Kitty: Angry Calico

March Review Round-Up



Here are the reviews posted during March. Please note, this is not a comprehensive list of books I read in March, but rather the books I had the time to review before month's end.

1) Grant Morrison: Joe the Barbarian: Couldn't Put It Down
2) Mark Budz: Idolon: Worth Reading, with Reservations
3) Maria V. Snyder: Touch of Power: Worth Reading, with Reservations
4) Gail Carriger: Timeless: Couldn't Put It Down
5) Rebecca Guay: A Flight of Angels: Good Read
6) Elizabeth Bear: Chill: Worth Reading, with Reservations
7) Martha Wells: The Cloud Roads: Good Read
8) Margo Lanagan: Black Juice: Worth Reading, with Reservations
9) Seanan McGuire: Discount Armageddon: Couldn't Put It Down
10) Rick Yancey: The Monstrumologist: Good Read
11) Nick Spencer: Morning Glories: Deluxe Collection: Volume 1: Couldn't Put It Down

As always, comments and discussion are most welcome. :)
Kitty: Angry Calico

Snyder, Maria V.: Outside In

Outside In (2011)
Written by: Maria V. Snyder
Genre: YA/Science Fiction
Pages: 336 (Kindle)
Series: Book Two

The premise: ganked from BN.com: Me?

A leader?

Okay, I did prove that there's more to Inside than we knew.

That a whole world exists beyond this cube we live in. And finding that led to a major rebellion -- between worker scrubs like me and the snobby uppers who rule our world. Make that ruled.

Because of me, we're free. I thought that meant I was off the hook, and could go off on my own again -- while still touching base with Riley, of course. He's the one upper I think I can trust. But then we learned that there's outside and then there is Outside.

And something from Outside wants In.


My Rating: Like, Not Love: It's an enjoyable book that's a remarkably fast read. While I prefer Inside Out just a bit more, this is still a great sequel, especially once Trella pulls her head out of her rear and starts taking action. There's a lot of great action in the book and some interesting twists to what's really going on and why, and the book ended on quite the sweet note. Fans of Maria Snyder will be happy with this, and for those of you who like the lighter-side of science fiction but don't want to be bogged down by a lot of technical jargon, this two-book series (you definitely need to read Inside Out first) should definitely fit the bill. Snyder has a great way of pulling readers into her fiction, and she's an author I'm happy to recommend to those looking for something enjoyable and relaxing.

Spoilers, yay or nay?: some spoilers, but nothing super-major. The full review is in my LJ, and as always, comments and discussion are most welcome.

REVIEW: Maria V. Snyder's OUTSIDE IN

Happy Reading!
Kitty: Angry Calico

Snyder, Maria V.: Spy Glass

Spy Glass (2010)
Written by: Maria V. Snyder
Genre: Romantic Fantasy
Pages: 424 (Trade Paperback)
Series: Book Three of Three (or Six of Six, if you consider the Study trilogy to be the first three books of the series)

The premise: ganked from BN.com: After siphoning her own blood magic in the showdown at Hubal, Opal Cowan has lost her powers. She can no longer create glass magic. More, she's immune to the effects of magic. Opal is now an outsider looking in, spying through the glass on those with the powers she once had, powers that make a difference in the world.

Until spying through the glass becomes her new power. Suddenly, the beautiful pieces she makes flash in the presence of magic. And then she discovers that someone has stolen some of her blood—and that finding it might let her regain her powers. Or learn if they're lost forever...


My Rating

Worth the Cash: Fans of Snyder will be pleased with this final installment of the Glass trilogy, and what looks to be the final installment of the overall series, which started with the Study trilogy. Snyder definitely gives Opal, our heroine, the means to discover who she is as a person and to be happy with who she is, what she can do, and who she loves. There are a lot of enjoyable moments in the book, though at times it feels like it wanders, and there are also moments that will surprise you. But Snyder's been working towards certain conclusions from the start of the trilogy, particularly the second book in the trilogy, so the outcome shouldn't be that surprising, even though they may leave some readers feeling a little icky afterwards. Still, I'm happy with the conclusion, though I'll say I think I prefer the Study trilogy to the Glass trilogy, I do like the development of this world and how it's built with each and every book. Should Snyder even return to Sitia or Ixia, I'll be happy to tag along.

Review style: For starters, I'm going to talk about how the summary above (which is also the backcover blurb) is COMPLETELY misleading, and also I want to talk a lot about the romance in this one and what works and what doesn't. Then I'll ramble about how this is the last of a series and whether or not Snyder's got the material to keep going in this world, even if she has a new heroine. Spoilers, yes, so please don't click to the full review at my LJ below if you don't want to be spoiled! Everyone else, feel free. As always, comments and discussion are always welcome. :)

REVIEW: Maria V. Snyder's SPY GLASS

Happy Reading!

ALSO!!!

Book club selections @ calico_reaction. Hop on over! We'd love to have you!

September: So Long Been Dreaming edited by Nalo Hopkinson
October: Feed by Mira Grant
November: The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin
Kitty: Angry Calico

Snyder, Maria V.: Inside Out

Inside Out (2010)
Written by: Maria V. Snyder
Genre: YA/Science Fiction
Pages: 315 (Trade Paperback)

I know this isn't a Study or Glass book, but it is a new title by Maria V. Snyder, and I thought y'all might be interested. :)

The premise: ganked from BN.com, which also happens to be the back-cover copy:

Keep Your Head Down.

Don't Get Noticed.

Or Else.

I'm Trella. I'm a scrub. A nobody. One of thousands who work the lower levels, keeping Inside clean for the Uppers. I've got one friend, do my job and try to avoid the Pop Cops. So what if I occasionally use the pipes to sneak around the Upper levels? The only neck at risk is my own. . . until I accidentally start a rebellion and become the go-to girl to lead a revolution.


My Rating

Worth the Cash: I've enjoyed everything Snyder's written, and this is no different in that regard. What makes it different from everything else, though, is that this is Snyder's SF debut, so if you're a fan of her work, don't come to this hoping for fantasy or magic. It's magic of another sort, and I think Snyder handles her SF debut pretty darn well. While the setting was a little bland, the themes are strong, the character growth is excellent, and the story really moves along at a good pace. I gotta give props to Snyder too for her character of Trella. I think anyone who's ever been a loner (or who still is), will really, really relate. It's a fun read, with an ending that raises more questions and gets you excited about the sequel, Outside In, which comes out next year. It's not a cliffhanger (not what I'd consider one, anyway), but it leaves you looking forward to more. My only real question about these books lies in the fact that week one million is SO far away. There's no way that's where the story will end, which makes me wonder, if that's the case, what the hell does Snyder have in mind? I'm looking forward to finding out. :)

Review style: There's really not a lot I want to talk about, but I do want to discuss Snyder's use of first person POV, how our heroine isn't perfect and why it works, discuss the plot in vague detail and talk about some of the questions that pop up, and lastly, how all of that relates to world-building. Vague spoilers, but I'll try not to say anything TOO revealing, but still, consider yourself warned. :)

The full review may be found in my LJ. As always, comments and discussion are most welcome. :)

REVIEW: Maria V. Snyder's INSIDE OUT

Happy Reading!!

DON'T MISS OUT: Win an ARC of the upcoming werewolf anthology, RUNNING WITH THE PACK, edited by Ekaterina Sedia. For a list of contributors and details on how to enter, click here.

ALSO:

Book club selections @ calico_reaction. Hop on over! We'd love to have you!

April: The Alchemy of Stone by Ekaterina Sedia
May: Natural History by Justina Robson

Spelling & Grammar

Maria V Snyder UK Event

Hello all!

I'm a newbie to this community, but one with a very exciting annoucement.


On 21st January 2010, Maria V Snyder will be doing an author talk and signing at Waterstone's Crawley the Martlets as part of her tour of the UK. This is a fantastic oppotunity to meet her and ask her questions about her writing, as well as getting your copy of Sea Glass signed!

Further details can be found here:

http://www.waterstones.com/waterstonesweb/displayDetailEvent.do?searchType=2&store=669|WATERSTONE%27S%20CRAWLEY%20MARTLETS&sFilter=1

I hope to meet fellow fans there!

Louise
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FANTASY [vintage mermaid]

Intro

Name: Dana
Age: 23
Location: Caifornia

How'd I Get Into the Series: It was a complete accident. I had gone into a Borders bookstore and found a book that looked interesting on the "buy one get one half off" table. I figured I might as well get a second book, but nothing looked the least bit interesing. Out of the corner of my eye I caught a glimpse of the cover for Storm Glass, so I picked it up and read the back cover. I'm not normally a fantasy reader, but I thought I'd give it a try. I completely fell in love, and after Storm Glass went on to find the first trilogy (which, for some reason was very hard for me to find, I ended up having to go to multiple bookstores just to find them). I've since read the entire Study series and moment ago finished Sea Glass. I've also gotten my sister hooked on them.

Favorite Book in the Series: I think out of all the books, I really enjoyed Fire Study the most.
Favorite Character(s): Leif, even though he drove me crazy in the first book, I loved his development, and once I got to the Glass series (especially Sea Glass) he completely won me over. I also have a soft spot for Valek.
Favorite Pairing: Yelena/Valek, I love how their relationship evolved.
How Would I Help the New Community: I'm not sure exactly what I would do to help out. I've been telling anyone who wants a good book recommendation to check these out. I'm also so-so when it comes to graphics, so I wouldn't mind making some icons and whatnot.
Profile picture.

Introduction :)

Name: Nadia
Age: 17
Location: Norway
How'd I get into the series: I found it at the Fantasy-shelf at the local bookstore. I had just finished Vampire Academy and was in desperate need of some more otherworldly, and the Study-series caught my attention. I've also just finished Storm Glass. Love both the trilogies, and the setting :)
Favorite Book of the Series: I've gotta say Poison Study, although it was a close call.
Favorite Character(s): Yelena. Yes, I know. Obvious, being the main character and all. But I love her inner strength and unconsious determination. I can really sympatize with her, and see myself in many of her choices.
Favorite Pairing(s): Yelena and Valek are too obvious. I think I would have to say Ari and Janco. They're made for eachother. Or Yelena and Kiki. :)
How would I help the new community: I blog a lot, and I love discussion. I can benefit this community by being active.:)
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Kitty: Angry Calico

Snyder, Maria V.: Sea Glass

Sea Glass (2009)
Written by: Maria V. Snyder
Genre: Romantic Fantasy
Pages: 379 (Trade Paperback)

The premise: Terrified of her new abilities and what the Council will do to her when she goes home, Opal seeks out to right Devlin's wrongs and find a way to put their souls in their proper bodies. But things go haywire faster than she anticipated, and Opal soon finds herself under house arrest with no one who'll believe her story. She has no proof for what happened, and it's all she can do to pretend everything is all right. With few, if any, allies, Opal's got to find the truth no matter what it costs.

My Rating

Must Have: which is a big fat duh if you're already a Maria Snyder fan. Her style is light and smooth and easy to read, and the "modernisms" aren't quite as prominent this time around (in Storm Glass, I found them jarring). If you haven't read her work, however, I suggest starting with either the first book in this trilogy, which is Storm Glass, or--because Storm Glass spoils the events that happen in the Study trilogy--go back to the beginning with Poison Study. There's a part of me that still feels like this is the fifth book of a series instead of the second book in a second trilogy, but I've been told by readers who HAVEN'T read the Study series that they had no trouble with Storm Glass. So, if you're new to Snyder's work: Poison Study or Storm Glass. Take your pick. :)

Those of you who are familiar with Snyder's work and are caught up with the series so far will definitely enjoy this one. I read it in less than a day, and I was really, really pleased with the character development and the choices Opal had to make by the end. ONE IMPORTANT THING: the book LIES when it tells you the next installment comes out in 2011. Snyder's website corrects this and says the next book, Spy Glass, will be out in 2010. Fall 2010? I'm not sure, but I'm very much looking forward to it.

Review style: Stream-of-conscious variety this time. With Storm Glass, I felt the need to break down the book component by component, but not so much here. Expect spoilers. If spoilers don't bother you, feel free to read the full review, which is in my LJ. As always, comments and discussion are most welcome. :)

REVIEW: Maria V. Snyder's SEA GLASS

ALSO: I've started a monthly book challenge at my LJ. September's theme is fantasy that takes place in an urban setting, which is not to be confused with the butt-kicking heroine Buffy-lit that's so popular right now. The book my readers chose was Emma Bull's War for the Oaks (1987), so if you're interested in participating, just click here for details!