The Thief by Claire North

I'm not a fan of playing hide-and-seek. When I was a kid, I was always afraid everyone else would go inside or to another kid's house and just leave me hiding. I don't think it ever actually happened, but that doesn't mean I didn't worry about it. And it was even worse if it was dark. The hide-and-seek game in The Thief is awesome though. The "board" is Thailand in the 1930s and the stakes are huge, but the game might be unfairly weighted. This is the second in the trilogy and I think they should definitely be read, or listened to, in order. Thene's game in The Serpent was not exactly fair either, but that was nothing in comparison to the disadvantages our player is dealing with here. It's a thread thoughout - the Gameshouse may not be as fair as it (she) would like you to believe. Once again, North does  wonderful job building her world. Thailand in the 30s...
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The Serpent by Claire North

We play a lot of games at our house- for me it's mostly board games. I just don't feel the draw of video games that Amber and David do, but I love board games. We play a variety, from old standards to newer ones, board games, card games, dice. That's what drew me to the Gameshouse trilogy. I love that North took playing games and made into a world transforming power. The Serpent is the first of the novellas. The story is told to us by the narrator, an unseen watcher who takes us with him as he observes the gamers. He's sly and smart and his outlook rubs off on us. I listened to the audio and this narration style worked really well that way. The narrator was the narrator, if that makes sense. It's short, but rich and full. I love the way North uses language and world she creates, both of historic Venice and the Gameshouse itself. Thene is an...
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Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith

Career of Evil is good, let me say that first off. The mystery, even with its limited suspect pool is engrossing and the episodes from the killer's point of view are disturbing. The characters are well-drawn and I am invested in their personal stories, in addition to the crime-solving aspect, thanks to having read the previous two in the series. And I do think this is a series where it helps to read them in order. But I didn't particularly enjoy Career of Evil. If it wasn't a series I like, with people, fictional though they might be, who I care about it, I probably wouldn't have read it, or at least not finished it. First, I just don't like serial killer books. I read a lot of mysteries, but I avoid that particular trope. I think it has something to do with motive. Revenge, anger, greed, jealousy, need to protect oneself or one's secrets, are all understandable, their normal feelings taken to extreme....
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The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith

Now this was a good one. I already knew I liked Cormoran Strike, the detective, from his first outing, The Cuckoo's Calling. He's the same basic guy here. The publicity from that case has worn off a little, but business is going well, even if he's working mostly divorce cases or for rich guys he doesn't really respect. It's money. And we do get to see a bit of him working on the other cases, not enough to distract from the plot, but enough to remind us that he doesn't just have one case to focus on. Robin, his assistant, is starting to come into her own, we're learning a bit more about her, what she wants and what she's capable of. Then a plain, poor-looking woman, asks him to find here missing husband, author Owen Quine. He's gone missing after his latest, as yet unpublished, novel was leaked, a book that is going to make a lot of people bad. It's...
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The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith

I wasn't going to read The Cuckoo's Calling, something about Rowling writing it under a secret pseudonym that just happens to leak out when the book doesn't sell well rubbed me wrong. But the library had the audio available when I needed a book to quickly add to my player, so I decided to give it a chance. I was pleasantly surprised. In a lot of ways it's the standard detective story. Our detective, Cormoran Strike, is a big, tough guy with a gruff exterior. He's definitely down on his luck, but his backstory is interesting. He's a war hero and the son of a rock star father who he doesn't have any contact with. I got a little tired of hearing about how uncomfortable his prosthesis was though. But at heart he's a good guy who wants to help those who need him. His assistant Robin is competent and caring, but a little disappointing somehow. Maybe she just doesn't get...
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Audiobook Review: The Crimson Campaign by Brian McClellan

Title: The Crimson Campaign (Powder Mage Trilogy #2) Author: Brian McClellan Narrator: Christian Rodska Published: May 6, 2014 by Hachette Audio Genre: Flintlock Fantasy (whatever that is) Rating: 5 out of 5 stars Add: Goodreads Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository | Audible GUNPOWDER AND BULLETS WILL DETERMINE THE VICTOR. When invasion looms... Tamas's invasion of Kez ends in disaster when a Kez counter-offensive leaves him cut off behind enemy lines with only a fraction of his army, no supplies, and no hope of reinforcements. Drastically outnumbered and pursued by the enemy's best, he must lead his men on a reckless march through northern Kez to safety, and back over the mountains so that he can defend his country from an angry god, Kresimir. But the threats are closer to home... In Adro, Inspector Adamat wants only to rescue his wife. To do so he must track down and confront the evil Lord Vetas. He has questions for Vetas concerning his enigmatic master, but the answers will lead Adamat on a darker journey. Who will...
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