The Falling Woman by Pat Murphy
“I was mad because I said words they did not wish to hear, because they could not control me, they could not drag me along like a tethered dog. And so they said I was mad.”
When Elizabeth, an archaeologist with a track record of making incredible discoveries, looks at a historic site, she sees not just the ruins, but the ghosts of the people and civilizations that once existed there. It’s a gift she’s learned to live with, and keeps secret lest it gets her labeled crazy and thrown out of academia and into a hospital. But her simple archaeological routine is shattered when, during an investigation of ancient Mayan ruins, the shadow of a long-dead priestess sees Liz and speaks to her…and Liz’ daughter arrives out of the blue, mourning her father’s death and hoping to reconnect with her mother. Continue reading
First started by Madison Woods, here is the reader-feedback Pitch pecking series, “Vote for it”. Every week, we give out blog over to a 25-word elevator pitch sent in by authors. Readers of our blog have the opportunity to vote for whether the 25-word blurb makes them curious or not about the book. Would they buy it?
“Authors, what we’re measuring is reader interpretation. What does someone think of your book when they read your short blurb? Does it make them want to buy it or at least read further? Editors and publishers may look at these blurbs differently, but ultimately, they’re readers too.” (Madison Woods)
So what happens now? Read the pitch/blurb below and then vote if you think you’d be interested enough buy the book. Though the voting is anonymous, leave a comment and help the author get a sense of what’s working and what isn’t! Continue reading
The Magicians by Lev Grossman
If I read one more review of Lev Grossman’s The Magicians that proclaims it “Harry Potter for adults,” I just might break something. Yes, The Magicians is a bildungsroman about a teenager who discovers he’s a magician and subsequently enrolls at an exclusive magician’s college, but just because the two works share certain elements does not mean that the former is simply a matured version of the latter. (Plus, as an adult, I find the implication that Harry Potter isn’t for adults quite insulting. But I digress.) In actuality, comparing Grossman’s novel to J.K. Rowling’s series does a disservice to The Magicians. It is an inventive story that stands quite well on its own. Continue reading
Book Review: Bride of the Rat God by Barbara Hambly
As a long time fan of Barbara Hambly’s world-building and character-building skills, I was very excited to put Bride of the Rat God on my to reading list. When, in 1923, movie star Chrysanda Flamande (real name Christine Blackstone) sweeps into her sister-in-law’s life, Norah finds herself moving from a small village in England into the glittering circles of Hollywood’s most famous directors and stars. And after her husband’s death in WWI, Norah needs someone to take care of and to learn to live again.
But as the latest movie goes forward, things keep going wrong. A mysterious old Chinese man, brutal murders, a rigged explosion (instead of the fake one), and restless dreams plague the two women. Someone has chosen Christine to be the rat god’s bride sacrifice, and it’s up to Norah, a broken wizard, and three Pekingeses dogs to keep Chris safe. Continue reading
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Advanced Review: Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers
His Fair Assassin Book 1
Publication date: April 03, 2012
When Ismae’s arranged marriage ends on her wedding night with her husband going to get a priest to burn Ismae for being a witch, the young girl escapes to the convent of Saint Mortain. There, she is told that the scars she had from birth mark her as a daughter of Mortain, the god of Death, and is given the choice to stay and become one of His handmaidens, tasked with dealing death at his bequest. After seventeen years of being a victim, it is no choice at all.
Why be the sheep when you can be the wolf?
Ismae’s first important assignment takes her straight into high court intrigue; Brittany fights to remain independent from France, and the young duchess who can make that possible is besieged by traitors and treason. It is up to Ismae to use her training to unravel the undercurrents at court and serve Death by eliminating the enemies of Brittany. But in the real world, nothing is so straightforward, especially when it comes to the Duval, the duchess’s handsome and tempestuous young adviser–who may just be the traitor Ismae’s looking for.
I haven’t had much luck with YA novels recently, but this book has renewed my faith that I can still be blown away. It has suspense, adventure, betrayal, and a well-built, believable romance.