Ring of Fire , Eric Flint Editor

Once again, this was a re-read, as I move along on my plan to catch up with the authors of this series.

This first anthology was rather a mixed bag. Some of the stories I liked a lot, some I didn't. The best story in the book was the last one - Eric Flint's The Wallenstein Gambit. I guess that makes sense, since at this point, no one knew the characters and future plot better than he did. All together, the book does succeed in making want to know more about all these people.

1632 by Eric Flint (second edition)

I have read this book before. Actually, this was the third time I'd read it. Even so, I found it to be just plain fun to read. That's in spite of the fact that there is plenty of violence, which is sometimes a bit disturbing. The novel is set in Germany, during the Thirty Years War, after all. The premise of the book is that somehow, a small town in West Virginia is scooped out of it's place and time and deposited in the middle of Germany in the year 1631. Europe would never be the same!

Ring of Fire IV editted by Eric Flint

It is sometimes hard to give an overall rating to a book that contains shorter works by several authors. This particular book was just plain fun from beginning to end. It is true that the novels do leave things out. They have to, in order to tell the story that is intended. Still, the novels have let us know that there is a whole world affected by the Ring of Fire, It is in these shorter works, and those in the Grantville Gazette where we find the rest of that world. All together, it makes the United States of Europe seem more and more like a real place, even though we can't visit there.

Shadow Rites by Faith Hunter (Jane Yellowrock #10

Okay, so I actually finished this book in April. I posted a sort of review on Goodreads, but had a hard time doing it without spoilers. Now it's been a while, and spoilers are no longer a problem for me. I can honestly say that this was the best Jane Yellowrock novel yet. After thinking about it for a while, I realized that what makes it the best, is the growth and development of the characters. Not just Jane, either. All of the people she interacts with are much more rounded characters than they were even one or two novels ago.

Rogue by Gail Z. Martin and Larry N. Martin

A pretty good novella, with a couple of the most interesting characters in the Martins' steampunk series Mitch Storm and Jacob Drangosavich of the Department of Supernatural Investigations. This time, they are up against werewolves and a dark witch. As usual, their boss appears just long enough to give them a little grief. That makes me wonder whether the rest of the work of the department is easy stuff, because these guys get all the hard ones.

Spider Woman's Daughter (Leaphorn & Chee #19) by Anne Hillerman

This book is set in Tony Hillerman's Navajo Mystery Series settings. Anne Hillerman has picked up her father's work, and made it her own. While the original heroes are in this book, it is told mostly from the perspective of Bernadette Manualito, a female officer in the Navajo Nation Police Force, and the wife of fellow officer, Jim Chee. The central mystery of the novel appears early, when Bernie (her nickname) watches a stranger shoot a close friend, unable to stop it. Who was this person? Why was the crime committed?

Arkwright by Allen M. Steele

The best word I can think of to describe this book is Brilliant! Good, hard SF with realistic, flawed, but sometimes heroic characters, and a surprising ending. What more could I ask for?

Arkwright tells the story of what happens after a successful SF author leaves his money and literary estate to a foundation dedicated to creating a starship to send humans to another planet. It's not a particularly long book, but it is a very long story. A story that in a way ends where it began.

Quantum Night by Robert J. Sawyer

Oh how I wish there were more than 5 stars to give to this book! In Quantum Night, Robert J. Sawyer explores the nature of consciousness. He suggests that scientists have not only discovered the physical and quantum underpinnings of consciousness, but also know how to change them. Along the way to the thrilling ending, we are treated to discussions of quantum physics, neuroscience, and philosophy. I found this book to be very hard to put down

Just finished Gail Z. Martin's Vendetta

For a month or so around the holidays, I was really suffering from the blues, and couldn't seem to focus on a book.

Then came the release of Vendetta by Gail Z. Martin. Wow! What an exciting book. It took me longer than I expected to finish it, because I learned quickly that reading it near bedtime was a bad idea. After I read a chapter or two, I'd be very excited, and not able to sleep. This evening, I started to get to the climax of the novel, and I could not put it down.

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