Books shelved under “Ebook”

293 reviews found

  1. Book cover for King Leopold's Ghost

    King Leopold's Ghost

    by Adam Hochschild

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    As someone who is interested in the history of colonialism, I was very intrigued when I learned of this book about the Belgian exploitation of Congo—or should I say, King Leopold's exploitation? For indeed, it’s one thing to read about British or French colonization elsewhere, or to hear the famous phrase “Scramble for Africa,” and another entirely to be reminded that the creation, colonization, and exploitation of Congo and the peoples therein was initially…

  2. Book cover for Can't Even

    Can't Even: How Millennials Became the Burnout Generation

    by Anne Helen Petersen

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Last year, I read the BuzzFeed article that inspired this book, and Rebecca and I discussed this topic in an episode of our podcast. I didn’t learn that Anne Helen Petersen had turned her article into a book until just around the publication day. Fortunately, I was still able to receive a review copy through NetGalley! I was very excited to dig into this book. Although in some ways this book could never…

  3. Book cover for The Future Falls

    The Future Falls

    by Tanya Huff

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Time travel. Like Captain Janeway, I hate it. I mean, I love stories about it (hello, I watch Doctor Who every Sunday with one of my besties). But the kinds of paradoxes in The Future Falls are not exactly my cup of tea. If you can look past that, this is another fun fantasy novel that benefits from being mostly set in Calgary, and you don’t see enough of those! If you liked the first…

  4. Book cover for x + y

    x + y: A Mathematician's Manifesto for Rethinking Gender

    by Eugenia Cheng

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    At first I admit to some scepticism about the idea that we could use mathematics to rethink our conversations around gender. I was apprehensive because science, and even to some extent mathematics (or at least more applied subsets of its, like statistics) have been misused and abused in service of gender stereotype fallacies. Indeed, Eugenia Cheng points this out herself, and this, along with her careful and patient exposition of her topic, eventually won me…

  5. Book cover for The House of Styx

    The House of Styx

    by Derek Künsken

    5 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Let me tell you how I thought this review would go. As I began reading The House of Styx (which I received free via NetGalley and publisher Solaris), I thought that I would enjoy this book, for sure. Derek Künsken had, after all, reignited the faint embers of my love for posthumanism with The Quantum Magician and then fanned those flames with a dose of time travel in The Quantum Garden. However, I also…

  6. Book cover for Espionage in the Divided Stuart Dynasty

    Espionage in the Divided Stuart Dynasty: 1685-1715

    by Julian Whitehead

    Unrated

    Reviewed

    I can’t do it. Why do I have such bad luck with non-fiction British history on NetGalley? First The Tragic Daughters of Charles I and now Espionage in the Divided Stuart Dynasty. Thanks to NetGalley and publisher Pen and Sword History for the eARC, but unfortunately, I did not finish this book.

    Here’s what I was anticipating based on the description of the book: I was hoping that Julian Whitehead would explain,…

  7. Book cover for How to Argue With a Racist

    How to Argue With a Racist: What Our Genes Do (and Don't) Say About Human Difference

    by Adam Rutherford

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    As a few other people on Goodreads have remarked, the subtitle of this book is more accurate than the title. How to Argue With a Racist: What Our Genes Do (and Don't) Say About Human Difference definitely discusses genetics as it relates to race. It is less useful if you’re looking for rhetorical tips on arguing with or debating racists or white supremacists. Adam Rutherford clearly and coherently lays out why such people are wrong…

  8. Book cover for Unacceptable

    Unacceptable: Privilege, Deceit & the Making of the College Admissions Scandal

    by Melissa Korn and Jennifer Levitz

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    To an outsider (Canadian) like me, the United States college admissions system is bizarre. First there’s the byzantine distinctions between community colleges, state schools, private colleges … as opposed to Canada, where university and college have distinct meanings. It’s not just the vise-grip of the standardized testing agencies on students’ futures … it’s the whole ranking system, the prestige, and the intense competition among post-secondary schools for money and athletes. As an educator, I look…

  9. Book cover for Sisters in Hate

    Sisters in Hate: American Women on the Front Lines of White Nationalism

    by Seyward Darby

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    My colleagues and friends keep coming to me for recommendations for anti-racist reading, and I, of course, want to keep educating myself. So I was chuffed when Little, Brown offered me a review copy of Sisters in Hate: American Women on the Front Lines of White Nationalism. Now, I’m trying to mostly read anti-racism books written by people of colour—white people writing such books is fairly problematic, but Seyward Darby has seized on the…

  10. Book cover for This Is How You Lose the Time War

    This Is How You Lose the Time War

    by Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Like so many time-travel stories, This Is How You Lose the Time War is frustratingly, endearingly, eerily beautiful. It takes a special kind of talent to write time travel well—you need not only that non-linear perspective that many writers find necessary even for linear plots, but you also require a certain level of sheer, Lewis Carroll-like madness to conceive of a multiverse so vastly alternative to our tiny slice, or strand. Amal El-Mohtar and Max…

  11. Book cover for Into Thin Air

    Into Thin Air

    by Jon Krakauer

    5 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    My best friend Amanda recommended this to me a few years back, but if you don’t put a book in my hands when you recommend it, then good luck! Fortunately I was reminded of this book while looking for excerpts of travel writing to show to my Grade 11/12 English class last week. I was in the mood for some “adventure non-fiction” as one might call Into Thin Air. The library had an ebook…

  12. Book cover for Blades of the Old Empire

    Blades of the Old Empire

    by Anna Kashina

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    I’m slowly working my way through my Angry Robot/Strange Chemistry backlog from back when I had a subscription to every book they published. Anna Kashina’s name was familiar: turns out I read a similarly named Shadowblade that also features cool sexy sword-wielding ladies. I’m not saying these books are clones, but yeah … Kashina has a theme here.

    In Blades of the Old Empire, an ancient enemy has returned and has an outsized interest…

  13. Book cover for Black Sheep

    Black Sheep

    by Rachel Aukes

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    I had finally caught up on my NetGalley reading, so I went on the hunt for more books to request, and Aethon Books was kind enough to grant my request for Black Sheep: A Space Opera Adventure. The description sounded very promising, and for the most part I would say that Rachel Aukes delivers on that promise. The protagonist is also disabled! Content note: the book contains ableist language, which I will discuss shortly…

  14. Book cover for Stolen Songbird

    Stolen Songbird

    by Danielle L. Jensen

    2 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    This is one of those books where you kind of like it but also kind of don’t like it, and you're low-key impressed you don’t actively hate it? Yeah, I think that's what this is. Stolen Songbird is a hot mess of paradox: the plot is straightforward but also convoluted; the romance is broken but also kind of believable; the main character is annoying but also grew on me. I liked it enough that I…

  15. Book cover for The Math(s) Fix

    The Math(s) Fix: An Education Blueprint for the AI Age

    by Conrad Wolfram

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    The Math(s) Fix wants you to believe that computers are coming for your math.

    Scary, isn’t it? You should find it scary. Computers are way better at calculating than we are, yet we insist that “real math” means learning how to do long division by hand!

    Wolfram Media kindly provided me an eARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for this review. I was definitely very interested in this.

    Some positionality, because even though…

  16. Book cover for Non-Binary Lives

    Non-Binary Lives: An Anthology of Intersecting Identities

    by Jos Twist

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    You’d think the pandemic would mean I have more time to read rather than less, right? But for some reason my reading speed has decreased rather than increased. I’m making more of a comeback, but it still took me a long time to read and review Non-Binary Lives: An Anthology of Intersecting Identities. That shouldn’t reflect on the quality of this book. Similarly, I’m going to explain later that I’m kind of over these…

  17. Book cover for The Warrior's Tale

    The Warrior's Tale

    by Allan Cole and Chris Burch

    2 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    And so, dear reader of reviews, my journey into revisiting cheesy ’90s epic fantasy that I may or may not have read as a kid continues. Last year I dipped into The Far Kingdoms to keep myself company with a broken elbow. This year, with a pandemic stalking close, I decided it was time to return to that universe with The Warrior’s Tale. Allan Cole and Chris Burch place Rali Antero in the narrator…

  18. Book cover for Love Lives Here

    Love Lives Here: A Story of Thriving in a Transgender Family

    by Amanda Jetté Knox

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    If I had read this book last year shortly after it came out, I would be writing this review from the position of a cisgender man and, like Amanda Jetté Knox, hopefully a trans ally trying to educate himself. Instead, I recently came out as transgender, not too long after having the epiphany that I am a trans woman (I’m still trying to work out the precise language I want to use to describe that…

  19. Book cover for Baker Thief

    Baker Thief

    by Claudie Arseneault

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    What's better than a magical mystery? A magical mystery featuring baked goods, you say? Sign me up! Baker Thief is a conventions-busting, inclusive, fun alternate world urban fantasy novel with mysteries and thrills and no small amount of underdogs taking on the corrupt underbelly of corporations.

    It is, in short, a good read.

    Adèle is a detective recently relocated and transferred to a new unit. Shortly after moving in, a masked, purple-haired thief named Claire…

  20. Book cover for The Weaver

    The Weaver

    by Hannah Kindt

    1 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    I originally received an eARC from NetGalley, but for reasons that escape me (probably my own incompetence) I forgot to download it. Out of a desire for completionism, I bought a copy of The Weaver so I could read and review it. Although the basic premise is sound and interesting, Heather Kindt’s writing style didn’t work for me. This attempt at a combination of thriller, romance, and fantasy lacks what I enjoy about those three…

  21. Book cover for The Marrow Thieves

    The Marrow Thieves

    by Cherie Dimaline

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    My enjoyment of post-apocalyptic, dystopian fiction is waning heavily these days. In particular, I’ve never been a fan of The Road–style stories of survival of small groups. So The Marrow Thieves was fighting an uphill battle, yet Cherie Dimaline manages to make me appreciate the intensity of the experience.

    Frenchie is a 15-year-old Indigenous (Anishnaabe, I think?) boy who, after losing his immediate family, falls in with another group of Indigenous survivors on the…

  22. Book cover for Foul is Fair

    Foul is Fair

    by Hannah Capin

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    I haven’t been doing a great job keeping up on writing book reviews for a few weeks, so this one is very overdue! But I received an eARC of Foul is Fair by Hannah Capin from Wednesday Books and NetGalley. Why am I not surprised that the publishers of Courtney Summers have given us another kickass girl-centred revenge plot? This time it’s loosely based on Macbeth, but even if you aren’t aware of or…

  23. Book cover for To My Trans Sisters

    To My Trans Sisters

    by Charlie Craggs

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    So I guess this is my coming out review? I actually have a blog post for that, but of course, some of my transition experiences thus far will be interspersed throughout this review.

    Hello, world. I’m Kara now. (That’s pronounced Car-uh.) I’m a trans woman. My pronouns are she/her.

    To My Trans Sisters seemed like a perfect book to read and then review on the day I came out online. It’s a collection…

  24. Book cover for The Sound of Stars

    The Sound of Stars

    by Alechia Dow

    2 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Yet again I feel like I steered myself wrong on NetGalley!! The Sound of Stars, courteously provided to me by Inkyard Press, didn’t win me over. What should have been a tale of survival and starcrossed love set in the aftermath of an alien invasion of Earth proved to be a somewhat boring adventure across open country full of exposition and underwhelming action. It’s not all bad—Alechia Dow does her best to give us…

  25. Book cover for The Light Years

    The Light Years

    by R.W.W. Greene

    2 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Relativity can be awful sometimes. You get in your spaceship, leave a planet, and you come back a few months later only to find that years have passed and your family is old or dead and all your plants died because YOU COULDN'T WATER THEM LIKE I ASKED, KEVIN?

    Anyway, most science fiction stories use a trope, like faster-than-light travel, to avoid dealing with relativity. Not so R.W.W. Greene. In The Light Years, the…

  26. Book cover for Permafrost

    Permafrost

    by Alastair Reynolds

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Every single review panning this story for not making sense is entirely deserved. Time travel stories are difficult to write and, even when written well, difficult to parse and read. If it’s not your thing, that’s fine.

    But Permafrost is so very much my thing.

    In structure, it reminds me of Palimpsest, by Charles Stross. Both are novellas with a single protagonist recently initiated in time travel. Both are fairly convoluted in terms of…

  27. Book cover for The Quantum Garden

    The Quantum Garden

    by Derek Künsken

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Time travel stories are tricky. The best ones give me a headache but not too much of a headache. I guess it’s the literary equivalent of the adrenaline rush one gets from momentarily being upside down on a roller coaster (which is definitely not for me): I want my brain to hurt as I contemplate 4-, 11-, or 22-dimensional spacetime … but I don’t want to get so confused that I feel the author could…

  28. Book cover for Waterdown

    Waterdown

    by Anastasia Slabucho

    2 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Why does AI always end up being the bad guy? Because we love to explore evil in the form of the Other. Also, it usually turns out that the bad guy was us, the creators of the AI, all along! Anastasia Slabucho’s Waterdown retreads these ideas but within the context of the climate change crisis we currently face. She posits that someone might have the right combination of drive, ingenuity, and wherewithal to create an…

  29. Book cover for The Throne of the Five Winds

    The Throne of the Five Winds

    by S.C. Emmett

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    It isn’t often that a book wins me over like The Throne of the Five Winds did! I usually know my general sentiment towards a book within the first fifty pages or so. My mood will change for better or worse as the story unfolds, and a 2-star book might make it to 3 or vice versa, and once in a while, a 4- or 5-star book plummets to 1 star because of an unforgivable…

  30. Book cover for Apocalypse How?

    Apocalypse How?

    by Galen Surlak-Ramsey

    1 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    I received this book from Tiny Fox Press and NetGalley in exchange for a review.

    Apocalypse How? is a messy trainwreck, and if that’s your style, you’ll probably enjoy it. For the rest of us … let’s just say that I kind of knew how I felt about this book less than 50 pages in, and maybe I should have stopped there. This is basically “Indiana Jones in space” but make Indiana a young woman…

  31. Book cover for The Justice Project

    The Justice Project

    by Michael Betcherman

    2 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Sometimes the best I can summon up for a book is “competent.” That’s where I’m at with The Justice Project by Michael Betcherman. This young adult/new adult book is an interesting mix of thriller/mystery, but the tone and pacing and characterization leaves me a little confused about who the audience is and which themes Betcherman wants to emphasize.

    Matt is finishing up high school, but his dreams of playing college football are over. Instead of…

  32. Book cover for Slay

    Slay

    by Brittney Morris

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    SLAY in the story is a MMORPG where players duel using in-game cards that derive their names and powers from elements of various Black cultures. Kiera Johnson is 17 years old and should be worrying more about whether or not she’s getting into her first choice college. But she’s also the secret creator and developer for SLAY. She wanted a gaming world that embraced players’ Blackness rather than punishing it. She wanted a space where…

  33. Book cover for Jumper

    Jumper

    by Steven Gould

    2 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    I’ve had Jumper on my computer for a while now and never got around to reading it, not sure why. Sometimes with books like that, I feel extra trepidation going into it. Why haven’t I read it yet? Is it because I can sense it’s bad? What if I don’t like this book?? I’m on vacation; I want my reading to be good!! Fortunately, although by no means a home run—by dint of Gould’s somewhat…

  34. Book cover for Labyrinth

    Labyrinth

    by Lois McMaster Bujold

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Labyrinth is a short Miles Vorkosigan adventure that starts as a simple covert pick-up and ends with a new recruit for Miles’ Dendarii mercenaries, not to mention some romance for one of the side characters. There’s a lot to like about this novella: it’s paced quite well for its length, and although very science-fictional, it’s definitely more special-ops thriller than anything else.

    Labyrinth shows why Miles is the hero of this series. He’s capable of…

  35. Book cover for The Dark Net

    The Dark Net

    by Benjamin Percy

    2 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    This book is a hot mess. I don’t even really know where to start with it.

    The Dark Net is a horror novel with the basic premise what if demons took over our computers? It’s a mediocre take on the idea that our dependence on networked devices, our proclivity for screen-time, leaves us vulnerable—in this case, to possession, psychic hacking I guess. They do say that the eyes are the windows into the soul, right?

  36. Book cover for Siddhartha

    Siddhartha

    by Hermann Hesse

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Sometimes novels are really philosophy tracts in disguise. If you’re Neal Stephenson, this usually turns into an unwieldy doorstopper that uses its tremendous bullk to beat the reader into submission. If you’re Herman Hesse, you write a kind of novella that is also pretty dense yet somehow manages to be simple and light at the same time. Siddhartha is one of those delightful early twentieth-century novels that by modern standards do not work at all…

  37. Book cover for Aftershocks

    Aftershocks

    by Marko Kloos

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    As much as I think the finale of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine might be one of the best TV finales ever, I do wish we had seen (canonically, on screen) what the aftermath of the Dominion War brought. It’s one thing to tell a war story—and DS9 told it well—and another to talk about after the war. About picking up the pieces, rebuilding, and healing wounds of all varieties. Aftershocks is exactly that kind…

  38. Book cover for Shatter the Sky

    Shatter the Sky

    by Rebecca Kim Wells

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Thanks to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for the eARC!

    Maren is seventeen years old and ready to strike out on her own. Well, not exactly on her own. She has a girlfriend, aka a heartmate, Kaia, who is the more adventurous of the pair. They are head-over-heels in love for one another—but when an elite group of Aurati, women who do dirty work for the repressive Emperor, show up and abduct Kaia for purposes…

  39. Book cover for The Far Kingdoms

    The Far Kingdoms

    by Allan Cole

    2 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    This review will be shorter than usual because I broke my elbow and have one hand in a cast.

    I read this because I remember reading a later book in the series, The Warrior Returns, featuring Amalric's sister, Rali, as the narrator. I don't think I ever read The Far Kingdoms itself, so I decided to go back and give it a try. I don't regret this, but it didn't do much for me…

  40. Book cover for Walking to Aldebaran

    Walking to Aldebaran

    by Adrian Tchaikovsky

    2 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    (A much shorter review than usual, since I have broken my left elbow and am typing with one hand in a cast.)

    Not a particularly original story or even mash-up of tropes. Walking to Aldebaran piggy-backs on that time-honoured sub-genre of Big Dumb Object stories. Lots of cool ideas and set pieces from Adrian Tchaikovsky, but very little that is surprising or truly interesting above and beyond the skill of the writing style itself. Thanks…

  41. Book cover for Shadowblade

    Shadowblade

    by Anna Kashina

    2 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    So you want to stage a soft-coup and manipulate the succession, but you have one problem: you need some kind of plausible heir. Fortunately for you, about 17 years ago you encountered a baby at the same time there was a royal massacre, and well, you know, one thing led to another, and you ended up stashing her with some super skilled warrior so she would grow up all big and strong. Also, you read…

  42. Book cover for The Impeachers

    The Impeachers: The Trial of Andrew Johnson and the Dream of a Just Nation

    by Brenda Wineapple

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    I grew up in the ’90s, and I vaguely remember on TV when I was a kid some kind of scandal involving this guy named Bill Clinton, whom I knew as the President of the United States. The word impeachment kept getting thrown around, but of course I didn’t really know what that meant. Fast-forward 20 years, and the word has resurfaced as a possible fate for the current President, Donald Trump—and this time, I…

  43. Book cover for Wayfinding

    Wayfinding: The Science and Mystery of How Humans Navigate the World

    by M.R. O'Connor

    5 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    This may not be the best book I read all year, but it is the best non-fiction book I’ve read so far in 2019, and any future non-fiction book this year is going to have to work hard to unseat this one. Wayfinding: The Science and Mystery of How Humans Navigate the World snuck up on me. When I received my eARC from NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press, I was anticipating a mildly interesting book…

  44. Book cover for Myths and Mortals

    Myths and Mortals

    by Charlie N. Holmberg

    2 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    As with the first book, Smoke & Summons, I received a free eARC from NetGalley and publisher 47North. Like the first book, Myths & Mortals feels like original and competent urban fantasy. Charlie N. Holmberg adds more layers to the saga of Sandis Gwenwig, such as it is. However, this book does little to assuage my grumping from the first book. Another cliffhanger ending, and not all that much development of Sandis’ character either.

  45. Book cover for The Tragic Daughters of Charles I

    The Tragic Daughters of Charles I: Mary, Elizabeth & Henrietta Anne

    by Sarah-Beth Watkins

    Unrated

    Reviewed

    Reader, I finished the first chapter but could not go any further. The writing (or maybe copyediting) of this book is atrocious.

    I know that in this day and age commas are misunderstood beasts of punctuation. As someone very invested in eradicating comma splices from my students’ writing, I tend to lean on the side of using fewer commas when in doubt. Yet this book takes that position to the extreme. The result are torturous…

  46. Book cover for Cracked

    Cracked

    by Eliza Crewe

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    The light versus the darkness. Heaven versus Hell. Good vs evil. It’s a timeless story, yet one with so many variations. Cracked is yet another take on this idea. Eliza Crewe tells an intense and urgent story of a hybrid caught between two worlds. Perhaps the most intriguing idea that Crewe brings to the table is the way the main character has to consume souls. Beyond that, there isn’t much here that I haven’t really…

  47. Book cover for Off Planet

    Off Planet

    by Aileen Erin

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Kind of space-opera, kind of not? Off Planet intrigues me because it’s kind of about interstellar war, or at least the tricksy politics that can lead to an interstellar war, yet its main characters aren’t (with a few exceptions) soldiers or politicians. The protagonist is literally just trying to live her life, mind her own business, but others can’t have that. Aileen Erin crafts some fairly interesting and intense situations and brings a fair amount…

  48. Book cover for Smoke & Summons

    Smoke & Summons

    by Charlie N. Holmberg

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    I enjoy reading stories about demonic possession—particularly stuff that departs from the more conventional ones set in our world—and Smoke & Summons approaches possession from a different angle indeed. Charlie Holmberg’s story is about someone who has been victimized and enslaved trying to escape her captor even as she discovers she might be part of a much bigger plot. Set against the backdrop of a somewhat authoritarian and isolationist state, there’s more going on in…

  49. Book cover for Wired

    Wired

    by Caytlyn Brooke

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    People love to joke about being addicted to their devices. Yet addiction and dependency, as serious medical issues, have specific definitions. There’s a lot of debate right now about whether one actually develops addictions to the Internet, or to the use of one’s phone—and if so, what do we do about it in a society that not only rewards but often requires the use of these tools? Wired establishes an addiction to such communications and…

  50. Book cover for Fierce Fragile Hearts

    Fierce Fragile Hearts

    by Sara Barnard

    5 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Last year, Sara Barnard dazzled me with Beautiful Broken Things. Now, thanks to NetGalley and Pan MacMillan, I got my digital hands on an eARC for the sequel: Fierce Fragile Hearts is narrated by Suzanne and tells the story of what happens to her months after the conclusion of Beautiful Broken Things. This book is just as good, if not better than, the first one. Every time I didn’t think it could get…