Great July Reads!

Bradstreet Gate by Robin Kirman

Charlie, Georgia and Alice are from very different walks of life; but ultimately this is what brings them together during their years at Harvard. When a professor, one that has influenced all their lives in one way or another, is the prime suspect of a murdered classmate their friendship starts to unravel; and sets the tone for their adult lives. A wonderful read that proves you are never too old to grow up, or that you often need people in your life you thought you were better off without. Robin Kirman has written a great debut novel, will highly recommend!!

(recommended by Teresa)

Armada by Ernest Cline

A lot of people are calling this the new Ender’s Game, which I get and understand why they would say that. But I also really hate doing that to books because I feel like it just sets people up to read it solely for comparison with whatever that similar other book may be.

So, I call this book a fun, fast-paced, space adventure peppered with lots of nerdy references and knowledge. For a brief summary, our hero, Zack Lightman, finds out one day that the video game he’s been playing for years is actually a training simulator to help prepare civilians for an impending alien invasion cuz we done fucked up again and pissed some people off. Classic humans. Subsequent mind-blowing space adventures occur and it is a race to save all of humanity.

But! There is a twist at the end. Cline hints throughout the book that something feels off about the whole situation, which I liked because it kept me wondering the whole time what the heck was really going on. The reveal was steady, but not so drawn out that by the end of it you were just pissed off and frustrated and just wanted to know what the fuck was going on. So kudos to Cline for good plot twist execution!

The book contained a large array of varied and interesting characters. A book is only as good as its supporting characters, I say…okay I don’t really say that but it certainly does help to flesh out the book and having good supporting characters can help your main characters to look that much better.

Finally, the feels. Ah, them feels. So hard to escape. I love them and hate them. I won’t say exactly what it is that caused the most feels for me because it will give something kind of big away, but…the book takes place over the course of two days and in those two days Zack gains and loses so much. It is a classic ‘roller coaster’ situation going on and I did not appreciate it one bit, Mr. Cline! Anyway, be warned. There are feels.

Overall, I really enjoyed the book and  certainly think Armada holds its own and that sic-fi fans and nerds everywhere will enjoy reading it.

(recommended by Renee)

The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson

This book picks right up from where “Kiss of Deception” ends. Lia is prisoner in Venda, with Kaden being the only person she can slightly trust. When she learns that Rafe is alive, and in Venda as well, she begins to think about escape and the future with Rafe. What shocks Lia the most, is that Venda isn’t what she thought, and when the native clans start to embrace her as one of their own, she is torn between wanting to stay and fleeing. When the Komizar learns that his people have a fascination to Lia, he will stop at nothing to use her for his gain. Excellent read, and I loved how strong Lia grew in this book; she is starting to grow up and take what she wants for her life. Cannot wait for the next in the series, and I will be highly recommending!!!

(recommended by Teresa)

Cold Iron by Stina Leicht

Leicht (known for her Fey and the Fallen series) introduces us to an engaging world based on 18th and 19th century Sweden and Finland (I nerded out a bit on some of the recognizable Finnish words being used), and three likeable yet flawed point-of-view characters. This is labeled as flintlock fantasy, but I certainly enjoyed it more than my other outings to the sub-genre.

The magic system is fairly straightforward, yet intriguing, especially where it trends towards ritual magic. The kainen command magic was a really neat and terrifying concept, particularly how it was employed in combat situations (and with something as powerful as cannon and gunpowder in the mix).

A very strong foray into epic fantasy for Leicht.

(recommended by Allison)

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