Where I share my love of books with reviews, features, giveaways and memes. Family and needlepoint are thrown in from time to time.

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Sunday, February 15, 2015

Uncaged by John Sandford and Michele Cook

Uncaged was a pretty fast paced book by John Sandford and Michele Cook. It is the first book in The Singular Menace series, with the second book expected to be published in July of this year (Outrage). 

Shay and Odin Remby are orphans who were living with foster parents in Washington (?).  Odin is a terrific hacker, but he doesn't have a lot of common sense.  He has a soft spot for animals and has become friends with a group of animal rights activists.  There is a girl in the group that he believes is his girlfriend, but they all might be using him a bit for his mad skills. 

They target  a research lab, Singular, which turns out to be more than they can handle.  Odin ends up with a dog that appears to have had some radical surgery, and some encrypted flash drives.  He contacts Shay only to let her know that he has to go into hiding because of this raid-gone-wrong.  

Before she can think about it, Shay takes off to make sure her brother is okay.  She ends up in California living with a bunch of misfit kids in a hotel that is owned by mysterious artist named Twist.  These kids are themselves a cast of characters - not really bad kids, but all for one reason or another, needing a place to call home.  Shay slowly starts to trust them and needs their help more than ever when she ends up with the stolen dog and sees Odin get kidnapped.  They band together to rescue Odin and try to figure out what Singular is really all about.  

I am looking forward to the July release of the second book, Outrage.

Dragons of Autumn Twilight by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman

Dragons of Autumn Twilight by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman is Volume 1 of the DragonLance Chronicles. This is an old series with this book first being published back in 1984.  I read a lot of the series back in the late 80's, but just felt like revisiting some of the first fantasy books that I ever read.

This book starts out with seven unlikely friends reuniting after some years apart.  They are Tanis, (half-elf, half-human), Flint Fireforge (dwarf), Tasslehoff Burrfoot (Kender), Sturm Brightblade (Knight), Caramon and Raistlin Majere (Twins - Raistlin is a mage). Kitiara, Caramon and Raistlin's half-sister was also supposed to join them, but has only sent a strange note explaining her absence.  They are joined on their first night back together by Goldmoon and Riverwind (plainsmen).

The world they live in is called Krynn and there are rumors of war and unrest all over.  They soon discover that they are not even safe in what they feel is their "hometown" and are soon battling just to make it out of the pub in which they have met.  

They set out together on a journey, not really knowing which way will lead them to safety.  They end up in the Dark Woods where a magical Centaur tells them they are to go to the city of Xak Tsaroth to retrieve the Disks of Mishakal. These Disks will help to restore peace and bring back the true gods who abandoned Krynn years ago.  

So as you can see, this is a true fantasy world, filled with myths and mythical creatures - from draconians and centaurs to dwarves and elves.  It was fun to revisit it and learn again about this circle of friends and all of their strengths and weaknesses. It reminded me of a dog and a cat that I had in the 80's and 90's that were named after characters in this series - Tika was our dog - she is a barmaid who joins the travelers, and Fizban was our cat, and he is a wizard.   I have decided to keep reading the series and am about half way through book 2 - The Dragons of Winter. 

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