Review: The Merchant Adventurer

Merchant

  • Author: Patrick E. McLean
  • ISBN: 9781492973522
  • Genre: Fantasy

The above ISBN is for the paperback edition, but I listened to the free audio version from podiobooks.com.

I had so much fun listening to The Merchant Adventurer during my commute to and from school!  The story itself is light, comedic, and a bit satirical in a way that is very similar to The Princess Bride by William Goldman.  In fact, that comparison is mentioned in the synopsis on Goodreads, and it’s one of the reasons I chose to give this book a chance.  The other is that it has a 100% positive rating on podiobooks.com.

Patrick E. McLean does a fantastic job of narrating the audio.  All of his characters’ voices and the characters themselves were easily distinguishable from one another.  My favorite voice is that of Dimsbury’s, the evil snob of a wizard, but my favorite character is the smart-ass merchant Boltac.  He reminds me of what Miracle Max might have been like in his slightly younger days.

This book is going on my Through the Magic Door list.  It’s that awesome.  I’m also looking forward to listening to Patrick E. McLean’s other books on podiobooks.com, which all have 94% or higher positive ratings.  For more information and some extras, like a nifty and hilarious infographic written by Boltac, you can also check out the author’s website.  I highly recommend The Merchant Adventurer to anyone who loves The Princess Bride, comedic Fantasy, or just a good adventure story!

#FitReaders Check-In #23

Geeky Bloggers Book Blog
  • This check-in is for June 1st – 7th.  I was doing really well until the weekend and a paper I had to write.  To avoid this happening again, I’m going to walk to my school’s gym after class at least two days a week and spend an hour accumulating as many steps as I can before I go home.
  • I didn’t make it to any Hot Yoga classes this week either.
  • If you’d like to add me as a friend on FitBit, you can find me HERE.
  • Steps: 43,813
  • Distance: 18 miles
  • Flights of stairs: 70
  • Active Minutes: 192
  • Total Money Donated: $6.51

Monday’s Minutes #23

Currently Reading:

  • The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy: A Handbook for Girl Geeks by Sam Maggs – a review book.
  • The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon
  • Legacy by Lois McMaster Bujold
  • The Origins of the Modern World by Robert B. Marks
  • The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch, for the read-along.

Fangirl Fiery Legacy    Lies Origins

Finished: The Merchant Adventurer by Patrick E. McLean, which I’ll be reviewing sometime this week.

Merchant

Challenges:

S&S Bingo2update10

Total pages read for the week: 706

Total # of books for the year: 33.  Most of my reading this past week has consisted of audiobooks while commuting to and from school and The Origins of the Modern World, the most interesting assigned book I’ve had to read for a college course.  So while it seems as if I’m reading a lot more, that’s only because I’m on the road for about two hours each day.

Top Commenters: This week my Top Commenter was Shaina @ Shaina Reads.

What are you reading this week?

DNF Review: Daughters of Shadow and Blood – Book I: Yasamin

Daughters

  • Author: J. Matthew Saunders
  • ISBN: 9780986333101
  • Publisher: Saint George’s Press
  • Genre: Horror

I received this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I got through a few more than 50 pages before I gave up on this book and stopped reading.  First of all, the story seemed like a bad facsimile of The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova, right down to a Turkish secret society bent on destroying vampires and a historian trying to find out if Dracula really exists and nearly getting himself killed in the process.  Secondly, the dialogue was so contrived that I felt like I was watching a B-movie.  Thirdly, I felt like I’ve read this story too many times before.  I know it’s difficult to come up with a vampire story that is somehow different from all the others, but I kept getting a feeling of deja vu while I was reading.  It was as if I had read this before, even though I know I haven’t.  Finally, there is a scene in which two of the characters get in a car wreck that was bad enough for the airbags to deploy, yet they weren’t hurt at all.  They were able to not only get out of the car without any problems but were also able to fight off two goons, both of which are considerably bigger and stronger them.  Can you say 1980’s bad action film?

I’m sure there are plenty of readers who would love this book precisely because of how horrible it is, or because they love anything involving vampires no matter how bad.  As much as I love vampire stories and the occasional brain candy/B-movie/action film, I couldn’t take reading another page of this book after the car accident and fight scene.  I’m not saying this book doesn’t deserve a chance.  It’s just not for me, and life is too short to continue reading a book I can’t stand when there are so many other books out there I might love.

Thursday’s Things #6

1001 Things
Original Image: Viktor Hertz

Review: A Crown for Cold Silver

Crown

  • Author: Alex Marshall
  • ISBN: 9780356505091
  • Publisher: Orbit
  • Genre: Fantasy

I received this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

A Crown for Cold Silver started out slow and made me wonder just how many characters I was going to be introduced to before I got to the story.  Then, it got so good that it became one of the best books I’ve read this year, and I’m hoping Alex Marshall writes a sequel.  The story didn’t end on a cliffhanger, but I can tell there is more to be told, and I want to know what happens next, especially with Zosia, my favorite character by far.  All of the characters are great.  They’re complex, flawed, even irritating at times, but Zosia is amazing because she kicks major butt, but makes plenty of mistakes, and she’s an older character.

In fact, none of the characters in this book are your run of the mill Fantasy characters.  Not everyone is white, straight, young, and beautiful or handsome.  The older woman, Zosia, isn’t a witch, and Hoartrap, who is a sorcerer, is built like a barbarian.  These are just two of the characters you meet that don’t fit the standard Fantasy archetypes.  The world is racially diverse, gender norms don’t exist, and sexuality is a non-issue in their society.  However, the author doesn’t present these details in such a way as to make the story into one that either has no morals or is vastly superior to our world.  The world in which the characters live is as messed up as ours.  They just have different problems.

This book is not for kids, or anyone who has a problem with excessive cussing.  I don’t think there’s a single character that doesn’t let some foul language rip at least once.  There is also a lot of bloodshed and violence (none of it is sexual though), and the characters get themselves into quite a few deadly situations.  Not all of them make it, and the ones that don’t aren’t the ones you expect.  You should be prepared to be surprised by quite a few events throughout the story, because around the time when you think you have everything figured out and know who is up to what, you’ll end up doing a double take.  You might do several double takes before you’re done.  If you’re looking for an epic fantasy full of non-standard characters, or if you love Dungeons and Dragons or the “A Song of Fire and Ice” series, you’ll love A Crown for Cold Silver.

 

#ShelfLove: Mid-Year Check-In

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Six months down, six more to go for the #ShelfLove No Book Buying Challenge, and I swear I haven’t gone insane….yet.  Actually, these first six months have been easy for me; at least until the Spring semester ended, and I was no longer getting a paperback of my choice from the Boyfriend every week.

As many of you know, the Boyfriend made a deal with me that I would get a new book every week I completed all of my assigned writing.  It was a way to both motivate me and keep me from having a nervous breakdown, and it worked.  I didn’t realize just how much those weekly trips to the bookstore had helped me until they were gone.  A trip to the library resulted in me lugging home seven books, which helped.  However, the problem is that I tend to pick books that I then want to buy, so my wishlist is only growing.

I also realized that I truly do have a book buying habit.  I’d call it an addiction, but so far I haven’t spent any money on books to get that “fix”.  However, I’ve used all my gift cards, I choose the slowest shipping option when I buy anything on Amazon to get the $1 credits, and I frequently “1-click” free ebooks.  I also compiled a huge list of sites for free books.  Because of this, my digital library has expanded exponentially, and I’ve listened to quite a few audiobooks, all for the low, low price of free.  I’m ok with that though since those books aren’t taking up space on my shelves or in my storage unit.

Speaking of my physical books, I removed an entire box worth of books from my life and sent them to the used bookstore.  I’m trying to earn the money to buy The Outlandish Companion, Vol. 2 by Diana Gabaldon.  I got $21.67, and I’m putting together another box from books that have been sitting in storage for years, thanks to moving at least once a year and living in increasingly smaller apartments or overseas.  My apartment is bigger now, but I’m sharing it with the Boyfriend and both of us have the problem of not having enough shelving or the wall space to add more.  If it were just me, I’d get rid of the couch and replace it with two shelves, but that’s not the case, and it’s not my couch.  So, instead, I’m participating in this challenge.

So far, I plan on participating again next year, but I already know I’ll do things a bit differently.  I’ll have graduated from college and should have a decent paying adult job by then.  So, I’ll set some goals for myself to “earn” money, including activities such as finishing physical books and exercising.  Until then, I’m going to continue doing what I’ve been doing and hopefully won’t end up in a straight jacket.

#FitReaders Check-In #22

Geeky Bloggers Book Blog
  • This check-in is for May 25th – 31st.  I’m beginning to get frustrated with all the various events that have been interfering with getting my steps.  First, Monday was shot due to the torrential downpour that caused the parking lot at the apartment complex where I live to turn into a river.  While I did get a half-hour workout on both Tuesday and Thursday, as well as a Hot Yoga class on Wednesday, the rest of my week was ruined by several things.
  • Now that I’m back in class, I’ll be able to get much closer to my goal just by walking to and from campus every day.  My schedule is about to get insanely busy though, so I don’t know if I’ll be able to continue going to Hot Yoga, but I’m going to try.  I’m also going to attempt to find the time to make use of my university’s gym since it’s not likely to be too busy this time of year.
  • I’ve added my total active minutes as a part of my goal.  I’ll be working towards a minimum average of 30 active minutes a day.
  • If you’d like to add me as a friend on FitBit, you can find me HERE.
  • Steps: 30,533
  • Distance: 12.53 miles
  • Flights of stairs: 13
  • Active Minutes: 130
  • Total Money Donated: $4.26

Monday’s Minutes #22

Currently Reading:

  • The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy: A Handbook for Girl Geeks by Sam Maggs – a review book
  • The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon
  • The Merchant Adventurer by Patrick E. McLean, a podiobook
  • The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch, for the read-along that starts today.

Fangirl Fiery Merchant Lies

Finished: A Crown for Cold Silver by Alex Marshall, which I’ll be reviewing sometime this week.

Crown

DNF: Daughters of Shadow and Blood – Book I: Yasamin by J. Matthew Saunders, which I’ll be writing a DNF review for some time this week.

Daughters

Challenges:

S&S Bingo2update10

Total pages read for the week: 475

Total # of books for the year: 32.  I start my first of two Summer classes today and the schedule for it is packed.  I’ve got a paper to write just about every week over the next month along with several quizzes, two exams, and lots of reading.  I’m going to do my best to keep up with the read-along, but I might get a little behind.

Top Commenters: This week I just want to say thanks to all of the Armchair BEA participants that stopped by and commented, liked, and subscribed!  I had a lot of fun and found several new blogs. 🙂

What are you reading this week?