Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Review: Sworn to Silence

Sworn to Silence
Sworn to Silence by Linda Castillo

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This writer popped up on my list for books as "other people have bought/lent/stolen this" whenever I searched for certain books or bought a book, so I researched this a bit and finally caved, got a good deal from Amazon.De (after realizing they sell 2 differently priced eBooks of this, I bought the cheaper one), too.
Also I had an Amazon Gift Card from XMas, so I did not really pay for it myself.

Great page-turner, a few nice twists, some romance, a short non-explicit, plain sex-scene.
But also rape, lots of blood and very grizzly murders. Not for the squeamish!

Hm, what to tell about the book without spoiling anything? Could have had more twists, but I can live with that.
The information about Amish and their way of life was very interesting and the thrown in language makes this an interesting read (the words and expressions look like Dutch and/or German, but have often a slightly different, special meaning, having evolved from their origin).
Highly recommended book about a serial killer. Bought the next book in the series instantly.

this might well be my last finished book for 2014.
On Goodreads I have now read and reviewed 107 books with a self-set goal of 104.
In reality, counting novellas as books, I read a few more, some I did not find at Goodreads, or did not review:
read in 2014 gelesen
115 englisch + deutsch (English and German books together)
5 deutsch (German)
110 englisch (English)
of these
114 where eBooks (Kindle, ePub converted to Kindle) and
1 Paperback.

I have started quite a few books (12 in 2014, I think) which I have not finished, but also cannot bring myself to count as abandoned ( DNF ), I hope to finish some of them sometime.

Even though this was not work, sometimes you have other things to do, I will not set my goal for 2015 higher but will stay with 104 books. We will see how that turns out.

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Sunday, December 28, 2014

Review: Falling Angel: A Novel

Falling Angel: A Novel
Falling Angel: A Novel by William Hjortsberg

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book was just recommended to me. As I love the movie which was based on this book, I already read it a few years ago (I just looked at Amazon.De, the paperback was bought in August 2001). The story is a strange one, and, like the movie, not for all. It features grisly murders, blood and voodoo. It is one of the books I wanted to read again, and having bought the movie again on Blu-ray, I will certainly do so. As I have a lot of books more or less unsorted, it was easier, just to buy it again and it helped, that the ebook is quite cheap, both at Amazon and at Barnes & Nobles.

If you are not squeamish, I highly recommend this book, which strays into dark realms: the occult, religious and fantastic.
A link to IMDB: Angel Heart

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Review: The Loyal Servant: A Very British Political Thriller

The Loyal Servant: A Very British Political Thriller
The Loyal Servant: A Very British Political Thriller by Eva Hudson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Barely 3 stars, more family drama then suspense thriller, the main story could have fit in a 100 pages or less and would have read better.
Too much family. No sex, no (or not much) romance.
The characters where real, however and I really liked the main character (which for me is Caroline), but am a bit ambivalent about Angela Tate, who sometimes comes across as a not very likable unscrupulous reporter.
Bought this because I liked the Skyberg/FBI Embassy-Books, where Angela Tate pops up in a supporting role.
Not recommended, but as I bought the cheap edition (when the price was low) with two other Angela Tate books, maybe the others are better.

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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Review: Death Never Sleeps

Death Never Sleeps
Death Never Sleeps by E.J. Simon

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Lend with Amazon Prime, one book free per month, this is for December 2014.
Great idea, but more action than necessary, too little about A.I. and the turn to ether, souls, death etc. not very real.
It was not entirely explained, more like "I will throw this in, do not know how it will develop", leaving space to grow in the next book, but I am not entirely sure, it will be good, although I guess I will read it, as soon as the price drops more (hoping for a free prime lend or a 1 $ bargain).
It strays into Religion and I would have been entirely satisfied if there was more about AI and the SF-style absolutely real.
Sold three stars, recommended to people, how do not really care and know about computers and can suspend believe - I cannot and I do know too much about AI and am an Atheist, so do not really care about the religious part, which was not really well done.
Without that part it could have easily been a 4 star book, and a recommendation to anyone. It is not, sorry.

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Friday, December 19, 2014

Review: Bones Never Lie: A Novel

Bones Never Lie: A Novel
Bones Never Lie: A Novel by Kathy Reichs

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Waited far too long till I began this book, even after only few pages I know why Kathy Reichs is one of my favorite writers.
Interesting and a good read, even when it gets complicated.
And while I guessed the twists, except for two (one medical and the one ending the book), shortly before they occurred, it was still a page-turner.
Mostly the case-solving was a team effort and near the end it was a bit much that Tempe nearly solved the last puzzles alone, you had to suspend your believe, and she positioned herself again in a dangerous situation.
Highly recommended, and a solid 5star. Can be read as a standalone, but I think it is better to read all books and in order.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Review: Daughter of Smoke & Bone

Daughter of Smoke & Bone
Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Great beginning, and one of my favourite cities: Prague.
When I was there, my last real vacation, 1984 or 1985, it was still a communist country, Tschecheslowakia (since then parted in Tschechei and Slovenia).
Given the old roads and cobblestone it was an adventure, although I managed some parts alone, and most with a group of people who I had "Advenced Philosophical Study" with (a rare Leistungskurs in German school, for some a glimpse of what to study): I am sitting in a wheelchair and Prague is just about one of the un-accessiblesed (sp?) cities I visited. Cameras and Military Personell about, even way before 9/11 (yeah people, there was a time with surveillance before that - in non-democratic countries ... and elsewhere). But I will not rant more.
So I was thrilled to read a book playing there, as I knew that Prague has not changed too much since then.
I am currently two minds about this book, one part does not want to finish it, and that my main computer broke down helped some, I had to save data and try to repair it or write a detailed report for sending the Mac mini to Apple. And I read a different book (a novella) in between, as I was constantly distracted.
The other mind is, I am not sure, after skimming some reviews of the second book, wether I will enjoy that.
And then, at 75% now, it kind of drags along (ok, that makes three minds, not two).
My favourite character are Karou and Zuzana, I do not like Akiva.
Threw caution to the wind, at 98%, a few minutes left reading, I bought the second book in the series.
A review can only be practical after the trilogy has ended (if I do not DNF the second or third book, ah the joy of the double negative ...).
The circle this book goes, I am sorry to say, I did not guess that, not having thought much about the book during the breaks I took.
Maybe if I had forced myself to read it faster, more than a month is entirely too long even with reading and finishing several other books in between.
So I will not spoil it, but I still think, it dragged around the 70%-mark, when the action left Prague.

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Review: The Ocean Dark: A Novel

The Ocean Dark: A Novel
The Ocean Dark: A Novel by Jack Rogan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Actually the author of this is Christopher Golden, writing under Jack Rogan.
That was the main reason for me to buy this book, sounded like a Clive Cussler-novel.
Could have been shorter, nearly all major characters (5-8?) get a flashback-background story, and I could have done with less.
Good use of romance conflicting with job or task at hand, short sex-scenes add to the story, and are ok.
At one point I think there is a procedural mistake, where someone sprains his/her ankle and a few short pages later hears it break but nothing is mentioned after that - the person should have been unable to do most of the running around in the book after that.
Parts of the story could also have been by the Douglas Preston - Lincoln Chil-Duo of writers.

Still, except for being to long, highly recommended, to fans of Christopher Golden and Clive Cussler, and also maybe Preston-Child-fans.

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Sunday, December 7, 2014

Review: The Kill

The Kill
The Kill by Jane Casey

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

As with the last one, this was a page turner and for a me a welcome break from struggling with other books.
The romance took an interesting turn, two near-sex scenes played out different from my expactation, one bordering on rape, the other was left hanging.
The case - or are they cases and the revisiting of old enemies takes some nice turns. The story and the meandering investigation keeps you guessing, at least in my case. Some facts (key facts) are only told in the who-dunnit-reveal, Agatha Christie-like, so the reader has no real chance to solve the puzzle before.
The ending has a nasty surprise, and with that two lines of the story remain open for the next book, which is not yet published.
Highly recommended. As a standalone you miss out on some background, but not much, the main facts are explained.

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Friday, December 5, 2014

Review: Mariposa

Mariposa by Greg Bear

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Read Quantico again, to be in the mood for this, but this took one major turn in style, and was somehow not well edited, more like 2.5 points.
There are no spelling errors, and some grammar errors or missing words may have been deliberately (slang/speech from characters), not too distracting, but also left me feeling like a bad scan or shoddy editing (or no editing).
The idea was good, so 3 stars it is.
I may add to this review in the next few days.
Recommended with warning, do not expect too much, this should have been a page-turner, but for that it was too complicated.
This an SF-take on something Brad Thor might write, or from the Tom Clancy-Group (think Netwars).
A very specific US-Future which has a lot of true ideas and some good thought out political twists.

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