Last Dragon Standing — Rachel Aaron

Considering this was the shortest book of the series, it seemed to drag on much more than the previous books.

Once again, like most of the series, Rachel seems to just like filling pages with belabouring conversations when we’re in the middle of seriously important stuff to do.   One can’t help but wonder just how much of the problems faced by our characters in this series would have been avoided if they just got on with things instead of continuously stopping to have a conversation about something completely unimportant.

It gets quite ridiculous when it takes 4 times as long to read about something happening than the something happening is taking to happen because everyone has to have a conversation about something before anything can finish happening.

But, none the less, i got to the end because — belabouring conversations aside — it is a rather good tale.   It is such a shame that it wasn’t edited more strictly and seriously cropped to keep things moving along.

Rachel’s Page

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A Dragon of a Different Color — Rachel Aaron

Moving along from the first four books, Rachel throws in ever more magical beasties, deeper plots and characters.

All good, and now it’s time to read the last book in the series, which just happens to be the very shortest by a long way.

Rachel’s Page

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Direct Descent — Frank Herbert

The first non-Dune book of Frank’s that i ever read.   And what did i think?

It ain’t Dune, that’s for sure.   But, then, what is?

But it could have been better written.   It just all seems rushed to fit into a 100page novella kind of thing when it could have been written really well as a full length trilogy.

The Earth has become humanity’s library, the place where all the knowledge of human history is kept for anyone in the galaxy wishing to access it, it’s like a galactic wide Wikipedia and then some.

And all Frank could think to do is to write a novella sized rushed thing out about it?   Disappointing: not because it’s bad, but because it could have been so much more.

Frank’s Page

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A Shrewdness of Swindlers — DeAnna Knippling

DeAnna sent me an ARC to have a read and comment on, with the caveat that she still had some polishing to do.   So yes, there were a few things that still needed some work with the copy i received, but all in all, it was a very enjoyable read.   And then, having sent my notes to Deanna, she then sent me an updated version back with my little moans all sorted out.

What i liked most-est about this book is that instead of the the usual bunch of short stories thrown randomly into a collection, DeAnna has taken time to tie all these stories together with a frame story.   Each short is given its own character to tell it in a magical, story contest in a downstairs backroom of a speakeasy: which just happens to be organised by one of the Fae who we’re told really like to collect human stories.

But one of the story tellers is murdered just before the contest with the suspect most probably being one of the tellers at the table, which makes things more interesting.

Best of all, it’s a good collection of characters and a good collection of stories for you to enjoy, with a prize at the end for the best story.

DeAnna’s Page

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No Good Dragon Goes Unpunished — Rachel Aaron


…one more of these huge books is read, only two more to go.   My goodreads book reading tally is going to look a bit sad after this series: i was a few books ahead of my 70 book per year schedule when i started this series, i am now 6 books behind schedule and soon to be more when i finish the series.   But, ho hum, i think it’s very worth it.

This book picked up a bit with a few extra elements being thrown into the mix: various spirits, mages and other things besides, and i’m thoroughly enjoying the whole experience.

So yeah, keep on reading the earlier books when you feel they drag on a little as it’s all pays off well in the end.

And now it’s straight into A Dragon of a Different Color, which is the penultimate tome of dragonistic adventures.

Rachel’s Page

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One Good Dragon Deserves Another — Rachel Aaron

Still the same feeling that i was getting with Nice Dragons Finish Last, in that the pacing is still annoying me a bit.   I think it’s totally to do with there being so much going on in these books with so many great characters that sometimes the story takes one away from something that one really doesn’t want to be taken away from, leaving one chomping at the bit to get back to that one character’s story line, thus giving the impression that everything’s suddenly going slow and plodding along when it actually isn’t.   And then, when you find youself back at that one character’s story line you’ve been aching to get to, you’ll more than likely find that you’re now chomping at the bit to get back to another character’s story.

But — guess what — you keep-on-reading-and-a-reading because these books are really, really good with plenty of really, really great characters.

Which, you guessed it, left me chomping at the bit to get started on No Good Dragon Goes Unpunished.

Rachel’s Page

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Mother of the Year — Rachel Aaron

As usual i check the loc points when i open a book on my Kindle.   This one said 800, so was obviously a short, but i was rather disappointed when it suddenly ended after 242 loc points and i find the rest is just a marketing exercise for a future book in the series.   It’s a very short, short masquerading as a normal short.

But, ho hum, it was free for signing up to the mailing list so maybe i shouldn’t moan too much.   But just as you’re getting into Bethesda’s character and you’re really looking forward to the other 3/4’s of the 800 loc points being filled with even more revealing stuff, you realise you’re not getting what you hoped so much for.

So what’s the 242 loc points about?   Bethesda gets interviewed on another dragon’s chat show.

Sadly, only a little bit of background into Bethesda’s character, and her attitude towards her children, before moving onto the rest of the series: i so wished there was more.

Rachel’s Page

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Nice Dragons Finish Last — Rachel Aaron

All mostly very enjoyable.   My only moan is that some passages are a bit tedious: it’s like you just really want the pace to keep going but instead it slows right down to tell you what someone is thinking, or some long winded conversation, right in the middle of a load of fast moving chaos that you want to be enjoying in a fast pace way.   I admit that i only felt like that a few times, so it’s not like the book is like that all the way through, and that’s probably why those few passages stand out so much as the rest of it is really on a good pace throughout.

So, yeah, that’s my only moan.   Other than that, i really enjoyed it and i’m looking forward to more, and there’s certainly plenty more books in this series.   Rachel really has done something wonderful with dragons in this dragon centric story, placing them in a dystopian capitalist environment as totally psychopathic creatures, essentially, the ultimate capitalists.   And the dragon clans’ internal and external politics that get explored are really good.

Basically, everything you wanted to know about dragons but were too afraid to ask.   Now doesn’t that sound like fun?

Rachel’s Page

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Tales from the Cafe — Toshikazu Kawaguchi

I soooo enjoyed Before the Coffee Gets Cold so i was really looking forward to some more tales.

And i wasn’t disappointed.

One thing that really stood out in this book was that all the niggly little questions that the first book raised got answered along the way: i won’t say what as it may spoil things.   So it was rather good that as i started the book and i had questions in my mind that as i went along all the questions got dealt with.   I imagine that Toshikazu had quite a few people asking these questions after reading the first book and it’s good to see that they all got answered.

Other than that, it’s pretty much more of the same as the first book whereby we have four people wanting to travel in time to make something right with someone.   We also get to know the cafe staff and regulars a lot more along the way.

So yeah, great sequel and i really hope that Toshikazu thinks up a few more in the future and keeps the cafe going: it really is a good stage within which to fit stories into.

I continue to add my gripe from the first book, in that, there’s a cat on the cover but no cat in the book whatsoever.   Toshikazu, if you ever read this, please put a cat in the next book.

Toshikazu’s Page

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The Courage to be Disliked — Ichiro Kishimi & Fumitake Koga

I couldn’t finish it.   Bless me, i tried to, i really did, but i really couldn’t take any more of this tedious mediocrity.

I could barely manage a chapter before i had to put it aside and go off and read something else, but i kept on coming back to it with good intentions, but each time i would just end up putting it down again and go off once more to read something else.   After 4 months of this, toing and froing, i just had to give up: it really wasn’t doing my happiness any good whatsoever.

To sum it up: there’s someone who claims to be a philosopher who is having a discussion with a young man, but the young man is asking all the wrong questions and failing miserably to point out the flaws in the supposed philosopher’s babble: the ridiculousness of this conversation just makes one feel like banging ones head against the wall.

Seriously people, you could just keep picking random books off library bookshelves for the rest of your life and not read anything as tedious and pointless as this book.

As such, this book has received my website’s great honour of being placed on “The Bookshelf of Infamy”, i’ve also deleted it from my Kindle and Amazon account: yes, it really is that bad.

I certainly won’t be bothering to read the sequel.

Ichiro’s Page Fumitake’s Page

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