Thursday, January 08, 2009

Book Review: Princess Academy

I finished Princess Academy, by Shannon Hale, on audio today. I actually started listening to it a while back and then stopped, not because I wasn't enjoying it, but because my schedule changed and I stopped making a long drive that I used to make regularly. Recently, I started exercising, and it was a good excuse to pick up the audio where I left off. I'm glad I did; I really enjoyed it. Rather than writing a long blog review, as I usually do, I wrote a short review on Goodreads, which I'm reproducing here using code automatically generated by Goodreads. (Cheating, I know. Sorry!)

Princess Academy Princess Academy by Shannon Hale

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
I listened to this book on audio and the Full Cast Audio production was very well done and highly listenable, as they always are. This is the second Shannon Hale book that I've read, and I enjoyed it just as much as the first one. (Book of a Thousand Days). The characters are vivid and fascinating, and the mountain culture beautifully described. It certainly made me want to live on Mount Eskel! I was listening to this while exercising, and I was at the climax when I reached my exercise goal for the day - but I kept on exercising because I couldn't bear to stop listening. Thanks, Shannon Hale, for contributing to my fitness!

View all my reviews.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Fantasy and SF Book Reviewers list: updated

Last month, John Ottinger started a SF/F book reviewers linkup meme on his blog Grasping for the Wind as a way to collect a list of fantasy and science fiction review blogs. The meme succeeded wildly, and has resulted in an incredibly useful and interesting resource that has also brought together the SF/F review community. Not only has the list helped me to discover some great blogs to add to my blog reader, but I've also made some new friends that I enjoy chatting with on Twitter and Facebook.

I posted an earlier version of the list last month, but it has grown so much since then that I wanted to post the newer, more complete list. You can find the original meme and the official list on Grasping for the Wind here.

The Crotchety Old Fan has gone even further, taking the time to visit every blog on the list and write a review of each one. You can find this incredibly helpful resource here.

And be sure to check out the great song inspired by the meme: Grasping for the Wind (The Linkup Meme Song), written by John Anealio at SciFi Songs. (SciFi Songs! How exciting is that? It was worth participating in the meme just to discover a blog of original sci-fi related songs!)

And now, here's the complete list of Fantasy and Science Fiction book reviewers. Enjoy! (Many of these are geared more for adults, so read at your own risk).

7 Foot Shelves
The Accidental Bard
A Boy Goes on a Journey
A Dribble Of Ink
A Hoyden's Look at Literature
Adventures in Reading
The Agony Column
Andromeda Spaceways
The Antick Musings of G.B.H. Hornswoggler, Gent.
Ask Daphne
Australia Specfic in Focus
Author 2 Author
Barbara Martin
Bees (and Books) on the Knob
Bibliophile Stalker
The Billion Light-Year Bookshelf
Bitten by Books
The Black Library Blog
Blog, Jvstin Style
Blood of the Muse
The Book Bind
The Book Smugglers
The Book Swede
Breeni Books
Cheaper Ironies [pro columnist]
Cheryl's Musings
Critical Mass
The Crotchety Old Fan
Damien G. Walter
Danger Gal
Dark Wolf Fantasy Reviews
Darque Reviews
Dave Brendon's Fantasy and Sci-Fi Weblog
Dear Author
The Deckled Edge
Dragons, Heroes and Wizards
The Discriminating Fangirl
Dusk Before the Dawn
Enter the Octopus
Eve's Alexandria
Fantastic Reviews
Fantastic Reviews Blog
Fantasy Book Critic
Fantasy Cafe
Fantasy Debut
Fantasy Book Reviews and News
Fantasy and Sci-fi Lovin' Blog
Feminist SF - The Blog!
The Fix
The Foghorn Review
Frances Writes
From a Sci-Fi Standpoint
Fruitless Recursion
The Galaxy Express
The Gamer Rat
Genre Reviews
Graeme's Fantasy Book Review
Grasping for the Wind
The Green Man Review
Highlander's Book Reviews
The Hub Magazine
Hyperpat's Hyper Day
Ink and Keys
Jumpdrives and Cantrips
Lair of the Undead Rat
League of Reluctant Adults
The Lensman's Children
Literary Escapism
Michele Lee's Book Love
The Mistress of Ancient Revelry
MIT Science Fiction Society
Monster Librarian
More Words, Deeper Hole
Mostly Harmless Books
My Favourite Books
Neth Space
The New Book Review
OF Blog of the Fallen
The Old Bat's Belfry
Outside of a Dog
Pat's Fantasy Hotlist
Piaw's Blog
Post-Weird Thoughts
Publisher's Weekly
Reading the Leaves
Realms of Speculative Fiction
Reviewer X
The Road Not Taken
Rob's Blog o' Stuff
Robots and Vamps
Sandstorm Reviews
Sci Fi Wire
Sci-Fi Fan Letter
Sci-Fi Songs [Musical Reviews]
The Sequential Rat
Severian's Fantastic Worlds
SF Diplomat
SF Gospel
SF Revu
SF Signal
SF Site
SFF World's Book Reviews
Silver Reviews
The Specusphere
Smart Bitches, Trashy Books
Speculative Fiction
Speculative Fiction Junkie
Speculative Horizons
Spiral Galaxy Reviews
Spontaneous Derivation
Sporadic Book Reviews
Stella Matutina
The Sudden Curve
The Sword Review
Tangent Online
Tehani Wessely
Temple Library Reviews [also a publisher]
True Science Fiction
Urban Fantasy Land
Vast and Cool and Unsympathetic
Variety SF
Walker of Worlds
Wands and Worlds
The Wertzone
With Intent to Commit Horror
WJ Fantasy Reviews
The World in a Satin Bag
Young Adult Science Fiction

Foreign Language (other than English)

Cititor SF [Romanian, but with English Translation] [French]

Foundation of Krantas [Chinese (traditional)]

The SF Commonwealth Office in Taiwan [Chinese (traditional) with some English essays]

Yenchin's Lair [Chinese (traditional)]

Interstellar [Danish] [Danish]

Scifisiden [Danish]

Aguarras [Brazilian, Portuguese]

Fernando Trevisan [Brazilian, Portuguese]

Human 2.0 [Brazilian, Portuguese]

Life and Times of a Talkative Bookworm [Brazilian, Porteguese]

Ponto De Convergencia [Brazilian, Portuguese]

pós-estranho [Brazilian, Portuguese]

Skavis [Brazilian, Portuguese]

Fantasy Seiten [German, Deustche]

Fantasy Buch [German, Deustche]

Literaturschock [German, Deustche]

Welt der fantasy [German, Deustche]

Bibliotheka Phantastika [German, Deustche]

SF Basar [German, Deustche]

Phantastick News [German, Deustche]

X-zine [German, Deustche]

Buchwum [German, Deustche]

Phantastick Couch [German, Deustche]

Wetterspitze [German, Deustche]

Fantasy News [German, Deustche]

Fantasy Faszination [German, Deustche]

Fantasy Guide [German, Deustche]

Zwergen Reich [German, Deustche]

Fiction Fantasy [German, Deustche]

Ratha's Courage now available in large print!

I'm very excited to announce that Ratha's Courage is now available in large print in five different sizes! Ratha's Courage is the fifth book in Clare Bell's Named series, about a clan of sentient prehistoric cats and their female leader, Ratha. My company, Imaginator Press, recently published Ratha's Courage as an original trade paperback, the first new book in The Named series in fourteen years.

The new large print editions are published through an agreement with ReadHowYouWant, a company pioneering the use of new technologies to create books in accessible formats. Ratha's Courage is available in EasyRead Large (16pt), EasyRead Large Bold (16pt), EasyRead Super Large 18, EasyRead Super Large 20, and EasyRead Super Large 24. You can find out more about the formats, view samples, and order copies from ReadHowYouWant on their web site here.

ReadHowYouWant titles can also be ordered in Braille and Daisy formats. More information on their Braille and Daisy formats can be found here.

Information for libraries here, or email

The Large Print editions can also be purchased from

Easyread Large Edition

Easyread Large Bold Edition

Easyread Super Large 18pt Edition

Easyread Super Large 20pt Edition: Volume 1 of 2

Easyread Super Large 20pt Edition: Volume 2 of 2

Easyread Super Large 24pt Edition: Volume 1 of 2

Easyread Super Large 24pt Edition: Volume 2 of 2

More information about Ratha's Courage on the Imaginator Press website.

Although the first four books in the series are not yet available in large print, Ratha's Courage should stand alone pretty well for readers who haven't read the other books. I had only read the first book, Ratha's Creature, when I read Ratha's Courage for the first time, and I had no problems with it; we've also had good feedback from other people who were able to read it without having read any of the other books.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Cybils 2008 finalists announced!

The finalists in the 2008 Children's and YA Literary Bloggers awards (better known as the Cybils) have been announced! You can see the finalists in all the categories here.

The list for fantasy and science fiction is here.

The lists look great. Surprisingly, there's only 2 books on the fantasy and science fiction list that I've read: A Curse as Dark as Gold and The Hunger Games, but both were excellent books. And there's a couple of books on the list that I'm looking forward to reading.

Congratulations to all the finalists, and to all the nominees. Gratitude and amazement to the hard working panelists!