Wednesday, July 10, 2019

The Haunting of Henry Davis by Kathryn Siebel

Book 47/125


The Haunting of Henry Davis
July 2, 2019
240 pages • Hardcover
978-1101932773 • $16.99


To purchase any of the books in this post, click the links above! I receive no commission from these links.

To add your book to LibraryThing or Goodreads,
click the links above!


Book description:
Two kids are about to find out that their lives are anything but ordinary when a ghost arrives and stirs up adventure. Perfect for fans of A Tale Dark and Grimm!

Ghosts only haunt when they've left something behind...
When Henry Davis moves into the neighborhood, Barbara Anne and her classmates at Washington Carver Elementary don't know what to make of him. He's pale, small, odd. For curious Barbara Anne, Henry's also a riddle--a boy who sits alone at recess sketching in a mysterious notebook, a boy, she soon learns, who's being haunted by a ghost named Edgar.


Today, I'm participating in the blog tour for Kathryn Siebel's The Haunting of Henry Davis. Check out my blog tour post yesterday for K. G. Campbell's A Small Zombie Problem.

At the heart of Kathryn Siebel's The Haunting of Henry Davis is a story of friendship, but that story is wrapped in mystery and ghosts. When Barbara Anne befriends Henry Davis, the weird quiet kid at school, she has no idea the kind of adventure she's going to go on. Henry has a secret, and that secret is he is being haunted by a ghost. Barbara Anne finds out Henry's secret, and being the take charge kind of girl she is, decides that she is going to help Henry get to the bottom of his haunting. Together with their other school friends Renee and Zach, they all discover a little something about the past and a lot about the power of friendship.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Haunting of Henry Davis. Siebel's writing is smart and witty, and she clearly has a knack for capturing the personalities of her young protagonists. Each of the kids are so well written, but I confess to really enjoying Barbara Anne's character the most. She's just so snarky and confident; I think her character will particularly appeal to younger female readers. The story is just creepy enough when it needs to be but nothing too scary for younger readers. I appreciated the touches of historical information that is sprinkled throughout, as well as the kids dealing with real world personal issues. While being a ghost story, all of these things made the story so much more grounded.

Perfect for younger readers who are looking for a great ghost story, they'll also discover there is so much more to The Haunting of Henry Davis than a good scare. Highly recommended!


I'd like to thank Knopf Books for Young Readers for providing me with a copy of The Haunting of Henry Davis in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

A Small Zombie Problem by K. G. Campbell

Book 46/125


A Small Zombie Problem
Zombie Problems, Book 1
June 4, 2019
240 pages • Hardcover
978-0553539554 • $16.99


To purchase any of the books in this post, 
click the links above! I receive no commission
from these links.

To add your book to LibraryThing or Goodreads, click the links above!


Book description:
In his fiction debut--and the start of a new series--celebrated illustrator K.G. Campbell brings a touch of Tim Burton to this singularly strange and wonderful story about a lonely boy whose life is about to get a whole lot more complicated when a zombie follows him home.

August DuPont has spent his whole life inside a dilapidated house with his aunt Hydrangea. His lonely existence ends abruptly with the arrival of an invitation to meet an aunt--and cousins--he didn't even know existed. When Aunt Orchid suggests that August attend school with his cousins, it's a dream come true. But August has scarcely begun to celebrate his reversal of fortune when he is confronted by a small problem on his way home. So begins an adventure filled with a wild child, a zombie, a fabled white alligator, and an unimaginable family secret.


An illustration by K. G. Campbell from the book.
Today, I'm excited to be taking part in the blog tour for K. G. Campbell's A Small Zombie Problem. Come back tomorrow for my blog tour stop for The Haunting of Henry Davis by Kathryn Siebel.

A Small Zombie Problem, K. G. Campbell's middle grade fiction debut, is a fun, quirky, Southern Gothic-flavored tale of family, secrets, family secrets, and zombies, obviously. August DuPont lives with his Aunt Hydrangea in their dilapidated family estate, the last members of the DuPont family and heirs to quickly dwindling DuPont's Peppy Pepper Sauce dynasty. August lives a solitary and lonely life, as he has never left his house at his aunt's insistence (she is agoraphobic and has convinced August that the outside world is a terrifying place). However, one day the grocery delivery boy drops a box of August's favorite snack, Mudd Pies, and August sees his opportunity to take a quick step outside to retrieve his snacks. Of course, this doesn't go nearly as well as August expects it to and sets in motion an adventure that involves a long hidden family pepper sauce secret, newly discovered family, a white alligator, and a wee bit of a zombie problem.

An illustration by K. G. Campbell from the book.
I really enjoyed Campbell's almost timeless presentation of the story (we're never really quite sure when this story takes place) and his accompanying illustrations are delightfully creepy. The story feels very atmospheric at times, and Campbell's writing is spot on creepy when it needs to be, and he also writes some surprisingly beautiful turns of phrase. I was suitably impressed several times with his writing style. August starts out so quiet and introverted and his blossoming confidence throughout the story is handled very well, and Claudette's inclusion as an actual character instead of the zombie plot device is a nice change of pace.

The book starts out a little slow, but as the action picks up, things move along fairly quickly. The ending seems a little abrupt, but the cliffhanger should leave young readers anxious for the next book in the series. I know I'll be looking forward to it.


I'd like to thank Knopf Books for Young Readers for providing me with a copy of A Small Zombie Problem in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

DC: The New Frontier: DC Black Label Edition by Darwyn Cooke

Book 14/125


DC: The New Frontier
DC Black Label Edition
Published by DC Comics • February 19, 2019
520 pages • Paperback
978-1401290924 • $34.99


To purchase any of the books in this post, click the links above! I receive no commission from these links.

To add your book to LibraryThing or Goodreads, 
click the links above!


Book description:
Welcome to the DC Universe in 1950s America - a land of promise and paranoia, of glittering cities and segregated slums, of dizzying scientific progress and simmering Cold War conflict. A land without the Justice League - Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman. Or so it seems.

Darwyn Cooke's undeniable classic is now released as a part of DC's prestigious new imprint of standalone graphic novels, DC Black Label.

The masked mystery men who fought for freedom in the Second World War have been outlawed. The soldiers and spies who conducted top-secret missions into the unknown now work in the shadows. And those icons who do still fight on - Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman - operate under hidden agendas and dueling ideologies.

Yet this America needs its heroes more than ever. With darkness gathering on the horizon once more, only a bold new generation of adventurers - young, daring, and dedicated to the better angels of our nature - is equal to the challenge of the New Frontier.
From Eisner Award-winning writer-artist Darwyn Cooke and Eisner Award-winning colorist Dave Stewart comes DC: The New Frontier - a timeless tale of idealism that has become one of the most acclaimed superhero comics of the 21st century. This edition collects the original 6-issue miniseries together with the Justice League: New Frontier Special, and features over 50 pages of designs, sketches and preliminary artwork from the author. 
DC Black Label, a new publishing imprint from DC Entertainment, gives premier talent the opportunity to expand upon the canon of DC's iconic Super Hero comic book characters with unique, standalone stories that are outside of the current DC Universe continuity. An all-star lineup of creative teams will craft their own personal definitive DC stories in the tradition of compelling literary works like Batman: The Killing Joke, All-Star Superman and Kingdom Come.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Rogue Protocol: The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells

Book 13/125


Rogue Protocol: The Murderbot Diaries
The Murderbot Diaries, Book 3
Published by Tor.Com Publishing • August 7, 2018
160 pages • Hardcover
978-1250191786 • $17.99


To purchase any of the books in this post, click the links above! I receive no commission from these links.

To add your book to LibraryThing or Goodreads,
click the links above!


Book description:
Rogue Protocol is the third entry in Martha Wells' Hugo, Nebula, Alex, and Locus Award-winning, New York Times and USA Today bestselling series, The Murderbot Diaries.

Starring a human-like android who keeps getting sucked back into adventure after adventure, though it just wants to be left alone, away from humanity and small talk.


Who knew being a heartless killing machine would present so many moral dilemmas?

Sci-fi’s favorite antisocial A.I. is back on a mission. The case against the too-big-to-fail GrayCris Corporation is floundering, and more importantly, authorities are beginning to ask more questions about where Dr. Mensah's SecUnit is.

And Murderbot would rather those questions went away. For good.

"I love Murderbot!" -

New York Times bestselling author Ann Leckie

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Iron: Or the War After by S. M. Vidaurri

Book 12/125


Iron: Or the War After
Published by Archaia • February 5, 2019
160 Pages • Paperback
978-1684152988 • $19.99


To purchase any of the books in this post, click the links above! I receive no commission from these links.

To add your book to LibraryThing or Goodreads,
click the links above!


Book description:
It is the aftermath of a long war, in a world of constant winter.

When an intelligence spy from the Resistance — the rabbit, Hardin — steals secret information from a military base of the Regime, his actions set off a chain of events that reverberates through the ranks of both sides, touching everyone from the highest-ranking officials to the smallest orphaned child. When the snow finally settles, who will be the true patriot and who the true traitor?

Iron: or The War After marks the debut graphic novel from storyteller S.M. Vidaurri (Iscariot), who weaves a heartfelt fable shrouded in political intrigue.

Abbott by Saladin Ahmed, illustrated by Sami Kivelä

Book 11/125


Abbott
by Saladin Ahmed, illustrated by Sami Kivelä
Published by BOOM! Studios • October 30, 2018
192 Pages • Paperback
978-1684152452 • $17.99


To purchase any of the books in this post, click the links above! I receive no commission from these links.

To add your book to LibraryThing or Goodreads,
click the links above!


Book description:
While investigating police brutality and corruption in 1970s Detroit, journalist Elena Abbott uncovers supernatural forces being controlled by a secret society of the city’s elite.

In the uncertain social and political climate of 1972 Detroit, hard-nosed, chain-smoking tabloid reporter Elena Abbott investigates a series of grisly crimes that the police have ignored. Crimes she knows to be the work of dark occult forces. Forces that took her husband from her. Forces she has sworn to destroy.

Hugo Award-nominated novelist Saladin Ahmed (
Star Wars: Canto Bight, Black Bolt) and artist Sami Kivelä (Beautiful Canvas) present one woman's search for the truth that destroyed her family amidst an exploration of the systemic societal constructs that haunt our country to this day.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Artificial Condition: The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells

Book 10/125


Artificial Condition: The Murderbot Diaries
The Murderbot Diaries, Book 2
Published by Tor.Com Publishing • May 8, 2018
160 pages • Hardcover
978-1250186928 • $16.99


To purchase any of the books in this post, click the links above! I receive no commission from these links.

To add your book to LibraryThing or Goodreads, 
click the links above!


Book description:
A USA Today bestseller

"I love Murderbot!" - Ann Leckie

Artificial Condition is the follow-up to Martha Wells' Hugo, Nebula, Alex, and Locus Award-winning, New York Times bestselling All Systems Red.

It has a dark past - one in which a number of humans were killed. A past that caused it to christen itself “Murderbot”. But it has only vague memories of the massacre that spawned that title, and it wants to know more.

Teaming up with a Research Transport vessel named ART (you don’t want to know what the “A” stands for), Murderbot heads to the mining facility where it went rogue.

What it discovers will forever change the way it thinks…


Not my favorite of the series, Artificial Condition definitely feels like it was put together as a surprise follow up to All Systems Red. ASR finished on a very satisfying note and I feel that everyone was a little surprised by its popularity (question mark? Not sure why, because it's incredible) and decided to have Wells pick up the story and start running with it. This follow up felt a little jumbled and rushed, and came very quickly and a little underwhelmingly to the answer of why Murderbot calls itself Murderbot. However, even what I feel was a mediocre Martha Wells story is still remarkably strong and still made me want to find out what happens next to Murderbot. A new mystery is on the horizon and Murderbot finds itself in a position that it didn't think it was going to be in: saving humans because it wants to and chooses to, not because it has been ordered to do so. It was remains hilariously cynical and exasperated by humans, while still discovering what it might actually mean to be human.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

All Systems Red: The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells

Book 9/125


All Systems Red: The Murderbot Diaries
The Murderbot Diaries, Book 1
by Martha Wells
Published by Tor.Com Publishing
May 2, 2017 • January 22, 2019 (Hardcover re-release)
154 Pages • ISBN 978-0765397539 • Paperback
176 pages • ISBN 978-1250214713 • Hardcover



IndieBoundAmazonB&NBooks-A-Million
To purchase any of the books in this post, click the links above! I receive no commission from these links.

LibraryThingGoodreads
To add your book to LibraryThing or Goodreads, click the links above!


Book description:
Winner: 2018 Hugo Award
Winner: 2018 Nebula Award
Winner: 2018 Alex Award
Winner: 2018 Locus Award


"As a heartless killing machine, I was a complete failure."

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.

The Murderbot Diaries
Book 1
All Systems Red
Book 2
Artificial Condition
Book 3
Rogue Protocol
Book 4
Exit Strategy


Another fantastic series from Tor.Com Publishing, Martha Wells' Murderbot turns out to be one of the most human characters you'll find. Basically a cyborg constructed to be a Security Unit (SecUnit) who has hacked its governor unit and is now rogue and self-aware, tho no one knows it, Murderbot continues doing its job because it really has nothing better to do. Assigned to protect the members of a scientific exploratory mission, Murderbot wants nothing better than to be left alone when not needed so that it can watch the hours of entertainment it has downloaded. However, when a fellow mission goes silent, the team decides to investigate and Murderbot decides to protect them (even tho it has advised against the investigation) because, to its surprise, it is beginning to care for the well-being of its crew. Eventually it becomes clear to the crew that Murderbot is rogue and self-aware and as they come to terms with that knowledge, Murderbot needs to keep its crew alive as someone seems to be out to kill them.

All Systems Red is a fast-paced scifi with a murder mystery undertone that is wildly satisfying. Wells strips away all the extraneous details that usually bog down scifi novels for me and just gives us exactly what we need to know to keep the story moving, and not much more. This also helps put us in the frame of mind of Murderbot, as it doesn't really care what's really going on around it, it just wants to watch TV. It is Murderbot's struggles with itself, wanting to know what it is and what its future holds, that makes this book so amazing. Through the experiences and wants and needs of an artificial being, we see what it means to be human. It doesn't seem like this should be something that would be easy to convey, yet Wells does it with ease, adding in a little bit of humor along the way. The Murderbot Diaries should be on your TBR list if it isn't already.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

In an Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire

Book 8/125


In an Absent Dream
Wayward Children, Book 4
by Seanan McGuire
Published by Tor.Com Publishing
January 8, 2019
208 Pages • ISBN 978-0765399298 • Hardcover



IndieBoundAmazonB&NBooks-A-Million
To purchase any of the books in this post, click the links above! I receive no commission from these links.

LibraryThingGoodreads
To add your book to LibraryThing or Goodreads, click the links above!


Book description:
A stand-alone fantasy tale from Seanan McGuire's Alex award-winning Wayward Children series, which began in the Alex, Hugo, Nebula, and Locus Award-winning, World Fantasy Award finalist, Tiptree Honor List Every Heart a Doorway.

This fourth entry and prequel tells the story of Lundy, a very serious young girl who would rather study and dream than become a respectable housewife and live up to the expectations of the world around her. As well she should.

When she finds a doorway to a world founded on logic and reason, riddles and lies, she thinks she's found her paradise. Alas, everything costs at the goblin market, and when her time there is drawing to a close, she makes the kind of bargain that never plays out well.

The Wayward Children Series
Book 1:
Every Heart a Doorway
Book 2:
Down Among the Sticks and Bones
Book 3:
Beneath the Sugar Sky
Book 4:
In an Absent Dream


Seanan McGuire's Wayward Children series of books gets better with each addition, with the latest, In an Absent Dream, by far being the strongest story to date. Following the established every other book sequence, this volume tells Lundy's portal story, as she finds her door to the Goblin Market. McGuire offers up some serious ideas to ponder, such as idea of fair value for everything and what that means to either the recipient or the giver. It's some heavy ideas, and after finishing Absent Dream, I had to take some time to really mull over the notions that are put forth, and it really made me think about my own interactions with those around me and how the idea of fair value can applied to our real world.

McGuire doesn't just write one hell of an amazing book, but she pushes us, the readers, to consider how we can actually be better people by understanding how we can, and should, be fair to each other. It's really quite a remarkable book. And her writing; it's more beautiful with every book. There are so many potential stories to be told, I hope deep down that she never leaves this series and continues to offer us such amazing books forever.

Here is a handy outline of all the portal worlds discovered so far in the series.

The books follow an every other pattern, one book set in the "now" at the school, the next telling a portal world story about one of the students, then back to the school.
  1. Every Heart a Doorway (2016): At the school
  2. Down Among the Sticks and Bones (2017): Jack and Jill's portal story
  3. Beneath the Sugar Sky (2018): Back at the school
  4. In an Absent Dream (2019): Lundy's portal story
  5. Come Tumbling Down (2020): Should be back at the school

Friday, January 11, 2019

Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire

Book 7/125


Beneath the Sugar Sky
Wayward Children, Book 3
by Seanan McGuire
Published by Tor.Com Publishing
January 9, 2018
176 Pages • ISBN 978-0765393586 • Hardcover



IndieBoundAmazonB&NBooks-A-Million
To purchase any of the books in this post, click the links above! I receive no commission from these links.

LibraryThingGoodreads
To add your book to LibraryThing or Goodreads, click the links above!


Book description:
A stand-alone fantasy tale from Seanan McGuire's Alex-award winning Wayward Children series, which began in the Alex, Hugo, Nebula, and Locus Award-winning, World Fantasy Award finalist, Tiptree Honor List Every Heart a Doorway

Beneath the Sugar Sky, the third book in McGuire's Wayward Children series, returns to Eleanor West's Home for Wayward Children in a standalone contemporary fantasy for fans of all ages. At this magical boarding school, children who have experienced fantasy adventures are reintroduced to the "real" world.

When Rini lands with a literal splash in the pond behind Eleanor West's Home for Wayward Children, the last thing she expects to find is that her mother, Sumi, died years before Rini was even conceived. But Rini can’t let Reality get in the way of her quest – not when she has an entire world to save! (Much more common than one would suppose.)

If she can't find a way to restore her mother, Rini will have more than a world to save: she will never have been born in the first place. And in a world without magic, she doesn’t have long before Reality notices her existence and washes her away. Good thing the student body is well-acquainted with quests...

A tale of friendship, baking, and derring-do.

Warning: May contain nuts.


I honestly can't go too much into what this book is about as it could spoil portions of Every Heart a Doorway, but it's just as fantastic as every other book in the series. Back in Eleanor West's Home for Wayward Children, Beneath the Sugar Sky picks up shortly after the events of Every Heart and introduces us to some new students at the school; we also get to see more into a couple of the portal worlds that we have heard about in previous books.* I can't wait to see where McGuire takes the story next year after the events of this book.**

* Here is a handy outline of all the portal worlds discovered so far in the series. Some possible spoilers as this list is up to date with the most recent book.

** The books follow an every other pattern, one book set in the "now" at the school, the next telling a portal world story about one of the students, then back to the school.
  1. Every Heart a Doorway (2016): At the school
  2. Down Among the Sticks and Bones (2017): Jack and Jill's portal story
  3. Beneath the Sugar Sky (2018): Back at the school
  4. In an Absent Dream (2019): Lundy's portal story
  5. Come Tumbling Down (2020): Should be back at the school