Ninety-Four (Tales from the Eternal Archives #1)

0886778239-01-_sx450_sy635_sclzzzzzzz_Ninety-Four by Jean Rabe
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

During World War II, the U-94 is seemingly unbeatable and takes on large convoys by itself. It turns out the boat has help, a water sprite who is infatuated with it’s captain who equally home on the sea and infatuated with his “Fraulein Faerie”. However their combined success comes to an end when they are trapped by two convoys and the sprite sacrifices herself to save her beloved captain. Yet the story ends happily 40 years later after the sprite reforms herself, she finally convinces her man to join her in the sea.

This was the perfect blend of quasi-history and fantasy unlike some stories that are just fun to read.

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The Wind at Tres Castillos (Tales from the Eternal Archives #1)

0886778239-01-_sx450_sy635_sclzzzzzzz_The Wind at Tres Castillos by Robyn Fielder
My rating: 1.5 out of 5 stars

Lozen, a warrior and prophetess to the Chihenne Chiricahua Apache band led by her brother Victorio, returns to the titular Tres Castillos to find him mortally wounded. The surrounding Mexican army employ a shaman who brings forth the deity known as Wind, or Gray Ghost Chief, whom Lozen has previous history with. The Chief demands Lozen unbind him or he’d allow the Mexicans to kill the rest of her band, but Lozen decides to take on the persona of the deity White Painted Woman to marry Gray Ghost Chief who then turns on the Mexicans to allow Lozen and her band to flea to join Geronimo’s war.

There just seemed to be something off about this story from the beginning, after research I learned that the historical Lozen had been nowhere near the historical Battle (Massacre) of Tres Castillos. Besides incorrect historical facts, there are other things that didn’t feel right that impacted the story negatively and made the fantastical features fall flat.

Paddletail the Beaver and His Neighbors (Old Homestead #3)

90ae197669056af59764f346c51444341587343Paddletail the Beaver and His Neighbors by Neil Wayne Northey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Paddletail the Beaver and His Neighbors is the third of four volumes of Neil Wayne Northey’s Old Homestead series. Like the first two volumes this is a quick and pleasant children’s book that follows the lives of numerous animals inhabit the area around the Wildwood Pond in the Black Forest though the titular Paddletails. Although the third book in the series, it doesn’t have to be read in order while still providing enjoyment to young children either reading on their own or being read to by their parents.

The Bluebirds and Their Neighbors
The Mallards and Their Neighbors

2018 Reading Plan (November Update)

Hello,

October turned out to be very productive when it came to reading as I completed six books to raise my total to 70(!) for the year.  Among them were some rather long books that more than made up for several of the short books I’ve read recently and will in the future.  But before I go on let’s look at the numbers.

Overall Total: 70 (155.6%)
Original List: 39 (86.7%)
Total Pages: 24841 (354.9 per book)

I took almost the first half of the month to complete Michael F. Holt’s The Rise and Fall of the American Whig Party, which I had been reading the last half of September. This has been my longest book of the year (so far), but along with FINALLY completing Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass: First and “Death-Bed” Editions as well as Light Bearers I added over 2500 pages from then alone.

With two months left in the year, I’m probably not going to be able to get through my original list namely because I picked up and started reading Brandon Sanderson’s Oathbringer which came out on paperback on Tuesday. Once I finish Legends: Tales from the Eternal Archive #1 as my home read, I’ll start reading The Guide for the Perplexed at home then finish it off at work after completing Oathbringer. After that I’m going to try to get the last three books listed below completed in some order if possible by the end of the year, but we’ll see.

Founding Myths: Stories that Hide Our Patriotic Past by Ray Raphael
How’s Inky? (Living Forest #1) by Sam Campbell*
Evita: The Real Life of Eva Peron by Nicholas Fraser
Beowulf
Making Money (Discworld #36) by Terry Pratchett
Too Much Salt and Pepper (Living Forest #2) by Sam Campbell*
Mirror Image (Op-Center #2) by Jeff Rovin- REREAD
A Brief History of Seventh-day Adventists by George R. Knight
Foundation (Foundation #1) by Isaac Asimov
Eeny, Meeny, Miney, Mo–and Still-Mo (Living Forest #3) by Sam Campbell*
Unseen Academicals (Discworld #37) by Terry Pratchett
The Wars of Gods and Men (Earth Chronicles #3) by Zecharia Sitchin- REREAD
A Tippy Canoe and Canada Too (Living Forest #4) by Sam Campbell*
Politics by Aristotle
Foundation and Empire (Foundation #2) by Isaac Asimov
On Wings of Cheer (Living Forest #5) by Sam Campbell*
I Shall Wear Midnight (Discworld #38) by Terry Pratchett
Games of State (Op-Center #3) by Jeff Rovin- REREAD
Moose Country (Living Forest #6) by Sam Campbell*
The Rise of the West by W.H. McNeill*
The Wonder That Was India by Arthur Llewellyn Basham
Second Foundation (Foundation #3) by Isaac Asimov
The Seven Secrets of Somewhere Lake (Living Forest #7) by Sam Campbell*
Snuff (Discworld #39) by Terry Pratchett
The Lost Realms (Earth Chronicles #4) by Zecharia Sitchin- REREAD
Loony Coon (Living Forest #8) by Sam Campbell*
William Miller and the Rise of Adventism by George R. Knight
The Martian by Andy Weir
Fiddlesticks and Freckles (Living Forest #9) by Sam Campbell*
Raising Steam (Discworld #40) by Terry Pratchett
Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson*
Acts of War (Op-Center #4) by Jeff Rovin- REREAD
Beloved Rascals (Living Forest #10) by Sam Campbell*
Sweet Sue’s Adventures (Living Forest #11) by Sam Campbell*
Calamity Jane (Living Forest #12) by Sam Campbell*
Agricola and Germany by Tacitus*
Organizing for Mission and Growth by George R. Knight*
City of God by St. Augustine
Typee: A Peep at Polynesian Life by Herman Melville
The Shepherd’s Crown (Discworld #41) by Terry Pratchett
Genesis Revisited (Earth Chronicles #4.5) by Zecharia Sitchin
Orbit of Discovery by Don Thomas*
Myths in Adventism by George R. Knight*
The Stuart Age by Barry Coward
Edgedancer (The Stormlight Archive #2.5) by Brandon Sanderson*
Ulysses by James Joyce
Good Omens by Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett
Balance of Power (Op-Center #5) by Jeff Rovin- REREAD
Abraham’s Other Son by Philip Samaan*
Joseph Bates: The Real Founder of Seventh-Day Adventism by George R. Knight
The Histories by Tacitus*
The Book of Acts by Wilson Paroschi
Jedi the Last (William Shakespeare’s Star Wars Part the Eighth) by Ian Doescher
Kings & Queens of England and Scotland by Plantagenet Somerset Fry
Tournament Upstart by Thomas J. Dygard- REREAD
Game Plan by Thomas J. Dygard- REREAD
Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny
Laying Down the Law by Keith Augustus Burton*
The Major Works of Anselm of Canterbury
Lamarck’s Revenge by Peter Ward
Pacific Vortex! (Dirk Pitt #1) by Clive Cussler
When Time Began (Earth Chronicles #5) by Zecharia Sitchin- REREAD
Red Rising (Red Rising #1) by Pierce Brown
The Bluebirds and Their Neighbors (Old Homestead #1) by Neil Wayne Northey*
The Rise and Fall of the American Whig Party by Michael F. Holt
The Mallards and Their Neighbors (Old Homestead #2) by Neil Wayne Northey*
The Mediterranean Caper (Dirk Pitt #2) by Clive Cussler
Leaves of Grass: First and “Death-Bed” Editions by Walt Whitman*
Light Bearers: A History of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church by Richard W. Schwartz
State of Siege (Op-Center #6) by Jeff Rovin- REREAD
The Guide for the Perplexed by Moses Maimonides
Golden Son (Red Rising #2) by Pierce Brown
The Rise and Fall of the British Empire by Lawrence James
Iceberg (Dirk Pitt #3) by Clive Cussler
Divine Encounters by Zecharia Sitchin
Morning Star (Red Rising #3) by Pierce Brown

* = home read

State of Siege (Op-Center #6)

0425168220-01-_sx450_sy635_sclzzzzzzz_State of Siege by Jeff Rovin
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

After living through the hypocrisy of being a part of a United Nations security force, a band of mercenaries decide to strike at the organization itself and unknowingly take resigning Op-Center director Paul Hood’s daughter hostage. State of Siege, is the sixth book of the Op-Center series written by Jeff Rovin, ghosting for the titular Tom Clancy, finds Paul Hood in the middle of a hostage situation as his daughter is being held in the Security Council after cleaning out his desk and hoping to rebuild his family that is hanging by a thread and however Hood reacts he risks destroying it.

A team of five former UN soldiers, who served in Cambodia, rob an armored car in Paris to finance buying weapons from an arm’s dealer in New York to strike at the United Nations for a $250 million payday after taking room full of hostages. Among the hostages are diplomats, young violinists including Harleigh Hood, and two undercover Cambodian hitmen looking to take their revenge against the terrorist group’s leader. The situation is both personal and professional for Paul Hood, who is torn to do something to save his daughter and being with his wife to support. The newly appointed Secretary-General is a negotiator who wants to solve the problem as peacefully as possible, but events quickly get out of her control leading to a final solution to the siege that both pleases and displeases many.

Released in 1999, State of Siege puts the United Nations center stage as well as the debate between military versus diplomacy to solve crises. The problem that the “debate” is useless given that the crisis in this particular book could never have been solved diplomatically and this book is less than 400 pages as well as the story taking only about five hours in total. Besides this flaw is the one that has been running throughout the series, Paul Hood’s marriage which has been doomed to fail because Sharon Hood has been written to be literally be the unreasonable wife to the man running a government agency trying to do his best—how cliché can you get?—and it sinks to even worst levels here. And on top of that were the just bad dialog, characters literally knowing things they couldn’t actually know, plot holes all over the place, and finally not being able to decide what point-of-view to have from one paragraph to the next.

State of Siege keeps up the Op-Center tradition of having an intriguing plot, which is ruined by Jeff Rovin’s characterizations and overall subpar writing. This book is a big step down from the previous installment, Balance of Power, but is unfortunately more to type of what the series has been like for most of its run so far.

Op-Center

Legends (Tales from the Eternal Archives #1)

0886778239-01-_sx450_sy635_sclzzzzzzz_Legends by Ed Gorman
My rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Pat Garrett and his less than worthy deputies are on the trail of Billy the Kid, who is said to be hiding out on the ranch of Pete Maxwell.  After getting in contact with the local sheriff, Garrett stakes out the ranch and returns to town to find his deputies talking to one of Maxwell’s ranch hands.  After getting the man in jail for the night, he leads his men to the ranch that night and rush the farm house.  After having Billy pull a gun on him but giving it up because he couldn’t shot is friend, Pat however doesn’t have the same view as foreshadowed throughout the story as he remembers an Eastern reporter’s words.

The Ballad of Jesse James (Tales from the Eternal Archive #1)

0886778239-01-_sx450_sy635_sclzzzzzzz_The Ballad of Jesse James by Margaret Weis
My rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

From the viewpoint of the unnamed fourth member of the James-Younger gang, we follow the infamous outlaws as they travel the back roads of southern Missouri when they come upon a slowly running down homestead.  The widow and her two children are about to be forced out by their Yankee landlord, but after the gang help prepare dinner and do some chores they give the woman some of their recent liberated Yankee money as well as a receipt to make her landlord sign.  Before they leave they ask her about how her landlord travels and in what direction, we leave them awaiting the Yankee landlord on the road he’ll take to town.  Nothing really to complain about, though there is a “fantasy” connection with all these stories this one finally got it in my head that some of these stories are just going to be historical fiction.