Review: Farewell to Summer by Lazette Gifford

Devlin has arrived on Summer where she expects to do nothing more than keep watch over Cha and Dancer. However, even before the two arrive, she’s found trouble of a different kind. Even though the people of Summer are leaving as the world begins a long, inhospitable descent into winter, there’s still time for deceit, lies and murder.

She has other news for Cha and Dancer as well, and she’s not really certain how well they’ll like her new plans.



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5 Fantasy and Urban Fantasy authors you should read

The theme for the latest Mind Meld is Up and coming authors in the last 5 years, which is a great topic, and I plan to read some of the authors on it. Except when I read it, I thought: What about the midlisters, or the new authors that are writing good books but are published by small presses? So here is my list, of authors that should be among the up and coming authors. And if you have read my blog for awhile, none of them should come as any surprise. 🙂

James Hetley/ James Burton:

James Hetley/ James Burton is one of those authors I feel that everyone should read. I picked up his books years ago, and I was hooked from the start. His books should be in every readers library, especially now that Urban Fantasy is so popular. The characters are intriguing, the settings have a unique feeling, and the plots are filled with unexpected twists.

Kari Sperring:

I love Kari Sperring’s Fantasy novels.They are set in an fascinating world that is unique, yet are familiar enough that the reader connect to the world. The characters are fascinating, and a refreshing change from the characters in most fantasy novels. They aren’t necessarily fastpaced, but they are paced so that they slowly pulls you in, and when you finish the book you are craving the next one.

Lazette Gifford:

I am Fantasy lover, and it was through Fantasy I first discovered Lazette Gifford. Her fantasy novels are good, but it isn’t her fantasy novels that I buy in bulk. It is the Science Fiction, since I love all the care and details that she puts into her worlds. From the landscape, to the cultures she creates. The characters is interesting, and the plots are fast paced and well written.

      Misty Massey:

Misty Massey is one of those authors that hook you with one book, and then you are waiting impatiently for the next one. I have only read Mad Kestrel once, which was years ago, but I can still remember the intriguing world, the chase across the seas, the unexpected plot twists, and the characters that were fascinating.


Chrysoula Tzavelas:

I am a diehard Chrysoula Tzavelas fan. Anything with her name on it, I buy it. Which is an impressive feat, considering that she has only released two books, with a third coming in November. Her Urban Fantasy novels are a refreshing change from the Urban Fantasy novels that I normally read. ( And having read Infinity Key, I can say it rocks. If it is possible, I plan to coordinate my review with the Kickstarter.)

Friday Bargains: Mostly YA and Dystopians

Note: This time all the links go to Kobo, but I am sure that they are available at Kindle and BN as well. Except for With a bang, which is Kobo exclusive at moment.

Shadows by Jennifer Armentrout is free right now.  This is a prequel novella, but I have heard that to avoid confusion, it is best to read book 1 Obsidian first. And Obsidian happens to be only 2.99 right noq.

Endurance by Ann Aguirre is 0.99 right now. This is a novella, and it is possible that this is the standard price.

Enclave by Ann Aguirre is 2.99 right now.

Shadow by Amanda Summer is free right now from Harlequin Teen.

The Babel Codex by Alex Archer is free right now. I liked the Annja Creed novels I read a couple of years ago ( Although the Scandinavian in me thinks her name should be spelled Anja.)

Not YA, but Maria E Schneider just released  With a Bang, a dystopian Short Story that is free.

Oh, and Kobo have two 50% off codes right now, both  expires at the end of Sept:

B2S50 ( single use)
Sept50 – expires end September ( Multiple Uses!!)







Review: Second Star by Dana Stabenow

The Particulars:  Science Fiction,  Gere Donovan Press, available as e-book and in print

The Source: Free read from the author’s webpage

The Grade: C+

The Blurb:

Esther “Star” Svensdotter’s job is overseeing the completion of the American Alliance’s first O’Neill cylinder — a massive space hab capable of supporting thousands of colonists. It’s just weeks away from commissioning, and she’ll be damned if Luddite terrorists, squabbling bureaucrats, military takeovers or rogue AIs will stand in the way. Frontier justice on Ellfive sometimes involves an airlock — you don’t want to be on the wrong side of justice. Or the wrong side of Star Svensdotter.

The review:

I downloaded this from the author’s webpage when she offered it as a free read a couple of years ago. ( I think she still does, in fact.) For a number of reasons, it took me a long time to get around to reading it. Until recently when I was in the mood for Science Fiction, and decided to read this.


Over all, I liked it even if I didn’t love it.

Star, the main character, was pragmatic but she wasn’t ruthless. She ruled Ellfive with a firm hand, and the descisions she made was based on the good for the space station. It was intresting to see her interact with her department heads, and the friendship that was between them.


One aspect that I really liked was that they were working towards commissioning Ellfive, and that it meant that they would soon be out of jobs. I never see that aspect being explored in other genres.

The world that novel the place in felt believable. When I read about the life at Ellfive, it almost felt like I was there. I was visiting the man made gardens, I walked down the hallways. I really liked that it wasn’t peaceful. There were both tension between Earth and Ellfive, and jealousy from other space stations.


I really liked how that tension was woven into a twisty plot that gradually pulls the reader in. I liked how when things seemed to finally go well for Star, the stakes twisted and increased. But in the end, the plot twists wrapped up all the treads, and Star’s life had changed drastically.

All in all, it was a well written novel, and an intriguing start to a new series, but I didn’t fell in love with it. So the grade is C+.

Review: Devlin’s team: File One: Dancer by Lazette Gifford:

The Particulars: Science Fiction, ACOA, available as e-book.
The Source: Smashwords
The Grade: C+
The Blurb:
Devlin is a top agent for the Inner Worlds Council Security force — a spy in common terms — and she’s not very happy with an assignment to the backwater world of Forest. Settled by the Work for Man fanatics, the government has restricted not only the use of tech equipment but also regulate nearly every aspect of life for the small population. The settlement is boring and the people don’t like outsiders.

There is one anomaly, though: The brutal show known as bear dancing pits a human against a native life form. Devlin’s work is to learn about the show and report what she can about the bears themselves because there is suddenly outside interest.

The people involved in the bear dance are secretive. She’s gathered all the information she thinks she can, and she’s ready to move on. However, when a top-ranking scientist arrives on world, Devlin thinks she might be able to pick up a little bit more information.

And that’s something the locals fear.

The Review:
After reading Singer and St Jude I wanted to read more of Lazette Gifford’s science fiction, so I decided to make use of the Smashwords sale, and purchase this one. I am glad I did. Once again Lazette Gifford delivered.
The planet Forest felt refreshing. The worldbuilding felt solid, yet innovative. From the treedogs who preyed on the unwary, to the Bears that lived in the forest surrounding the settlements.
More than the world, the culture in the settlement fascinated me. I haven’t read many science fiction books were the rulers strives too keep the planet as primitive as possible. I’ll admit that fascinated me.
The plot was intriguing. I liked reading about Devlin and Cha’s search for the truth. I’ll admit that I was as fooled as they were, thinking that Forest is a backwater world, with no secrets. Nothing could be more wrong. I enjoyed how the sense of danger gradually increased until the end.
I liked the characters. I liked how there was a clear conflict between Devlin, Cha and Dancer who wanted things put to right, and the leaders of the Bear camp who wanted to keep things as they were.
What pulled down the grade from a solid B to a C was the typos.  There wasn’t a lot of typos, but the ones that were was enough to annoy me. I suspect that I will fix them, if I have the time and energy later. I know that no book is perfect, but to me this book showed the importance of a proof reader.

Review :Grimspace by Ann Aguirre

The Particulars:  Science Fiction, Ace,  available in print and as e-book.
Source:  Library book
The Grade:  C+
The Blurb:
By all accounts, Sirantha Jax should have burned out years ago…

As the carrier of a rare gene, Jax has the ability to jump ships through grimspace—a talent which cuts into her life expectancy, but makes her a highly prized navigator for the Corp. But then the ship she’s navigating crash-lands, and she’s accused of killing everyone on board. It’s hard for Jax to defend herself: she has no memory of the crash.

Now imprisoned and the subject of a ruthless interrogation, Jax is on the verge of madness. Then a mysterious man breaks into her cell, offering her freedom—for a price. March needs Jax to help his small band of rogue fighters break the Corp monopoly on interstellar travel—and establish a new breed of jumper.

Jax is only good at one thing—grimspace—and it will eventually kill her. So she may as well have some fun in the meantime…

The Review:
What I liked: 
I had heard a lot of good things about Ann Aguirre, but I had never read any of her books.  When I discovered that the library had it, I decided to take a chance.   I rarely read Science Fiction, but the book hooked me.   It was a mix between a compelling plot, and a rich worldbuilding that made me like it.  The plot starts with a bang, and it doesn’t slow down.  I liked how Jax had second thoughts several times, and that the others accepted it, and didn’t push her.  During the novel Jax grows a lot, and I must admit that I like the woman she is at the end better than the woman she is at the beginning of the novel.  I also liked how all the characters had flaws and scars that they struggled with.  
Over the whole story was a layer of desperation, which had several sources. From Jax fear that she was close to burning out to the need to escape the bad guys, this enchanced the story for me.
What I didn’t like:

Even though the story had a lot of things that I liked, there were a few things I didn’t like.  I didn’t like March, he felt cold too me.  The reasons were explained in the books, but I didn’t like him.  Also, I didn’t like the romantic subplot between Jax and March.  I do understand that Jumpers crave touch, but  the whole subplot felt tacked on.

Review: Ada Nish Pura by Lazette Gifford

The Particulars:  Science Fiction, Smashwords, e-book
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Buy at: Smashwords
The Blurb:

Fighter Pilot Marcus Trevor is the only survivor of a treacherous attack against the star ship on which he served. Injured and alone, he must take refuge on the world of Kailani, a place of vast stretches of water and where a large portion of the population is genetically adapted to living in the sea.
With the enemy taking over this mineral rich world, Marcus must workwith the locals while waiting for help to return. And it is here that he learns the true meaning of civilization and honor.

My impression;

Lazette Gifford has quickly become one of my favorite authors. By picking up one of her books, I know I’ll get a good story.   This book is Science Fiction, unlike the previous books I have read by her.  The world is water dominated. It was fascinating to read how the species had adapted to the water.   The plot was a bit slow at times, but I liked it.  The slower pace made it possible to enjoy the world.     
The Seaborn and the Isu were suspicious towards Marcus in the beginning, which was logical. They had had bad experiences with the IWC.  I loved how they used the rebels ignorance about the world to fight against the rebels.   And the characters felt like human beings, with good and bad sides.  During the book all of them suffered somehow. They fought to save their culture, to survive.    
The end was satisfying, and tied up all the lose threads.

It is Part of Smashwords sale, so go and pick it up! At 0.99 it is a bargain.

Review: The Atrocity Archives by Charles Stross

The Atrocity Archives by Charles Stross

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
The Particulars: The Atrocity Archives by Charles Stross, Ace, Available as e-book and in Print.
                                   The Review:

The Atrocity Archives (The Laundry, #1)
Bob Howard is a computer-hacker desk jockey, who has more than enough trouble keeping up with the endless paperwork he has to do on a daily basis. He should never be called on to do anything remotely heroic. But for some reason, he is.

My impressions:

I rarely read Science Fiction, but I have been eyeing Charles Stross books for awhile. So, when he attended Eurocon I decided to buy one of his books. Do I regret it? No. This is an interesting melding between Science Fiction and Fantasy. The story was fast paced, with a lot of twists and turns. I loved the dry wit in it. But, despite this it felt slow at times. Why? There is a lot of information crammed into it. There is a lot of history, acronyms, not to mention the Laundry’s internal structure. Yes, the information is necessary for the story, but I felt that it slowed it down. Still, it didn’t stop me from picking it up and keep reading. Will I read the next book? Probably. I like the idea of the Laundry, and besides, Charles Stross is a nice guy.

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