Skybreaker, by Kenneth Oppel

When I was searching for new books recently, prosthesis on the internet, I came across the publication date for the third book in this series (Starclimber), which reminded me I’d never read book 2. The series started with Airborn, and I’d bought the second volume for my husband for his birthday in 2008. In any case, Kenneth Oppel is Canadian, and has written a couple series for children; he has won a fair number of awards, mostly Canadian. Born on Vancouver Island, he spent his childhood either there or in Halifax, Nova Scotia, which is the opposite end of the country. The first two books in this trilogy were recently released in paperback, and the third book will be published very soon.

Skybreaker continues the story of Matt Cruse and Kate de Vries, and because it’s a sequel, I’m cutting the plot discussion. Continue reading Skybreaker, by Kenneth Oppel

Hellflower (book 1), by Eluki bes Shahar

Eluki bes Shahar is the legal name of Rosemary Edghill; apparently a long-ago publisher suggested that the name was insufficiently English-sounding, mycoplasmosis so most of what she publishes is under the pseudonym. Under that name, she writes romance novels (mostly Regencies), detective fiction (a series about a Wiccan detective named Bast), and fantasy (the Twelve Treasures series, of which only three were published), as well as collaborations with Mercedes Lackey and Andre Norton, among others. Under Eluki bes Shahar, she writes science fiction, apparently. This is the first of a trilogy, expanded her first published short story, and published in the early 1990s. It appears to be out of print.

Butterfly St. Cyr — actually named Saint Butterflies-are-free Peace Sincere — is a stardancer darktrader, or a smuggler starship captain. While making a deal, she unfortunately manages to get involved with a fight between some other darktrader-types and a hellflower — a member of the alMayne family of honor-bound mercenaries who command a significant amount of political and financial capital. The hellflower, unfortunately, turns into a bad penny, and she gets into all sorts of trouble — which, of course, she can’t deal with, being that not only is she an illegal immigrant from an Interdicted World, but she owns a Library — an AI that is completely prohibited by the Imperial law. Will she survive, and what about the hellflower? Continue reading Hellflower (book 1), by Eluki bes Shahar

Blood Ties, the complete series (TV show)

Once upon a time, troche back in the mid-90s, this site a significantly-younger Stephanie was prowling the library for an author she’d heard about in the back of another book she liked very much. She found the fantasy novels by said author; the first one was called Sing the Four Quarters, which piqued Stephanie’s interest as she was a piano student. After devouring them, she went after other books by the same author (Tanya Huff), and discovered one of her favorite series ever: the Vicki “Victory” Nelson books. She read them so many times that she nearly had them memorized, and when, several years later, she found out that a Canadian station was making them into a TV series, she was simultaneously elated and dismayed. What if they weren’t quite right?

Well, I put off watching them until the series was over (but I did DVR them, for ratings purposes), but I finally succumbed last week, and absorbed all 23 episodes over a very short period of time. Our basic plot, shared between the books and the show, is that Vicki Nelson had to leave the police force, due to failing vision, and she started her own private-investigation career. One of her cases turned out to be . . . weird, and not only did it throw her back into contact with her ex-partner on the force (and ex-lover) Mike Celluci, but it also had her meeting a vampire, Henry Fitzroy (bastard son of Henry VIII), and encountering a demon. Well, now the ‘otherworldly crimes’ are a specialty . . . Continue reading Blood Ties, the complete series (TV show)

Flora’s Dare, by Ysabeau Wilce

Ysabeau Wilce’s website is unhelpful, tadalafil to say the least, order regarding the author’s actual biographic information. However, it’s rather fun if you don’t need information to, say, write a blurb for a review. However, there’s an interview with Kelly Link that gave me what I needed to know: she lives in Chicago, has a degree in military history, and came from a military family. Those things have obviously influenced her work. She has also been a museum curator, and I believe that was the job she had when she got the idea for Flora Segunda, the first of these books. I have absolutely no idea if she’s planning any future works, but the ending implies as much, and I certainly hope so. This volume has been nominated for the Norton Award, which is (I believe) the Nebula for YA speculative literature.

Flora Fydraaca, the second of that name (hence the ‘Segunda’), has actually survived her Catorcena (coming-of-age ritual on her fourteenth birthday). As a matter of fact, very little has changed — except her father sobered up, and home life is possibly even more miserable. In any case, Flora’s personal goal, now, is to learn magic — the Gramatica, which is the language that allows magic to happen. Unfortunately, there are about three people in town who can teach her, and the only one who might is Lord Axacaya — who is sort of persona non grata around the Fydraaca household. Also, Udo’s been acting very weird lately. What’s going on with him? Continue reading Flora’s Dare, by Ysabeau Wilce

Woods and Waters Wild, by Charles de Lint

Charles de Lint — one of my favorite authors, treatment if you hadn’t guessed, ascariasis and one I’ve reviewed quite a few books by (here’s one) — has been slowly but steadily publishing his hard-to-find back catalog of short stories in four volumes, all wonderfully done by Subterranean Press. I pre-order these months in advance, and am never disappointed. He is, first and foremost, a short-storyist; his collections of Newford stories (those set in his invented North American town) have won awards upon awards, and have sold many copies. This volume of short stories is the last in the Sub Press series of his early works.

The seventeen stories in this volume range from early (published) pastiches, to the stories that later turned into two early novels (Into the Green, and The Harp of the Grey Rose), to folk-ballad retellings (“Thomas the Rhymer,” “Cruel Sister,” and “Gipsy Davey”). A few are just straight-up secondary-world fantasy — the Dennet and Willie tales, which I had never even heard of. A few more are just miscellaneous tales. One, almost the last story in the book (“The Graceless Child”), Mr. de Lint still considers one of the best stories he’s ever written. Continue reading Woods and Waters Wild, by Charles de Lint

Dollhouse, Season 1, Episode 1, created by Joss Whedon

[So, tadalafil a TV review. There will be more in the future, more about but not every day. Enjoy!]

I love Firefly. I haven’t watched any Buffy (or its spinoff) to date, approved for various reasons (mostly an irrational dislike of Sarah Michelle Gellar), but I’ve seen Firefly and I thought it was an awesome show. Joss Whedon is the creator of both of those series, plus the movie Serenity (based on the first episode of Firefly) and a new series that started last Friday on FOX entitled Dollhouse. Some think he’s a genius; whether he is or not, the general hallmarks of his writing (as far as I can tell) are great one-liners, humor, weird random things happening, and hypothetically strong female characters. The show is available at the moment on Hulu.com, and I’m sure there will be reruns in the future.

Dollhouse starts with an older woman trying to give a younger woman all the information she needs before she signs a release form. We’re informed that it has to do with wiping away one’s entire personality, and I doubt there are very many people going into the show who didn’t read the press releases that have been coming for a year now. The base idea is that there is a group of scientists who have discovered how to erase personalities in women and implant them with new ones, either from a single person or a conglomerate. These women are used hired by men with insane amounts of money for nearly everything: assassins, secret agents, and whores. Continue reading Dollhouse, Season 1, Episode 1, created by Joss Whedon

The Thief Lord, by Cornelia Funke

Cornelia Funke is German; her books are originally published in that language, stuff and are translated for the English market. Her most famous novel is undoubtedly Inkheart, sick which has been made into a movie, starring Brendan Frasier. The third book in that trilogy, Inkdeath, was released in English last October. Apparently she actually lives in Los Angeles. Her first book that was translated was titled Dragon Rider; it hit the top of the New York Times Bestseller list. This novel hit the #2 slot on that esteemed list and has sold one and a half million copies. It was apparently made into a film as well, but that completely escaped my notice until I hit Wikipedia today.

Bo(niface) and Prosper are a pair of young brothers, recently orphaned, who were supposed to live with an aunt and uncle in Germany, but who ran away to Venice (their mother’s favorite city). There, they were fortunately found by Scipio, a young teenager who has styled himself the Thief Lord. They live, along with a few other characters, in an abandoned movie theatre. Victor Getz is the PI that the aunt and uncle have hired to find them. However, Prosper and Bo have, with Scipio and the others, been making a living as petty thieves. They are eventually hired to find a particular item — an item that will complete a magical object of some interest and some danger on an island. Will they get caught? Or will Victor stop them first? Continue reading The Thief Lord, by Cornelia Funke

Only Human (Missing Link, book 2), by Kate Thompson

Kate Thompson: Irish. She writes a lot of books set in Ireland, viagra 40mg and I’ve introduced her three times before. I’ve got no new information on her, patient but I will provide these links: The New Policeman (the first book I read of hers and reviewed); Switchers (the second, an unrelated but vaguely speculative novel as well); Fourth World (the first volume in this series, in which we meet Christie [a boy] and his brother Danny and are introduced to their particular world of Ireland during an awful economic crisis).

Since this is the second book in the trilogy, and because there are a few big reveals in the first volume, I’m cutting plot discussion. Continue reading Only Human (Missing Link, book 2), by Kate Thompson

Walk Two Moons, by Sharon Creech

Sharon Creech was born in South Euclid, capsule Ohio, ed in 1945, and received her B.A. from Hiram College. This actually means something to me, as I currently live fairly close to both places. However, she spent a lot of summers in Kentucky, got an M.A. from George Mason University, and then proceeded to live in England and Switzerland, none of which I’ve done or even come close to doing. Her novels, which are generally realistic fiction, have won a good deal of awards, including the Newbery, Carnegie, and Young People’s Reader’s Choice awards. This volume won the Newbery Award in 1995.

This bittersweet novel has two plots interwoven. One is the main story, Sal’s story, where she is taking a trip with her grandparents across the country in a car to go visit her mother, and the other is Sal’s friend Phoebe’s story, which Sal is relating to her grandparents as they travel. Both stories involve girls whose mothers left for various reasons, and their ways of dealing with the situation. Sal’s story is set in Bybanks, Kentucky, where she used to live; in Euclid, Ohio, where they moved after Sal’s mom left; and in the car, going to Idaho. Phoebe’s story is set almost exclusively in Euclid, Ohio. Continue reading Walk Two Moons, by Sharon Creech

The 9th Annual of the Year’s Best S-F, edited by Judith Merril

So I was on jury duty this week, apoplectic and the way they do it in my county is to pen up 300 people in a room for seven hours a day for a week straight, just in case some of them might be needed. Needless to say, I ran out of books the first day, and a copy of this (it’s from 1964, by the way) was sitting on a random end table. Judith Merril is apparently referred to as the mother of science fiction, and I assume that’s because of her anthology-editing. She wrote three books, two of which were under the pen name Cyril Judd, and numerous short stories, in addition to editing a few dozen anthologies. She was also instrumental in founding one of the first s-f cons, this one intended for the writers as a sort of business convention, and she was married to Frederik Pohl for many years.

The stories in this collection are all fairly hard science fiction; they generally deal with aliens, alien technology, space exploration, and the military applications of the above. The authors include many I’ve heard of and many that I hadn’t. Unfortunately, I forgot to write down the table of contents before I left the book on the table, and I can only find a few of them mentioned on the internet: Bernard Malamud, Fred Saberhagen, Andre Maurois, Walt & Leigh Richmond, Cordwainder Smith, Fritz Leiber, Richard Matheson, and Hal Clement. Continue reading The 9th Annual of the Year’s Best S-F, edited by Judith Merril