In accordance to the FTC guidelines, I must state that I make no monetary gains from my reviews or endorsements here on Confessions of a Literary Persuasion. All books I review are either borrowed, purchased by me, given as a gift, won, or received in exchange for my honest review of the book in question.

28 July, 2016

Book Review: The Kraken Sea by E. Catherine Tobler

Jackson is a boy who has grown up feeling adrift and unloved. Found as an infant in a wooden daffodil crate and brought up in an orphanage run by nuns, Jackson is the oldest and strangest of the wards at the orphanage. A boy who sometimes has scaly skin and whose limbs want to change into snakelike coils. This changes when he is put on an orphan train headed to San Francisco, CA. He is to be adopted by someone who sister Jerome Grace has told him has asked for a boy who is just like him 

However something happens during a brief stopover in Chicago when the nuns take the children to visit the World's fair.  Jackson witnesses the mistreatment of a girl with snake limbs like himself and meets a mysterious black eyed girl. Shaken by the events Jackson is calmed by Sister Jerome Grace who shows him he is not alone and tells him he needs to continue to San Francisco so he can learn to become all that he is. 

Upon reaching California, he meets the woman who has requested him from the orphanage and is thrust into a world unlike that of his previous life. This world is full of magical people, a city divided into territories, and the black eyed girl glimpsed in Chicago reappears and is a key player in the events which unfurl in the months after Jackson arrives in the city. Not everything is as it seems, and Jackson seems to be the catalyst to a climactic battle between two enemies. 

I was drawn into this novella. It was written with a fantastic mix of realism, fantasy and blending in mythology. This author is new to me and I really enjoyed her writing quite a bit. I ended the story wanting to know more and wishing it had been a full length novel. There were so many fantastic supporting characters and surroundings that I would have loved to explore more of. However as this was Jackson's story I understand why less focus was made on them.  I also loved the mythology aspects to the story it really made this alternate nineteenth century United States an intriguing world where magic still exists alongside new technology and nothing is quite what it seems. Jackson's struggle to learn who he is and what he believes in as he is thrown into events which challenge his beliefs. 

I received this as part of librarything's June early reviewer program for my honest opinion about the book. 

26 July, 2016

Book Review: Luck, Love, and Lemon Pie by Amy E. Reichert

Title: Luck, Love, and Lemon Pie
Author: Amy E. Reichert
Publish Date: 12 July 2016

M.J. Boudreaux is in a marriage that has become stale. After her husband misses their twenty year anniversary lunch because of a poker tournament, she decides that something needed to be done. She asks Chris, her husband, to help her brush up on her poker skills so that she can accompany him to the casino to play with him. Her reasoning is that it is a common interest that they can turn into date nights to help reconnect their marriage.

However, she and Chris play at different level tables. When she runs into her nemesis from college, Tammy Shezwyski at the poker table and Chris's name is mentioned, M.J. Darts to suspect something besides poker is the reason she and her husband are drifting apart. However, rather than confront Chris she starts to escape into her poker playing.  M.J.  enters a competition with a grand prize of a trip to Vegas to play in a high risk poker tournament and a poker lesson from Doyle Kane.  M.J. wins and excitedly starts planning for the trip in April as one for her and Chris to go on together. 

However by the time the trip rolls around their relationship has become more strained. M.J.  goes to Vegas with her best friend. She  manages some fantastic wins and attracts the attention of the handsome poker champion Doyle. M.J. Is flattered by the attention. The phrase "what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas" ends up not being true and when a photo makes its way to Chris of her and Doyle, she is forced to confront her feelings, her failing marriage, and what she really wants in her life. 

I fell in love with  Amy Reichert's writing last summer with her first book The Coincidence of Coconut Cake. I pre-ordered this book last spring when I saw it had been announced. This book was very different from the first book. Where that book focused on friendship and finding love unexpectedly. This book  looks at what happens when a loving relationship becomes stale and love becomes strained between a couple.  This storyline takes readers through a strained year in M.J and Chris's marriage and how they start to drift  apart and eventually repair their marriage. 

It was very different from the author's first book. While I am not necessarily the target audience for this book I did enjoy it quite a bit.  I really enjoyed how the book delved into high stakes poker playing and the tournament environment.

Like the previous book there is a scrumptious looking recipe at the end for the anniversary lemon pie. I'm looking forwards to trying it out as lemon pie is a household favorite here.

21 July, 2016

Book Squee! Collectors edition of Terry Pratchet';s Mort

Yesterday I was surprised by a gift of a book. This was a collectors edition copy of Mort by Terry Pratchet. 

I have to say it is absolutely stunning and wanted to share it with those of you reading. 

It came in a black cardboard slipcover with an image of Mort printed in silver on it. 

When you turn the slipcover up to stand the way it would on the shelf you see the black and silver spine of the book. 

The book itself is covered in a black velvet. There is a black and white illustration of Mort on Death's horse Binky. 

The book also includes seven color illustrations inside by artist Omar Rayyan. I want to share one of my favorites

Death goes fishing. 

The Death story arc of the Diskworld books are among my favorites from the massive Diskworld series.  I got hooked into Diskworld well into its conception when a good friend loaned me her Legends short story collection which included a Granny Weatherwax short story. I have since read almost every book released via library copies and have been working on collecting hardcovers of the older books for the last few years. 

This is an amazing edition. I look forwards to reading it and revisiting a well loved character. 

This collectors edition can be purchased from  The Folio Society. This is the standard edition of the book. 

There was also a limited edition leather bound edition printed which sold out in 13 hours when it was announced for sale on the website. I was drooling when I saw that in the announcement email the folio society sent out, I wasn't the only one either :)

12 July, 2016

Book Review: Quantum Moon by Denise Vitola

Title: Quantum Moon
Author: Denise Vitola
Series: Ty Merrick #1
Date published: 1996

I have had the second and third books in this series for awhile now and finally picked up a used copy of book 1.
n the mid 21st century, the world as we know it no longer exists. The United World Government--with its endless rules and regulations--holds an iron fist over the planet's diminished natural resources. But some things never change--like greed, corruption and murder.

When the wife of a district councilman is murdered, Detective Ty Merrick and her partner LaRue are placed in the position of finding the killer. As their investigation into the murder progresses though they start to find clues that the murder might be linked to a past experiment done by members of the Public Health Organization (PHO), and the production of the street drug quantum. Detectives Merrick and LaRue need to find answers to the questions that arise and catch the killer before he or she kills again.

Detective Merrick on the other hand is infected with a disease. She believes that she has a lycanthropic condition. This is not considered an official disease however as each month progresses to a full moon Merrick suffers from seizures, and changes to her sight,hearing, and sense of smell as well as slight physical changes. Her problem is that her district health office doesn't take her seriously. Her previous Dr had prescribed light therapy which she doesn't have the energy credits to use long term. In the process of trying to get more from her taxman Merrick is placed under the supervision of Dr. Lane Gibson a neurologist. Who turns out to be an ally. Merrick is not the first werewolf that the good Dr. has encountered and wants to use his research and findings on Detective Merrick to get off of rotation duty and into a research facility with a grant. Her condition is unknown, is it a disease, a curse, a psychosis, or something else? Will they be able to figure out a way to he;p Merrick  with her changes in order to keep her working on the case before the moon turns full?

One thing that I liked about the world that this story is placed in is the almost post apocalyptic setting it has. The world has been united under a world government with a tyrant ruler. The world has been divided into districts rather than countries. There is a unifying barrier language spoken by everyone. There is a system to keep resource consumption in check by the masses. Also the general populace believes in magic and curses as well as science.

Tell you the truth I picked up Majjin Moon and Opalite moon based on the covers. This book's cover also has that same element that first drew me to the books. We see what looks like Van Gogh's Starry Night painting with a cityscape behind the bush and under the star filled sky. At one point in the book Merrick mentions that after one of the events she starts seeing like how Van Gogh painted and that she suspected he may have been a lycanthrope as well.I felt like the main characters were a little flat at first, but we got hints of past history and they started to come more alive as the story progressed.  This is mostly because you are thrown in this world with very little initial explanation of why the world is the way it is, and it starts off a pretty standard feeling police murder mystery. The book grabbed my interest because it reminds me at times of the Shadowrun games I have played in the past. I have enough interest in the story to continue into the series, and to pick up the remaining two books that I don't currently have in order to read the whole series together.