The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin

The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin

The Fifth Season is an amazing book. It's set on a post-apocalyptic earth that's plagued by constant seismic activity. This leads to frequent near-extinction events called "Fifth Seasons" that keep people always on alert. The evidence of past civilizations litters the planet -- ruined cities, incomplete 'stonelore' handed down from earlier generations, and strange obelisks that float through the atmosphere. The Sanze Empire has survived for centuries by harnessing the power of orogenes -- people born the ability to control their environment. The orogenes can stop earthquakes or start them. They can save cities, or draw power from living creatures and "ice" them. Their powers are terrifying but essential such a volatile world, so the empire develops a caste of Guardians who have the power to neutralize the orogenes when necessary. The orogenes are held in contempt and called "roggas" by ordinary humans. Despite all their power, they cannot control their own lives. They are either hunted down and destroyed...
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Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell

Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell

The above track is the theme song for the book. The production of the Talking to Strangers audiobook is well-done. We hear the actual voices of people he interviews, it includes reenactments of court scenes and the audio from actual videos of events. I am glad I chose the audio instead of print version. Gladwell present some really interesting ideas. Strangers are more complicated and harder to truly understand than we imagine. Liars can seem honest, spies can seem loyal, nervous people can seem guilty. People’s facial expressions are not a reliable guide to what they are thinking. And a lot of it is really interesting. We tend to default to truth, believing that people are being honest unless there are a lot of red flags that lead us to believe they're not. I know I do, and I'm okay with that. I think Gladwell has a point when he says that's what makes society work. We can't all always suspect...
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Lethal White by Robert Galbraith

Lethal White by Robert Galbraith

It's funny, when I saw Lethal White was out, I had to pick it up. I remember loving Cormoran Strike, the detective, and really enjoying the novels. I apparently had absolutely erased Career of Evil (#3) from my mind. Looking back at my review for that one, I almost DNF'ed it, but finished only because, well, I love Cormoran Strike. That's fine, because Lethal White was a return to the series I enjoy. The mystery begins, as the blurb states, with a young man's visit to Strike's office. The young man, Billy, clearly has mental health issues, but he also clearly believes he saw a child strangled years earlier. Separately, Strike is hired by Jasper Chiswell, the Minister of Culture, who is being blackmailed by Jimmy Knight, Billy's older brother, and Geraint Winn, the husband of the Minister for Sport. Chiswell wants Strike to get dirt on Winn and Knight that he can use against them, but won't tell Strike what information...
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DNF – 84K by Claire North

DNF – 84K by Claire North

I had to give up on 84K by Claire North which makes me so sad. I've loved everything I've read/listened to by her, but I just couldn't finish this one. I was listening to the audiobook which is 13 1/2 hours long and gave up with about 1 1/2 hours left. Peter Kenny was the narrator and I've enjoyed books he's done before. I just couldn't struggle to finish it anymore. I didn't care enough about the main character's mission to finish. Here's the info: I don't know if was too long- Theo spends a lot of time traveling, on the run but also with revenge in mind. Or was it too dark - it's a really depressing world where no one has it easy. The concept was great and the writing is typical North, which I like, unfinished sentences and all. It just didn't work for me here. Cut maybe 100 pages out, tighten it up a bit, and I may have loved it. I...
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The Rook by Daniel O’Malley

Loved this book! Granted it's not perfect - there's a fair amount of info-dumping made palatable by the whole amnesia bit. It's kind of a paranormal, sci-fi-ish spy thriller, with a dollop or two of humor. As the blurb says, Myfanwy wakes up with no memory  surrounded by dead bodies. She is guided back into her life as one of the heads of a secret paranormal agency by letters she wrote to herself, having known she would lose her memory thanks to the warnings of a variety of psychics, including a duck. So she fakes her way, but also discovers she has an AWESOME power that the old her barely made use of. She's a character to root for, the underdog due to her amnesia and that people underestimate her and never truly respected the old her. Oh and she's facing an enemy who has been waiting for revenge on England for centuries and has all kinds of yucky, nasty and dangerous things/people/fungi...
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The Master by Claire North

Ah - the last of the trilogy. I'm sad to see it end. Honestly - read it. If you enjoy fantasy or games or just thrillers for that matter, this is a great set of novellas. In this last one, we even have a love story of sorts. This time around the game is chess and our narrator has become one of the players, a player in the Great Game - the game for control of the Gameshouse. His name is Silver and he's been working toward this moment for ages. He's a King in the game, of course, and has gathered forces that he can deploy. His opponent has her own resources, possibly more powerful than his. This one had even more action than the last two. Chess is a dangerous game, but it also has more meaning - for the world as a whole and for Silver personally. My one complaint had to do with a part near the end. Silver...
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