Monday, May 8, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? - May 8, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It's a great post to organize yourself. It's an opportunity to visit and comment, and er... add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog   and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date.

 Well, I had a fantastic week of reading, as the last few days of posts shows. A somewhat rainy camping trip will do that.

Let's start with the book from the week before:
Owlflight - Mercedes LackeyOwlflight
Mercedes Lackey
DAW Books
Copyright: 1998

The product description:
Apprenticed to a venerable wizard when his hunter and trapper parents disappear into the forest never to be seen again, Darian is difficult and strong willed--much to the dismay of his kindly master. But a sudden twist of fate will change his life forever, when the ransacking of his village forces him to flee into the great mystical forest. It is here in the dark forest that he meets his destiny, as the terrifying and mysterious Hawkpeople lead him on the path to maturity. Now they must lead the assault on his besieged home in a desperate attempt to save his people from certain death!
I finished this one not last week, but the week before. However, as I didn't participate last week, I don't feel guilty about including it in this week's post.

A snippet from my review:
I can't forget the scene where Darian is thinking about the villagers who tend to harangue him and what that says about them, either. It's one of my favourites in the book. Also the variation on the "road to hell" proverb makes a whole lot of sense too.

Now for this week's reads.
The Ship Who Sang - Anne McCaffreyThe Ship Who Sang
Anne McCaffrey
Del Rey
Copyright: 1969 (I think?)

The product description:
Helva had been born human, but only her brain had been saved and implanted into the titanium body of an intergalactic scout ship. But first she had to choose a human partner, to soar with her through the daring adventures and exhilarating escapades in space.
An excerpt from my review:
Not the most exciting of descriptions, but worth looking past and reading the book. The Ship Who Sang is the first book in the Brain Ships series. I have to admit that for a long time, this hasn't been one of my favorite Anne McCaffrey novels. However, I'm not sure why at this point. When I was reading it this time, I loved it!
Four And Twenty Blackbirds - Mercedes LackeyFour and Twenty Blackbirds (Bardic Voices 4)
Mercedes Lackey
Baen Books
Copyright: 1997

The product description:

A magical murderer is loose in Alanda. The victims are always women, always lower-class, and the weapon is always a three-sided stiletto, most often found among Church regalia. But the killers are never churchmen, and they always commit suicide immediately after the bloody deed.

Tal Rufen is just a simple constable. But he really cares about his job, and when one of these murder/suicides happens on his beat he becomes obsessed. His superiors don't care—the victims will never be missed, and their murderers are already justly dead. But every instinct Tal Rufen has cries out that he has seen only one small piece of a bigger and much nastier puzzle....

At the publisher's request, this title is sold without DRM (Digital Rights Management).
A snippet from my review:
Despite the many frustrating references to previous books, this turned into one of those reads that I couldn't put down. Every spare moment I had for a couple of days I was reading. And there are plenty of "spare moments" when it's a rainy day in the campground.

A Shadow in Summer - Daniel AbrahamA Shadow in Summer: Book One of the Long Price Quartet
Daniel Abraham
Tor Books
Copyright Date: 2007

The product description:
From debut author Daniel Abraham comes A Shadow in Summer, the first book in the Long Price Quartet fantasy series.
The powerful city-state of Saraykeht is a bastion of peace and culture, a major center of commerce and trade. Its economy depends on the power of the captive spirit, Seedless, an andat bound to the poet-sorcerer Heshai for life. Enter the Galts, a juggernaut of an empire committed to laying waste to all lands with their ferocious army. Saraykeht, though, has always been too strong for the Galts to attack, but now they see an opportunity. If they can dispose of Heshai, Seedless's bonded poet-sorcerer, Seedless will perish and the entire city will fall. With secret forces inside the city, the Galts prepare to enact their terrible plan.
In the middle is Otah, a simple laborer with a complex past. Recruited to act as a bodyguard for his girlfriend's boss at a secret meeting, he inadvertently learns of the Galtish plot. Otah finds himself as the sole hope of Saraykeht, either he stops the Galts, or the whole city and everyone in it perishes forever.
An excerpt from my review:
For me, this was one of those rare books I really struggled to finish. The opening absolutely grabbed me, but I found myself a bit lost about a third of the way through the book. Once I was lost, I never really figured things out again either.

And one final book finished in the last week:

Mercedes Lackey and Larry Dixon
Daw Books
Copyright: 1999

The product description:
It has been four years since Darian saw his village sacked and burned by barbarians. Taking refuge with the Hawkbrothers, he soon finds his life's calling--as a Healing Adept. But even as he learns the mystical ways of this ancient race, Darian cannot escape the dangers threatening his future. Another tribe of barbarians is approaching. The time has stand up and fight.
An excerpt from my review:
My one complaint with Owlsight is just how quickly the story ends up winding down. Most of the book is leading to the build-up, and it feels as though only a few pages are devoted to the climax of the story.

I'm currently reading:
Owlkight - Mercedes Lackey and Larry DixonOwlknight
Mercedes Lackey
DAW Books
Copyright: 1999

The product description:
Brand new from Mercedes Lackey and Larry Dixon, "an unbeatable team in fantastic magic and adventure" (Kliatt)--the third and final book in the Darian's Tale trilogy, a powerful saga charged with war and magic, life and love.

Two years after his parents' disappearance, Darian has sought refuge and training from the mysterious Hawk-brothers. Now he has opened his heart to a beautiful young healer. Finally Darian has found peace and acceptance in his life. That is, until he learns that his parents are still alive--and trapped behind enemy borders....

I'm reading this one for the Valdemar Reading Challenge.

I want to read:
Ice Ghosts: The Epic Hunt For the Lost Franklin Expedition - Paul WatsonIce Ghosts: The Epic Hunt For the Lost Franklin Expedition
Paul Watson
W. W. Norton and Company
Copyright Date: March 21, 2017

The product description:
The spellbinding true story of the greatest cold case in Arctic history―and how the rare mix of marine science and Inuit knowledge finally led to the recent discovery of the shipwrecks.
Spanning nearly 200 years, Ice Ghosts is a fast-paced detective story about Western science, indigenous beliefs, and the irrepressible spirit of exploration and discovery. It weaves together an epic account of the legendary Franklin Expedition of 1845―whose two ships, the HMS Erebus and the HMS Terror, and their crew of 129 were lost to the Arctic ice―with the modern tale of the scientists, researchers, divers, and local Inuit behind the recent discoveries of the two ships, which made news around the world.
The journalist Paul Watson was on the icebreaker that led the expedition that discovered the HMS Erebus in 2014, and he broke the news of the discovery of the HMS Terror in 2016. In a masterful work of history and contemporary reporting, he tells the full story of the Franklin Expedition: Sir John Franklin and his crew setting off from England in search of the fabled Northwest Passage; the hazards they encountered and the reasons they were forced to abandon ship after getting stuck in the ice hundreds of miles from the nearest outpost of Western civilization; and the dozens of search expeditions over more than 160 years, which collectively have been called “the most extensive, expensive, perverse, and ill-starred . . . manhunt in history.”
All that searching turned up a legendary trail of sailors’ relics, a fabled note, a lifeboat with skeletons lying next to loaded rifles, and rumors of cannibalism . . . but no sign of the ships until, finally, the discoveries in our own time. As Watson reveals, the epic hunt for the lost Franklin Expedition found success only when searchers combined the latest marine science with faith in Inuit lore that had been passed down orally for generations.
Ice Ghosts is narrative nonfiction of the highest order, full of drama and rich in characters: Lady Jane Franklin, who almost single-handedly kept the search alive for decades; an Inuit historian who worked for decades gathering elders’ accounts; an American software billionaire who launched his own hunt; and underwater archaeologists honing their skills to help find the ships. Watson also shows how the hunt for the Franklin Expedition was connected to such technological advances as SCUBA gear and sonar technology, and how it ignited debates over how to preserve the relics discovered with the ships.
A modern adventure story that arcs back through history, Ice Ghosts tells the complete and incredible story of the Franklin Expedition―the greatest of Arctic mysteries―for the ages.
8 pages of color illustrations
I've been hearing a lot of good things about this book. Now, I'm looking forward to reading it myself.

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