I believe that the more you know a reviewer, the more valuable the review. So a little bit about me as a reader.

Once I get into a series I tend to stay with it until I’ve read all the works available. I review here by series rather than individual books if it’s a series. For each book I include the book blurb, because it’s easier than writing my own synopsis — and I hated having to write book reports when I was a kid — followed by my take on the book or series. I don’t give star ratings here because I think ratings are worthless without the why. I also tend not to be a critical reader. Most books to me are 4 or 5 stars.

  • 5 star: Loved it! Bring on the next one!
  • 4 star: Pretty good. I’ll look for more by this author.
  • 3 star: Okay. I’ll finish it but I’m unlikely to read more by that author.
  • 2 star: Ick. After I find out what happened I’m out of here and won’t be back.
  • 1 star: I’m outta here. (Probably a do not finish.)

I’ve always read voraciously. When I was a kid my mom would constantly tell me to get my nose out of a book and go outside and play. I think I read every Trixie Belden and Nancy Drew mystery at least once. I read The Exorcist when I was twelve. I read Hamlet that year too. I took all the English classes available in high school and while I got my BA in Advertising (so I might be somewhat marketable) I got my MA in English.

While getting my master’s degree I realized many of the books I was assigned were written by men. White men. (Though I was fortunate enough to take some classes with women professors where there was a broader range.) So for a few years I made a conscious effort to only read books written by women to balance that. I still mostly read books written by women.

bright green over-water bungalow with person reading on deck
One thing I like about vacation — besides visiting different places — is that I usually get to spend more time reading. Like here in Belize on the deck of our over-water bungalow on Tobacco Caye. (The only over-water bungalow I’m likely to afford!)

For many years I read mostly mysteries, with the odd bit of fantasy or sci-fi. Lately I’m drawn mostly to fantasy and science fiction. I don’t try to separate the two because it’s just too hard. Sometimes there’s a mystery involved too, and I don’t want to waste my time deciding which label to apply. My mental SFF subcategories are more like:

  • Past: Technology less advanced than current day, which also covers most historical fiction (prior to 1900) and sword & sorcery kinds of things, like The Lord of the Rings and Outlander.
  • Present: Modern day or thereabouts, including near-future and post-apocalyptic, also mysteries and most “other.” I would put Harry Potter and The Last Policeman here, for example.
  • Future: Technology more advanced than current day, so most science fiction. Star Wars, The Expanse.

I bounce around between the above subcategories and like delving into stories from other cultural and personal viewpoints. I can’t be anything but a cis, white, heterosexual, English-speaking female of a certain age from the USA, but maybe I can imagine for a while.