Tag Archives For: review

26 Apr, 2014

Hammered

/ posted in: Reading

Hammered (The Iron Druid Chronicles, #3)Hammered by Kevin Hearne

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Fantasy – Book 3 of the Iron Druid Chronicles

Atticus, the last living Druid, has made some deals and promises in the past to other magical creatures and now the time has come to pay up. 

Promise number 1 was made to a very powerful witch.  He promised to go to Asgard, the land of the Norse gods, and steal a magical apple.  No problem.  All he has to do is sneak up the World Tree while avoiding a gigantic squirrel, sneak past all the gods, steal an apple, and get back.  What could go wrong?

Promise number 2 was made to his vampire lawyer.  He promised to help him kill Thor.  Oh well, as long as he’s going to Asgard anyway he could call it recon for a second trip to kill Thor.

Atticus knows that as soon as the other gods realize that he is able to move between the planes of existence into their realms that they are going to team up to kill him.  It is probably time for him to finish up his life in Arizona and go back into hiding.  But word as gotten out about what he is planning and despite some friendly advice from both The Morrigan and Jesus (who can’t resist multiplying some fish just to mess with people), he gave his word and he has to go through with it.  They assemble a team of a vampire, a werewolf, a Russian thunder god, a Finnish magician, and a Chinese sage to take on Thor.

This series has a lot of elements that I like.  There is the mythology of multiple pantheons of gods trying to stay out of each other’s way.  There are all kinds of magical creatures.  There is a talking dog – really, what else do you need?  There is action and very cool earth magic.  It is hilarious.

I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the series.  My only complaint is that this are really quick reads so I get through them too quickly.  Like Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden novels, I may have to move to listening to these on audio so I don’t go through them too quickly.

 

 

13 Apr, 2014

My Name is Mary Sutter

/ posted in: Reading

My Name is Mary SutterMy Name is Mary Sutter by Robin Oliveira

My rating: 4 of 5 stars Historical Fiction

Mary Sutter is a midwife in Albany New York who dreams of becoming a surgeon.  Her applications to medical colleges are ridiculed and her attempts to apprentice herself to local doctors are met with scorn.  When nurses are called for at the beginning of the Civil War, she volunteers in order to learn more about medicine. 

At this time Florence Nightingale had just published her account of nursing during the Crimean War.  It was considered extraordinary to have trained females in the hospitals.  Of course, many surgeons considered women who wanted to do this to be prostitutes as women who have wanted to do anything outside the home where so often considered.  Hospitals were unsanitary at best and deadly at worst but no one understood the link between cleanliness and disease.

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This book was an interesting study in what passed for medicine in the 1860s.  I spent most of the book yelling, “Wash your hands!”

When the U.S. Civil War started, Dorothea Dix wanted to set up a nursing corp based on Nightingale’s.  In order to not be accused of being a cover for prostitutes she required that they be between 30 and 50 and plain looking.  Women who didn’t meet her requirements were not allowed in.  Of course, the needs of the war overcame the number of “suitable” volunteers much to Ms. Dix’s consternation.

In this book Mary Sutter is not suitable.  She was too young.  She went and volunteered directly in an overwhelmed make-shift hospital in Washington D.C.  She also went to the front to distribute the meager supplies that the medical staff had.  She learns to do amputations out of necessity because of the huge number of wounded soldiers.  She learns how to judge healing of wounds.  Pus is good because all wounds heal like that.  (“WASH YOUR HANDS!”)

There are some emotional story elements in here too but to me they were very secondary to the medical aspects because I’m like that.  Besides, her family was just hateful so I’m ignoring them.

I’m giving this book four stars because I learned about the history of nursing in the United States which was a topic I didn’t know much about in the course of this historical fiction book.

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