For What It's Worth

For What It's Worth

Monday, May 27, 2019

Monday Minis



Give Up the Ghost (not Dead Yet #2) by Jenn Burke ~Goodreads 

Source: Review copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review

My thoughts: I loved book #1, Not Dead Yet, in this series. Give Up the Ghost expands on Burke’s unique paranormal world of ghosts, vampires, witches and Gods while strengthening the core gang of (LGBQT) found family. However, the story gets bogged down by reunited lovers – Wes & Hudson – who both keep secrets then get mad at the other for keeping secrets. Never my favorite thing in a romance. As well as big revelations that just get dropped in favor of scene changes. 

Even with those quibbles, this is a fun, inventive PNR series that keeps me coming back for more.


The 5th Gender (Tinkered Stars Mystery #1) by G.L. Carriger ~ Goodreads 

Source: Review copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review

My thoughts: 

A species that has no word for murder, has a murderer aboard their spaceship."

Tristol is a lavender colored alien from the species Galoi, living in exile – a lyga - on a mixed race space station and is utterly adorable and delightful, with his emotion telegraphing, tubular hair, as he tries to navigate etiquette and social cues with his (maybe mutual) giant crush on human detective, Drey Hastion. 

There is a murder on a Galoi ship and since they have no concept or word for murder – they contact Tristol’s ship for help. Tristol, as translator, must team with Drey to solve the potential crime.

As the title suggests, there are five genders on Tristol’s home world. Carriger has created a complex society that explores gender identity while touching on other weighty topics like autonomy and suicide. 

There are a lot of gender terms and rules thrown at the reader early on & then exceptions to the rules that I found confusing until Drey & Tristol boarded the Galoi ship and I could *see* rather than be told. There is also a helpful glossary at the end of the book that I wish I had known about ahead of time. 

The romance was the sweeeeetest! And the mystery of the cozy variety with a sci-fi twist.  
A tad confusing at first but cute!


Arctic Sun (Frozen Hearts #1) by Annabeth Albert ~ Goodreads 

Source: Purchased

My thoughts: The first book in Albert’s new M/M Frozen Heart series was better than I was expecting. A grumpy mountain man and a male model sounded a bit too cliché but, of course, Albert pulled it off.

Both Griffen (Mr. Grumpy) and River (hot former model, now jet setting travel author) suffer from ghosts from their past. Griffen, a lost love and alcoholism and River an eating disorder. They are both in recovery and able to manage their issues but mostly by avoiding any triggers.

It’s usually a bad idea for two people with these kind of problems to pair up – especially when they don’t have it under control, but they both deal the same way – by running – and are able to seek solace, comfort and call each other out when needed.  This is a super slow paced, not a whole lot happening, kind of story. Not my absolute favorite Annabeth Albert book but I enjoyed it all the same. 


Middlegame by Seanan McGuire ~ Goodreads

Source: Library

My thoughts: “Meet Roger. Skilled with words, languages come easily to him. He instinctively understands how the world works through the power of story.

Meet Dodger, his twin. Numbers are her world, her obsession, her everything. All she understands, she does so through the power of math.


Roger and Dodger aren’t exactly human, though they don’t realise it.”


Middlegame is not the kind of book I typically read (sci-fi, time travel) but I  was captivated by how richly layered the story and characters were, slowly unraveling the story of twins Roger and Dodger as well as that of alchemist James Reed.

The breadth of the story is epic in scope. McGuire slowly unravels Reed’s quest to create children, looking for the perfect pair to embody the Doctrine of Ethos, so they can bend reality to their will and give him unlimited power. It starts at the end and then skips to the beginning weaving in different timelines and consequences. It’s heartbreaking to read what he does to these children.

This is, at it’s core, an origin story - and a love story, between a sister and brother. And a story of a truly evil scientist with his own origin story and(twisted) romance.

The writing wraps around you and each word deliberate.

"When she stops breathing, his heart will follow hers into the dark. He knows that as surely as he's ever known anything, as surely as he knows the difference between myth and miracle, between legend and lie." 

Gorgeous prose! But, tbh, it was very dense and at 528 pages difficult for me to power through at times.

If you’ve ever read Laini Tayler (Daughter of Smoke and Bone) you’ll know what I mean. The sentences are lyrical and take on larger meaning – the writing challenges you. And that’s fine! I know people will LOVE this but I’m a lazy reader lol and often want to just get to the point. So, at times this was a slog, but the story is intense and exciting and kept me interested until the very end.

This was my first book by McGuire, and while this wasn’t the perfect fit, I loved her writing, and want to try The Wayward children series next now that my library has it.

35 comments:

  1. The 5th Gender definitely sounds interesting. I love the sound of a mystery set on a space station.

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    1. It was odd in that it was a cozy mystery - but in space lol But fun!

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  2. I have Middlegame and I am really curious....I do love Toby! But will this be a good fit, who knows

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    1. You must tell me what you think if you read it! You have even less patience than me lol

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  3. I need to read more Seanan McGuire! I haven't read much but what I have read I've loved. Yes, I need Middlegame!

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    1. I definitely think Middlegame is one you would like Melissa.

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  4. I have seen many, many raves for McGuire's earlier works. If the writing worked for you, you may enjoy the other titles more.

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    1. The writing is amazing - but she even said this was different from he usual style so I'm sure I'll like her other works.

      She also writes as Mira Grant so there's lots to chose from. I have her UF series.

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  5. The Fifth Gender sounds interesting. Also apparently I had no idea what Middlegame was about. It sounds interesting though, even with the intimidating size. It's taken me a week to read a 350 page so that's where I am right now.

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    1. I'm on a reading roll! I'm going to be real cool & on the dl about it in fear of it ending lol

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  6. Middlegame keeps popping up, so I'm tempted to add it to my TBR but I'm still not sure.

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    1. It's hard for me to say - it's not my typical read and while I liked it - it was a difficult read for me.

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  7. Middlegame keeps sounding like a pretty good book from all the reviews I've read.

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  8. Oooh, thanks for putting me onto the 5th Gender. New to me.
    I've got the Burke and Alpert already on the list for some point.

    Glad you enjoyed them all for the most part.

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    1. I seem to be on a good reading roll right now!

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  9. I've never read anything by Seanan McGuire before but Middlegame sounds like a book I'll really enjoy specially seeing you've made the comparison to a Laini Taylor type read. I don't mind dense fantasy books as long as they're well written and I adore lyrical prose. I might grab a copy and take my time with it so it doesn't feel as heavy. Great reviews Karen, really enjoyed them.

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    1. I really think you would like Middlegame! I'm such a lazy reader lol but the writing was beautiful.

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  10. I wasn't sure whether I wanted to take on Middle Game, or not, but I hate time travel storylines... so it's probably not something I would get into. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. 👍✨

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    1. Me tooooooo! You can just keep redoing things and keep twisting it until you get the result you want. lol

      But this was pretty good - even if it wasn't my kind of book.

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  11. Five genders! Now I'm intrigued...

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    1. I feel like she defaulted to typical romance tropes for the main couple but it was an interesting take on sexuality and gender.

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  12. 5th Gender sounds good and I love anything by Seanan McGuire. Great reviews and thanks for sharing!

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    1. This was my first book by her but I'm going to try her other stuff.

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  13. Those look fun. Right now I'm looking for some non-fiction books to read. I love reading about historical figures and events. I really want to find some books on the Emperor's of Rome, all of them not just the famous ones.

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    1. I have a few non fiction titles I want to get to too.

      I had to get back to reading in general first though lol

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  14. Seanan McGuire is one I'd like to read. Her October Daye series in particular.

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    1. I have her OD books and Parasite (writing under Mira Grant). I'm finally starting to be able to go back and read older books so maybe I'll get to them soon.

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  15. The 5th Gender would appeal to me so much without the romance LOL.

    I'm so happy you ended up liking Middlegame, despite its being a detour from your usual books. I have great expectations about it. As for the Wayward Children series, just keep in mind that every McGuire book/series has a very distinct voice (well, I'm talking from a two-series experience LOL), so it's not a given that one would like all of them equally. I strongly encourage you to try WC though.

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    1. It's VERY romance-y so not for you lol

      I'm curious to see what you think of Middlegame because it's the typical kind of story but told in a very different structure.

      I have her October Daye UF series and her Mira Grant Parasite book but this was the first I read.

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  16. I have been hearing amazing things about Middle Game and now I really want to read it! But I do think that it does sound quite dense for what it is.

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  17. The Not Dead Yet series sounds really good! And I'm glad you liked Annabeth's latest. It wasn't my favorite by her, but I did like it, and I'm curious about the second in the series. Middlegame definitely seems like a long read, but I am interested.

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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  18. I can understand those issues with the first one, but I'm glad to hear it's still a fun series! The 5th Gender sounds good, I like the sound of the sweet romance! Also glad to hear Middlegame was good. I usually love lyrical prose, but I do have to be in the right frame of mind since it takes more focus.

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