Category: Books


Review: The Book of M

Posted 19 August, 2020 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

The Book of M
By: Peng Shepherd
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase

One afternoon at an outdoor market in India, a man’s shadow disappears–an occurrence science cannot explain. He is only the first. The phenomenon spreads like a plague, and while those afflicted gain a strange new power, it comes at a horrible price: the loss of all their memories.

Ory and his wife Max have escaped the Forgetting so far by hiding in an abandoned hotel deep in the woods. Their new life feels almost normal, until one day Max’s shadow disappears too.

Knowing that the more she forgets, the more dangerous she will become to Ory, Max runs away. But Ory refuses to give up the time they have left together. Desperate to find Max before her memory disappears completely, he follows her trail across a perilous, unrecognizable world, braving the threat of roaming bandits, the call to a new war being waged on the ruins of the capital, and the rise of a sinister cult that worships the shadowless.

As they journey, each searches for answers: for Ory, about love, about survival, about hope; and for Max, about a new force growing in the south that may hold the cure.

Like The Passage and Station Eleven, this haunting, thought-provoking, and beautiful novel explores fundamental questions of memory, connection, and what it means to be human in a world turned upside down.

The premise caught my attention and admittedly it sat on my to-read queue for quite a long while. While I did pick it up when I did, I was wondering if now was a good time to read it given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic; last thing I wanted to read was about a pandemic sweeping across the globe and giving rise to a post-apocalyptic, each-man-for-himself sort of world. Oh, and the Forgetting reminded me of Alzheimer’s which I encounter regularly with my job so yeah, I’m in for a trip.

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Review: City Under the Stars

Posted 17 August, 2020 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

City Under the Stars
By: Gardner Dozois & Michael Swanwick
Format/Source: Advanced reading copy courtesy of Tor.com (Netgalley)

God was in his Heaven—which was fifteen miles away, due east.

Far in Earth’s future, in a post-utopian hell-hole, Hanson works ten solid back-breaking hours a day, shoveling endless mountains of coal, within sight of the iridescent wall that separates what’s left of humanity from their gods.

One day, after a tragedy of his own making, Hanson leaves York, not knowing what he will do, or how he will survive in the wilderness without work. He finds himself drawn to the wall, to the elusive promise of God. And when the impossible happens, he steps through, into the city beyond.

The impossible was only the beginning.

I’ve had this book on the radar for some time now, both the title and the premise intrigued me. I was granted access to a galley copy of this book in exchange for a review. This book will be released on 25 August 2020.

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Review: The Kingdom of Liars

Posted 14 August, 2020 by Lianne in Books / 2 Comments

The Kingdom of Liars (The Legacy of the Mercenary Kings #1)
By: Nick Martell
Format/Source: Advanced reading copy courtesy of Saga Press (Netgalley)

Michael is branded a traitor as a child because of the murder of the king’s nine-year-old son, by his father David Kingman. Ten years later on Michael lives a hardscrabble life, with his sister Gwen, performing crimes with his friends against minor royals in a weak attempt at striking back at the world that rejects him and his family.

In a world where memory is the coin that pays for magic, Michael knows something is there in the hot white emptiness of his mind. So when the opportunity arrives to get folded back into court, via the most politically dangerous member of the kingdom’s royal council, Michael takes it, desperate to find a way back to his past. He discovers a royal family that is spiraling into a self-serving dictatorship as gun-wielding rebels clash against magically trained militia.

What the truth holds is a set of shocking revelations that will completely change the Hollows, if Michael and his friends and family can survive long enough to see it.

I was updating some reviews that I had meant to send ages ago to NetGalley when I decided to wander around a bit and see what books were coming out. The book cover to this novel piqued my attention and I decided to give it a try. Thank you to Saga Press for letting me read this book. This book was released on 23 June 2020.

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Review: Luna: New Moon

Posted 12 August, 2020 by Lianne in Books / 1 Comment

Luna: New Moon (Luna #1)
By: Ian McDonald
Format/Source: eBook; courtesy of Tor.com reading club

The Moon wants to kill you. Whether it’s being unable to pay your per diem for your allotted food, water, and air, or you just get caught up in a fight between the Moon’s ruling corporations, the Five Dragons. You must fight for every inch you want to gain in the Moon’s near feudal society. And that is just what Adriana Corta did.

As the leader of the Moon’s newest “dragon,” Adriana has wrested control of the Moon’s Helium-3 industry from the Mackenzie Metal corporation and fought to earn her family’s new status. Now, at the twilight of her life, Adriana finds her corporation, Corta Helio, surrounded by the many enemies she made during her meteoric rise. If the Corta family is to survive, Adriana’s five children must defend their mother’s empire from her many enemies… and each other.

I’ve been wanting to read this book for so long. The cover looks fantastic, the premise sounded interesting–I remember someone likening it to Game of Thrones but in space–so I was thrilled to get my hands on a copy through the Tor.com reading club. Took a while after that to get around to reading it, but here we are 🙂

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Review: Team of Five: The Presidents Club in the Age of Trump

Posted 10 August, 2020 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

Team of Five: The Presidents Club in the Age of Trump
By: Kate Andersen Brower
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase

After serving the highest office of American government, five men—Jimmy Carter, the late George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama—became members of the world’s most exclusive fraternity. In Team of Five, Kate Andersen Brower goes beyond the White House to uncover what, exactly, comes after the presidency, offering a glimpse into the complex relationships of these five former presidents, and how each of these men views his place in a nation that has been upended by the Oval Office’s current, norm-breaking occupant, President Donald Trump.

With an empathetic yet critical eye and firsthand testimony from the Carters, Donald Trump, and the top aides, friends, and family members of the five former presidents, Team of Five takes us inside the exclusive world of these powerful men and their families, including the unlikely friendship between George W. Bush and Michelle Obama, the last private visits Bill Clinton and Barack Obama shared with George H.W. Bush, and the Obamas’ flight to Palm Springs after Donald Trump’s inauguration. Perhaps most timely, this insightful, illuminating book overflows with anecdotes about how the ex-presidents are working to combat President Trump’s attempts to undo the achievements and hard work accomplished during their own terms.

Perhaps most poignantly, Team of Five sheds light on the inherent loneliness and inevitable feelings of powerlessness and frustration that come with no longer being the most important person in the world, but a leader with only symbolic power. There are ways, though, that these men, and their wives, have become powerful political and cultural forces in American life, even as so-called “formers.”

This is not the first book I’ve read about the Presidents Club; it’s a fascinating piece of American politics and the fabric of the nation, of wht role former Presidents serve after they leave office. This book caught my attention as I was interested to read how much has changed–or stayed the same–with Trump becoming president, and his interaction with the Presidents Club. This is also not my first Kate Andersen Brower book, having read her book on the First Wives (review).

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