Elfhome (Elfhome, #3)
Book Three of the Elfhome series, the follow-up to exciting Wolf Who Rules and the award-winning fantasy-SF novel that started it all, Tinker.Elfhome. A world of powerful magic, beautiful elves, man-eating trees, frost-breathing wargs, and god-like dragons. Pittsburgh. A city that has been stranded deep in virgin elfin forest to stave off an invasion by the merciless oni. Its population of sixty thousand humans and a handful of elves are pitted in war that will only end in genocide. Winter is coming. Supplies are running low. All political ties are fraying. Hidden somewhere in Pittsburgh's crumbling neighborhoods, a vanguard of oni are growing in number and attacking from the shadows. And children are disappearing.Girl genius Tinker was once a human orphan, growing up on the Pittsburgh streets. Now she's an elf princess with all the bells and whistles. She rules over a melting pot of humans, elves, half-oni, and the crow-like tengu. Prejudices are rampant, pitting even the elves against each other. Hoverbike races, concerts of rock and roll fused with elf music, and artist communes of human and elves are proof that Pittsburgh can be a place where races and species can meet and meld in freedom. Tinker is determined to make her city a place of such freedom. She's going to have to kick butt and take names. And she has to do it quickly. Seven elf children are already missing -- and the oni eat their prisoners when they outlive their usefulness. Tinker uncovers ancient secrets and a web of betrayal as she searches for the children. The oni will stop at nothing to win, so neither can she. At five foot nothing, Tinker's greatest weapon has always been her intelligence. Politics, she discovers, is a battle of wits, and she's heavily armed.

Elfhome (Elfhome, #3) Details

TitleElfhome (Elfhome, #3)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJul 3rd, 2012
PublisherBaen
ISBN-139781451637830
Rating
GenreFantasy, Urban Fantasy, Science Fiction, Dragons, Magic, Fairies, Fae

Elfhome (Elfhome, #3) Review

  • Chris
    January 1, 1970
    Another one I basically read in a single sitting and will be rereading! (I really hate the cover, though.)
  • Laura (Kyahgirl)
    January 1, 1970
    3.5/5; 4 stars; B+Its been a long time since I read either Tinker or Wolf Who Rules but when I got into Elfhome I had no problem engaging in their world again. I really enjoyed Elfhome and the focus on Oilcan, Tommy and some members of the human, half-Oni and Elf community on the edges of Tinker's realm. There was a lot going on in this book. I think Spencer did a good job on the character development and continued worldbuilding. However, it felt a bit unfinished to me. A lot of threads were lef 3.5/5; 4 stars; B+Its been a long time since I read either Tinker or Wolf Who Rules but when I got into Elfhome I had no problem engaging in their world again. I really enjoyed Elfhome and the focus on Oilcan, Tommy and some members of the human, half-Oni and Elf community on the edges of Tinker's realm. There was a lot going on in this book. I think Spencer did a good job on the character development and continued worldbuilding. However, it felt a bit unfinished to me. A lot of threads were left dangling at the end of the story, leaving the door open for another book. I would recommend reading "Peace Offering" by Wen Spencer as an 'extra' to this book. It is also found in the Baen Free Stories, 2012 collections. It features the Elf, Forest Moss, who is referred to several times in this book as a real nutcase. (I read the short story before Elfhome so a a little disappointed he and Olivia didn't show up as bigger characters in Elfhome.)
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  • Beth
    January 1, 1970
    After multiple re-reading of the series - I think this is my 2nd favorite - followed closely by Woodsprites. You get to see the overall plot arc from different character pov- not just Tinker or Windwolf. Really shows the depth of the world building & evolution of the characters.Last read June 27 2016Oct 9 2015 May 05/14
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  • Tammicco
    January 1, 1970
    I’m torn about the third book in the ‘Elfhome’ series. I purchased the ebook ARC from Baen, because I couldn’t wait another day to reacquaint myself with Tinker’s world. I’m not disappointed at all, but I do feel a little melancholy. This entry in the series marks a serious turning point underscoring the fact that this is no longer Tinker’s tale. ‘Tinker’ is told solely from the heroine’s perspective, whereas in ‘Wolf Who Rules Wind’ perspective is split almost equally between Wind Wolf and Tink I’m torn about the third book in the ‘Elfhome’ series. I purchased the ebook ARC from Baen, because I couldn’t wait another day to reacquaint myself with Tinker’s world. I’m not disappointed at all, but I do feel a little melancholy. This entry in the series marks a serious turning point underscoring the fact that this is no longer Tinker’s tale. ‘Tinker’ is told solely from the heroine’s perspective, whereas in ‘Wolf Who Rules Wind’ perspective is split almost equally between Wind Wolf and Tinker.Just under a third of ‘Elfhome’ is given to Tommy’s story. It fits in well with the overall storyline, but I don’t like Tommy. I never have, so I guess that makes me the not into anti-hero type, huh? On second thought…nyah--I just really don’t like Tommy.Just over a third of the book actually favors Oilcan’s emergence onto Elfhome’s center stage. I like Oilcan just fine, of course, but he’s not Tinker. Oilcan has always reminded me of the character of Ukiah Oregon. I love the Ukiah series, but mainly because it is Ukiah’s series. If Tinker had been placed in his world, I’d like Ukiah—but I’d LOVE Tinker.About a third of ‘Elfhome’ is given to Tinker, but not really. The essence of being Elf—specifically, being domi—is finally taking hold. Tinker is coming to terms with some aspects of these responsibilities. She is also coming to terms with adapting her way of thinking to the Elf way of doing.But this is only a small part of Tinker’s one third perspective in the book. Most of her perspective is used to tell the stories of other characters. It’s like someone told Mrs. Spencer that the first two books were “all Tinker, all the time”—as if it’s a bad thing. The response was to whittle Tinker and Wind Wolf all but out of this third book. These two favorite characters are “there” in the book like they were “there” in the short stories about Elfhome articled at Baen books--and only available at Baen. These were minor character perspectives of Tinker, Wind Wolf, and Elfhome in general.I’m aware of the anti-Mary Sue sentiment that pervades the urban fantasy community. I’m usually one of the voices writing a smack-down on these types of heroines in my reviews. But as Mary Sue as it may make her, there really isn’t any character more interesting than Tinker among all Elfhome peoples—at least not for me. I love the fact that Tinker is brilliant, conceited, brash, desirable, exuberant, and has no doubt that she can single-handedly take on all comers (with her non-superpower brain)—unless she can’t, and then…well. Tinker epitomizes the mantra “go big, or go home”. She is the female version of Roy Jones Jr. and Muhammad Ali—she too can show you AND tell you at the same time :=)If Tinker is a special person, able to elevate others around her to a higher level, it makes her an extraordinary character. If she’s a special person able to elevate those around her to her own level, she then becomes common. When you write a great storyline that spawns an incredibly funny/clever/charismatic character like Tinker, it makes it harder for a reader to then have to reassess and relegate that character to ordinary class.
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  • Michael
    January 1, 1970
    My main problem with this book is that I'd really like to be reading a sequel to A Brother's Price, and I'm not. I enjoy the Tinker novels, and I think Spencer's done a really nice job at writing up a world which mixes a variety of mythic traditions without necessarily stomping on any of them too hard (though the Oni are a bit too close to a literal Yellow Peril for my taste). And, though it very well could, it doesn't feel like a Borderlands rip-off, something for which I'm grateful.The preview My main problem with this book is that I'd really like to be reading a sequel to A Brother's Price, and I'm not. I enjoy the Tinker novels, and I think Spencer's done a really nice job at writing up a world which mixes a variety of mythic traditions without necessarily stomping on any of them too hard (though the Oni are a bit too close to a literal Yellow Peril for my taste). And, though it very well could, it doesn't feel like a Borderlands rip-off, something for which I'm grateful.The preview on Baen's site was also good enough to get me to shell out for the E-ARC, which indicates that the book itself may be better than I'm giving it credit for. But it felt much more about the world Tinker and Oilcan live in than about them, and that gives it a lack of focus that the first book had. I enjoyed reading about the expanded scope of the characters, but I couldn't help but feel that it felt flabby by comparison.If Spencer's going for a 'Manga' feel to it, she's got that down cold, including the romance and the obligatory fan service. It's fun, it's got a ton of energy, and it keeps rolling forward. None of the characters feel like they're carrying the Idiot Ball, including the villains, a major plus. But the plot resolution, while satisfying at the personal level, feels like she's setting up for the Big Confrontation Coming Soon Next Novel Really, and if the whole shebang is going the way it looks, we're going to be hitting a cast roster that could man a David Weber novel by book five, with similar lack of focus.Overall a good read, not a great one. Wait for the paperback unless you're a huge Tinker fan.
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  • Samantha wickedshizuku Tolleson
    January 1, 1970
    I was just in such a sour mood today that I didn't enjoy so much, but the plot was really well thought out...
  • Jo (Mixed Book Bag)
    January 1, 1970
    Elfhome is another great journey in the world Wen Spencer has created. This is the third book in the series and can be read as a standalone but I recommend reading Tinker and Wolf Who Rules first. There is so much in Elfhome it is hard to know where to start so I will just pick a place.Plot: Pittsburgh, which had been the gateway between Earth and Elfhome is now stranded on Elfhome. The gate between the two worlds was destroyed and has not been re-opened. There is more that one race around Pitts Elfhome is another great journey in the world Wen Spencer has created. This is the third book in the series and can be read as a standalone but I recommend reading Tinker and Wolf Who Rules first. There is so much in Elfhome it is hard to know where to start so I will just pick a place.Plot: Pittsburgh, which had been the gateway between Earth and Elfhome is now stranded on Elfhome. The gate between the two worlds was destroyed and has not been re-opened. There is more that one race around Pittsburgh and trust between those who should be allies is almost non-existent. While the oni look like the main enemy, maybe they are not. There are others hidden in plain sight that are not what they seem. Building trust while keeping from being wiped out is a big part of the plot.Characters: All of the characters from previous books are back and a few new ones show up as well. It is really hard to say who is the main character in the book. The characters from different groups are a big part of moving the plot. Tinker and Oilcan are both back. Oilcan plays a much bigger role. A whole group of young elf's play a major role. I love the names (Fields of Barley, Cattail Reeds, Rustle of Leaves and Merry) define what they are and what they can do. Tommy, the half-oni, has a deep sense of honor, a need to protect his extended family but still works to help those who do not trust him or his kind. And there are all of the elves who are interesting side characters. The characters and their action truly drive this storyWorldbuilding: Now that Pittsburgh is entirely on Elfhome new things are coming to light. Dangerous and deadly events from Elfhome’s past are revealed as still dangerous today. The world around Pittsburgh just get more and more complex.Writing: Wen Spencer knows her craft. Like all of her books Elfhome is very well written. The tension builds, the story moves and while all problems are not solved characters do get the good or bad that they deserve.I loved the book and hope that the wait for the next one will not be as long. There are two short stories available as ebooks and Baen has a short story that goes with Elfhome on the Baen web site this month (October, 2012). Wen Spencer also has other books. You would not go wrong reading any of them.
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  • Dan
    January 1, 1970
    The books in this series are each better than those before them, this would get 6 stars, if that were possible.
  • Margaret Fisk
    January 1, 1970
    Wen Spencer is not a very prolific writer, but it’s worth the wait. Elfhome is the third in the Tinker series centered around a Pittsburgh that has come unhooked from our Earth and spends its time transplanted into the elf world, at least by this point in the series. If you haven’t read the first two books, Tinker and Wolf Who Rules, there’s a complex history, both of the characters and of the worlds that is referenced in Elfhome based somewhat on what occurred in the previous two, so if that wo Wen Spencer is not a very prolific writer, but it’s worth the wait. Elfhome is the third in the Tinker series centered around a Pittsburgh that has come unhooked from our Earth and spends its time transplanted into the elf world, at least by this point in the series. If you haven’t read the first two books, Tinker and Wolf Who Rules, there’s a complex history, both of the characters and of the worlds that is referenced in Elfhome based somewhat on what occurred in the previous two, so if that would bug you, start at the beginning. You won’t regret it.With Elfhome, Wen took some chances that worked amazingly for me. Not only did she bring some of the loved but secondary characters to the forefront, but she managed to have three interlaced storylines going at once with only one or two confusing moments as I realigned my brain. This is not a matter of a main story and strong subplots, at least not to my mind, but rather three separate tales, each with a separate protagonist and somewhat isolated events. She managed to keep me engaged with all three, and amazingly enough (because there was a moment of doubt as I realized how close we were to the end), she brought them all to a state of closure that was satisfying and both supported by the text and surprising all at once.So who gets the limelight in Elfhome? Tinker plays a main role of course with her leaps in logic and mad genius for figuring out how things work, but it’s Oilcan and Tommy who are the surprise leads.Oilcan, Tinker’s cousin, has always been there in the background, providing the steady rock from which Tinker leaps onto the back of a bucking bronco. He’s a favorite of mine, and I’d guess many of her readers, but he’s never had much more than a supporting role. It was always Tinker.In Elfhome, this changes. A third of the book (split throughout the length), or maybe a little more, is all about Oilcan, his wants, his desires, and his needs. It’s about who he is and what he needs to do to adjust to his new state…and how his very nature complicates his life. Okay, that’s very obscure, but I don’t want to give anything away. It’s worth reading just to find out the layers that are hidden beneath Oilcan’s stoic nature. Besides, he’s delightful as a leading man, as much so if not more than as Tinker’s rock.Tommy, the half-oni with a huge–well-deserved and supported–chip on his shoulder, takes up the other piece of this book. We stand shoulder to shoulder with him as he tries to hold together the pieces of his family in a world with very different rules than the one he’d been born into, and where his cat ears mean he is hated and distrusted by the elves no matter what he does. Not even saving Wolf Who Rules (as he did in the previous books) is enough to count him ally, and his best bet, according to the elves, is to swear his family over to one of the elf clans when all he wants is to stand alone, to be no one’s slave.He’s a wonderfully complex character to start, but this book takes that even further, setting him up to examine what he’s always known and to reveal the ways he’s right…and the ways he needs to grow.I really wanted to start this review with a snarky comment about how Wen owes me for twisting my knee, but I figured that would send the wrong message. However, it says a lot that I was so close to the end and wanted to see how she pulled everything together so much that I curled up on the floor and read the rest without realizing the position I was in torqued my knee out of joint. It was worth hobbling about on a cane for an hour or so, but at the same time it’s even more frustrating because I wasted the rest of the book in a lightning flash, and now I have to wait until the next one comes out.Wen’s strength is her characters. It always has been. Not that her stories are weak, but her characters are shining strong. When I hang out in their company, I don’t want to leave it. And she has down the ability to provide a satisfying ending that wraps up the key threads while leaving questions lingering that need to be answered. It’s the double-edged sword of delighting in a great read and sorrowing in a great read done with a wait for the next that tells me I’m caught in a net of her making, and when the next book comes out, I’ll be right there with figurative cash in hand to snap it up.
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  • Lady Lioness
    January 1, 1970
    Oi. I'm not entirely sure how I feel about this one yet. While the official release isn't until July, Baen had the brilliant idea to sell the unproofed (and hopefully unedited as well) manuscript as an e-ARC at $15 a pop. I don't know if I'd precisely say it's worth it, but if you divide the 15 by the 6 months you would otherwise have to wait, it works about to $2.50 a month. A very reasonable expense for your rabid Wen Spencer fanperson. A note of caution, though, it's definitely a rough draft. Oi. I'm not entirely sure how I feel about this one yet. While the official release isn't until July, Baen had the brilliant idea to sell the unproofed (and hopefully unedited as well) manuscript as an e-ARC at $15 a pop. I don't know if I'd precisely say it's worth it, but if you divide the 15 by the 6 months you would otherwise have to wait, it works about to $2.50 a month. A very reasonable expense for your rabid Wen Spencer fanperson. A note of caution, though, it's definitely a rough draft. The typos aren't too bad (although Spencer consistently mis-spells 'performed' as 'preformed'), but there are some difficulties with the characterization, continuity, and uneveness with the plot. If I was Spencer's beta reader, I would have kicked this back with a mess of notes, but judging by the length of time between books, I'm guessing she was late turning in the manuscript and just sent in what she had. Just be aware of what you're going to get with the e-ARC and spare a kind thought for Spencer's editor. As far as the book itself is concerned, you absolutely must read Tinker and Wolf Who Rules prior to Elfhome. You will be absolutely lost otherwise. I was kind of convinced Spencer retconned a character as I had absolutely no recollection of him in any of the previous two books, but Google informs me that he was the subject of a free short story, "For Blue Sky," released waaaaay back in 2006. So read that too. Spencer's main gift is her incredible world-building skills, but she rarely retreads the same ground and seems to have the expectation you know what she is talking about. In addition, while it's been five or six years for the reader since Wolf Who Rules was published, the actions off Elfhome occur almost immediately after that book.Elfhome also jumps between three different points of view: Tinker, Oilcan, and Tommy. I didn't count pages or anything, but I felt like Tinker had the least amount of chapters, with Oilcan being the predominant narrator. Windwolf is barely in it, Pony and Stormsong act as Tinker's Greek Chorus, and Tooloo makes one appearance in an Oilcan chapter. Rikii, Lain, and Esme all return to close up their plot arcs. I actually really enjoyed Oilcan and his story arc the most, and, while Tinker & Tommy were entertaining with their distinctive voices & personalities, I was always eager to get back to Oilcan & his 'enclave.' While I would like to read more about Oilcan and company, I do feel Elfhome was sort of a satisfactory end to the series. There are still unanswered questions that Spencer could base another book on, but personally speaking, I felt like, 'Okay. I'm good now.' I do want to include some content warnings here. There is sex in the book and Tommy has a very male frame of mind with regards to it. There is also murder, attempted rape, allusions to torture, and some very uncomfortable scenes involving children, alive and dead. However, the bulk of the squick factors take place off screen and the reader is mainly watching the characters deal with the fallout. Edited to add: The cover is very misleading. While Impatience the dragon does play a sort of pivotal role in the plot, his actual appearances are brief and no other dragon can be considered a major character. Also, yes, Tinker is vital to the plot and remains the character we all know & love, but as I stated before, I feel that Oilcan is actually the predominant narrator. And he's awesome!
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  • Dee
    January 1, 1970
    5 stars with distinction!!!OMG!!!!!! My series reread reaches my favourite volume. The star of this entry has to be Oilcan. Oilcan is a mega god in this book. The worldbuilding is still at premium best but we now get politics! The clans are moribund and insular, the politics deadly and devious - just the way I like 'em! We spread out further still from Tinker with glimpses into not just her POV but Windwolf, Oilcan and Tommy Chang. This is an excellent reflection on the series growth as a whole 5 stars with distinction!!!OMG!!!!!! My series reread reaches my favourite volume. The star of this entry has to be Oilcan. Oilcan is a mega god in this book. The worldbuilding is still at premium best but we now get politics! The clans are moribund and insular, the politics deadly and devious - just the way I like 'em! We spread out further still from Tinker with glimpses into not just her POV but Windwolf, Oilcan and Tommy Chang. This is an excellent reflection on the series growth as a whole - at first we only saw the world through Tinker but even as her view of the world has expanded and changed so too has ours. The characterisation comes close to the fore now - the world building is comfortably placed and it allows the players to shine. The only problem now is I want the book after Wood Sprites Elfhome 4 to already be out! I'm looking forward to Wood Sprites Elfhome 4 since I've not read it and it is the newest in the series, but I am fully and sadly aware it is set in the timeframe of the three prior books and is earthbound. In other words the best is still yet to come and patience is not my strong suit!We Are Pittsburgh!
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  • Kathy Leitle
    January 1, 1970
    My rating for this book is really a 3.5. Because the author's worlds are very complex, a summary of the important points from the previous books or a glossary with explanations of the main characters and some of the elven/tengu/oni terms would have really helped. I have read several thousand books since "Wolf Who Rules" came out in 2006 and I just don't remember the intricacies of this world, but the story assumes that I do. This lack of background cues kept pulling me out of the story. I ended My rating for this book is really a 3.5. Because the author's worlds are very complex, a summary of the important points from the previous books or a glossary with explanations of the main characters and some of the elven/tengu/oni terms would have really helped. I have read several thousand books since "Wolf Who Rules" came out in 2006 and I just don't remember the intricacies of this world, but the story assumes that I do. This lack of background cues kept pulling me out of the story. I ended up having to just skim over parts and plug along, grasping for the details I did know.Having said this, I do love this world and the depth of the characters. Tinker, Oilcan, and Tommy were the focus and I particularly loved getting to know Oilcan better. I did miss Wolf, since he was not around as much, only showing up a few times between leading battles with the oni. I will continue to read this series, if the author continues, but really hope that more background info is included next time.
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  • Sarah C
    January 1, 1970
    I still want more Tinker! Again, Wen Spencer takes some very disparate elements and weaves them into an interesting and unexpected journey. As the third book, i expected to know sortof where the story was going, sure, there were several groups at odds and that needed to be resolved but i found myself questioning ... where is this story going? Spencer always has the ability to surprise me. I love it. So often i read books that follow the same paths as many others in the genre. Its nice to not kno I still want more Tinker! Again, Wen Spencer takes some very disparate elements and weaves them into an interesting and unexpected journey. As the third book, i expected to know sortof where the story was going, sure, there were several groups at odds and that needed to be resolved but i found myself questioning ... where is this story going? Spencer always has the ability to surprise me. I love it. So often i read books that follow the same paths as many others in the genre. Its nice to not know what the journey looks like ahead of time. I did feel like the reader was pulled in this direction or that direction with very little warning and sometimes it was disorientating. But by the end, all paths converged very nicely. I really hope this isn't the last book. Spencer is a great world builder but her writing is very focused on the characters. I want to learn more about the elves homeworld and politics but I also really enjoy the characters. Tinker seems to really start to become an adult in this installment. I'd love to see her cause more hovac for the elves.
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  • Julia
    January 1, 1970
    The third book in a urban fantasy series the first were Tinker and Wolf Who Rules. Some series, it doesn't matter the order the books are read in. That's not true here. The earlier books were primarily about Tinker.Oilcan, Tinker’s cousin, has always been backstory in these books, but in this one, he tells his own story too, as does Tommy, the half- oni. Tommy and his relations have been nothing but slaves, but Tommy wants more and he becomes a Hero. Oilcan adopts some kids and finds a new place The third book in a urban fantasy series the first were Tinker and Wolf Who Rules. Some series, it doesn't matter the order the books are read in. That's not true here. The earlier books were primarily about Tinker.Oilcan, Tinker’s cousin, has always been backstory in these books, but in this one, he tells his own story too, as does Tommy, the half- oni. Tommy and his relations have been nothing but slaves, but Tommy wants more and he becomes a Hero. Oilcan adopts some kids and finds a new place to live with them. Meanwhile, Tinker’s kicking butt, whenever Windwalker’s not around, and she’s not healing from her last butt kicking, which is most of the time. Fun, funny, denser than I remembered, which is a very good thing.
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  • Jai
    January 1, 1970
    I've looked forward to this book since I read the first book in the series and fell in love with the main character, a girl genius named Tinker. This third book in the series (and please, God, let there be more) follows Tinker's cousin/brother Oilcan as he gets over losing his human cousin to the elves and figures out what to do with his life if he's not following Tinker around while she invents new motorcycles that fly and blows other stuff up.It's a massive tale wrapped up in beautifully clean I've looked forward to this book since I read the first book in the series and fell in love with the main character, a girl genius named Tinker. This third book in the series (and please, God, let there be more) follows Tinker's cousin/brother Oilcan as he gets over losing his human cousin to the elves and figures out what to do with his life if he's not following Tinker around while she invents new motorcycles that fly and blows other stuff up.It's a massive tale wrapped up in beautifully clean language that encompasses everything from war, coming of age, finding family, accepting who you are, genocide, the nature of truth, trust, faith, and even love. But it done in such a way that it is given lightness and joy and is a sheer pleasure to read.My complaints are miniscule -- minor word misusage a few times that the aging editor in me could not miss. And the book was over far, far too soon and was millions of pages too short.
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  • Li
    January 1, 1970
    I’m a fan of Wen Spencer, ever since I glommed her Ukiah Oregon series way back when, but I haven’t read any of her books for a long time. ELFHOME is the third book in her Tinker series – here’s where I admit I thought I had read the second book, but realised probably about a quarter of the way through ELFHOME that I hadn’t. Ooops. By that time, I was too engrossed in the story that I didn’t want to put it down and find the second book, which probably gives you quite a good indication that Wen S I’m a fan of Wen Spencer, ever since I glommed her Ukiah Oregon series way back when, but I haven’t read any of her books for a long time. ELFHOME is the third book in her Tinker series – here’s where I admit I thought I had read the second book, but realised probably about a quarter of the way through ELFHOME that I hadn’t. Ooops. By that time, I was too engrossed in the story that I didn’t want to put it down and find the second book, which probably gives you quite a good indication that Wen Spencer can tell a story. The Tinker world is a unusual amalgamation of magic and technology, with both elves and computers coming together in a not-quite-Pittsburgh setting (and this was probably more unique when the first book was released back in 2003 than it is now). ELFHOME had a good-triumphing-over-evil, feel-good story line – I really enjoyed it.A version originally published on my blog:http://bookdaze.wordpress.com/2012/08...
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  • Carolyn F.
    January 1, 1970
    Okay 3 things I realized about the cover illustrator Clyde Caldwell. Firstly, he loves boobies. Secondly, he didn't read the book because Tinker is 18. Which leads to my third point, the woman on the cover is no where near 18 - probably late 30s - and Clyde must be in love with her to put her on the cover even though she much older than Tinker. I love this series. I can't remember who first turned me on to it, but it's just wonderful. Elves have found a home in a Pittsburg that's actually part o Okay 3 things I realized about the cover illustrator Clyde Caldwell. Firstly, he loves boobies. Secondly, he didn't read the book because Tinker is 18. Which leads to my third point, the woman on the cover is no where near 18 - probably late 30s - and Clyde must be in love with her to put her on the cover even though she much older than Tinker. I love this series. I can't remember who first turned me on to it, but it's just wonderful. Elves have found a home in a Pittsburg that's actually part of their world but with all the buildings, streets, etc., and then once a month humans were able to go back and forth until Tinker tried to stop some baddies and everyone got stuck. This is them all trying to figure out how to live together when other people are trying to drive them apart. I'll keep reading the books in this series as long as the author wants to write them.
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  • Adina
    January 1, 1970
    Elfhome is the third installment in the Elfhome series following Tinker and Wolf Who Rules. It continues the adventures of our intrepid girl genius turned elf Tinker. Whilst the previous two books almost entirely followed Tinker, here the story is divided between Tinker and two additional characters, the half-oni Tommy Chang and Tinkers cousin Oilcan.Tinker is as usual amusing, amazing and bullish. But this is Oilcan's story really. Tinker was always the cornerstone of his life, but her elf tran Elfhome is the third installment in the Elfhome series following Tinker and Wolf Who Rules. It continues the adventures of our intrepid girl genius turned elf Tinker. Whilst the previous two books almost entirely followed Tinker, here the story is divided between Tinker and two additional characters, the half-oni Tommy Chang and Tinkers cousin Oilcan.Tinker is as usual amusing, amazing and bullish. But this is Oilcan's story really. Tinker was always the cornerstone of his life, but her elf transformation radically changed the lives of both Tinker and Oilcan. Oilcan's been a little lost since, here we follow his adventures as he finds his path...Ms Spencer delivers another great read. I loved the characters and the plot. Highly recommended.My Rating: 9/10
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  • AggieBookLover
    January 1, 1970
    Got the eARC from Baen.(Yay don't have to wait for July)Loved it! Loved it! Loved it!(Except for the cover - ugh).I loved that the story focused on several characters and not just a few.It has been a while since I read Tinker and Wolf Who Rules so it took me a while to remember some of the details. I may have to go back and re-read them all in order now to more fully appreciate the book.I sure hope there's going to be more books but I hope we don't have to wait another 6 years for the next one.
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  • Lillian
    January 1, 1970
    There are too many characters too keep track of, so the subplots don't dovetail smoothly at the climax. This was a real disappointment because I loved Tinker and Wolf Who Rules. Oilcan gets to shine, which is nice, but Pony doesn't do much other than calm Tinker down every time she gets angry, which is a lot. There's so much more potential in this series I hope to see more books, but I also hope they will live up to the original promise.
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  • Sarahz
    January 1, 1970
    Man, is that an embarrassing cover - I wish they'd get a different artist. Aside from that though, this was an enjoyable continuation of the series. I feel like this is maybe not the world's best series, but it's fast paced and pulpy and I really enjoy it, so whatever :) I had fun seeing what's happening with the characters I already know, and I liked how they expanded the world by introducing the inter-clan dynamics. I'll definitely pick this up when it's in paperback.
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  • Beth
    January 1, 1970
    This book was wonderful. (The ARC is available on the baen.com site).The hanging threads from Wolf Who Rules are tightened up & tied off. But a new set of plot points are flying off to the ends of the earth.The focus of the story is shared between Tinker, Oilcan, Tommy & the Tengu. The book is well worth the wait -- and I certainly hope the beginning of more!
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  • Karen
    January 1, 1970
    A good ending to the Tinker trilogy, while still leaving lots of story room if Wen wants to revisit this world. I liked the wrap up on several levels, though occasionally a little choppy.
  • Brandi
    January 1, 1970
    Loved it!What a great addition to this series. I can't wait to read the next book. The author does a wonderful job creating a new world with amazing characters and creatures. The plot is always action packed and interesting. I couldn't put this book down. I definitely recommend this book and the series.
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  • ms bookjunkie
    January 1, 1970
    Dragons, elves, magic, science, children, tengu, half-oni, war, chemistry, physics, change, betrayal, culture, heredity, heroism, family, knights of the round table. This book made me incredibly happy.
  • Nadia Zeemeeuw
    January 1, 1970
    The third book is better than I expected though I got tired and bored in some parts.
  • Becca
    January 1, 1970
    Best in the series. I hope there will be more adventures of TInker and Oilcan.
  • JPT
    January 1, 1970
    ebook/audiobook
  • L Bongiorno
    January 1, 1970
    I loved it! This series just keeps getting better, I am so hooked:)
  • Olga Godim
    January 1, 1970
    This is the book #3 of the series, and to my disappointment, the first 50 pages or so are spent in reintroducing the characters from the previous two novels. Nothing much happens in the first third of the book, and even the reintroductions are not complete. If I read this book without reading the other two first, I’d still don’t know who the characters were or how they looked. What were their relationships with other characters? Whom they liked? Whom they hated? What were their goals? Most chara This is the book #3 of the series, and to my disappointment, the first 50 pages or so are spent in reintroducing the characters from the previous two novels. Nothing much happens in the first third of the book, and even the reintroductions are not complete. If I read this book without reading the other two first, I’d still don’t know who the characters were or how they looked. What were their relationships with other characters? Whom they liked? Whom they hated? What were their goals? Most characters traveled from the other two novels but lost some personal baggage along the way. It was really irritating, because I don’t remember much about the first two novels. I read them several years ago, and the details are unclear. I must reread them. What I do remember is that I cared a lot about Tinker, the heroine of the first two novels, and I wanted so much to be charmed by her again. It didn’t happen. I’m not even sure Tinker is relevant to this novel. She plays a strictly secondary role and could be removed from the plot altogether. When the action finally picks up around page 80, the protagonists that emerge are Tinker’s cousin Oilcan and Tommy, a half-breed Oni. Oilcan is the one who propels the plot forward. A compassionate young human man, he takes a lost teenage elf under his wing, and from his one act of kindness, the plot shoots forward, and the knots start unraveling. Oilcan’s innocuous humanity inspires many other characters to finally spring into action. Unfortunately, Oilcan’s own actions are all on a very small scale: he is simply an epitome of humanity. While the heroes around him perform their heroic deeds and risk their lives, he buys food and cleans a house for his adopted charges: a bunch of orphaned teenage elves. In real life, he would be the one to go to for help. In a fantasy novel, he is not as much a hero as a catalyst. His small movements start an avalanche of activity. Another protagonist Tommy is even more of an unlikely hero. In the beginning, he seems an insignificant secondary character, unpleasant and slightly amoral. The haughty elves have only scorn for him and his people, half-breed Oni. And Tommy loathes the elves right back, but he hates the heinous Oni even more and would do anything to thwart their sinister schemes. All he wants for his clan of half-breeds is to be left alone to live in Pittsburgh in peace. Most of his people are females and children anyway; none of them can fight. But Tommy doesn’t have a choice. The events conspire to force him into action. If he doesn’t save the elves’ butts, not once but twice, the pompous elves would blame him and his tribe for their own failures. So as the tension mounts, he becomes the reluctant hero of this strange, uneven tale. All the interconnected bustle and maneuvering of the novel take place in Pittsburgh, a human city dropped into the Elven world by mistake. The city is an interesting phenomenon, spotlighted by Spencer better than any individual character. A melting pot of humans, elves, and other races, the city is almost alive with its fusion music and its manifold contradictions. The war the elves wage against Oni, a race of cruel, evil invaders, is mostly implied, in the background of the plot. When in the middle of this war, which the Elven clans are supposed to fight together, the clans’ hostility towards each other manifests, the story becomes totally believable. When the arrogant elves display their disdain towards the ‘lesser’ races, I know the writer is telling the truth.Unfortunately, her insights into the frictions of a multinational city don’t counteract the problems of this novel. The narrative is dotted with typos, too many to ignore. For a respectable, established publisher like Baen, so many typos in one book is embarrassing. Another chafing feature of the book is its abundance of Elven vocabulary. None of the Elven words were ever explained or translated. I had to guess what they meant, which as a reader, I found vexatious. After all, I was reading a book written in English. The least the author could do was to provide a dictionary. Furthermore, there are too many subplots, some of them utterly unnecessary. With so much going on, the focus of the novel became blurry. I didn’t know who to cheer for. The entire story seemed disheveled and sloppy. It could’ve benefited from an editor’s ruthless comb. Why didn’t it get one, I wonder?
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