I loved the first book in the Skysail Saga, “The Apotheosis Break”. But I read the first book in 2017, not terribly long after it first came out, and the sequel, “The Gestalt Job” was published at the end of 2019. So, to say there has been a lapse where I had a hard time remembering important details would be an understatement. Which wasn’t helped by the fact that this book starts with our main character, Vasili, having forgotten big chunks of what occurred in the previous adventure as well. It’s part of the mystery woven throughout the whole story, so it is by design, but even so. Vasili remembers bits and pieces of his past adventure, the theft of the shard at a nobles party, the betrayal, a lost friend, and his own harrowing escape, but what he doesn’t remember is how he got from that escape to being back on the airship with the same crew who might have been the cause of that betrayal. The same crew who still don’t seem to want to, or are able to, tell Vasili about the one thing he craves above all else: stories of the father he never knew. A lot of the themes in this book are the same as its predecessor: innocent, naïve little Vasili fumbling in a world he doesn’t understand but is determined to be Vasili the Brave all the same. So, what I wanted were the answers Vasili has been on a quest for over the course of this series. Instead, the mystery only got deeper.
I am a huge Locked Tomb fan, just ask the tattoo of Gideon the Ninth I got on my shoulder. So to say my expectations for Nona the Ninth were high would be putting it mildly. I love the voices and characters and the gothic sci-fi fantasy that Muir has created. Her ability to create such distinct voices for each and everyone of her main cast, even outside of Harrow and Gideon is, to me, masterful. But I was worried when this planned trilogy suddenly became a quadruple series. I was curious why Nona was so interesting or unique that she required, suddenly, her own book. Unfortunately, this story was the weakest to me in the series, especially when put up against Gideon and Harrow’s title books.
“The Fair” is book two (of 5) in the Time Box series and, yes, you do need to read them in order and no, they are not stand-alone stories. In this second book, the Lanes are hiding from the billionaire trying to kill them for stealing two of his time machines, theoretically stopping the him from going back in time and changing outcomes of wars in favor of the losing party. Except Robert Devereux COULD still do that, he has his own Time Box, which is what his assassin uses when chasing the Lanes, but it's about the principle of the thing now—you do not steal from the boss and get to live after. So, the Lanes decide to hide in 1893 in Chicago. Chicago, during that time, was the place to be with their World’s Fair (the Columbian Exposition) in full swing giving the Lanes a huge crowd to lose themselves in, and if you know your history as the Lanes’ seem to, you know that this was also the exact place and time where the serial killer H.H. Holmes was operating his Murder Hotel. Between the excitement of the fair, and the danger from the assassin and a notorious serial killer, this book should have been brimming with tension and excitement, but its focus was on more gentler aspects instead.
I am so impressed with this series. Each time I read a Murderbot Diary I think: “THIS! This must be the pinnacle, no way can the next book top this one!” And I am always, joyously, proven wrong. Murderbot is once again hit with complex emotions over non-fictional humans as it rushes back to help MB’s first group of (favorite) humans before GreyCris can get Dr Mensah to shut up for good about their illegal, murderous activities. Honestly, I didn’t know how much I missed Murderbot interacting with this original crew until the reality of them reuniting was upon me. So many sounds of joy were uttered while reading this novella!
Picture this: a massive asteroid is careening toward Earth and only one person has the technical know-how in order to save the planet. Then, fast-forward sixty some odd years, to where the world has been saved! Mission accomplished! But now the scientist that saved the world feels threatened, so, naturally, she reaches out to the person who ran her security while she was saving the world. Only problem is, she’s dead when he arrives. Thankfully, in the years following saving the world, our MC (who is unnamed the entire story…) became a detective, so he should be able to handle this, right? Well, sort of. For a book featuring a trained detective, he acts more like a private investigator. A really grumpy, gloomy, cynical middle-aged PI who often wallows in self-pity, but, you know, still a PI. This book sounded so interesting! But I don’t think it delivered on what the synopsis promised, which was a letdown.
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