Stenibelle - Ren Garcia



I have no idea what's going on. All I know is that I'm on some Steampunk SciFi-Fantasy Space Opera romp into the unknown. Strap in. It's going to be a bumpy ride!



THE 3rd TURN OF THE SHADOW TECH GODDESS The quest of Paymaster Stenstrom spans the planes, taking a bizarre turn in the 3rd universe, as there he is not an affluent man but a woman in desperate circumstances. Lady Stenibelle is imprisoned for her role in the Seeker Affair, is penniless, and her House of Belmont-South Tyrol is on the verge of extinction. Her spirit broken, Stenibelle is resigned to perform her sentence without fuss, do as she is told, and fade away in obscurity. However, fate is not yet finished with her. Stenibelle is in the gaze of hidden benefactors with ulterior motives. People claiming to be her dear friends come forward, yet she does not know them. The Quests of the Shadow tech Goddess proceed, and she must discover the hero that lies within or face total oblivion. The disgraced 30th daughter of the House of Belmont will either be the final stake driven into its dying heart, or the ray of light that comes to save it and all else that follows.

***Preface***
This review is apart of Lady Reader's Book Stuff blog tours and I'm super stoked to participate again! A copy of this book was provided to me for the blog tour so I say thank ye Amy, Ren Garcia and the publisher. As is with all my reviews, this is an honest one. My opinion alone...and really? Who pays attention to what I have to say in the first place? Oh! And there may or may not be a few spoilers here and there, but I'll try to keep it away from the plot twists and turns. Now...on to the review!!

Let me say this up front and get it out of the way. While reading this I was completely lost. Like, even with my map app on my iPhone going and Magic Voice patiently telling to take the 3rd left, I still would have gotten turned around. Reading this book had me feeling like there might have been some prerequisite books I should have tucked into first. 

The world the Garcia created is big. Like, ginormous. Almost too big. Space opera and steampunk? Magic? Timey Wimey Spacey Wacey? I enjoy these things all on their own and to mix them all together (kinda like the ULTIMATE space opera/fantasy Dune) is a large undertaking. But, like I said before, I think I missed out on some previous books, so maybe in those tales, the universe is established. I missed the Introductory class. 

I have read a few reviews and everyone seemed to love Stenibelle as a leading lady.  And I'm going to jump in here and say...I didn't, at least not right away. To me, she seemed so weak of will, so flat and uninteresting. When we meet our hero, she is trapped in jail and just wished to stay there and rot. And everything she did was meekly or quietly or with a degree of questionable hesitation. Then, she gets some potions called bulobongs and suddenly her entire personality changes, and not for the better. I went from being unimpressed to complete disgust. She was a brute and robbed and beat the shit out of folks and was pretty much a whore. Like, wow, what a shitty person. Stenibelle does get free of her drug addiction to FINALLY become a sensible character. The right amount of compassion and understanding mixed with a fierce determination. I get making the character grow and develop, but the extremes did almost give me the Bends. 

There are some good bits. Lots of great action and dialogue. The main point of Stenibelle's purpose in this book, saving the universe from crazy religious zealots was the best written part for me. We see Stenibelle as a hero right near the end. She is accepting all aspects of her personality and the mistakes of her past. Once I got past the first few chapter of being confused about why she was in jail and being a completely awful person, I was actually able delve down into the meat and potatoes of the story. I was able to see the strange and brutal and wondrous world created. It's not a kind place. It's filled with renegades and a harsh imperial government and heartless harpies who can and will destroy anyone who gets in their way. But then, Garcia reminds us that there are noble and gracious folks who, though a little cracked and dented, can actually never be broken.

This book left me with mixed feelings in the end. I felt like I should have known more about the world and characters Garcia created and I really did have a hard time when I came to Stenibelle being a complete dick of a person. But, when the book ended, I wanted more. Well, mostly more. I could totally due WITHOUT the word vagina. Just...yeah...no. 

Thank you folks who found my blog via the blog tour. I hope you check out the other blogs along the way and check out this book. I would recommend checking out a few of Ren Garcia's previous books. Per Goodreads, they seem to relate to Stenibelle in some shape and form. 

Remember to always be yourself. Unless you can be a pirate. Then ALWAYS be a pirate!!



LADY READER'S BOOK STUFF BLOG TOUR DATES:

 

September 21st – Christine Abee – Review 

 

September 21st – Marian Allen – Guest Post 

 

September 22nd – Melissa Martin's Reading List – Review

 

September 23rd – TBA

 

September 24th – Cabin Goddess – Recipe & Review 

 

September 25th – Room With Books – Playlist 

 

September 28th  Atomic Pirate Girl's Book Worm Booty – Review 

 

September 29th – The Renegade Zombie Reviews – Review 

 

September 30th – A Diary Of A Book Addict – Review  

 

September 30th – Triple A Book Blog – Review 

 

October 1st – Heather Ann's Book Reviews – Review

 

October 1st – Leigh Anderson Romance – Guest Post 

 

October 2nd – Karin Baker – Review

 

October 2nd – Pixie Vixen Book Reviews – Review


Comments

  1. Thank you so much for the fabulous post!

    Amy

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi! Thanks for the amazing review and for hosting my blog tour! As you noted, "Stenibelle" is Book 9 in the League of Elder Series. The character, Stenibelle/Paymaster Stenstrom is introduced in Book 6 ("Sands of the Solar Empire") as are the side characters (A-Ram and Alesta) and his issues with the Admiralty as well. Those issues, as established in books 6 and 7, are why Stenibelle's in jail at the beginning of the book. As you might be able to guess, there's quite a bit of difference in the character between the books. Stenibelle lacks many of the advantages her male counterpart Stenstrom enjoys, and I really wanted to put her to the test to see how she would react (not well in the beginning). And, I wanted her to develop and grow, both on her own and with the support of her friends who refused to give up on her.

    Thanks again for the review, and, if you wanted to review the previous books (6 through 8) I'd be happy to send them to you.

    Cheers

    Ren

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the comment! I apologize for just now responding but i would love to read the previous books and review them if the offer still stands. Amy has my info if you need it. 😄

      Delete

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