TALES OF THE SHADOWMEN VOL 14 : COUP DE GRACE edited by J-M & R. Lofficier is another volume of this French pulp mash-up series. I always enjoy these books and this is no exception. My favorite story this time is " Dice ,
Pearl ,and Sword" by Frank Schildiner - a brief meeting of Rocambole , the masterthief. and Zatoichi, the blind swordsman. This series is very much an acquired taste but I will continue to read and enjoy it.
If you do start, then however far you get I recommend proceeding no farther than the eighth book (Bloodwars). It provides an unambiguously uplifting, epic, and happy ending for the series up to that point, which is promptly reversed by the next book and things just get worse.
Just finished "The Gutter Prayer" by Gareth Hanrahan. Really really enjoyed the world building and the novel overall. If you're in the mood for industrial fantasy cities with a gloss of Lovecraftian detail here and there (ghouls are a race in this city, as are Crawling Ones), it's a good time.
The Moon Dwellers (The Dwellers #1) by David Estes
It's "The Hunger Games" meets "City of Ember", as directed by Jerry Bruckheimer. The world-building is implausible and the characters thin, but the plot rattles along with such speed and enthusiasm that I was never bored.
Blossoms in Autumn by Zidrou, Aimée de Jongh
This is a frank, thoughtful, engaging look at two people finding new love in the latter stages of life. It's well executed both in script and in art (it's a graphic novel). My only real complaint would be a medical plot twist that's wildly improbable (though not technically impossible) and which feels rather superfluous to me.
THE DRAGON'S CHILD by Janeen Webb is utterly wonderful. The prose is elegant and the characters are well realized (the main character is a horrible person but compelling). The only flaw is this novella is only 96 pages long. I want more!
So far, Cybersecurity and Cyberwar is like "Cybersecurity for Dummies - Basic Edition". Some basic technology and terminology, but nothing really advanced. Maybe I'm a bad example because I read Countdown to Zero Day before this and I know a few things about computers, or maybe it gets more technical as it goes, but the first 50 pages are like "Yeah...I already knew almost all of this."
I'm enjoying Gates of Stone so far. I've got a lot of sympathy for one viewpoint character, a princess, who gets told by her father that she won't succeed him because she's a woman and she'll be married off to another kingdom. She them murders her new husband on the wedding night, fakes it as an assassination and siezes power.
I mean, murder is bad but live by the hereditary autocracy, die by the hereditary autocracy.
Oath Forger 3 (Oath Forger #3) by Nia Mars
Kudos to Nia Mars for writing a reverse harem novel where the core relationship(s) feel mostly functional and there's a general sense of mutual respect between the female lead (Ava) and her paramours. After a couple of "abusive ass" male leads in the last two romances I tried, it is pleasant to come back to a series where I don't find myself wanting the female lead to run a million miles from her supposed love interest(s). Plus, Ava's internal monologue is pretty darn funny at times.
SHOTGUNS AND STAGECOACHES - THE BRAVE MEN WHO RODE FOR WELLS FARGO IN THE WILD WEST by John Boessenecker is not a non-fiction book I would normally read. I bought it for my father as a Christmas present but he passed away before this last Christmas. Anyway, the book is well written and I was impressed at how tough these people were who worked for Wells Fargo in this capacity. Also, the fact that most despite injuries, most lived to a ripe old age. The final extremely informative chapter focused on the recent Wells Fargo banking scandal and the loss of its legacy