Saturday, August 22, 2015

The Child Goddess --by Louise Marley

Fiction / Fantasy

352 pages
5 Stars

I read fantasy for escape, and once again, Ms. Marley has given me a great escape. I enjoyed reading about the Magdalenes, and like another reviewer, wondered why they clung to the celibacy idea; however, if they were trying to be accepted, it's understandable. It was hard enough just getting female priests accepted. One step at a time.

The protagonist is Mother Isabel Burke, a priest with faults. Serious faults with which she must cope. She is, alas, very, very human. And that humanness comes out when she is assigned as guardian to child from another planet. It comes out when she again meets the man she loves. It comes out as she deals with people. Mostly, Mother Burke is filled with love.

To help protect her young charge, she returns with Oa to her home planet, from which she was kidnapped, to unravel the secret of the anchen and to help them become persons if they so desire.

Although the protagonist is a Priest, this is not a religious book. It is a great adventure in which the religion of the protagonist plays a role, and helps solve the riddle.

Like another reviewer, I hope we see more books about Mother Burke, and Jin-Li Chung (nice to meet an old from again from Irustan).

A fun read. A two-sit read. Read it, you'll like it.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Changes in the Land: Indians, Colonists, and the Ecology of New England –by William Cronon

242 pages

5 Stars

I knew the Europeans changed the land when they arrived, and not always for the good, but this is the first time I've read such a detailed book as to how and why they made the changes. And how those changed affected the land, the flora, the fauna, and those people living on it.

Yes, I suppose it might be a little dry here and there for those who are more interested in fantasy than history. I read it because I found the book in a box of books, and it looked interesting. I was not disappointed. This is a book that will go back on the shelf, and be pulled out often as reference, or just to reread again.

Truly, I'd like to find a book like this about how the Europeans changed the Pacific Northwest and Inland Empire. I imagine in much the same way, but it would be nice to know.

My biggest complaint (and almost gave 4 stars instead of 5 because of it) was the use of endnotes. I hate endnotes. There is no reason perfectly good footnotes could not have been used.

Monday, August 17, 2015

The Nothing (A Book of the Between) --by Kerry Schafer


326 Pages / 3846 KB
5 Stars

I finished reading Wakeworld (see review here) and immediately picked up The Nothing. Almost a 1-sit read. I think it was a 2 –sit read due to work calling ;-)

The Nothing closes the trilogy begun with Between (see review here), and though this story is now satisfactorily and happily ended, the ending leaves it open for another adventure as soon as the heroine and her companions are rested enough to take it on.

Vivian and Zee must overcome some serious problems, both for the Dreamworlds, which are dying, and themselves. If the Dreamworlds die, people will be unable to dream, and they will die. Vivian must reconcile her three personas—Dreamshifter, Dragon, and Sorceress in order to save the day. But, if she shifts to Dragon one more time, she will die, thanks to a wound by dragonstone when Zee threw the knife at her.

People live in Dreamworld, and people die in Dreamworld, and people make sacrifices in Dreamworld for those they love just as they do in our world, Wakeworld. Having said that, I will say the ending is more than satisfactory.

Seldom do I read a series that MUST be read in order, but this is one of them. While you may be able to read them out of sync, it will be ever so much easier if you start at the beginning of the story and read through to the end. Not only will the worlds make better sense, so will the characters. We have the marvelous opportunity to see them change, grow, learn, and in many cases become people I wish were real and I could meet. A well-written and skillfully produced series of books. My world is better for having read them.

And, yes, Poe is in this book, too. He's so marvelous. He's one of the characters I'd love to know. If Vivian ever needs a penguin sitter, I'm her gal. And Bob. Bob can stay with me, too. Any time.

Wakeworld (A Book of the Between) --by Kerry Schafer

306 pages  2039KB
 5 Stars

It's been a couple of years since I read Between (my review is here) and when I saw the next two books, Wakeworld and The Nothing, I had to buy and read them. I was not disappointed.

I had forgotten Poe, the penguin, and was delighted to find he plays a major supporting role in Wakeworld. New characters are introduced in this book, Weston and his sister, Grace, both of whom play pivotal roles. Weston is a Dreamshifter who has fought it all his life, to great pain and loss.

Weston and Vivian so not start off as best buds, but they realize they must work together to save Dreamworld, and with time, they become good friends. And when Zee nearly kills Vivian, well, he and Weston have, shall we say, words?

I absolutely love the worlds Ms. Shafer has built. I would read the books just for the worlds, however, she's peopled them with such fun characters, I get to enjoy the worlds and their populations.

If you're a lover of fantasy, and new and exciting worlds, you'll enjoy this series. Although not quite a 1 sit book, it was very close.