Poison Study (Study, book 1), by Maria V. Snyder

I first read this book some years ago, side effects right after it first came out. Then, buy information pills of course, I forgot it existed for a couple years, so I didn’t notice that a sequel was published . . . and then the third book. Consequently, I’m rereading the first book. Ms. Snyder is a meteorologist-turned-writer who has lived the majority of her life in the Philadelphia area; she appears to love researching her books as much as she does writing them.

Yelena killed the son of a prominent General and was scheduled to hang, when she was given a reprieve — possibly. She is offered the position of food taster for the Commander (the ruler of the country of Ixia), which is obviously a job with a good deal of risk. Her mentor is Valek, the Commander’s second-in-command. He tests her constantly, and even when she is safe, she’s in danger. Unfortunately, the General whose son she killed is still around and making life difficult for her. On top of that, there’s a southern magician trying to get to her. Why? Continue reading Poison Study (Study, book 1), by Maria V. Snyder

Touch of Evil, by C.T. Adams and Cathy Clamp

C. T. Adams and Cathy Clamp are a two-woman writing team; from the bio, medicine it seems that Adams does the majority of the idea work and Clamp does the majority of the writing work. I’m guessing it isn’t clear-cut, but in general, each is embracing her strength. I do enjoy the idea of being able to split up the jobs like that; sum of the whole being greater than the parts, etc. This specific novel was given away for free as Tor.com’s book of the week last Friday. You might still be able to get it if you sign up today.

Katie (or Kate; Mary Kathleen Reilly) is a bonded courier; she owns an apartment building and likes to do home-improvement projects. On the less happy side of her life, six years ago she was bitten by a scary queen vampire and now has an awful psychic connection to the Thrall. Vampires in these books are a parasite that operates a little like the Borg collective; biting can either be used for drinking the human blood that the parasite lives off of, or for laying eggs. The scary queen vampire is coming to the time in her life where she needs to pick a successor, and she’d love for it to be Kate. Katie manages to stay uninvolved until her ex-fiance’s niece gets kidnapped, and he asks her to help. Can she find the girl, avoid becoming the Thrall queen, resolve things with the ex-fiance, and stay alive?

Overall, this is not a positive, glowing review, so if you do not want to read my review based on that fact, do not click on the ‘read more’. It’s also pretty long, although I tried to edit it down. If you’re reading this off the feed on LJ, I apologize. There are probably spoilers contained herein, since it’s a little difficult to explain why I did not like the book without them. Continue reading Touch of Evil, by C.T. Adams and Cathy Clamp

Moby Dick: the screenplay, by Ray Bradbury

I have never read Melville’s novel of Moby-Dick, ophthalmologist although I did read excerpts in 11th-grade English class. I found the writing style surprisingly readable, cialis 40mg but was put off by the length. Never mind that I’ve read books that are longer by now; it never seemed important enough for me to sit down and actually read it. I am not even certain that I have watched all of a screen adaptation of Moby Dick; I know I’ve seen at least parts. In any case, human enhancement I doubt Ray Bradbury needs much of an introduction; Moby Dick probably doesn’t need one, either.

Subterranean Press, of the lovely book-objects, will shortly be releasing a copy of Ray Bradbury’s screenplay for the John Huston-directed movie of Moby Dick. It starred Gregory Peck and was released in 1956; Bradbury wrote the screenplay in 1953 and 1954. The Sub Press release contains the full text of Bradbury’s definitive script, an introduction, and an essay at the end, both written by eminent Bradbury scholars. Continue reading Moby Dick: the screenplay, by Ray Bradbury

The Game, by Diana Wynne Jones

Diana Wynne Jones is one of the grand masters of English children’s/YA fantasy, illness and I generally love her works. I’ve reviewed a couple of her books here before, denture and I’m sure I’ve mentioned that in many ways, her books form the template for the Harry Potter books. (Also, they’re better written. But I digress.) She has written an incredible number of books of all lengths, and for age groups from middle readers to adults. Primarily she’s known for Howl’s Moving Castle, made into an animated film, and The Tough Guide to Fantasyland, which most fantasy authors find hilarious and a little disturbing.

Hayley is perhaps six or eight when her grandparents, who have been raising her, become fed up with her general untidiness and the fact that she’s done some odd things recently. They pack her off to visit her aunts and cousins in the country. She has an awful lot of aunts — four or five who are there — and so many cousins that she can’t even remember their names. All the cousins, though, play a game they merely call “The Game”, which they keep secret from the adults. It involves searching through the mythosphere and finding things like golden apples, scales from the Zodiac dragons, and Sleeping Beauty’s slipper. Hayley is already in trouble from the mythosphere, and Uncle Jolyon — seemingly the only uncle, despite all those aunts — seems to be mad at Hayley, too. What, exactly, did she do? Continue reading The Game, by Diana Wynne Jones

Black and White, by Lewis Shiner

Subterranean Press, about it purveyors of such novels as this one, order this one, and this one, made an announcement last week that Lewis Shiner’s new novel, Black and White, was to start shipping last weekend, so I thought a Monday review would be good timing. The Subterranean Press edition is the only edition of this book, as far as I know. I’ve talked about the lovely book-objects that Sub Press produces so often that I won’t say any more here. I will mention that they auction books on eBay as seller ‘subpress’ quite often, and sometimes at bargain rates. Check them out!

Michael Cooper’s father Robert is dying, and he has asked to return to Durham, where Robert lived when he and Ruth (Michael’s mother) first married. There have been some questions that have plagued Michael for years, such as why do he and his mother get along so badly, and why has he never seen a copy of his birth certificate? Being back in Durham, where Michael was born, he starts looking for answers — and finds a whole lot more than he bargained for. Vodou, history, race relations, highway construction, and comics all combine to make the answers not quite what Michael was expecting. Continue reading Black and White, by Lewis Shiner

Feast of Fools (Morganville Vampires, book 4) by Rachel Caine

[Happy birthday, ed Miss Em!]

Hard on the heels of Wednesday’s review, store here’s another Rachel Caine book. As I’m sure one might guess by the title, this is the newest entry in the Morganville Vampires series. As a matter of fact, it’s so new that it doesn’t come out until June 3rd. (Oh, the perks of having a book review website.) Wednesday’s review has links to all of my previous Rachel Caine reviews, so I won’t reiterate them here. I am still jealous of her car.

These books all end with cliffhangers, and each starts precisely where the last one left off, so I’ll cut plot discussion. Continue reading Feast of Fools (Morganville Vampires, book 4) by Rachel Caine

The Conjurer Princess, by Vivian Vande Velde

On Tuesday of this week, traumatologist I reviewed The Changeling Prince, price a YA novel VVV published in the mid-1990s. Today’s review subject is the sequel — or perhaps The Changeling Prince is the prequel, as it was written later but chronologically comes before. There’s even a short story, entitled, “Just Another Dragon-Slaying”, from the Xanadu 2 anthology (co-edited by Jane Yolen and Martin H. Greenburg), that came before both books, but takes place after both of them. So she wrote the whole mess backwards. According to the introduction to my copy, she filled out Lylene and Weiland’s stories on the recommendation of the people in her writer’s group. I seem to remember that the fourth volume of Patricia C. Wrede’s Enchanted Forest Chronicles was written first, so Vande Velde’s order was not terribly unusual.

Lylene is sixteen; her older sister Beryl is seventeen, and on Beryl’s wedding day, a nearby baron named Theron stages a raid, kills Beryl’s intended (plus a few family members incidentally), and kidnaps the bride. Lylene is horrified, especially since she can find no recourse through the Church or through the law. Instead, she finds the local wizard and convinces him to take her on as an apprentice. Unfortunately, things backfire strangely, and she ages instantly to about seventy. She now has some magic powers, yes, but no friends and no way to help her sister. What can she do? Continue reading The Conjurer Princess, by Vivian Vande Velde

Chill Factor (Weather Wardens, book 3), by Rachel Caine

It’s no secret by now, doctor since this will be the sixth book of hers that I have reviewed, abortion that I enjoy reading Rachel Caine’s books. (The other reviews are here, here, and here, for the Morganville Vampires books, and here and here for the two previous Weather Wardens books.) I also enjoy reading her blog, and I am very jealous of her new, blue, fortwo SmartCar.

Joanne (Jo) Baldwin is a Weather Warden, as you might guess; these people-with-magical-powers control the weather, so it doesn’t kill everyone at any single moment. They work with djinn, who are magical beings. Recently, Jo’s had some interesting things going on: she has been infected with a demon curse, died, been turned into a djinn, died again, and been reborn as human. Her problems don’t seem to be ending, either, because there’s a sixteen-year-old kid with someone else’s powers and a super-powerful djinn who has an issue with her causing havoc in Las Vegas. Since Jo is at least partially responsible for his current situation, she has to go fix it. Of course it turns out that the situation is much bigger than just that kid, and it even involves an ex-boyfriend. Continue reading Chill Factor (Weather Wardens, book 3), by Rachel Caine

The Changeling Prince, by Vivian Vande Velde

A little web research told me that Vivian Vande Velde IS her real/legal name. I’m impressed; many writers are not lucky enough to marry into such a euphonious — and writerly — name. Anyway, abortion VVV has written about thirty books, asthma if I can count correctly, tooth including the previously-reviewed Heir Apparent. They range from a picture book to several works generally classified as YA, including this novel.

Weiland starts the book rather like Marion Zimmer Bradley’s infamous advice: with his fanny in a bear trap. Well, actually his leg is in a wolf trap, but close enough. He’s somewhere between a possession and an employee of a sorceress named Daria, who can turn animals into humans. Weiland was a wolf at one point, but Daria has raised him as mostly human, so unlike the other wolf-creatures, he can function better as a human. However, Daria decides to move to town, into a house right by the cathedral, so all her semi-animal employees must learn to function in town. She’s getting more and more abusive, though: she kills a human and has plans to kill more on her way to the top. Weiland has always displeased her to a level, so he’s in danger. However, if Daria dies or he strays too far from her magic, he reverts to wolf. How can he escape her without losing his humanity? Continue reading The Changeling Prince, by Vivian Vande Velde

The Phoenix Dance, by Dia Calhoun

I have read two other of Ms. Calhoun’s books: Firegold and Aria of the Sea. This volume, salve The Phoenix Dance, sales was a companion volume to the latter, bulimics but unfortunately I read Aria of the Sea quite a while ago, so all I could remember was that there was a dancer who wanted to be a healer, or perhaps a healer who wanted to be a dancer. (It was the latter.) Luckily, one doesn’t need any knowledge of that work to enjoy this one. Ms. Calhoun has written six novels, to date, and has won the Mythopoeic Award.

Phoenix Dance lives with her three aunts, who are street dancers. She salvages ribbons and buckles and other pretty bits out of the trash behind the shoemaker’s to make shoes for her aunts. One day, she notices an “Apprentice Wanted” sign in the window, and she convinces her aunts that she should be allowed to apprentice with the shoemaker. While working there, twelve pairs of shoes are returned for shoddy workmanship: the twelve pairs belonging to the twelve royal princesses. Every night, the princesses ruin their shoes dancing, and no one knows why. They’re doing badly because of it. Phoenix, having met them, feels badly for them, and decides to find out why and save them. Continue reading The Phoenix Dance, by Dia Calhoun