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WOSFF: Women of Science Fiction and Fantasy

What is Science Fiction and Fantasy?

I thought that this was pretty self explanatory. After talking with a friend, I realized that it may not be. So I thought that I would take the time to discuss what I considered to be science fiction and fantasy. Even with these two parent categories, there are a lot of sub-genres that fall under them.

Science Fiction:  I consider science fiction to be anything that is science related. Specifically, anything to do with the hard sciences biology, chemistry, physics, and anything that has to do with space and such.

Fantasy: This is really the category that causes such confusion. I consider fantasy to be anything that deals with things that are not realistic, depending on the intent. I include stories that include werewolves, vampires, ghosts and other magical beings as long as the intent is not to scare the reader. The supernatural and paranormal beings are usually found in Urban Fantasy or Paranormal Romance.

I am not an expert about the definitions of science and fantasy, so if its not as specific as you would like, I apologize. These are just the broad definitions that I use when categorizing works.  Some works bleed between genres and that’s okay, as long as the main story falls into one of these two categories, the reviews will be posted on this blog.

Always Shine

Featured post

Reconnecting with Bloglovin

As the year is coming to a close I am preparing for 2020 by really thinking about my goal and what I want to do with this blog. I definitely don’t want to walk away from this, but it can’t stay the way that it is. So, the only option is to grow. One of the ways that I am doing that is reconnecting with Bloglovin’ and utilizing that platform to connect with other bloggers. So if you are already there, now you can find me there too. If not check it out!

Always Shine!

All My Maybes: Trading in Danger by Elizabeth Moon

Trading in Danger by Elizabeth Moon 

(Vatta’s War #1)

August 31, 2004 -Del Rey

357 pgs – Adult, Fantasy, Fiction, #OMBS, Off My Bookshelf, All MY Maybes

4 ****

Result: Unhaul

Goodreads Summary

My Thoughts: This was one of my maybe books. While I didn’t keep the book, I really enjoyed it and plan to continue with the series. I really want to know what Ky decides to do and be a part of her next adventure.

This is a great start to a series. All of the things that you hope don’t happen on an easy space voyage happens. But Ky is able to handle it. I really like Ky-while she has some flaws and doubts  she falls back on her military training. I believe this gives her the confidence that she needs to get the job done.I also like the crew that is with her.

Everything seems to be wrapping up and resolving nicely. I’m kind of waiting for the other shoe to drop. I would say that this is the perfect space opera to start with if it’s a genre that’s new for you. Ky has a lot of growing up to do, but she’s also got to figure out who she is outside of other people’s expectations. She needs to see herself as her crew sees her.

This review may be a bit all over the place, but there is a lot going on in the story. A lot of lose threads even though the main story has wrapped up. I definitely think that this is worth checking out.

 

Always Shine!

Review: When She Reigns by Jodi Meadows

When She Reigns by Jodi Meadows 

(Fallen Isles #3)

September 10, 2019 – Katherine Tegen Books

496 pgs. – Young Adult, fantasy, fiction, series, #OMBS, Off my Bookshelf

3 ***

Goodreads Summary

My Thoughts: This is the final book in the Fallen Isles Trilogy, so this will be a relatively short review. I am very glad to have continued on with this series . Everything was leading up to this moment, where Mira steps completely into her own. The betrayals and treachery are completely uncovered.The truth is known. Mira is the only one understands the task before them and the only one who can save the Fallen Isles. She boldly accepts the price that she has to pay.  But to be honest, this ending kind of disappointed me. It fell short  and was a bit of a letdown. For closure and so I don’t have to wonder I appreciate this book. But, I kind of feel cheated.

Always Shine!

DNF Review: Ivory and Bone by Julie Eshbaugh

Ivory and Bone by Julie Eshbaugh

(Ivory and Bone #1)

June 7, 2016 -HarperTeen

371 pgs. – Young Adult, Fiction, Fantasy, Review, Edelweiss

DNF

I was given a digital copy of this title, free, in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Goodreads Summary

My Thoughts: I have no idea what made me request this title, I guess it sounded interesting at the time, maybe?  It’s been a while since I have requested this title and even thought about the book. The only thing that I remembered about it was that it was supposed to be a prehistoric romance. Yep, you read that right – prehistoric. This is a story that relies heavily on its characters . And unfortunately, I didn’t like any of the characters. I made it a fourth of the way through the book, about 82 pages, I have no idea what was going on. A part of me wants to say that nothing happened, but something had to have happened – right? I tried both digital and audio format. But after falling asleep twice on the audiobook, I decided to give up.

Always Shine!

DNF Review: The Good Luck Girls

Good Luck Girls by Charlotte Nicole Davis 

October 1, 2019 – Tor Teen

352 pgs –  Young Adult, Fantasy,

DNF

I was given a digital copy of this title, free, in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Summary

My Thoughts: Guys, I so wanted to love this book. I wanted be able to shout from the rooftops about how great this book was. I fell in love with this book as soon as I saw the cover. I wanted to be a part of the blog tour- everything. So when I was approved for this via Netgalley, I was ecstatic. I stopped reading the e-book I was in the middle of and immediately started this one. And that’s when things went wrong….

Don’t get me wrong the story is okay. The summary makes it sound a lot more exciting than it is. Or maybe not – I have not seen Westworld. I made it to the 50% mark when I decided to have an honest check in with myself. I wasn’t enjoying the book, I didn’t really care about the characters. Nothing was really happening with the journey- I mean there was but there wasn’t. The story was moving along, but it seemed when the opportunity came along to build up the tension, it wasn’t taken. Things seemed a little too easy for the girls (and guy) that was on the run, that could easily be discovered by their branding.

Maybe my excitement made me expect more than I should have. Maybe I started the book with the wrong assumptions about the story line. I don’t know, but this book just didn’t work for me.

Always Shine!

DNF Review: Pet

Pet by Awaeke Emezi 

September 10, 2019 – Make Me a World

208 pgs. – Middle Grade, Fiction, Fantasy

DNF

I was given a digital copy of this title, free, in exchange for my honest opinion.

Summary: Jam lives in Lucille, which was supposed to have no monsters in it. She unleashes a monster hunter and discovers that there’s a monster in her best friend, Redemption’s house.

My Thoughts– I was really excited that I got approved for this title early. Even more so when I started it before it came out. Then I really started reading it and re-reading parts that I read. Not because it was profound or even overly complicated. I got hung up on a bunch of little things. So much so that I don’t think I even made it out of chapter 1. The monsters/angels were discussed with a heavy hand, and in my opinion it would have been better if it was a little more subtle. It seemed that monsters and angels were cut from the same cloth/two sides of the same coin. (Maybe Pet would discover this later?) The other thing was that Pet signed her communication or wrote it out. But people still talked to her, so she wasn’t deaf. She just chose to not talk except for that one time she screamed “girl! girl! girl!” when someone commented on her being a handsome boy. Before anyone leaves comments misunderstanding me- I don’t care about Pet being trans-gendered, my issue is with her not speaking except for that one particular time.

Again, it was a bunch of little things that got in my way. But the fourth time  I came to this book and didn’t make any progress, and didn’t care, I decided to just set it aside.

ALWAYS SHINE!!

Review: Kingdom of Souls

Kingdom of Souls by Rena Barron

(Kingdom of Souls #1)

September 3, 2019 – HarperVoyager

496 pgs. – Young Adult, Fiction, Fantasy, Mythology, Edelweiss, Review

To Purchase: Indiebound

I was given a copy of this title, free, in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Summary: Arrah has wanted magic since she was a kid. She is the daughter of two powerful witch doctors, so she doesn’t understand why Heka has ignored her. Now, at this Blood Moon Festival is her last opportunity to be touched by Heka, if he ignores her now she will have to live without magic.  Then children start to go missing. Even her mother, the most powerful seer in the tribal lands can do nothing. Arrah decides to risk it all, trading years of her life for magic to help her save the children

My Thoughts: Oh my my my! There is so much that I want to say, and so much that I cannot say because I don’t want to give anything away. That summary is just the tip of the iceberg for this book.  There is so much more going on, but it’s not in a confusing way. It unfolds neatly, shock and secrets revealed in a way that you still don’t see the ending coming until you get there.

I really like Arrah as a character. Despite other young girls who are tasked with saving anyone against great odds, Arrah is focused even to the point where she is sacrificing her own desires. And not just in words. While there are times where she gives in to/ acknowledges the attraction to her childhood friend, you  don’t find her in the middle of a life or death situation making out with him. She is surrounded by friends that understand and respect the brutality of fighting which makes them that much more deadly.

There is no “chosen one”. Arrah chooses to do what she does because she feels it’s the right thing to do, she is the only one with all of the information and therefore the only one who has any hope of doing anything. But then she learns more and that she  is not alone. She may not get help from where she wants it, but help is coming.

The only other thing I can say is that there isn’t any clear villains and heroes, no one is just what they appear to be -whether they know it or not If you are expecting the Orishas to be benevolent and loving gods, than you will be sadly mistaken. Despite their abilities and longevity, they are not wise enough to not repeat their mistakes. In the end, they want the war to end and be over but they don’t want to solve the problem.

There is one thing that happens that doesn’t appear to have a real purpose to the overall story, unless it comes back around later in the series.

This is s a story that is  complicated in all the right ways, with characters that pull you in and invest you  in the story that unfolds. I am so excited for the next one!  There is something else that I want to mention, but I don’t want to give anything away. So stop here if you don’t want to know.

 

*

*

*

*

This is the one time that I think a love triangle will work- one that involves 4 people!

Always Shine!

Blog Tour Review: The Jumbie God’s Revenge

The Jumbie God’s Revenge by Tracey Baptiste

(Jumbies #3)

September 3, 2019 – Algonquin Young Readers

272 pgs. – Fiction, Middle Grade, Fantasy, Review, Netgalley, Blog Tour

To Purchase, Indiebound

4****

I was given a digital copy, free, in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Summary: An unexpected and unusual hurricane hits her island. At first she believes that it’s Mama D’Leau, the water Jumbie that she confronted in the last book.  When her friends tell her the story of Huracan, she knows that they are not dealing with just unusual weather. She also realizes that she is once again going to have to save her village.  But this time it’s going to cost a bit more than she bargained for.

My Thought:  First, if you have not started this series, I strongly recommend doing so ASAP. And if you have started it, then get your hands on a copy of this final book, ASAP!

All of the things that made me fall in love with the first book is still here: Corinne’s determination, the friends that stick together but also call her out when she needs it, and a village that (eventually) sticks together and tries to live peacefully with all of the creatures on the island.   There is also the fact that no one believes Corinne, still. And while this is minor, it is also frustrating because it appears that she is constantly trying to convince people- especially her father- that something more is going on than they originally thought, The stakes are raised even more v, and there is one more power that Corinne unlocks. There has been an adventure on land and in the sea. Now it’s in the sky.

My only complaint with this particular book, is that it ends with so many questions unanswered. It makes me question whether it is in fact the final book. Would I mind if there was another book? No, but the first two books had more solid endings than this one, and I didn’t realize it was a trilogy until recently.

I am still glad to have these as part of my personal collection and I am looking forward to reading the entire series to my kids.  Corinne and friends are characters worth admiring, from surviving on their own to standing up for what is right to an entire village of adults. Nothing that is asked of Corinne is easy or fun. Her friends go with her or are pulled into and provide strength, encouragement and wisdom as needed.

I will be looking forward to whatever Baptiste offers us in the future.

Always Shine!

Review: Before She Ignites

Before She Ignites by Jodi Meadows

Fallen Isles #1

September 12, 2017 -Katherin Tegen Books

481 pgs. – Young Adult, Fiction, Fantasy, Review, Edelweiss

To Purchase Indiebound

5 *****

I was given a digital copy, free, in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Summary: Mira Minkoba is the Hopebearer, and a friend to dragons. When she discovers that the dragons are being removed from their sanctuary, she turns the Luminary council- the governing body for her land.  They are not surprised, which shocks Mira. But she discovers that she is in for a lot more surprises and hard truths as well as discovering more about herself as she tries the Pit (a prison) with no hope of getting out.

My Thoughts: In truth this is a re-read for me.  As I was looking for my original review to see if I had forgotten about anything, I noticed that I never posted my review. OOPS! Even the second time around, I really enjoyed this book. Mira deals with anxiety and ocd, shameful secrets for the Hopebearer. Her mother has done an amazing job of completely destroying Mira’s self esteem. Making it easy for her to believe the lies of the Luminary Council and becoming their puppet. But when her dragons are in danger, she finds a hidden strength. The entire book is told back and forth between the events that led to Mira getting sent to the Pit, the secrets that she holds onto and her time in the Pit as she tries to survive.

Strangely, there are no clear signs of anyone being the “good guys” other than the prisoners that Mira befriends in the Pit. This is more about Mira and her friends against everyone else. It’s not even clear what everyone is after. All of this makes for a compelling story.

I really enjoyed the way the way that the story unfolding, getting to know the characters as secrets were revealed. I really liked the way that Mira evolved. She was very honest about herself what she was capable of. She didn’t have superpowers to get her out of tight situations. Or at least she wasn’t aware of any,  she believes it was someone else’s gift intervening.  I really liked how realistic her anxiety and OCD was portrayed, not necessarily as weakness but as a part of her that she had to live with.

But what I really liked was who Mira became at the end, when she finally -finally- stands up for herself.   I am also very glad that this time around, I have the second book ready to go!

ALWAYS SHINE!

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