Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Review: Rogue Code: A Jeff Aiken Novel

Rogue Code: A Jeff Aiken Novel
Rogue Code: A Jeff Aiken Novel by Mark Russinovich

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Preordered this for Eur 12,99, this just over my selfset barrier of Eur 10 for most books.
But I really like his style regardless of the flaws. And this one is about high speed trading, which I just avoided during the first internet bubble and now I am slowly trading with part of my retirement money, so I still have some stocks and try to stay current with the IT / Tech News.
While no Day-Traiding expert, I know terms like IPO and have a basic understanding of the stock-market, NYSE and NASDAQ which certainly helps reading this book.

What I really liked, in comparison to books describing IT and Internet tech by other writers, the tech is on the point real. This part may be too much for a normal computer-users, as a former Helpdesk-Slave I consider myself not a Hacker, but a Nerd and an Insider and I use a little (Mac OS) Unix daily.
So I cannot really say how the tech described here works for a non-tech user.

What is obvious to the books before in the series: the writing has matured. Not without faults, I think it is 10-20% too long and jumps too much between the different places. But that is nicely boxed within a chapter, one place per chapter, mostly.
There are a few news-articles, summaries and memos thrown in the story. Some are of real events, the Facebook IPO.

Still, I recommend it, the tech is real and believable and the risks very real.
After the book has ended, there is a section with additional material, both books, articles and urls. This something which I miss in a lot of fictional books, and in this case I will read some of the material on the Web (but probably not the books).

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Monday, May 26, 2014

Review: Mein Freund Dahmer: Graphic Novel

Mein Freund Dahmer: Graphic Novel
Mein Freund Dahmer: Graphic Novel by Derf Backderf

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

For some reason the english version is not available for Kindle in Germany, I must admit I did not look elsewhere.
Also the Kindle for Mac does not want to download this book (not compatible).
As it is black-and-white, I could have read it on my Kindle PW, but chose the iPad instand, the pictures are bigger there.
The drawing style reminded me of Fabulous Freak Brothers.
The story is the sad school-time and growing up of a teenager who has some problems, among then alcoholism and being gay, no real friends and develops his strange ideas into serial-killing, sexual perversions and later dies in prison.
The very personal account of this from one of his schoolmates begs the question, and asks it, why no one helped this troubled teen.
Not totally worth 4 stars, the 4th is for this being a true story.
Recommended as a totally different Comic and a great view of how life as a Teenager was in the 1970ies in the USA, with some Hippies thrown in.

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Friday, May 23, 2014

Review: Netwars - The Code

Netwars - The Code
Netwars - The Code by M. Sean Coleman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a serial in combination with a Web-TV-Series, Forum etc. Pre-ordered it a few days before publication due to an announcement of the German book which was published 2-3 days earlier - not knowing which is the original language, I choose to buy the english one (guessing from the name of the writer).
Not really sure, how to rate it, as I was distracted with other things and read it slowly. Should be a fast read - but then you wait for the next book in the series.
So far a recommendation, but that may change. End is open of course due to the serial. The second book will arrive tomorrow on my Kindle PW. But I have started with [b:Rogue Code: A Jeff Aiken Novel|18404119|Rogue Code A Jeff Aiken Novel|Mark Russinovich||26037978], as that was pre-ordered the instant I knew about it.

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Sunday, May 18, 2014

Review: Thief of Hearts: A Jenna Blake Body of Evidence Thriller

Thief of Hearts: A Jenna Blake Body of Evidence Thriller
Thief of Hearts: A Jenna Blake Body of Evidence Thriller by Christopher Golden

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Fast read, not as good as the last one, but for a series ok.
Some books feel too long or have too much unnecessary romance scenes, this is here luckily not the case, the romance is ok.
And it is 3.5 stars, but as that is not possible and up until the second victim it is ok, but after that gets slow and takes too long.
Liked the killings and cannot share the sentiment of other reviews about the killer coming from left field or whatever.
Recommended if you liked the first book and want more of the same, also for continuity in the series - I will certainly read the next one, but am not sure when (see shelf backlog) and wether I will still recommend the books then.

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Thursday, May 15, 2014

Review: The Cutting Room

The Cutting Room
The Cutting Room by Jilliane Hoffman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Bloody ending, for this 1 star more than the book deserved.
A complicated storyline, going back to the first CJ-Book: [b:Retribution|90334|Retribution (C.J. Townsend #1)|Jilliane Hoffman||1469352], I wrote a review/comment a few days ago there.
The other book helps in understanding what happens here, but is not totally necessary.
As with the first book I was disturbed not by the gruesome murders, torture and other things, but by law enforcement, cops, lawyers and judges twisting the law and creating crime scenes or changing them.
Also, as most is told again, for those, who like me have read [b:Retribution|90334|Retribution (C.J. Townsend #1)|Jilliane Hoffman||1469352], it dragged at times, there was a lot of flashbacks and internal thinking of the main characters which did not advance the story for me nor heighten the suspense.
The vigilante-actions where not criticized and even the actions within the law where sometimes highly questionable, although all of this is more realistic than I like it to be, these things do happen, and like the death-sentence something I strongly object. At least in the book it shown that these kind of deals is morally questionable. The goal was not achieved, so in the end most is lost, and some lost their live.
While in the beginning most characters from law enforcement seem to be on the good side, in the end, there are only bad ones and worse ones - and some serial killers, which always have my sympathy.
With C J being the main character of a few books, and me having only read 2 so far, the already mentioned Retribution and this one, skipping the other with CJ, I did not like her in the first book and still do not like her, and I think, in the end that the loser-cop Manny is the only one who has done nothing wrong.
The main reason, why I bought this book was also a let down: I read the blurb about the club and hoped there would be a lot more about the case being technical and the investigation not about the (boring) people, but about the internet, proxies, VPN etc. the stuff we all work with every day to muddy our tracks from surveillance by the GCHQ and NSA. Also the club-site of hiding their tracks was not explained.
OK, that maybe hard for a non-technical-person to write, but there are only few books which are not in the SF-genre writing about this.
For Fans of vigilantism, self-justice and the death-panalty. Else (and for me) not recommended. And recognize that I give 1 star for the audacity of the ending, which is difficult to review without spoiling the story.

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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Review: Retribution

Retribution by Jilliane Hoffman

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I am writing this as an afterthought May 14th, 2014 as I am reading [b:The Cutting Room|13649739|The Cutting Room (C.J. Townsend #3)|Jilliane Hoffman||19269336] (currently at 63%). One of the things I did not like was how twisted the ending was in serving justice. Well, just to say, justice comes back with a vengeance in the the Cutting Room to bite back. While it it is not clear how bad it will be, C J still has problems and the decisions made here might hunt her in the future. Is this required reading for The Cutting Room? No, but it helps. Parts of it are repeated as flashbacks of memory in The Cutting Room. Also as I have not yet finished it, I may change my review here and then I will write a review of The Cutting Room.

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Saturday, May 10, 2014

Review: Wolf

Wolf by Mo Hayder

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Although I gave 5 stars, it is little bit too long, in the middle or just after it dragged a bit.
But the many twists (most I did not see coming) and the story going back to a double-murder 15 years is told in bits and pieces, interchanged with what is happening now to the Kidnapped Family and also with the long winded search for the dog-owners through the help of an old friend going through databases and a lot of footwork and driving by Cafferty.
It is difficult to describe the contents without spoiling anything, so I will not try.
While not overly sadistic, there are things hinted at and some psychological torture by threatening real torture, most murders described are really bloody. Some might find this disturbing, as usual not for the faint of heart. But fans of [a:Simon Beckett|26024|Simon Beckett|] (David Hunter -Series) and probably [a:Cody McFadyen|83056|Cody McFadyen|] (Smokey Barrett -Series) should feel right at home: cruel, strange and thrilling.

Highly recommended and due to some explanations can be read as a standalone, although I think non-Mo-Hayder-Fans/Readers should read the whole series, starting with [b:Birdman|130260|Birdman (Jack Caffery, #1)|Mo Hayder||925576].

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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Review: Poppet

Poppet by Mo Hayder

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Just as I got the new Mo Hayder book [b:Wolf|18467815|Wolf|Mo Hayder||25466945] sent to my Kindle I looked through the list of (e)books I bought and have not read yet. Among them this one, which I waited for a long time to get cheaper, and then I finally bought it, I was reading other things and forgot abut it, silly me. And as this is a series and Wolf the next book, I will read this first, then Wolf, probably immediately after.
The beginning and current events are as strange and as captivating as ever, but not for the faint of heart.
(No help, not needed: As a helping add-on for Mo Hayders books, I suggest to keep a copy of [b:Encyclopedia of Unusual Sex Practices|1396128|Encyclopedia of Unusual Sex Practices|Brenda Love||1386295] handy, although so far, this would not help with this book.)
Wow. As I reached the conclusion (more like showdown) and the aftermath, this one proves once again, why I like the books by Mo Hayder so much, strange places, UK, very well written and just on fine edge of reality before dropping of the cliff to supernatural fantasy.
Reality is stranger than fiction and the cases which are well known in the UK (The Moore Murders, as of now Ian Brady is still alive) and the case that was just solved (2012): Adam , which was used as an idea in one of the earlier books in the series.

Highly recommended, shall I say, as always with Mo Hayder?! Yes I think, that is warranted.
And on to her next book, which I ordered so I would receive it on publishing day on my Kindle PW.

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Friday, May 2, 2014

Review: The Prey

The Prey
The Prey by Allison Brennan

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

3 stars, but just barely. Too long, too much romance, sex-scenes (how many, 3?) boring, to long, and too plain.
A few nice twists, but most I could see coming - the one I did not see coming, at 55% was a nice change for once, and for that the 3d star is warranted.
But the ending was as expected. As I had been reading a few books/series by her out of order, I cannot be entirely sure, but I think, the earlier books , was published 2005, have not enough suspense and too much romance.
This would have been better without the main characters thinking too much about it, and shortened about 30% (cut, I mean).
In the end, this not the page-turner I expected and I had a hard time finishing it. No recommendation.

As I do not have bought the other 2 books in the series yet, I will read something entirely different.
Maybe finish some of the books I started and paused.

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