Book Review: Star Wars: The High Republic, Vol. 2: The Heart of Drengir by Cavan Scott

Star Wars: The High Republic, Vol. 2: The Heart of Drengir by Cavan Scott is an action packed adventure that is brutal at times with really great imagery. This volume has 2 main storylines the war with the Drengir race and going undercover to stop the Nihil’s next attack. I was really pleased with how the Drengir storyline ended, and how it could effect the Star Wars Universe. The Undercover to join the Nihil will take the reader into the next volume, it ends in a cliffhanger. We get introduced to a new Jedi Orla Jareni who is a Wayseeker who follows her own path and not just the one the Jedi Temple says she can. I liked the character but I wanted more since they don’t stay long, but believe the character could do more in the Star Wars Universe. Since Cavan Scott wrote the novel The Rising Storm we have the big event in that book set up as a catalyst for events in this book. The ending of the Drengir saga was exciting in a very Jedi way. The Nihil story line has a good twist. The heart of these issues is still the padawan and master relationship between Keeve and Sskeer. Star Wars: The High Republic, Vol. 2: The Heart of Drengir collects issue 5 -10 of Star Wars: The High Republic by Disney and Marvel Comics. Star Wars: The High Republic, Vol. 2: The Heart of Drengir by Cavan Scott was published on December 7th 2021

The Plot Summary: Keeve tries to separate The Drengir who has taken over her master Sskeer. After days of fighting with it the only solution she can come up with is let it infect her so she can talk to him with the force. Te Hive mind of Drengir does not like this and tries to take Keeve out. Meanwhile Aver Kriss and the most unlikeliest ally the Hut syndicate goes planet to planet in the outer rim trying to drive the Drengir away. Keeve and one of the force twins go undercover to join the Nihil, which is smart because the other force twin can feel every action with the force, until he’s cut off, with a device we know the Nihil developed.

What I Liked: the epicness of The Drengir taking over a Rancor and making it theirs to use against the bad guys. This book as some great art panel that I really enjoyed, for my WordPress review will try to find and awesome one with Avar Kriss losing to the Drengir in a dream. I still really like the Keeve and Sskeer master and padawan relationship, it is still the best part of the book by far. The cliffhanger of them finding out why Sskeer is losing the force. I like the Hutt and Jedi relationship and how tense it becomes at times.

What I Disliked: The Way new Jedi Orla Jareni who is a Wayseeker was used, she has such a cool look and one or two moves but doesn’t add a lot to the story. I liked what I got of the character and wanted a lot more. (Orla Jareni is the Jedi in white on the cover). I wanted more of force twin who are barely in these issues, for a second I was like did they die since they were not in this book until the end.

Recommendation: This graphic novel series still has the most so far in the High Republic series, and it is good action with consequences and meaning. I rated Star Wars: The High Republic, Vol. 2: The Heart of Drengir by Cavan Scott 4 out of 5. I did enjoy the first volume a little bit more but felt the standard and action were kept up. I liked the Art in Volume 2 better.

Wrap Up: October 2021 Book Reviews

Dear Readers, October was a great month, finally got my reading groove back, that was lost a little after moving into my house. I read 7 books this month. I read 2 graphic novel, 3 horror, 2 mystery and 1 new release thanks to Netgalley. I Read 3 books from a book series with Star Wars: The High Republic graphic novel volume 1, Goosebumps book 21 Go Eat Worms!, and I added a new book series The Hardy Boys 1 The Tower Treasure. I read two 5 star book, two 4 star books, and three 3 star books. I started linking all my full book reviews to the cover pictures.

Five Star Reviews:


Alright, Alright, Alright: The Oral History of Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused by Melissa Maerz is look at what led up to the cult classic film Dazed and Confused getting made and how it became a cult classic. The film Dazed and Confused has been a favorite of mine for some time. The book is very detailed and doesn’t shy away from controversies both on set and off. Over 3o crewmembers were interviewed and over 20 cast members. The story of the making of film is very David and Goliath-like as Writer/Director Richard Linklater battles the corporate entity that is Universal Studios, to make and independent minded movie. How the unsupervised cast partied their way through the shoot and each other. How much of the movie was improved. How Matthew McConaughey was cast and what he added to the character.

The Thief of Always by Clive Barker is a wonderful modern day fable, yet the writing feels timeless. This story has so much heart, you can’t help but feel for the characters. The writing is really good very poetic, one of the best first lines to a story in a long time. When I read that first line, I knew this was going to be a special story and I was not wrong. This story is very fast paced I read it in two days but could easily finished it in one sitting. The illustrations for this book are pretty perfect, they go very well with the descriptions, it made me think of Jim Henson’s Labyrinth and illustrations done by Shel Silverstien.  The novel reminded me of Coraline by Neil Gaiman meets There’s Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury

Four Star Reviews:

Star Wars: The High Republic, Vol. 1: There Is No Fear by Cavan Scott is a lot of fun and high stakes adventure. This graphic novel makes up for one of my complaints in most books in the High Republic little to no action. This book is filled with action and light saber duels. This graphic novel is a page-turner and over way too fast. This novel features for the most part characters that were referred to only briefly in Light of the Jedi, Into the Dark, The Gathering Storm, and Out of the Past (the two adult and two young adult High Republic novels).

The Tower Treasure by Franklin W. Dixon is a fun action adventure mystery aimed at middle grade boys, but fun for adults too. I thought the writing would be horrible but the mystery was really fun and really smart. The twists are clever and keep you guessing. The story is kind of a double mystery, since one mystery leads to another.

Three Star Reviews:

The Maidens by Alex Michaelides is a thriller that plays out like a Greek tragedy. This is Michaelides second novel since his incredible debut novel The Silent Patient. This book takes place in the same universe as The Silent Patient.  The flow of this book is good but the story is lacking. I wasn’t all that compelling the people getting murdered I really didn’t care about and it takes so long for characters that I care about to be in danger.

My Heart is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones is a retelling of The Boy Who Cried Wolf but this time it is The Girl Who Cried Slasher. This book is a huge homage to the Slasher movie genre and the final survival girl filled with history, facts, and opinions. Where Slasher movies are not known for there characterizations this novel is all about character. The ending was great and everything you want in a Slasher (high body count). The story is good, but I did not like the way it was told. Jade has ADHD and at a moments notice will focus on something else usually a Slasher, and then circle back 7 paragraphs later which I found extremely frustrating. I also found that this novel missed key descriptors and was at time hard to vision what was going on.  Thank you Netgalley Gallery / Saga Press for letting me read and review this book. My Heart is a Chainsaw was published on August 31 2021.

Go Eat Worms! by R. L. Stine is Goosebumps book 21 in the original order. Go Eat Worms is more gross than scary. The title is based on a character’s phrase to tell other kids off, Go Eat Worms! I am very picky when it comes to food so biting into a sandwich and and eating half of a worm would be my nightmare. The story is more a series of pranks with a small hint of supernatural. The ending I saw for a mile away, and was let down by it.

Book Review: Star Wars: The High Republic, Vol. 1: There Is No Fear by Cavan Scott

Star Wars: The High Republic, Vol. 1: There Is No Fear by Cavan Scott is a lot of fun and high stakes adventure. This graphic novel makes up for one of my complaints in most books in the High Republic little to no action. This book is filled with action and light saber duels. This graphic novel is a page turner and over way too fast. This novel features for the most part characters that were referred to only briefly in Light of the Jedi, Into the Dark, The Gathering Storm, and Out of the Past (the two adult and two young adult High Republic novels). One of my favorite characters from Light of the Jedi, Avar Kriss, who has been in the background of all the other books, finally gets back into action in this book and it was great. The heart of this book is Keeve and Sskeer and their padawan / master relationship. The villains are the same as in the books mainly The Nihil and The Drengir. The stories are connected as we mainly follow Keeve’s rise from Padawan to Jedi Master. The dialogue could have been better as it dips into a fair share of cliches and at times corny, while the inner monologue is really good. Cavan Scott wrote my favorite novel so far out of the Star Wars: High Republic series with The Gathering Storm and I would put There is No Fear right behind it.

The Plot: Keeve is a young Padawan to master Sskeer, she is on her final test when something unexpected happens, should she complete the test or fail it to help others? She decided to help others, and discovers something that get her promoted to Jedi Master, and working at the Starlight Beacon responding to distress calls on the Outer Rim. When Keeve, her master, and two Jedi force twins investigate missing villagers, to find one member of the search party missing as well.

What I Liked: Avar Kriss getting to do stuff in this book, and not just a background character. I like the aspect of the padawan/master relationship and what was explored we have seen the typical student goes to the dark side, this was anew fresh Idea I really enjoyed. The force twins Terec and Ceret, who are so bonded can feel every aspect of the other’s force. The action was great a lot of back and forth, good v. good, good v. bad, bad and good v. really bad, it was a lot of fun. I liked a character repeating the mantra “I am one the the Force and the Force is with me” when in great trouble and reaching out with the force. I loved the inner monologue and how it bridged the past to the present, it reminded me a lot of how Scott Snyder did it in Batman Court of the Owls.

What I Disliked: The dialogue is bad in some spot where I would roll my eyes and cringe. There is one jump cut scene where the villains surprise the Jedi and it jump cuts to them caught, I wanted to see some fight not just give up, all the Jedi still had their light sabers.

Recommendation: This Star Wars: High Republic is a fun action packed adventure with some real heart. I recommend you check it out, the only book I would you reading would be Light of the Jedi first, everything else get recapped. I rated Star Wars: The High Republic, Vol. 1: There Is No Fear 4 out of 5 stars.

Wrap Up: September 2021 Book Reviews

Dear Readers, September was a great month, finally settled into my first house, I had more time to read.  I read 8 books this month. I read 2 graphic novels, and 2 new releases thanks to netgalley. I Read 3 books from a book series Star Wars: The High Republic second book young adult book, Goosebumps book 20, and Marvel Masterworks The Amazing Spiderman Volume 8. I read one 5 star book, five 4 star books, and two 3 star books.

Five Star Reviews:


The Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward is insanely good. The book has a twist that will change you world and open yourself to a new way of thinking. This is one of the best well rounded stories that I have read in some time, everything fits and it does not feel forced. The big twist is explained and all the loose ends are tied up so well. What is cool about the big twist is if you pay attention and open your mind you can figure it out, I was back and forth on what was coming guessing some parts but not all. I’m going to be vague on my plot details because this book is best not knowing too much. This book will be compared to Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl because you get the big twist and still have a lot of book left to explain it. This book is a book that was hyped early for reviewers to read, and I’m glad to say it has earned it’s hype. There are parts of this story that will stick with you for a while. It is being marketed as a Horror but is more of a psychological thriller with elements of horror, it leans to Thomas Harris’s Silence of the Lambs in mixing genres. The story is great you will have a couple character’s where you switch to loathing to loving them because they are so misunderstood. I was lucky to get selected to read The Last House on Needless Street early by Netgalley and Macmillan-Tor/Forge, Tor Nightfire. The Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward is published on September 28 2021.

Four Star Reviews:


A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins is back! I was not a fan of Into the Water but a big fan of Girl on the Train. This is a pretty compelling mystery about broken people. Each of the characters had something horrific that makes them all capable of murder if it was the right person which makes this mystery good and hard to find out who did it. There is no big twist but a lot of little twists act as the embers to A Slow Fire Burning. I guessed wrong on who I thought the killer was, but was okay with the killer and the outcome. This is a very fast read that sucks you in with the little twists and cliffhanger chapter writing where you have to keep reading.

August’s Eyes by Glenn Rolfe is a mind trippy horror that involves past trauma and dreams that can effect reality. The novel was fast paced and has some scenes of horror that will get under your skin. This book reminded me a lot of the Jennifer Lopez movie The Cell meets the villain from Joe Hill’s N0S4A2. This book has a lot of fun pop culture references, and little bits of odd humor. I liked and cared about the main character John or Johnny still being tormented by a mistake he made as a scared kid that represses in his living dreams. This book is pretty brutal and not for everybody with trigger warnings of rape, abduction, and child abuse, book doesn’t go into crazy detail but enough to unnerve the reader. I want to think Glenn Rolfe who reached out to me on Goodreads and asked if I would like to read his book. I want to think Flame Tree Press and netgalley for providing the book to me. August Eye’s by Glenn Rolfe was published on August 17th 2021.

Plunge by Joe Hill is a graphic novel which is heavily influenced by H. P. Lovecraft stories and John Carpenter’s The Thing. Plunge took me back to 80’s movies like The Fog, The Thing, Aliens, and The Abyss. The story starts off slow but after a lot of exposition finally gets going and does not stop. This book is gore filled. The villains are pretty terrifying. Since this story is such an amalgam of 80’s movies you almost feel as you know the story, but Hill offers a fresh and new twist to a story you already know.

The Scarecrow Walks at Midnight by R. L. Stine is book 20 in Goosebumps original publication order. This is one of the scarier Goosebumps stories the nightmare scene is pretty terrifying. The story is good and focused as it ramps up horror at the end. The characters are more memorable than most Goosebumps stories, especially Stanley that is similar to Forrest Gump, but with a twist. The twist at the end is good and fits the story, even if it is not going to be memorable. The story is the first one that takes place on a farm and R. L. Stine plays with the isolation of that.


Marvel Masterworks: The Amazing Spider-Man volume 8 by Stan Lee is Spiderman’s longest linked storyline up to date, involving Spiderman and a mysterious tablet (based on the Rosetta Stone). This storyline spans over 8 issues, once the power is revealed is is kind of forgotten about, but maybe you don’t want that in the world. The Lizard makes a great return, as the only way Dr. Connors can escape is turn into the Lizard. J. Jonah Jamison gets the scare of his life all at the hands of Spiderman. This issue dips into the civil rights movement which should get kudos for not ignoring it. The Kingpin returns and the artworks is a lot closer to what the character looks like today,

Three Star Reviews:

Horseman: A Tale of Sleepy Hollow by Christina Henry is not a retelling of Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow but a continuing story that takes place 3o or so years after the original. . You will learn what happened to Brom and Katrina after Ichabod Crane incident. The book acknowledges that Brom was dressed as the Headless Horseman to frighten poor Ichabod, but what if the legend created something new. The book is best when it ties into the original The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, when it drifts away it is not always good. I was given an advanced readers copy thanks to Netgalley and Berkley Publishing Group. Horseman: A Tale of Sleepy Hollow by Chistina Henry was published on September 28th 2021.

Out of the Shadows by Justina Ireland is the second Young Adult novel in The High Republic series. The High republic comes 200 years before Star Wars: A New Hope. This novel is paced so slow with only 3 battles. Reath and Master Cormac are the returning Jedi from the first YA but given background roles in this. The ending of this book saves it from being a 2 star review. There’s is only two things of significance that happen that will effect the adult Star Wars: The High Republic novels. This book was missing humor there’s one recurring event that was funny. What the book is filled with is young adult angst, which reached an annoying level, instead of being poignant. There’s a LGTBQ relationship that was good for inclusion purpose but the relationship wasn’t all that strong. I feel the adult version handled the LGTBQ relationship better. The plot is a huge long con, the pay off is all at the end which saves this novel, but I wanted to see this good writing through out

Book Reviews: Star Wars: Out of the Shadows by Justina Ireland

Out of the Shadows by Justina Ireland is the second Young Adult novel in The High Republic series. The High republic comes 200 years before Star Wars: A New Hope. This novel is paced so slow with only 3 battles. Reath and Master Cormac are the returning Jedi from the first YA but given background roles in this. The ending of this book saves it from being a 2 star review. There’s is only two things of significance that happen that will effect the adult Star Wars: The High Republic novels. This book was missing humor there’s one recurring event that was funny. What the book is filled with is young adult angst, which reached an annoying level, instead of being poignant. There’s a LGTBQ relationship that was good for inclusion purpose but the relationship wasn’t all that strong. I feel the adult version handled the LGTBQ relationship better. The plot is a huge long con, the pay off is all at the end which saves this novel, but I wanted to see this good writing through out. After reading the 2 adult and 2 YA Star Wars: The High Republic novels Out of the Shadows has been my least favorite.

The Plot: A device that can rip ships from hyperspace is causing havoc. The Jedi are sent to research this. A freight hauler lands in a conspiracy when she finds out her mother she thought dead is rumored to be behind the device. Vern one of the Jedi is called out by a mysterious voice guiding her to something, is the voice friend or foe?

What I Liked: The ending was great, the lead up to it was not. I liked that the character of Nan, who was in Out of the Past and was a frenemy with Reath and part of the Nihil returns to have a bigger role. I did like the running gag of Vern crashing what ever ship she is in, that was the only funny part in the book and it worked. I liked the plot line of Vern and the voice and who it belonged to. I like the attempt at the LGBTQ relationship but it could have been a lot better. I liked the speeder bike fight even if it was super brief.

What I Disliked: The pacing was really bad in this, one of the worst I’ve read in the 20 or so Star Wars novels that I have read. I was not happy about the Jedi plot lines in this story. I needed way more humor in this story. Barely any battles in a 352 page book maybe 30 pages were battles.

Recommendations: If you’re a casual Star Wars reader I would recommend skipping this one there’s two things of significance that involve the Nihil, and I imagine the adult novel catching us up in less than one page of dialogue. If you are a super fan then you are like me and going to read this book anyway. I rated Out of the Shadows by Justina Ireland 3 out of 5 stars. This book was almost a 2 star review, but the ending really saved it.

Star Wars: The Rising Storm by Cavan Scott

Star Wars: The Rising Storm by Cavan Scott is the Second novel in the High Republic (which take place 200 years before Star Wars: A New Hope) books for adults. This novel takes place mere months after after the event in Light of the Jedi. All those character that were given brief intros in Light of the Jedi, are finally able to be fully realized character that you can get behind. We follow Stellan Gios, Bell Zettifar, and Elzar Mann as our main Jedi characters the villain is the same except more brutal and powerful, there’s only one new character of note Ty Yorrick a former Jedi that as avoided the order at all cost is confronted by one of the order. I was bummed that one of my favorite character Avar Kriss from Light of the Jedi was missing in this novel she’s a presence but never in a scene. I was like he High Replublic create this this strong female Jedi in the first book and in the second novel features only male Jedi as leads. Why Star wars why? One thing I liked, I read Star Wars: Into the Dark which is the first Young Adult novel in the High Republic series and was rewarded as I got the origins of the Drengir a species that is recking havoc all over the galaxy. This book has a good flow and was quite a page turner. The book has some moments of epicness, but the main plot takes care place at a fair, and I’m sorry there is nothing too epic about that even if the fair is more like the World’s fair. This book has been my favorite of the Star Wars High Republic books so far.

The Plot of Light of the Jedi: The Legacy Run, a starship, is destroyed in a hyperspace accident sending shards and debris though out the galaxy. The Jedi and the republic work together to stop the debris that heads for stars, moons, and planets. The Jedi search for how this is possible as the responsible party , The Nihil, seek to destroy all evidence. The Nihil are space pirates operating on the outer rim, and see their reign come to an end as the Jedi set up the first of many beacons on the outer rim. The Nihil will do anything to maintain their power.

The Plot of The Rising Storm: Marchion Ro fought tooth and nail to become the leader of the Nihil, now he has to keep it. The Jedi have arrived on the outer rim and are throwing a huge fair to bring alliances together and show strength. The Nihil are determined to destroy the Jedi as they plan to kill the chancellor of the republic. Machion Ro knows he can’t do it alone a gets an ancient weapon that can rival the Jedi. Elzar Mann newly promoted from padawan to jedi has a lot to prove, he has visions of pain and destruction, but doesn’t know if he can stop it. Bell Zettifar must get used to his new master while hoping his old master is still alive somewhere. Stellan Gios is in charge of security protecting the chancellor and her son as he has to protect the Nihil’s main target.

What I Liked: The flow of the book was great it was a good fast paced read. The cliffhanger was great and will lead to cool things this was book was called The Rising Storm and the next is The Gathering Storm. I liked the characters Bell Zettifar and Ty Yorrick were my favorites. I liked that the Nihil have so much inter struggles. Every Nihil pirate is not on the same plan. I loved the search for the artifact that will change everything when it was used at the end of the novel. The action was awesome and easy to follow.

What I Disliked: I already stated I just thought the fair was a kind of lame setting. There’s was a line that took me out of this book when they started talking about the hydra from mythology, are they dating Star Wars, could you not have thought of a creature where we get the same concept.

Recommendation: I thought this book was a lot of fun ad a good sequel to Light of the Jedi. There’s a lot of fun action and some smart plot twists. I rated Star Wars: The Rising Storm by Cavan Scott 4 out of 5 stars.

Book Review: Star Wars: The High Republic: Into the Dark by Claudia Gray

Star Wars: The High Republic: Into the Dark by Claudia Gray is an adventure filled Star Wars novel where the best character is a rock, no I’m not kidding the rock steals so many scenes and keeps the humor up. I liked the mix of humor and adventure. Into the Dark takes place at the same time as the first High Republic novel Light of the Jedi. This book covers 4 new Jedi that were not mentioned in Light of the Jedi, the timeframe is at the same time but these Jedi are dealing wit a different crisis. I liked the main character Reath Silas and enjoyed his adventure best. the other Jedi were hard to connect with for some reason. I enjoyed the story overall but I did feel disconnected to some of the characters. The story does a good overall arc and nails the theme of teamwork. Into the Dark is written for young adult audience of 12 and up, i thought this dealt with more adult themes than Light of the Jedi, it has drug use and a couple times does a character ask about having sex. I have heard good things about Claudia Gray’s writing especially Lost Stars which I have never read but friends and other bloggers are obsessed with, I love the overall arc and theme but was not blown away by it. I felt the ending was satisfactory and well plotted out with a lot of action. The High Republic takes place 200 years before The Phantom Menace.

The Plot Reath Silas is a 17 year old Padawan who loves the research aspect of being a jedi and living at the Jedi Temple, when his master takes a position on the outer rim, the frontier for the Jedi. Reath can think of a million reasons not to go. He reluctantly takes the journey to meet his master when his voyage is cut short by a disaster that blocks all the hyper space lines of travel. They find a space station that is off the map, and assist other stranded ships. But what the Jedi finds is a space station with the dark side of the force lurking in the dark. Can Reath and the other stranded Jedi’s stop this force before it starts effecting others?

What I Liked: I didn’t know where this story was heading, it kind of has two parts, and a twist in the middle. Liked the ending a lot great rising action with some twist thrown in and nailed the climax which got intense. Geode the rock and navigator of the Vessel is awesome the strong and silent type. Geode is the butt of a lot of the jokes and darn it if I didn’t chuckle every time. Reath Silas is almost a Bilbo Baggins type character that is so against adventure until he’s in it and wants to go back in it. I liked the whole Vessel crew they were all fun characters.

What I Disliked: The Obvious jokes about Spice in Star Wars being compared to marijuana, It was too obvious and took me right out. The flashbacks are pointless until the end it could have been summed up in a story instead of breaking it into 5 boring parts (the first part was exciting then they grew boring) I could only connect to one out of 4 Jedi’s.

Recommendations: I will recommend Into the Dark on story alone. The story is really go it does add a whole lot to the Jedi lore but it is just a good unpredictable story. The good out weighed the bad in this story. I rated Star Wars: The High Republic: Into the Dark by Claudia Gray 3 out of 5 stars. I was between 3 and 4 but ultimately thought is was closer to a 3. I will check out more of Claudia Gray’s writing which was good but still felt detached from far too many characters.

Wrap Up: April 2021 Book Reviews

Dear Readers, April was a good month for reading and catching up on my TBR,   I read 7 books this month. I exchanged Instinct for The Brief History of the Dead for Instinct because was released this month and I missed it when making my TBR, The Brief History of the Dead will be read next month as I am half way done with it.   I read no graphic novels this month, 3 books in a series, 2 dark mysteries, 1 classic, 5 advance reader copies (thanks to Netgalley).  I read 6 books published this year. I only started 1 new series Starwars the High Republic and finished all books published in The Murderbot Diaries.

Five Star Reviews:

Network Effect by Martha Wells is Murderbot Diaries number five. This is the only full novel in the series with the rest being novellas. I have read and loved the character of Murderbot for 4 previous novels. The series has had highs and lows, I felt the formula was getting a little predictable, then Network Effect came out and changed the narrative making this book my favorite in the series so far. It took the best parts, intense action, witty dialogue, human interaction, and character growth, and expand them. The pace of this book is pretty fast it slows down a little in the middle but after intense scene after intense scene I welcomed the slow down. Network Effect brought back my favorite character from the series ART (an acronym for “Asshole Research Transport”) from Artificial Condition book 2.

Four Star Reviews:

The Lost Village by Camilla Sten Is a atmospheric horror that is slightly unnerving. The Lost Village is a Swedish book that has been translated to English. The descriptions make it feel like characters are constantly being watched by the village, it makes the reader feel pretty unnerved. The mystery is pretty captivating, and the way the story is told by amateur documentarians, really works since they bring their own problems, to a place that feeds off those problems. The Lost Village reminded me of parts of Shirley Jackson’s short story The Lottery meets the film The Blair Witch Project. I was slightly underwhelmed my the climax, but the rising action to it was so cool I thought of all these other cool scenarios that would have made it epic, and the climax was just good. Thanks to Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press through Minotaur books for letting me have early access to this title. The Lost Village by Camilla Sten was published in Sweden in 2019 and translated/published in America on March 23 2021.

Light of the Jedi (Star Wars: The High Republic) by Charles Soule is a fantastic introduction to a new timeline taking places 200 before the Phantom Menace. This is the first book in the new cannon (that started when The Force Awakens came out) that has told a new story not involving events that film and television have touched on. Yoda is the only character from the Skywalker Saga. The book starts out introducing a dizzying amount of characters all dealing with a crisis, thankfully it slows down and lets you get to know the characters a little. This is an ensemble piece with no main character, which got on my nerves at first, but it worked well at the end. The villain’s plan is pretty genius, the way it unite people through manipulation and lies. The new Jedi I came away having some mixed feelings

Near the Bone by Christina Henry is one part Emma Donoghue’s Room and the other part The Relic by Preston and Child. This off mix of kidnapping slash survival works really well to the theme of one woman beating her demons literally and physically. This is the third Henry that I have read and this one was my favorite so far. I enjoyed it but there is a lot of trigger warnings on domestic abuse, kidnapping, child endangerment, and manipulation/gaslighting. This is a really fast paced novel, that is deeply psychological. Thanks to Netgalley and Berkley books for the advanced reader’s copy, Near the Bone by Christina Henry is published on April 13th 2021.

The Dinner Guest by B. P. Walter is a good who done it? mystery. You know right up  front there was a murder, and you know the who said they did it is lying. The narrative moves  really fast supplying the reader with a little bit more information at each turn. This is not a big twist novel but a series of twist that add up to tension and betrayal. The novel does look at the British class system which I found the weakest part of the novel. I haven’t read a mystery in a while and this novel was just what I needed a good quick mystery that kept me guessing. I’m really liking these domestic mysteries that focus on a small knit family that is driven apart by a dark secret. The Dinner Guest is very LGBTQ friendly as the family that is torn apart is a gay couple. Thanks to Netgalley and Harper Collins UK , One More Chapter for giving me this ARC. The Dinner Guest was published on April 1st 2021.

Three Star Reviews:

Instinct by Jason M. Hough is small town thriller. Where small town folks start to suddenly lose their survival instinct, like a person that never goes outside will go on a massive hike, and the guy scared of animals will face down a bear. It reminded me of Blake Crouch’s Dark Matter where in the last 25 % of the book goes to a crazy place. The finale is good but it is one slow build up to that point. The character’s are quirky with conspiracy theories running deep until the town is in one. Instinct is a good idea, but the execution is lacking. The end is fun but I don’t know if everyone will get there with every beat of action and odd occurrence nothing happens in between; we don’t spend enough time with these characters to see them acting out of place. Thanks to Netgalley and Gallery Books – Skybound Books for the opportunity to read Instinct. Instinct by Jason M. Hough was published on April 6th 2021.

Two Star reviews:

Fugitive Telemetry by Martha Wells is Murderbot Diaries book 6. This time Murderbot plays detective investigating a murder at Preservation Station that only it can solve. After the epic Network Effect that was my favorite in the series comes the sadly lackluster Fugitive Telemetry that is my least favorite so far. The plot is okay, it’s not really a murder that can be solved but the right beats are there, The problem with this one is Murderbot doesn’t have that much interaction with anyone, and the action is really limited. This has been one of my favorite series but this book just didn’t gel with me. I read Fugitive Telemetry through advanced readers copy curtesy of Netgalley and Macmillion-Tor/ Forge books. Fugitive Telemetry is published on 4-27-21.

Book Review: Light of the Jedi (Star Wars: High Republic) by Charles Soule

Light of the Jedi (Star Wars: The High Republic) by Charles Soule is a fantastic introduction to a new timeline taking places 200 before the Phantom Menace. This is the first book in the new cannon (that started when The Force Awakens came out) that has told a new story not involving events that film and television have touched on. Yoda is the only character from the Skywalker Saga. The book starts out introducing a dizzying amount of characters all dealing with a crisis, thankfully it slows down and lets you get to know the characters a little. This is an ensemble piece with no main character, which got on my nerves at first, but it worked well at the end. The villain’s plan is pretty genius, the way it unite people through manipulation and lies. The new Jedi I came away having some mixed feeling, just because you don’t spend that much time with them, sense it bounces around so much. I came away liking 3 out of the 7 that were introduced.

The Plot: The Legacy Run, a starship, is destroyed in a hyperspace accident sending shards and debris though out the galaxy. The Jedi and the republic work together to stop the debris that heads for stars, moons, and planets. The Jedi search for how this is possible as the responsible party , The Nihil, seek to destroy all evidence. The Nihil are space pirates operating on the outer rim, and see their reign come to an end as the Jedi set up the first of many beacons on the outer rim. The Nihil will do anything to maintain their power.

What I Liked: The intro was really intense and keeps ramping up the action, it felt like it was more of a Justice League crisis than Star Wars but I enjoyed it. The range of Jedi powers, we have seen them communicate through telepathy but not on this scale which was cool, also there is one Jedi who uses the force of nature which I liked seeing. The twist and turns with the Nihil’s master plan was amazing to see it work out for a leader I felt was weak at first to be so good at plotting and seeing the endgame. The character sacrifices are felt through out and did evoke a emotion from me.

What I Disliked: There was one line where forensic science was brought up that took me right out of the book, there could have been some made up word where we would have understood the science being talked about, but forensic science took me right out of the book. We don’t spend enough time with the characters to form a bond.

Recommendation: This book is a good intro to a star wars series with a lot of potential. I have read probably 15 Star Wars novels in my lifetime and this is one of the better ones. This is a Jedi of one mind which we haven’t seen before, and the villains are smart and pose a good future threat. I’m for sure going to check out the next book, I got a good sample the characters but now I want a taste. I rated Light of the Jedi (Star Wars: High Republic) by Charles Soule 4 out of 5 stars.

TBR: April 2021

April 2021 TBR list: last month was I read 6 out of the 8 books on my TBR, I’m going to lower it to 7 to deal with looking for a house and overtime. I have 4 ARCs to read this month. I have my reading goal for the year set at 80 books this year which I’m a head by two for the moment.  I have  read most of my Christmas book haul, but my Birthday is this month so will for sure get more, If I read extra it will be a Amazing Spiderman Marvel Masterworks since  it’s easy to read at my work break.

Network Effect by Martha Wells – I the first full length book in the Murderbot Diaries Series.  Network Effect is book 5 in the series.  I recently got approver for the ARC  for Fugitive Telemetry which is published on April 27th.  I love Murderbot the character, and I love where the series left off.

Fugitive Telemetry by Martha Wells – I have been asking for an ARC of a Martha Wells book for a couple of years now can’t wait to read this one a little early, It is publish right around my birthday and will consider this a present on April 27 thanks to Netgalley and Tor.

Near The Bone by Christina Henry – This is will be my third Henry novel I read Alice and the Ghost Tree, I have liked but not loved her novels.  I hope this one is a love, this is her second novel not about fairy tells being retold. The plot is a woman trapped on a mountain attempt to survive more that one kind of monster.  The synopsis intrigues me so I’m looking forward to this book.  Thanks to Netgalley and Berkley publishing for the ARC that is published on April 13th.

The Dinner Guest by B. P. Walter – It has been a while since I read a mystery; my favorites are the classic Agatha Christie novels, and I get this vibe from the book. The tag line is A stranger at the table; A dinner that ends in death. It seems fun this book changed it’s publishing date up a month or two it was published on April 1. Thanks to Netgalley and Harper Collins UK, One More Chapter for giving me an opportunity to read this novel.

Star Wars: The High Republic – Light of the Jedi by Charles Soule – I jumped at the chance to read the newest Star Wars because it is before all the rest and the first book in the new cannon to do that.  The cover has a Wookie with a lightsaber I have to read this book.

The Lost Village by Camilla Sten  This my hold over last month I’m half way done and it it is very atmospheric and spooky. The Lost Villiageis described as The Blair Witch Project meets Midsommar by the publisher.  I don’t know a lot going in to this story but the genre is horror/suspense.     Thanks to Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press for this ARC.The Lost Village is published on March 23 2021

The Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier my other holdover form last month it reminds me a lot of the plot of Pixar’s Coco. Where there is a whole city of the dead that are still remembered by the living.  But the City has started rapidly shrinking.  It has been on my TBR for a while, and I’m committed to reading it.