[Book Review] Florida on fire, plus ghosts

Book Review: Brimstone by Cherie Priest

Brimstone

This author has been on my canary radar ever since I first came across the happy chatter surrounding her debut novel Boneshaker – and let’s not forget that gorgeous steampunk cover. So when I saw her latest, Brimstone, I had to have it. That the blurb promised a character with a tortured past was just icing on the cake.

The blurb:

“In the trenches of Europe during the Great War, Tomas Cordero operated a weapon more devastating than any gun: a flame projector that doused the enemy in liquid fire. Having left the battlefield a shattered man, he comes home to find yet more tragedy–for in his absence, his wife has died of the flu. Haunted by memories of the woman he loved and the atrocities he perpetrated, Tomas dreams of fire and finds himself setting match to flame when awake. Alice Dartle is a talented clairvoyant living among others who share her gifts in the community of Cassadaga, Florida. She too dreams of fire, knowing her nightmares are connected to the shell-shocked war veteran and widower.” Continue reading

This month in the mine shaft: July

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  • Sabriel by Garth Nix ★★★★★
  • Just Babies: The Origins of Good and Evil by Paul Bloom  ★★★★☆
  • Barking Up the Wrong Tree by Eric Barker  ★★★★☆
  • The Courtship of Julian St. Albans by Amy Crook ★★★☆☆
  • Ghost in the Wires by Mitnick, Simon & Wozniak ★★☆☆☆
  • Zoobiquity by Barbara Natterson-Horowitz, Kathryn Bowers ★★☆☆☆
  • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley ★☆☆☆☆

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Onward to August! What’s on your to-read list?

Want to buddy read something?

This month in the mine shaft: June

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  • Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari ★★★★☆
  • Rework by Jason Fried, David Heinemeier Hansson ★★★★☆
  • Catch Me If You Can by Frank W. Abagnale ★★★★☆
  • Minority Report and Other Stories by Philip K. Dick ★★★★☆
  • And Then You’re Dead by Cody Cassidy, Paul Doherty ★★★☆☆
  • Discontent and Its Civilizations by Mohsin Hamid ★★★☆☆
  • Waking Up White by Debby Irving ★★★☆☆
  • You Don’t Look Your Age: And Other Fairy Tales by Sheila Nevins ★★★☆☆
  • The Case Against Sugar by Gary Taubes ★★★☆☆
  • Fledgling by Octavia E. Butler ★★☆☆☆
  • Radio Shangri-la by Lisa Napoli ★☆☆☆☆

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Onward to July! What’s on your to-read list?

Want to buddy read something?

This month in the mine shaft: May

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  • Embassytown by China Miéville ★★★★★
  • The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan ★★★★☆
  • The City & the City by China Miéville ★★★★☆
  • Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay ★★★☆☆
  • Beauty and the Clockwork Beast by Nancy Campbell Allen ★★★☆☆
  • Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk ★★★☆☆
  • The Integral Trees by Larry Niven ★★☆☆☆
  • Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen by Lois McMaster Bujold ★★☆☆☆
  • The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle ★★☆☆☆

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Onward to June! What’s on your to-read list?

Want to buddy read something?

This month in the mine shaft: April

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  • Paladin of Souls by Lois McMaster Bujold ★★★★★
  • Barrayar by Lois McMaster Bujold ★★★★★
  • Komarr by Lois McMaster Bujold ★★★★★
  • Diplomatic Immunity by Lois McMaster Bujold ★★★★★
  • Infomocracy by Malka Ann Older ★★★★☆
  • A Civil Campaign by Lois McMaster Bujold ★★★★☆
  • Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson ★★★☆☆
  • Hexbreaker by Jordan L. Hawk ★★★☆☆
  • The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher ★★★☆☆
  • Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance by Lois McMaster Bujold ★★★☆☆
  • Shards of Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold ★★★☆☆
  • Tears We Cannot Stop by Michael Eric Dyson ★★☆☆☆
  • The Undoing Project by Michael Lewis ★★☆☆☆

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Onward to May! What’s on your to-read list?

Want to buddy read something?

This month in the mine shaft: March

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  • The Lost City of the Monkey God by Douglas Preston ★★★★☆
  • I Contain Multitudes by Ed Yong ★★★★☆
  • Brimstone by Cherie Priest ★★★★☆
  • Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes ★★★☆☆
  • Get Your Sh*t Together by Sarah Knight ★★★☆☆
  • Wanted and Wired by Vivien Jackson ★★★☆☆
  • Feminist Fight Club by Jessica Bennett ★★★☆☆
  • Stolen Ink by Holly Evans ★★★☆☆
  • Wanted and Wired by Vivien Jackson ★★★☆☆
  • The Company We Keep by Robert B. Baer, Dayna Baer ★★☆☆☆
  • Drop the Ball by Tiffany Dufu ★★☆☆☆

 

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Onward to April! What’s on your to-read list?

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[Book Review] Magic tattoos, cat familiars, shadowy phantoms

Book Review: Stolen Ink by Holly Evansstolenink

You know that shortlist of back-of-the-book keywords that are krypton to your wallet? One moment you’re browsing the shelf, the next you’re in the checkout isle, and all because the book mentioned a psychic cat familiar or told you you’re about to embark on a urban fantasy romance filled with tattoo magic. Or both.

Definitely both.

Enter Stolen Ink by Holly Evans.

The concept kicks ass. In this story’s alternative modern day, everyone has an animal spirit that’s bursting to come out. This spirit takes its physical shape through a magical tattoo, which, once inked, becomes a psychic familiar (think Pullman’s The Golden Compass). Drawing these critters is Dacian’s job. He’s a tattoo magician who runs a parlor with his elven partner and pretends to be a middling, third-tier tattooist. Except he’s not.

In a world where everyone is magical to some degree, Dacian’s an ink magician, with a direct line to the heart of magic, who spends most of his time in denial, not doing anything about it. Which is fine and dandy, right up till the Big Bad shows up in his city and starts stealing people’s tattoos and killing them. Continue reading