chapter.  Being a short story that is quite mysterious there isn’t much time to become invested in any character but I did find myself drawn to Signalman and could see a series of these short stories that feature him handling these strange cases.

I’m not quite sure what or if there was a point to the story, besides being entertaining, as the story is almost as mysterious at the end as it is at the beginning.  This is a book that holds its plot close as it slowly discloses what is going on.  It is one of those books that lingers in your mind as you try to figure out what the heck you just read.

My Rating: 3 Stars

Killing Rocks by D.D. Barant

Book Review

 


Killing Rocks (The Bloodhound Files, #3)Book Genre: Mystery, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy

Book Series: The Bloodhound Files #3

Released: 12/28/2010 by St. Martin’s Paperbacks

Pages: 308 Price: $7.99 Paperback

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I own a copy of this book

 

 

Book Synopsis:

FBI profiler Jace Valchek’s ticket home from the twisted parallel universe where she’s been called to duty hinges on the capture of serial killer Aristotle Stoker—and an alliance with a sorcerer known as Asher. The problem: Asher has joined forces with some of the most dangerous creatures Jace has ever encountered. The solution: There is none, without Asher’s help…

Jace’s goal seems simple enough—to get her man, like always. But just hours after she arrives in Vegas, she’s abducted…and she isn’t even sure who the real enemy is. Now Jace has to wonder if she’s the predator or the prey in a very dangerous game that could change not only her fate, but the world’s…Meanwhile, a serial killer is still on the loose. And time has already run out…

My Review:

Let me be blunt.  I didn’t care for this book that much and it has made me a little hesitant to continue on with the remaining three books.  I enjoyed the first two and still like most of the characters but this book was just off.  I struggled to become invested in the plot and kept waiting for it to simply be over.  I got down to the last 50 pages and almost walked away because I simply didn’t care.  I stuck with it and in the end, I’m glad I did, but man, this was a chore to read at times.

Now let me tell you why.  The flashbacks and side stories were the big issues for me.  I’m okay with one or two flashbacks but a reading pet-peeve of mine is when they continue through the entire book and this one did.  Also, most of the characters I cared about were absent for much of the book.  Instead, we get Jace paired up with this other woman from yet another world and I really never did care for her much so it didn’t bother me much when she simply disappeared without any resolution because I had been wanting her to disappear for most of the book.

I still enjoyed Jace as a character but this book was all over the place and felt a little like it was searching for a plot.  That the whole point of the book was to fill in back-story for the main character.  All of those details should have been spread over multiple book to lessen the info-dump feel that it ended up giving this one.

Sigh… simply put this book didn’t work for me as a reader and while I might have said good-bye to this world and moved on with my life normally I already own the remaining three books in the series and feel like I should really see this one out.  I truly hope the series gets better, closer to what attracted me to in book one.  I do think I will be taking a break, however,  perhaps if I put a couple of book by other authors between this one and the next I will be able to approach it with an open mind.  Fingers-crossed.

My Rating:2 Stars

Death Blows by D.D Barant

Book Review

 


Death Blows (The Bloodhound Files, #2)Book Genre: Mystery, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy

Book Series: The Bloodhound Files #2

Released: 3/30/10 by St.Martin’s Paperbacks

Pages:  332 Price:$7.99 paperback

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I own a copy of this book.

 

 

Book Synopsis:

FBI profiler Jace Valchek was pulled into this parallel realm to hunt for Aristotle Stoker, a human serial killer who preys on vampires and werewolves. Now she works for the National Security Agency of the Unnatural States of America—and her boss is a vampire.

At a bizarre crime scene, Jace finds a bloodsucker murdered by magic, fried to the bone and dressed in the costume of the comic book hero the Flash—a character who isn’t supposed to exist here. Comic books have been outlawed for their powers, including crossover spells like the one that transported Jace to this world. Soon, she’s following a trail of dead bodies into the sinister underworld of black-market comics—where a deranged madman gives new meaning to the term “super-villain”…

Death Blows is a fast-paced, exciting follow-up to Dying Bites—DD Barant and The Bloodhound Files just keep getting better, and Jace Valchek’s world keeps getting stranger …

My Review:

Decided to continue this series now that I managed to get my hands on all the remaining books.  Of course, I had to go back and relisten to the first book for a refresher to this world.  Have to say it is a little weird to switch from listening to the audiobook to then read the next book.  It was almost as if I could hear a faint impression of the narrator’s voice for some of the characters as I read.  Hopefully that fades as I progress into the next book as most of the time I prefer my own interpretation of character’s personalities as I read.

I did enjoy book two, probably not as much as the first one but enough to want to dive into the third book as soon as I’m done with my review.  I am kind of digging this idea of parallel existences and how the main character struggles with the difference between the two realities.  After all it is easy to relate as a reader when you are constantly entering stories that are similar yet just a bit different from your own.

The plot of this book was centered around graphic novels or comic a culture that is pretty complex to fan and awfully confusing to those who are not into the genre.  While I respect the work I’m not a huge fan myself.  Still, I found it interesting peek into this subculture that I know little about.  Setting that aside this is still a great who-done-it detective story as Jace races around to figure out and catch the bad guy.

The same main supporting characters from the first book are back and I have to say I really like Charlie.  I am also a fan of Dr. Pete and was so disappointed in regards to what happen to him in this book.   Hope everything eventually works out with him.  We also have a fun new character come into Jace’s life that looks to be a new housemate.  I don’t want to spoil it but what an interesting twist on the were genre.

The book also manages to get some political/social commentary in without being too heavy-handed, which I always appreciate.   Overall a fun read and an interesting twist on the urban fantasy/paranormal genre.  Looking forward to the next book!

My Rating:4 Stars

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

Book Review

 


Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore (Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, #1)Book Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Mystery

Book Series: Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore #1

Released: 10/2/12 by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux

Pages: 288  Price: $16.00 Paperback

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I borrowed the audiobook from my library.

 

 

Book Synopsis:

The Great Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon away from life as a San Francisco web-design drone and into the aisles of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. But after a few days on the job, Clay discovers that the store is more curious than either its name or its gnomic owner might suggest. The bookstore’s secrets extend far beyond its walls.

My Review:

I came across this book through a link on my library’s overdrive site that said ‘show me something different’. I’m guessing that it is meant for people like me who don’t quite know what they are in the mood to listen to or read.  The bright cover and short intriguing synopsis caught my attention so I added it to my wish-list and moved on.  By the time I got done browsing some other patron had checked it out and I would have to wait my turn.   Then earlier last weekend I saw that it had moved into the available column and decided to not let it slip through my fingers again.

I have to say this has to be the most charming little book I have read/listened to in some time.  Oh sure, plenty of great books out there but this one truly is charming.  It isn’t a very long book, in fact, I managed to listen to all but an hour of it in one afternoon of cleaning.  Perfect length for a shorter trip or even one day at work if you can listen to an audiobook.

The beginning of the story was very relatable coming off the last recession I believe many will be able to identify with the main character and his struggles.   Of course, it quickly takes a twist when a secret society is tossed into the mix and the mystery around all the strange books and characters that come to borrow them digs its claws into not just the main character but the reader as well.

There is a fascinating blend of technology and old-world ways that raise some interesting questions about our society’s dependence on the internet for solving problems.  Another question that struck me while listening to this book was if this was written by Google?  Google plays a pivotal role in the plot of this book, so much that it becomes a tad overdone at times.  But then again Google it has become a fairly standard phrase in our society while we try not to think about all the data they mine from our lives…  Still interesting to ponder the potential that the company has to shape the world around us.

Bottom line this was a fun book.  It made me smile and it made me think.  The mystery and message it delivers are well worth the few hours it took me to listen.  I will have to check out what other works this author has written since this book was published.  This one, though, I recommend.

My Rating: 4 Stars

The Traveler by John Twelve Hawks

Book Review

 


The Traveler (Fourth Realm, #1)Book Genre: Science Fiction, Thriller, Dystopian, Fantasy, Audiobook

Book Series: Fourth Realm #1

Released: 7/18/2006 by Vintage

Pages:  464 Price: $15.95 Paperback

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I borrowed this audio book from my library.

 

 

Book Synopsis:

In London, Maya, a young woman trained to fight by her powerful father, uses the latest technology to elude detection when walking past the thousands of surveillance cameras that watch the city. In New York, a secret shadow organization uses a victim’s own GPS to hunt him down and kill him. In Los Angeles, Gabriel, a motorcycle messenger with a haunted past, takes pains to live “off the grid” – free of credit cards and government IDs. Welcome to the world of The Traveler – a world frighteningly like our own.In this compelling novel, Maya fights to save Gabriel, the only man who can stand against the forces that attempt to monitor and control society. From the back streets of Prague to the skyscrapers of Manhattan, The Travelerportrays an epic struggle between tyranny and freedom. Not since 1984 have readers witnessed a Big Brother so terrifying in its implications and in a story that so closely reflects our lives.

My Review:

With the populous, anti-establishment mood of the country, this book was a fitting for not only my current mood but the climate in which I find myself living in.  This work of fiction was written in 2006,  a couple of years before the great crash in the last years of the Bush Presidency and before Obama took office.  Having just woken up to the systematic corruption of both political parties so much of what this book talks about, albeit fictionally, rings true to the society we now find ourselves living in.  A world where we are controlled and manipulated all to wring the highest profit for those that control all branches of government with their donations.

Okay, all of that aside, this was a thrill ride of a story that felt like a cross between The Matrix, The Da Vinci Code, and a James Bond film.  You get rich characters, secret societies, conspiracy theories, action, and a little mysticism to boot. Spanning Europe and the United States we follow the main characters Maya, Gabriel, and Micheal as they are thrust into this secret world going on around them as they discover plots and corruption as they race to protect Gabriel and Micheal who might be the last Travelers in existence and seek vengeance for those that they have lost.

I’m glad I listened to this one for the introduction and ending interview with the author which I found just as interesting as the story itself.  Granted I think the ploy of writing this under a pen name is just that a ploy to attract attention, I have to say it worked on me.  It added to the mystery and cloak and dagger feel of this story.  Convincing me to take a moment and actually think about the themes talked about in this work of fiction and wonder what might actually apply to the world we now live in.  Sadly I think many of those themes are probably pretty applicable and it makes me want to fight the system.

Bottom line this was a good book with an entertaining story that might make you think a bit afterward.  Even if you don’t buy into the conspiracy theory aspect it is still a good listen, especially if you like books by Dan Brown or David Baldacci or even the dystopian genre with a bit of the supernatural thrown in.  I eagerly await the next title in this trilogy that I have put on hold with my library.  I can’t wait to see how this all plays out.

My Rating: 5 Stars

Lock In by John Scalzi

Book Review

 


Lock In (Lock In, #1)Book Genre:
Science Fiction, Thriller, Mystery

Book Series: Lock In #1

Released: 8/26/14 by Tor Books

Pages: 336  Price: $8.99 paperback

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I own a signed copy of this book.

 

 

Book Synopsis:

Not too long from today, a new, highly contagious virus makes its way across the globe. Most who get sick experience nothing worse than flu, fever and headaches. But for the unlucky one percent – and nearly five million souls in the United States alone – the disease causes “Lock In”: Victims fully awake and aware, but unable to move or respond to stimulus. The disease affects young, old, rich, poor, people of every color and creed. The world changes to meet the challenge.

A quarter of a century later, in a world shaped by what’s now known as “Haden’s syndrome,” rookie FBI agent Chris Shane is paired with veteran agent Leslie Vann. The two of them are assigned what appears to be a Haden-related murder at the Watergate Hotel, with a suspect who is an “integrator” – someone who can let the locked in borrow their bodies for a time. If the Integrator was carrying a Haden client, then naming the suspect for the murder becomes that much more complicated.

But “complicated” doesn’t begin to describe it. As Shane and Vann began to unravel the threads of the murder, it becomes clear that the real mystery – and the real crime – is bigger than anyone could have imagined. The world of the locked in is changing, and with the change comes opportunities that the ambitious will seize at any cost. The investigation that began as a murder case takes Shane and Vann from the halls of corporate power to the virtual spaces of the locked in, and to the very heart of an emerging, surprising new human culture. It’s nothing you could have expected.

My Review:

This is only the second book (I know I’m late to the party) that I’ve read by Mr. Scalzi and I already know I need to read more.  Much more.  This author’s humor and ideology just seem to gel with mine and I was thoroughly delighted and engrossed by this book! I was so into this story that I was able to read in public with noise and everything.  Something that I’ve mentioned before is difficult for me as I’m distracted easily and if there is too much going on around me I simply can not concentrate to read.  This book, however, is the exception.  The plot sucked me in and even at a loud and busy county fair I was able to lose myself inside its pages.

This book reminded me of a lot of different stories, mainly movies, that I have enjoyed yet it remained a totally independent and original work of fiction at the same time.  I know that sounds confusing, but there were aspects of this story that reminded me of The Matrix and iRobot for example.  Then there were other areas that we simply a good old detective story mystery.  I liked how the world is set in a somewhat near future where the technology was pretty similar to what we currently have but felt like the natural evolution of where we might end up  in our lifetime.

I was a little lost in the beginning as I worked to figure things out, it wasn’t awful, but I kept being surprised by how things worked.  I think if I had read Unlocked: An Oral History of Haden’s Syndrom (linked to online publication)  first I might have  been less confused, but I don’t regret not having read it.  I managed just fine and it did not detract from my enjoyment of this book.  I do plan on going back and reading the short introduction to this world and gain some of the back story before I read the next release in this series due sometime next year, according to Goodreads.

This was a great read for me I loved the intellectual part of the plot all the scheming from the ‘bad guy’, all the politics involved.  I also enjoyed all the technical information we received as the science, real or not, was explained.  That aspect of the story reminded me of The Martian. I also enjoyed the chemistry between the main character and his partner, neither one was perfect but together they were the backbone of the story.  This was such an interesting read and I love all the questions it brought up about personhood and what makes us human.  Really quite a fitting piece for the society and times we live in.

This was a story that made me think, kept me guessing and rooting for the main character.  I hope that this world continues because I believe there is serious potential for this to be a great series.  It was fun and funny as well and I found myself sharing dialog with my husband on several occasions, something he loves tremendously (insert eye-roll here).  The ending was immensely satisfying, who doesn’t enjoy a story where justice triumphs over greed and corruption.  I hope you give this one a shot if you enjoy science-fiction but aren’t crazy about aliens and outer space.  I can’t wait to get my hands on another Scalzi book and see if it lives up to my expectations, I have a feeling it just might.

My Rating: 5 stars

Blog Tour: Damian by D.B. Reynolds

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I am so excited that Read What I Like was asked to be a part of the Damian Blog Tour and  that I get to bring you a guest blog post from none other than Ms. D.B. Reynolds herself!!!  Also, be sure not to miss my review post about this hot new release in the new spin-off series to read what I thought about Damian.  Spoiler alert: I loved it! Anyway, scroll on for some serious eye-candy and the message from Ms. Reynolds about the new book and new series.  Enjoy!


 

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The Stone Warriors: Damian is Officially Released!

From D.B. Reynolds:

Hi everyone,

I’m happy to be here today, and excited to introduce DAMIAN, the first of my Stone Warriors. I’ve had this series on the back burner for a long time, ever since I wrote the character of Nick Katsaros into Raphael, the first of my first Vampires in America books. I always knew there was more to Nick than simply being Cyn’s f#ck buddy traveling salesman. On that first morning, when Cyn and Nick are saying good-bye, Cyn thinks about him “taking all that energy with him and leaving an empty feeling behind.” She doesn’t know it yet, but that’s magic she’s feeling, and she’s not the only one who can sense it.

Along with my Stone Warriors, DAMIAN introduces the idea of magic sensitive humans. These are regular people who have an in-born ability to detect magic, sometimes in unique ways, like our heroine, Cassandra “Casey” Lewis. Like all of my heroines, Casey kicks ass and takes names. Damian may be big and strong and, let’s face it, gorgeous, but he’s not the only one in this story who knows how to face down the bad guys and get things done. Together, Damian and Casey will take on the same ruthless sorcerer who cursed Damian into stone, and who now plots to kill thousands of people, just because he can.

DAMIAN is a fast-paced story, full of action and hot sex, because killing bad guys isn’t the only thing that Damian and Casey are getting up to together.

Thanks for listening and happy reading!


Book Genre: Romance, Paranormal, Suspence, Mystery, Urban Fantasy

Book Series: Book One in Stone Warriors Series

Released: June 15, 2016 by ImaJinn Books

Pages: 250  Price:$7.99

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Synopsis:

It was a time when gods walked the earth, when armies fought not for bits of land, but for the very existence of humanity. On such a battlefield, five formidable warriors stood against an evil greater than any the earth had ever seen. But evil is not an honorable foe. Betrayed by someone they trusted, the warriors were cursed, one by one, tossed into the maelstrom of time, imprisoned in stone, their freedom resting on nearly impossible conditions. Until . . .

Damian Stephanos honed his skills in battles fought with magic as much as swords. Caught by a deadly spell that left him trapped for centuries in darkness and obscurity, he is finally freed, only to discover that his enemy still lives. Determined to find him—and to free his brothers in arms—he first must fulfill his blood debt to the woman who released him from his torment. Unfortunately, being so close to this enticing female is another type of torment altogether . . .

Cassandra “Casey” Lewis is a hunter. Possessing the rare ability to sense magic, she spends most of her time shadowing arcane collectors, and more often than not, stealing the dangerous artifacts she pursues. Her job is risky, especially when she’s stealing from one of the most powerful sorcerers alive. But having a gorgeous warrior by her side is a definite bonus. He’s great in a fight . . . and in other places, too.

Following a trail of dead bodies, the two of them must join forces to track down the sorcerer who cursed Damian, and who now plans to turn an ordinary magical device into a deadly weapon. Risking everything, including their hearts, they’re about to discover that trusting each other might be the hardest thing of all.


About the Author: D.B. Reynolds

D. B. Reynolds is the RT Award-winning author of the Vampires in America series of paranormal romance, and an Emmy-nominated television sound editor. She lives with her husband of many years in a flammable canyon near Los Angeles, and when she’s not writing her own books, she can usually be found reading someone else’s. Visit her blog at www.dbreynolds.com for details on all of her books, for free stories and more.