Book Review: Science Comics Dinosaurs Fossils and Feathers

Science Comics Dinosaurs Fossils and Feathers, by MK Reed and Joe Flood. Five of five stars; light, but good and well-researched facts, entertainingly written.

When you’re researching material for worldbuilding, or just reading up on a subject for fun, don’t neglect the juvenile and Young Adult sections of your library. Continue reading


Book Review: The Vixen War Bride

The Vixen War Bride, by Thomas Doscher. I’m giving this about 4.5 out of 5 stars, and I already got the second in the series. It’s excellent, my only quibble is I could have used a little more worldbuilding for the Va’Shen that the human characters knew already. It seems a bit odd that there was a three-year war, and presumably contact before that happened, and yet there are so many cultural gaps…. Continue reading

Book Review: The First Tail

The First Tail, by Taniko K. Williams and Outback Quill. I’m giving this a solid three out of five stars, and a definite warning of avoid if you’re feeling the black dog nosing around. Particularly if, while you may or may not belong to a church, you do think religion is Serious Business. Because this is technically well written, on the surface a fantasy adventure story, and yet if you think about it both disturbing and harmful to morality. Continue reading

Book Review: Wickedly Dangerous

Wickedly Dangerous, by Deborah Blake. Hmm… I’d give this urban fantasy about 4.5 out of five stars. It was a good read that kept me turning pages, and I’d like to get the rest of the series, but I would have liked a plot that gave the male romantic lead, Sheriff Liam McClellan, a bit more of an active role in defeating the bad guys. He plays a good part in the story, and this isn’t a problem that could be solved by more gunfire, but – I would have liked a little more partnership in the story. With Liam doing more active sheriff-y things while Barbara Yager (a Baba Yaga) handles the magic. Continue reading

Book Review: The Troubled Empire

The Troubled Empire: China in the Ming and Yuan Dynasties, by Timothy Brook. I’m giving this history five out of five, this is exactly the ground-level info I wanted on climate, culture, and the rest of the time period for my points of historical divergence in Colors of Another Sky. And I plan to look up other books and articles by this author. Especially Vermeer’s Hat and everything he wrote on Xu Guangqi. For one thing, this author not only has an extensive bibliography, he sorts it into primary and secondary sources, so you can go straight to the source or read a myriad of interpretations…. Continue reading

Graphic Novel Review: Cimarronin

Cimarronin, by Neal Stephenson, Charles C. Mann, and others. 3.5 stars out of 5; I was hoping for a comic that’d draw on the breadth of historical information and pithy observations about historical characters I found in Mann’s 1493. Instead… well, it’s more of a Neal Stephenson story, and I’m just not a fan of his stuff. I spent most of the story along with Kitazume (our samurai protagonist) wondering what the rogue Jesuit Luis is up to, why did you drag me across an entire ocean after a Manchu princess, and just what the heck is going on? We never really get answers to most of that, and it’s highly frustrating. Continue reading