transmission
11Jul/16Off

seesaw?

The Boss's Fake Fiancee

Inara Scott

the boss's fake fianceeAnother bad fake married book.
Our heroine has started a new life at a very successful tech firm after being dumped by her older boyfriend for her best friend.
Coming across her ex at an event she implies that she's with her boss.
When this is leaked to the press his deathly ill Gran believes that they're really engaged.
So our heroine agrees to pretend to be engaged until his Gran is recovered from illness.
Of course things don't quite run smoothly.

Rating: C-

11Jul/16Off

allergic?

Wife By Wednesday

Catherine Bybee

wife by wednesdayUtterly forgettable fake married novel.
Our heroine runs an ultra discreet matchmaking service for the super wealthy.
Titled and super rich the lead male needs a wife to collect his full inheritance.
Turning down the offered matches he instead asks our heroine to be his fake wife for a year.
Of course things don't quite run smoothly.

Rating: C

11Jul/16Off

charter?

The Puffin Island Trilogy

Sarah Morgan

first time in foreverThis trilogy of romance novels are mainly set on the idyllic holiday spot of Puffin Island located on the North East coast of the US.
Book 1 is First Time in Forever which follows Emily as she takes custody of her recently deceased movie star half-sister's child. They move to Puffin Island to hide the kid from the paparazzi. It's a perfectly competent romance novel even if the lead character is a bit of a wet blanket. This one I read as an ebook. Rated C+
Book 2 is Some Kind of Wonderful. This one follows Brittany as she returns to her native Puffin Island afer breaking her arm while working at an archaeological dig in Crete. On the journey back she discovers that her ex-husband from a ten day teenage marriage is back in town.
This one has much better leads than the first book. Rated C+
Book 3 is Christmas Ever After and it is the best of this series. It tells the story of Skylar and what happens to her after rejecting a public marriage offer from her distant politician boyfriend and is left alone in London at Christmas time. I really like the couple in this book. Rated B-

Rating: B-

23Jun/16Off

jaga?

Uprooted

Naomi Novik

UprootedThis is not only easily the most enjoyable Fantasy novel I've read in years but also one of the best written.
Agnieszka is a wood cutter's daughter and one of the unfortunate girls to come of in age in the year when the local Lord, the wizard "Dragon", takes one girl away from her family to live in his tower for ten years.
I don't want to spoil any of it but suffice it to say that this not a book that always goes where you expect it to or at least not when you think it will.
Heavily influenced by Eastern European folk myth there's something that just feels right about this tale.
I highly recommend checking this one out if you're a fan of Fantasy novels.

Rating: A

23Jun/16Off

robbin?

Country Of The Blind

Christopher Brookmyre

Country of the BlindThis re-read of the second Parlabane book reveals that it is as funny, twisty and enjoyable as any book in the series. Of course being written before the coronation of New Labour and a devolved Scottish Parliament a lot of the political humour and commentary is rather dated but it's still utterly on target with regards to the machinations of media moguls and the power crazed.
I started with this one as an audiobook (and a fine listen it is too) but I switched to the physical book when I got too hooked on the story and the pace of reading felt too slow.
Given it's age maybe not the best place to start with Brookmyre or Parlabane but still highly recommended.

Rating: B+

11Jun/16Off

scalpel?

Stiletto

Daniel O'Malley

stilettoStiletto is the long-awaited follow up to The Rook. As you can see in the linked review I was a bit worried about how sequels could add anything worthwhile to the world of the Chechquy.
I'm happy to report that this is a fun book in it's own right. It earns much of it's appeal from the way that it dives into the history and motivations of the Grafters (Centuries old enemies of the Chechquy) as the two groups enter formal negotiations.
Unlike the first book very little of this tale is told from the perspective of Myfanwy Thomas. Instead the lead characters are a junior member of the Grafters and the agent assigned as her bodyguard.
It certainly isn't without flaws - there's an unnecessary subplot and one of the action set pieces is rather confusing - but it is still very enjoyable.
I'd happily recommend it to fans of the first book, though I'd read The Rook first if you haven't come to the series yet.

Rating: B+

13Apr/16Off

confusion?

Chaos Choreography

Seanan McGuire

chaos choreographyThe latest InCryptid book finds returning to Verity Price as our narrator and lead character.
Verity is offered a final chance to chase her dance dreams with a spot on an all-star season of the reality show she was runner-up on a few years back.
Her grandmother - the apparently ageless dimension hopping bounty hunter - Alice arrives as her backup just in time to help investigate a snake cult.
As fun as any of the InCryptid books. I particularly enjoyed going back to Verity as narrator.

Rating: B+

27Mar/16Off

pho?

Me, Earl & The Dying Girl

Jesse Andrews

me, earl and the dying girlI read this after watching the film adaptation. I really enjoyed the film and I started to wonder how much of the weirdness of the characters actually came from the source material.
It turns out that it's a pretty straightforward adaptation of a wonderfully quirky novel.
Unlike the last book I read about a teenager with cancer this is significantly less manipulative of the reader's emotions.
I recommend both the book and the film if you like heightened reality in your contemporary YA entertainment

Rating: A-

8Mar/16Off

samir?

The Twenty-Sided Sorceress

Annie Bellet

justice callingThis is a series of short urban fantasy novels. Sorceress Jade Crow has made a life for herself the remote community of Wylde, Idaho. Friends with the large shape-shifter population and making a living selling games to college students it's a pretty decent life.
This all starts to fall apart when a shape-shifter Justice comes into town with a vision of disaster and her at the heart of it.
They're all brief but they run efficiently through all sorts of genre tropes but in entertaining fashion.
I acquired the first book free from the Kindle store and I picked up all the other books in short order because they were reasonably priced.
Recommended for urban fantasy fans looking for a quick, fun but utterly predictable fix.

Rating: B-

29Feb/16Off

sundry?

You're Never Weird On The Internet (almost)

Felicia Day

you're never weird on the internetFelicia Day is an American actress most famous for roles in various SF and Fantasy TV shows. She was in Buffy, Eureka and Supernatural among others.
She has a dedicated fanbase for her own shows produced for the web. Her show The Guild was a pioneer web series.
This is her autobiography. It goes into great and sometimes funny detail about her home schooled childhood and years at college. There's very little about her work on TV and film but lots of information about The Guild and Geek & Sundry (her YouTube channel/production company). I would have liked to have read her thoughts on what it's like to work with Genre TV alumni like Joss Whedon.
The most welcome part of the book is the section on her struggles with anxiety and depression.
I have to say this is not a book where the author uses autobiography to exorcize their demons. It's a quick read where Ms Day often reaches for the joke rather than the truth of the moment.
I picked it up for £3. I wouldn't recommend paying more than that for it.

Rating: B