Review: Rites of Passage by Mike Brooks

Rites of PassageAuthor: Mike Brooks
Series: Lady Chettamandey #1, Warhammer 40,000
Publisher: Games Workshop/Black Library
Released: March 17th, 2020
Received: NetGalley
Rating: 4 kitties

I received a copy of Rites of Passage through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Rites of Passage is the first novel in the Lady Chettamandey series by Mike Brooks. It also fits into the world of Warhammer 40,000, which should give you an idea of how much material it’s going to have to work with.

Lady Chettamandey is recently widowed. She’s also a Navigator, and an exceptionally talented one at that. Her talent doesn’t stop there, as she’s also a quick mind and mind – meaning that she’s got loads of plans for the Navigator House Brobantis. Namely, she wants to take charge.

But that was all before the disaster. Now she’ll be content simply to save her people. And her planet. For there is a dark plan happening, one that involves using the warp as a weapon. Her unique skillset has put her at the forefront of this latest battle.

“It seems we’re in agreement, then. I also don’t wish to die a horrible, painful death, Tekoa, and I need your help to ensure that both of us, along with anyone we’ve ever loved, can avoid that.”

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Review: The Mysterious Study of Doctor Sex by Tamsyn Muir

The Mysterious Study of Doctor SexAuthor: Tamsyn Muir
Series: The Locked Tomb
Publisher: Tor.com
Released: June 4th, 2020
Received: Free Through Tor.com
Rating: 4 kitties

The Mysterious Study of Doctor Sex is a short story by Tamsyn Muir that fits into the world of The Locked Tomb (the series that created Gideon the Ninth). You can read it for free through Tor.com, and if you’re a fan of the series, it is absolutely worth it.

This story takes place in Sixth House, following two characters that we have not had enough opportunities to read about – Palamedes Sextus and Camilla Hect. The twist? They’re only thirteen here, hard as it may be to picture them at that age.

Here they are about to embark on one of their earliest adventures – entering the sealed office of Donald Sex. Yes, feel free to joke all you like about that, these two probably won’t judge you for it.

“It’s always necromancers who get all startled about dying.”

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from The Mysterious Study of Doctor Sex, it’s that I need to see more from Sixth House. I especially need to see more of Palamedes and Camilla. Seriously, can I have more?

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this short story, but I can tell you with complete honestly that it isn’t this. This was a surprisingly hilarious adventure from Sixth House, all while giving readers a chance to see a bit more of the necromancers world.

It was refreshing, in that sense. Sixth House has a different focus, and even different values, from Ninth House. It’s something I knew, but never really thought much about. Not until now, at any rate. Not I can’t seem to stop thinking about that.

I cannot say this enough: if you’re a fan of Gideon the Ninth (and Harrow the Ninth): read this short story. You won’t regret it.

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Review: A Single Light by Tosca Lee

A Single LightAuthor: Tosca Lee
Series: The Line Between #2
Publisher: Howard Books
Released: September 17th, 2019
Received: NetGalley
Rating: 4 kitties

I received a copy of A Single Light through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

A Single Light is the second novel in Tosca Lee’s The Line Between series. A Single Light is a dystopian thriller, and it’s as chilling and memorable as you might expect. This is where Tosca Lee excels in writing. And here’s hoping we’ll see more of it.

The country has been ravaged by disease. Wynter and Chase took to living in an underground bunker in order to avoid the worst of it. But even with the dark lives they once lived, they were not prepared for what they found when they came back up top.

What follows is a true dystopian novel, as Wynter and Chase desperately search for medicine in a destroyed wasteland that was once their home. And they must race against the clock in order to find this medicine – before it’s too late for their friend.

 

“I miss the sky. The feel of wind – even when it carries the perfume of a neighboring pasture. The smell of coming rain.”

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Review: Spencer & Locke

Spencer & LockePublisher: Action Comics
Author: David Pepose
Artist: Jorge Santiago Jr.
Warnings: Child abuse, murder, kidnapping, sexual abuse
Rating: 4 1/2 kitties

Spencer & Locke is a graphic novel miniseries that you don’t want to miss out on. It follows Detective Locke and his ally – an imaginary panther named Spencer. This series takes elements that worked so wonderfully in Calvin & Hobbs, and it twists them into something darker and foreboding.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started this. I knew I was interested – the concept alone caught my attention. But I don’t think I was prepared for what I got. It was dark and disturbing, but also brilliantly written.

I’m glad that they’re doing another miniseries involving these characters because I honestly can’t get enough.

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Review: Fireborn by Katie MacAlister

FirebornAuthor: Katie MacAlister
Series: Born Prophecy #1
Publisher: Fat Cat Books
Released: April 19th, 2018
Received: NetGalley
Rating: 3 kitties

I received a copy of Fireborn through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Fireborn is the first novel in a new series by Katie MacAlister, called the Born Prophecy. Obviously, with a title such as that, you just know that this is going to be an epic series. It’s a fantasy series, though a lighthearted one that is full to the brim of action, adventure, and some fighting.

Two ancient races are setting up to do battle – it’s the sort of fight that will ruin or alter the world as we know it. And three young characters are stuck in the middle of it all. Allegria, Hallow, and Deo.

Allegria was raised to devote herself to her goddess. But all she’s ever really wanted in life was a chance for adventure. And to really get to use her powers for something good, rather than being constantly forced to hide it.

Hallow was an apprentice before he lost his master. Now he’s been pulled into this mess alongside everybody else, all thanks to what his master once knew. But he’s a born and bred leader, even if he doesn’t know it.

Deo holds the weight of a prophecy on his shoulders. He’s also the son of two monarchs, which surely just adds to the weight he’s been forced to bear. All things considered, he’s bearing the weight well. But he isn’t exactly following the path expected of him either.

 

“We will do what we always do. We will prepare. We will defend what is ours. And we will surive.”

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Review: The Empire of Gold by S.A. Chakraborty

The Empire of Gold
Author: S.A. Chakraborty
Series: The Daevabad Trilogy #3
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Release: June 30th
Received: Edelweiss
Rating: 5 Stars

I received a copy of The Empire of Gold in exchange for a fair and honest review.

The Empire of Gold is the third and final novel in S.A. Chakraborty’s Daevabad Trilogy. All things considered – I am not emotionally prepared to see this series end. Yet all good things must come to an end, yes?

After the events of The Kingdom of Copper, it is safe to assume that Daevabad is fallen. Yet there’s still a chance that it can be saved. Especially if Nahri, Ali, and Dara all work to achieve exactly that.

Unfortunately, the battles have only truly begun, with new (older) players entering the field, and long-held prejudices and pain taking dominance over everything else, including common sense and decency.

This should probably go without saying, but if you haven’t read the first two books in the Daevabad Trilogy, you should do so first. You should also probably avoid all reviews of the final book in the series until you’ve done so – just in case.

“The storybook world of Daevabad was gone, replaced, and Cairo’s mosques and fortresses and old brick buildings were hazy in the distance, heat shimmering off the surrounding desert and flooded fields.”

Spoiler Warning

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Review: Scarlet Odyssey by C.T. Rwizi

Scarlet OdysseyAuthor: C.T. Rwizi
Series: Scarlet Odyssey #1
Publisher: 47 North
Released: July 1st, 2020
Received: Review Request
Warnings: Animal death, rape, graphic eye injury
Rating: 4 1/2 kitties

I received a copy of Scarlet Odyssey in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Scarlet Odyssey is simultaneously the debut novel of C.T. Rwizi, and the first novel in a series of the same name. It is a world full of wonders, magic, expansive characters, and the dangers that can come with power.

This is a tale of heroes and mystics. Of misfits and rulers. Featuring four unique and diverse characters, Scarlet Odyssey introduces us to a world that is wonderfully complex and fantastical. In this world, it is the women who handle magic, while the men handle everything pertaining to war.

There are always exceptions to the rules. Salo has always craved to become a mystic, even if the rest of his village considers him deviant and a coward because of it. Likewise, Ilapara left her village in order to give herself a chance at becoming the warrior her heart always knew she could be.

Isa is a princess, one who never imaged she’d be put in charge of her entire people someday. But life has other plans, and thanks to the scheming of others, she’s all her people have left. Now she must stave off disaster.

Kelafelo is the last character to discuss, and her story is one of mystery. And pain. Hers is a journey vital to this story, and yet there’s no hiding from the bloodshed or pain she experienced.

“Not one minute inside the krall, and I’m already wishing I could run off.”

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Review: The Kinder Poison by Natalie Mae

The Kinder PoisonAuthor: Natalie Mae
Series: The Kinder Poison #1
Publisher: Penguin Teen
Released: June 16th, 2020
Received: BookishFirst
Rating: 4 kitties

I revived a copy of The Kinder Poison in exchange for a fair and honest review.

The Kinder Poison is the debut novel of Natalie Mae, and it is has been marketed as perfect for fans of Victoria Aveyard and Holly Black. Being a fan of theirs, and having read this book; I can tell you that this is completely fair.

Zahru only wanted an adventure, is that too much to ask? Unfortunately, Whisperers like her don’t get many opportunities for adventure. So when her best friend came up with a plan to get them both into the palace to witness a spectacular event, she was stupid enough to turn it down.

One thing led to another, and now Zahru is on that adventure she always hoped for, and it is nothing like what she expected. The stakes are high, and the cost even higher. Yet she is exactly where she needs to be.

“All good stories start with bad decisions.”

Spoiler Warning

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Review: Repo Virtual by Corey J. White

Repo VirtualAuthor: Corey J. White
Publisher: Tor.com
Released: April 21st, 2020
Received: NetGalley
Rating: 4 kitties

I received a copy of Repo Virtual through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Repo Virtual is the latest novel to come out of the mind of Corey J. White, and it is a piece of speculative fiction involving augmented realities, heists, and sentient software.

Julius Dax survives in a world of technology and danger by maintaining two jobs. One involves him repossessing ships online, and the other? Well, let’s just say that in the real world, he’s a bit of a thief. You do what you have to do to survive, right?

That’s where this story begins. A heist has been dropped in his lap, courtesy of his estranged sibling. Naturally, that means that things are about to go to hell, but the adventure will certainly change JD’s life forever.

“Kali wrote a piece of software that will change the world but someone stole it from her. All you’ve got to do is steal it back.”

Spoiler Warning

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Review: I Left The House Today!

I Left the House Today!Author: Cassandra Calin
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
Release: June 2nd, 2020
Received: NetGalley
Rating: Kitty Rating

I received a copy of I Left The House Today! In exchange for a fair and honest review.

Yes! It’s time for another graphic novel by Cassandra Calin, and I could not be more excited! Not only do I love her work (and style), but I feel like I Left The House Today! Couldn’t have come at a better (or more ironic) time.

I Left The House Today! Is all about little day to day events, but told in that comical way that I’ve come to love and expect from Cassandra Calin. Her character is so cute and quirky, and so completely relatable.

That is one of the many reasons I adore her comics so much. Other reasons include her tone and the fact that she’s willing to cover just about anything through her comics. Okay, the subtext (maintaining a healthy outlook on life – and about yourself) is also very much appreciated.

I would have loved this collection no matter what if I’m being honest. The little jokes here and there about a quirky girl going about her life, dealing with the daily stuff in absurdly cute ways. It’s all perfect. But the timing is what made me love it more than ever. Anybody stuck at home right now during social isolation probably knows exactly what I’m talking about here. It’s a ray of sunshine – a reminder of what it will be like once again when we can all leave our houses. But seriously, I know that the timing wasn’t planned, even so, it was so delightful to have something that made me smile so much.

Now onto the artwork itself! I love Cassandra Calin’s style. She’s capable of both incredibly detailed drawings, as well as quick little sketches. Both of them come to play in her series, but usually, she’s found this perfect balance between the two. It’s both endearing and amusing, and thus perfect for the character she has brought to the page.

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