Monday, 15 July 2019

The Grey Bastards by Jonathan French

Paperback, 421 pages
Published June 21st 2018 by Orbit (first published October 16th 2015)
Series: The Lot Lands #1

I did not actually want to read this book, I was told it was so grimdark, and I am not a grimdark fan. But I have come to realise that I do like grimdark, just not grimdark where the main characters rape or laugh while buddies rape...yeah no thank you. And those are so hard to find cos it's not like glowing reviews say it.

But then I found it for free on this take a book, leave a book bookshelf my library has. I had to try it, if I did not care for it I could just leave it there for someone else to take. Cos I was curious, even if I again was told it was not for me since I was not a SoA fan.

Oh and there is rape mentioned. But as long as my main guy does not do it, I am fine. This is a shitty place, the intestines in a dung heap kind of place. Orcs come plundering, killing and raping. The children of such unions are killed, left to die or given to orphanages. And they used to be slaves, kept at brothels, used at servants or made to work in mines. Until they showed their worth and now some patrol the borderlands on hogs. 
This is the arse of the empire.

It is dark, they kill, they joke, they talk shit. And there is politic. Their leader is tired, Jackal feels like he is leading them astray. Then a weird wizard shows up, not to mention they find an elf being tortured (and you do not mess with elves.)

I did like Jackal, he does have honor in him, and with that I can follow him. The only woman worth mentioning is a fellow soldier, and I did not like her one bit, ugh, the next book seems to be about her, I despair.

Some neg reviews talk how there are no women and the only women in it are whores. Well, this is the shithole of the empire,what do you expect. I do not want my fantasy to be 50/50 Utopia. What on earth could happen there to be interesting? Let me read about a fucking disaster where I would not want to live. Where I'd rather just drown in a river instead.

I really enjoyed it and read it in a day. It was an easy read, I want more, and just fuck, it was a shitty place to read about. It makes you want to swear. So much, and snort.

Is this made with women in mind? Cos I approve

Such is the creed of the half-orcs dwelling in the Lot Lands. Sworn to hardened brotherhoods known as hoofs, these former slaves patrol their unforgiving country astride massive swine bred for war. They are all that stand between the decadent heart of noble Hispartha and marauding bands of full-blood orcs. 
Jackal rides with the Grey Bastards, one of eight hoofs that have survived the harsh embrace of the Lots. Young, cunning and ambitious, he schemes to unseat the increasingly tyrannical founder of the Bastards, a plague-ridden warlord called the Claymaster. Supporting Jackal’s dangerous bid for leadership are Oats, a hulking mongrel with more orc than human blood, and Fetching, the only female rider in all the hoofs. 
When the troubling appearance of a foreign sorcerer comes upon the heels of a faceless betrayal, Jackal’s plans are thrown into turmoil. He finds himself saddled with a captive elf girl whose very presence begins to unravel his alliances. With the anarchic blood rite of the Betrayer Moon close at hand, Jackal must decide where his loyalties truly lie, and carve out his place in a world that rewards only the vicious. 

Sunday, 14 July 2019

Carole's Sunday Review: The Colonel and the Bee - Patrick Canning

The Colonel and the Bee
Author: Patrick Canning 

Narrator: Mil Nicholson
Title: The Colonel and the Bee
Genre: Steampunk, Adventure, Historical Fantasy, SciFi
Pages: Audiobook
Published:  June 1st 2018
Where I Got It: My shelf (Given to me by the author/publisher for my honest and unbiased opinion)

The Amazing Beatrix works as an acrobat in a 19th Century circus, no home or family to speak of. When a daring escape from her abusive ringleader crosses Beatrix's path with that of the daring adventurer Colonel James Bacchus, the unlikely pair team up, fly to safety aboard the Colonel’s miraculous four-story hot air balloon, and begin a grand quest to find the most precious gem in the world, The Blue Star Sphinx. 

If the heroes can outmaneuver the deadly treasure hunters, escaped convicts, and double-crosses that await them, they may win the treasure they seek, or better yet, a sense of true belonging. 

This book had me hooked from the moment I read the title and then seen the book cover. I knew I had to read/listen to it. 

The story follows Beatrix/Bee. She was an acrobat in a circus with an abusive ringleaders. She decides its time to go after meeting Colonel James Bacchus. They team up and journey the world in the Colonel's amazing hot air balloon. Along with some friends they begin a grand quest to the find the Blue Star Sphnix. 

Normally books that are technically "steampunk" are out of my reading category. Not a huge fan. BUT this did not feel steampunk minus the hot air balloon that is pretty much the size of a house. Other then that I couldn't tell. It was perfect for the likes of me. I can't stand over-the-top steampunk novels. This had a splash of steampunk and it worked well for me. 

I liked Bee and the Colonel. Except the Colonel did have me worried. He seemed SO perfect at first. Smart, classy, funny, brave, adventurous, kind to everyone, proud, handsome, etc. I was worried, but then we got to see the real Colonel after a bit. The outside is perfect, but he has some flaws there. 

This was a fun adventure for sure. I had no idea how it was all going to end. Especially with the big twist and reveal. WOAH. Didn't see that coming! 

I enjoyed the humor and the writing style. I learned some new words for sure in this one! 

The ending was pretty good. It did make me happy how it all ended. 

I think my only complaint was how young Bee was. At first I thought she was older, but then I realized she is barely a teenager! I don't mind young characters, but I guess I assumed she was closer to being an adult. Like 16 or 17 or something of the like. It did work though. She was young and naive in a lot of things. 

The narrator was fun. She was a little old sounding for Bee (maybe this is why I thought she was a touch older). But I did enjoy her voice for the characters. She has an excellent way to bring the accents and the characters to life! Good pick overall there. 

In the end, I really enjoyed this story. It was full of life. I really want more adventures! The characters were a gem. The story was intriguing and fun. The narration was a charm. I adored this novel. And that cover???? Makes me want to go on a hot air balloon and travel the world! This novel was certainly a gem and I highly recommend it. I'll stamp this with 5 stars. 

Friday, 12 July 2019

Audio: Wicked Highland Ways by Mary Wine

Narrated by: Antony Ferguson
Series: Highland Weddings, Book 6
Length: 8 hrs and 20 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 05-28-19
Language: English
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Historical romance
To review

Brenda has suffered for 5 books now. For 5 books! This woman is cursed. I want to go there and kick everyone for letting her suffer. I have wanted a happiness for her so very long. I wanted everyone to ride to her rescue, everyone!

First she was married to an idiot at 16. Then when she was free the Earl of Morton, oh I can not even speak of that. Poor Poor Brenda. And now she has sacrificed herself to be sent to England to marry so that her cousin can keep his new bride. Her new husband to be we met in book 5 and he needs a kick in the nuts.

But Brenda has one person in her corner, Bothan Gunn. I love you Bothan, you never gave up. He rides to England after her, and he keeps fighting to win her. A lot more are thrown in their way. Until I just wanted to scream let her be happy!

She does fight him too, though she also fancies the pants of him. But she does not want to marry again (at the same time, go for it woman! Go for it. He is not like the rest.)

Drama, fighting and a true quest for a heart. I have enjoyed this series! I wonder what she will do next...

I really like Antony's narration. He is Highlanders to me. He does them so well. And he does do female voices well too.

Brenda Grant has no desire to marry. Ever since her first, horrible marriage, she's made herself into a hellion of a woman to keep men from wanting her. But the Campbells, her previous husband's family, are determined to find her a new husband. Highland Chief Bothan Gunn is smitten by the woman who won't be tamed. It takes all Brenda's willpower to resist the brawny Highlander who takes her to safety. But as they spend time together-and grow ever closer-Brenda finally finds the freedom she's been longing for all along.

Thursday, 11 July 2019

Audio: Part-time Gods by Rachel Aaron

Narrated by: Emily Woo Zeller
Series: Detroit Free Zone (DFZ), Book 2
Length: 11 hrs and 8 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 07-02-19
Language: English
Publisher: Audible Studios
Uran fantasy
To review

I actually enjoyed this one more than book 1, I do like when they keep on getting better!

Opal is having a hard time. She works as a cleaner, that is she buys the right to clean out places and sell the stuff she finds. But her dad cursed her so she has bad luck.

First, I found myself liking her dad, and that is so bad. He is a dragon, and he is not a nice, person. But I do feel that deep down he does care, but he is a dragon and dragons can not care for humans. Yes, I totally like her dad. But he is an overbearing crazy dragon that covets humans for his hoard.

So in this one she has to make money to pay off her dad so that she an be free. But she has constant bad luck. To help her she has Nick, who is like part cyborg, or when does you go fully cyborg?

There is weird things happening. There is running from dragons and dragon politics. There is a Julius cameo! Omg, I have missed him so much. I love love Julius...looooove.

Oh, the ending is SO evil, so very evil

This series is fun, Opal is strong and all she wants is freedom. The DFC is one crazy city, and the world is fantastic. Dragons, spirits and magic.

Narration Emily Woo Zeller
I have listened to her in  a few different audios now and i do like her narration. I like her different voices and she brings emotion and feel to the story. She makes Opal for me

Life in the magical mess of the Detroit Free Zone is never easy. When you’re laboring under the curse of a certain prideful, overbearing dragon, it can be down right impossible.   
My name is Opal Yong-ae, and I’m a Cleaner. At least, I used to be. Thanks to the supernatural bad luck that turns everything I do against me, these days I’m more of a walking disaster. Getting rid of this curse is the only way to get my life back. Unfortunately, dragon magic is every bit as sneaky and deadly as the monsters behind it, and just as hard to beat.  
But I’ve never been one to take her doom at face value. Cornered doesn’t mean defeated, and in an awakened city that rules herself, dragons are no longer the biggest powers around.


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