Young Adult / July 8, 2016

Monster Blood Tattoo #1. Author: D. M. Cornish. Summary: Set in the world of the Half-Continent—a land of tri-corner hats and flintlock pistols—the Monster Blood Tattoo trilogy is a world of predatory monsters, chemical potions and surgically altered people. Foundling begins the journey of Rossamund, a boy with a girl’s name, who is just about to begin a dangerous life in the service of the Emperor. What starts as a simple journey is threatened by encounters with monsters—and people, who may be worse. Learning who to trust and who to fear is neither easy nor without its perils, and Rossamund must choose his path carefully. (Published summary.) Content Review: Sexual content: None. Language: None. Violence: Bully beats up younger boy. Giant is killed by woman. Man is killed by small monsters, woman nearly killed but ends by killing most of them. Boy is kidnapped and tied up.

Adult / July 5, 2016

Author: Brandon Sanderson. Summary: Elantris was the capital of Arelon: gigantic, beautiful, literally radiant, filled with benevolent beings who used their powerful magical abilities for the benefit of all. Yet each of these demigods was once an ordinary person until touched by the mysterious transforming power of the Shaod. Ten years ago, without warning, the magic failed. Elantrians became wizened, leper-like, powerless creatures, and Elantris itself dark, filthy, and crumbling. Arelon’s new capital, Kae, crouches in the shadow of Elantris. Princess Sarene of Teod arrives for a marriage of state with Crown Prince Raoden, hoping — based on their correspondence — to also find love. She finds instead that Raoden has died and she is considered his widow. Both Teod and Arelon are under threat as the last remaining holdouts against the imperial ambitions of the ruthless religious fanatics of Fjordell. So Sarene decides to use her new status to counter the machinations of Hrathen, a Fjordell high priest who has come to Kae to convert Arelon and claim it for his emperor and his god. But neither Sarene nor Hrathen suspect the truth about Prince Raoden. Stricken by the same curse that ruined Elantris, Raoden was secretly exiled by…

Ordeal in Otherwhere
Adult / July 4, 2016

Forerunner #2. Author: Andre Norton. Summary: After the colonial planet Demeter descends into chaos, taken over by prejudice and an outlaw, Charis Nordholm takes the first way out – a indefinite labor contract with a trader. It is this contract that brings her to the planet Warlock to be a go-between in meetings with the mysterious natives. But nothing is quite what it seems on the planet of the dreamers, and Charis must walk a fine line between dream and truth as she discerns what the real danger here is. My Thoughts: Not one of Norton’s best by any means, but an enjoyable sci-fi escape. It’s always a breath of fresh air to have a strong heroine without any romance. Content Review: Sexual content: None. Language: None. Violence: Character flees settlers, is captured and tied up. Character remembers other people being killed by a mob, no detail. Character is forced into signing an open-ended labor contract. An animal smashes birds with its tail. There are some purely mental (psychic) battles.  

Magic by the Lake
Middle Grade / Juvenile / July 3, 2016

Tales of Magic #3. Author: Edward Eager. Summary: Jane and Mark and Katharine and Martha had stopped to think, they might have ordered magic by the pound, or by the day, but a lakeful of magic causes extraordinary and unexpected events. By the end of vacation, with an unwilling sly old turtle, and Ali Baba’s forty thieves, they help stepfather Mr. Smith save his failing bookstore in a most surprising way. (Goodreads summary.) My Thoughts: Edward Eager’s books can never really grow old, with his straight-forward casual narration and the delightfully common-sense problems with magic. Not the best of his stories, but good. Content Review: Sexual content: None. Language: None. Violence: Genii magically beats robbers and “bruised them black and blue”. Cannibals tie four children up and threaten to eat them.  

The Last Continent
Adult / July 1, 2016

A Discworld Novel. Author: Terry Pratchett. Summary: There’s big trouble at the Unseen University, Ankh-Morpork’s lone institute of higher learning. A professor is missing—and the one person who can find him is not only the most inept magician the school ever produced, but currently stranded on the unfinished down-under continent of Fourecks. As the UU faculty tries to bring him back, Rincewind is having troubles of his own, thanks to a pushy mystical kangaroo trickster named Scrappy and a mob of Fourecks hooligans who are out to hang him. All his problems would be solved if he could just make it rain . . . for the first time ever. And if the time-traveling professors can get to the right millennium . . . (Published summary.) Content Review: Sexual content: A man has to try and explain how elephants procreate, very awkwardly. Three instances of innuendo. Language: 32 bloody, 27 d***, 12 derogatory terms, 7 hell Violence: There is a traffic pile-up in which some people are probably hurt (probably because we don’t see them.) A man dies abruptly of spider-bite.