March 2021 Anticipated Releases

This list is all going to be historical fiction. It seems in the historical romance genre most of the releases are continuations of series that I have not read. Other genres, I just could not find any books that I would be interested in reading. Be sure to comment and let me know of any books that I might have left out!

In eighteenth century London, Nella was once a healer but has taken those talent to the more evil side of things. She now runs a business that makes poisons to sell to women who are looking to kill a man. A young, preteen, girl comes into Nella’s shop one winter night. This sets the ball rolling on something that might expose all the women she had sold her poisons to. Two centuries later, Caroline finds an old vial near the Thames. It links back to a series of apothecary murders from the past. You guys can pick this as your Book of the Month pick this month!

Vera is the illegitimate daughter of one of San Francisco’s notorious proprietors. They deal with the cities scheming politicians and the more underground and gritty criminals. Vera is stuck between the two worlds, the posh life of the rich or the violent life of her family. The two words collide just like the tectonic plates on the day of the great San Francisco quake. This book was released this week on March 2, 2021.

This story crosses generations of French women who have come to this castle across hundreds of years. We first come across Adrienne Lafayette, who’s husband was known for helping the Americans get their freedom from the English. His idealism has inspired their home country to start a revolution of its own. Almost two hundred years later, we meet an American socialite, Beatrice Chanler. She sees firsthand the damage that is being done by the first world war in France. She takes on for what seems like an impossible challenge, to get America to come to the aid of the French. In 1940, teacher, Marthe Simone, is just trying to ignore the war that is happening in Europe. That is until her country is taken over by the Nazis. Her life is transformed as she tries to find solace in these castle walls. You can purchase this book starting on March 30, 2021!

Jeanette is struggling to overcome an addiction in modern day Miami. She is the daughter of a Cuban immigrant. She wants to know more about her family history but her mother is hesitant to talk. Her mother, Carmen, is dealing with the struggles of being a mother and then the strained relationship she has with her own mother who is back in Cuba. Jeanette is tired of getting out nothing out of her mother so she decides to go to Cuba on her own to meet with her grandmother. Secrets come out going all the way back to the nineteenth century. This book will also be released on March 30, 2021.

Let’s take things back to World War II, shall we? Nina has never wanted the life that women of her time are supposed to live but she feels stuck when her brothers moves to America and her mother is left alone in Italy. She cannot just abandon the women who raised her. Her childhood friend returns to their small village after a time apart. A spark lights up between the two of them as tensions rise in Europe. Her friend has to return to his job in the states and Nina is left once again wanting to go with him but cannot. Nina’s dreams get tossed aside as her country is taken under the control of Mussolini and she loses contact with her lover, Pietro. This book will be available to read on Tuesday, March 8, 2021.

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‘Lilac Girls’ Book Review

Caroline works at the French consulate in New York City. Her job for years has been helping French people get adjusted to life in America. She had also helped by sending care packages to orphanages across France. The work gets heavier and harder when war breaks out in Europe in 1939.

Kasia is a teenager in Poland, the country that Hitler has set his eyes on. Her youth is taken from her as her country is taken over by Germans. She does everything she can to help her country overcome these attacks. She joins the underground resistance.

Herta is a female German doctor who is just trying to get by and help her family. She finds a job within the government. She comes into a world filled with horror and secrets.

All of these women’s lives come together through the concentration camp of Ravensbruck.

The characters in this story just took it to another level. I felt so many emotions towards them. I am not certain how much I just felt such a connection with all of them rather it be hatred or love. They were all so real and sometimes I was yelling at them and other times I was just so worried for them. This book was an emotional ride and I think that has to do so much with these characters. I did not know when I started this novel but two of these women were actual people in history. I am definitely going to be reading up on their Wikipedia pages tonight!

The atmosphere of this book was just pure haunting. It was dark and emotional. It really showcases how evil this world can be but also how strong we can be as humans. It is a setting that I will not forget.

My only complaint is that in some of the chapters, mainly Caroline’s, I felt that the pacing was sporadic. It was just big time jumps between paragraphs. I am assuming it’s because she was always at a different setting, for the majority of the novel, unlike the other two viewpoints. The chapters did flow together nicely though and that was noted between the first two chapters.

The plot of this novel was unlike any other war novel that I had read. I feel like most take place in France. I had very little knowledge about the happenings in Poland in WWII, only that Hitler invading is what set the wheel rolling. I learned so much from this book, it was so moving. Obviously, I knew that terrible things were done in these labor camps across Europe but this just opened my eyes so much more to the true horrors of it. If you are a fan of The Book Thief or The Nightingale then you will like Lilac Girls.

I was on the edge of my seat throughout this reading experience. I did not realize that until halfway through. The read just gets so immersed into this story. I was constantly wanting to read more to know what would happen to the characters.

Some of the best logic that I have seen in a book. The character’s actually had consequences from their actions. Every little detail meant something, I loved the foreshadowing. There were no loose ends.

I thoroughly enjoyed my three day dive into the World War II era. I had medium expectations for this book as it does have an average 4.27 star rating on Goodreads. Lilac Girls definitely does live up to those standards. I cannot wait to pick up the next book that is in this series and to do my own research on the women featured in this story.

5 out of 5 stars

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‘When the Sky Fell on Splendor’ Book Review

“Just Kids. Kids, pretending to be okay in a world that wasn’t.”

Chapter Thirty-five.

Six teenagers in small town Ohio are all linked together because of a town tragedy and how it impacted each of their families. This group of kids call themselves ‘The Ordinary”. They have a rule that they won’t talk about the event that brought them all together and only do things that make them happy so they can forget all about the grief that took over the town of Splendor. The Ordinary have a Youtube channel where they post fake paranormal videos and what not but one night when they are going out to film one of their episodes, the unexpected happens. They catch video of something falling from the sky and it changes everything that they have ever known.

I was not a huge fan of these characters, even though I wanted to be. I was getting all the boys confused from the get go. They are all supposed to have quirky personality traits but I feel like you could have morphed them all into one and it would have been fine. I didn’t really like Franny, I just found her kind of annoying. There was not one exact thing that I can think of off the top of my head, I just didn’t think she was likeable. Characters get a two out of five.

“Nothing in this universe could ever be deleted, only hidden.”

Chapter Thirty-six.

The atmosphere was alright. Splendor is just like any other small and ordinary town in the United States. I feel like this had to happen in a small town though, it would not be as fun in a big city. Three out of five.

I expected more from this author to be honest with you. I have heard so many people rave about ‘Beach Read’, so I thought the writing must be great. It was an average writing style, it got the job done, nothing impressive. Some paragraphs were very nice and emotional but some paragraphs are not going to make up for a 350 page novel. Once again, a three out of five.

“How many billions of things had to happen just right to give me this ordinary life.”

Chapter Thirty-six.

This is a very interesting plot and one that is right up my alley. It is a coming of age story, check mark. Aliens, another check. Compared to Stranger Things, basically a bingo. Again, this book is just ordinary like the group of friends. I am not that all impressed by it and I feel like the plot we had going for 90% of the books just got all thrown away with the ending. I don’t think that this book was leading towards that at all. There’s so many things I could say but it would be spoilers. We will just leave a three star here.

The intrigue fell flat as well. The first half of the book was so slow. I did not know when the story would actually start happening. Then we got to that fifty percent mark and it all started happening and the pacing was great. I was making theories/predictions throughout my time reading.. I got all of them right. Yes, that is fun getting to know that I was right but also makes it boring when I knew what would would happen. 3 out of five.

My logic complaint, I do not know if this falls in the right category but we will just put it here. It’s the ending thing again, I guess it works with the grief aspect of the story but I feel like it just made the rest of the story seem pointless. I think there were some loose ends with some of the plots as well. They just were not wrapped up. 2 or 3? Let’s do a 2.5

This was an average read for me, I mean, I kind of feel like I wasted my time but it is too late to complain about that now. I feel like this book would have been good with just Franny and Remy but instead we got a whole pack of underdeveloped characters. The atmosphere was just a small town, nothing marvelous about it. The writing was like any ole book. The plot was really cool I just wish we would have got a better ending. This was an average read, nothing more to it.

The final rating for this book is a 2.75 out of 5 stars.

There will be reading vlog for my time reading this book. It will come out 01/19/2021 at 9PM EST. You subscribe to my YouTube here: Izzy Rain – YouTube or you can follow me on Facebook at Izzy Rain | Facebook

‘The Paris Hours’ Book Review

“Paris is always there, waiting for him on the other side of the door.”

Chapter 39.

Paris, between wars, everyone has lost something. Camille has lost a dear friend, the one who held her biggest secret. The notebook where it was written is now missing. Her reputation depends on it not landing in the wrong hands. Souren is a refugee from Armenia, he has lost his homeland and his family. Then there is the artist Guillaume he has lost a great love and is in a serious debt and has to find the money to pay it or his life could be taken from him. Finally, there is Jean-Paul, a writer, who dreams of America but cannot leave France because he truly believes his daughter is not dead but lost in the streets of Paris.

This is a character driven novel and those are my favorite kind of books to leave. Usually, shorter books seem to be more plot driven but that was not the case for ‘The Paris Hours’. This book is less than 300 pages but I feel like we got to connect with the characters so well in that span of time. (The book only lasts the course of a day.) I will be honest though and tell you, that not all these characters had entertaining chapters. I think Souren and Camille have the best chapters and they were my favorite to read from. I feel like Souren had the strongest story out of all of them and I think it can be applied nicely to the refugee crisis we have seen in recent years. I might have connected with Camille more since she is our only lead female character but I just enjoyed her chapters and her mission to protect herself and her family. Guillaume is our lovesick character. I just did not connect with him and I still do not understand why he was in the debt that he was in. Yes, sometimes I did feel for him but at other times I felt he might be a tad selfish but that is better than having a novel filled with Mary Sues, I just did not connect with his character. Lastly, Jean-Paul, he was not one of my favorite characters but I could really feel the emotion in his chapters. His plot left me with my jaw dropped at times. You could just really connect with him. The characters are getting a five out of five.

‘The Paris Hours’ is a love letter to the city of love that is in its title. This book just gave off such a French aesthetic or vibe. You just instantly feel like you are walking the streets with the Eiffel Tower towering in the smoggy skies of the French capital. The atmosphere also gets a five star.

The writing, the writing! Oh my gosh, the writing is so good in this book. I think it will be an acquired taste, much like other French things. This writing was just so beautiful and so romantic. It never dragged but it never got too fast either. It was such a breath of fresh air to read. I think this writing goes perfect with the setting of France and especially at this somewhat of an awkward time in the country’s history. There is so much I could say but I just cannot get the words out. I think you will understand more when I tell you that the writing is a five out of five star.

“Some things you cannot leave behind. Your history will pursue you doggedly across frontiers and over oceans. It will slip past the unsmiling border guards, fold itself invisibly into the pages of your passport, a silent, treacherous stowaway.”

Chapter 23.

I left the quote above because I think it perfectly describes the plot of this story. We all have a past and there is no running from it, there is no changing it. The past has happened and there is nothing we can do about it except move on. Sometimes we do have to accept it and think about it first though, before we can actually move on. All these characters have a past and that is what is impacting their decisions and the actions that they are taking throughout this day. Again, this is not a real plot heavy book and if that is something that you are into then you probably won’t like your journey reading this I think you really have to dig to find that true plot and story. The plot gets a 4 out of five.

The short chapters really helped with the intrigue. They just leave you wanting more and then you have to wait to get through all the other POVs to get back to the character. It is a good technique. Short and fast chapters will always be the best. I am going to give this a four though because I felt like some we did not really get a wrap on.

I feel like I do have to state that there were some typos throughout the novel, which there are probably some typos in this blogpost so I should not be one to judge but I also do not have an editor. So there were some instances where a space was forgotten and words were pushed together. The biggest however was in the second to last chapter, on page 249; “He is leg is hurting, and he wants to go home.” I am assuming the author meant “His leg is hurting.” I just hate to see things like that in books, maybe there needed to be a better editor on hand.

Time Travels in one direction only. There is no going back.”

Chapter 32.

I really, really, did enjoy this book. I did not think that I would feel that way going on because of the ratings on Goodreads and that I have heard nothing of this book before, I got it from BOTM. This was such a wild card for me, my favorite so far this year. The characters were fabulous, I might not have connected with all of them but that is life, we do not connect for every soul that we meet. I loved the French setting, the author did such a good job dropping us into 1927 Paris. This was the best writing that I have read in a long time. The plot is something that I will not forget. Again, I really enjoyed this book and I will be looking into more books by Alex George.

This book gets the rating of 5 out of 5 stars.

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‘Well Met’ Book Review

Emily’s sister April got in a car accident and has broken her leg. Emily moves in with said sister and her niece to help out until April can get on her feet again. She has never lived in a small town like Willow Creek, Maryland before. She assumes it will be a rather boring summer with nothing to do except sit around the house and watch Netflix. Willow Creek is known for it’s Renaissance Faire, which Emily’s niece, Caitlin will be working at with practically the whole town. Simon’s brother is the one who founded the festival around a decade ago. Simon takes on all the weight of the festival on to his shoulders. It is something that he takes very seriously and does not like Emily’s lack of understanding about the festival.

Emily was a really relatable character. I could understand her feelings and thoughts. She was a pretty funny perspective to read from. I do think she grew throughout the story and we were able to see that. I was not a fan of Simon Graham, though. To put it kindly, I think he was a jerk. I so did not want our main character to get with him but from the synopsis of this book it is obvious that the two of them get into some kind of relationship. I liked him in his pirate character but outside of character he was just terrible! Maybe it was so we can really feel how Emily feels but I don’t know, I could be a minority here. I think I might have felt better about him if we had chapters at his POV. I did like the townspeople though, this really did feel like a small and cozy town. I liked the side characters a lot. We will give the character’s a three out of five.

I, myself, have never attended a renaissance faire or festival but I REALLY want to go to one. When I am vaccinated and it is safe to travel again you can definitely catch me at the Carolina Renaissance Festival. This setting was a lot of fun but it did get repetitive at times. We just went through the every day activities of the tavern life. If we were not there we were at the human chess match. I think I actually preferred the parts when our main character Emily was at her bookstore job. The setting was good though I think we will give it a four out of five stars.

The writing was not anything great. It was just average and bland, nothing to get excited about. As I stated earlier it was a funny writing style, it could make me laugh. Just your average three star.

The main trope of this book is enemies to lovers. That is advertised everywhere, so, no, it is not a spoiler. I usually love that trope but here I just did not enjoy it. I felt like their reason to hate each other was just petty. I would get maybe disliking but these characters full on hated each other, that is until she saw him in leather pants. Like come on, you are going to stop hating a guy just because he looks good in a tight pair of clothes? Stupid. Then, the going from enemies to being lovers was just so sudden, I do not think Simon would just suddenly change like that, again maybe if we had chapters from his perspective too that could be different. I just was not a fan of this romance. I feel like this might be extreme but I am going to give that a two out of five.

The chapters in this book were too long for a romance novel. I was dreading picking up the book knowing that the long chapter potentially would be going through the same events yet again. I get that is life that the same events usually happen day to day but it’s just boring for a book. I feel like there could be so much done with the Faire setting. 3/5.

I guess everything here is logical as it does feel realistic. I have never been to a Renaissance Faire so I will take this book’s word for it that this is how they play out. We will do a four out of five.

Did I enjoy this book? I don’t really know. It was an average read, I know it seems like I hated it but I am being honest, I did not hate it. I really liked the main character, Emily, and then all of the side characters. The atmosphere was pretty cool, I just wish we could have explored more into it. The writing was not anything special but it was not bad either. The romance was not my favorite but it does seem I am really picky with romance novels, I think I do better with ones in a fantastical or historical setting but I did like A Lesson in Thornes by Sierra Simone. The chapters were long, even though this book was under three hundred pages, I feel like it could have been shorter. This could have made a good novella. This did seem like a realistic romance even though it might have been petty. ( I am glad that I don’t have a hate like that towards anyone.) I think others might enjoy this book but it was just not for me. I will not be continuing the series.

This book gets a 3 out of 5 star rating.

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‘Into the Drowning Deep’ Book Review

The Atargatis set sail in 2015 in search of mermaids. The crew was made up for a mockumentary for the Imagine TV Network. The channel had been known of making these kind of shows on different cryptids but none had ever gone as dark as the voyage of the Atargatis, the whole crew vanished, killed by these mermaids of the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean. Seven years later, a new crew has set out to find out what happened to the previous ship.

The cure for anything is saltwater… tears, sweat, or the sea.

Isak Dinesen

Some wanted fame, others revenge, proof that they were always right, or simply just to follow their studies or career. Everyone on this ship had a mission. The characters in this book were so real. They all had their flaws and might I add that they were all morally grey, in my opinion. I was constantly thinking someone would turn on the other. This was a really diverse cast be it, disability, race, or sexual orientation. There was lots of representation here. All these characters had a purpose, Tory was probably the main character but the others did not feel like they were pushed to the side either. The characters in this book are going to get a five out of five from me.

Mankind’s exploration of the oceans had been going on for centuries, yet barely scratched the surface, leaving much of the depths uncharted.

Chapter Nine

The atmosphere was so creepy and that is just what a horror novel needs. In general, boats being in the middle of the ocean freak me out anyway and then the author adds in killer mermaids. Just the thought of being in the middle of the Pacific, in a very desolate part of the ocean might I add, knowing that there are things that want to harm all the humans around you.. that is horrifying. Mira Grant hit the atmosphere nail right on the head. Once again a five out of five.

When I first started this book, the writing was so great. Probably the best I had read in months. However, that rating started to drop when we got into the science bits. Yes, this book is about a lot of scientist on a vessel but sometimes it was like reading another language and I found myself skimming. The writing just got heavy at the science bits but at the other parts it was great! Four our of five stars.

I had only read one book before this that was set on a boat and it was a thriller, not a horror. Boat books are just so unique. I really liked how this voyage was to solve a mystery of the past ship and then the mystery that humans have had for centuries, are mermaids real? Add in the fact, that all these characters had different motives. They were all seeking something different rather it be closure of a family member who was on the Atargatis or it be to bring a new creature into the realm of biology. Sometimes their motives changed throughout the voyage. Grant very much so did her research for this book, it just felt so real. I could totally see this happening in real life. You really feel like that you are put into this story, the plot gets a five star.

Intrigue is something that I find so important in horror, mystery, or thriller novels. You are trying to find out what is behind all of this or what is going to happen next. I was always making theories with this one but a lot of the time my theories came out to be wrong! That just shows that Mira Grant is so intelligent with her writing, she had ideas that I was not even thinking of. I do not know how I felt about the ending though. I wanted to know more about how the characters felt after everything on the ship wrapped up. I am not sure if there will be a sequel, at this time. Four out of five stars.

If this book was one thing it was logical. Often times in the CAWPILE system, I never know what to say about the ‘L’ part of the acronym. ‘Into the Drowning Deep’, does not leave me skipping over this category, though. Everything was so well thought out. The paragraph structure and everything was just so logical. It is a heavy read but you learn so much about different kinds of study that fall into the marine category. 5/5.

I did enjoy this book, I think all of you who have read this blog post can see that. I enjoyed that all the characters were so different and even though there was a large cast, I was never getting them confused. The atmosphere was so creepy and fit perfect with the black and red cover of the book. The writing was great but it was heavy at times which was the main downfall for me but I think if you have a career path in the science or field of if it is just something you are interested in then you would not have the same problem that I did. The plot was unique and this would make the perfect movie, someone really needs to pick this up. I was constantly trying to find out what would happen next and it never felt like a drag to pick up but I am lightly disappointed in the ending. This book was smart, too smart at times but it just made it all the more realistic. I will be picking up more books from this author.

The final rating for this book is a 4.5 star out of 5.

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My Most Anticipated January 2021 Releases!

This is a new kind of post for me to write. Today we are going to be looking at new releases in the historical fiction and historical romance genres! I never used to pay attention to new releases as I would get to them when I got to them but now I think that I will purchase one every month with my monthly Barnes and Noble trip, which has been done online since April. There are so many new and diverse books coming out this month and later in the year as well. I am glad that authors of different faces and those in the LGBT+ community are being heard. I can only hope that reading from people with these experiences can help bring us as people together and realize that we all walk different paths in life and that we all need to treat each other with kindness.

Historical Fiction

Isaiah and Samuel were slaves on a planation in the Deep South. The barn that the two boys worked in together was a sort of escape from the harsh world around them, there it was just the two of them and the animals that they tended to. One of their fellow slaves begins to preach to the other slaves, leading them to turn against one another. Isaiah and Samuel are no longer safe as their love for one another is now seen as a sin. This novel shows the pain that was so prevalent during this time in history, but yet the hope that the people had as well, and what the power of love can do. This book was released on January 5, 2021.

Ada is seventeen years old in the year of 1894. She lives a happy life, she loves her husband and enjoys the job she has, helping the midwife. Things start to go downhill though when it has been over a year of marriage and Ada has not given her husband a child of their own. The act of being barren in their town often leads to women being executed in thoughts that they are witches. Ada joins a gang of outcast women as a source of safety in this patriarchal society. Ada has to decide if she really wants to live the life of an outlaw. Outlawed is one of the five choices this month over at Book of the Month if you guys would like to check it out there but at other locations it was put on the shelves on January 5, 2021.

Find Me in Havana is based on the true story of Cuban singer, Estelita Rodriguez. She started her career out at the young age of just nine years old by singing in the smoky bars of Cuba in the mid 1930s. Her voice and talent takes her to places like New York and Los Angeles, it is the one thing that belongs to Estelita, no one could take it from her when the revolution happened in 1933, and all the other tragic events that happened throughout her life. Thirty years later, Nina Rodriguez is left with the mystery of her mother. Nina has to go through mazes and mazes to seek out the truth about her mother’s path. This book will be published on January 12, 2021.

Pheby Brown is born on a planation in Virginia, into slavery. She has been promised she will be freed once she becomes an adult. Things do not go as planned, she is sent against her will to work as a slave at a prison that is known for its brutatlity and torture to its slaves. Pheby is forced to become the mistress to the owner of the jail. This story is powerful and shows her fight to freedom once and for all. You can pick it up on January 12, 2021.

The Walters are seen as the picture perfect, good Christian and Texan family. Victor is the main man, the leader, of the family. He is a preacher and now for his conservative values, that seem to be falling away in the 1970s. His daughter starts telling stories of having a baby that somehow died but the story keeps changing and no one knows what is true. However, the granddaughter, Lily, has as secret that could bring her whole family and its charade down. This book with be available for purchase on January 19, 2021.

Historical Romance

Sarani Rao is an Indian princess, she has everything that a girl could want; wealth, jewels, and beauty. However, her mother is English and that makes Sarani seem less than perfect to her peers. Her father is then killed which makes her life turn upside down, she is no longer safe without him. Then, there is Captain Rhystan Huntley, a duke rather he like its or not. He is with an English fleet in India and the one girl he has ever loved needs to escape that country. She must leave with him on his ship. This one will be released on January 26, 2021.

Sir Henry March is out on a cold London night and stumbles upon a girl who has appeared to be beaten. Eliza Broad escaped the abuse of her evil stepfather. Henry has agreed to take care of her until she has recovered. During her time of recovery Eliza is shown the world of culture that she had no idea existed in the same place that she lived. A romance soon sparks between the two of them. Throughout their romance dark and sadistic secrets of the elite are revealed. You will be able to find out for yourself on January 12, 2021.

My Highland Warrior is the start to a new historical romance series. Magdalene is one of the most beautiful women in all of Scotland the younger sister of a lord. She is known for her madness. One man feels as though he has to marry her for his peoples’ sake. She comes from a powerful family and he has to keep his people alive. Gabriel MacLachlan agrees to marry her but is scaredof how the curse on his family name might impact her. This title will be published on January 19, 2021.

Gilded Age America, Arizona to be precise. Evan Rounsevell is on the run from the responsibilities back home. He has always been fascinated with the American West and the cowboys that come with it. He would rather be a cowboy than and English lord. Daniella is left with her ranch after her fiancé fled from a draught a few years prior. Evan has no money left to his name so picks up work at Daniella’s ranch even though she is convinced that she does not need a man in her, especially this snotty English one. The adjustment is hard for Evan but he is desperate to win Daniella’s affection and her seeing his work on the land that she loves so much might cause her to have a change of heart. You can download this book on the Kindle app starting on January 30, 2021.

Which of these books would you choose? You can check out my Youtube channel, I will have a video with my selection at the end of the month! Izzy Rain

‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?’ Book Review

In January 2021, the world has long since had a nuclear war and dust falls over the plant. Most have immigrated to Mars but those brave enough or unfit to travel stay on the planet Earth. If you are an immigrant to the red planet you receive an android, they look human so much so most of the time you cannot tell that they are not one. The main difference is that androids lack empathy. The government on Earth has banned these creations but some have escaped from Mars to try to live lives as normal humans. Rick Deckard is a bounty hunter his mission is to kill eight of the androids that have escaped from Mars. It’s a difficult task as the androids or “andys” know that they are being hunted and go a sophisticated route to stay hidden. This story goes through the minds of the androids, a man who might help them along the way, and the man who is hunting them.

I picked this book up as it is actually January 2021. Now, you might be thinking that plot sounds crazy, 2021 is nothing like how it is described in the novel. That’s because this is a science fiction novel published in 1968. It was so surreal to be reading something that takes place when we are living but was written over fifty years ago. Obviously, life is nothing like how it is in this book. It just fascinates me to see what people in the past thought the future would be like.

“Everything I’ve done has been wrong from the start.”

Chapter 20.

The main point of views in this book are the bounty hunter, Rick Deckard, and a ‘chickenhead’- someone who the nuclear dust has impacted, J.R. Isidore. The read gets to see how both of these men survive in this dystopian San Francisco and how they both feel about androids plus how they deal with those beings. The character’s were not really likeable or unlikeable, I did not really care what would happen to them. However, even though this book only takes place in a few days, I feel like their was great character growth in these men. Their thoughts on society really change throughout the story and they often have to question why they do what they do, if what they are doing is right or wrong. The characters get a four out of five rating.

The electric things have their lives, too. Paltry as those lives are.”

Chapter 22.

The early chapters do a good job at worldbuilding in the sense by explaining the war that wiped out most of the population of animals. It does not go into detail why there was a war or what countries were involved, as the characters do not seem to remember. The religion is something that I thought needed a little more building though. Every time ‘mercerism’ was mentioned the plot just went crazy like it was some kind of drug trip. I honestly do not know what was happening in those paragraphs. I am still very much confused as what the meaning of those points were, maybe the next books explains better. I also do not understand why animals are so important in this world even to the point where there are electric animals. It seems the wealthy have real animals while those who are less fortunate have artificial ones that like androids look just like real ones. Atmosphere gets a three out of five.

The writing was not anything special. It was not the best writing that I have ever read and it was not the worst either. It was not too lengthy which is really nice. My pet peeve was thought that it would randomly change perspectives in a chapter without a break or anything. Just an average writing style, it got the job done. Three out of five rating.

I really liked this plot. The idea of androids escaping slavery on Mars and trying to live and hide among humans is super interesting and then you add in the idea of them being hunted. I wish there could have been a POV from one of the androids but we did not see that in this installment. The plot gets a four out five.

I was wanting to know what would happen next and who would survive but repeating myself, from the character section, I did not feel emotionally connected to the characters so whatever would happen would not really have a big impact on me. This book was not predictable but it was not shocking either, I won’t go into that any more as I am scared that I might give too much away. Intrigue gets a three out of five rating.

Ah, logic, this section is always fun for fantasy and sci-fi and one that is always fairly difficult to judge. I think sometimes for the characters things just went too easy, maybe that is why this book was relatively short, less than three hundred pages. Again, I do not know the logic behind the religion and I don’t know a lot about nuclear waste so I do not know if all the science behind that held any truth. Logic will once again get a three from me.

I did enjoy reading a classic science fiction novel, I think this is the first of it’s kind that I have picked up. This book did have an interesting plot and I liked that for a sci-fi the characters actually got to grow and that all the focus was not just on the plot of the novel. This 2021 world is fascinating but I think it could have used a bit more backstory, I will have to do some research on this book. I most likely will be picking up the next book and other books by Philip K. Dick. If you were interested in this story you might want to check out the Amazon series ‘Electric Dreams’, each episode is based on a different story from the author and there are well known actors on the show. It was what brought this author to my attention!

This novel gets the rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2fN0pKnNYQhyA_hRCYm8tg

“Pirate Women” Book Review

Laura Sook Duncombe saw that there was a lack of books on pirates about the females who also sailed ships and looted for treasure across the seven seas. So, she decided to write her own and that is how we have “Pirate Women”. I picked up this book at the Pirate Museum in St. Augustine, Florida. I was not expecting much as it was just one, I had picked up at random with no research on but Duncombe blew me away with this book. This is not just a pretty cover with cool colors, there is so much information inside that I never about before.

This book does go in chronological order, I am so thankful for that as it does not confuse the reader at all. That being said we start in the ancient world on the Mediterranean with the Greeks and Romans, these were ancient queens like most women throughout this book we do not know if they were fact or fiction or somewhere in the middle. That is a common theme here, women were often written over in history and there is not a lot of information to be found on these women. They were just supposed to sit there looking pretty and baring children to their husbands not fighting against other Greek city states.

The next step we take is towards Ladgerda and the Vikings who are trying to reach the halls of Valhalla. The writer debates on if these warrior women should be listed as literal pirates. Most of the fighting was done on the shores of England or other states on the North and Baltic seas. It was fighting and raiding on land and then back on the ship to Scandinavia.  Nevertheless, the tales of these female Viking warriors are interesting and had been pasted orally for hundreds of years.

I did not find the pirates of Brittany in the middle ages as interesting as the Vikings, but I do think some will. There should be a television show or at least a historical fiction book on these women and what they did to protect their thrones and rights. Throughout this chapter I could not help but think that George R.R. Martin, the author of A Game of Thrones, took inspiration from some of these women for his universe in the A Song of Ice and Fire series.

And then on and on we go throughout history, the Barbary era of pirates with the sultans, Queen Elizabeth I with the sea dogs she hired to take on the Spanish Armada. The Golden Age of piracy taking place in the 1700s with the likes of Anne Bonny and her crew. The story takes us all the way to China in the twentieth century. There was so much to learn in this book that is so small that it is less than three hundred pages long.

Enough of the summary for now, lets get to my likes and dislikes. As I stated previous, I like that this is in historical order, so I did not have to sit down and write out a timeline for myself. seriously, if you are writing a nonfiction book, please go in chronological order. One thing I loved that the author is a woman, writing about women, and most of the sources that she used were also female. It was just awesome to see! The book was easy to understand and I was never confused. The chapters had a good page length, usually around fifteen pages long. (Another bit of advice if you plan to write a book, never make a chapter fifty pages. I will lose interest.)

Duncombe also does a good job at setting the scene. Yes, this is a nonfiction piece of work, but she does a great time at describing the world that these women were living in and how it might have attributed to their actions. The author also reminds us time and time again that we do have enough information on these women to know their stories full and well. We also must remember that the things we learn in history are never one hundred percent certain as we are not hearing all the sides of it and we were not there. That information is so important to remember as we learn or read anything that is nonfiction.

I only have small complaints. The last chapter about actual pirates, chapter 13. I felt like it was rushed. We had so many women to discuss and only got a few short paragraphs about them and I feel like I did not learn as much about them as I did about the previous women and that is strange as these female pirates were all in the last century, some in my life time. Then there was the last chapter about pirate women on the big screen. I felt this chapter to be unnecessary as these are all known works of fiction. The chapter was basically the full plots of movies that I will never watch. It was a waste of time.

I really enjoyed this book. It is probably my favorite nonfiction that I have read this year and I will have to look and see if Laura Sook Duncombe has any other books out that I can have the pleasure in reading. Just learning about how these women got into these situations rather it be that they were born or married into it, joining the sea life, dressed as a male to get out of societies standards. It was just so interesting to read and I definitely want to read more about pirates in the future. Five out of five stars read.

‘Game Seven’ Review

Game Seven tells us the story of Julio Ramírez Jr., a teenage shortstop from Cuba. His father has already defected the country by playing in an exhibition game in Baltimore and leaving the team to get signed by the Miami Marlins. Julio is given the choice to leave Cuba like his father, to find freedom in the United States or stay in Cuba with his mother and sister. It is the hardest choice that he will ever have to make.

Let’s start out with the characters. At first, Julio really annoyed me and I felt like all he did was complain. I had to remind myself that he is sixteen years old and going through crazy life changes. That really put it into perspective for me. I think the characters in this book are greatly realistic and relatable even though they are not all likeable. I really liked Luis, Julio’s cousin, though! Characters get a four out of five.

The atmosphere was like nothing I had ever read before. It was very fascinating and different. I would give it once again a four out of five.

The writing in this novel was not anything great. First off, I am not a huge fan of first person perspective, please keep it in third person. The next thing, I felt like it was very much, “I did this and then I did that.” Just telling and not showing. The writing gets a three out of five.

A story of baseball in Cuba and how difficult it is to go from there to play in the MLB in America? The perfect plot. So many of the players we love and watch have gone through quite similar situations. I just cannot imagine being in a refugee situation. I think more people need to see how hard it is to come into this country, especially from one like Cuba. The plot makes this very much worth the read. That being said the plot gets a five out of five.

There is a downfall in this book though and that is the logic. I find it unrealistic a player around the age of forty would get a contract in MLB and be one of the great pitchers. There were a few other things but I won’t go into all of them here. The logic gets a two out of five.

Intrigue, definitely important. ‘Game Seven’, had me like most baseball series, wanting to know what was going to happen next. Maybe there was a little too much intrigue though. I was not really satisfied with the ending of the book. I think there should have been maybe another thirty to forty pages. Intrigue gets a four out of five.

I did enjoy Game Seven and I think that most fans of the game will too. However, I think you should at least be a casual fan of the sport so that you have a better understanding of what you are reading and know all the calls and positions on the diamond. What is your favorite sports book?

3.5 out of 5 stars.