Sunday Post – 9th August, 2020 #Brainfluffbookblog #SundayPost


This is part of the weekly meme over at the Caffeinated Reviewer, where book bloggers can share the books and blogs they have written.
It’s been hot and sunny – particularly the last few days. I love it, but Himself is suffering, as he far prefers the cold. We had the grandchildren stay over on Wednesday and Thursday this week – a treat as Himself was also off. So we took them to the big wheel in the middle of Worthing on Wednesday morning. It was a perfect day to be right up high, with sea views on one side and a clear view of the town on the other. We then went shopping at our local Waterstones, before heading back home. On Thursday, we visited the Wetland and Wildlife Trust in Arundel, one of our favourite places – though this was the first time we’d been since before the lockdown.

It was blisteringly hot on Thursday, but we found it magical with far less people than normal during the summer holidays. The reedbeds in particular were beautiful and peacefu – and we also watched a swarm of bees starting to congregate in the Butterfly garden. We also enjoyed an ice cream sitting in the shade – yay for vegan Magnums! Other than the wheel – this is where the pics were taken.

In the meantime, I’ve been getting Mantivore Warrior fit to face the world, as I’m releasing the book on 31st August. While it is the third book in The Arcadian Chronicles, it is also a good place to jump in, as it features a protagonist whose experiences are utterly different from those of the beleaguered young woman who was at the heart of the story in Mantivore Dreams and Mantivore Prey. If anyone is interested in getting hold of an arc, do drop me a line…

Last week I read:
The Mother Code by Carol Stivers
The year is 2049. When a deadly non-viral agent intended for biowarfare spreads out of control, scientists must scramble to ensure the survival of the human race. They turn to their last resort, a plan to place genetically engineered children inside the cocoons of large-scale robots–to be incubated, birthed, and raised by machines. But there is yet one hope of preserving the human order–an intelligence programmed into these machines that renders each unique in its own right–the Mother Code.

Kai is born in America’s desert southwest, his only companion his robot Mother, Rho-Z. Equipped with the knowledge and motivations of a human mother, Rho-Z raises Kai and teaches him how to survive. But as children like Kai come of age, their Mothers transform too–in ways that were never predicted. When government survivors decide that the Mothers must be destroyed, Kai must make a choice. Will he break the bond he shares with Rho-Z? Or will he fight to save the only parent he has ever known?
I enjoyed this one – but it could have been so much better, if Stivers had been a bit more focused on exactly whose story she wanted to tell, rather than trying to do it all… Review to follow.

AUDIOBOOK Finding the Fox – Book 1 of The Shapeshifter series by Ali Sparkes
Dax Jones is an ordinary schoolboy – until something extraordinary happens one day. Whilst frightened for his life, he inexplicably changes into a fox. Before long, both a government agent and an ambitious young journalist are on his tail.
I love this author’s writing – and this shapeshifting adventure didn’t disappoint. Very highly recommended for youngsters between the ages of 9-12. Review to follow.

The Last Astronaut by David Wellington
Sally Jansen was NASA’s leading astronaut, until a mission to Mars ended in disaster. Haunted by her failure, she lives in quiet anonymity, convinced her days in space are over.
She’s wrong. A large alien object has entered the solar system on a straight course toward Earth. It has made no attempt to communicate and is ignoring all incoming transmissions.
Out of time and out of options, NASA turns to Jansen. For all the dangers of the mission, it’s the shot at redemption she always longed for.
If I’d known that Wellington wrote horror, then I probably would have given this one a miss – which would have been a shame, because it was a real treat. He manages to deliver after the long, tense build-up, producing aliens that are genuinely different and terrifying. And the ending is brilliantly handled. Review to follow.

Deadly Waters by Dot Hutchison
Florida journalism undergrad Rebecca Sorley is like any other college student. She tries to keep up with her studies, her friends, and her hot-tempered roommate, Ellie, who regularly courts trouble with the law.
When a male student’s remains are found in alligator-infested waters, the university warns students to stay away from the reptiles. But then a second body shows up, and the link is undeniable. Both men belonged to the same fraternity and had a reputation for preying on and hurting women.
Ellie has previously threatened to kill men who don’t take no for an answer. Rebecca and her friends thought Ellie was kidding. But now a vigilante killer is roaming campus—someone who knows how to dispose of rapists. Someone determined to save female students from horrible crimes.
I thoroughly enjoyed this one, where the rising body count wasn’t a stack of attractive young women – but young men who were sexual predators. The plotting is well done and this one was a memorable page-turner. Review to follow.

The Ghost Fields – Book 7 of the Ruth Galloway series by Elly Griffiths
Norfolk is experiencing a July heatwave when a construction crew unearths a macabre discovery – a buried WWII plane with the pilot still inside. Forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway quickly realizes that the skeleton couldn’t possibly be the pilot, and DNA tests identify the man as Fred Blackstock, a local aristocrat who had been reported dead at sea. When the remaining members of the Blackstock family learn about the discovery, they seem strangely frightened by the news…
I’m really enjoying this series – as much for the unfolding stories of the supporting cast, as for the actual crime dramas that are featured. Ruth’s growing confidence and watching her struggles as a single mother holding down a demanding job gives these books extra readability. Mini-review to follow.

My posts last week:

Castellan the Black and His Wise Draconic Musings

*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of Ghost Ups Her Game by Carolyn Hart

*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of The Space Between Worlds by Micaiah Johnson

Friday Face-off featuring The Line of Polity – Book 2 of the Agent Cormac series by Neal Asher

July 2020 Rounding: Reading, Writing and Blogging…

*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of Seven Devils – Book 1 of the Seven Devils series by Laura Lam and Elizabeth May

Can’t-Wait-Wednesday featuring Deadly Waters by Dot Hutchison

*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of The Doors of Eden by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Tuesday Treasures – 7

*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Feature article on Miracle in Slow Motion by Sally Wagter

Sunday Post – 2nd August 2020

Interesting/outstanding blogs and articles that have caught my attention during the last week, in no particular order:

The Green Man’s Silence – where did these particular ideas come from? I’ve loved the unique blend of urban fantasy and old English folk tales in this particular series – so I’m fascinated by how McKenna mixes up the influences…

PICKY EATERS by S.J. Higbee. A review It’s always a treat when a readers gets in touch to say how much they enjoyed the book – even more so when they take the trouble to share their views with others…

Some Like It Hot Donna’s quirky blog is always worth a visit – especially if you’re looking for a laugh…

The TBR Tag I always enjoy reading book tag articles – and this one is particularly entertaining…

A Short Analysis of Wilfred Owen’s ‘The Next War’ Once again, this excellent site delivers the goods…

Thank you for visiting, reading, liking and/or commenting on my blog – I hope you and yours have a peaceful, healthy week. Take care.

38 responses »

  1. I’m glad you enjoyed The Last Astronaut. I have yet to read anything by Wellington but I have about 5 or 6 of his books. Story of a crazy book lover, I guess! Have a good week, Sarah!

    • Well, once you have your bookshelves fully organised, you’ll be able to track down his books and tuck in:). I hope that you, too, have a wonderful week…

  2. What a wonderful week, Sarah! I’m glad you managed to get out and about with the grandchildren. I am also blissfully happy that vegan magnums are in existence! They are too good! 😀

    • I spent a chunk of my childhood in Zambia back in the days before air conditioning was a thing, so I don’t mind being hot. It’s the cold that has me whining and shivering… I hope you have a good reading week, too, Shelleyrae:)

  3. So glad you are able to get out and enjoy time and experiences with your grandchildren. That looks like a lovely place to visit. I bet the butterfly garden was especially nice.

    You got a lot of reading done, too. I can’t seem to get through a book with a pandemic (or even cases of mild flu!) these days. so I’d say that Mother Code is out for me.

    Good luck with your editing process.

    • Thank you, Deb. I want to make the most of time with the children – I missed them so badly earlier in the year and who knows what’s in the future?

      Yes – it was something of a shock to realise I’d read 5 books this week. To be honest, I wasn’t thrilled at the prospect of reading about a pandemic, either. Fortunately that wasn’t the focus of the book – which I’d requested before COVID-19 became a thing.

      Thank you for your kind good wishes regarding the final lap of Mantivore Warrior – and I hope you have a great week:)

  4. It’s been way too hot here in my opinion, I don’t deal well with the too warm weather. I am glad to hear you don’t mind the warm weather. Sounds like you had some great days with the grandchildren.

    Looks like a good reading week. I think I read Finding the Fox a long time ago as it looks familiar.

    I hope you have a good week!

    • My heart goes out to you, Lola – I know how Himself struggles… And yes – we had a lovely time with the grandchildren – they are a joy to spend time with. So much fun:)).

      Yes – I was a bit shaken when I’d realised I’d read 5 books. And I’m glad you also enjoyed Finding the Fox – I love her writing! I hope you, too, have a MUCH better week, Lola:)

  5. Lucky you, shopping at Waterstones! My husband and I have been in Portland, Oregon since the end of April. We arrived after the lockdown started, of course. Portland is the home of Powell’s Bookstore, which has a relatively large online presence, at least in the States, but their flagship store is called Powell’s City of Books. Doesn’t that make you want to visit? It’s been closed this whole time but one of its smaller stores just re-opened for in-person shopping! I’m going to have to visit. I miss browsing bookshelves! The libraries aren’t even open for browsing here.

    Enjoy your week!

    • Yes – we really appreciated browsing in Waterstones, too:)). Our libraries are only open for orders at present. And Powell’s City of Books sounds irresistible! I hope you also have a great week, Jen.

  6. SJ, great to hear you’ve enjoyed some lovely days out with your grandchildren in the sunshine (I do feel for Himself too). I have also been enjoying the sun with a day out with a friend and reading in the garden. 😁 You’ve reminded me that Elly Griffiths is an author I really need to read! And thank you, I hope you take care, keep safe and have a lovely upcoming week. 😃

    • Thank you, Jessica:). Yes – we had a lovely time together. I have to say that the last couple of days, I’ve been spending the time indoors as the heat has been a bit much – and I never thought I’d see that! I hope that you, too, have a lovely week. And yes – do get hold of the Ruth Galloway series, as it’s a really entertaining read.

    • Thank you, Anne:)). Oh yes – while the children are still on their holidays, I appreciate being able to spend time with them. I missed them SO MUCH when we were in the middle of lockdown and I couldn’t see them. I hope that you, too, have a lovely week.

  7. Sounds like you had a lovely, albeit hot, week. That big wheel looks like fun.

    I look forward to your review of The Mother Code. I have an ARC of that but keep shoving it aside because of mixed reviews.

    • Oh yes – I loved the big wheel:)). The Mother Code isn’t badly written, but Stivers isn’t an experienced author and it shows. She hadn’t really pinpointed exactly where she wanted to focus of her story to be. Clearly some readers didn’t have a problem – but I kept thinking that it could have a better, punchier book if she’d done so…

  8. Nice pics! Glad you had some nice quality time with the grandchildren. The wildlife trust sounds wonderful, and so does the big wheel (although I tend not to go on those anymore, I get leery of the heights, and I’m not even sure why haha since as a kid it never bothered me!).

    Deadly Waters sounds really good.

    • I’m such a wuss – but heights have never bothered me:). And yes – we had the loveliest time, despite the heat…

      Deadly Waters is a cracking whodunit with quite a different feel. It’s certainly divided the reviewers, though I love it:))

  9. It sounds like you had a nice visit with your grandchildren! Building happy memories with them. 🙂 We spent time at a park with a little lake this afternoon, strolling around it and enjoying being outdoors. It was a nice way to spend a Sunday. Mouse’s last day of “freedom” before school starts tomorrow. It looks like you read some more great books! I finished a supernatural romance last night and will be starting Rachel Caine’s Ink and Bone soon. I hope you have a great week, Sarah. Take care!

    • Oh that sounds like fun! I’m currently halfway through a slightly steamy urban fantasy adventure – not my normal fare, but I’m thoroughly enjoying it!

      Best of luck to Mouse for her first day back at school. Your last day of freedom sounds like a delightful end to the holidays and I hope the coming week is a good one, Wendy:))

    • Yes! I’m glad that I hadn’t heard he was a horror writer – but while it is creepy and a bit gory in places, it’s no more so than a lot of other alien encounter adventures. Where he does stand out, is how he manages to keep the tension pinging, even as he reveals exactly who and what the aliens are – something that’s very difficult to do well!

    • Yes… I think our summers are very different! While the autumn weather is on the whole lovely this year – I cannot forget that Winter is around the corner!

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