Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Review: A Simple Favor

A Simple Favor A Simple Favor by Darcey Bell
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I went back and forth about how to rate this book. Genre-wise, normally this is my thaang, y'all. Character-wise, I think maybe it's best if I don't hate them all, right? Well, I couldn't stand all three main characters. Stephanie, up on her incestous high horse, blogging her way to salvation that she has no right to receive was my least favorite. And lucky for me we get most of the story from her whiney, morally twisted point of view. Emily, hell, at least she was honest about what an evil wench she was. None of this hem hawing, should I be good or bad crap from her, no ma'am. Which leaves us at Sean. Please. Can we say spineless, ladies and gentlemen? Or how about dull? Next to useless? Really any and all of these will suffice. If the goal was to create a cast of characters with no good guy, mission accomplished.

Now, the story, yes it was a tad cheesy. You saw a lot of it coming. But you didn't see it happening the way it did. Or for the reasons it did. That, and only that, made the book good. Really good actually. If only the characters didn't suck so much as people. It was fast paced - except for Stephanie's mind numbing blog posts - and the twists were placed just right in my opinion. Overall, it was a good book with terrible characters.

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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Review: Thief in Law

Thief in Law Thief in Law by MICHAEL DIRUBIO
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Diamond thieves, mob bosses, Russian thugs, and a little old lady who lives downstairs and makes latkes... this book has it all! From burner cells to ready, set, go storage lockers in cities all over the world, the little ins and outs of the 'business' were so fun to read about! My favorite parts were the stories of old heists that the crew pulled off and learning so much about the diamond trade.

Michael is a genius who just happens to use his brain prowess to steal. Hey, to each his own. Graeme, the crew's resident misfit brings his own brand of debauchery to the table while Gretchen, Ira, and Rocky round out this lovable cast of thieves.

A true thriller, Thief-in-Law will keep you flipping the pages waiting for the next shoe to drop. It's a non-stop adventure with great character development and intricate details from planning heists to setting up shell companies. If you're searching for that living dangerously feeling without the threat of a prison sentence, this is your chance. Enjoy!

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Sunday, May 21, 2017

Review: Hearing Voices: An Isaac Blaze Thriller

Hearing Voices: An Isaac Blaze Thriller Hearing Voices: An Isaac Blaze Thriller by Axel Cruise
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When a book opens with, "I was about to be tortured", I'm pretty sure I'm in for a good read. If you are a lover of thrills, action, adventure, and suspense, Hearing Voices by Axel Cruise has you covered from beginning to end.

The voices in Isaac's head are an interesting and creative tool in the storytelling, contributing humor and drama to an already intense, fast paced tale. I found the characters to be fully developed in most cases and although there was some graphic violence, it was by no means gratuitous. I, like other readers, noticed some similarities between Isaac and Deadpool. Not being a super hero/comic girl, that humor was all that kept me in front of the screen for Deadpool but it is not what kept me turning the pages on Hearing Voices. It's a book you stay up half the night reading because how could you possibly find a place to pause? I couldn't and now I'm itching to get my hands on the next installment. Mr. Cruise gained a new, loyal reader here.

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Saturday, May 20, 2017

Review: Federal Prison Handbook: The Definitive Guide to Surviving the Federal Bureau of Prisons

Federal Prison Handbook: The Definitive Guide to Surviving the Federal Bureau of Prisons Federal Prison Handbook: The Definitive Guide to Surviving the Federal Bureau of Prisons by Christopher Zoukis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The author, Christopher Zoukis, is presently an inmate at the Federal Correctional Institution Petersburg in Virginia. He has been incarcerated since he was just 18 years old though he doesn't reveal his crime. A quick internet search can give you that information if you are curious. That this is written by a prisoner, makes the book a more authentic read than it might were it written by some scholar who had just interviewed various inmates.

Zoukis gives staggering statistics on the American prison population, history of the Federal Bureau of Prisons and follows up with information taking the reader from arrival and orientation through preparations to reenter the world as a free person and everything in between. He provides detailed tips for navigating the complicated social structure in prison, encouraging continuing education while incarcerated, and even explains how to receive the best medical and/or psychological care the prison system has to offer.

This reader is just glad that she's reading this book for entertainment purposes and not because she's heading into the penal system. How scary it must be to be reading this knowing the world contained within is in your immediate future. It is a fascinating read for leisure and most likely invaluable for the future inmate.

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Friday, May 12, 2017

Review: The Grumpface

The Grumpface The Grumpface by B.C.R. Fegan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Everyone loves a story that begins with 'In a land far away' and this one does not disappoint. Follow the Grumpface and one lovestruck, hapless inventor named Dan as they each work their way to ungrumpily ever after. Written in clever rhymes and illustrated vibrantly, The Grumpface will bring a smile to even the grumpiest of the grumpy.

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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Review: Meet The Unimaginables

Meet The Unimaginables Meet The Unimaginables by Paul Slutsky
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The endless possibilities that lay beyond our planet and the desire to know how things might play out are fulfilled in books like Meet the Unimaginables. Here, Slutsky writes in a way that feels as if the whole scenario is entirely possible. It's easy for sci-fi to get bogged down in heavy details that take away from the progress of the story, and especially character development. That is not the case here, thankfully. Meet the Unimaginables is a novel that will keep you in it's world long after you've finished reading.

The book begins with Alan Norton puzzling out what the appearance of a second sun may bring. What it brings is alien contact and then the universe explodes in an action packed adventure that is fast paced and thrilling! A great deal happens in this story and there are a slew of things that boggle the mind in the most fun way. Things like the Intergalactic Union, Brotherhood of Peace Wanderers, Intergalactic Life Search Service, holograms, synthetic sex, dimension travel through black holes... It's almost impossible not to become immersed in this version of the world and deep space.

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Sunday, May 7, 2017

Review: Awaken to the Wilderness

Awaken to the Wilderness Awaken to the Wilderness by Seth Mullins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is book 5 in the series and I have not read books 1-4. I'm not sure what I've missed not having read the previous books but it wasn't so much that I felt completely out of the loop by starting here. Now that I've read this book, I desperately want to go back and read books 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Brandon Chane is his own worst enemy in a lot of ways. Fraught with doubts and insecurity, the gifted young man struggles to navigate the often brutal music business, brittle friendships with his band mates, and the kinship with his Muse in this touching and emotional chapter of his life and career. I found the white (dry-erase) board a particularly creative sounding board for the thoughts and feelings of the band members. The things bared there expose what pursuing and maintaining a successful music career really costs a person. The phrases 'be careful what you wish for' and 'the grass is always greener' come to mind when I think back on the story. What I'm wishing for now is the next book!

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Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Review: Blood Science

Blood Science Blood Science by Shelley Williams
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Science fiction has been on my radar in movies and TV for years but somehow hasn't made it's way onto my To Read list. I am going to choose not to judge all sci-fi books by this one. The world Hector shows the reader is fascinating but disturbing. From his mother's and Pop's deaths to snake boys, half dead girls, and human-animal hybrids created in a laboratory... it just felt dark and grimy in a way that weighed a bit too heavily on my heart. For me, the story had a bit too much going on and the outlandish character aspects were hard to fathom, even in the sense of suspended reality needed to read science fiction. That said, I feel guilty dinging the book when really - how much is too much in science fiction? What I don't feel guilty about is dinging for editing and grammar mistakes that I think really should have been caught long before publication.

Perhaps I am not the intended audience for this book and that should be noted here. I have a 13 year old boy who I believe might come to a very different conclusion and I plan on giving him a chance to do a review of his own once he reads it.

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Monday, May 1, 2017

Review: Another Tribe

Another Tribe Another Tribe by Simon Rumney
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am the first to admit that I find a genre I love and stick with it. Historical drama/romance is most certainly not that genre for me. Our Eternal Curse - Another Tribe is just that. Also, it's a good book! I loved Julii. The innocent way she described and experienced things without coming off as an imbecile was fascinating. That she managed to somehow keep a positive state of mind throughout it all is refreshing. It really made you think about the way Native Americans experienced white men. This story drives home the level of prejudice, racism, ignorance, and intolerance that somehow justified the terrible things we did to an entire race of people. I found myself wanting to yell at Julii to just stay away from the white world, to send Robert away because I knew what was coming for her out there. If only her tribe could have stayed untouched by the cruelty of what had surrounded them. Everything after she rides away with Robert comes at you fast and furiously and all you can do it hold on for the ride. Overall the book is brutal, heartbreaking, thrilling and beautiful.

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