sapper?

The Will of The Many

James Islington

Set in a quasi-Roman fantasy world this is a satisfying read.
Vis is an orphan trying to do something impossible – find a way to avoid being forced to cede his will to the Hierarchy.
The Catenan Hierarchy has conquered the world and their will magic powered by a strict societal power class system in now unchallenged.
Under unlikely circumstances Vis finds himself adopted by a powerful Catenan senator in order to solve a mystery at the elite Academy.
Vis – who has a dangerous secret past – is force to ride a fine line to serve the interests of different groups who want to use him for their own ends.
I really did enjoy this one. The book is split into three parts and the first part is particularly strong. I enjoyed the rest a little less but where it left off is very tantalizing and I’m looking forward to getting the sequel when it comes out.

Rating: A-

glue?

Just Stab Me

Jill Bearup

This is an ok fantasy romance enlivened by a tremendously appealing meta plot where the ‘author’ talks with her characters about the story and events happening in her real life.
Originally a series of short videos on YouTube with the author playing all the parts. This is where I came across it.
Having enjoyed those little videos I decided to buy the novel.
At no point is it terribly original but it is frequently fun and different enough from the videos to be worth the outlay.

Rating: B+

alarm?

Keep This Off The Record

Arden Joy

In this fun queer romance novel the story is told from the perspective of Abby and Freya.
Abby and Freya went to high school together and hated each other’s guts.
At a school reunion Abby’s best friend and Freya’s work colleague hit it off.
This puts this bickering pair back in each other’s lives.
The author takes some bits from Much Ado About Nothing to power a couple of the plots in the story and it’s not subtly done. I kind of wish that it was less obvious.
My favourite thing though was that the leads are people who make mistakes and act in actually human ways. I’ve read a few too many romance novels with unrealistic leads in the past few years.
Certainly worth a read and it won’t take you very long to get through.

Rating: B

second?

Witchmark

CL Polk

Fantasy set in world where the equivalent of WW1 happened and our protagonist is a doctor treating the returning soldiers who are suffering from a type of PTSD.
Miles is in hiding from his very powerful family because he wanted to use his abilities to heal rather than be used as a battery for his sister who practices weather magic – which is the only legal form.
Investigating a potential murder leads Miles to a conspiracy, a family reunion and someone who may become a love interest.
This is an entertaining book with enjoyable characters but the pacing and the overuse of certain cliches has knocked it down a mark.
I’m going to check out the sequel.

Rating: B+

cakemix?

How To End A Love Story

Yulin Kuang

This is the debut novel of writer/director Yulin Kuang whose work I have been following since “Kissing In The Rain” was released onto YouTube.
I was very lucky to gain access to an advance readers copy through NetGalley.
This is a very enjoyable romance with lead characters who are simultaneously both likeable and a little messed up.
The plot has Helen – a successful YA author – turning up in LA to take part in the writer’s room on the adaptation of her hit book series.
She discovers that one of the lead writers in the room is Grant. He was behind the wheel when Helen’s sister threw herself in front of car, leading to her death.
That tragic event informs every part of their interactions as they eventually move from being frosty colleagues to besotted lovers.
When the book ended I had that rare feeling of wanting to spend more time with the characters and I don’t think there’s a higher recommendation than that.

Rating: A-

2023 Books

  1. Flight Risk by Cherie Priest rated B+
  2. She Drives Me Crazy by Kelly Quindlen rated B
  3. Terry Pratchett: A Life With Footnotes by Rob Wilkins
  4. Beach Read by Emily Henry rated B
  5. Call Me Maybe by Cara Bastone rated B
  6. The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches by Sangu Mandanna rated B+
  7. Good For You by Camille Pagan rated B
  8. How To Sell a Haunted House by Grady Hendrix rated C
  9. Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir rated
  10. Tardis Eruditorum by Elizabeth Sandifer rated B
  11. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas rated B
  12. Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas rated B
  13. Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas rated B
  14. Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas rated B
  15. Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas rated B
  16. Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas rated B
  17. Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas rated B
  18. The Friendship Pact by Jill Shalvis rated B+
  19. Velveteen vs. The Junior Super Patriots by Seanan McGuire rated B+
  20. Velveteen vs. The Multiverse by Seanan McGuire rated B+
  21. Velveteen vs. The Seasons by Seanan McGuire rated B
  22. Love at First by Kate Clayborn rated B
  23. Gwen & Art Are Not In Love by Lex Croucher, rated A-
  24. Under The Whispering Door by TJ Klune, rated A-
  25. The Girl With Stars In Her Eyes by Xio Axelrod, rated C
  26. The Backup Plan by Jill Shalvis, rated B
  27. The Summer Proposal by Vi Keeland rated C
  28. Role Playing by Cathy Yardley rated B+
  29. Happy Place by Emily Henry rated B
  30. The Baseball 100 by Joe Posnanski rated A
  31. Beginner’s Luck by Kate Clayborn rated B
  32. Best of Luck by Kate Clayborn rated B
  33. Luck of the Draw by Kate Clayborn rated B
  34. Love Lettering by Kate Clayborn rated B-
  35. Eminent Hipsters by Donald Fagen rated B+
  36. The Sweetheart List by Jill Shalvis rated B+
  37. The Falconer by Elizabeth May rated B
  38. This Vicious Grace by Emily Thiede rated B+
  39. The Vanishing Throne by Elizabeth May rated B-
  40. The Fallen Kingdom by Elizabeth May rated C+
  41. Nine Princes In Amber by Roger Zelazny rated B+
  42. This Searing Light, The Sun and Everything Else by Jon Savage rated B
  43. Starter Villain by John Scalzi rated A-
  44. When Stars Collide by Susan Elizabeth Phillips rated C+
  45. He’s So Fine by Jill Shalvis rated C+
  46. Sleep No More by Seanan McGuire rated A-
  47. The Innocent Sleep by Seanan McGuire rated B+
  48. Walkaway by Cory Doctorow rated B
  49. Catwoman: Lonely City by Cliff Chiang rated A+

2023 Audiobooks

  1. Fast Forward by Stephen Morris read by Stephen Morris
  2. The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green read by John Green
  3. A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik read by Anisha Dadia
  4. The Last Graduate by Naomi Novik read by Anisha Dadia
  5. The Golden Enclaves by Naomi Novik read by Anisha Dadia
  6. Microserfs by Douglas Coupland read by Graham Rowat
  7. Thief of Time by Terry Pratchett read by Stephen Briggs
  8. The Magic of Recluce by L.E. Modesitt Jr. read by Kirby Heyborne
  9. The Death of Chaos by L.E. Modesitt Jr. read by Kirby Heyborne
  10. Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir read by Ray Porter
  11. Gideon The Ninth by Tamsyn Muir read by Moira Quirk
  12. Harrow The Ninth by Tamsyn Muir read by Moira Quirk
  13. Nona The Ninth by Tamsyn Muir read by Moira Quirk
  14. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas read by Elizabeth Evans
  15. Velveteen vs. The Junior Super Patriots by Seanan McGuire read by Alison McLemore
  16. Velveteen vs. The Multiverse by Seanan McGuire read by Alison McLemore
  17. Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes read by Julia Whelan
  18. The Thief of Time by Terry Pratchett read by Stephen Briggs

2022 Audiobooks

  1. The House In The Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune, read by Daniel Henning
  2. The Truth by Terry Pratchett, read by Stephen Briggs
  3. Hench by Natalie Zina Walschotts, read by Alex McKenna
  4. Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones, read by Kristin Atherton
  5. House of Many Ways by Diana Wynne Jones, read by Kristin Atherton
  6. Deep Secret by Diana Wynne Jones, read by Chris Webster & Harriet Carmichael
  7. The Kaiju Preservation Society by John Scalzi, read by Wil Wheaton
  8. Half-off Ragnarok by Seanan McGuire, read by Amy Finegan
  9. The Atrocity Archives by Charles Stross, read by Jack Hawkins
  10. The Jennifer Morgue by Charles Stross, read by Jack Hawkins
  11. The Fuller Memorandum by Charles Stross, read by Jack Hawkins
  12. The Apocalypse Codex by Charles Stross, read by Jack Hawkins
  13. Tell Me How You Really Feel by Aminah Mae Safi read by Aminah Mae Safi
  14. Armada by Ernest Cline read by Wil Wheaton
  15. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell read by Rebecca Lowman
  16. Welcome To Temptation by Jennifer Crusie read by Aasne Vigesaa
  17. Faking It by Jennifer Crusie read by Aasne Vigesaa
  18. Who Are Ya? by Kevin Day read by Kevin Day
  19. Book Lovers by Emily Henry read by Julia Whelan
  20. Ain’t She A Peach by Molly Harper read by Amanda Ronconi
  21. How To Date Your Dragon by Molly Harper read by Amanda Ronconi and Jonathan Davis
  22. The Last Graduate by Naomi Novik read by Anisha Dadia
  23. The Diamond Throne by David Eddings read by Greg Abby
  24. The Ruby Knight by David Eddings read by Greg Abby
  25. Gideon The Ninth by Tamsyn Muir read by Moira Quirk
  26. Harrow The Ninth by Tamsyn Muir read by Moira Quirk
  27. Nona The Ninth by Tamsyn Muir read by Moira Quirk
  28. The Golden Enclaves by Naomi Novik read by Anisha Dadia
  29. The Peripheral by William Gibson read by Lorelei King
  30. The Sirens Of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut read by Jay Snyder
  31. Feersum Endjinn by Iain M Banks read by Peter Kenny
  32. Made In Scotland by Billy Connolly read by Gordon Kennedy
  33. Record Play Pause by Stephen Morris read by Stephen Morris