dimanche 27 avril 2014

52 weeks of pics for 2014

until sunday early afternoon I though I knew which picture I will select for this week... and then, while hiking I saw my first dragonfly of the year :-) which was also the first time since I upgraded my camera...
I'm very happy with the result! even if green and green makes it difficult to see! cannot wait for the blue and red ones to show up!

vendredi 25 avril 2014

mandarin duck

I was on a walk... and my husband spotted this very colorful duck...
thanks to google we figured out it is a mandarin duck!

mercredi 23 avril 2014

ride with mum/dad (?)

a great crested grebe with one of his/her young on his/her back...
this one was the most persistent and succeed to get back on while the others were just swimming/playing/spraying around waiting for the other parent to bring fish...

mardi 22 avril 2014

"Republic" by Lindsay Buroker

As you might have seen in my review of the “Emperor’s Edge” series by Lindsay Buroker I am a fan! So when she offered the latest book having some of the characters from this series for a review… I jumped on the opportunity!

As always, I might be a bit harsher by trying to stay impartial... but I really love the series and I certainly enjoyed this book as well.  You can get "Republic" at your favorites ebook store (itunes, amazon to only cite a few)

So, "Republic" is starting a few months after the end “Emperor’s Edge” series and have a lot of the same characters. While the story could be followed independently from the previous serie, I think it is far more enjoyable if you have read all the previous books.

All in all I feel that book is a better ending for the “Emperor’s Edge” series than "Forged in Blood II" was.  While the previous story arc was finished, we could see that some of the characters still had a long (and hard) road in front of them... In Republic, in the middle of all the fighting, and there is a lot of action in that book, we see two (slightly for a third one) of the characters I like the most "grow up". Their evolution, the path they follow is making this a much better end. I like where they end up a lot more than at the end of the previous series. I cannot tell too much about who, but I'm sure people can guess at least one of them! I do not want to spoil the story so no quote... but it is quote worthy (the people that have read "Forged in Blood", know there is a lot going on in that blond head...)

As always with Lindsay Buroker, it is funny! Even though that book was not as funny and light has some of the others (in part because of the growing up some of them need to do), the "enemy" makes for very funny line and comments! here again, no quotes because I do not want to spoil the story... but you will understand if you read!

Another point I like about that book is the addition of new POV characters! It really gives the feel that it is not "the next EE book" but really another story that happened to be same city! (that is not a big spoiler). And, for the people that felt Sespian (yep, he is in the book) was "bookly"... wait and see!  Here I can put a quote! As I was reading the book, I even stopped to share it with my husband (who is now at the 2.5 short story of the same series) “For all the marvels that humanity can grasp, it fails again and again to comprehend the significance of the exponential function.” yep,  this is a quote from Republic! I will not tell you from whom... but be sure it is not Maldynado!

If you read the “Emperor’s Edge” series, this book is a nice way to wrap up a lot of the open questions! and... there is even an opening of more... leaving the possibility of more stories to be told...    wait and see...

dimanche 20 avril 2014

52 weeks of pics for 2014

This week I tried something new... even if I have nice shots of grebe, heron and butterfly I wanted to explore something else...
there was a long time I had done a flower... flower are hard to shot and still 'explore'... but I was passing this flower not fully open and already shining... it  just struck me...

dimanche 13 avril 2014

52 weeks of pics for 2014

sometimes it is hard to choose which picture  I will select for the picture of the week... and sometimes it is easy... this week it was easy... I was lucky enough to spot a great crested grebe... I love those birds! they are so colorful!!

vendredi 11 avril 2014

mercredi 9 avril 2014

heart of a flower

Spring is a great time for flower macro! I cannot wait to have my macro lens to go even closer and capture more details!

dimanche 6 avril 2014

52 weeks of pics for 2014

another week and this time a lucky shot of a butterfly... not the one I was planning to take while I followed that butterfly around, not the one I was thinking of posting for the week... but I kept coming back to it...
so here he is...

samedi 5 avril 2014

"balanced on the blade’s edge" from Lindsay Buroker

I received a free copy of "balanced on the blade’s edge" from Lindsay Buroker in exchange for a fair review. It is not the first time I have had access to free copy of a book against a review and I do my best to give a fair opinion… Nevertheless, it is hard to be "fair"… and because I want to be impartial and I want my opinion to be above consideration of "being bought" by the free copy, so I tend to be stricter and more critical in that case! You have been warned!

Here is the blurb you can get for the book
"Colonel Ridge Zirkander isn’t the model of military professionalism—he has a tendency to say exactly what’s on his mind, and his record has enough demerits to wallpaper the hull of an airship—but as the best fighter pilot in the Iskandian army, he’s used to a little leniency from his superiors. Until he punches the wrong diplomat in the nose and finds himself issued new orders: take command of a remote prison mine in the inhospitable Ice Blades Mountains. Ridge has never been in charge of anything larger than a flier squadron—what’s he supposed to do with a frozen fortress full of murderers and rapists? Not to mention the strange woman who shows up right before he arrives…
Sardelle Terushan wakes from three hundred years in a mage stasis shelter, only to realize that she is the last of the Referatu, the sorcerers who once helped protect Iskandia from conquerors. Their subterranean mountain community was blown up in a treacherous sneak attack by soldiers who feared their power. Everyone Sardelle ever knew is dead, and the sentient soulblade she has been bonded to since her youth is buried in the core of the mountain. Further, what remains of her home has been infested by bloodthirsty miners commanded by the descendants of the very soldiers who destroyed her people.

Sardelle needs help to reach her soulblade—her only link to her past and her last friend in the world. Her only hope is to pretend she’s one of the prisoners while trying to gain the commander’s trust. But lying isn’t her specialty, especially when the world has changed so much in the intervening centuries, and if Colonel Zirkander figures out who she truly is, he’ll be duty-bound to sentence her to the only acceptable punishment for sorcerers: death."

This is actually a hard book to write a review about as I did not feel a strong connection to the characters. It does not have the same feel as the “Emperor’s Edge” which showed a very developed world. But I read it in one go! Ok it is short enough (epub of 182 pages on my ipad) that it does not represent a wild feat, still, it says something! It is a compelling story, fast paced and happening over a very short period of time, all of this making you want to know what is going to happen next. And there is Sardelle’s life on the line… oh wait, this is a romance and she is the heroine… I’m sure Ridge will find a way out of that!

What makes it a book I wanted to finish fast (at the same time I would not have pulled an all-nighter for that one) is also my main problem with it… I felt this book could (should?) have been longer! It feels rushed, the biggest part of the book happens in a few days… kind of short to fall in love to the level of betrayal… There were a lot of issues that were resolved too easily in my view… Also, three hundred years in mage stasis and she can just function in this new world fast… ok, she is helped… but I feel like it should have been more difficult, that it could have led to funny misunderstandings, ok more of those… 

About the story in itself, it is more steampunk (love it), more romance (a bit less my cup of tea) than "Emperor’s Edge" and... there is a talking sword!!! when I talked about this book to my husband I told him the heroine had been in mage stasis for a long time and aimed to recover her sentient sword… his first question was “does it talk?" and when I said yes he declared he would read the book! He has not yet so I will have to wait to add his review on the book (but it might be too romancy for him). 

As in “Emperor’s Edge” there are a lot of fun little quirks and facts… I will let you discover the “teenage soul sword” and her commenting on just about everything going on, or about Ridge’s dragon and also Sardelle’s reaction about what the miners are looking for! It is written lightly, even if lives are on the line. Indeed, who can feel heroic when what one has to do is go after an owl… a big magic owl… but an owl nevertheless… This is the kind of humor that I liked, and expected from the author’s other books and I was not disappointed! 

So, though the book has a feel of “short and rushed”, it is a fun and fast read! Great for a plane trip or a rainy day at home with tea and cookies! If the author continues in that world I will pick up the book; after that story there is so much more to discover!

water droplet

I love macro photography and droplets are an amazing, never-ending (yep, it rains a lot!), source of macro!

vendredi 4 avril 2014

mardi 1 avril 2014

butterfly

Spring is here and so are the insect! I do enjoy snapping butterflies! it takes patience as they rarely land long enough... but it is a fun side-project while on walks... and anybody can spot them!