Off The TBR’s Best Reads of 2018

Well it’s time for another best of list. You didn’t think the year would end before having to read mine did you? You could skip it I guess…but that would make you a sucky person and you’re not a sucky person right? I mean if you’re really tired of these then go ahead and skip it, but I’m taking the time to compile it so yeah I’d love for you to at least skim for the results and pics.

This was another great year for speculative fiction. Unfortunately for me I didn’t get to read as many as I would have liked and I reviewed even less. You’ve read all my rants and moans about my schedule this year so I won’t rehash it, but I’m disappointed I didn’t get more reviews posted. That being said here’s my “Best Of” list for 2018. This isn’t strictly a best of books published in 2018, but rather the my best reads for the year regardless of publication date.

If I’ve kept an accurate count I read 40+ books so far this year. One was a Beta read that I can’t talk about yet. The first five books in this list are my five star reviews that I actually wrote up. The last six are books that either were a 4.5 – 5.0 most of which were read during a time I didn’t have the bandwidth to post a review. Finally I have a couple of short-stories I fell in love with that I have no choice but to add to my best of list.

And as you scroll down notice how many self-pub/indie books made the list. Yep…I’ve become a fan. Continue reading

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Blood Of Assassins Review

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Author: RJ Barker
Publisher: Orbit
Publication Date: February 13, 2018
Format: Paperback
Pages: 436

4.5 of 5 Stars

(I was given a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

RJ  Baker delivers an action packed, mystery filled adventure in Blood Of Assassins. If you were worried about a sophomore slump following Age Of Assassins put your concerns aside and pick this one up immediately. Blood Of Assassins is even better than its predecessor. Continue reading

My TBR Short Stack: 2/17/18

We’re in Pigeon Forge for the weekend celebrating my father-in-law’s birthday. We’ve got an awesome cabin but unfortunately no WiFi which means I’m writing this on my phone (yay data plan) and not typing it on my laptop so please bear with any formatting issues.

OK things are slightly out of hand. My TBR pile has grown so large it can’t really fit in the cabinet by my reading chair. I may have to buy a bookshelf for it. I blame no one but the authors who keep writing books for me to read. I mean I appreciate what you do for me authors, but I can only read so fast.

Anyway I thought I’d post a quick update on the books on my current short stack. These are the books I expect to read over the next month or so (I average about one a week). As always this list is subject to change and usually does. Continue reading

Age Of Assassins Review

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Author: RJ Barker
Publisher: Orbit
Published: August 2017
Format: Paperback
Pages: 393

When an attempt is made on the life of the heir to the Kingdom of Maniyadoc, Merela Karn and her apprentice Girton Club-Foot are called in to investigate. Queen Adran wants to know who hired the assassin and root them out before more arrive. Only Merela and Girton are no ordinary investigators; not members of the royal guard or local watch, they are in fact two people one would least likely to expect do this job. They are assassins themselves, employed not to take a life, but to save it.

“To Catch An Assassin, Use An Assassin.”

Age Of Assassins is like a smooth but complex red wine, easy and inviting to consume yet the mystery of its flavors keeps you wondering what comes next. It’s part grimdark fantasy, and part mystery novel with a slight YA feel but is definitely adult fiction. I wanted to drink from this bottle until it was gone and had to force myself to put it down or I’d have been up all night and missed work the next day. Continue reading

January 2018 Update

I wanted to give everyone a quick update on what’s going on, and what to look forward to at least in the short-term.

Vintage SciFi

Right now it’s Vintage Science Fiction Month! If you’d like to participate choose some vintage science fiction and read along. Blog about it if you blog, tweet about it if you tweet, facebook about it if you facebook, insta if you insta, whatever. There are no hard and fast rules about what qualifies for “vintage” science fiction but I (and others) are using our birth year…if it’s older than you it’s vintage.

If you’d like some more details about Vintage Science Fiction Month check out this post from Andrea at the Little Red Reviewer for background and on Twitter @VintageSciFi_ (with the underscore at the end).

IMG_3471.jpgA bunch of us have joined together for a Dune read along on twitter. Each week we read a portion of the text then participate in a group chat. At the end of the month we’re talking about watching the 80’s Dune movie and doing a live chat. Look for #ReadDune on Twitter.

So far I’m really enjoying my second reading of this SF classic. There’s soooooo much I glossed over in my first reading 15 or more years ago. That and age has given me a wider context for things unfortunately.

I’ll probably do some sort of review at the end of the month. Continue reading