Sunday, December 13, 2015

In the Labyrinth of Drakes, Lady Trent Series


5 Stars

Several years ago, when I received a copy of A Natural History of Dragons, I thought-oh, that looks like an interesting book-and then tucked it under my TBR pile and figured someday I'd get to it.

It took nearly a year to pick the book back up, which was at the same time a blessing and a curse. I absolutely fell in love with Isabella. The story is not simply a textbook style history lesson on dragons as I expected (because I'm notoriously lazy when it comes to reading back cover descriptions).

The Lady Trent stories do study dragons, they are memoirs of a naturalist in the field, but they are so much more than that. Isabella's studies lead her to the most exciting adventures and she is perpetually in trouble. While fighting social status, propriety, and the oppressive nature of her sex, Lady Trent is a shining example of hard work, determination, and overcoming all odds to not only accomplish your dreams, but to succeed in spite of all obstacles working against you.

I couldn't wait to read more and luckily since I had waited so long to read the first book provided me, the second was near release and I devoured it the moment it arrived at my door.

In the Labyrinth of Drakes is the fourth book of the series, the fifth book coming in 2016 is to be the last installment, and I can very confidently say this is the best of the series. Absolutely brilliant. Her relationships deepen, her status as a naturalist solidifies, and surprisingly she behaves herself. That's not to say trouble still doesn't find her...

Todd Lockwood provides the artwork for these books and they are absolutely stunning. I received an Advanced Readers Copy so I'll have to wait for the hardcover to release this April to see the full sketches throughout the book-Yes, all Lady Trent books are fully illustrated with Isabella's sketches in the field-

In the Labyrinth of Drakes is set to release in April so there's still time to get a great pre-order price and catch up on the series.

 TOR.com provides computer backgrounds of the covers if you love them as much as I do. In the Labyrinth of Drakes can be found here: http://www.tor.com/2015/05/06/cover-reveal-for-marie-brennans-in-the-labyrinth-of-drakes/

About the Author















Marie Brennan is a former academic with a background in archaeology, anthropology, and folklore, which she now puts to rather cockeyed use in writing fantasy. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she spends her time practicing piano, studying karate, and playing a variety of role-playing games.

Follow Marie Brennan on twitter @swan_tower for updates on In the Labyrinth of Drakes and giveaways!

Check out all the books she has to offer!
http://www.swantower.com/buy.html


Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Stocking Stuffer Books





 Confused about what to get your loved ones this holiday season? Don't be! Here are a few of my favorite books from this years reviews, perfect stocking stuffers this holiday season!

Happy Holidays!

Illuminae 5 Stars
This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. This afternoon, her planet was invaded.
      The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than a speck at the edge of the universe. Now with enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to evacuate with a hostile warship in hot pursuit.
     But their problems are just getting started. A plague has broken out and is mutating with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a web of data to find the truth, it’s clear the only person who can help her is the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

The Martian 5 Stars 
Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. 

Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there.

After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. 

Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first. 

But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?


The Marauders 5 Stars
When the BP oil spill devastates the Gulf coast, those who made a living by shrimping find themselves in dire straits. For the oddballs and lowlifes who inhabit the sleepy, working class bayou town of Jeannette,  these desperate circumstances serve as the catalyst that pushes them to enact whatever risky schemes they can dream up to reverse their fortunes. At the center of it all is Gus Lindquist, a pill-addicted, one armed treasure hunter obsessed with finding the lost treasure of pirate Jean Lafitte. His quest brings him into contact with a wide array of memorable characters, ranging from a couple of small time criminal potheads prone to hysterical banter, to the smooth-talking Oil company middleman out to bamboozle his own mother, to some drug smuggling psychopath twins, to a young man estranged from his father since his mother died in Hurricane Katrina. As the story progresses, these characters find themselves on a collision course with each other, and as the tension and action ramp up, it becomes clear that not all of them will survive these events.





Little Miss and Mr. Me Me Me Series 5 Stars
These hysterical parodies feature adorably damaged adults who’ll make you laugh (and cringe) in recognition.​
The Little Miss and Mr. Me Me Me parody series. Little books with very BIG personalities.
 


 


Season of Wonder 4 Stars
Wonders abound with the winter holidays. Yuletide brings marvels and miracles both fantastic and scientific. Christmas spirits can bring haunting holidays, seasonal songs might be sung by unearthly choirs, and magical celebrations are the norm during this very special time of the year. The best stories from many realms of fantasy and a multitude of future universes, gift-wrapped in one spectacular treasury of wintertime wonder.





Daniel the Drawer 4 Stars
"This is no ordinary pencil," says the cat sitting on the end of nine-year-old Daniel's bed. "It's magic." Everything Daniel draws with his pencil--flying dragons, Octobears, and pizza-loving aliens from the planet Beezo--comes to life. It's pretty awesome until the pencil draws a line between Daniel and his best (and only) friend Annie. Come along with Daniel and his fantastic creatures on this fun-for-the-whole-family journey as he discovers that friendship is the greatest magic of all.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Mr Humblebrag


4 Stars

Mr Humblebrag has some great tips... On how not to use social media. We all have those friends who wish they would stop posting those un-motivating motivational and passive aggressive letters to now ex-best friends and OMG had to have Bae's. Now you'll be on the lookout for the humblebrag's, and god help us, there are a lot of them.

Side note: If you find you in fact do not have friends like this, you may be very blessed indeed. Or you may want to take a look at your own social media feed. If you can't point out the culprit-It's probably you.

Mr. Humblebrag is rich and lives humbly in his mansion with academy awards and his supermodel girlfriend, but he really wishes the world would stop giving him so much. His humble personality tears him up inside so he makes himself feel better by letting everyone know how bad he feels.

Sometimes life can be too much to handle, but don't worry. Kick back, put your feet up and let the world know you're taking a much deserved break on the new luxury cruise line and their prayers for a safe return are much appreciated because with you're luck, you may get stuck in Spain and have to travel the stunning country while waiting for your delayed flight home.

This book was given to me for review by Blogging for Books.



Photo of Dan Zevin

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

DAN ZEVIN is a Thurber Prize-winning humorist. Two of his books, Dan Gets a Minivan: Life at the Intersection of Dude and Dad and The Day I Turned Uncool, were optioned by Adam Sandler, and the latter is now being developed as a sitcom by David Katzenberg and Seth Grahame-Smith. Dan has been profiled in USA Today and has been on CBS This MorningFox and Friends, The Today Show,and NPR. He has also been an award-winning humor columnist for the New York Times, a comic commentator for NPR, and a contributor to the New Yorker, McSweeney’s, Details, Salon, the L.A. Times, Real Simple, and Parents.