Category Archives: Book Reviews

Thursday’s Tale: Cinderella and the Furry Slippers by Davide Cali

Thursday’s Tale: Cinderella and the Furry Slippers by Davide Cali Cinderella and the Furry Slippers by Davide Cali
Illustrator: Raphaelle Barbanegre
Published by Tundra Books (NY) on October 10, 2017
Source: NetGalley
Genres: Picture Book, Fairy tale
Pages: 32
Format: eARC
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Cinderella is dying to go to the ball. She's seen pictures of the fancy castle and the handsome prince, she's heard the fairy tales about true love, she's found the perfect dress in Princess magazine and she's even found an ad for a Fairy Godmother. She's all set.

Except the fairy godmother doesn't look like the one in the ad. And the castle doesn't look like the picture. And the prince . . . well, Cinderella decides her fairy-tale ending is going to look different--and be a whole lot more fun.

This is a modern twist on the classic Cinderella fairy tale. Cinderella, per usual, spends her days cleaning and doing her stepmother’s and sisters’ hair. She sees the prince in a magazine and dreams coming to save her. When she finds out he’s having a ball, she calls up a fairy godmother and makes an appointment. That’s when it all starts to go awry. The godmother is not what she expects – and neither are the clothes. Even the ball is disappointing, and the prince – well, let’s just say he was more attractive in the magazine. So she makes her own happy ending.

I like the girl-power feel of this one, and the illustrations are bright and funny. I think this would make a good book to read aloud to any little girl, reinforcing that a girl can be whatever she wants to. And that pictures in magazines aren’t always realistic.

Thursday’s Tales is a weekly event here at Carol’s Notebook. Fairy tales, folktales, tall tales, even re-tellings, I love them all. Feel free to join in.

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers, #1) by Becky Chambers
Narrator: Rachel Dulude
Series: Wayfarers #1
Published by Tantor Audio on July 7, 2016
Source: Library
Genres: Science Fiction
Length: 14 hrs 24 mins
Format: Audiobook
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Rosemary Harper doesn't expect much when she joins the crew of the aging Wayfarer. While the patched-up ship has seen better days, it offers her a bed, a chance to explore the far-off corners of the galaxy, and, most importantly, some distance from her past. An introspective young woman, she's never met anyone remotely like the ship's diverse crew, including Sissix, the exotic reptilian pilot; chatty engineers Kizzy and Jenks, who keep the ship running; and Ashby, their noble captain.

Life aboard the Wayfarer is chaotic and crazy - exactly what Rosemary wants. It's also about to get extremely dangerous when the crew is offered the job of a lifetime. Tunneling wormholes through space to a distant planet is definitely lucrative and will keep them comfortable for years. But risking her life wasn't part of the plan.

In the far reaches of deep space, the tiny Wayfarer crew will confront a host of unexpected mishaps and thrilling adventures that force them to depend on each other. To survive, Rosemary's got to learn how to rely on this assortment of oddballs - an experience that teaches her about love and trust and that having a family isn't necessarily the worst thing in the universe.

I really liked The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, but I don’t have much to say about it. Do you ever run into that problem. For the most part, we’re hanging out with the crew of the Wayfarer who are an awesome group of “people” – humans and other species, even a sentient AI. They are wormhole tunnelers, which is can be tough, but this newest job is the chance of a lifetime.

Often, it seems like sci-fi is about the politics or the weapons or the conflict, whatever it is. In The Long Way, all those things exist, but it’s more about how the crew are a family, how they face the big issues. We tag along on their adventures in ports or planets where friends live. We worry with them when they face a crisis, but know it will work out, because together they can handle most anything. I became attached to them all. I may have even cried when they had to hard reset the AI, which is not really surprising, I cry a lot at books.

Maybe it’s “feel good” sci-fi, if that’s a thing. The bad things are out there: politicians who put profits over peoples’ lives; prejudice against others due to their species, but the good is so much bigger, there are so many more caring, kind people out there, just trying to do their best. The characters, the crew obviously, but even others we meet briefly are well-drawn, have their own histories and cultures that play into how they act and interact with each other. The galaxy is a hugely diverse place where “people” of all types can find acceptance.

And sometimes filling out the right form can save someone’s life.

About Becky Chambers

Becky Chambers is the author of the award-nominated science fiction novels. She also writes nonfiction essays and short stories, which can be found in various places around the internet.

In addition to writing, Becky has a background in performing arts, and grew up in a family heavily involved in space science. She’s worked as a technical writer, a bartender, and a production assistant, among other things. Having lived in Scotland and Iceland, she is currently back in her home state of California.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

WTF by Cathy Yardley

WTF by Cathy Yardley WTF by Cathy Yardley
Series: Geek Actually #1.1
Published by Serial Box on June 7, 2017
Source: Publisher
Genres: Episodic, Chic Lit, Geek
Pages: 69
Format: eBook
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Meet your new best girlfriends. Michelle is a hard-nosed Science Fiction editor who is used to things going her way; Taneesha is a talented video game programmer who is used to being the odd (wo)man out. Aditi is a fantasy writer on the verge of her big break; Christina is a rebel on the sidelines of Hollywood. And Elli is a fan – of anything and everything that keeps are from “proper adulting.” Together they are Rebel Scum (at least in their shared group chat), and best friends through thick and thin. They might live far apart but through the power of the internet and a shared love of all things geek, they are ready to face the world side by side.

This is the 1st episode in the first season of Geek Actually, a 13-episode serial from Serial Box Publishing. This episode was written by Cathy Yardley.

Michelle and Aditi have been friends for ages, but with Michelle as Aditi’s editor for her debut fantasy novel, their relationship is under a bit of strain. Aditi needs to blow off some steam—a hot Tinder date does the trick (and then some). Meanwhile, Taneesha and Elli are both having some job trouble.

Amber and I were talking yesterday about what makes me a geek – because I’m obviously a geek. Just the fact that I write book reviews for fun probably qualifies me, but add in our weekly board game night and the fact that we literally had a 45 minute discussion on monster types the other day and there’s little doubt. But I don’t have any geeky female friends like the women of Geek Actually. I do wish I had a group of friends like them.

In this episode, we meet all the women and learn a bit about where they’re at in their lives. We see their jobs, husbands and lovers. It’s fun and sexy but it also touches on some heavier topics  like body image and sexism. I love the diverse cast of characters and people who I have something in common with (not that I ever go out of my way to swing by a PokeStop).

I have read serial fiction before and it’s a format I enjoy. I like the short episodes that flow together. I’m looking forward to spending more time with these characters. After this introduction I like them but don’t care about them yet; I am interested to see where their stories go.

About Cathy Yardley

Cathy Yardley writes fantasy, chick lit and romance. She loves J.D. Robb/Nora Roberts, Jim Butcher, J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood, Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunter, Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series, Stephen King, Jennifer Crusie, Marian Keyes, J.K. Rowling, and a slew of other authors.

She calls herself a geekgirl. She loves the San Diego Comic-con. She’s a bit Sherlockian, but hasn’t gone full Whovian yet.

She loves being an author. Loves writing. Loves promoting. Loves everything about it.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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