Reading · Reviews

Book Review: Semiosis

Recently I’ve gone on a science fiction kick in my reading and can’t get enough of it. Semiosis is unlike any other book I’ve ever read. Sometimes I have a habit of zooming right through books, but every few chapters I found myself putting this book down to turn the story over in my mind. This is very much a character-driven book, and I usually prefer plot driven, but I loved this book and it is high on my list of favorite sci-fi reads and the title is perfect for this book. This one gets five stars from me.

Semiosis is about a group of people aiming to colonize a new planet. The story follows the struggles of the colonists, giving readers a deep look at the growing pains the colony has to get through to survive and how they handle living alongside intelligent plants. Semiosis takes place over seven generations of colonists, with a new narrator for each generation, starting with the very first generation to land. Each generation has a new problem to deal with as the colony grows and makes progress alongside the intelligent plants on the planet. This book focuses more on the relationship between characters and the human aspect instead of the science and technology aspect, although enough science is explored to help the story feel grounded. Continue reading “Book Review: Semiosis”

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history · Reading · Writing

Modern Women in Historical Fiction

Historical fiction has always been one of my favorite genres right behind fantasy. While I love all kinds of historical fiction, I enjoy reading about the lives of women since their experiences can be so different from my experiences today. However, I’ve noticed historical women being modernized too much in ways that don’t match their time periods. Making a main character relatable without too much modernization can be difficult, but I love seeing historically accurate representations of women.

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Sometimes I pick up a historical and think, “Wow, this main character reads as though she stepped right out of the current day and into history.” Looking at you in particular here historical fantasy novels. It’s true that some women were ahead of their day, but often the modernizing of women in regards to their views and attitudes aren’t always historically accurate. I’ve noticed a trend of historical and historical fantasy gravitating around women who don’t want to get married, usually for reasons that wouldn’t fly in their time period. Views about their own place in society are often modern as well. While I appreciate the women who fight against society to make progress or refuse to accept the double standards placed on them, I also find myself longing for stories about the average woman and how she navigated the social mores cast upon her. While women who were ahead of their time can be easier for a modern author to write about, reading about the average woman helps me appreciate the progress made since their era and how different my life has been from theirs. Continue reading “Modern Women in Historical Fiction”

Reading · Reviews

Book Review: Into the Drowning Deep

Time to gush about one of my favorite reads of the year! Into the Drowning Deep is by Mira Grant, who also goes by Seanan McGuire. This book is about mermaids, and not the beautiful Disney type. Of course this book gets 5 stars from me and I’m crossing my fingers that there are more books coming in the series because I absolutely need more of this world.

Seven years ago, the Atargatis set off on a voyage to the Mariana Trench to film a “mockumentary”about mermaids. It was lost at sea with all hands. Many believe the incident to be a hoax. A new crew sets out to prove that the seven-year-old hoax about mermaids isn’t a hoax at all. Not all the crew are believers, but soon enough they are all faced with creatures of the deep whose discovery will come at a high price. Continue reading “Book Review: Into the Drowning Deep”

Reading · Reviews

Book Review: Reincarnation Blues

I’ve always loved stories dealing with reincarnation. There’s something romantic about the idea of living multiple lives and becoming a better person through each experience. Add a love story to the mix and I couldn’t say no to reading Reincarnation Blues by Michael Poore. This book had such a unique take on reincarnation and I adored the love story. I give the book 4 stars out of 5 and recommend this to anyone looking for a good reincarnation tale.

The story is about Milo, a man who has lived almost 10,000 lives in a world where you get 10,000 lives to reach Perfection and become part of the oversoul to be at one with the universe. Milo has fallen in love with Suzie, the incarnation of Death. He doesn’t want to reach Perfection, he just wants to be with Suzie. But if Milo doesn’t reach Perfection in time, his soul will be destroyed. Continue reading “Book Review: Reincarnation Blues”

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Book Review: The Silent Companions

One of my recent reads was a spooky Victorian gothic set in a crumbling English estate in the countryside. I enjoy horror and creepy stories and I have a tendency to gravitate toward ones with historical settings. The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell did not disappoint. I give it 4 stars and if you are looking for a good creepy gothic, add this to your list right away. If you are like me and find stories about anything doll-like horrifying then don’t read this one right before bed.

So what’s it about? Elsie has recently married into the Bainbridge family. Her husband’s family is marked by tragedy, including the death of countless Bainbridge heirs, but Elsie has also suffered from the gruesome loss of her father in the family’s matchstick factory. Elsie’s happy marriage comes to a screeching halt when her husband suddenly dies, leaving her as the owner of the Bainbridge estate known as the Bridge. The estate is full of eerie lifelike wooden dolls. Elsie is unnerved when she discovers one that looks just like her as a child. Her fears intensify when the dolls begin to multiply, first taking on the visages of past inhabitants and then tragic figures from her own background. Then the grisly bodies of the Bridge’s inhabitants begin to stack up. What at first seems to be a dark power haunting the manor could just as easily be Elsie’s runaway imagination bringing her fears to life. Purcell masterfully toes the line between these possibilities as she tells the story behind the lurking evil through Elsie’s experiences at the Bridge, her time spent in a psychiatric hospital after her stay, and through the 17th-century diary revealing the origin of the dolls. Continue reading “Book Review: The Silent Companions”

Reading

The Never-Ending Reading List

I feel like this is something every reader experiences at some point. You get busy with life and other hobbies and before you know it your planned reading list is growing out of control and books are piling up. The best thing about switching to ebooks was that it made it easier to contain all those piles. I read a lot, but I still experience an uncontrollable reading list way too often because I’m addicted to looking for new books. I finally had to stop and realize I will probably always feel behind on my reading no matter how many books I get through I always feel hopelessly behind. I’m working on enjoying the journey and not rushing to the finish line. Continue reading “The Never-Ending Reading List”

history · Reading · Reviews

Book Review: On A Cold Dark Sea

On A Cold Dark Sea by Elizabeth Blackwell is about three women who were aboard the Titanic. No Jack and Rose here, so no need to debate if they could have both fit on their makeshift raft, but there is still a touch of tragic romance. I give this Titanic tale four stars. While there are romantic elements to it, the story focuses more on the human element and how the tragedy impacted the lives of survivors and not the excitement of the sinking.

This book is about three women from varying backgrounds and social standings: Charlotte, Esme, and Anna. The book switches between perspectives effortlessly. Charlotte winds up on the Titanic with a man she loves but can’t marry. Esme is struck in a loveless marriage while she falls for a man named Charlie who sweeps her off her feet. Anna is leaving behind her home of Sweden to make a new life in America while her best friend prepares to marry the love of Anna’s life. Each woman survives the sinking, but they don’t escape unscathed. They all lose someone close to them and in the aftermath struggle to come to terms with their lives post-tragedy. None of them can fully escape the past while Anna prepares for a marriage of her own, Esme fights to hold onto her new love, and Charlotte mourns what could have been. This book explores what it means to be a Titanic survivor.

The book shows us snippets of their lives before boarding the Titanic, their time aboard, and how they fared after surviving including coming to terms with those they lost in the sinking. This makes it easy to see the big picture and the impact the tragedy had on their lives and in some cases, how it changed the course of their lives. The actual sinking of the ship itself gets little screen time, which is unfortunate for those of us interested in it, but it also keeps the sinking from taking up too much of the book.

Continue reading “Book Review: On A Cold Dark Sea”