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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Book Review: Terminal Alliance by Jim C. Hines

Terminal Alliance

Hardcover, 358 pages
Published November 7th 2017 by Daw Books

Jim C. Hines is one of the best authors in SFF right now as evidenced in this latest series that published late last year.  I’m more of a fantasy reader usually, but sometimes science fiction titles really grab my attention and won’t let go.  That’s what happened with this fun, cynical read!  Just look at the series title: Janitors of the Post-Apocalypse.  I love it!  And the author did a great job balancing science, janitor jargon, intrigue, and action.  There were looks of interesting aliens.  And a fun look at how Earth’s human population fell into a feral state.

A fascinating aspect of this book was the use of pronouns.  Various alien species were treated differently according to their preferences.  One of the main characters uses they/them/their always.  There was another race that doesn’t recognize gender, so a conversation alternates female and male pronouns.  A third race uses zie in place of gender.  And except for giving a brief reasoning for each use, the text doesn’t call attention to it.  It’s just accepted.

I did occasionally get lost in the science jargon but never for very long.  I think there’s enough to give meaning to the crew’s actions and the universe overall, but not so much that readers will dnf because they can’t follow along.

I loved this snarky crew and can’t wait to see what other mysteries they uncover in book 2!!

Terminal Uprising  (Janitors of the Post-Apocalypse #2)

Summary:

In his hilarious new sci-fi series, Jim C. Hines introduces the unlikely heroes that may just save the galaxy: a crew of space janitors.

The Krakau came to Earth to invite humanity into a growing alliance of sentient species. However, they happened to arrive after a mutated plague wiped out half the planet, turned the rest into shambling, near-unstoppable animals, and basically destroyed human civilization. You know–your standard apocalypse.

The Krakau’s first impulse was to turn around and go home. (After all, it’s hard to have diplomatic relations with mindless savages who eat your diplomats.) Their second impulse was to try to fix us. Now, a century later, human beings might not be what they once were, but at least they’re no longer trying to eat everyone. Mostly.

Marion “Mops” Adamopoulos is surprisingly bright (for a human). As a Lieutenant on the Earth Mercenary Corps Ship Pufferfish, she’s in charge of the Shipboard Hygiene and Sanitation team. When a bioweapon attack wipes out the Krakau command crew and reverts the rest of the humans to their feral state, only Mops and her team are left with their minds intact.

Escaping the attacking aliens–not to mention her shambling crewmates–is only the beginning. Sure, Mops and her team of space janitors and plumbers can clean the ship as well as anyone, but flying the damn thing is another matter.

As they struggle to keep the Pufferfish functioning and find a cure for their crew, they stumble onto a conspiracy that could threaten the entire alliance… a conspiracy born from the truth of what happened on Earth all those years ago.

Jim C. Hines has proven himself a master of humorous fantasy with his Jig the Goblin novels, and has turned the usual fantasy tropes sideways and upside down with his Princess and his Magic Ex Libris series. With Terminal Alliance, the debut novel in his humorous military science fiction series, Jim takes us into a brand-new universe of entertainment certain to appeal to fans of both Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett.

Throwback Thursday Review: Parasite by Mira Grant

Parasite (Parasitology, #1)

Hardcover, 504 pages
Published October 29th 2013 by Orbit
 To be honest, I probably would not have picked up this book on my own.  But after listening to the author (i.e. Seanan McGuire) speak at ArchonStL a couple of years ago, I knew I had to read at least the first book.  And this is why.  She willingly swallowed a tapeworm egg and allowed it to live within her digestive system for 2 years. 2 YEARS!  That is some awesome dedication to your craft.
As to the story itself, I found it compelling.  Although I guessed the big reveal about half way through the book, I enjoyed following the author’s path.  As well as the in-denial characters.  It feels like a zombie story in some ways, which I normally don’t like.  However, I’m looking forward to reading the rest of this series.  I’m curious to see what happens next!

Summary:

A decade in the future, humanity thrives in the absence of sickness and disease.

We owe our good health to a humble parasite – a genetically engineered tapeworm developed by the pioneering SymboGen Corporation. When implanted, the tapeworm protects us from illness, boosts our immune system – even secretes designer drugs. It’s been successful beyond the scientists’ wildest dreams. Now, years on, almost every human being has a SymboGen tapeworm living within them.

But these parasites are getting restless. They want their own lives…and will do anything to get them.