Gail Carriger Reads a Bit of the 5th Gender

In her latest video, Gail Carriger reads a bit of her latest book, the 5th Gender, which has gone straight to the top of my to-read pile. It’s a sci-fi mystery romance. She also talks about said book and answers other questions. The video is just over an hour long, but the reading happens first thing if that’s all you’re interested in.

Ocean’s 8—Great Cast, Boring Plot

Ocean's 8 movie poster
Ocean’s 8

A group of thieves, led by conwoman Debbie Ocean, set out to steal a priceless necklace off the neck of a famous actress at the Met Gala. All-star cast led by Sandra Bullock.

1—Predictable Plot

When Debbie Ocean gets out of jail on parole, she sets about gathering a cast of criminals for the biggest heist of their lives. A heist that goes off without a hitch. Maybe it’s because I’ve been watching Leverage reruns, but I was expecting something to go wrong at some point, and anticipated watching the criminals have to react on their feet. This is not what happened. There’s a few complications, but they get handled immediately, no alteration to the larger plan needed. Also, the title kind of gives away that an eighth person will unexpectedly join their ring. Continue reading “Ocean’s 8—Great Cast, Boring Plot”

Podcasts for Writers

I know I’ve linked to these podcasts previously separately, but I figured I should put them all in one place. That, and they’re really good and all deserve another shout out.

1—The Creative Penn

Hosted by Joanna Penn, an indie author and entrepreneur. In the first part of the podcast, she disseminates the latest developments in technology etc that impacts indie authors. Then the second part is an interview with an author. Continue reading “Podcasts for Writers”

Warlock Holmes: A Study in Brimstone—The Beginning of the End of the World

Warlock Holmes: A Study in Brimstone by G. S. Denning book cover
Warlock Holmes: A Study in Brimstone by G. S. Denning

Warlock Homes: A Study in Brimstone, by G. S. Denning, is a fantastic, comedic take on Sherlock Homes, and is just as ludicrously fun as it sounds. Being the journal of one Dr. John Watson, it chronicles his first cases with the bumbling but powerful Warlock Holmes, and starts with John’s apology for ending the world.

1—The Characters

I loved the characters in this book. There is, of course, Dr. Watson, who narrates. Watson is observant and sarcastic—not to most of the people he speaks with, but to his reader, and, once comfortable with him, to Warlock. Next there’s Warlock Holmes himself, who is less than observant, and yet endearingly so. There’s Vladislav Lestrade, a nihilistic vampire and Scotland Yard detective, as is Torg Grogsson, an honorable ogre with a love of ballet dancers. There’s also a host of characters that don’t repeat from story to story, each with their own individual quirks. Continue reading “Warlock Holmes: A Study in Brimstone—The Beginning of the End of the World”

The Devil You Know—Ghosts, Demons, and the Exorcist Caught in the Middle

The Devil You Know by Mike Carey book cover
The Devil You Know by Mike Carey

The Devil You Know, by Mike Carey, follows the first-person perspective adventures of exorcist Felix Castor. Felix—Fix to his friends—hasn’t been doing his job lately. After a botched exorcism on his best friend Rafi leaves Rafi intertwined with a demon, Fix looses the will to do what he was born to do. But when his dear friend and landlady Pen needs some rent money badly, Fix reluctantly takes on a job—a job that turns out to be much more than a simple ghost.

1—The Worldbuilding

The worldbuilding is done well, woven into the narrative, never too much at once but always building your understanding of the world Fix inhabits. The dead have risen in sufficient numbers that people can’t just ignore them anymore so there’s plenty of work for the few people with the talent to be exorcists. Besides your garden variety ghosts, there’s zombies—where a dead person re-inhabits their dead body—and loup-garou—where a ghost inhabits an animal and reshapes its flesh into their lost human image. Continue reading “The Devil You Know—Ghosts, Demons, and the Exorcist Caught in the Middle”