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July 9th, 2019

Books 37 to 39

37. Dread Nation by Justina Ireland
Imagine if the Civil War didn’t end through military strategy but because both sides had to work together to fight a plague of zombies. Then many years later a system has taken hold in which African American and Native American young girls are taken from their homes and trained to be “attendants” to society ladies, defending them from the undead and generally ensuring their safety. What could possibly go wrong? Plenty, of course, and Jane McKeene is about to find out just how much goes wrong when she runs afoul of her school’s administrators and the mayor of Baltimore where the school is located. While the author plays a little fast and loose with some historical dates, she captures the general atmosphere of the time and especially the unfortunate treatment of minorities. Jane is an excellent character, and I look forward to reading about her next challenges in the upcoming sequel. Fulfills Litsy Booked2019 prompt: POC MC paranormal. Read 21 June-3 July.
38. The Glovemaker by Ann Weisgarber
This book came out in January, and I don’t even remember now how I heard about it, but it’s definitely “flying under the radar” and deserves more recognition. In 1888 Utah a handful of families live together in a remote settlement, at once part of the Mormon Church and trying to remain outside some of the constraints and practices of the larger community. Rebecca, the glove maker of the title, is a 37-year-old woman whose husband is overdue returning from his annual work trip, and then a stranger comes to town whose arrival brings an impending tragedy with him and upsets their somewhat fragile existence. As the situation unfolds, Rebecca and Nels, her husband’s best friend, have to face hard decisions about their faith and their consciences, as well as the town’s future. Spare and restrained writing, empathetic characters, and interesting history about smoldering animosity between the government and the Mormon Church. Read 4-6 July.
39. Hunting a Detroit Tiger by Troy Soos
This is another series I started several years ago and petered out when I couldn’t find the later books in my local library, but in the meantime I’ve figured out how to leverage the branches of neighboring counties. An itinerant ballplayer in the 1910s and ‘20s keeps getting embroiled in murder and mayhem. A little “Murder, She Wrote” meets “Eight Men Out.” In this installment he’s playing for the Detroit Tigers and inadvertently finds himself embroiled in labor politics, as the “Wobblies” are looking to unionize ballplayers alongside other workers. This story relies on historical atmosphere and a likeable protagonist to counter a somewhat facile mystery. There’s also a possible continuity error from earlier in the series. Read 11 June-9 July.

Book 54

The Wrath of Fate: Book 1 of The Airship Pirate ChroniclesThe Wrath of Fate: Book 1 of The Airship Pirate Chronicles by 'Captain' Robert Brown

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


This was written by Robert Brown, head of the steampunk band Abney Park and is a fictionalized history of the band and their songs. I saw several reviewers complained of grammar/spelling errors. I have the second edition and I think that's been dealt with. That said, as much as I love Brown as a lyricist this skill with words has translated all that well to novel form. I think this would have worked much better as a graphic novel as emotionally its a bit flat and having the art and graphic novel formatting might have helped.

We follow Captain Robert as he finally decides to give it a real go as a band (after finding a letter from his younger self) and convinces his band (one of whom, Kristina, is his wife) to take a gamble on a distant music festival. Fate interviews and something bad happens but on the other hand he and Kristina are now on Dr. Caligori's time traveling air ship.

Proving to be a good captain, Brown takes over the role and at first they accidentally manage to intervene with a slave ship and it changes history. Seeing this as his mission, they go through time trying to avert horrible things like the rise of the third Reich but the last third of the novel is about how this backfires in a horrible way.

This ties it into Abney Park's end of the world dystopic lyrics that I love so much. I didn't connect with the novel that much though and I had a few things that bugged me bad spoilersCollapse )

This does wrap up most of the storyline but it does have an open ending. However, I think I'll save my pennies for their music.



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