Reading roundup 27/07/22

Hello fellow readers! I have three books to tell you about this week. Two were great, but one was a real miss, as you will find out later.

Dogs of War by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Those of you who follow these posts may remember that I have really enjoyed Adrian Tchaikovsky’s books in the past. So, when I saw this one: Dogs of War (#01 Dogs of War), I was intrigued. I don’t usually like books about pets or animals in general, but this one confounded my expectations.

Here is the blurb:

“My name is Rex. I am a good dog.

Rex is also seven foot tall at the shoulder, bulletproof, bristling with heavy calibre weaponry and his voice resonates with subsonics especially designed to instil fear. With Dragon, Honey and Bees, he’s part of a Multiform Assault Pack operating in the lawless anarchy of Campeche, south-eastern Mexico.

Rex is a genetically engineered Bioform, a deadly weapon in a dirty war. He has the intelligence to carry out his orders and feedback implants to reward him when he does. All he wants to be is a Good Dog. And to do that he must do exactly what Master says and Master says he’s got to kill a lot of enemies.

But who, exactly, are the enemies? What happens when Master is tried as a war criminal? What rights does the Geneva Convention grant weapons? Do Rex and his fellow Bioforms even have a right to exist? And what happens when Rex slips his leash?”

I rated this book with the full five stars on Goodreads and also added to my “favourites”. This was my review:

Dogs of War (Dogs of War, #1)Dogs of War by Adrian Tchaikovsky
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow! What an incredible book!

First of all, I must say that I have very little knowledge of dog behaviour. Does that matter? I loved the melding of dog brain (as I imagine it to be), robot brain and human brain. The switching from obedient soldier to blood-thirsty monster to cringing “Bad Dog”. The other “characters” in the team were also interesting and their development in understanding and intelligence was masterfully written.

The author’s inventiveness that I have experienced in his other books reaches an amazing level in this one. There are also thoughtful and philosophical passages that make the reader think about the consequences of technological development in the future.

This book goes down as a Favourite!

View all my reviews

There is another book in the Dogs of War series and I intend to read it soon!

Now I will turn to the second successful read of the week…

The Grief of Stones by Katherine Addison

The Grief of Stones by Katherine Addison is the second book in her series: The Cemeteries of Amalo. I loved the first two of her books set in this fantasy world and this is the third. Here is the blurb:

“In The Grief of Stones, Katherine Addison returns to the world of The Goblin Emperor with a direct sequel to The Witness For The Dead

Celehar’s life as the Witness for the Dead of Amalo grows less isolated as his circle of friends grows larger. He has been given an apprentice to teach, and he has stumbled over a scandal of the city—the foundling girls. Orphans with no family to claim them and no funds to buy an apprenticeship. Foundling boys go to the Prelacies; foundling girls are sold into service, or worse.

At once touching and shattering, Celehar’s witnessing for one of these girls will lead him into the depths of his own losses. The love of his friends will lead him out again.”

And this is the review:

The Grief of Stones  (The Cemeteries of Amalo, #2)The Grief of Stones by Katherine Addison
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this sequel to Witness for the Dead. The melding of fantasy and detective/mystery is very well done indeed. In fact, I think that this book was even better than the one before. The main character is very well drawn and I enjoyed the tea-drinking and opera-visiting parts of his life alongside the more deadly aspects. The world building is superbly done, apart from my difficulties with names of all kinds!

View all my reviews

Finally, I will turn to the “odd one out”…

The Beijing Conspiracy by Shamini Flint

I chose The Beijing Conspiracy by Shamini Flint from our Library’s ebook catalogue completely at random. Let’s begin with the blurb:

“One man is caught up in a lethal global conspiracy in this explosive spy thriller.

“I need your support. There is no one else I can trust. Please help her. Please help our daughter.”

When ex-Marine Jack Ford receives a letter containing news of a daughter he never knew he had, he feels compelled to return to China, a country he hasn’t visited since 1989 when, as a young American spy, he fell in love with a beautiful student activist and found himself caught up in the horrors of the Tiananmen Square massacre. But why has Xia got in touch now, after a thirty-year silence?

On arrival in Beijing, Jack finds himself accidentally in possession of an explosive piece of information both the Chinese and American governments are desperate to get their hands on. Alone in a strange city, suspected of being a traitor by his own side, not knowing whom to trust, Jack is faced with an impossible dilemma: should he save his new-found daughter or prevent a new world war from breaking out?”

And here is my one star rating on Goodreads:

The Beijing ConspiracyThe Beijing Conspiracy by Shamini Flint
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Gave up on this about a third of the way though. The plot was better than the clunky writing style, but I couldn’t finish it!

View all my reviews

Oh dear! As I have written on here many times before, please look up other reviews of this book, read it if it interests you, and make up your own mind about it. The book wasn’t for me, but plenty of other people have liked it.

OK, that’s all for this week. I will now return to my current book, which I will write about next week, all being well.

Happy Reading to you all!

Love and best wishes,



About The Librain

Retired School Librarian
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1 Response to Reading roundup 27/07/22

  1. Pingback: Reading roundup 09/11/22 | The Librain……retired

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