Saturday Spotlight: Forest of Memory by Mary Robinette Kowal

Forest of Memory

Paperback, 88 pages
Published March 8th 2016 by Tom Doherty Associates

It’s a good thing that this was a short story/novella as the typing, which was explained as being on an old typewriter, was frustrating indeed with plenty of errors and typos. I found the story to be quite intriguing and the format worked perfectly for it. It had one of those endings though that raises a lot of questions and doesn’t answer any of the previously stated questions that bugs me and leaves a bad feeling in my mind. Once again, I must acknowledge that it fits the narrative perfectly!

I definitely see myself recommending this to other people and would read more stories set in this universe.

Summary:

Katya deals in Authenticities and Captures, trading on nostalgia for a past long gone. Her clients are rich and they demand items and experiences with only the finest verifiable provenance. Other people’s lives have value, after all.

But when her A.I. suddenly stops whispering in her ear she finds herself cut off from the grid and loses communication with the rest of the world.

The man who stepped out of the trees while hunting deer cut her off from the cloud, took her A.I., and made her his unwilling guest.

There are no Authenticities or Captures to prove Katya’s story of what happened in the forest. You’ll just have to believe her.

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Book Review: Red Sister by Mark Lawrence

Red Sister (Book of the Ancestor #1)

Hardcover, 469 pages
Published April 4th 2017 by Ace

After reading and loving Nevernight by Jay Kristoff, I decided it was time to take a stab at the other assassin book release that was garnering lots of attention.  I had been putting this one off because I didn’t care for one of the author’s other books, but I finally took the plunge.

And I’m glad that I did!

A great audiobook investment, I devoured this story and couldn’t wait for moments when I was able to listen to the story, so I found myself grabbing my physical copy to read ahead several times.

Not so much an assassin novel as a coming of age story.  I loved reading about Nona’s physical, mental, and spiritual growth as she developed.  The relationships and personalities presented here were refreshing and pulled on my heartstrings.  There were plenty of twists and reveals to keep the story interesting and compelling as well as plenty of internal points of reflection.

I can’t really remember any major negatives, but I was expecting something slightly different based off the description.  That’s probably about it.

Can’t wait to dig into the sequel soon!

Summary:

I was born for killing – the gods made me to ruin.

At the Convent of Sweet Mercy young girls are raised to be killers. In a few the old bloods show, gifting talents rarely seen since the tribes beached their ships on Abeth. Sweet Mercy hones its novices’ skills to deadly effect: it takes ten years to educate a Red Sister in the ways of blade and fist.

But even the mistresses of sword and shadow don’t truly understand what they have purchased when Nona Grey is brought to their halls as a bloodstained child of eight, falsely accused of murder: guilty of worse.

Stolen from the shadow of the noose, Nona is sought by powerful enemies, and for good reason. Despite the security and isolation of the convent her secret and violent past will find her out. Beneath a dying sun that shines upon a crumbling empire, Nona Grey must come to terms with her demons and learn to become a deadly assassin if she is to survive…

Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett

Foundryside (Founders, #1)

Hardcover, 512 pages
Expected publication: August 21st 2018 by Crown Publishing Group

Having sat in a book buzz at ALA Annual last month, I learned about this fun new book that comes out in just a little over a month.  I haven’t read anything by this author before, but hearing him speak about this title made me intrigued.  I was lucky enough to snag a copy, so I hope to be reading it soon!

Summary:

In a city that runs on industrialized magic, a secret war will be fought to overwrite reality itself–the first in a dazzling new fantasy series from City of Stairs author Robert Jackson Bennett. 

Sancia Grado is a thief, and a damn good one. And her latest target, a heavily guarded warehouse on Tevanne’s docks, is nothing her unique abilities can’t handle.

But unbeknownst to her, Sancia’s been sent to steal an artifact of unimaginable power, an object that could revolutionize the magical technology known as scriving. The Merchant Houses who control this magic–the art of using coded commands to imbue everyday objects with sentience–have already used it to transform Tevanne into a vast, remorseless capitalist machine. But if they can unlock the artifact’s secrets, they will rewrite the world itself to suit their aims.

Now someone in those Houses wants Sancia dead, and the artifact for themselves. And in the city of Tevanne, there’s nobody with the power to stop them.

To have a chance at surviving–and at stopping the deadly transformation that’s under way–Sancia will have to marshal unlikely allies, learn to harness the artifact’s power for herself, and undergo her own transformation, one that will turn her into something she could never have imagined.

Book Review: The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell

The Last Magician (The Last Magician, #1)

Hardcover, 500 pages
Published July 18th 2017 by Simon Pulse
I participated on the Devil’s Own street team last year and had a blast doing all the promotional challenges.  The only thing I wasn’t able to do was fit in reading the book!!  Luckily, I’m back on Audible and used a credit to purchase this lovely book to listen to at work 🙂

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#ALAAC18 Book Haul Part 2

As promised, here is a more in-depth look at the fabulous books available at this year’s ALA Annual conference down in New Orleans.  There were some amazing publishers and authors, and I was so glad to be able to participate in all the book buzz events and other activities in addition to my cataloging meetings.

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#ALAAC18 Book Haul Part 1

For the three nights that I stayed in a hotel room, I was able to spread my books out and take pictures.  I was not able to do that with the fun books I picked up on Monday, so today I just have pictures of what I picked up.  Tomorrow’s post will go more in depth for the various titles and who I picked them up for.  I would like to point out the signed Buffy the Vampire Slayer board game that I won during the raffle at ALA Gaming, which is one of my favorite additions to the conference.  Can’t wait to test out this game!

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#ALAAC18 Recap: Food, Faces, and Travel

In order to get to New Orleans, I took a couple of planes.  The first one was the smallest I’ve ever flown with a column of two seats and a column of single seats.  Because I was next to a window, I was able to snap a few cloud landscapes.  What a way to start a trip 🙂

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On Monday morning, I made the obligatory trip to Cafe du Monde to try the local delicacy of beignets.  I didn’t see Tiana through the window, but I’m sure these were made especially by her, just for me!  LOL

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I made it to Gordon Biersch for the one evening meal that I didn’t have other plans for.  My coworker and I were interested in a couple of new things, so she ordered the above shrimp and mango tacos, and I ordered the shrimp and lobster mac ‘n’ cheese.  Both were fantastic!

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