Sunday, August 20, 2017

Falcon Wild by Terry Lynn Johnson

Karma found a falcon that had been raised by a human but was lost.  She saved it from death and then worked on training it.  She was very proud of it and used it at demonstrations on how the birds of prey are not as dangerous as they look.  Life was going well and she was hoping to train it to hunt for her when it suddenly injures her during a demonstration.  The worst part is that the previous owner has contacted the family and wants his bird back.  After the injury, her parents decide the bird's going back...

Charlesbridge and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published September 19th.

Karma is very upset but she knows she can't keep someone else's bird.  She has plans to plead for it when they get there.  Her father and little brother head out with her for the Canadian border.  It's a boring, long trip and she sleeps a bit on the way.  When they stop for gas and some munchies, she sees a young hitchhiker.  She asks her father to stop and pick him up.  He doesn't act like normal and her father soon stops and tells him they aren't going his way.  To make it real, he turns at the next road.  It should connect with the highway he wants.  Unfortunately, their van blows a tire and they end up upside down in the ditch.  Her father is pinned, her brother has to stay to care for him, so Karma sets out for the highway where she will be able to get help.

What do you do when you've run out of food and water, aren't sure where you are and just keep walking hoping to find the highway?  She's lucky enough to have her bird friend with her and then she meets up with the hitchhiker again.  I admire birds of prey and learned more about them in this read.

This is tale of survival and redemption both.  It's busy, heart-wrenching and all the children involved learn they can survive on their own.  Help is always welcome, though.  And friendships can last forever.

Park Bench by Christophe Chabouté

This graphic novel is unique.  It's the story of a park bench.  There are no words, only emotions on people's faces tell their story.  We see benches everywhere.  Do you see who sits on them?

Gallery 13 and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published September 19th.

I liked the simplicity of the story and was amazed to see how much could be conveyed by actions and expressions.  This is a tribute to the bench's life and I enjoyed reading it.

It starts with a young couple, still in grade school.  He's carving a heart in the bench saying he loves her.  One man sits on it and plays music trying to make some money.  An older couple comes and sits on it and shares a pastry dessert.  A homeless man tries to sleep on it but the cop keeps running off.  Love dies and love grows all on this bench.

Reading this story is like seeing a slice of life.  Most people don't slow down enough to do that but if you did, it'd be a lot like this.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

The Crows of Beara by Julie Christine Johnson

She has just gone through rehab for drinking and is working hard on not falling back into the same rut.  Then she does something stupid and her husband finds out about it.  It's the straw that broke the camel's back.  Their marriage is ending, she's moving out, and now her job is on the hook.  Will she be able to do this promotion or will she lose her job?  What happens is she finds her soul...

Ashland Creek Press and the author sent me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  It will be published September 15th.

The story is set along a windswept coast in Ireland.  You can feel the atmosphere, the wet and cold, and the mysticism of the land.  There's a lot of history here and some of it still talks to you.

Annie goes in believing it's just a standard promotion.  The proposed copper mines would bring jobs and better economy to the island.  But there's a conflict.  It's a nesting site for the Red-billed Chough, which is an endangered species.  It's like when they found the spotted owl in Washington forests.  Loggers want to log, and environmentalists wanted to save owls.  Nobody was completely happy.  This one looks like it's going to get the same results.

Annie starts out strong and does well with her presentation.  Then she finds out the company doesn't care about the birds, doesn't want to meet with public, and that they are hot trotting the permits through.  She's pretty sure they aren't meeting all the requirements.  Soon she's at odds with them.  She backs off to regroup.  She's not sure where she's going next or what she's going to do but she has found a new love.  They both have baggage and things to work through but love is there.  

You learn a bit about Ireland, a bit about corvids, and a bit about life in this story.  I could feel the call of Ireland and the mysticism of the isle.  Annie hasn't given up yet...

Friday, August 18, 2017

Nyxia by Scott Reintgen

When Emmett is called to the principal's office, he can't figure out what he did wrong.  Why would he want to see him?  The office has other people in it and they tell him it's like he's won the lottery:  He's been chosen to go to space and mine nyxia on a world called Eden.  He doesn't know how he could win when he didn't apply but the amount of money they are offering ends any questions...

Crown Books for Young Readers and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published September 12th.

There are ten students going and they come from all over the world.  They wear a mask that translates all languages to the one you understand.  They all are poor or broken in some way.  And only eight of the two ten will be allowed to go to the planet.  It's competition all the way there.  The tests are difficult, change all the time and they have to learn how to fight each other, swim well, stay alive on the river in a boat and more.

This would make a really good movie.  There is plenty of action, lots of emotion and plenty of other worldly effects.

Once they complete the trip to the Tower, they find out there is another team up there.  Both have been trained.  The best of the best will get to go to Eden.

Injuries keep you from gaining points.  One girl even gets killed.  But they are all trying hard to win.  It doesn't take long until you realize the company is not telling them the whole truth.  Nyxia is like gold used to be but more powerful.  They want to control it.  However, I don't think they are too worried about any human losses.  This is the first book in the series and they are just getting ready to land.  The next book should be even more revealing.  I hope Emmett survives...

Thursday, August 17, 2017

An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon

Living on a space ship is like living on island.  Those with money and power live in the best sections of the ship, those who are poorer are in the outlying sections.  Even in this imaginary world, there are race issues.  Those of darker color are treated like lesser beings.

Akashic and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published October 3rd.

Aster is a healer.  She's been working with the surgeon on patients and is learning techniques for healing.  She also learns from the women in the lower sections.  They've been healing themselves for years and they grow their own herbs to do so.  Her problem is she says what she thinks without filtering it or lying and she hates being humiliated.  Fighting with the guards gets her back lashed and for a bad enough offense, she's put in solitaire for eight days with no food or water.  This is not a nice place to live.

The Sovereign Authority is one man who acts as God in this world.  He's ill, the next one to be appointed is worse and is Aster's enemy, they kill a young girl in front of Aster to show her she's marked and vulnerable, and suddenly it looks like there will be a civil war aboard the ship.

If that's not enough, Aster is still looking for her mother who disappeared when she was a baby.  They tell her she committed suicide but she doesn't know if she believes it.  She's found her journals and she's reading them.  But it's her friend who shows her the entries are in code...

This is a tense dramatic read with lots of bad things happening.  Despite that, the oppressed still have hope.  I found this an interesting read with lots of nuances.  This author takes you to her world and immerses you in the turbulent times they are living... 

Castle in the Stars: The Space Race of 1869 by Alex Alice

His mother is an adventurer and she takes off in her air balloon in search of aether.  She finds it but she loses her life...

First Second Books and Net Galley allowed me to read this graphic novel for review (thank you).  It will be published September 15th.

He and his father are deeply saddened and move on with their lives but it's not the same.  They are still working with hot air balloons.  When someone asks them to meet them in another location to get the wife's logbook, they go.  Then they find out the Prussians are after them!

Escaping takes a lot of work but escape they do.  Then they go to the Prince's castle.  He's also interested in hot air balloons and gives them an assignment.  They recognize one of the Prussians who tried to detain them as a member of the household but they can't accuse him. There's no proof.  They do create false architectural designs to throw him off. Soon there's mutiny in the castle and the only way to get away is on the air balloon...

This is first book in the series and it's entertaining.  I'll be watching for the next novel.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Bronze Skies by Catherine Asaro

Major Bhaajan is an anomaly.  She came from the Undercity, became part of the military, and has retired from that.  She is now a private eye.  She lives above in the City of Cries, but she regularly visits the Undercity.  She has a kid's club down there she's training in martial arts and her boyfriend lives there.  But the new case she picks up is going to take her places she's never been before...

Baen and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published September 5th.

This is new fantasy world set on another planet.  Earth people came there years ago and it seems there may be other beings, too.  The society that is established has evolved through the ages.  Most understand why things are what they are but they don't have to like it.  When Bhaajan is summoned by the Ruby Pharaoh and asked to find a Juggernaut, her adventures begin.  Juggernauts are not supposed to be able to kill the way this one did.  How did she do it without triggering the shut down?  And why would she kill that official?

You learn about the two cities, the underground aqueducts, the various groups in the society, and how the Pharaoh uses her mind and a computer interface to communicate in space and the powers out there.  You also find out that the Pharaoh and Bhaajan have some genetics in common.

This is full bodied story with lots of characters.  The author makes you care about them.  It's twisted tale from long ago meshed with the present.  It's good thing they have a strong leader.  And I'm glad Bhaajan survived the war.  She even admitted she loves her boyfriend.  What more could you want?