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Joined 1 year, 5 months ago

Voracious reader of fiction, sci-fi, romance, historical fiction... I read in English, German and Dutch.

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Robert Harris: Act of Oblivion (2022, HarperCollins Publishers) 4 stars

Review of 'Act of Oblivion' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

This historical novel exceeded my expectations! It is not that I had low expectations, but I borrowed it from the library based on mild thematic interest; I did not expect to be gripped and impressed by this book as much as I was.

The aftermath of the British civil war in England and the early years of the British colonies in New England make for a fascinating historical backdrop that I loved learning more about (especially since I have recently moved to Massachusetts from Europe).
Of course this is a novel, not a history textbook, but my impression is that Robert Harris does an excellent job enriching historical fact with fiction where the historical record is sparse.

My enjoyment of reading novels is usually predicated on being able to sympathise with at least one character and their cause, which on the surface was not the case in this book: I …

reviewed Eclipse the Moon by Jessie Mihalik (Starlight's Shadow, #2)

Jessie Mihalik: Eclipse the Moon (EBook, 2022, Harper Voyager) 3 stars

Kee Ildez has been many things: hacker, soldier, bounty hunter. She never expected to be …

Review of 'Eclipse the Moon' on 'Goodreads'

2 stars

2 stars probably seems like a harsh rating, considering that there's nothing particularly wrong with this book at all. It's just that it had a really hard time holding my attention and I basically spent its second half just waiting for it to finish (I'm not good at dropping books halfway through, unless they're really terrible, which this isn't).

So what's up?
First of all, I did not really care much about the couple at the center of this space romance: It's a classic pairing of ditzy sunshine (a nerdy version) and quiet, unreadable, overly muscular man hunk way too concerned with his honour. The PoV character Kee (the sunshine) is not uncompelling, but I generally found it hard to connect with and get invested in any of the main characters in the book - they're all just a little too perfect somehow. The way they are a chosen family …

Neil Gaiman, Sam Kieth, Mike Dringenberg, Malcolm Jones, Robbie Busch, Todd Klein: Preludes and Nocturnes (Hardcover, 1998, DC Comics) 4 stars

Preludes and Nocturnes collects the first eight issues of The Sandman comic by Neil Gaiman …

Review of 'Preludes and Nocturnes' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

This is probably controversial considering that Sandman is such a classic, but I just had a pretty hard time following the plot. I love Death annd Dream and the dream world, but I was confused and somewhat put off by there apparently being terrestrial superheroes in this universe? It's a traditional comic thing, I know, but not really for me.
On top of that, the latter half of the book about the central villain of this story arc was off-putting and disgusting to me. I liked the resolution, but would have liked the book much much more without any of that ark at all.

I think I'll still give the next one a try. We'll see if it focuses more on the things I loved or those I didn't.

Everina Maxwell: Ocean's Echo (2022, Doherty Associates, LLC, Tom) 4 stars

Review of "Ocean's Echo" on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

This is quite different from Winter's Orbit (which I also loved), but once again a compelling science fiction story able to stand on its own paired with an emotionally hard-hitting romantic connection between the two main characters.

I love the world building behind Maxwell's sci-fi universe and cannot wait to read more books in this world. The two instalments so far are set in different sectors of space - so they take place cosmic distances away from each other - and consequently the planets, cultures and structures of government are different, but Maxwell has done a really good job in making her universe recognisable and distinct nonetheless. I think showing the readers a different (inter-)planetary society in a common universe is a great move!

Overall, Ocean's Echo is emotionally harder hitting, grittier and more complex than the first book in the series, so it does feel like a real evolution. …

T. Kingfisher: Nettle & Bone (Hardcover, 2022, Tor Books) 4 stars

After years of seeing her sisters suffer at the hands of an abusive prince, Marra—the …

Review of 'Nettle & Bone' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

I had no idea what to expect when I started this one, and I enjoyed the mystery. Nettle & Bone is a very well-done fairtytale-style fantasy with some gritty, creepy aspects. Compared to many weighty fantasy tomes, this is rather short, and rather than explaining its fantasy world in detail, it leaves a lot of mystery, focuses on character interaction and driving the plot - I really liked that approach.

In short, highly recommended! I'm keen on reading more by T. Kingfisher.