Friday, September 26, 2014

Review: Avogadro Corp

Avogadro Corp
Avogadro Corp by William Hertling

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Read most of the book September 23d till 29th, 2014.
Just as I looked for the book in my Kindle, I had bought it more than 2 years ago, they updated it with a new version.
Maybe 5 stars is too much, regarding character development, and the Author states that was improved in this version (still laking, but the main story more than makes up for it). So if the first ebook-version had problems, I only read the second, words and grammar where ok, but I still saw one or two mistakes (words in the wrong order in a sentence, or a short word missing).
I will try to read the next books in the series soon, [b:A.I. Apocalypse|15288278|A.I. Apocalypse (Singularity, #2)|William Hertling||19065889] and [b:The Last Firewall|18305964|The Last Firewall (Singularity #3)|William Hertling||25798891] and write a better (maybe longer) review after finishing the 3d book. If it is supposed to be the last (I am not sure).

Highly recommended book about the release of an Artificial Intelligence.

Influenced by Ray Kurzweil, he even gets mentioned both in the book and in the Author's Note in the end.
As John Brunner based [b:The Shockwave Rider|41070|The Shockwave Rider|John Brunner||868164] on the non-fiction view of the future of Alvin Toffler [b:Future Shock|466537|Future Shock|Alvin Toffler||280121], this books is based on the writings of Ray Kurzweil [b:The Singularity is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology|83518|The Singularity is Near When Humans Transcend Biology|Ray Kurzweil||1080] and others.

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Review: Under The Final Moon

Under The Final Moon
Under The Final Moon by Hannah Jayne

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Struggling to read, Sophie gets on my nerves and there is not enough of the Vamps (Nina and Vlad).
Sophie comes across more whiney and unsure than ever, or maybe I am just not in the mood and fett up with the series.
Reading the other reviews this may end up to be a 2 stars, too much misery and not enough story.
And well, it might be the last, a bad ending or the last one for me in this series. But so far I am not nearly at the end, so I'll wait and see...
Wow struggling on, reading way better books in between and am now at 70% nearing the end and cannot wait to put it away.
After getting this far, I ask myself wether the other books in the series where really that better or if I had changed.
Without reading them again, I cannot say for sure.
But this book feels too long and as with other books I get the impression that the author gets paid per word-/page-count, which just does not produce anything a reader like me wants (for nearly the same reason I do not read Stephen King).
This could have worked better in a much shorter way, like a novella. Or by killing Sophie in the beginning, or whatever else good comes to mind.
As it is, her bad self-image, no decisions-making attitude and her whiney, tear-filled moods are killing me. And destroy my wanting to read another book in this series or another book by this author. And this is a book I preordered and was looking forward to ... I shudder to think of it.

Although near the end, I just had to read a different, better book before closing this for good (or bad, or whatever).
Choosing from my huge virtual ebook stack of paid for but yet unread books: [b:Kiss Me, Kill Me|8401387|Kiss Me, Kill Me (Lucy Kincaid #2)|Allison Brennan||13261409], a realistic romantic suspense-thriller.

Having finished it, it was too long with no real story, bad or no twists (if you call the ending a twist).
The ending was ok, but could not save the book, as it was accompanied with more self-doubt and whining about her decision (and inner monologue).
So, I hope this series will not get another book.
Not recommended, except for closing the series or die-hard fans. In looking back at the other books of the series I am not sure wether I gave them too much credit. Maybe I have changed. And this gets 2 stars and a promise to myself not to read another book by this writer anytime soon.
This should have been a short 2-3 read, but the 25 days from start to finish reflect how much I struggled to read this book.
As it was pre-ordered and paid for, and once I got over the 30% barrier I also hated to abandon it. As it is: a time-consuming mistake not to abandon it.

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Sunday, September 21, 2014

Review: If I Should Die

If I Should Die
If I Should Die by Allison Brennan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Started this the instant I finished the second book in the Lucy Kincaid-series, this being the third.
Way too much self-doubt from Lucy regarding her commitment and love to Sean. And with it too many romance scenes or inner monologue by her.
So in the End 4 stars is a bit much, more like 3.5 stars.
The main storyline is good, with lots of action, but no real good twists, some little ones I did not care about and some others where signaled long before they occurred.
I would have finished it faster, but the iPhone 6 was delivered in the middle of it and I had to backup my old iPhone, transfer it to the new and work on the old one to give it to my mother.
Still a solid book, I recommend it. The attached novella was better, as a prequel to the series Lucy had not yet met Sean and there was less romance, but still self-doubt and inner monologue, but not too much. Alone I would give 5 stars to the novella, but think as a fast, short read, it is good I did not pay for it extra, the last novellas (Karin Slaughter, Kathy Reichs) where rather expensive. Novellas should cost 1.30 Us$ or less (1 Eur or less), or better be free.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Review: Kiss Me, Kill Me

Kiss Me, Kill Me
Kiss Me, Kill Me by Allison Brennan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Great beginning and with the theme of current problems, mobile phones, computer, social media and unsocial media, my kind of book.
The Lucy Kincaid series proves to be one of my favorite series by Allison Brennan.
A few nice twists, a bit much romance, but not too disturbing. Nice sex-scenes, detailed but non-kinky, not too boring either, simply good, but could have been more interesting.
Did not guess the killer until the reveal.
The main story is describing an up to date behaviour of the current teens and tweens, as far as I can judge from my older view.
Might give some parents insight in their kids, they otherwise might not get from the kids themselves.
The end could have been better, and again people get themselves in danger despite orders not to do so, happens too often in these books.
At least no one took justice in their own hands, no vigilante killing.
Although lengthy, it was a fast read for me.
Highly recommended, solid 5star.

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Sunday, September 14, 2014

Review: The Girl with a Clock for a Heart

The Girl with a Clock for a Heart
The Girl with a Clock for a Heart by Peter Swanson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Started 3 (!) books today. This the September 10th, 2014 BOTM of the Goodreads Group Crime Detective Mystery Thriller Group.
(Added Sept 14th, 2014) Oh well, make that 4 books.
Regardless, this is about one book. So, having reached the end, and not wanting to spoil it, how to describe?
Great title, great idea, as explained after the book, this was a novella which grew into a book.
Beginning was slow, it picked up for me, as I forced my self to read on.
Two different times, the flashback story of 20 years ago & college time and the here and now, each given a whole chapter (or two) and then the other time-line was continued. But for me no real twists, as most where signaled long before they where revealed or solved.
So, one star less, as there is only one twist that I did not guess long before it happened (or at least not before it occurred in the story).

One other reason: did not like most characters, George was ok, but did not think too much with his brain, rather with a part below his belt.
While late in the book, at least at some point he questions himself and recognizes his foolishness, but then again even in the end he does not learn from his mistakes.
He is constantly being lied to, and helps this person again and again although he was fooled in the past by her and while he does not know the truth what happened 20 years ago, he suspects and what he knows for sure should be enough to keep away from her, regardless of the good sex they had.
The saying "Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me" is appropriate here.
The sex scenes are short, not very detailed and non-kinky, but not too boring either.

At some points in the story it would have played differently if cell phones where used, by being constantly reachable and probably GPS-Trackable, but it was well explained and made sense, that the main female heroine (or rather anti-heroine) did not use a cell phone for these reasons.

So, for me this is a solid 3 star, not enough twists and once again a foolish hero, who is obviously intelligent but still falls for the woman.
This could have gotten 4 or 5 stars if George or one of the other characters would have made a play for it and twisted the plot around in his or her favour. What saved this from getting less than 3 stars, was Boston, since Spenser (the Robert B Parker-Books & TV-Series) one City in USA I really like, and colder than LA & SF, my kind of City, and of course that George went to the police at some late point in the story.
Still, I recommend this book, but it starts slowly and is rather long, I think it could work better as the mentioned novella or with something like 10% less pages, some parts where too long and others not needed for the story.

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Saturday, September 13, 2014

Review: One Kick

One Kick
One Kick by Chelsea Cain

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A beginning of a new series. And as I like Chelsea Cain a lot, I nearly spent more than usual for this ebook. But luckily I compared prices and found it at Barnes and Nobles cheaper than at other places.
Although not much happens, the book goes deep in to the themes human/children abduction, trafficking and abuse (so far, 74%, the abuse is only hinted at, implied and making movies, no gory or perverse details).
While not really much happens and there is no whodunit, it is a real page-turner, and I will certainly read the next book, as this is supposed to become a series. My only regret is the next book is said to come out in August 2015, and I would not be surprised if that slips further to a future date.

Highly recommended and while the main theme of abuse, abduction and (child) human trafficking may be disturbing or touch a nerve, there is only one short torture scene, and the abuse is not spelled out in detail. Solid 5star.

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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Review: Take One With You

Take One With You
Take One With You by Oak Anderson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Amazon-Prime-Lending. Slow going, as I was reading the BOTM of Psychological Thrillers mostly.

One of the films I really like is Suicide Circle (aka Suicide Club), a real-movie-filmed-manga, so I wanted to see a different take on the subject. The basic idea of both is based on reality, in Japan people find partners in chat-rooms and commit suicide together (at least they did a few years ago, not sure wether it is still happening).

This book has a lot of pieces thrown together like a jigsaw-puzzle, not a single story-line.The different pieces read like short-stories of depressing lives. And sometimes too much information, which does nothing for the main-story-line.
In between newspaper-articles, chat-logs and the like. Not bad, but also not very suspense-full or gripping.
Will read a different book in-between ( [b:The Stranger You Know|18404155|The Stranger You Know (Maeve Kerrigan #4)|Jane Casey||22098234] ).
(edit: changed a few sentences around)
Had a hart time finishing this one, glad I have not bought it. The story was ok-ish, but not overwhelming and too many pieces. Reads a bit like a John Brunner-SF-Novel, [b:Stand on Zanzibar|41069|Stand on Zanzibar|John Brunner||2184253] or [b:The Shockwave Rider|41070|The Shockwave Rider|John Brunner||868164] or a movie by Paul Verhoeven (Robocop), transcripts from hearings, Websites, News, in between.
But compared to Brunner, here is not enough story and the people, while it is tried to describe them deep, are not really deep or feel real. The main hero, Charlie, it simply not audacious enough.

Mainly finished it as I got over the 30% self-set-border for abandoning/DNF a book, and wanted to lend something new in September.
Solid 3 star, I am glad, I did not pay for it. Still recommended for a good idea and for feeling current, it plays in the now and here, and these facts are on the point and real. Although these are only mentioned in passing, not explained (may puzzle a non-tech layperson) in the story like Websites, The Pirate Bay, Torrents and how to set up a Website so it can not be taken down easily.

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Monday, September 8, 2014

Review: Das System: Thriller

Das System: Thriller
Das System: Thriller by Karl Olsberg

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Bought this as it was cheap and sounded interesting.
Part of the story takes place in my town, Hamburg, Germany.
The template for the startup was more or less obviously copied from the German firm Star Division.
Fast paced page-turner, with a little romance and a boring small non-kinky sex-scene.
Not enough twists, end was obvious from the beginning, which cost it the 5th star.
I would even understand if someone questioned the 4th star, but I like the style and the persons where believable - even the bad ones (and not entirely bad, more in between). And it helped that a lot of the action took place in my home-town.
There could have been a twist in the end, some sort of backlash, making a sequel possible.
But unless you want a sequel, this one is a standalone, and a good one.
The tech is spot on, and for that I think 4 stars is well deserved.
Highly recommended for German readers, as it is not available in other languages as far as I have checked.
Also recommended to readers of [b:Blackout. Morgen ist es zu spät|13113378|Blackout. Morgen ist es zu spät|Marc Elsberg||18287167] (also only available in German)

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