Saturday, June 30, 2018

#Stacking the Shelves # 290 (Week Ending 06/30/2018)

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

Thanks for Stopping by!
A sort of mixed bag week.
I have a whole lot of reviews that I posted this week.
I choose to do so in order to catch up.
There's a whole lot of books that are coming out in July and August that I am itching to read.
I do hope you find something you like!
Have a fabulous weekend folks! 

This Weeks Reviews: 

 Monday - Allied by Amy Tintera (YA, Fantasy)

Tuesday - Specters of Nemesis by Karen Kincy (Dieselpunk)

Wednesday - Dawn of Legends by Eleanor Herman (YA, Fantasy)

Thursday - Smoke and Iron by Rachel Caine (YA, Dystopian)

 Friday - Alpha by Jus Accardo (YA, SyFy)

Weekend - My Lady Jane by Hand, Ashton, Meadows (YA, Fantasy)

*REC'D Via Edelweiss, NetGalley & Library*

Friday, June 29, 2018

#Review - My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows #YALIT #Fantasy

Series: The Lady Janies # 1
Format: Hardcover, 512 pages
Release Date: June 7, 2016
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Publisher
Genre: Young Adult /  Romantic Comedy

In the tradition of The Princess Bride comes a fantastical, romantical, hilarious(ical) adventure inspired by the true story of Lady Jane Grey—or, “an uproarious historical fantasy that’s not to be missed” (Publishers Weekly, starred review).
Lady Jane Grey, sixteen, is about to be married to a total stranger—and caught up in an insidious plot to rob her cousin, King Edward, of his crown. But that’s the least of Jane’s problems. Jane’s about to become Queen of England.

Like that could go wrong.

In My Lady Jane, coauthors Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows have created a one-of-a-kind fantasy featuring a reluctant king, an even more reluctant queen, a noble steed, true love, and only a passing resemblance to actual history—because sometimes history needs a little help.

My Lady Jane is the first installment in The Lady Janies series by co-authors Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, & Jodi Meadows. Let's get the facts out of the way first. This is a story about a real life historical figure named Lady Jane Grey who spent 9 days as Queen of England before... See, I'm pushing you towards actually looking up to what she really happened to her. You need more HISTORY in your lives! The authors have manipulated and tweaked and completely rearranged major details. 

They added a touch of magic to keep things interesting. So really anything could happen. The authors then added a bit of hijinks, romance, action, adventure and plenty of fun where history gets turned on its bloody head. The year is 1553. In this world, there are those called Edian. The E∂ians were blessed (or cursed, depending on your point of view) with the ability to switch between a human form and an animal one. That second group (known as Verities) believed that human beings had no business being anything other than human beings.

And because Verities were largely in charge of everything, E∂ians were persecuted and hunted until most of them died out or went deep into hiding. The story begins in the middle of tense times, with an increasing animosity brewing between E∂ians and Verities, a teenage king with a tenuous grasp on the throne of England, and a young lord and lady who have no idea their destinies are about to collide. Totally against their will.

As King Edward is being told he only has months to live, his cousin 16-year old Lady Jane Grey is being forced into marrying a complete stranger (Lord Guildford). Jane, who has been previously betrothed numerous times, loves to read and research history, philosophy, and religion. Jane is also notoriously willful which has left four previous suitors in the dirt. Jane really doesn't care for G when they meet. First, they have to marry at night. NIGHT, I say unto thee! Why in bloody hades must one be married at night!!!

Second, she believes the rumors about his womanizing, especially since nobody, including her best friend, or his family, failed to tell her the truth about her intended. The twisted part is that Lord Guildford is what the authors called a undomesticated horseman who lives an entirely nighttime existence. Horse by night, human by day. Even though it believes it to be a curse, he wouldn't change the freedom of what being a horse brings to him. The twist part is that the two have such a rollercoaster ride of emotions that you can't hope and keep your fingers crossed that things work out for them. 

Since this is a retelling of the famous Tudor family, let's say that the Verities are Catholics, and Edian's are Protestants. The country is on the cusp of a war between the factions due in large part because the Edian's can shapeshift, and the Verities hate them for that. The Verities are all about burning, beheading, and whatever it takes to keep the Edian's from gaining any power. So, here we have a King, Edward, who has never kissed a girl, or fallen in love, on the edge of dying at a very young age. After changing the rules of succession, suddenly Jane becomes Queen. But.....

By the way, I liked this Edward. I especially loved his relationship with not only Jane who he grew up with, but his sister Bess, who you can call Queen Elizabeth. Then there's Gracie who refuses to call him King, and is really an interesting character. Lady Grey is a feisty girl with intelligence and things are going to drive you wild once you get through the story and discover the twists. Next, there is G, for Guildford he considers his "condition" to be a curse, others consider it a blessing, including Jane who would love to be able to shapeshift. Naturally we have the villains, who, I will just call her Bloody Mary and you can figure out who I am talking about.

“Very funny, my lady. And that reminds me"---he pointed a finger at her---"no horse jokes."
He was making it too easy. "Ah, my lord, why the long face?"
"That's it!”

Curiosity oftens sends me on researching different historical characters so, let me just say that these are historically accurate characters with a modern day spin and twist to make them have totally different lives than they actually lived. Yes, they all existed. They all played a part in the days of the Tudors, including Elizabeth Tudor, the sister to Mary and Edward. The story also includes Mary Queen of Scots. The story is actually broken into 2 parts. The first part is where history is pretty much followed as it apparently happened, while part 2 is history manipulated by the authors to fit their twisted imaginations. It definitely works.

#Review - Alpha by Jus Accardo #YALIT #SyFy

Series: An Infinity Division Novel (#3)
Format: E-Galley, 304 pages
Release Date: July 3, 2018
Publisher: Entangled: Teen
Source: Publisher
Genre: Young Adult / Science Fiction

The final book in the Infinity time travel series is full of action, romance, and an intricately designed roller coaster plot.

Sera is the obsession of a killer chasing a ghost.

G is a soldier with too much blood on his hands.

Dylan lost the only person he ever loved—and will stop at nothing to get her back.

In a whirlwind chase that takes them back to where it all started, Sera, G, and Dylan will have to confront their demons—both physical and mental—and each other, in order to win their freedom.

Alpha is the third and final installment in The Infinity Division trilogy by author Jus Accardo. The Infinity Division was introduced in the first book where those working for Infinity have discovered the ability to jump to different dimensions. In each dimension the characters all exist, but lead very different lives from one world to the next. Alpha continues where Omega left off and Infinity began. The first two books featured Cade, Kori, Noah, and Ashlyn. Now, the author wraps up the story by featuring two characters we've met in Omega. 

Sera and G are this books narrators along with series anti-hero Dylan. Dylan has taken Sera away with him because he believes she is actually Ava, the girl he loved, the girl who lost, and the girl that set off this entire series in the action packed first installment. G and Sera had fallen into a deep trust of the other while captive together. Both were experimented on, had their memories erased, all thanks to the demented mind of one Cora Anderson. The same Anderson who ripped Sera away from her home, her life, and used her as a science experiment, while G was being groomed to become a super soldier.

The book starts out with Sera and Dylan staying one step ahead of the combined forces of G, Cade, Noah, Kori, and Ashlyn. In this world, there are an infinite number of worlds. Sera is another version of Dylan's Ava who he lost to an accident on his world. Sera doesn't remember anything about the life before she was taken by Cora and experimented on, but she does know that Dylan is shattered and broken thanks to Ava's loss. Does that make Dylan a more sympathetic character knowing what triggered him into being a sociopathic serial killer? Not even close.

For G, the frustration of not being able to catch Dylan and save Sera has increased his chances that he will lose his temper and do something that he can never return from. He is a former soldier. He is super enhanced and ready to tear someone apart. Throughout the book, he fights an inner demon that wants to crush anyone who gets in his way. His relationship with Cade was cordial enough, but he has no use for Noah, who on another world, is actually his brother. G has some curious storylines, especially since he can put two and two together for Sera. That is where the twists actually come from which lead to an action packed finale.

A final note on Dylan. I've hated Dylan from the first moment I met him in Infinity. He is a devious character hell bend on exacting revenge on innocent people who he blames for the loss of the woman he was hoping to marry. He lashed out at those who had nothing to do with Ava's situation, including Kori, and for that there really is no forgiveness. People will read this and interrupt that I don't believe in giving characters second chances. Without spoiling anything, Dylan has choices throughout this story to do so. 

In the end, Cade and Kori are definitely my favorite couple, while G and Sera are a close second place. The romance between G and Sera was definitely more emotional and their backstories only amplified it. I felt a deeper connection with G and Sera than Noah and Ash. I am not a fan of the ending. The author goes from 2 weeks, to one month, to 6 months, to 3 days into the future. This is the result of having 6 characters and you have to wrap up your story in such a way that nobody is left behind and readers don't bombard you via tweets, or emails, asking WHY!?!?!?! I do have to add to future readers of this series or those who jumped into this book first; read the books in order as they were released. You need to get to know Noah, Cade, Kori, Ashlyn, Dylan, Sera & G. You have to know where they have been, to understand where they will be going, or possibly ending up.   

Thursday, June 28, 2018

#Review - Smoke and Iron by Rachel Caine #YALIT #Dystopian @Berkleypub

Format: Hardcover, 448 pages
Release Date: July 3, 2018
Publisher: Berkley
Source: Publisher
Genre: Young Adult / Dystopian

To save the Great Library, the unforgettable characters from Ink and BonePaper and Fire, and Ash and Quill put themselves in danger in the next thrilling adventure in the New York Times bestselling series.

The opening moves of a deadly game have begun. Jess Brightwell has put himself in direct peril, with only his wits and skill to aid him in a game of cat and mouse with the Archivist Magister of the Great Library. With the world catching fire, and words printed on paper the spark that lights rebellion, it falls to smugglers, thieves, and scholars to save a library thousands of years in the making...if they can stay alive long enough to outwit their enemies.

Smoke and Iron is the fourth installment in The Great Library series by author Rachel Caine. Smoke and Iron is a heart-pounding, alternate history novel set in a world where book ownership is forbidden. The story is filled with action, adventure, romance, betrayal, and magic. This is also a series that revolves around a rather large group of teens, and their adult mentors. The characters include: Jeff Brightwell, Khalila Seif, Glain Wather, Dario Santiago, Thomas Schreiber, Morgan Hault, Captain Niccolo Santi, and Christopher Wolfe. 

In this story, Jess, Khalia, Christopher, and Morgan are the main catalyst for what happens overall, while the others get brief control over the story. Caine's world is one in which the Great Library exists and controls all of the books of the world, while using a sort of alchemy to distribute the books as they see fit. Those working for the library track down anyone with any in their possession and confiscate the materials since ownership of books is expressly forbidden and anyone violating this law could even be sentenced to death.

For this story's sake, it has been 5 days since Jess arrived back in Alexandria posing as his brother Brendan. He has betrayed his mentor and the girl he loves, but thinks he has a plan to pull off the biggest miracle in history. He is trying to save the Great Library from the Archivist. Jess's plan involves Scholars, thieves, burners, and Garda soldiers who are tired of watching the Library spiral out of control. But, with the so called Feast of Great Burning happening soon, and the Archivist a master in the cat and mouse game, Jess will need to use some wit and imagination and luck in order to survive being one of those who's disposed of by the Archivist.

Onboard a ship heading back to Alexandria, as well as a brief stop in Spain where the King of Spain has plans of his own, Khalila, Thomas, Glain, Dario, and Niccolo are in deep trouble. Some of them are marked for death by the Archivist, others are apparently useful. There there is the wild card, Anit, daughter of the Red Ibrahim. Everyone except Dario believes that Jess betrayed them. If they find out what his plan entails, will they ever forgive him for what he did, or will there be hell to pay? There's just so much a person can do when facing nearly insurmountable odds. 

Meanwhile, Morgan is back in the Iron Tower where she has escaped from several times, but this time she's facing the most difficult challenge of her life. She has to face off against a new Obstrurist who has it in for her, while working with allies who may have a common goal of gaining more freedoms for the Obstrurist's who are not allowed to leave the Iron Tower, and are required to have children with whomever is chosen for them. Morgan is also experiencing the most twisted story of all characters. She has power that is so strong, I'm not sure if anyone can survive if she turns against her friends. Her savior might be a man who hasn't been seen in a very long time.

In one of the more heart broken stories, Christopher is back in prison. It is a place he is familiar with, but he's not the only one. There are very important other scholars, soldiers, and researchers who have apparently made an enemy of the Archivist that are there with him. Christopher of all the characters in this book has a pretty good idea of what is happening and why he was led back to the library to wait his execution. He also believes, "A broken bone heals twice as strong." Doesn't mean that he will easily forgive, but when the chips are down, hard choices must be made.

As readers, you have to ask yourself how things are going to play out when all is said and done. Will Dario and Khalila's bond grow stronger? Will Jess and Morgan figure out whether or not they actually love each other? Or, will Jess be the odd man out? I say that because only Jess is one without any magic, or powers, or prestige. He is a boy who grew up as a book runner for his father, and later found himself as a soldier with the Library's Garda. He carries the most weight of any character in this book, except perhaps Morgan, and we shall see what the author does with her powers in the final installment.  

This is a story that is action packed, but also has a very emotional ending. Each of the characters in this series has shown unique abilities. Example: Santi is strength, Jess is inspiration, Thomas is the future, Glain is protection, Khalia is brilliant, Dario I haven't exactly found an easy path to liking yet. He is too much of a character who has had the world handed to him on a silver plate, and still treats Jess as though he is a scrub. We shall see if that changes in the final installment. 


It had all started as an exercise to fight the unending boredom of being locked in this Alexandrian prison cell.
When Jess Brightwell woke up, he realized that he’d lost track of time. Days blurred here, and he knew it was important to remember how long he’d been trapped, waiting for the axe to fall-or not. So he diligently scratched out a record on the wall using a button from his shirt.
Five days. Five days since he’d arrived back in Alexandria, bringing with him Scholar Wolfe and Morgan Hault as his prisoners. They’d been taken off in different directions, and he’d been dumped here to-as they’d said-await the Archivist’s pleasure.
The Archivist, it seemed, was a very busy man.
Once Jess had the days logged, he did the mental exercise of calculating the date, from pure boredom. It took him long, uneasy moments to realize why that date-today-seemed important.
And then he remembered and was ashamed it had taken him so long.
Today was the anniversary of his brother Liam’s death. His elder brother.
And today meant that Jess was now older than Liam had ever lived to be.
He couldn’t remember exactly how Liam had died. Could hardly remember his brother at all these days, other than a vague impression of a sharp nose and shaggy blondish hair. He must have watched Liam walk up the stairs of the scaffold and stand as the rope was fixed around his neck.
But he couldn’t remember that, or watching the drop. Just Liam, hanging. It seemed like a painting viewed at a distance, not a memory.
Wish I could remember, he thought. If Liam had held his head high on the way to his death, if he’d gone up the steps firmly and stood without fear, then maybe Jess would be able to do it, too. Because that was likely to be in his future.
He closed his eyes and tried to picture it: the cell door opening. Soldiers in High Garda uniforms, the army of the Great Library, waiting stone-faced in the hall. A Scholar to read the text of his choice to him on the way to execution. Perhaps a priest, if he asked for one.
But there, his mind went blank. He didn’t know how the Archivist would end his life. Would it be a quiet death? Private? A shot in the back? Burial without a marker? Maybe nobody would ever know what had become of him.
Or maybe he’d end up facing the noose after all, and the steps up to it. If he could picture himself walking without flinching to his execution, perhaps he could actually do it.
He knew he ought to be focusing on what he would be saying to the Archivist if he was called, but at this moment, death seemed so close he could touch it, and besides, it was easier to accept failure than to dare to predict success. He’d never been especially superstitious, but imagining triumph now seemed like drawing a target on his back. No reason to offend the Egyptian gods. Not so early.
He stood up and walked the cell. Cold, barren, with bars and a flat stone shelf that pretended at being a bed. A bare toilet that needed cleaning, and the sharp smell of it was starting to squirm against his skin.
If I had something to read …The thought crept in without warning, and he felt it like a personal loss. Not having a book at hand was a worse punishment than most. He was trying not to think about his death, and he was too afraid to think about the fate of Morgan or Scholar Wolfe or anything else…except that he could almost hear Scholar Wolfe’s dry, acerbic voice telling him, If only you had a brain up to the task, Brightwell, you’d never lack for something to read.
Jess settled on the stone ledge, closed his eyes, and tried to clearly imagine the first page of one of his favorite books. Nothing came at his command. Just words, jumbled and frantic, that wouldn’t sort themselves in order. Better if he imagined writing a letter.
Dear Morgan, he thought. I’m trapped in a holding cell inside the Serapeum, and all I can think of is that I should have done better by you, and all of us. I’m afraid all this is for nothing. And I’m sorry. I’m sorry for being stupid enough to think I could outwit the Archivist. I love you. Please don’t hate me.
That was selfish. She should hate him. He’d sent her back into the Iron Tower, a life sentence of servitude and an unbreakable collar fastened tight around her neck. He’d deceived Scholar Wolfe into a prison far worse than this one, and an inevitable death sentence. He’d betrayed everyone who’d ever trusted him, and for what?
For cleverness and a probably foolish idea that he could somehow, somehow, pull off a miracle. What gave him the right to even think it?
That was the sound of a key turning in a heavy lock.
Jess stood, the chill on his back left by the ledge still lingering like a ghost, and then he came to the bars as the door at the end of the hall opened. He could see the hinges move and the iron door swinging in. It wasn’t locked again when it closed. Careless.
He listened to the decisive thud of footsteps against the floor, growing louder, and then three High Garda soldiers in black with golden emblems were in front of his cell. They stopped and faced him. The oldest-his close-cut hair a stiff silver brush around his head-barked in common Greek, “Step back from the bars and turn around.”
Jess’s skin felt flushed, then cold; he swallowed back a rush of fear and felt his pulse race in a futile attempt to outrun the inevitable. He followed the instructions. They didn’t lock the outer door. That’s a chance, if I can get by them. He could. He could sweep the legs out from under the first, use that off-balance body to knock back the other two, pull a sidearm free from one of them, shoot at least one, maybe two of them. Luck would dictate whether he’d die in the attempt, but at least he’d die fighting.
I don’t want to die, something in him that sounded like a child whispered. Not like Liam. Not on the same day.
And suddenly, he remembered.
The London sky, iron gray. Light rain had been falling on his child’s face. He’d been too short to see his brother ascend anything but the top two steps of the scaffold. Liam had stumbled on the last one, and a guard had steadied him. His brother had been shivering and slow, and he hadn’t been brave after all. He’d looked out into the crowd of those gathered, and Jess remembered the searing second of eye contact with his brother before Liam transferred that stare to their father.
Jess had looked, too. Callum Brightwell had stared back without a flicker of change in his expression, as if his eldest son were a stranger.
They’d tied Liam’s hands. And put a hood over his head.
A voice in the here and now snapped him out of the memory. “Against the wall. Hands behind your back.”
Jess slowly moved to comply, trying to assess where the other man was…and froze when the barrel of a gun pressed against the back of his neck. “I know what you’re thinking, son. Don’t try it. I’d rather not shoot you for stupidity.”
The guard had a familiar accent-raised near Manchester, most likely. His time in Alexandria had covered his English roots a bit, but it was odd, Jess thought, that he might be killed by one of his countrymen, so far from home. Killed by the English, just like Liam.
Once a set of Library restraints settled around his wrists and tightened, he felt strangely less shaken. Opportunity was gone now. All his choices had been narrowed to one course. All he had to do now was play it out.
Jess turned to look at the High Garda soldier. A man with roots from another garden, maybe one closer to Alexandria; the man had a darker complexion, dark eyes, a neat beard, and a compassionate but firm expression on his face. “Am I coming back?” he asked, and wished he hadn’t.
“Likely not,” the soldier said. “Wherever you go next, you won’t be back here.”
Jess nodded. He closed his eyes for a second and then opened them. Liam had faltered on the stairs. Had trembled. But at the end his elder brother had stood firm in his bonds and hood and waited for death without showing any fear.
He could do the same.
“Then, let’s go,” he said, and forced a grin he hoped looked careless. “I could do with a change of scenery.”

They didn’t take him to the gallows. Not immediately, anyway. And though he half feared he’d never see the shot that would kill him from behind, they reached the end of the hall and the unlocked door without incident. Lucky that Captain Santi isn’t here to see that breach of security, he thought. Santi would have had someone’s head for it. Metaphorically speaking.
And now he wished he hadn’t thought of that, because it added another possible execution method to his imagined deaths.
It was a long march through quite a number of checkpoints, each strongly manned with soldiers and automata; the sphinxes watched him with suspicious red eyes and flexed their lion claws. Of all the automata he’d faced before-lions, Spartans, once a hawk-headed Egyptian god-these were the ones that most unnerved him. Something about the human pharaoh’s face made them especially inhuman. They’d have no trouble tearing him apart in these close quarters, coming as they would from either side.
Jess added it to his preferred ways not to die and was grateful when the route took them through an iron gate and into dazzling sunlight. Dying in the sun was always better than dying in the dark, wasn’t it? He sucked down thick Alexandrian sea air in convulsive breaths and turned his face up to the warmth; as his eyes adjusted, he realized he was being marched through the small ornamental garden that led around to the side of the giant Alexandrian pyramid that held the Scholar Steps. Too brief a walk, one he didn’t have much time to savor, before they passed into the darkness of another doorway near the base of the vast, looming structure.
Then he knew exactly where he was. He’d been here before.
The guards marched him through a long lobby guarded by gods and monsters in their niches and down a hall inscribed with hieroglyphs to a final door. Another, larger sphinx sat in an alcove, and a warning growl sounded until the soldier in charge held up his wrist to show the gold bracelet there. The sphinx subsided, and the door opened.
Jess stepped into the outer office of the single most powerful person in the world.
His guards didn’t follow him in. When he looked back, they’d already turned to walk away, and the door was swinging shut.
There were guards, of course; these wore the distinctive red-slashed uniforms of the High Garda Elite, sworn to the personal protection of the Archivist, and they took custody of him without a word. Jess almost missed his old escort. He’d trained as a High Garda himself, had worn the uniform, had eaten in the same dining hall as those men. The Elites were more akin to fanatics than to soldiers. They had separate quarters. Separate training. And they were dedicated to one man, not to the protection of the Great Library.
The Elites hardly gave him a glance as they formed a tight cordon around him and marched him through the outer office, where an assistant’s desk sat empty, and then through a set of massive double doors decorated with the Library’s seal.
He was escorted to a heavy, ornate chair and pushed into it, and the guards immediately withdrew to stand in the shadows. They went as immobile as automata.
Jess raised his gaze to find that the head of the Great Library wasn’t even bothering to look at him.
The old man looked different, Jess thought. Grayer, but somehow stronger, too, as if he’d taken up a new exercise regimen. His hair had been cropped close now, and his skin had a darker hue than before, as if he’d spent time out in the sun. Sailing, perhaps. He must have a ship or two at his disposal.
The Archivist signed official documents with quick scratches of his pen.
Jess expected to at least have the old man’s attention, but the Archivist said nothing. He simply worked. In a moment, a young woman walked in with a silver tray and put a small china cup of strong coffee on the table next to Jess.
“Can’t drink it, love,” he said with a shrug of his shoulders, and twisted to show her his bound hands.
The Archivist sighed without looking up. “Remove his restraints, will you, please?”
The order was directed at no one in particular, but a guard immediately stepped forward to press his Library bracelet to the shackles, and they snapped apart. Jess handed them over, and the guard took up his invisibility game again. Jess picked up the coffee cup with a fleeting quirk of his lips at the lovely assistant-she was beautiful-and it was only after he saw the hurt in her eyes that he realized he should have remembered her.
And Brendan Brightwell certainly should have remembered her. He couldn’t forget, not for a second, that he was now intent on carrying on an impersonation of his twin brother, and his brother, God help him, had carried on a secret affair with this very same young woman. Whose name he couldn’t remember, no matter how he tried.
Get your head in the room, he told himself. He wasn’t Jess anymore. Couldn’t be. Jess Brightwell was a dead man in Alexandria; he’d come here to set plans in motion, and he’d done it the only way he could: as his brother Brendan. His life now depended on everyone believing that he was his twin, as unlike him as it was possible to be. Sarcastic, sharp, brash, always ready with a grin or a joke or a knife in the ribs.
He returned his focus to the Archivist Magister, the head of the Great Library of Alexandria, as the old man—still without looking up—said, “Explain why I shouldn’t have your head taken off here and now, prisoner.”

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

#Review - The Privilege of Peace (Peacekeeper #3) by Tanya Huff #SyFy

Series: PEACEKEEPER (#3)
Format: Hardcover, 352 pages
Release Date: June 19, 2018
Publisher: DAW
Source: Publisher
Genre: Science Fiction / Military

Former space marine Torin Kerr returns for one final adventure to save the Confederation in the last book in the military science fiction Peacekeeper trilogy.

Warden Torin Kerr has put her past behind her and built a life away from the war and everything that meant. From the good, from the bad. From the heroics, from the betrayal. She’s created a place and purpose for others like her, a way to use their training for the good of the Confederation. She has friends, family, purpose.

Unfortunately, her past refuses to grant her the same absolution. Big Yellow, the ship form of the plastic aliens responsible for the war, returns. The Silsviss test the strength of the Confederation. Torin has to be Gunnery Sergeant Kerr once again and find a way to keep the peace.

Story Locale: Alien planet
Series Overview: Torin Kerr and her team must stave off a search for planet-destroying weapons to prevent an interplanetary war, in this spinoff of Huff’s popular spacefaring Confederation series. 

The Privilege of Peace is the third and final installment in both the Peacekeeper series, and the Confederation series. Warden Torin Kerr and her team have come a very long way not only since the beginning of this series, but the end of the Confederation series as well. We are to the point in this world where nobody trusts anyone. Elder Races are ready to lock down the Younger Races who helped them fight a war against the Primacy. Younger Races are tired of being disrespected, which has leads to a group of Humans taking dangerous actions that have left Torin and her team on the cusp of facing yet another war. 

While the Humans First pirates continue to steal raw materials in their ramp up to war against the plastic aliens, Torin and team must finally deal with an issue that has been in the background for a year now. This is that of the plastic data sheet found on planet 33x73 that led to scientists being taken hostage by a group of pirates, former military, and those from the Primacy. Torin always knew Big Yellow would return. After all, she and Craig had plastic aliens in their heads once.  

Disaster looms at every angle. Torin is a catalyst for disaster and disaster attracts attention. Torin also has a very public face since her past actions are legendary. Torin distrusts the H'san and makes them uncomfortable whenever she's around. H'san are the only race who keeps a facility of ancient weapons which Torin found out in the first installment in this trilogy. She's seen too much death and destruction ad has lost too many people to be taken lightly. She knows that they are up to something, but what is the question. Torin in known universally as the person who faced the Silsviss and survived, as well as the Big Yellow which was in her head. Can she survive one final mission?

Note to readers. Please don't be like me. While I thoroughly
enjoyed this trilogy, I could have used the previous series as a background to understanding all of the alien races and the political landscape, as well as Torin's fights that have been well documented in each and every book. The world building is hard to keep track of if you don't know what the author has already set in motion. There is a whole lot of military shenanigans, jokes, and this series, in the end, is a pretty decent space opera with a cast of hundreds. .