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Recent Reading - 2019

 

Click the occasional spoiler buttons only if you wish to see plot-revealing material.

 

hardcover

2019-12-12
Land of Wolves
320 pages
Johnson, CraigCraig Johnson

Recuperating from injuries is tiring, sometimes debilitating. Walt Longmire valiantly, but with difficulty, confronts a sheepherder's death, an apparent suicide, though a wolf is implicated because the man's feet have been nibbled. Meanwhile, the county's law enforcement staff, who work for Walt, are betting when he'll run out of steam and kick the bucket.
Highly Recommended

ebook

2019-11-20
Depth of Winter
244 pages
Johnson, CraigCraig Johnson

Sheriff Walt Longmire is way out of his jurisdiction. He is on the Mexican border, on his way to rescue his daughter Cady. His regular support team is back in Wyoming, making sure his graddaughter is safe. It's clearly stupid to go looking for Bidarte, Cady's kidnapper, in his own home territory, but the postcard had simply said, "Come." What else can he do? Now the only problem is getting past the friendly, helpful, bureaucratic, and hence, powerless FBI, Border Patrol and Federales.
Highly Recommended

ebook

2019-11-10
Selene
278 pages
Saintcrow, LilithLilith Saintcrow

Selene's brother calls, panic in his voice. "Don't come," he says, but what else can she do? He's her only remaining family member. Something is after her brother! She will not ask Nikolai for help. Asking for anything from a vampire is unwise. Her own paranormal powers, as a sexwitch, might be enough, and she had to try.
Recommended

Note:
Another binge read follows. I think, once again, that it is best to read this series in order to get the full picture. Begin at Invisible Library down the list.

ebook

2019-10-20
The Mortal Word
367 pages
Cogman, GenevieveGenevieve Cogman

A peace treaty between the fey and dragons could help to stabilize the universe. The Library is asked to provide intermediary services in Paris of one of the alternate worlds in the midrange of chaos and order. All too soon, another high ranking dragon is killed. Irene, and Vale and her former assistant are called in to be part of the investigation team, hoping to keep the peace talks from being derailed.
Recommended

ebook

2019-10-11
The Lost Plot
310 pages
Cogman, GenevieveGenevieve Cogman

Dragons, forces for order and stability are not new to this series, but they are front-and-center in this book as two of the royal line vie for their chance to take the job of another who has been assasinated. Irene's own assistant is of royal dragon blood, so naturally Irene cannot stand neutral. Doing so would endanger humans, no matter which alternate world they are on.
Recommended

ebook

2019-10-04
The Burning Page
314 pages
Cogman, GenevieveGenevieve Cogman

Traitor to the Library, Alberich, is hellbent on tearing it down, but may destroy the delicate balance of order vs. chaos if he succeeds. Of course, Irene cannot allow that to happen.
Recommended

ebook

2019-09-28
The Masked City
329 pages
Cogman, GenevieveGenevieve Cogman

Assigned to be a resident librarian, Irene takes on unknown dangers when her apprentice is captured and taken far into the chaotic end of the multitude of worlds. She must call on help from one of the chaos-loving fey.
Recommended

ebook

2019-09-22
The Invisible Library
297 pages
Cogman, GenevieveGenevieve Cogman

Being a librarian for the Invisible Library involves a whole lot more than checking books in and out for eager readers. Irene Winters and her apprentice must cross into alternate worlds, sometimes to barter for rare books not found in other timelines, but occasionally to steal them. The universe of alternate timelines is held together by the librarians' work.
Recommended

ebook

2019-09-15
Wolf Pack
261 pages
Box, C.J.C.J. Box

Death is common in the wilds of Wyoming. It isn't unusual to come across the remains of elk, killed by wolves. When the remains are not killed by common predators, game wardens need to find out who not what did the killing.
Recommended

ebook

2019-09-07
Hydrogen Sleets
202 pages
Lucas, Michael WarrenMichael Warren Lucas

If you put a space station into a universe soon after its Big Bang moment, you can study what might have been the history of our own universe, but when researchers begin to go insane, third class security pro Aiden Redding has to try to handle the situation.
Recommended

ebook

2019-09-04
Forever Falls
89 pages
Lucas, Michael WarrenMichael Warren Lucas

A job with Montauge means the chance to visit new universes, but you have to learn the local rules. Otherwise you could die very quickly. Security professional, Aiden Redding, needs all her wits about her when she has to figure out why a research scientist was splattered on the debris shield above the cliffside facility.
Recommended

ebook

2019-08-30
Kipuka Blues
376 pages
Lucas, Michael WarrenMichael Warren Lucas

As if being the only sherrif in town weren't difficult enough, what do you do when you and your new adopted girls are attacked, not by aliens, but by somebody in your own town? And why would they bother?
Highly Recommended

ebook

2019-08-25
Immortal Clay
254 pages
Lucas, Michael WarrenMichael Warren Lucas

If you are dead and get resurrected as an alien copy of yourself, how do you feel? Former police detective, Kevin Holtzmann, faces this harsh question as he tries to be a good person in his hometown where a smattering of other human survivors find themselves after a devastating (losing) war against the very alien "Absolute".
Highly Recommended

ebook

2019-08-20
Jeremiah's Revenge
311 pages
Brannan, SandraSandra Brannan

FBI Agent Liv Bergen is going back to work, probably too soon, but she needs to find out where she stands, both with her job and with her boss, Streeter Pierce. Meanwhile, inmate Jeremiah Coyote Cries works the system to get out of prison on parole. Things go sideways fast on all fronts.
Recommended

ebook

2019-08-15
Butterfly Stomp Waltz
316 pages
Lucas, Michael WarrenMichael Warren Lucas

Riding up a high rise on top of an elevator and crawling through the plenum space above drop-ceiling tiles are just part of the performance when you are out to steal and release data which will lead to a cure for sickle cell. It is harder to concentrate than usual after the last gig's dismal debacle and loss of her former team. Working alone is marginally okay when you are preventing a greedy bastard from locking away tax-supported research until the last missing piece of the cure is found, but losing friends dulls Beaks' focus.

Read this book before Terrapin Sky Tango, which I did not do. The order makes a difference.
Highly Recommended

ebook

2019-08-10
Terrapin Sky Tango
410 pages
Lucas, Michael WarrenMichael Warren Lucas

Beaks is the most driven character I have ever read. She's manic on a caffeine jag. She's a high class thief, taking what she can from the rich. She's also my new hero. Did I mention the book is fast-paced with lots of bloody action? I'll be sure to read the next of her stories and I definitely plan to binge on Michal Warren Lucas' other work.
Highly Recommended

hardcover

2019-08-02
Cari Mora
320 pages
Harris, ThomasThomas Harris

25 million dollars is hidden at the former Miami home of Pablo Escobar. Cari Mora is the caretaker of the property which gets occasional film crews using it for a location. Hans-Peter Schneider arrives whith his "film crew", but is really there to look for the gold. Hans-Peter also has an 'occupation' selling body parts he harvests from people he captures and tortures. Colombian gangsters also want the gold. Cari gets caught in the middle.
Highly Recommended

ebook

2019-07-25
Fall; or, Dodge in Hell
883 pages
Stephenson, NealNeal Stephenson

Death comes to us all, unless technology wizards succeed in making us new bodies or find a way to convert "us" into digital formats. This novel explores the latter. Part of the book explores the digital "world" that the main character creates after he dies and has his brain scanned at the neuron-connection level. There's something of a religious overtone with non-scanned Adam and Eve characters eventually showing up among the scanned humans.
Recommended

ebook

2019-06-25
The Fated Sky
313 pages
Kowal, Mary RobinetteMary Robinette Kowal

A space pilot on the moon is a glorified bus driver. Mars is the next challenge!
Highly Recommended

ebook

2019-06-18
The Calculating Stars
380 pages
Kowal, Mary RobinetteMary Robinette Kowal

A meteorite strike just east of Washingon, DC interrupts Elma's vacation. She is able to fly herself and her husband away from their visit to the Poconos, getting them away from the continuing destruction of most of the east coast of the US. It becomes quickly clear that their work with NACA (like today's NASA) will need to kick a space program into gear. Global warming is soon going to make the Earth too hot for life.

This very well-written novel is full of accurate details about a space program, even though it is written as an alternate history. The characters are engaging and realistic. Nebula award for best novel in 2019.
Highest Recommendation

hardcover

2019-06-11
Neon Prey
390 pages
Sandford, JohnJohn Sandford

Former police detective, Lucas Davenport, now a well-connected U.S. Marshall takes on mostly self-directed, freelance assignments. This one takes him from home in Minnesota, to New Orleans, Los Angleles and Las Vegas...Lots of Neon and lots of intrigue.
Recommended

ebook

2019-06-01
The Book of M
472 pages
Shepherd, PengPeng Shepherd

An unexplained and unexplainable affliction spreads across the globe, peoples' shadows begin to disappear and the memories of shadowless individuals gradually fade away, eventually leaving most unable to even remember how to eat. Some make huge efforts to fight the progressive decline, and the book focuses on a couple, Ory and Max. Max loses her shadow; Ory does not. Their story follows...
Highly Recommended

ebook

2019-05-17
The Prey of Gods
348 pages
Drayden, NickyNicky Drayden

Dik diks are running wild in the city of Port Elizabeth, droppings everywhere for people to try to avoid. It is Wallace Stoker's task to deal with them. As a leading city councilman, he has hopes of being Premier some day...though he also hopes to be a famous singer in drag as well. Muzi and his best buddy Elkin and their mobile Alphiebots want to win the Rugby tournament. Muzi wants more with Elkin. Sidney Mazawai hates her existence as a hairdresser, longing for her glory days of the past. Nomvula wants her mother to love her. Mr Tau wants to help Nomvula become her real self, a goddess. Everybody wants something!
Recommended first novel

ebook

2019-05-01
Temper
295 pages
Drayden, NickyNicky Drayden

The world is full of twins, born closer than you expect. They are officially processed to divide their natural linkage through "discernment" so that they split their load of virtues and vices. The resulting balance often isn't very balanced. Auben and Kasim Mtuze share a spare existence in the poorest part of town while their cousins live well across the wall separating their town. For Auben and Kasim, maturity will bring painful separation with Kasim moving beyond the wall because of his virtues while Auben remains behind, burdened with vices, particularly temper.

Strong characters and gender twists are mixed well. There's much more than meets the eye about these particular twins, too.
Mildly Recommended

ebook

2019-04-16
The Complete Roadtrip Z
756 pages
Saintcrow, LilithLilith Saintcrow

Super Soldier genetic tinkering unleashes a virus across the world, turning the vast majority of humans into a mindless, ravening, un-dead creatures focused only on finding food, healthy humans a preference. Librarian Ginny Mills and former army lieutenant Lee Quartaine meet over the checkout counter before the world goes to hell, escape Lee's rural southern town and travel across country to check on Ginny's family. Lots of shooting of "Zombies" and rescuing un-infected humans, avoiding un-infected but nasty humans ensue.
Mildly Recommended

ebook

2019-04-07
Cormorant Run
333 pages
Saintcrow, LilithLilith Saintcrow

Something happened. The world is now crisscrossed with "rifts" in which reality has transformed and visiting them is generally lethal, even if technological wonders can be found and brought out. The government has, naturally made going into them illegal, putting military bases near them to keep everyone out. Fat chance, especially when the base commander wants a fabled prize, The Cormorant.

Lots of jargon and dark characters populate this book.
Recommended

ebook

2019-03-21
The Plainsrunner
273 pages
Bowering, JimJim Bowering

I enjoyed The Plainsrunner. It reminded me of several novels I read over 50 years ago, ones I think were then called "Juveniles". I prefer the term "young adult" which is the term in current use, I think.

In one volume, Bowering covered the very interesting life of Sage who was born a plainsrunner but moved to a coastal city and became a notable astronomer and then also told the adventures of her son, Tallgrass, taking his story into space where he meets welcoming aliens.

I liked the lead characters. I did think that each of their stories deserved more depth. I wanted to know much more about the villages and life on the plains, learning about the lifeforms of the damaged planet, but Sage left that life behind within the first few pages. I wish I'd been able to follow the excursions of Street and the traders. There was far too little about the life of city dwellers, etc., etc.

Bowering has achieved the adage, "Always leave 'em wanting more."

Then I returned to the website greencomet.org and realized Green Comet is probably a connected novel!
Recommended

ebook

2019-03-15
HereAfter: Dragons Rising
260 pages
Rhys, DerekDerek Rhys

This novel is set inside a double-level digital world. When humans die, if they have the resources, they transfer to a digital existence, the HereAfter, where they theoretically can live "forever". Nash Evers is establishing himself in HereAfter, using his talents from the corporeal world to be a player of significance in HereAfter. After getting a coded message from his still-living son, his afterlife changes. He enters a part of HereAfter which has had a Game installed on top. Here there be monsters!

This appears to be the first novel for Derek Rhys. It's a very good beginning. I don't play immersive video games, but I believe that Rhys does a very good job of writing the game world as a novel. I am very much looking forward to the next part of this series.
Highly Recommended

ebook

2019-03-09
Starlings
149 pages
Walton, JoJo Walton

Short story collection of fantasy and science fiction with some poetry as well.
Recommended

ebook

2019-02-28
Prisoner of Limnos
149 pages
Bujold, Lois McMasterLois McMaster Bujold

Penric and Nikys must go to save Nikys' mother who has been imprisoned on the island of Limnos.
Recommended

paperback

2019-02-23
Deep Freeze
403 pages
Sandford, JohnJohn Sandford

The governor asks Virgil Flowers to assist in shutting down a counterfeit Barbie Doll operation while he investigates a murder in his home town.
Recommended

ebook

2019-01-05
Denied
271 pages
Clamp, CathyCathy Clamp

Anica Petrovic is a recently escaped victim of forced shape-shifter conversion. She is beginning to settle into Luna Lake along with her family, Anica is trying to relax and put her life in order when an ancient, immensely powerful Sazi shows up who is intent upon the complete destruction of the Petrovic family along with the nacent multi-species community. It will be a battle for survival.
Recommended