The Qwillery | category: Parasitology


The Qwillery

A blog about books and other things speculative

Melanie's Week in Review - March 29, 2015

Melanie's Week in Review  - March 29, 2015

I'm back! Did you miss me? Apologies for missing last week. I am very ashamed to say that I didn't get through enough books to tell you about. I was slightly better but not much. So what did I read over the last two weeks?

Melanie's Week in Review  - March 29, 2015
I finally got around to reading Symbiont by Mira Grant (Orbit, November 25, 2014). This is the second in the Grant's Parasitology series. The story continues with the world in chaos as the tapeworms that people used to prolong their health and lives are now turning them into zombies. Well not everyone. Sal is one of the few exceptions as a sentient tapeworm living in the body of a girl who died in a car accident. Book 2 focuses on Sal's struggle with coming to terms with who and what she is. She also has to come to terms with her 'cousins' being the cause of the ruination of mankind. This lesson comes at a cost and mostly to herself as Sal finds herself kidnapped not once but twice. How unlucky can 1 sentient tapeworm be? She isn't the only one who is kidnapped, tortured and experimented on. Tansy, who had sacrificed herself to save Sal at the end of book one - Parasite finds herself the subject of Dr Banks to quite a chilling end. Humanity is on the brink of destruction and Sal may be the key to its survival.

I have rather mixed views of Symbiont. It was pretty action packed but at the same time rather dull. I thought the middle part of the book really dragged and I was almost wishing a tapeworm zombie would munch one of the main characters - particularly Sal. The Hubinator did not like this book at all but I thought it was 'ok'. My problem with this book in particular was Sal herself. I realise that she trying to come to terms with what she was but boy, she was dull and an uber wimp. Even though I didn't really like Sal, I thought the parts where Sal ponders her humanity were compelling.

Melanie's Week in Review  - March 29, 2015I was shamelessly looking through my Amazon recommendations and came across Forbidden Forest which was book 1 of the Legends of Regia by Tenaya Jayne (Cold Fire Publishing, December 5, 2013).  I had high hopes for this book as I was very sensible and read the sample first I thought the story of Forbidden Forest is the story of the crossbreed elf/shifter Forest who has been bonded against her will to an evil vampire could be interesting. Forest, who had been living on Earth is summoned back to her home of Regia to escort the blind vampire prince across a forest. Needless to say they are destined to be soulmates but Forest isn't sure she can trust another vampire with her life let alone her heart.

When I was reading this book I thought it had been written for the younger urban fantasy fan as despite the events that led to Forest to be slaved bonded  for a more mature reader the characters weren't written as such. Both Forest and Prince Syrus were so busy eating fruit loops and mooning over each other that the convoluted plot was hard to follow or even be interested in. This book was quite a disappointment but it was free so I can't complain too much.

Melanie's Week in Review  - March 29, 2015
The final book I want to tell you about is The Prophecy Con by Patrick Weekes ( 47North, September 23, 2014). This is the second book of the Rogues of the Republic series which finds one of my favourite gangs back together. This instalment follows closely on the heels of The Palace Job where Loch and her gang save the Heaven's Spire and all its inhabitants. In the process she unmasks a madman, finds her long lost sister and hooks up with the dutiful justicar Pyric. In book 2 she has been asked to steal an ancient book from the elves in order to stop a war. There is so many twists and turns, mysteries and intrigues that if I tell you anymore I risk spoiling the whole thing. What I can tell you is that Weekes has created a whole set of characters that you are invested in from page 1. It is very rare for me to like each character equally but Weekes has done it. This series and especially this book are an excellent example of story telling, action and characterisation. If you are a gamer and played either Mass Effect or Dragon Age then you will recognise Weekes' writing style. If not, hurry up and get playing!

Finally, I read and enjoyed The Lemoncholy  Life of Annie Aster by Scott Wilbanks (Sourcebooks Landmark, August 4, 2015). This is a debut novel and Wilbanks has written a cracking book. I will be writing a full review so keep your eye out.

That is enough for me this week and I hope I have made it up to you with this instalment of my WIR. Until next week happy reading.

Melanie's Week in Review - June 29, 2014

Melanie's Week in Review - June 29, 2014

Since my last post I have had the COOLEST experience EVER!!  It wasn't book related but I thought you might be interested anyway.  What did I do and what did I read afterwards?

Melanie's Week in Review - June 29, 2014
Check me out! I flew in a Tiger Moth plane which was piloted by one of the Hubinator's friends. It was a lot of fun and we did loop de loops and barrel rolls. I didn't fly it but could have if I wanted to...or was crazy enough too. Unfortunately, we encountered some major train delays on our way to the air field so it gave me a chance to finish Parasite by Mira Grant. I enjoyed this first instalment of the Parasitology series maybe not as much as I loved the Newflesh series but I did like it. I thought the concept of having a big fat tape worm living inside you keeping you healthy was a good one. This series also features drug companies and health authorities as the ultimate bad guys with the ability to commit murder under the facade of improving society. I did guess what was going to happen but the journey that Grant took the characters on was engaging nonetheless. This is shaping up to be a great series and just needs a little more development of the lead character Sally and it will be close to being excellent.

Melanie's Week in Review - June 29, 2014I needed a bit of light entertainment after Parasite so I turned to my TBR and found a book I bought months ago and had never read - The Case of the Pitcher's Pendant by Tee Morris. This is the second and I believe final book of the Billibub Baddings series. I donated to Morris's Kickstarter campaign for a third book but unfortunately, it didn't meet the right level of funding and was withdrawn. In case you don't know Billi is a dwarf detective and I don't mean just a small man....he is an actual dwarf who ended up in our world during a battle and uses his 'otherworldly' skills to start his own detective agency. I will admit I don't really remember what year The Case of the Singing Sword  (the first book) is set but book 2 starts after the stock market crash in 1929 and Billi's finances take a plummet along with stock market. He finds that his livelihood relies on his acting abilities rather than his detecting skills but he jumps at the chance when offered a case that involves one of his favourite past times - baseball. The new team in town look too good to be true and Billi sniffs out not just trouble but black magic. Billi needs to hit the detective's version of a home run before anyone else dies.

I didn't think book 2 was quite as amusing at book 1 but it was still a good murder mystery. Billi is a great character who has learn to make the most of his new life and uses his diminutive size to his advantage. Al Capone, baseball and a dwarf with lots of moxy....The Case of the Pitchers Pendant has it all.

Melanie's Week in Review - June 29, 2014
I am determined to tidy up by TBR and to looked for another book I have had for awhile. I came across He Said, Sidhe Said by Tanya Huff. Normally, I don't like short stories but when it comes to Tanya Huff I was willing to risk it. I really enjoyed this book especially the stories about the Brownies entitled Tuesday Evenings, Six Thirty to Seven - hilarious. Each story is prefaced with a paragraph or two from Huff explaining why she wrote the story and each one is very different. Even if you aren't a fan of short stories this book has a lot to offer.

I am ending my weekend by starting Digital Wolf by Jon Rosenberg and will tell you all about it next week. Until then Happy Reading.

Melanie's Week in Review - June 22, 2014

Melanie's Week in Review - June 22, 2014

I have better reading news for you this time. I didn't like admitting last week that I had only finished one book.  This however, has benefited me this week as the two books I had started last week plus the new ones I started and finished this week makes me sound like a Reading Olympian. So what did I read?

Melanie's Week in Review - June 22, 2014
I finished The Golem and the Djinni by Helene Wecker. I LOVED this book. It was a beautiful book to read with the perfect balance of character and plot development. This was the story of love and friendship where a golem without a master and an enslaved djinni find their way in their respective communities of New York in the late 1800's. It was not just a story of their lives but it also discussed the societal and religious aspects of both the Jewish and Muslim communities where both characters found themselves. This was one of the few books I have read that didn't try to ram religion down my throat and I was really intrigued by what I learned about both cultures and religions. Wecker created a lovely story of both loneliness and longing. I loved everything from the first first word to the very last one. This is a definite must read so if you haven't bought it then make haste and buy it asap! Note: In the US the title is The Golem and the Jinni.

Melanie's Week in Review - June 22, 2014
I also finished The Singer by Elizabeth Hunter. This was the second instalment of the Irin Chronicles. I have mixed feelings about this series. I don't normally like books about angels and they really have to have something special in order for me to want to read more than one of them. This series has been fairly predictable so far but for some reason I want to keep reading it. I guessed almost every plot twist well before it happened. The hero and heroine don't really shine in this second book but I do think that their love story has an interesting twist...twisted enough for me to want to continue to book three. I can't say too much without giving it all away.

Once I finished this I turned to an eArc that I had forgotten about -The Buried Life by Carrie Patel. This is a debut novel and I am planning to write a full review.

Melanie's Week in Review - June 22, 2014I then switched genre to another book on my TBR - Bad Blood by Chuck Wendig. This is a novella in the Double Dead series.This was NOT a book for a mid week commute. It came across just a bit ...too much, almost too crass. I didn't enjoy it as much as Double Dead. This is definitely a series where you need a time and place to read it. It was gory with a capital 'G' and very unsettling. Wendig is one of the few authors that I like their irreverence and love of gore and swearing but it felt forced in this story.

Melanie's Week in Review - June 22, 2014Onwards and upwards in the unsettling stakes and I turned to Mira Grant with Parasite (Parisitology 1). I am partway through this novel and I can see why Grant has been nominated for a Hugo. It's almost like she has a brain the size of an asteroid in order to think up such a well constructed plot. Whole sections make you feel like you are reading someone's PhD thesis instead of fiction (at least I hope it is fiction!). I don't want to say too much until I am finished so check in next week to see what I thought.

Well ladies and gentleman that is it for me. I am looking forward to telling you what I have been up to on the reading front next week. I feel quite chuffed with what I accomplished this past week even though that was at the expense of my WIR last week. I hope you find something you read that you love as I did with Wecker's tale of friendship.  Let me know what you read. Until next week Happy Reading!

Press Release - Mira Grant to Complete "Parasitology" Series and Return to "Newsflesh" Series in New Novels and Novellas from Orbit

Press Release - Mira Grant to Complete
 PRESS RELEASE - May 27, 2014

Mira Grant to Complete "Parasitology" Series and Return to "Newsflesh" Series in New Novels and Novellas from Orbit

Orbit announced today the acquisition of two new novels and four original novellas from multiple Hugo Award-nominated author Mira Grant. One of the novels will be a third book in the "Parasitology" series, following the Hugo Award-nominated Parasite and Symbiont, and will conclude the trilogy, while the second novel and all four novellas will be set in the world of the "Newsflesh" series.

Mira Grant is a pseudonym of Seanan McGuire, winner of the 2010 John W. Campbell Award for best new writer. Orbit published the first book under the Grant pseudonym, Feed, in 2010, and the following year it became her first Hugo Award-nominated novel. The sequels, Deadline and Blackout, were also nominated for the award. McGuire has also received a shared Hugo Award for Best Fancast for her work on the SF Squeecast.

Parasite is a finalist for the 2014 Hugo Award, the fourth Best Novel nomination for the Mira Grant name. Grant's science fiction writing has been praised as "Horrifying, riveting, and a bit too plausible" (Library Journal, starred review of Parasite) and "exceptionally creepy" (Fort Worth Star-Telegram on Parasite).

Editor Will Hinton said, "It's a dream to work with an author like Seanan and it's thrilling to have more Mira Grant books to look forward to. I know her readers will be as excited as I am to return to the "Parasitology" trilogy and the beloved "Newsflesh" series, and explore entirely new territory in a standalone novel."

Symbiont, book two in the "Parasitology" series, will be published in Fall 2014. The "Parasitology" series is set in a near-future world where parasites have nearly eliminated human disease, but dependence on them may prove to be disastrous.

Seanan McGuire said of the deal, "I am overjoyed to be able to continue to write in the Parasite universe, and more, I am so, so excited to return to the world of Kellis-Amberlee, the Rising, and my unique approach to future journalism. I hope that everyone else will be as excited as I am to go back there, and I promise I have some thrilling surprises in store for you. As for that stand-alone third novel, well... You'll have to wait and see what that's going to be about. I can tell you one thing for sure: it's going to be an adventure."

The newly-acquired book three in the "Parasitology" series is currently scheduled for Fall 2015, while the first two "Newsflesh" novellas are slated for release in Summer 2014 and Summer 2015.

About Orbit
Orbit is the science fiction and fantasy imprint at Hachette Book Group.

About Hachette Book Group
Hachette Book Group is a leading trade publisher based in New York and a division of Hachette Livre, the third-largest trade and educational publisher in the world. HBG publishes under the divisions of Little, Brown and Company, Little Brown Books for Young Readers, Grand Central Publishing, Orbit, Hachette Books, Hachette Nashville, and Hachette Audio.

Melanie's Week in Review  - March 29, 2015Melanie's Week in Review - June 29, 2014Melanie's Week in Review - June 22, 2014Press Release - Mira Grant to Complete "Parasitology" Series and Return to "Newsflesh" Series in New Novels and Novellas from Orbit

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