Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Books with Black in the Title


Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday – a weekly feature from The Broke and the Bookish, now hosted by ThatArtsyReaderGirl. Expect a new top ten list every week!


| Top Ten… Books with Black in the Title |

Following last week’s post, in which I discussed all my favourite books read and unread featuring the colour red, this week I will be looking at books with the colour black in their title. With books I’ve read, books I’ve reviewed and books that are firmly planted on my TBR, scroll down for this week’s Top Ten… Books with Black in the Title.

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| 1. |

Shadowblack

Book Two of Spellslinger

by Sebastien de Castell

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| My Thoughts |

Shadowblack, and the Spellslinger series as a whole, are some of my favourite YA novels to date. They’re frequently action-packed and engaging, always funny and fast-paced, and often keep you guessing to the very end. Kellen’s character is only surpassed by the wonder that is Reichis, the angry, thieving and quick to bite squirrel-cat that accompanies him on his journeys – his business partner, some might say – and the swaggering Argosi, Ferius Parfax. A highly recommend series which I only wish hadn’t concluded after Book Six, Crownbreaker.

Rating

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| Synopsis |

It’s a few months since Kellen left his people behind. Now aged sixteen, Kellen is an outlaw, relying on his wits to keep him alive in the land of the Seven Sands. He misses home, he misses family and more than anything, he misses Nephenia, the girl he left behind.

Then he meets Seneira, a blindfolded girl who isn’t blind, and who carries a secret that’s all too familiar to Kellen. Kellen and Ferius resolve to help – but the stakes are far higher than they realise. A Shadowblack plague is taking hold – and Kellen can’t help but suspect his own people may even be behind it.

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| 2. |

Empire in Black and Gold

Book One of Shadows of the Apt

by Adrian Tchaikovsky

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| My Thoughts |

Despite the fact that I’ve still not finished this series – book eight here I come – I have so much love for the Shadows of the Apt series. They were my introduction to Adrian Tchaikovsky’s writing and I can honestly say that I have never looked back. Empire in Black and Gold, the first book in the series, introduces a detailed and complex world full of insectoid humans and their struggles between race, power and warring kingdoms. This is a unique world with unique characters which I could easily rate as one of my favourite series of all time.

Rating

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| Synopsis |

The city states of the Lowlands have lived in peace for decades, bastions of civilization, prosperity and sophistication, protected by treaties, trade and a belief in the reasonable nature of their neighbours.

But meanwhile, in far-off corners, the Wasp Empire has been devouring city after city with its highly trained armies, its machines, its killing Art…And now its hunger for conquest and war has become insatiable.

Only the ageing Stenwold Maker, spymaster, artificer and statesman, can see that the long days of peace are over. It falls upon his shoulders to open the eyes of his people, before a black-and-gold tide sweeps down over the Lowlands and burns away everything in its path.

But first he must stop himself becoming the Empire’s latest victim.heart

| 3. |

Blackwing

Book One of Raven’s Mark

by Ed McDonald

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Ed McDonald’s debut is a solid and vividly written fantasy which follows the tale of Ryhalt Galharrow – Blackwing Captain and bounty hunting mercenary – as he undertakes the bidding of the Nameless master, Crowfoot, in an ages long war against the Deep Kings. With battles, magic and grim-beings aplenty in a landscape blighted by a catastrophic war, this is a unique and refreshing grimdark novel which has me itching to read it’s sequel, Ravencry.

Rating

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| Synopsis |

The republic faces annihilation, despite the vigilance of Galharrow’s Blackwings. When a raven tattoo rips itself from his arm to deliver a desperate message, Galharrow and a mysterious noblewoman must investigate a long dead sorcerer’s legacy. But there is a conspiracy within the citadel: traitors, flesh-eaters and the ghosts of the wastelands seek to destroy them, but if they cannot solve the ancient wizard’s paradox, the Deep Kings will walk the earth again, and all will be lost.

The war with the Eastern Empire ended in stalemate some eighty years ago, thanks to Nall’s ‘Engine’, a wizard-crafted weapon so powerful even the Deep Kings feared it. The strike of the Engine created the Misery – a wasteland full of ghosts and corrupted magic that now forms a No Mans Land along the frontier. But when Galharrow investigates a frontier fortress, he discovers complacency bordering on treason: then the walls are stormed, and the Engine fails to launch. Galharrow only escapes because of the preternatural magical power of the noblewoman he was supposed to be protecting. Together, they race to the capital to unmask the traitors and restore the republic’s defences. Far across the Misery a vast army is on the move, as the Empire prepares to call the republic’s bluff.

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| 4. |

The Black Prism

Book One of Lightbringer

by Brent Weeks

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| My Thoughts |

With a fascinating and unique magic system, and a wonderfully imagined but complex world, The Black Prism is a stunning start to the Lightbringer series. Well-written and exquisitely rendered throughout, The Black Prism features engaging characters, interesting politics, and a fast-paced narrative that I couldn’t tear my eyes from. The only let down is that I still haven’t picked up the next in the series!

Rating

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| Synopsis |

Guile is the Prism, the most powerful man in the world. He is high priest and emperor, a man whose power, wit, and charm are all that preserves a tenuous peace. Yet Prisms never last, and Guile knows exactly how long he has left to live.

When Guile discovers he has a son, born in a far kingdom after the war that put him in power, he must decide how much he’s willing to pay to protect a secret that could tear his world apart.

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| 5. |

Black City Saint

Book One of Black City Saint

by Richard A. Knaak

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| My Thoughts |

With Black City Saint, a book filled with saints, dragons and long-dead emperors, Richard A. Knaak has created an instantly compelling protagonist on a backdrop of dark magic and mob violence. An absorbing, inventive and humorous read, this stunning debut is high on my list of urban fantasy favourites. And, had I remembered this series sooner, I would have had two further black titled books to add to today’s list – Black City Demon and Black City Dragon.

Rating

My review of Black City Saint can be found here.

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| Synopsis |

For more than sixteen hundred years, Nick Medea has followed and guarded the Gate that keeps the mortal realm and that of Feirie separate, seeking in vain absolution for the fatal errors he made when he slew the dragon. All that while, he has tried and failed to keep the woman he loves from dying over and over.

Yet in the fifty years since the Night the Dragon Breathed over the city of Chicago, the Gate has not only remained fixed, but open to the trespasses of the Wyld, the darkest of the Feiriefolk. Not only does that mean an evil resurrected from Nick’s own past, but the reincarnation of his lost Cleolinda, a reincarnation destined once more to die.

Nick must turn inward to that which he distrusts the most: the Dragon, the beast he slew when he was still only Saint George. He must turn to the monster residing in him, now a part of him…but ever seeking escape.

The gang war brewing between Prohibition bootleggers may be the least of his concerns. If Nick cannot prevent an old evil from opening the way between realms…then not only might Chicago face a fate worse than the Great Fire, but so will the rest of the mortal realm.

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| 6. |

The Black Jewels Trilogy

Daughter of the Blood

Heir to the Shadows

Queen of the Darkness

by Anne Bishop

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| My Thoughts |

I first discovered this trilogy when I was fifteen years old and my rating almost certainly reflects that. It was like nothing else I’d ever read before – dark, passionate and grim with highly adult themes throughout and a female-dominated world and magic system to boot. It hit teenage me right in the sweet spot.

Despite my young age, I can almost certainly say that this is not a YA book (sex, violence, torture and slavery abound) and I wonder, given the mixed reviews, whether I would enjoy it as much now. It would, however, be dishonest of me to not give the same rating I gave all those years ago so perhaps The Black Jewels Trilogy is due a re-read.

Rating (Sixteen Years Ago)

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| Synopsis |

Seven hundred years ago, a Black Widow witch saw an ancient prophecy come to life in her web of dreams and visions.

Now the Dark Kingdom readies itself for the arrival of its Queen, a Witch who will wield more power than even the High Lord of Hell himself. But she is still young, still open to influence–and corruption.

Whoever controls the Queen controls the darkness. Three men–sworn enemies–know this. And they know the power that hides behind the blue eyes of an innocent young girl. And so begins a ruthless game of politics and intrigue, magic and betrayal, where the weapons are hate and love–and the prize could be terrible beyond imagining…

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| 7. |

The Black Magician Trilogy

The Magician’s Guild

The Novice

The High Lord

by Trudi Canavan

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| My Thoughts |

Despite none of the individual titles having the word ‘black’ in them, it would be remiss of me not to include The Black Magician Trilogy in this list. I first read The Magician’s Guild when I was sixteen years old and, like The Black Jewels Trilogy, my rating will be influenced by that fact.

The first in the Black Magician Trilogy is an exciting and magical tale of a young girl with strange and dangerous powers who finds herself elevated to the position of novice in the Magicians’ Guild. This is a YA fantasy that began my love of Canavan’s writing, which I have enjoyed over the many years since, and I would be more than happy to re-read this trilogy again.

Rating (Fifteen Years Ago)

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| Synopsis |

Each year the magicians of Imardin gather together to purge the city streets of vagrants, urchins and miscreants. Masters of the disciplines of magic, they know that no one can oppose them. But their protective shield is not as impenetrable as they believe.

Sonea, angry, frustrated and outraged by the treatment of her family and friends, hurls a stone at the shield, putting all her rage behind it. To the amazement of all who bear witness, the stone passes unhindered through the barrier and renders a magician unconscious.

The guild’s worst fear has been realised… There is an untrained magician loose on the streets. She must be found before her uncontrolled powers unleash forces that will destroy both her, and the city that is her home.

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| 8. |

The Black Hawks

Book One of Articles of Faith

by David Wragg

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| My Thoughts |

The Black Hawks is a dark, action-packed and witty fantasy featuring a whole host of mercenaries, pompous princes and strangers willing to stab each other, quite literally, in the back. This debut novel by David Wragg is a solid read, which leaves the reader on a knife’s edge and was just shy of greatness.

Rating

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| Synopsis |

Life as a knight is not what Vedren Chel imagined. Bound by oath to a dead-end job in the service of a lazy step-uncle, Chel no longer dreams of glory – he dreams of going home.

When invaders throw the kingdom into turmoil, Chel finds opportunity in the chaos: if he escorts a stranded prince to safety, Chel will be released from his oath.

All he has to do is drag the brat from one side of the country to the other, through war and wilderness, chased all the way by ruthless assassins.

With killers on your trail, you need killers watching your back. You need the Black Hawk Company – mercenaries, fighters without equal, a squabbling, scrapping pack of rogues.

Prepare to join the Black Hawks.

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| 9. |

The Black Song

Book Two of Raven’s Blade

by Anthony Ryan

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| My Thoughts |

Having still not completed the brilliant Raven’s Shadow series, it may be a little early to put the second book of the follow-up series on the list, but it does feature the colour black and Anthony Ryan is a masterful writer. It really is about time I delved back into the world of Vaelin Al Sorna.heart

| Synopsis |

The Steel Horde has laid waste to the Venerable Kingdom, unleashing a storm of fire and blood. Now the leader of this mighty host – Kehlbrand, the warlord who thinks himself a god – turns his eyes to the other merchant kingdoms. No one can stop his divine conquest.

No one, perhaps, except Vaelin Al Sorna.

Yet Vaelin is on the run, his own army in disarray. Worse, the new blood song he has acquired is as much a curse as a blessing, and seeks to guide him down a path far darker than he could have imagined…

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| 10. |

The Black Company

Book One of The Chronicles of the Black Company

by Glen Cook

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| My Thoughts |

This classic, dark fantasy has influenced so many fantasy authors that it is a wonder I’ve never read it. Credited with being the progenitor of grimdark, and with mercenaries, anti-heroes and villains by the bucket-load, The Black Company is one book that is firmly placed on my TBR.

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| Synopsis |

Some feel the Lady, newly risen from centuries in thrall, stands between humankind and evil. Some feel she is evil itself. The hardbitten men of the Black Company take their pay and do what they must, burying their doubts with their dead – until the prophesy: The White Rose has been reborn, somewhere, to embody good once more.

There must be a way for the Black Company to find her..


Click here to see last week’s post:

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Books with Red in the Title

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Which ‘Black’ book is your favourite?

If you would like to join in with Top Ten Tuesday, head on over to ThatArtsyReaderGirl and sign up!

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Music Monday: 0:59


Welcome to Music Monday – a weekly meme created by The Tattooed Book Geek where we share the songs we love, the bands we like and the music we just can’t get out of our heads.


I have always loved listening to music whilst reading and finding the perfect musical accompaniment to each book always makes the experience more fulfilling. In fact, it wasn’t very many years ago that I used to write a ‘Bookish Beats‘ post every Sunday to pair an album with a book, and this post certainly puts me in mind of that.

This week’s Music Monday is an electro house chillout track by French electronic musician Danger which hits all my Science Fiction notes. This instrumental track is hypnotic, melodic and incredibly atmospheric and has me hitting repeat every single time.

Listen, watch and enjoy!


| Danger: 0:59 |

Taken from the album: Big Black Delta (2013)


| 太鼓 (Taiko) – 2017 |


What are you listening to at the moment? 

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This Week by Proxy: 20 July – 02 August


Welcome to This Week by Proxy. Join me as I link up with the Caffeinated Reviewer to look back on the past week and see what I’ve been reading, posting, watching and playing!


| This Week by Proxy: 20 July – 02 August 2020 |

This week’s post is actually a two-week post, as last week my weekend was so chaotic that I didn’t find any time to wrap up anything! I did, however, do some gardening with a three year old, read many a children’s book, drank copious amounts of wine, and had an insanely lengthy trip to Ikea where I spent a veritable fortune on items that I hadn’t planned on buying in the first place! But such is life.

I have also managed to enjoy several socially distanced meet ups with both my parents and my partner’s parents, which was a lovely change to my somewhat house-bound working week. However, both their areas have now gone into an extended lockdown period and we will be unable to meet up until restrictions have been lifted again.

I hope you are all safe and well and I can’t wait to catch up on your bookish posts during the week!


| Books Read |

I finally finished Ashes of the Sun, the first in a new fantasy series by Django Wexler, which proved to be a beautifully wrought and complex tale of siblings who find themselves on opposite sides of a war that has lasted the ages. This was a joy to read from beginning to end and has me itching to see what else Wexler has to offer.

I also finished Becky Chambers’ novella, To Be Taught, If Fortunate, which tells the tale of the crew of the Merian as they explore, study and catalogue their findings of strange, new worlds. While not in the same league as the Wayfarers series, this was still an enjoyable tale which explores several interesting concepts.

I also completed my second Jeeves novel, Right Ho, Jeeves, which I rather enjoyed, and a collection of Blandings short stories, Lord Emsworth Acts for the Best.


| Currently Reading |

I just can’t cope with how in love I am with Leviathan Wakes. If a book can be devoured, then every time this one is opened up it is a feast for the mind. The worlds, the ships, the people – they’re all so clearly and wonderfully wrought that I feel lucky to be reading it.

I have also finally gotten around to reading Sharp Ends by Joe Abercrombie which, for some unknown reason, I’ve left high and dry on my bookshelf – pristine signed hardback looking down at me in stunning blue. I am thoroughly ashamed! With short tales of new and familiar characters, I couldn’t be happier to be back in the world of The First Law.


| Upcoming Reviews |

I am definitely struggling to stop myself from reading and start reviewing at the moment. I partially blame my excessive hours behind a computer whilst working from home but, in all honesty, everything I’m reading is so exciting that I’m too eager to go onto the next thing before I’ve given myself some time to process. I will, however, be playing a bit of catch up this week (as I certainly don’t want to fall any further behind!) and should have all the above reviews out in the next two weeks.  


| Watching |

The other half and I are slowly making our way through The Order in between bouts of gaming, while I’ve been watching Humans, an addictive science fiction series about AI and synthetic consciousness. I first started watching Humans when it was first released and, for some unknown reason, failed to continue – so I have plenty to catch up on!


| Gaming |

For the past two weeks I have been playing copious amounts of No Man’s Sky and Red Dead Redemption 2, interspersed with Apex Legends. No Man’s Sky is a beautiful and expansive game of planetary exploration which I now believe I’m slightly addicted to. Likewise, Red Dead Redemption 2 is a stunning, chaotic and wild ride across the Wild West. Had I not already chosen my Top Ten Games of the Past Two Years, which will be posted next week, these two would almost certainly be featured.


| Posts |

Review: A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers

Music Mondays: Huggin & Kissin

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Book Festivals in the UK

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Books with Red in the Title

Teaser Tuesdays: Ashes of the Sun

Teaser Tuesdays: To Be Taught, If Fortunate

Waiting on Wednesday: Piranesi by Susanna Clarke

Waiting on Wednesday: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

The Friday Face-Off: Framed

The Friday Face-Off: White

Friday Firsts: Leviathan Wakes


I hope you all have a wonderful, book-filled week!

What have you been reading, watching and playing this week? Have you accomplished any goals?

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Friday Firsts: Leviathan Wakes


Welcome to Friday Firsts – a weekly meme created by Tenacious Reader. First paragraphs. First impressions. A new favourite?


| Friday Firsts: July 31 |

Leviathan Wakes

Book One of The Expanse

by James S.A. Corey

Science Fiction | 561 Pages | Published by Orbit in 2011


| First Paragraphs |

The Scopuli had been taken eight days ago, and Julie Mao was finally ready to be shot.

It had taken all eight days trapped in a storage locker for her to get to that point. For the first two she’d remained motionless, sure that the armoured men who’d put her there had been serious. For the first hours, the ship she’d been taken aboard wasn’t under thrust, so she floated in the locker, using gentle touches to keep herself from bumping into the walls or the atmosphere suit she shared the space with. When the ship began to move, thrust giving her weight, she’d stood silently until her legs cramped, then sat down slowly into a fetal position. She’d peed in her jumpsuit, not caring about the warm itchy wetness, or the smell, worrying only that she might slip and fall in the wet spot it left on the floor. She couldn’t make noise. They’d shoot her.

Amazon | Book DepositoryGoodreads


| First Impressions |

I have had Leviathan Wakes on my TBR for what seems like an awfully long time and, after watching The Expanse series on Amazon Prime, it became only too apparent that if a TV series is this good then the book really must be something else entirely. So, here I am, writing my Friday Firsts post and I’ve already made it through 25% of the book!

The opening paragraphs are full of tension and mystery – who has taken Julie Mao? Why has she been imprisoned in a storage locker? Where are her crew? – and this theme runs throughout the book as every subsequent chapter amplifies the anticipation, uncertainty and excitement.

Furthermore, as the story progresses the parallels between book and TV series become ever more apparent, highlighting just how good a job the production team did in realising at least the (first quarter of the) first book in the series. This gripping space opera really is no less wonderful for knowing what is coming.

What are you currently reading? What were your first impressions?

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The Friday Face-Off: White


Welcome to The Friday Face-Off, a weekly meme here at Books by Proxy. Join me every Friday as I pit cover against cover, and publisher against publisher, to find the best artwork in our literary universe. Check out Lynn’s-Books for upcoming themes!


Nevernight by Jay Kristoff


Welcome to the Friday Face-Off!

This week we’re comparing book covers that are predominantly white and oh my were there a lot to choose from! In order to narrow down the wealth of possibilities, I decided that I would have to go for a book I had read and loved, a book which just so happens to have two absolutely stunning covers – enter Nevernight by Jay Kristoff.

With Tor’s Nevernight cover by Jason Chan against Harper Voyager’s cover by Kerby Rosanes, take a look and see which one is your favourite!


Tor | Cover #1

Cover Art by Jason Chan

Harper Voyager | Cover #2

Cover Art by Kerby Rosanes


| The Friday Face-Off: Winner |

The Tor cover is beautiful and eerily atmospheric, the solitary figure of Mia Corvere with a blooded blade making for a dark, dramatic composition. Further to this, the winged shadow against the pale stonework make for an arresting backdrop which is set off by the twisting and swirling typeface.

By contrast, the Harper Voyager cover is bold and eye-catching, and the beautifully detailed bird against the blood red sun makes for a striking image. This is a Face-Off that I simply cannot choose between.

Concept Art for Nevernight by Jason Chan

Which cover wins your vote this week? Have a cover of your own? – Post the link below!

Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads


Next week’s theme is:

Action

  A cover that depicts action

Remember to check Lynn’s Books for upcoming themes


| Links |

Lynn @ Lynn’s Books

Tammy @ Books, Bones & Buffy

Mogsy @ The Bibliosanctum

Steve Smith @ Books and Beyond Reviews

Sarah @ Brainfluff

Mareli & Elza @ Elza Reads

Kristi @ Confessions of a YA Reader

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Review: A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers



A Closed and Common Orbit

Book Two of the Wayfarers Series

by Becky Chambers

Science Fiction | 385 Pages | Published by Hodder & Stoughton in 2016


| Rating |


| TL;DR |

The second in the Wayfarers series picks up the narrative of Lovelace and Pepper after the conclusion of The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet. Following the story of Pepper’s past and Lovelace’s present, A Closed and Common Orbit is a tale of love and hope, friendship and family, and the struggle for identity in a vast and sometimes unforgiving universe.

This is a sequel that not only surpasses its predecessor in its richness of setting and depth of character, but opens up a beautiful and terrifying world of possibilities for the ongoing series. Utterly captivating from beginning to end, raising thought-provoking questions throughout, this is a series that really shouldn’t be missed.

| Synopsis |

The stand-alone sequel to the award-winning The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet.

Lovelace was once merely a ship’s artificial intelligence. When she wakes up in a new body, following a total system shut-down and reboot, she has to start over in a synthetic body, in a world where her kind are illegal. She’s never felt so alone.

But she’s not alone, not really. Pepper, one of the engineers who risked life and limb to reinstall Lovelace, is determined to help her adjust to her new world. Because Pepper knows a thing or two about starting over.

Together, Pepper and Lovey will discover that, huge as the galaxy may be, it’s anything but empty.

| Review |

Lovelace, once the AI of the Wayfarer, has a new body. She can move and speak and interact as other humans do, but she is not human and the vastness of the world around her is an intimidating prospect. Supported by Pepper, a human unlike any other she has seen, and armed with a new name – Sidra – she must learn to live a life that she is already railing against.

But Pepper’s past speaks just as loudly as Sidra’s present and there may be more similarities between them than Sidra initially thought. Through interwoven arcs of past and present, the mirrored narratives reveal moments of joy, pain, heartbreak and success and prove that, in this universe, just about anything may be possible.

Where The Long Way was a character-driven space opera full of excitement, discovery and intrigue, A Closed and Common Orbit is decidedly not. It is instead a study of character, or two characters to be precise, and how their lives, stories and motives intertwine – and it is all the better for it. This is a heart-warming and beautiful read which questions morality and humanity and takes the reader on a character-driven journey of identity, acceptance and freedom.

The transformative journey that Sidra embarks on runs in parallel with the often heart breaking story of Pepper’s – or Jane’s – past. These two timelines draw interesting and surprising parallels throughout the narrative and explore thought provoking questions about identity, family and belonging. It also demonstrates that even in an advanced, universal society that is accepting of a multitude of species, genders and cultures, that there are always those on the outside looking in; those who feel they do not belong or who cannot show their true selves to the universe.

While some readers may be disappointed that the original and familiar crew of the Wayfarer do not appear in this sequel, their absence does not detract from the richness of the story or depth of character portrayal. In fact, A Closed and Common Orbit explores character with a profound depth and focus that just wasn’t possible in the first novel.

Sidra’s arc readily demonstrates the confusion, fear and frustration of coming to terms with her new situation, combining her endearing qualities with a petulance that makes her appear ever more human as the narrative progresses. By contrast, Jane’s story shows the fear, determination and desperation of escaping a past that defined her entire perception of the world and how, through the kindness of unexpected strangers, she became the Pepper we see today.

The interweaving arcs of Jane’s past and Sidra’s present are cleverly written and striking in their reflection of one another, resulting in a beautiful and utterly compelling narrative that sweeps you along at a steady pace and fills you with outrage, joy, sadness and hope at the turn of each page.

Unexpected and surprising, A Closed and Common Orbit took a hold of my heart at the outset and brought tears to my eyes as it closed. This isn’t a book about action or conflict, or about a quest to save a dying world; it is a book about identity, our similarities and differences, and how we can work together to make a better future. But more than that, it is a book about family, friendship and, above all, hope.

Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads

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Waiting on Wednesday: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue


Welcome to Waiting on Wednesday, a weekly meme linking Waiting on Wednesday by Breaking The Spine and Can’t Wait Wednesday by Wishful Endings


| Waiting on Wednesday: July 29 |

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

by V.E. Schwab


When Addie La Rue makes a pact with the devil, she trades her soul for immortality. But there’s always a price – the devil takes away her place in the world, cursing her to be forgotten by everyone.

Addie flees her tiny home town in 18th-Century France, beginning a journey that takes her across the world, learning to live a life where no one remembers her and everything she owns is lost and broken. Existing only as a muse for artists throughout history, she learns to fall in love anew every single day.

Her only companion on this journey is her dark devil with hypnotic green eyes, who visits her each year on the anniversary of their deal. Alone in the world, Addie has no choice but to confront him, to understand him, maybe to beat him.

Until one day, in a second hand bookshop in Manhattan, Addie meets someone who remembers her. Suddenly thrust back into a real, normal life, Addie realises she can’t escape her fate forever.


To be published by Titan on 06th October 2020

Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Books with Red in the Title


Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday – a weekly feature from The Broke and the Bookish, now hosted by ThatArtsyReaderGirl. Expect a new top ten list every week!


| Top Ten… Books with Red in the Title |

Having had little to no free time over the past week or so, my blog posts have taken something of a dive. However, having started preparations for next week’s post in which I will be exploring books with the colour black in their title (and seeing as this week is a freebie), I managed to pull together this post based on the colour red!

With books I’ve read, books I’ve reviewed and books that are firmly planted on my TBR, scroll down for this week’s Top Ten… Books with Red in the Title

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| 1. |

Red Sister

Book One of the Book of the Ancestor

by Mark Lawrence

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| My Thoughts |

Red Sister is a thrilling start to an action-packed and mesmerising series by Mark Lawrence. The world-building and magic system are unique and well-balanced, Nona and her fellow sisters are brilliant, if a little terrifying, and the plot takes a hold of you at the start and refuses to let go. Red Sister is most definitely one of my favourite reads of the past two years.

Rating

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| Synopsis |

At the Convent of Sweet Mercy young girls are raised to be killers. In a few the old bloods show, gifting talents rarely seen since the tribes beached their ships on Abeth. Sweet Mercy hones its novices’ skills to deadly effect: it takes ten years to educate a Red Sister in the ways of blade and fist.

But even the mistresses of sword and shadow don’t truly understand what they have purchased when Nona Grey is brought to their halls as a bloodstained child of eight, falsely accused of murder: guilty of worse.

Stolen from the shadow of the noose, Nona is sought by powerful enemies, and for good reason. Despite the security and isolation of the convent her secret and violent past will find her out. Beneath a dying sun that shines upon a crumbling empire, Nona Grey must come to terms with her demons and learn to become a deadly assassin if she is to survive…

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| 2. |

The Red Knight

Book One of The Traitor Son Cycle

by Miles Cameron

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| My Thoughts |

The opening to The Traitor Son Cycle is an action-packed epic full of knights, mercenaries and nuns, with and inordinate number of battles, skirmishes and duels to see you through to the closing chapter. Don’t be fooled by a slow start, The Red Knight is a brilliant fantasy novel that will have me reaching for The Fell Sword in no time.

Rating

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| Synopsis |

Twenty eight florins a month is a huge price to pay, for a man to stand between you and the Wild.

Twenty eight florins a month is nowhere near enough when a wyvern’s jaws snap shut on your helmet in the hot stink of battle, and the beast starts to rip the head from your shoulders. But if standing and fighting is hard, leading a company of men – or worse, a company of mercenaries – against the smart, deadly creatures of the Wild is even harder.

It takes all the advantages of birth, training, and the luck of the devil to do it.

The Red Knight has all three, he has youth on his side, and he’s determined to turn a profit. So when he hires his company out to protect an Abbess and her nunnery, it’s just another job. The abby is rich, the nuns are pretty and the monster preying on them is nothing he can’t deal with.

Only it’s not just a job. It’s going to be a war…heart

| 3. |

Red Rising

Book One of the Red Rising Saga

by Pierce Brown

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Red Rising now needs little introduction. This stunning debut introduces us to Darrow as he begins a quest against a classist and racist ruling elite following generations of lies and oppression. This is an action-packed novel that had me on the edge of my seat from beginning to end.

Rating

My review of Red Rising can be found here.

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| Synopsis |

Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars liveable for future generations.

Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children.

But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity already reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet. Darrow—and Reds like him—are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.

Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity’s overlords struggle for power. He will be forced to compete for his life and the very future of civilisation against the best and most brutal of Society’s ruling class. There, he will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies… even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.
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| 4. |

Red Mars

Book One of the Mars Trilogy

by Kim Stanley Robinson

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| My Thoughts |

Red Mars charts the colonisation of Mars in this descriptive science fiction epic. In a narrative where personal politics reign supreme, the petty dramas and squabbles acted out by numerous characters could cost the hundred the very success of the mission. With worldbuilding and description on an epic scale, Red Mars is a solid and science-heavy read.

Rating

My review of Red Mars can be found here.

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| Synopsis |

For eons, sandstorms have swept the desolate landscape. For centuries, Mars has beckoned humans to conquer its hostile climate. Now, in 2026, a group of 100 colonists is about to fulfill that destiny.

John Boone, Maya Toitavna, Frank Chalmers & Arkady Bogdanov lead a terraforming mission. For some, Mars will become a passion driving them to daring acts of courage & madness. For others it offers an opportunity to strip the planet of its riches. For the genetic alchemists, it presents a chance to create a biomedical miracle, a breakthrough that could change all we know about life & death. The colonists orbit giant satellite mirrors to reflect light to the surface. Black dust sprinkled on the polar caps will capture warmth. Massive tunnels, kilometers deep, will be drilled into the mantle to create stupendous vents of hot gases. Against this backdrop of epic upheaval, rivalries, loves & friendships will form & fall to pieces–for there are those who will fight to the death to prevent Mars from ever being changed.

Brilliantly imagined, breathtaking in scope & ingenuity, Red Mars is an epic scientific saga, chronicling the next step in evolution, creating a world in its entirety. It shows a future, with both glory & tarnish, that awes with complexity & inspires with vision.

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| 5. |

Red Country

by Joe Abercrombie

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| My Thoughts |

Red Country is a witty and gritty Abercrombie offering set in the same world as the First Law. Styled as a western fantasy, this stand-alone novel is full of brutal, bloody action, where humour and a heavy dose of sarcasm take the edge off the grim and the dark. Another brilliant offering from Abercrombie and another solid five stars!

Rating

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| Synopsis |

They burned her home.
They stole her brother and sister.
But vengeance is following.

Shy South hoped to bury her bloody past and ride away smiling, but she’ll have to sharpen up some bad old ways to get her family back, and she’s not a woman to flinch from what needs doing. She sets off in pursuit with only a pair of oxen and her cowardly old step father Lamb for company. But it turns out Lamb’s buried a bloody past of his own. And out in the lawless Far Country the past never stays buried.

Their journey will take them across the barren plains to a frontier town gripped by gold fever, through feud, duel and massacre, high into the unmapped mountains to a reckoning with the Ghosts. Even worse, it will force them into an alliance with Nicomo Cosca, infamous soldier of fortune, and his feckless lawyer Temple, two men no one should ever have to trust . . .

RED COUNTRY takes place in the same world as the First Law trilogy, Best Served Cold, and The Heroes. This novel also represents the return of Logen Ninefingers, one of Abercrombie’s most beloved characters.

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| 6. |

Red Seas Under Red Skies

Book Two of the Gentleman Bastard Series

by Scott Lynch

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| My Thoughts |

Red Seas Under Red Skies is a fun and exciting sequel which continues the story of Locke and Jean as they once again attempt to pull of the impossible using their wits alone. Generally considered not quite as good as The Lies of Locke Lamora, the second in the Gentleman Bastard series is a thoroughly enjoyable romp full of humour, beautiful architecture and a whole host of liars, swindlers and cheats.

Rating

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| Synopsis |

After a brutal battle with the underworld that nearly destroyed him, Locke Lamora and his trusted sidekick, Jean, fled the island city of their birth and landed on the exotic shores of Tal Verrar to nurse their wounds. But even at this westernmost edge of civilisation, they can’t rest for long—and they are soon back doing what they do best: stealing from the undeserving rich and pocketing the proceeds for themselves.

This time, however, they have targeted the grandest prize of all: the Sinspire, the most exclusive and heavily guarded gambling house in the world. Its nine floors attract the wealthiest clientele – and to rise to the top, one must impress with good credit, amusing behaviour…and excruciatingly impeccable play. For there is one cardinal rule, enforced by Requin, the house’s cold-blooded master: it is death to cheat at any game at the Sinspire. Brazenly undeterred, Locke and Jean have orchestrated an elaborate plan to lie, trick, and swindle their way up the nine floors…straight to Requin’s teeming vault. Under the cloak of false identities, they meticulously make their climb – until they are closer to the spoils than ever.

But someone in Tal Verrar has uncovered the duo’s secret. Someone from their past who has every intention of making the impudent criminals pay for their sins. Now it will take every ounce of cunning to save their mercenary souls. And even that may not be enough.

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| 7. |

All Systems Red

Book One of The Murderbot Diaries

by Martha Wells

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| My Thoughts |

The Murderbot Diaries are a new addition to my TBR and the first book, All Systems Red, has already made its way onto my Kindle after reading numerous glowing reviews.

Check out this review by Maddalena @ Space and Sorcery to find out more!

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| Synopsis |

In a corporate-dominated spacefaring future, planetary missions must be approved and supplied by the Company. Exploratory teams are accompanied by Company-supplied security androids, for their own safety.

But in a society where contracts are awarded to the lowest bidder, safety isn’t a primary concern.

On a distant planet, a team of scientists are conducting surface tests, shadowed by their Company-supplied ‘droid—a self-aware SecUnit that has hacked its own governor module, and refers to itself (though never out loud) as “Murderbot.” Scornful of humans, all it really wants is to be left alone long enough to figure out who it is.

But when a neighboring mission goes dark, it’s up to the scientists and their Murderbot to get to the truth.

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| 8. |

Red Moon

by Kim Stanley Robinson

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| My Thoughts |

After reading Red Mars many moons ago, I have been eager to read more of Kim Stanley Robinson’s beautifully descriptive writing, and Red Moon, a political science-fiction thriller, may just fit the bill!

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| Synopsis |

American Fred Fredericks is making his first trip, his purpose to install a communications system for China’s Lunar Science Foundation. But hours after his arrival he witnesses a murder and is forced into hiding.

It is also the first visit for celebrity travel reporter Ta Shu. He has contacts and influence, but he too will find that the moon can be a perilous place for any traveller.

Finally, there is Chan Qi. She is the daughter of the Minister of Finance, and without doubt a person of interest to those in power. She is on the moon for reasons of her own, but when she attempts to return to China, in secret, the events that unfold will change everything – on the moon, and on Earth.

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| 9. |

A Red-Rose Chain

Book Nine of the October Daye Series

by Seanan McGuire

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| My Thoughts |

The October (or Toby) Daye series is a wonderful and fae urban fantasy by Seanan McGuire. Having read books one to four, I still have some way to go before A Red-Rose Chain but I’m sure it’ll be a magical journey along the way!

My review for Rosemary and Rue, Book One of the October Daye series, can be found here.

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| Synopsis |

Things are looking up.

For the first time in what feels like years, October “Toby” Daye has been able to pause long enough to take a breath and look at her life—and she likes what she sees. She has friends. She has allies. She has a squire to train and a King of Cats to love, and maybe, just maybe, she can let her guard down for a change.

Or not. When Queen Windermere’s seneschal is elf-shot and thrown into an enchanted sleep by agents from the neighboring Kingdom of Silences, Toby finds herself in a role she never expected to play: that of a diplomat. She must travel to Portland, Oregon, to convince King Rhys of Silences not to go to war against the Mists. But nothing is that simple, and what October finds in Silences is worse than she would ever have imagined.#

How far will Toby go when lives are on the line, and when allies both old and new are threatened by a force she had never expected to face again? How much is October willing to give up, and how much is she willing to change? In Faerie, what’s past is never really gone.

It’s just waiting for an opportunity to pounce.

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| 10. |

The Red Prince

Book Three of The Long War

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| My Thoughts |

The Red Prince is the third novel in The Long War series by A. J. Smith. Having now read several wonderful reviews for this series, it has been firmly attached to my TBR!

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| Synopsis |

Between the desert plains of Karesia and the icy wastes of Ranen, there once lay the kingdom of Ro. Its lands were fertile. Its men and women were prosperous. Their god – the One – was satisfied.

But then the men of Ro grew unwatchful, and the armies of the south took their chance. Now the Seven Sisters rule the Kingdom, enslaving their people with sorcery of pleasure and blood. Soon, they will appoint a new god. The Long War rumbles on … but the Red Prince has yet to enter the field of battle.

ALL THAT WAS DEAD WILL RISE.

ALL THAT NOW LIVES WILL FALL..


Stay tuned for next week’s post:

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Books with Black in the Title

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Which ‘Red’ book is your favourite?

If you would like to join in with Top Ten Tuesday, head on over to ThatArtsyReaderGirl and sign up!

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Teaser Tuesdays: To Be Taught, If Fortunate


Welcome to Teaser Tuesdays – a weekly feature hosted by The Purple Booker. Expect a new teaser every week!


| Teaser Tuesdays: July 28 |

To Be Taught, If Fortunate

A Novella

by Becky Chambers

Science Fiction | 136 Pages | Published by Hodder & Stoughton in 2018


“As an astronaut, you know conceptually that you’re going to another world, that you’re going to see alien life. You know this, and yet there is nothing that can prepare you for it.

~ Page 58 | To Be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky Chambers


| Synopsis |

At the turn of the twenty-second century, scientists make a breakthrough in human spaceflight. Through a revolutionary method known as somaforming, astronauts can survive in hostile environments off Earth using synthetic biological supplementations. They can produce antifreeze in sub-zero temperatures, absorb radiation and convert it for food, and conveniently adjust to the pull of different gravitational forces. With the fragility of the body no longer a limiting factor, human beings are at last able to explore neighbouring exoplanets long suspected to harbour life.

Ariadne is one such explorer. On a mission to ecologically survey four habitable worlds fifteen light-years from Earth, she and her fellow crewmates sleep while in transit, and wake each time with different features. But as they shift through both form and time, life back on Earth has also changed. Faced with the possibility of returning to a planet that has forgotten those who have left, Ariadne begins to chronicle the wonders and dangers of her journey, in the hope that someone back home might still be listening.

Amazon | The Book Depository | Goodreads


| Join In |

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Please leave a comment with either the link to your own Teaser Tuesdays post, or share your ‘teasers’ in a comment here!

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