Book Review, Fantasy, Junior Fiction

Journey Beyond The Burrow by Rina Heisel

This review is on the advance copy of an unpublished work I received through NetGalley. Journey Beyond The Burrow is due for release July 13th, 2021.

Tobin, a young mouse, is a weather scout. It’s his job to be aware of signs of danger in the sky and the scents of the forest to alert his colony of upcoming bad weather. He’s also a big brother to little Talia and a baby on the way. He’s got to have all the Rules of Rodentia memorized. His mother lost a baby the year before, so a lot is weighing on his mind when a big storm approaches and knocks a tree down, creating a bridge from the other side of the river for ferocious enemies and unexpected allies alike. When Tobin’s newborn sibling is kidnapped, he embarks on a quest to save the little one.

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Book Review, Literary Fiction, Urban Fantasy

No Gods, No Monsters by Cadwell Turnbull

This review is on the advance copy of an unpublished work I received through NetGalley. No Gods, No Monsters by Cadwell Turnbull is due for release September 7th, 2021.

The title of this novel is so very appropriate, on multiple levels. It is a pun on the anarchist/activist slogan. However, when taken literally, it reads as a denial of gods and monsters. Yet we find both within the pages of this book. There is a lot going on and readers will perhaps, if not most definitely, need to read it at least twice to understand its nuances!

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Musings, On People, On Writing

Musings: Music Without a Sound

I’ve been working on preparing a display for National Poetry Month in April. Preparation entails the usual: curate books from our collection to feature, select fonts and colours and images that will help the display stand out to our patrons: plan, gather, print, cut, and paste.

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Book Review, Junior Fiction, Paranormal / Mystery, Recommended

Long Lost by Jacqueline West

This review is on the advance copy of an unpublished work I received through NetGalley. Long Lost by Jaqueline West is due for release May 11th, 2021.

I have written and re-written this review several times. Everything I say seems like a discredit to what I truly experienced reading this book. There’s something simply divine about being a girl reading a book about a girl reading a book. The story-within-a-story element of Long Lost by Jacqueline West brought me back to my childhood, hiding in a closet with A Never-ending Story, Narnia, Alice in Wonderland, a Wrinkle in Time, ect… I am certain Long Lost would rank among these as one of my favourites. I got cozy and devoured these pages. They took me to another place and time, where anything could happen.

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Book Review, Literary Fiction

The Hunter and the Old Woman by Pamela Korgemagi

This review is on the advance copy of an unpublished work I received through NetGalley. The Hunter and the Old Woman by Pamela Korgemagi is due for release August 3rd, 2021.

This was an interesting tale – it’s different than what I usually read, and I generally like different. I was drawn to this story based on the blurb, that it was about a cougar (The Old Woman) and a man named Joseph Brandt who, enchanted by the myths surrounding her, goes into the forest to seek her out.

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Book Review, Recommended, Sci-Fi

To Be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky Chambers

This. THIS is what I want out of a sci-fi. This was a saga of exploration and discovery condensed and bundled up to be presented to me in the form of a love letter. Reading it was like having a big dinner and finishing full, happy, comfortable, and sleepy. I couldn’t ask for more.

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Book Review, Sci-Fi

The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell

Hmmm… well, this one didn’t turn out to be a favourite.

The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell is about a recently-returned Jesuit priest, Emilio Sandoz, the only survivor of a first-contact mission to meet sentient alien life. There is a lot of controversy about the mission, which was apparently launched in secret and funded by the church. Communications between Earth and the alien planet Rakhat have been spotty: each transmission from Rakhat takes around 17 years to get back to Earth. So after a rescue mission picks up Emilio and sends him back, the infamous story of his becoming a prostitute and murdering a child has already preceded him.

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Book Review, Recommended, Sci-Fi

Remnant Population by Elizabeth Moon

Where do I even begin? It’s been a long time since I read a book that I loved as much as I love Remnant Population by Elizabeth Moon. The protagonist, Ofelia, is an elderly woman who has lived the majority of her adult life on an alien world as a colonial worker for Sims Bancorp, or “The Company”. She buried her husband and all but one child there. Said child, now adult son Barto, and his wife Rosara are the only family she has left. But she doesn’t get along with them; Barto is controlling and overdramatic Rosara frequently nags at her. All Ofelia wants is to be left alone to do the things she enjoys, such as tending her garden. And so, when news arrives that Sims Bancorp is uprooting the 40 year old colony to transfer them somewhere else, Ofelia hatches the plan to sneak into the surrounding native forest and get “mistakenly ” left behind.

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Musings, On Characters, On People, On Writing

Musings: Nausicaa’s Lullaby

I’ve been experimenting with a mindset that is sort of new to me. I mean, sort of. More like applying what I discovered in fictional worlds to real life. It is interesting, gotta say. One thing that Mae and I agreed when we first decided to start writing stories is that there will be no side characters. We were annoyed, growing up, to see how frequently and often carelessly creators killed off characters in their movies and books… and more often than not, en masse. “There are no side characters in real life,” Mae said. And we decided that every single character we introduce to our worlds will be well thought out and fleshed out. Some of them will only get a line or two. Some of them will stand in the background. Some of them will die before the reader gets a chance to really know them, that’s true, but every one of them is the main character of their own story and we want to reflect that, even if only subtly, in our works.

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Musings, On Animals, On Science, On Writing

Musings: If Wasps Could Dream…

The elders told Starphira that the sun was a guardian, created by the Queen to keep the Frost at bay. But, like all of her creations, it too is subject to death. The life of the sun is the shortest of all living things, for it can only survive a single work cycle. Then it succumbs to the will of the Frost and dies. When this happened, the light faded and the world became colder. It made Starphira’s body heavy and slow. The elders called it “torpor”. They said that it was only a taste of the full destruction the Frost would bring when the Hundred Years came to their close.

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