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Wednesday, July 22, 2020

The Queen's Gambit, The Queen's Advantage, and When You Come Back

Many folks have had trouble concentration on reading.  I did for a while, but no longer.  I can't read serious literature or nonfiction, but I'm a greedy girl for mystery, thriller, science fiction, fantasy.  Escapism is my byword.  

I've loved science fiction forever, and when Melody began reviewing the Polaris Rising series, I was intrigued.  Instead of beginning with that series, I decided to check out Mihalik's novella The Queen's Gambit to get a sense of the writing.

I liked it, even though it was as much a romance as a space adventure.  It was fun.

from description: " When the Quint Confederacy and the Kos Empire went to war—again—young Queen Samara wisely kept her Rogue Coalition out of the conflict. But staying neutral in a galactic war doesn’t pay the bills, not when both sides refuse to trade with neutral sectors.

With her people on the brink of starvation, Samara hatches a daring plan to snatch the kidnapped Kos Emperor from the Quint mercenaries holding him. The Kos Empire will pay a fortune for their emperor’s return, enough to feed the Coalition’s citizens while they wait for the return to a begrudging peace."


Of course, things go wrong.  They always do. :)

Space Adventure/Romance.  2018.  Print length:  160 pages.


Next up was the second novella.

from description:  "When Queen Samara Rani decides to repay her debt to Emperor Valentin Kos by rooting out the traitors in his court, she knows his advisors will despise her presence. The unknown traitors hate her because she tricked them out of five million credits, but even his loyal advisors have no use for the queen of rogues and scoundrels."

A fun space adventure.  There is a third installment that I will get to before I get to the Polaris Rising series.

Space Adventure/Romance.  2019.  Print length: 206 pages.  






Another Debra Webb mystery also kept my interest.

from description:  "Forensic Anthropologist Emma Graves knows about the dead. But can the dead help her remember why she’s still alive?

When You Are Lost…

Emma Graves was only eight years old when a tragic school bus accident shattered the rural community where she grew up. When the bus was discovered the driver was dead and Emma, her older sister and her sister’s best friend were missing."  

Twenty-five years later, Emma returns home and despite her personal problems, she and her friend Letty find themselves involved in solving the old case of her missing sister.  Letty also has a personal reason, her father was accused of taking the girls.  They eventually realize that both Emma's mother Helen and Letty's mother Ginny have a problem with their investigation.  Do Emma and Letty really want to know what happened?  

There are always a lot of secrets in a community, and some of those secrets are kept even when a tragedy occurs.  Emma and Letty are determined to unravel those secrets, regardless of the consequences.

As much a study of family and friend dynamics as a mystery, When You Come Back made me cheer the persistence of Emma and Letty in their efforts to discover what happened on that day twenty-five years ago.

Mystery.  2019.  Print length: 380 pages.
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I read, weed, and play upstairs...and try to control my doomscrolling about the virus and all of the other disturbing news.  

The birds spill seed from the feeders.  The sunflowers crowd around!
Milkweed  
Sunflower, rosemary, mint, and cosmos

Working on more snail mail upstairs.  

15 comments:

  1. I'm so glad to hear you enjoyed Jessie Mihalik's books. I haven't tried those novellas yet so that'd be next on my list. :)

    And I love sunflowers. They remind me of sunshine and happiness.

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    1. I did enjoy them. I'm not usually a fan of novellas, but these were fun! I will get to the Polaris Rising series eventually. :)

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  2. Those flowers are lovely! I just discovered today one of my flower pots, that survived the worst of winter is in trouble :(

    I hear you on escapism being your byword, it is for me too. My choice lie onwards the thriller mystery side though, so Webb's book is calling my name -- and that their mothers are so integral to the case.

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    1. Escapism and sunflowers keep me smiling. Anything to counteract the disturbing news that won't go away!

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  3. I'm really into escape reading these days, too; I've been reading a lot of mystery, supernatural, fantasy, romance, etc. Nothing too serious, or anything too realistic. Someone once called books portable magic, and that's what we all need right now. :)

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    1. Books are portable magic, aren't they? I can't read serious stuff right now, I'm feeling like that old Calgon commercial, but paraphrased to "Books, take me away!"

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  4. I agree that books are portable magic for sure! Escape reading - whatever suits your fancy - that's just about perfect. And I love your term 'doomscrolling' - that's just about a perfect description too. I'm doing better at breaking that habit than I was. And significantly, reading more.

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    1. Reading is a good way to avoid doomscrolling. Imaginary threats, dangers, and disasters are much easier to handle than reality. :)

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  5. Escapism is what it's all about for most of us these days. I'm even finding myself drawn toward science fiction for the first time in at least a couple of decades (if you don't count time travel novels).

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    1. :) Escapism allows us to focus on problems that, at least in books, can be solved. We can cheer the protagonists and boo the villains and have a satisfactory conclusion. It is those satisfactory conclusions that evade us in real life. I can also recommend a purring cat in the lap.

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  6. Your flowers look wonderful! We have milkweed too and this year seems to be doing better than ever. Interested in the Debra Webb book for sure. My reading has been all over the place this year that's for sure.

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    1. Thanks, Iliana! The flowers cheer me up. My reading has been all over the place, too.

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  7. I loved the Murderbot Diaries! (though I didn't blog about them). All four novellas together would make a nice novel...AND Martha Wells is publishing (OOPS ALREADY PUBLISHED IN MAY 2020) a novel featuring our favorite depressed killer cyborg! I need to pre-order it. :D

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    1. I'm now hooked on these novellas, and yes, they would make a nice novel if combined!

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