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Joined 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Science fiction and fantasy. Astronomical Data Scientist at STScI/MAST in Baltimore. Opinions are my own. Follow me on Mastodon at Longer reviews on my blog:

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Strakul's books

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Nona the Ninth (Hardcover, 2022, 5 stars

Her city is under siege.

The zombies are coming back.

And all Nona wants is …

Who is Nona? The Locked Tomb series continues...

5 stars

I blazed through this book after re-reading Gideon and Harrow (and I'm glad I did- there were details there that were great to have been reminded of). Overall this was a great story; Nona is an interesting mystery and trying to figure her out is part of the fun of this book. It does start off a bit slow, but towards the end it is rushing and almost too much is going on to fully follow it all. This is one I will have to re-read when the next (yes there is a fourth) book comes out.

For a full review, check out my blog:

The Fires of Heaven (Wheel of Time, #5) 4 stars

The fifth book in Robert Jordan's internationally bestselling epic fantasy series, THE WHEEL OF TIME, …

The 5th book in The Wheel of Time

3 stars

This is another addition to The Wheel of Time series so if you're planning to read them all you pretty much need to get it. It is, however, relatively weaker than some of the earlier novels with a bit of a slower start and some issues juggling its many plots and characters. If you're a fan of Perrin, he is completely missing from this book. You still get some Rand and Mat, but a lot of the focus is on Nynaeve. Overall, it's not bad after the initial start and introduced a lot more tension and players to the world.

For a full review, check out my blog:

Fugitive Telemetry (2021, 4 stars

No, I didn't kill the dead human. If I had, I wouldn't dump the body …

A good murder mystery with our favorite Murderbot

4 stars

This is a bit of a 'flashback' novella set when Murderbot's first few weeks in Preservation. It was a neat chance to see more of how Preservation works in comparison to the Corporate Rim. As for the investigation itself, I had an inkling as to who the culprit was, but not the motive or the how and regardless it was still enjoyable.

Portrait of a Wide Seas Islander (EBook, Underhill Books) 4 stars

“Someone always leaves.”

That’s what Tovo has been saying to anyone who asks him why …

A short story with Buru Tovo of the Wide Seas

4 stars

This was a fun short story/novella. It follows Buru Tovo as he ponders what to do about Kip and whether he is to be a tana of the Wide Seas. Tovo is a jovial, wise character and we get to see through his eyes the sea train, the Emperor, and of course Kip. It was quite enjoyable and made me want to re-read The Hands of the Emperor!

A Master of Djinn (Hardcover, 2021, Tor) 4 stars

Nebula, Locus, and Alex Award-winner P. Djèlí Clark returns to his popular alternate Cairo universe …

An Arabian steampunk fantasy mystery

4 stars

This was quite an enjoyable book and a fascinating world to explore. It has been a long time since I read any steampunk and this falls very much in that category. The Egyptian setting was excellent and makes me want to read even more in this universe. There are allusions to other adventures between Fatma and Siti so there is more out there to explore.

For a full review, check out my blog:

Network Effect (Hardcover, 2020, Tor) 5 stars

A great addition to the Murderbot series!

5 stars

This was a great book. The familiar characters and settings of the Murderbot series, but a longer tale to really flesh out the growing relationship between it, ART, and other humans. It also ends with the promise of more adventures, too! If you're a fan of Murderbot you should pick this one up.

For a full review, check out my blog:

The Return of Fitzroy Angursell (Paperback, 2021, Underhill Books) 4 stars

Review of 'The Return of Fitzroy Angursell' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

This was a pretty fun book. While not as impactful as The Hands of the Emperor it was still enjoyable. Fitzroy is a particularly chaotic character, in sharp contrast with the meticulous and orderly Kip. It was clear even to me that Fitzroy has changed a lot, compared to all the legends alluded to in this book and the prior. The reconciliation of his past, present, and future is a bit of a theme and plays out with his interactions with old and new friends. Goddard's knack for powerful emotional encounters is a key driver to the plot. I look forward to her upcoming book, At the Feet of the Sun, for even more adventures!

For a full review, check out my blog:

The Hands of the Emperor (Hardcover, 2018, Underhill Books) 5 stars

An impulsive word can start a war. A timely word can stop one. A simple …

Review of 'The Hands of the Emperor' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

This book was absolutely incredible. I had a hard time putting it down and kept messaging my friend as I reached certain points in the story. This was a powerful, wholesome story full of vibrant characters and subtle magic. I want to see where the story takes Kip, the Emperor, and their friends next. The characters, their growth, their relationships, and their place in the world is really what drives this story. The setting is also very intriguing with a mix of island culture and a splash of high fantasy.

For a full review, check out my blog:

Elantris (2006) 4 stars

In 2005, Brandon Sanderson debuted with Elantris, an epic fantasy unlike any other then on …

Review of 'Elantris' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

This is a very nice, fun read. Compared to his later works, it's clear that Sanderson has grown a lot. The characters here are good, the plot decent, and the setting great, but over the years Sanderson has matured his style a lot and perfected his art. This is still nevertheless, a great read for those looking for a short dive into a fantastical world and are willing to forgive a few rough parts here and there.

For a full review, check out my blog:

The Shadow Rising (Paperback, 2012, Tor Books) 4 stars

The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and go, leaving memories that become legend. …

Review of 'The Shadow Rising' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

This is a great book in The Wheel of Time series. It picks up where The Dragon Reborn left off and sets the stage for a lot of cool things to happen with the various characters. It has a little bit of everything without focusing too much on a single group of characters, which will become increasingly hard as the cast of characters continues to grow.

Check out my full review at my blog: