Books, fantasy, Mystery, Out of the Box Blogs, Reviews, scifi

Artemis by Andy Weir

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I love the cover of this book, I loved The Martian, and I usually enjoy Andy Weir, so how was Artemis?

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Ugh! Why, why, why?? First what was this book about:

Jazz Bashara is a criminal.

Well, sort of. Life on Artemis, the first and only city on the moon, is tough if you’re not a rich tourist or an eccentric billionaire. So smuggling in the occasional harmless bit of contraband barely counts, right? Not when you’ve got debts to pay and your job as a porter barely covers the rent.

Everything changes when Jazz sees the chance to commit the perfect crime, with a reward too lucrative to turn down. But pulling off the impossible is just the start of her problems, as she learns that she’s stepped square into a conspiracy for control of Artemis itself—and that now, her only chance at survival lies in a gambit even riskier than the first.

Alright now let’s discuss it. First the world itself. I didn’t have a problem with the concept of this world, I found a lot of it believable I just thought it lacked depth. There were so many different cultures or places and I felt they were there just to add variety but not really delved into. It felt very shallow. What wasn’t shallow was the math and science, which was also a problem. I come from a big geek community and I felt it was excessive. There was just too much techno blabber that means nothing if your not a specialist in that field. Cool for one character to do but not for so many or so much of the book.

Speaking of characters..

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I disliked Jazz, a lot, which was a problem. I found her inconsistent and unlikable. She used people with no remorse, who cares if they lost their jobs or lives she had a plan. Also she would inconsistently have confidence issues, one moment she had none and the next she was James Bondish. I was finding it hard to believe who she was let alone get behind her ideas. The other characters, the ones she spurned and used however, the always seemed to come around to supporting her. It got so bad I kept hoping she would fail.

Ultimately I was disappointed with this book. I’m not giving up on Andy since I did love The Martian so much I’m hopeful the third book will be the charm.

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Books, fantasy, funny, Out of the Box Blogs, paranormal romance, scifi, steampunk, Urban Fantasy

Should Villains Really Be That Bad?

YES THEY SHOULD!!

Today is going straight into rant territory everyone so if that is not your thing I don’t want you to feel obligated to read. I love you all equally!

Still here? Okay then..

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Has anyone else noticed a new tread of long running series, no standalone here, trying to redeem villains or making a good character suddenly bad? I’m not a fan. I don’t mind a gradual change, like someone slowly slipping into madness, but what I’m talking about here is a hard shift for a character all in one book. So let’s talk about it.

And I also want to be clear we are talking about series that are 6,8,10,20, etc books long and the characters are WELL established.

Let’s start with the heroes, the good guys, the best friends, the reliable side kicks, the one we all want to win or at least always dreamed would get there very own book or novella. But then with a careless action on their part, or something ridiculous from another character they go from good to bad. From one of your favorites to one you wish never existed. Why? To make someone else look better? To further the current plot? Who knows, but I do know this, I have dropped series because, my favorite character isn’t always the main one so destroying a fan favorite sometimes just seems illogical or cruel. Sometimes I wonder if we have come to love them too much and we shouldn’t….

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How deliciously bitter but ultimately disappointing. I like characters that I have developed a relationship with to stay where they belong so honestly I wish it would stop. Good guys are good, not secretly horrible.

Now the villains, the bad guys, the bitches everyone loves to hate, my favorites…

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A good villain, evil to the core, destroying dreams every day, and willing to do things to keep making you hate them. I’m talking anything, even make you throw a book across your room. A properly constructed bad guy will go to such lengths that sometimes we wish they would be killed off already! I digress though because we are talking about the new trend, where nonredeemable characters suddenly show you a character flaw, or a weakness and we are suppose to see them as redeemable. But see that there is the problem, we have been convinced they are horrible, evil people, terrible to their very souls which is what allows us to despise them. So why the sudden attempts at redeeming these characters? And why must the redemption of these characters many times cost us characters we have grown to love? Is it feared boredom from the fandom? Is it boredom from the author?

Look some of my favorite books involve antiheroes or even a story told from a villains prospective. But I like characters that I enjoy to stay what they are presented as. So the question is am I asking too much?

Do you like it when someone who has been good for so long suddenly become bad? And not a bad boy in a good way but truly evil, a character meant to be hated. Or when a author starts to redeem a bad character (again not just a bad boy with a good heart but a truly evil being) and tries to make us sympathetic to them or accept them as good?

Thoughts?

Books, fantasy, great reads, Reviews, scifi, steampunk, Urban Fantasy

Vicious by V.E. Scwab

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I got this book about 6-8 months ago for $1.99 because I like the author and it sounded cool but for some reason I never read it. Well I have now and I have things to say. Let’s be orderly people! First the blurb:

Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong.

Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end?

 

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WHY DID I NOT KNOW ABOUT THIS BOOK EARLIER?!?! I only blame myself since I owned it and it still took me months to actually read it. It was amazing! It was complex, confusing and at times downright infuriating but all in a good way. Let us discuss.

This book follows two college roommates that basically make X-Men by following a formula from Flatliners. I know that sounds like I should hate I but I don’t, because the characters are so strong. This book is the definition of antihero, there are moments where you want to cheer for the wrong side, neither side, or you’re not sure if there are even sides.

Then there is the story telling. There is this weird time jumping, which at first I found very disconcerting but the more invested I became I more it just drove the anticipation for me. I’ve read books like that before but I rarely end up being sold on it. I did feel like this book needed a follow up, I just wanted a touch more and when I went online everyone talked about a promised second book but this is from 2013 and VE Schwab has written other series since then. But do not dispare, last week I got a notice about this..

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So this book is not only amazing as a stand alone but it will finally have its sequel. This ones a keeper.

Books, fantasy, great reads, indie author, Reviews, scifi

Dragon Storm by Lindsay Buroker

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Lindsay Buroker was the first indie author I ever read, and I still love her books. This is the newest series she is realeasing. First the blurb:

Telryn “Trip” Yert has always been a little odd, with hunches that are too accurate to explain. Magic is feared and forbidden in Iskandia, so he’s struggled his whole life to hide his eccentricities. As a boy, he was forced to watch his mother’s execution. Her crime? Witchcraft.

Understandably, Trip wants nothing to do with the power that lurks within him, always threatening to reveal itself. Instead, he dedicates himself to serving as an officer in the king’s army, to battling pirates and imperial conquerors. He longs to become a soldier as respected and renowned as the legendary General Zirkander.

But his country is in need of more than a soldier.

After disappearing for over a thousand years, dragons have returned to the world. A few of them are willing to be allies to mankind, as they were millennia before, but far more want to destroy or enslave humans and claim the world for themselves.

There are few people left with the power to fight dragons. For reasons he doesn’t understand, Trip may be one of those people. But if he chooses to learn more about his heritage and the power he can wield, he risks losing everyone he loves and everything he longs to be.

This book reminded me of why I fell in love with indie authors. This is quality writing, a fast and fun fantasy and it was $1 (free if you have KU)!! I know I’ll pay more no doubt for the rest but that’s okay because I’m hooked. I loved the world, where swords talk and dragons power depends on their color, I enjoyed the cast of characters, most quirky and crazy, and the story was fun.

You should grab this book.