Sunday, December 28, 2014

Sunday Summary: 28 December 2014

A holiday week, vacation from work, and Christmas with the family. I couldn't ask for anything more. On Saturday, the final read-a-thon of the year started. Readers at BookObsessed are holding the "Snow is Falling and Books are Calling" end-of-year read-a-thon from the 27th of December through the 1st of January. It's an opportunity to put a final push toward finishing annual challenges.

Where I've been reading

Home. It's such a nice word. After three weeks of business trips, it was nice to be able to stay home with no particular obligations. Hubby and I relaxed, watched a movie or two, and I read whenever I wanted. My Christmas gift from Hubby was a small road trip to Paris (Texas, not France) to visit a friend. We drove up and back on Saturday and I read in the car when I wasn't napping.

What I've been reading

Book Cover: Retribution Falls by Chris Wooding Format: eBook
Source: borrowed from Denton Public Library (via Overdrive)
Completed: 23 December


Airship Ketty Jay is captained by by Darian Frey who has assembled a motley group of crewmen. About the only thing they have in common is that all are running from something. Frey has previously led them in smuggling operations, but when he gets a tip about a crate of jewels being transported on an unarmed ship, he decides that one act of piracy can set him up for life. Unfortunately, things go horribly wrong and the Ketty Jay and its crew are public enemy #1.

There's adventure; lots of close scrapes and near misses. There's magic, but it doesn't dominate the story. There's simply an understanding that magic is a normal part of their world and a quiet thread of magic use runs through the entire book. There's humor and danger and romance and the occasional sad story. All-in-all, an extremely delightful book—first in a series that I intend to read to completion.

In the beginning of Retribution Falls, I found myself confused as to whether the Ketty Jay was a spaceship or just an airship. I'm sure that's because of the number of reviews I read which compared the book to the Firefly television series. Finally, when I had sorted out the environment, I settled down to one of the most enjoyable books I read in 2014.

I rated Retribution Falls with 4 stars. One of the best parts of the book was the character development. The world-building could have been better, but maybe I'm thinking so because I was misled and confused at the beginning.

I borrowed this book from the library. I had used the “recommend a book” option in the Overdrive application to ask my library to get a copy. On December 7, I received an e-mail telling me that they had purchased the book and I immediately logged in and checked it out. As I finished the book, I returned to the library's Overdrive application to get the second book and noticed that they had purchased the third & fourth books—but #2. I'm not sure how that slipped through, but I did turn around and recommend that they acquire the second book as well as the other three books. I just received notification that it's available for check-out.

Book Cover: The Galaxy Game by Karen Lord Format: eGalley
Source: review book from NetGalley
Completed: 28 December


Rafi has been sent to the Lyceum, a school for young people with psi powers. There his skills will be assessed to determine just what they are and whether he has the appropriate discipline and control to avoid being a danger to others. If Rafi had lived on a planet other than Cygnus Beta, there'd probably be no concern at all, but on his planet, there are few psionically gifted people.

As soon as he can, Rafi removes himself from the school—and from his planet. He travels to Purnatam, a planet mostly peopled by the Ntshune and where psi usage is common, along with fellow classmate Ntenman. There's something extraordinary taking place in the Academes of Punartam, and Rafi discovers that he has an unexpected role to play as tensions between the rival star-faring civilizations play out.

It seemed that it was taking me a long time to read The Galaxy Game, but when I looked back at my logs, I see that it was only 6 days from the day I started reading it. I think part of my perception was that with time off of work, I had thought I would finish the book more quickly. I was also aware of letting myself get distracted from reading by other entertainments such as watching TV and hanging out on Facebook.

The question then is...why did I eagerly put the book aside when offered other things to do? It's because the book didn't read quickly at all. For much of the first part of the book I felt confused. I was ⅔ of the way into the book before I discovered that it was the second book in a series! I don't know if my confusion was due to not having read the first book or not. I do know that as I read, I had to continually reevaluate everything. I found myself lost in the universe in which it takes place, lost as to who the characters were, and lost in the story itself.

As I read the final portion of The Galaxy Game things suddenly shifted into place. I'm still debating between 3 and 4 stars. The publisher has asked that I hold my review until the publication date, so I'll have the next 10 days to decide.

Book Cover: Kris: The Legend Begins by J J Ruscella Book Cover: Shadow of Freedom by David Weber It should be obvious now that I've set aside Kris. I was enjoying it, but found that there were books I would rather read. I'll get back to it eventually, but won't bring it up again in Sunday Summary until I have finished it. I'm reading Shadow of Freedom to complete my 2014 Series Challenge. It's the last book on my list and I will finish it before the end of the year.

This Week on the Blog

I posted

  1. Review: As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust
  2. Book Blogger Hop: 26 December - 1 January
  3. Bout of Books 12
  4. Stacking the Shelves (16)

And, as usual, I'm linking up with The Sunday Post, hosted by Kimba @ The Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on the blog, showcase books and things received. Share news about what is coming up on the blog for the week ahead.


  1. From your review, it sounds like The Galaxy Game has a hint of Ender's Game in it. Did you think so?

    1. Actually, I wouldn't have thought to compare it to Ender's Game. To me, there was no similarity. No overt war. No strange aliens. The "rival star-faring civilizations" are all human, and the tensions are political and economic.

  2. I do hate coming into a series a little late. Sometimes it doesn't matter but sometimes it really does. I'm bad about picking up my phone and checking email or playing a game or whatever even when I'm really enjoying a book. That's definitely something I need to work on because I'm wasting reading time for no reason! I can imagine being home again is lovely. I know when I travel - it doesn't matter where or why or how great the trip was - there's no better feeling than that first night back at home. Have a great week and a happy New Year!

    1. > I do hate coming into a series a little late.

      Me too. I'm pretty strict about that. In this case, I just didn't know it was a sequel.

      Thanks for dropping by & leaving a comment.