February 2021 Wrap Up

Hello!

Happy March! I feel like it was only yesterday that we were in January. I will be honest February hasn’t been the best month for reading due to assignments but I have still managed to fit some in to help me relax.

Statistics

Books

Pages: 601

Format Read: Paperback

Dragon Rating: 🐲🐲🐲🐲🐲

Review

Pages: 68

Format Read: Kindle

Dragon Rating: 🐲🐲🐲🐲

Review

Pages: 385

Format Read: Paperback

Dragon Rating: 🐲🐲🐲🐲🐲

Review

9/70 Goodreads Challenge. I’m 2 books behind!

There is my February. Hopefully March will be a better reading month.

Please drop me a comment if you want a chat.

Happy Reading.

Die Standing by John Jackson Miller (Review)

Die Standing by John Jackson Miller

Blurb

No one in the history of histories has lost more than Philippa Georgiou, ruler of the Terran Empire. Forced to take refuge in the Federation’s universe, she bides her time until Section 31, a rogue spy force within Starfleet, offers her a chance to work as their agent. She has no intention of serving under anyone else, of course; her only interest is escape.

But when a young Trill, Emony Dax, discovers a powerful interstellar menace, Georgiou recognises it as a super-weapon that escaped her grasp in her own universe. Escorted by a team sent by an untrusting Federation to watch over her, the emperor journeys to a region forbidden to travellers. But will what she finds there end the threat—or give “Agent Georgiou” the means to create her old empire anew? 

Review

This is the latest book in the Star Trek Discovery series and I must admit I was a bit hesitant to read it at first because I was worried about whether Emperor Georgiou would annoy me or not. Thankfully I did read it and was mistaken.

It has been a long time since I have read a book that has made me laugh so much. Georgiou is hilarious and very dangerous. Georgiou the emperor is a ruthless woman who has lost it all but is determined to make the best of the situations she finds herself in by any means necessary. Georgiou delights in causing chaos and the things she says are hilarious but one thing is for sure she is a lethal weapon. Georgiou is an expert killer, tactician and spy and this is all shown in the book.

In this book we also meet Finnegan. Georgiou knows Finnegan as Blackjack in her universe and by sheer coincidence she meets Finnegan in the current universe. Finnegan loves a good brawl and definitely loves a drink. You can happily imagine him getting drunk in a pub and starting a fight for fun. However, Finnegan does not agree with killing or enjoy it and that is where he differs from Blackjack. I really enjoyed the relationship that developed through the book between Georgiou and Finnegan and found it very funny how Finnegan was quite happy annoying Georgiou.

Emony Dax was an interesting character and one who wasn’t daunted by the scary things Georgiou kept coming out with. I felt quite sorry for Emony at times as people did not take her seriously and just ignored her opinions and ideas. Emony is an interesting character and I really enjoyed seeing how Finnegan took her under his wing and taught her how to fly a shuttle craft and even Georgiou at times looked after her and taught her things. 

I loved this book, the storyline was excellent but the main thing that really made this book was Georgiou, Finnegan and Emony and how they interacted with each other. A big 5 out 5 Dragons from me.

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Purchase Links

Amazon | Book Depository | Foyles | Waterstones | Wordery

(All purchases made using one of the above affiliate links gives a small percentage of money to myself with no extra cost to yourself. All proceeds go towards the upkeep of this blog. Thank you ever so much, your support is gratefully received.)

About the author

New York Times bestselling author John Jackson Miller has spent a lifetime immersed in science fiction. His Star Trek novels include the Discovery – Die Standing, the acclaimed novel Discovery — The Enterprise War, the Prey trilogy, and Takedown. His Star Wars novels include A New Dawn, Kenobi, Knight Errant, Lost Tribe of the Sith, and the Knights of the Old Republic comics, available from Marvel as Legends: The Old Republic.

He’s written comics and prose for Halo, Iron Man, Simpsons, Conan, Planet of the Apes, and Mass Effect, with recent graphic novels for Battlestar Galactica, Dumbo, and The Lion King. Production notes on all his works can be found at his fiction site. 

He is also a comics industry historian, specialising in studying comic-book circulation as presented on his website, Comichron.. He also coauthored the Standard Catalog of Comic Books series.

Gods of Risk by James S. A. Corey (Review)

Gods of Risk by James S. A. Corey

Blurb

As tension between Mars and Earth mounts, and terrorism plagues the Martian city of Londres Nova, sixteen-year-old David Draper is fighting his own lonely war. A gifted chemist vying for a place at the university, David leads a secret life as a manufacturer for a ruthless drug dealer. When his friend Leelee goes missing, leaving signs of the dealer’s involvement, David takes it upon himself to save her. But first he must shake his aunt Bobbie Draper, an ex-marine who has been set adrift in her own life after a mysterious series of events nobody is talking about.

Set in the hard-scrabble solar system of Leviathan Wakes and Caliban’s War, Gods of Risk deepens James S. A. Corey’s acclaimed Expanse series.

Review

This story is based around a character that we have not met before in the previous books but we have met his aunt, who is Bobbie Draper. David Draper is sixteen and under a lot of pressure to get a good placement at university but he also has a secret and that secret is that he is secretly making drugs for a drug dealer. 

David is like any other gifted teenager, he is hard working and desperate for the placement of his dreams that he knows will also make his family proud of him. David is also the typical moody teenager and he particularly is not keen on having aunt Bobbie staying in the house. David also has a crush on Leelee who is always with the drug dealer and dreams of one day being her boyfriend. This crush leads to trouble for David when he decides to save her from her fate.

I must admit I can’t believe how much weight lifting she does in this short story, every time we see her she is lifting weights, I have no idea how she finds the energy. She also seems to do a lot of arguing with her brother but to be honest he seems to be the one doing the provoking and does come across as rather a know it all who thinks his job is the hardest job there is and that being a marine is nothing compared to being an engineer. 

Although the story is based around David we do get to see how Bobbie is faring after the events of Caliban’s War and as the story goes on we see how Bobbie makes her mind up about a few things and these decisions are helped along by her involvement with her nephew.

This is a great little short story that I enjoyed reading and it was fantastic to read about Bobbie again. I give this story 4 out of 5 Dragons.

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Purchase Links

Kindle

(All purchases made using one of the above affiliate links gives a small percentage of money to myself with no extra cost to yourself. All proceeds go towards the upkeep of this blog. Thank you ever so much, your support is gratefully received.)

About the author

James S. A. Corey is the pen name of fantasy author Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck, George R. R. Martin’s assistant. They both live Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Caliban’s War by James S. A. Corey (Review)

Caliban’s War by James S. A. Corey

Blurb

We are not alone.

On Ganymede, breadbasket of the outer planets, a Martian marine watches as her platoon is slaughtered by a monstrous supersoldier. On Earth, a high-level politician struggles to prevent interplanetary war from reigniting. And on Venus, an alien protomolecule has overrun the planet, wreaking massive, mysterious changes and threatening to spread out into the solar system.

In the vast wilderness of space, James Holden and the crew of the Rocinante have been keeping the peace for the Outer Planets Alliance. When they agree to help a scientist search war-torn Ganymede for a missing child, the future of humanity rests on whether a single ship can prevent an alien invasion that may have already begun . . .

Review

Yay, Avasarala has finally arrived and she is even better than she is in the TV series. The woman is amazing!

So as you can tell already this book has really made me very happy and I just loved it and could not put it down. We also get to meet the amazing Bobbie. This book has some amazingly strong female characters and it really is a wonderful read.

Each chapter is told from a different character’s point of view and the characters that are used this time are Holden, Prax, Bobbie and Avasarala. All the characters start in different places, Holden on board the Roci, Bobbie and Prax on Ganymede and Avasarala on Earth. As events unfold the characters’ storylines start to entwine and come together. The battle against the protomolecule has begun!

Holden

We find Holden aboard the Roci with Naomi, Alex and Amos trying to keep the peace for the OPA and working for Fred Johnson. However, it is clear that events from the first book have taken effect on Holden and he is not his usual self and this is affecting his relationship with Naomi and the rest of the crew. When Holden and his crew then meet Prax and start to help Prax find his missing daughter Holden starts to find his true self again.

Bobbie

Bobbie is a Martian marine who watches her platoon get slaughtered on Ganymede by some kind of monster never seen before and she wants revenge and she will do anything to get it. Eventually, Bobbie meets Avasarala and a friendship clearly develops between the Earther and the Martian. I must admit this relationship was my favourite part of the book. Bobbie is a soldier and an intimidating woman who scares most men but Avasarala sees her as an asset and someone she can trust. Avasarala swears at Bobbie and tells her off but Bobbie gives the same back and is not afraid to tell Avasarala what she thinks in return. 

Avasarala

Avasarala is a UN politician and will do anything to protect her beloved Earth but she also believes in peace and trying to stop war happening between Earth and Mars. She can see through the rubbish and knows things are not right and she has to play the ‘game’ as she calls it to work out what is going on and keep the peace and she needs Bobbie’s help and the crew of the Roci to accomplish this. I just love when she walks onto the Roci and immediately tells Holden to have a shave and starts dishing out orders. She is woman who takes no nonsense and believes anybody will follow her orders.

Prax

Prax is a botanist from Ganymede whose daughter has been kidnapped and he manages to enlist Holden and his crew to get her back. I loved Prax’s character. He will do anything for his daughter but he is very lost and is not looking after himself but thankfully Amos comes along and takes him under his wing and looks after Prax. Amos the big scary Earther who is quite happy to beat people up and kill is definitely the defender of the weak in this book and it is wonderful to see and rather amusing. Prax finds himself a family in the crew of the Roci and slowly he comes out of his shell as the story moves on.

I thoroughly loved this book and loved seeing the characters develop through the book. The ending of the book also left me very intrigued and I can’t wait to start reading the next book in the series. I give this book a massive 5 out of 5 Dragons and I personally think it is even better than the first book.

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Purchase Links

Amazon | Book Depository | Foyles | Waterstones | Wordery

(All purchases made using one of the above affiliate links gives a small percentage of money to myself with no extra cost to yourself. All proceeds go towards the upkeep of this blog. Thank you ever so much, your support is gratefully received.)

About the author

James S. A. Corey is the pen name of fantasy author Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck, George R. R. Martin’s assistant. They both live Albuquerque, New Mexico.

January 2021 Wrap Up

Hello!

I can’t believe we are already in February! I think I am the opposite to most people, in that for me January flew by.

So here is wrap up!

Statistics

This is much better than January 2020 as I didn’t manage to finish one book in January 2020 as I was in a big reading slump.

Books

Pages: 463

Format Read: Paperback

Dragon Rating: 🐲🐲🐲🐲🐲

Review

Pages: 572

Format Read: Paperback

Dragon Rating: 🐲🐲🐲🐲🐲

Review

Pages: 384

Format Read: Paperback

Dragon Rating: 🐲🐲🐲

Review

Pages: 258

Format Read: Paperback

Dragon Rating: 🐲🐲🐲🐲

Review

Pages: 336

Format Read: Hardback

Dragon Rating: 🐲🐲🐲

Review

Pages: 35

Format Read: Kindle

Dragon Rating: 🐲🐲🐲🐲🐲

Review

6/70 Goodreads Challenge

So there is my January. I hope everyone else also had a good January.

Please drop me a comment if you want to chat!

Happy Reading.

The Butcher of Anderson Station by James S. A. Corey (Review)

The Butcher of Anderson Station by James S. A. Corey

Blurb

A new story set in the world of The Expanse. One day, Colonel Fred Johnson will be hailed as a hero to the system. One day, he will meet a desperate man in possession of a stolen spaceship and a deadly secret and extend a hand of friendship. But long before he became the leader of the Outer Planets Alliance, Fred Johnson had a very different name. The Butcher of Anderson Station.

Review

We first meet Fred Johnson in Leviathan Wakes and we soon realise that he has a past and this short story tells us what that past is. 

I really enjoyed reading this short story as it shows what made Johnson join the OPA and become an advocate for their cause. It also introduces us to Anderson Dawes who is a member of the OPA and we get a brief introduction to his character as well which is really interesting.

I already know the story of Johnson from watching the TV series but it was really heart breaking to read the story of the slaughter of the workers and families of Anderson station. 

I read this short story in one setting and really enjoyed it as it filled in a bit of background story. The more I read of this series the more I fall in love with the writing. I give this story 5 out of 5 Dragons.

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Purchase Link

Amazon

About the author 

James S. A. Corey is the pen name of fantasy author Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck, George R. R. Martin’s assistant. They both live Albuquerque, New Mexico.

My review of Leviathan Wakes.

The Dark Veil by James Swallow (Review)

The Dark Veil by James Swallow

Blurb

The Alpha Quadrant is mired in crisis.

Within the United Federation of Planets, a terrorist strike on the shipyards of Mars has led to the shutdown of all relief efforts for millions of Romulans facing certain doom from an impending super­nova. But when the USS Titan is drawn into a catastrophic incident on the Romulan-Federation border, Captain William Riker, his family, and his crew find themselves caught between the shocking secrets of an enigmatic alien species and the deadly agenda of a ruthless Tal Shiar operative. Forced into a wary alliance with a Romulan starship commander, Riker and the Titan crew must uncover the truth to stop a dev­astating attack, but one wrong move could plunge the entire sector into open conflict!

Review

Having read and loved the first book in the Star Trek Picard series I was really excited to read this book especially as it was to feature two of my favourite characters, Riker and Troi.

As soon as the book arrived through the post I started to read it and got very excited with the opening scene where we see Riker standing on trial. However, I will be honest my excitement soon waned with this book. I loved reading about my favourite characters and meeting Thaddeus, Riker and Troi’s son, but I just found that the story was very slow moving and frustrated me because of the lack of pace. 

Riker with a family was wonderful to see and the times where he was torn between duty to his ship and crew and duty to his wife and child was very moving. Troi was her usual calming and caring self who brings calm and order to any situation. 

I loved learning more about the back story to the TV series Picard and what has happened a year after the attack on Mars and I found the Jazari fascinating and wanted to learn more about them. I also felt rather sorry for them because due to living so secretly from other species it all sounded rather lonely. Zade was my favourite Jazari and his relationship with Thad was very sweet.

My biggest problem with this book was the lack of pace and at one point I did consider quitting but I am glad I continued reading because once I was past half way the story really picked up and I couldn’t put it down till I had finished it. After finishing this book I realised that I had had the same experience with Swallows book Fear Itself  from The Discovery series. I give this book 3 out of 5 Dragons.

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Purchase Links

Amazon | Book Depository | Foyles | Waterstones | Wordery

About the author

James Swallow is a New York Times, Sunday Times and Amazon #1 bestselling author and scriptwriter, a BAFTA nominee, a former journalist and the award-winning writer of over fifty books, along with scripts for video games, comics, radio and television. 

The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie (Review)

The Mysterious Affair at Style by Agatha Christie 

Blurb

Hercule Poirot is intrigued by the details surrounding the murder of wealthy Mrs Inglethorp, mistress of Styles Court. This was Agatha Christie’s first Poirot novel, published in 1921.

Review

This is my first full length Christie novel that I have read and is part of my challenge to read more Christie novels and not just the short stories. I love watching adaptations of Poirot and Miss Marple on TV and so I was really excited to read my first full length novel and the first ever Poirot novel. 

I was pleased to see that Hastings was his usual bumbling self who is always wrong but convinced that he is right and that Poirot is wrong and going senile in his old age. He really made me laugh in this book and his random outbursts were hilarious.

Poirot was a massive surprise and I absolutely adored him. He is so eccentric and you never know what he is going to do next. My favourite scene has got to be where he goes off skipping with joy down the lawn. He is a truly brilliant character which is ten times better in the book than on the screen. 

I really enjoyed the story and it really kept me on my toes because once I thought I had worked out who the murderer was I got it completely wrong and the story went in a different direction. We also got a glimpse of the famous Inspector Japp and although we didn’t see much of him it was a good introduction that I am sure we will see more of.

The edition of the book I read also had the original ending that Christie had written as well as the one published and I must admit after reading both I much prefer the one that is published rather than the one Christie originally planned. The two endings are very good but I really like where Poirot and Hastings sit down and sum everything up and talk over the case at the end of the published ending.

This is my first full length Christie novel and it will definitely not be my last and I give this book 4 out of 5 Dragons. I just loved all the twists and turns and Poirot’s bright green eyes.

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Purchase Links

Amazon | Book Depository | Foyles | Waterstones | Wordery

(All purchases made using one of the above affiliate links gives a small percentage of money to myself with no extra cost to yourself. All proceeds go towards the upkeep of this blog. Thank you ever so much, your support is gratefully received.)

About the author

Agatha Christie (1890-1976) was an English writer known for her 66 detective novels and 14 short story collections. She also wrote the world’s longest running play, The Mousetrap. She also wrote 6 novels under the name Mary Westmacott.

The House on Vesper Sands by Paraic O’Donnell (Review)

The House on Vesper Sands by Paraic O’Donnell

Blurb

It is the winter of 1893, and in London the snow is falling.

It is falling as Gideon Bliss seeks shelter in a Soho church, where he finds Angie Tatton lying before the altar. His one-time love is at death’s door, murmuring about brightness and black air, and about those she calls the Spiriters. In the morning she is gone.

The snow is falling as a seamstress climbs onto a ledge above Mayfair, a mysterious message stitched into her own skin. It is falling as she steadies herself and closes her eyes.

It is falling, too, as her employer, Lord Strythe, vanishes into the night, watched by Octavia Hillingdon, a restless society columnist who longs to uncover a story of real importance.

She and Gideon will soon be drawn into the same mystery, each desperate to save Angie and find out the truth about Lord Strythe. Their paths will cross as the darkness gathers, and will lead them at last to what lies hidden at the house on Vesper Sands. 

Review

This is a new author for me and I must admit I was really excited to read the book. When I started the book I really struggled to initially get into it and to start with I did not get on with the character of Octavia, I found her very annoying. Thankfully I kept reading and eventually started to get into the story.

The thing which annoyed me the most was the lack of detail in the book. Octavia and her brother clearly had a back story but we never got to hear what it was. We knew that Inspector Cutter had a story but we never got to hear it fully and there were massive holes in the story that were not fully explained. I really wanted to know more and to be honest that is why I kept reading but I never got those answers.

My favourite character was Inspector Cutter, he was obviously a man who had seen a lot of life and a lot of crime and he knew how to get the answers and results he needed. He had some fantastic lines and I must admit I did laugh quite a lot when reading his interactions with Gideon.

Gideon was an interesting character and I enjoyed seeing how his character developed through the book. He started off very naive but as he worked with Cutter he got to know more of how the real world worked and also realised that his constant talking was not the best thing to be doing.

I enjoyed the book overall but I will be honest I would not read it again. It really had the potential of being an excellent story but it was just lacking. I give this book 3 out of 5 Dragons. 

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Purchase Links

Amazon | Book Depository | Foyles | Waterstones | Wordery

(All purchases made using one of the above affiliate links gives a small percentage of money to myself with no extra cost to yourself. All proceeds go towards the upkeep of this blog. Thank you ever so much, your support is gratefully received.)

About the author

Paraic O’Donnell’s first novel, The Maker of Swans, was named the Amazon Rising Stars Debut of the Month for February 2016, and was shortlisted for the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards in the Newcomer of the Year category.

Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey (Review)

Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey

Blurb

Humanity has colonized the solar system – Mars, the Moon, the Asteroid Belt and beyond – but the stars are still out of our reach.

Jim Holden is XO of an ice miner making runs from the rings of Saturn to the mining stations of the Belt. When he and his crew stumble upon a derelict ship, “The Scopuli,” they find themselves in possession of a secret they never wanted. A secret that someone is willing to kill for – and kill on a scale unfathomable to Jim and his crew. War is brewing in the system unless he can find out who left the ship and why.

Detective Miller is looking for a girl. One girl in a system of billions, but her parents have money and money talks. When the trail leads him to “The Scopuli” and rebel sympathizer Holden, he realizes that this girl may be the key to everything.

Holden and Miller must thread the needle between the Earth government, the Outer Planet revolutionaries, and secretive corporations – and the odds are against them. But out in the Belt, the rules are different, and one small ship can change the fate of the universe.

Review

My husband and myself are massive fans of the TV series The Expanse so I thought it was high time I read the book and I am so pleased that I have started the series.

The first thing I was really surprised about was how close the TV series followed the book which is always a nice surprise as it is really annoying when the book and TV series are all different. 

The thing I loved about the book the most was how much more you get to learn about the Earth, Mars and the Belt. I loved finding out about the history of how the Belt was formed and how Belters are so physically different from people born and bred on Earth. I also love how this story is showing how the human race has advanced to live on asteroids, moons and Mars but hasn’t quite got the stars yet.

I think my favourite character in the book was easily Miller, he has had a hard life and now it has been turned upside down and he is trying to find a way to survive. He knows how to read situations and is a seasoned cop but he also knows that his way of life has had a serious effect on his humanity.

Holden and his crew are trying to piece the events that have happened to them together and in so doing they meet Miller and Holden and Miller form a friendship even if that friendship doesn’t always run smoothly. I must admit I do get annoyed with Holden at times, he is very naive at times and really does not understand the world of politics.

Amos, Alex and Naomi are Holden’s crew and they all have their individual personalities. Naomi is a Belter who can fix anything and seems to hold the crew together. Alex is a fantastic pilot who has a great affection for his fellow crew members and who also has a great sense of humour. Then there is my favourite member of the crew, Amos. Amos is an Earther but he hasn’t been on Earth for so long that he might as well be a Belter. Amos clearly has a past but we do not know what that past is yet but we do find out as the book goes on that he is a seasoned fighter and is very happy with handling firearms and hand to hand combat.

This book is a fantastic read and I can’t wait to start the next book. The comedy in the book also had me laughing out loud several times. I highly recommend this book to all sci-fi fans and give this book 5 out of 5 Dragons.

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Purchase Links

Amazon | Book Depository | Foyles | Waterstones | Wordery

About the author

James S. A. Corey is the pen name of fantasy author Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck, George R. R. Martin’s assistant. They both live Albuquerque, New Mexico.