Thursday, July 29, 2021

Review of Half Sick of Shadows by Laura Sebastian


Read for: Requested Review/ Netgalley/ Anticipated Release

Synopsis: "Everyone knows the legend. Of Arthur, destined to be a king. Of the beautiful Guinevere, who will betray him with his most loyal knight, Lancelot. Of the bitter sorceress, Morgana, who will turn against them all. But Elaine alone carries the burden of knowing what is to come--for Elaine of Shalott is cursed to see the future.

On the mystical isle of Avalon, Elaine runs free and learns of the ancient prophecies surrounding her and her friends--countless possibilities, almost all of them tragic.

When their future comes to claim them, Elaine, Guinevere, Lancelot, and Morgana accompany Arthur to take his throne in stifling Camelot, where magic is outlawed, the rules of society chain them, and enemies are everywhere. Yet the most dangerous threats may come from within their own circle.

As visions are fulfilled and an inevitable fate closes in, Elaine must decide how far she will go to change fate--and what she is willing to sacrifice along the way.

The Lady of Shalott reclaims her story in this bold feminist reimagining of the Arthurian myth from the New York Times bestselling author of Ash Princess."

My Review:  I am always excited for new Arthurian re-tellings, especially ones focused on the characters that are more on the side lines, because their stories can be played with a bit more. I was really excited for the premise of this story, Lady of Shalott taking control of her own destiny, more feminist driven story. Unfortunately, I struggled quite a bit with this one. I really didn't get much of a feminist voice from this one, yes we know how the story goes, but I was hoping for a bit more of a backbone from the ladies, more of a leadership role. I also really struggled with the way the timeline jumps around throughout the book with no warning or break you jump from current timeline, to a memory and into the visions of the future, it gets rather difficult to keep straight and really slows the pacing of the book down. Sebastian did throw some twists on the original stories which were intriguing but I wanted them to be taken further. Sadly, I found this one a bit unsatisfying and not really jumping for more.

My Rating: I am honestly a bit bummed about this one, I think maybe I hyped it up a bit too much in my mind after reading some really fantastic re-tellings in the past couple of years.  Maybe if I was in the mood for a slower more meandering story it would have hit me better. I give it a rating Two Paws. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book via Netgalley, the above is my honest review and opinion.

You can find out more about Laura Sebastian and her books on her Goodreads Page or Website.

Half Sick of Shadows was just released July 6th so you can obtain your own copy in print or digital format from Amazon or Barnes & Noble or request it at your local library or bookstore.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Review of A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers


Read for: Anticipated Release/ Audio book

Synopsis: "It's been centuries since the robots of Earth gained self-awareness and laid down their tools.
Centuries since they wandered, en masse, into the wilderness, never to be seen again.
Centuries since they faded into myth and urban legend.

One day, the life of a tea monk is upended by the arrival of a robot, there to honor the old promise of checking in. The robot cannot go back until the question of "what do people need?" is answered.

But the answer to that question depends on who you ask, and how.
They're going to need to ask it a lot.

Becky Chambers' new series asks: in a world where people have what they want, does having more matter?"

My Review: I don't read a lot of science fiction but I have really come to love sci-fi novellas and this book really captured my attention so I had to read it pretty quickly after it came out. I really enjoyed the story, a bit of an after an world changing event (many years after in fact). I really enjoyed Dex, they are not what you would imagine a monk to be, a bit restless and a bit curious. I love the concept of a tea monk though, (can we have some who come visit now?!) the idea of having someone just know what type of tea will suit your mood and then allowing you to talk if you need to or just sit in silence as you enjoy your tea, it sounds so perfect. It did take a while to get to the point in the story that started actually moving the plot along, but it was an enjoyable journey learning a bit about the world. It has a clear feel of laying the ground work for a series, not a book that you can really read an enjoy on its own. I know I will be anxiously waiting for more books in the Monk & Robot series.

My Rating:  Even though it took a while for this book to gain momentum for me, I still really enjoyed the premise of it.  It just barely brushes the surface of what it can be so I expect quite a series and I am looking forward to it. I give this one a rating of Three Paws and a Stump Wag!