Not many halflings dream of magic. But Epik isn’t like the rest. Adventure. Excitement. He craves those things. He would rather learn magic, not follow a wizard on some fool's adventure... or so he thinks. The problem: magic is outlawed. After setting out for the city, what Epik finds in Dune All-En isn’t at all what he’d hoped. No magic. And few wizards. Luck, or something more sinister, is on the halfling's side.
A fun light read, moved quickly and it took a while to remember which character was which, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. The frequent sprinkling of puns, references to other works (LOTR, Monty Python, Terry Pratchett, Silent Bob, etc.), and the occasional odd-end footnote kept me laughing. Great book for young adults and adults alike. Looking forward to the next book!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Not too long from today, a new, highly contagious virus makes its way across the globe. Most who get sick experience nothing worse than flu, fever, and headaches. But for the unlucky one percent - and nearly five million souls in the United States alone - the disease causes "Lock In": Victims fully awake and aware, but unable to move or respond to stimulus. The disease affects young, old, rich, poor, people of every color and creed. The world changes to meet the challenge.
This book has me thinking about subliminal gender role associations and personality and behavioral expectations based on gender identification as propagated by our society. Scalzi's protagonist, Chris, has a disease which causes total paralysis, so Chris uses a robot to interact with the world (hey, it's sci-fi). Scalzi never once identifies a gender for Chris. There are two audiobook versions, one read by a woman, Amber Benson, and one by a man, Wil Wheaton. I just finished the book read by Amber; now I need to listen to the one read by Wil to see if my brain interprets the scenarios differently based on my personal subliminal gender identity associations. Isn't psychology fantastic?!
0 of 1 people found this review helpful
For the first time, HRH The Prince of Wales shares his views on how our most pressing modern challenges - from climate change to poverty - are rooted in mankind's disharmony with nature, presenting a compelling case that the solution lies in our ability to regain a balance with the world around us. With its holistic approach, this provocative and well-reasoned book takes the discussion of sustainability and climate change in a new direction.
The information presented here is not new material, but HRH Prince Charles eloquently discusses these topics seriously, respectfully, and with the assumption that we can, together, do something to fix these social-environmental problems, to restore harmony with earth and humanity. EVERYONE should listen to this book.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Fourteen-year old Sophronia is the bane of her mother's existence. More interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper etiquette at tea - and god forbid anyone see her atrocious curtsy - Mrs. Temminnick is desperate her daughter become a proper lady. She enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.
But little do Sophronia or her mother know that this is a school where ingenious young girls learn to finish all right - but it's a different kind of finishing.
A light romp through Gail Carriger's Steampunk World, circa 1858, chronologically before her Parasol Protectorate series was delightful, suitable for younger readers and adults alike. Who ever thought of a finishing school for young ladies on a dirigible? Simple plot, but a world of fun.
16 of 16 people found this review helpful
In a time long forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons off balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. As the cold returns, sinister forces are massing beyond the protective wall of the kingdom of Winterfell. To the south, the king's powers are failing, with his most trusted advisor mysteriously dead and enemies emerging from the throne's shadow.
I listened to the sample, thought, "great narrator, it sounds promising, there's been all this hype, it's gotta be a good book." But, NO. The characters are not engaging, I don't feel any connection with any of the characters, the plot is all negativity, drudgery, and hate. Honestly, what's the point? I gave up after 3 hours (I tried, I really did). Unfortunately, I purchased this too long ago to return it. It would have been nice to get my credit back - it definitely wasn't worth it. If you're still in doubt, go to your local library or bookstore and read the first chapter of the book before you decide whether to get the audiobook. The narrator is fantastic, but he simply can't make up for the persistent negativity.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Marie Tussaud has learned the secrets of wax sculpting by working alongside her uncle in their celebrated wax museum, the Salon de Cire. From her popular model of the American ambassador Thomas Jefferson to her tableau of the royal family at dinner, Marie's museum provides Parisians with the very latest news on fashion, gossip, even politics. Her customers hail from every walk of life, and word even arrives that the royals themselves are coming to see their likenesses....
I don't know where authors got this idea that writing novels in the present tense would be a good idea; traditionally, publishers required a past-tense narration. This style simply grates on my nerves too much; it feels awkward, probably since I've spent 30-something years reading books in the past tense. And I was so looking forward to listening to this book (I thoroughly enjoyed Michelle Moran's novel, Nefertiti, so was looking forward to her novel about the French Revolution). So, now I'm about to return this book. Le-sigh.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful
On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me—well, actually, my true love, Darcy O’Mara, is spending a feliz navidad tramping around South America. Meanwhile, Mummy is holed up in a tiny village called Tiddleton-under-Lovey with that droll Noel Coward! And I’m snowed in at Castle Rannoch with my bumbling brother, Binky, and sourpuss sister-in-law, Fig.
Lady Georgiana Rannoch escapes the horrid fate of spending Christmas with her step-sister's family at Castle Rannoch by attending a house party in a quaint English village instead as a Royal Family entertainer for the house guests. But as soon as she arrives, people start dying in strange accidents and she shortly begins to suspect that these accidents are really murders. Accompanied by the dashing Darcy O'Mara, Georgie sets out to solve these murders and uncovers the twelve clues to these murders. Clever and witty, with a dash of romance, Rhys Bowen weaves old English Christmas traditions and centuries-long superstitions with pre-WWII England and all of its social class upheaval to create a magical Christmas mystery that is sure to entertain. Fantastically performed by Katherine Kellgren, I quickly lost myself in the story. A Must-Listen Mystery for this Christmas season!
18 of 21 people found this review helpful
Reporter Sam Kean reveals the periodic table as it’s never been seen before. Not only is it one of man's crowning scientific achievements, it's also a treasure trove of stories of passion, adventure, betrayal, and obsession. The infectious tales and astounding details in The Disappearing Spoon follow carbon, neon, silicon, and gold as they play out their parts in human history, finance, mythology, war, the arts, poison, and the lives of the (frequently) mad scientists who discovered them.
What a great romp through the history of the discovery and application of the elemental table. Rather than teaching science and chemistry, this book tells the stories surrounding the scientists, their lives and discoveries of the elements, and other elemental-associated occurrences. If you're afraid of taking a chemistry class for fear that you won't understand the information, this is a book that opens up the history of chemistry in a way that can help you overcome your fears and potentially even enjoy taking a chemistry class. If you're a science professional, such as a teacher, this book can provide you with entertaining, informative, and humorous stories to make chemistry a much more interesting and approachable subject. And if you're simply generally interested in science (like me), this book is highly entertaining and educational. Note: After listening to this book, I purchased some gallium (the "disappearing spoon" element) as a Christmas present for a family member, and we had fantastic fun playing with it.
In the near future, at a moment no one will notice, all the dazzling technology that runs our world will unite and turn against us. Taking on the persona of a shy human boy, a childlike but massively powerful artificial intelligence known as Archos comes online and assumes control over the global network of machines that regulate everything from transportation to utilities, defense and communication. In the months leading up to this, sporadic glitches are noticed by a handful of unconnected humans - a single mother, a lonely Japanese bachelor, and an isolated U.S. soldier....
It would be so nice if books that were written in nonstandard styles came with warnings of this. This book was written in the present tense, which to my ears sounds awkward and distracts from my ability to enjoy the story (and I have over 300 audiobooks in my Audible library, all of them written in the past tense, except for this one). I couldn't get past an hour of this book before I gave up. If you find present tense writing styles a bit off-putting, you may wish to avoid this book.
20 of 30 people found this review helpful
Jake Sullivan is a licensed private eye with a seriously hardboiled attitude. He also possesses raw magical talent and the ability to make objects in his vicinity light as a feather or as heavy as depleted uranium, all with a magical thought. It's no wonder the G-men turn to Jake when they need someoneto go after a suspected killer who has been knocking off banks in a magic-enhanced crime spree.
Action, intrigue, suspense, good guys vs. bad guys, dirigibles, peace rays -- this comic book style action hero novel really delivers. In an alternate 1920's universe, some people have special powers: Heavies (gravity manipulators), brutes (strength), jumpers (space hopping, one moment here, next moment there), faders (can move through materials), torches (fire starters), cogs (inventors, brainiacs), healers, mind readers, and more. Two groups of magically enhanced humans battle for political control. Great story, lots of action, excellent character development, I'm looking forward to the next book in the series.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful