Thursday, December 14, 2017

Review: Blaze

Blaze Blaze by Kristina Stanley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Perfect sequel to the first book in the series.
Starting with an out-of-control fire (the title gives it away).
Not much to say, more of the same, with a little more suspense, but may be I was just in the mood and knew what to expect.
Recommended, a little romance, no sex, still like the setting in the mountains and the small-town feel, but some is a bit much. Would advise against reading these books back2back and will certainly take my time before reading the third one or buying more.

Did not feel like reading this as fast as it should be (2 days/a weekend) and will most probably miss my reading goal of 2 books a week / 104 books a year this yeas, although I did not read much of the big ones: A song of Fire and Ice #03 not even started, Atlas shrugged still at the beginning and a few more books only started, but did not really get into them. Some books long on my "currently reading list" should be moved to "abandoned" as they are DNF-material (like A Darkling Sea).

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Saturday, December 2, 2017

Review: Strange Dogs

Strange Dogs Strange Dogs by James S.A. Corey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Shorty, hm, novella? Paid 1,99 Eur for it, which I consider way too much, sorry folks. Should have been free as a teaser for the series. And this is listed as 80 (print) pages on Amazon, but the story is only half of that, the other half is teaser for two other books by different authors.
Which I really do not read most of the time (unless I already now the author, but chances are then I will by the book from which the excerpt/start chapters are anyway).

Nice weird story, told from the POV of a child (10-12 yrs I guess, not sure wether it is mentioned).
Also this planet-system is the one which is mentioned in Babylon's Ashes, so some background from Babylon's Ashes should be known. Not sure how the next book (will be published in a few days) connects to this, so not sure wether this is required reading.
My guess is yes, when it plays a larger role in the next book, no, if not.

With the still high price, recommended for fans or try to borrow it.

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Thursday, November 30, 2017

Review: Babylon's Ashes

Babylon's Ashes Babylon's Ashes by James S.A. Corey
My rating: 0 of 5 stars

This is one of the ebooks, where I wanted to wait for price to sink under 10 or 9 Eur (Us$ 12-11), and now it did, so I bought it, although today (October 24th, 2017) 3 pre-ordered ebooks where published and my Kindle greeted me with "not enough memory ...". Time to delete some more issues "Der Spiegel" (weekly German news-journal) and "The Economist" (weekly news-journal).
Deus Ex Machina ! Not to spoil anything. But well done.
As usual alternating POV-chapterwise.
... weird, dead alien technology with effects we don’t understand ...
Still going strong for me, while this could work as a standalone, I do not advise to read it without the other books before, you miss out on too much.

Recommended series, as is the book. The next book will be published in a week, but I might wait again for the price to sink lower.

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Thursday, November 16, 2017

Review: Punk 57

Punk 57 Punk 57 by Penelope Douglas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

YA? NA? Whatever.
One of the best books I read this year (2017).
believable, convincing teens growing up, complicated, but interesting romance, a few NSFW sex scenes. Abuse and bullying, veering into rape. A little social media used expertly - could have been more for my taste, but maybe it was more realistic this way, with RL playing a more important part, but the threat of Facebook and Youtube always showing clips forever playing a dark role of exposure and making the bullying last also forever, when in the past it would have been over and forgotten by some in weeks or months.

Not sure wether this counts as a standalone, as there are books about some of the minor characters, but I guess that is only in the same world, so not considered a series.

A strong, important book I recommend highly, worth way more than the 5stars I can give, one of the best books I read this year, both with a message and entertaining. Would really like to see this filmed.


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Sunday, November 12, 2017

Review: A Deep Thing

A Deep Thing A Deep Thing by A.K. Smith
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Got this rather cheap, the blurb read interesting. Also at the end with the notes about the author I discovered it was a female author, which is always a plus for me. Except for the romance.
Solid 4* for a debut. Contains too much romance for my taste. Some scenes where way too long and not to spoil the end, while I thought it would take a turn into SF, it was more fantasy. And this way also more like James Rollins, what with the trust-no-one vibe and the conspiracy theories. Felt also a bit too long for me, as I took altogether too long to finish it, a sure sign it was not as suspenseful as I hoped.
As I read Hans Hass and Jacques Cousteau in my youth and despite my disability I swam then (Baltic Sea sometimes or when the family went to a swimming pool), the diving was what interested me most in this book and the short passages where rather interesting and felt real, like the author had experienced this kind of cave-diving herself.

With a debut or when other pieces fall into place I tend to overlook some things, so others might consider this a 3star book. But I saw no mistakes, not in the logic of the story, nor in the writing (grammar etc.) - sometimes in speech it felt like I would have said it with a word or two more, but maybe I am just more used to some UK expressions, from a different English-speaking-country (I am a foreigner, German born&breed, still living here).
Standalone.

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Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Review: The Ice Twins

The Ice Twins The Ice Twins by S.K. Tremayne
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Finally resolved to FF this, too much inner thoughts, not enough action.
The setting could not save it, together with some strange pictures these where the only good things about the book.
At times it reminded me of a Gothic Ghost Story, a little Horror here and there, veering into supernatural, some twists, nicely done the one in the end (with the 6 months later), but basically boring. Not my kind of book, have The Fire Child bought as this and The Fire Child where both recommended to me, and the reviews I read where 4 or 5 stars. Well, will look fast into that one to abandon it.
In the last years I fell for such bad drivel as Gone Girl, have yet to DNF Girl on a train, and maybe others (or I might not even start them). Looks to me like the whole genre "psychological thriller - unreliable narrator - drunk/drugs/mad" is not for me. Whatever, time is too short for such bad books.

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Saturday, November 4, 2017

Review: Origin

Origin Origin by Dan Brown
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Guilty pleasure, 5star recommended page-turner of a book!

It follows the same formula or blueprint as the other books about Robert Langdon: namely someone gets killed, or something awful happens and Langdon has to discover who what when or whatever together with an always good looking female, but no sex, little or no romance usually, this time there is a little romance. Most times the couple is under time pressure and has to act so fast, they skip sleeping, eating and a lot of times bathrooms breaks - except then something significant happens in a bathroom (I seem to remember that from the Da Vinci Code). Ok, maybe I exaggerate, but basically that is the plot-structure in these books. Sounds boring? It is anything but, as with Inferno, #04 in the series, this book has themes which concern us all, and it delivers a lot of food for thought, also, staying mostly in one big area in Spain, not as much background noise of historical descriptions as in the last books, or maybe because it was more interesting to me, in the other books I skimmed these passages, as I think they where rather boring and most times did nothing for the story for me.
Hope this gets filmed, as the other books about Robert Langdon.

Not wanting to spoil anything, I cannot really say more, except that again, this book has a deep view of Religion and shows some of the things which went wrong. Also shows all sites of the trouble some have with Religion and its believes, juxtaposed with Science and what is troubling there.
What little there is of love, there is also Gay love, nicely integrated.

Two of the main twists (the main baddy, later named the Regent) I guessed early on, both where confirmed pretty late in the book.

Would have been a fast read, but some things made me think, so I took more time and I might look up some more info about places, art, architecture, which will also take time. As with the last book, I would like a link section so I could look at everything online (a virtual gallery might even exist, but I have to search for it).

Highly recommended, a fast page-turner and guilty pleasure standing high above others with the brain fodder it delivers.

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Sunday, October 29, 2017

Review: To All The Boys I've Loved Before

To All The Boys I've Loved Before To All The Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Started this on the same day as Warcross, so I could read what fancies my mood. The last few days it was like rainy Sunday, so great time for reading. Only, it is Monday now, and the rain is still drizzeling. Typical autumn in Hamburg, Germany... Feels a bit like London, UK. Sometime it is even foggy in the morning.
This book is just the right kind of mood for that, but not really my type of book, just drama and romance, no crime, not enough twists (one near the end, although I did not guess it, it was also not totally a surprise) and little to no sex.
Recommended 3star and I will surly watch the movie which is supposed to be made. Had this on my wantlist for quite some time, and the news about the movie tipped me into buying it.

But, this the first part of a trilogy, and while it has short chapters (I think) and was a reasonable fast read, it did not gripp me and I would have liked a more nerdy / geek kind of girl as the MC. So I am not anticipating the next books, and last I checked, they cost me too much (9 Eur for an ebook, srsly?).

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Thursday, October 26, 2017

Review: Warcross

Warcross Warcross by Marie Lu
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Pre-ordered Kindle Edition (eBook), this is supposed to be published October 3d, 2017. This is in Germany a national Holiday, celebrating the Fall of the Berlin Wall (was seperating East-from-West-Berlin) in 1989. Instead I received this early, on September 12, 2017 (the day of the Apple Keynote for iPhone X).
Read the review from "Reading after Midnight" - the drawing of Emika Chen, the MC, is great, really beautiful!
Cannot totally agree with the analysis of the romance, though, I thought it was a mixture of fandom, Stockholm-Syndrome, and real love, until near the twist near the end. And I think it is totally believable and was very well written.

The world-building (inside Warcross) was great, with learning how it works not forced in one big massive boulder on the reader, then also the MC learning what she doe not know. With the review from "Reading after midnight" I agree, there could have been more hacking, but at least it was shown that there is some team-spirit, others helping and also near the end, the MC asking for help, which is always a good thing and well explained with the example of helping other but not daring to ask for help. As someone who spent his whole, short work-life helping others as a former Helpdesk-Slave, I can totally relate to that, but I am used to asking for help, also as I am sitting in wheelchair and some things I just cannot do on my own.
That was also a part I really liked, that it was subtly introduced that one of the other warcross players was part of the Paralympics-Team, (disqualified for getting into a fight with a teammate) and then switched to Warcross.
And then one of the main players, the Captain of Emika's Team is sitting in a big, expensive wheel-chair. Even that we do not get much details about that was very good, felt naturally integrated, as if it is not a big deal - which it should not be, but would be nowadays.

Not a lot of twists, until near the end, and I guessed the real name of Zero quite early, felt obvious to me. No sex, just kisses and a little romance, felt a bit juvenile to me, as they are all at least 18, most older, I am not convinced, there should have been sex, even if happening off-page.

Regret mostly that I have to wait for the next book, but will definitely read her other Trilogy (Legend), which I have already marked as "reading" some time ago, but have not really started. Also my "currently reading" list is way too long, I will try to FastForward/DNF a few books to make this list shorter and more realistic.

As far as I have gathered from comments, the next book will offer the POV from ZERO.
Highly recommended, but as it is supposed to be a Trilogy, the whole will decide for me wether it was worthwhile. Like the style of writing though, chapter-lenth is good, so I hope book #02 and #03 do not disappoint. Ah, the long wait for not-yet-published-book...

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Sunday, October 22, 2017

Review: Descent

Descent Descent by Kristina Stanley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Rating rounded up, more like 3.5 stars, a bit long, and while I did not guess the killer, the suspense came sometimes from information which was introduced late when needed, not real twists. Short chapters, fast read, romance, no sex-scenes, most sex happening off-page.
Expected more thrill and twists, so maybe 4 stars is a bit much, but this is the first book, and I am willing to hope it might get better. Like the setting in British Columbia (Canada) with snow and mountains, better than every other book in LA/NYC/Washington DC.

Recommended as a fast mystery-romance, have bought this together with Stone Mountain Mysteries #2 and #3 and will read them, then I feel like a it. Good read for a rainy weekend.

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Friday, October 20, 2017

Review: The Bride Collector

The Bride Collector The Bride Collector by Ted Dekker
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Not enough suspense nor action. A good book to read about the inner musings of a serial-killer (and a few inmates in a mental health institution). That part was well done, but with the romance and missing suspense, the long chapters and the rather long book, it was boring, topped with an ending I guessed nearly from the get-go.

Stumbled on this through a thread in my favourite Goodreads-Group What's the name of that book? The other book was the solution and way better (and shorter): The Dollmaker (Forgotten Files #02) - Mary Burton (Insert book/author is not working? So no link, will correct that later).

Three stars, and not recommended, there are better and way faster serial-killer books out there.

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Thursday, October 12, 2017

Review: The Dollmaker

The Dollmaker The Dollmaker by Mary Burton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A lot of what I wrote in the review of the first book from the Forgotten Files I could repeat here.
Look into that short review.
This gets solid 4stars for few more (straight, non-kinky) sex-scenes, and this time I did not guess the killer at any point until the big reveal. Could have done with a little less romance, at times the thoughts of the couple where repeating too much.
Still, recommended fast read for a great sick twisted killer.

This was also the book, that drew me to this series.

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Sunday, October 8, 2017

Review: Moon Called

Moon Called Moon Called by Patricia Briggs
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

KickAss start for a series.
Bought this ebook cheap, probably for a promo price, not so long ago, had this on my wishlist rather long. Currently going without rhyme or reason through my TBR. This has Vampires and Werewolves, which after Twilight and other series I wanted to stay away from.

Mercy alone is interesting enough to make want to read the second book, although probably not so soon (and it is not really cheap, even as an ebook). She stands on her own and is rather headstrong, and so far she is single, although that may change. With this book she is my kind of heroine: strong, independent, submissive when needed, but so far her head is screwed right on.

World building rather well integrated during the story with flashbacks and learning by the MC (Mercy) on the job. Better than Magic Bites (link to my review), where I decided not to read more than this first book

Skimmed a few reviews of the second book and am not so sure wether I will like it or not (but will buy it and begin reading it), what with the religion etc. .

This book is a recommended 5stars, strong beginning of a series, lots of action, suspense and well done fight scenes.



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Sunday, October 1, 2017

Review: Daisy in Chains

Daisy in Chains Daisy in Chains by Sharon Bolton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow! Twisted and I almost never guessed what will happen next.
Also a different style of writing with presenting handwritten letters, emails, newspaper cuts. Only the handwritten letters are graphics and cannot be zoomed so I had a hard time reading them. Short chapters and a lot of them help this to be a fast page-turner.
Also I did not see plot-holes, but maybe that is just me.
Good use of social media, Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, email, well integrated but not too much.
Really liked the heroine.
Some may view the past when Hamish Wolf and his fellow students and what happened then, toned down and more or less excused as normal Student-Behaviour near the ending. This was not punishable (too long ago), but still Hamish Wolfe gets painted in a wrong light, imho, he is a bad guy, no matter what they say in the end.

Highly recommended fast read, and I for one really liked the ending, others did not.
Also not too bloody or brutal, some abuse, for a long time you did not know how the victims where killed. Hints of darker deeds, which never where described in detail and did not surface in the plot.

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Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Review: Chimera

Chimera Chimera by Celina Grace
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Snatched this one up for free, as I really like these books and subscribed to the email-info from the author and was informed of the promotion.
The case is ok, but otherwise this is the worst of the series so far.
Little romance, no sex.
Kate nearly alienates a few friends and me with them, by an overly weepy and hysterical reaction to some news of her gay friends, due to her past, which I had forgotten and only a few pieces where rehashed, so I had to guess what happened. And too much thinking about being alone by Kate, way too insecure for a good Heroine and boring.

Not to rehash too much, a link to my review of Pulse (Kate Redman Mysteries, #10), which I read out of order. A lot of what I wrote is also true for this book. If the case had been a little worse, I would have given 2 meagre stars.
Cannot really say I am looking forward to the next book, which I already own.

Not a long read, but not totally a page-turner either.
Still I stand with the 3 stars I gave.

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Monday, September 25, 2017

Review: The Shark

The Shark The Shark by Mary Burton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Good first book in a series, maybe 4 stars is a bit much, a few twists, later in the book a little straight sex-scene, some romance. Did not guess the correct killer, but was not too surprised.
Ending ok, but as expected, again, could have given 3 stars on a different day as it was obvious from the beginning. No taking the law in ones one hands, although it was nearly what happened. Then it would have been 3 stars for sure.
Recommended fast read, for a good book about a serial killer and street wise down on the luck teens sinking into drugs and prostitution. Already own the next two books, as these were all available for 99 ct. (Euro-Cents, Germany) each.

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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Review: Die Würfel sind gefallen

Die Würfel sind gefallen Die Würfel sind gefallen by Jenny Rogneby
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Blurb read good, as both the english edt. and this one is a translation, and the price was ok, I bought the German eBook, also I might recommend this book to family and friends.
OK, some things that happen are beyond real, starting with the first bank robbery, which would in my view not have happened how it did. But if you are able to read on, this is one twistet book, I almost never knew what would happen next, and in this case, that was what kept the suspense for me.
Trigger warning: child abuse.
Mostly written from POV of the female MC.

While this is going in to a different direction and hacking plays only a little, minor role, this is by far the best female MC since Lisbeth Salander - the Huntress from Alexandra Sokoloff would have been just as good but that series is mostly from a different POV if I remember right (Insert book/author does not work now, will change to link later). Headstrong, independent, although married with children, not the typical romance, nor the typical wife.

Hoping that the english translation of the original is as good as the german one.

Highly recommended 5 stars and I am just planning when to buy the next book in the series (price is a bit high, got this one for under 5 Eur, but the price of this has also risen, was just lucky, could have been an Amazon Promo Price).
Will recommend this to my mother and the rest of my family, although she does not like to read too much about abused children, but this one is too good to miss.

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Sunday, September 17, 2017

Review: Lauernde Schatten

Lauernde Schatten Lauernde Schatten by Katrin Rodeit
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Amazon Auslese Promo Preis für einige Zeit. German Book, review therefore in German, I did not check, wether there is an english translation available, and as it is not recommended by me, you need not search for it. Standard-fare, a few twists, but not enough suspense.

Standard Krimi, nette twists, vor allem, da ich bis kurz vor Ende nicht auf den Schuldigen für den 2. Teil gekommen bin, obwohl ich das schon eine bekannte Gruppe eingeordnet habe.
Wenigstens kein plötzlich auftauchender Unbekannter.
Brauchbares Lesevergnügen, aber auch nicht so spannend, mit ein bischen viel Familien/Background geschwurbel, hätte in der Tiefe und Länge nicht sein müssen.

Solide 3 Sterne, aber hebt sich nicht von anderen guten Krimis ab. Heldin ist ok, wobei mal wieder ein gefährlicher Alleingang wie in vielen anderen Krimis als Spannungsmittel nicht sehr überzeugt - ich halte diese Art der Alleingänge, auch bei den zufällig wieder mal nicht ausreichend geladenen Handy (wieso kaufen die eigentlich alle kein Ladegerät/Halterung etc. für das Auto?) für oftmals, hier auch wieder, völlig unrealistisch. Entweder hinterlasse ich rechtzeitig bei Kollegen / Freunden eine Nachricht, das ich eine Spur verfolge, jemanden besuche etc., und/oder ich sorge dafür, das mein Handy aufgeladen ist. Oder ich nehme als Polizist(in) gleich Verstärkung mit.

So wie es ist, ok, solide 3 Sterne, keine Empfehlung. Nicht spannend genug.

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Thursday, September 14, 2017

Review: We Know It Was You

We Know It Was You We Know It Was You by Maggie Thrash
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Fell for the blurb, stating a mix between Twin Peaks (big fan) and Pretty Little Liars (have seen only the first few episodes, might binge all, when I have time and it is concluded?!).

What little suspense there is stems from the two MC's not knowing a bit. Some inner musings and thoughts do little for me, although themes with pedophilia, abuse, rape are in the book, somehow it left a childish impression for me. This is probably the fault of the MC's who are even with the things happening not really grown up. Could have done with more nerdy/geeky stuff.

So, not what the blurb promises and not what I want to read. Not recommended, two meager stars it is and I do not feel sorry for that, only for my wasted time not DNFing it. As it is, I will certainly not read more of this series (and probably not more from this author).

Added: Just saw that it is also published under a different title:Strange Lies and ... the surname of the author should have clued me in as to how good this book might be!

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Friday, September 8, 2017

Review: Want to Play?

Want to Play? Want to Play? by P.J. Tracy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Price was ok, I waited for long time for it to sink further, it did not, and I finally caved today and bought it, after reading the blurb / praise from unknown authors who best are forgotten ... . At least it is about a serial killer, so I hope for good entertainment.

At 73% I guessed the killer, and I was mostly right.
A few nice twists, but not in the beginning up to maybe 30-40% way to many important people playing a role, and even with some nice surprises not enough suspense for me, I am not so good with names, so I had trouble remembering who was what where with the 2 crime-scenes and two sets of cops.

Nice, bloody ending, with a surprising body count.
A little romance, no real sex scenes, straying into LGBT with the gender of the killer.

As this book was about a computer-game-constructing firm and computers, networks, firewalls etc. played a certain role, as a retired IT-Helpdesk-Slave I would have liked a more technical jargon and more details, for the layperson that could have been explained after the book in an X-ray (Kindle) or Glossary (even for a few expressions or words, I would have liked a Glossary). At one point near the end when the power was down it was asked how long the computers ran on battery, so they had implied UPS (uninterruptible power supply) connected, but given that they also had a generator for such a power failure, that could and should have been mentioned. The technology as mentioned was correct, but mostly because it was never very detailed, just the general terms (Firewall, hacking etc).

This was published a few years before the iPhone (or smartphones in general), but that is not too obvious, and I guess the phones at that time had no light. Today and even 2 or 3 years back you would just have switched on your phone for lack of a flashlight.

For a first in the series good enough to make me want to read the next book in the series, but not too soon. So a solid 4 stars it is, recommended.

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Friday, September 1, 2017

Review: Inspired by Frost

Inspired by Frost Inspired by Frost by Alicia Rades
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

No real review, as most of what I wrote for the second book also applies here. Felt like reading some fluffy PNR and so I did. Romance, but not sex. MC comes across as whiney and most times unsure, not my type of heroine.

Three stars, barely, not really recommended, for younger readers and fans.

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Saturday, August 26, 2017

Review: The Truth Factory

The Truth Factory The Truth Factory by Cody McFadyen
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Preordered this as soon as I realized the author is still alive and will publish a new book, which is just a few years late after it was first announced. Word was that he was seriously ill and I expected no more books from him, instead I prepared myself for his death notice.
Not knowing what really happened (it may simply be an extreme case of writers block), I am glad he can write on and hope he is not ill anymore.
Sorry to say so, but this book is as bad as it gets. Just having skimmed a few reviews, some people question who wrote the book, given how far (60%) I got, I still think, it is written by Mr. McFadyen - people change, although I think, this smells of writers block, but that is just a guess.

This drags, it is now quite a few years (5 I think) since I read my last book by Cody McFadyen (sidestory, I bought into this author first, as I thought he was a female, but sadly, I was wrong). That last book was Der Menschenmacher which was first published in German - my first language, so I read it in German, and after reading it with its philosophical theme of Nietzsche I understand why. But that was still suspenseful and brutal.

This book drags, beginning shortly after an over the top brutal and fast paced beginning with a lot of dead.
It consists of inner musings of the MC, and scenes of torture, some from history (reminding me of The Devil of Nanking aka Tokyo). Also an unexpected betrayal which is then so far (61%) not further investigated.
The deaths, torture etc. get personal, but the suspense does not come back.
Taking a break I read other books at the 61% mark and am not very keen on going back to this book.
My rule is, I do not abandon a book after a third (33,3%). Currently I cannot bring myself to read further and whatever happens, even if it picks up, I think, both I and the author have changed too much, so I might drop this author, even if and when I finish the book.

The vision of the author might be to take a major turn in this series and begin a (short?) series consisting of the investigation to bring this sect-like circle of people down - I cannot see it finished in the remaining space of the book. That might be interesting, even for me, but I do not feel it.

Maybe something totally different happens and this might be the last book in this series, I will only know once I finish, but as I do not want to spoil it, just take this: so far I think, this is not recommended, and only hardcore fans of Cody McFadyen and those ADD people who read all from certain authors regardless how bad it is, should read it.

Even if some books by my favorite authors dragged in the middle, this one is too long and too far out, even though I had an advanced course in Philosophy during my last school years and have still some interest in it.

So far I would rate it 2 meager stars. And as always my review is longer than usual with this rating.
Well. Read at your own peril.
After a few days and a few books in between, I am not too sure, I will finish it. Life is too short for bad books!

August 21st, 2017, nearly a year since I last looked into the book.
In trying to clean up my 50 (e)books strong "Currently Reading"-shelf, which mostly consists of started-bored-me-on-to-the-next-book, I will try to get 5-10 books either as definite DNF or FF. This one is currently FF (Fast-Forward, like on a VHS-Videoplayer, if you are old enough remember them ... ah, well, kidding, FF does exist on Netflix / Amazon Prime and 4K Blu-ray whatever).

YES! Finished it, finally. Might peek into the next books, to see how it ends, but not if they are as expensive as I expect, and if they take as long to be published - I have lost my drive to read the worst of the worst with this book, and most books I read are not as boring. While I can recognize this over-the-top dark book, it offers no suspense and I do not like the torture offered by it.

Strongly discourage picking this up, even for free or lent. The second star is for fans of the series, those who need even the bad books by an author to complete their collection. For someone in the search for really bad ideas this might be a brilliant book, but then again, there are better examples in older literature, the Classic de Sade's 120 days of Sodom comes to mind. And even that I have only read parts, not everything. The sheer encompassing timeline and the story are strong, but the storytelling not, it reads like non-fiction-lecture-book, lots of inner monologue little action and so it bored me. Even then there are lots of parts (family scenes) which should have been cut for getting a shorter book. And Callie's way of speaking with her constantly using "Honey-love" grated on my nerves. Could have been that way in the books before in the series, but they where shorter (I think) and had stronger stories, more crime, more suspense, so even then I could skipp that in those books, or it was not present.

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Review: The Truth Factory

The Truth Factory The Truth Factory by Cody McFadyen
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Preordered this as soon as I realized the author is still alive and will publish a new book, which is just a few years late after it was first announced. Word was that he was seriously ill and I expected no more books from him, instead I prepared myself for his death notice.
Not knowing what really happened (it may simply be an extreme case of writers block), I am glad he can write on and hope he is not ill anymore.
Sorry to say so, but this book is as bad as it gets. Just having skimmed a few reviews, some people question who wrote the book, given how far (60%) I got, I still think, it is written by Mr. McFadyen - people change, although I think, this smells of writers block, but that is just a guess.

This drags, it is now quite a few years (5 I think) since I read my last book by Cody McFadyen (sidestory, I bought into this author first, as I thought he was a female, but sadly, I was wrong). That last book was Der Menschenmacher which was first published in German - my first language, so I read it in German, and after reading it with its philosophical theme of Nietzsche I understand why. But that was still suspenseful and brutal.

This book drags, beginning shortly after an over the top brutal and fast paced beginning with a lot of dead.
It consists of inner musings of the MC, and scenes of torture, some from history (reminding me of The Devil of Nanking aka Tokyo). Also an unexpected betrayal which is then so far (61%) not further investigated.
The deaths, torture etc. get personal, but the suspense does not come back.
Taking a break I read other books at the 61% mark and am not very keen on going back to this book.
My rule is, I do not abandon a book after a third (33,3%). Currently I cannot bring myself to read further and whatever happens, even if it picks up, I think, both I and the author have changed too much, so I might drop this author, even if and when I finish the book.

The vision of the author might be to take a major turn in this series and begin a (short?) series consisting of the investigation to bring this sect-like circle of people down - I cannot see it finished in the remaining space of the book. That might be interesting, even for me, but I do not feel it.

Maybe something totally different happens and this might be the last book in this series, I will only know once I finish, but as I do not want to spoil it, just take this: so far I think, this is not recommended, and only hardcore fans of Cody McFadyen and those ADD people who read all from certain authors regardless how bad it is, should read it.

Even if some books by my favorite authors dragged in the middle, this one is too long and too far out, even though I had an advanced course in Philosophy during my last school years and have still some interest in it.

So far I would rate it 2 meager stars. And as always my review is longer than usual with this rating.
Well. Read at your own peril.
After a few days and a few books in between, I am not too sure, I will finish it. Life is too short for bad books!

August 21st, 2017, nearly a year since I last looked into the book.
In trying to clean up my 50 (e)books strong "Currently Reading"-shelf, which mostly consists of started-bored-me-on-to-the-next-book, I will try to get 5-10 books either as definite DNF or FF. This one is currently FF (Fast-Forward, like on a VHS-Videoplayer, if you are old enough remember them ... ah, well, kidding, FF does exist on Netflix / Amazon Prime and 4K Blu-ray whatever).

YES! Finished it, finally. Might peek into the next books, to see how it end, but not if they are as expensive as I expect, and if they take as long to be published - I have lost my drive to read the worst of the worst with this book, and most books I are not as boring. While I can recognize this over-the-top dark book, it offers no suspense and I do not like the torture offered by it.

Strongly discourage picking this up, even for free or lent. The second star is for fans of the series, those who need even the bad books by an author to complete their collection. For someone in the search for really bad ideas this might be a brilliant book, but then again, there are better examples in older literature, the Classic de Sade's 120 days of Sodom comes to mind. And even that I have only read parts, not everything. The sheer encompassing timeline and the story are strong, but the storytelling not, it reads like non-fiction-lecture-book, lots of inner monologue little action and so it bored me. Even then there are lots of parts (family scenes) which should have been cut for getting a shorter book. And Callie's way of speaking with her constantly using "Honey-love" grated on my nerves. Could have been that way in the books before in the series, but they where shorter (I think) and had stronger stories, more crime, more suspense, so even then I could skipp that in those books, or it was not present.

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Review: Grave Witch

Grave Witch Grave Witch by Kalayna Price
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Nice one, no vampires, no werewolves and while there is a love triangle, it is handled in a good, non-disturbing way.
World is not too overloaded (one of peeves in some other books) and world-building well done-with a lot not known even in the world itself, so it is the MC learning with the reader. Well written suspense, and although the end is obvious, the baddie is not known for sure until some 2/3 in the book. One nice, necessary, steamy but rather clean sex-scene (straight) at about 80%.
Some torture, but not too detailed.
More for 15 and above, not totally YA.
Highly recommended and will certainly read the next one(s) in the series.

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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Review: Last Breath

Last Breath Last Breath by Robert Bryndza
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Top-Notch page-turner. Longer review to follow soon.
Added 2 months later:
Obviously the longer review hast surfaced, sorry for that. But I still recommend it, and I gave 5 stars.
For fans of Erika Foster and/or these other series (Author - Heroine):
Angela Marsons - Kim Stone
M.J. Arlidge - DI Helen Grace
Celina Grace - Kate Redman (too much romance and not strong enough heroine for me)
Griffiths, Elly - Ruth Galloway (must admit, I have only read the first book yet)
Robert Dugoni - Tracy Crosswhite
Rachel Amphlett - Kay Hunter



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Review: In the Dark

In the Dark In the Dark by Chris Patchell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review to follow soon!
Wow! No, sorry, no review. It has been a year now and I cannot honestly say I remember the book enough to write a review.
But, I have decided at the time to warrant 5 stars, so I guess, it is good enough to buy more from the author and good enough to recommend it - but please, do not quote me on that.

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Review: Midnight Crossroad

Midnight Crossroad Midnight Crossroad by Charlaine Harris
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Picked this up when I saw the first trailer for Midnight, Texas - a TV series loosely based on the books. Like with the Sookie Stackhouse books and the True Blood TV-series, the books are slower, not so overwhelmingly overloaded (a reason why I paused True Blood after Season 3, buying the Blu-ray-Sets and having not watched it since). But slower does not necessarily mean bad nor good.
This is set in the same Universe as Sookie, variants of the same creatures and Harper (from another book series) is even once mentioned.
Having watched the first 5 Episodes, the TV-series is again rather overloaded, too much happening in the last episode, and too much at the same time. It looks to me as if they pressed events from this book and the possible next 2-4 in these 5 episodes. Half of it would have been enough for me. Also the constant switching between the different storylines (although happening at the same time) was rather annoying.
In the books the approach is better, switching POV chapter-wise. But also less suspense, and were the TV-Show has too much, this book has more inner monologue and thoughts of the POV-Person, not really much happening. Would have liked a mixture of the TV-Show and the Book, more action, more suspense.
Recommended, 3 solid stars. May be the next books will be better, but as I have read all 4 Harper Connely books, some Sookie Stackhouse and most Aurora Teagarden (sort of like Agatha Christie, but in USA and in our time), I doubt it. That is not bad, if you know what you want and like the world Harris created.

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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Review: The Hidden House Murders: Miss Hart and Miss Hunter Investigate: Book 3

The Hidden House Murders: Miss Hart and Miss Hunter Investigate: Book 3 The Hidden House Murders: Miss Hart and Miss Hunter Investigate: Book 3 by Celina Grace
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Received an ARC for an honest review.
To start honest, this kind of mystery might not really be my cup-a-tea: I read Agatha Christie last when I was still reading in German (translation) only, maybe age 10 or 12 (1976, 1978).
The book takes place in England, but in the past (20th century), I think, which would prevent me from buying this, as I have long stopped reading most books playing too long ago in the past (with exceptions).
But I am paying for this with a review, so I will see how I like this (TANSTAAFL).

Well, better than expected. You feel like visiting the UK between the two Word-Wars, I think, cannot exactly pin the time down, as no real indication is given, they have cars, wireless, a telephone in the house with the need to call an operator (could also be before the first WW, but I guess that not many people had a Telephone way back then).

Very well done, even though I would have liked more suspense. You get to know how servants work and live their life in a wealthy household in the UK. There is lots of eating and tea-drinking, and even if the female servants-team Hunter / Hart try to solve the crime, work comes first, feeding their household, even the other servants. And, having been in the UK a few time during the 1980's for vacation, I can assist, that they still drink a lot of tea, so that is realistic.
The main women are very well described, deeply fleshed out, with the few man mostly described with an outline, but not very deep, only the inspector, which I understand was also in the book(s) before this one is more fleshed out, but not overly so, in comparison to the MC's.

The crime and solving is a lot like in the Agatha Christie books I remember from my childhood, with a rounding of all (surviving) people and staging a big reveal. Not really something I would buy today, I am sorry to say. But in exchange for a review, I must admit, it was very well written, with a certain insight in life at that time I did not expect.

So recommended 4 stars it is, if you want a lighter mystery, not much blood and I did not guess at any point what really happened. No sex, but that is to be expected, and you get a little romance thrown in, some real and some pretend. Having been in the mood for this certainly helped, else it would be a 3 star/recommended.

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Friday, August 11, 2017

Review: If I Was Your Girl

If I Was Your Girl If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo
My rating: 0 of 5 stars

Had this on my Amazon-Wishlist and waited till the price sank.
And after SF (The Expanse #05: Nemesis Games) I wanted something different, so I started this one.

“I asked you what you feel. You can’t have art if you spend all your time forgetting pain.”


Recommomended for a story about queer, transgender, gay. Story is ok, but missed 1 star, as it was just too neat. In the afterword the author recognizes that and explains it, so there is that. My favourite person was Bee, badass and then ... I will not spoil it.

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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Review: Body of Evidence #7: Burning Bones

Body of Evidence #7: Burning Bones Body of Evidence #7: Burning Bones by Christopher Golden
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

See my other reviews of the series, not much to add.
Far out idea, a little more believable for me, this time.
Ending ok, though all in all again 3.5 stars rounded up to 4.
Bought this and 4 others (one of it I already owned) as an ebook Omnibus "Season 2", will read them with distance between the books, so as not to spoil it, as they are sometimes a bit too much based on a formula/framework. Though I still think, there should be more books, going into the world we have today, with Wifi, tablets and smartphones, etc. .

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Sunday, August 6, 2017

Review: Drive

Drive Drive by James S.A. Corey
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Free short story in the Expanse World.
Could have a little more technical background regarding the Epstein Drive, otherwise nice addition to the series, but not really necessary read, as the important facts are sprinkled throughout the novels.

At least I did not pay for it.
Url to story at the Goodreads page for the book. It is not really a book, but to be read online. As I hate that, I copied the text to simple text file in my favourite Editor (BBedit, free version, since the demise of TextWrangler) and read it on my Kindle.

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Friday, August 4, 2017

Review: Nemesis Games

Nemesis Games Nemesis Games by James S.A. Corey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow, setting is like taking apart a puzzle.
We learn a lot about the past of Alex, Amos and Naomi, and then the puzzle gets solved with a few new pieces to give a different whole.

Monica whistled low. “Schismatic OPA faction?” she said. “Well. It wouldn’t be the first time a revolutionary leader was targeted by the extreme wing of his own side.”

Some actions are unbelievable, but I tend to overlook these, the action is top notch, and the off-screen deathrate counts as high as ever (it can only be guessed anyway). The logic behind killing that many people escapes me, though, and the action of a terrorist splinter group is hard to analyze, though Fred Johnson has some idea.
“Of course you do,” Holden said. “Why wouldn’t you tell them?” Fred blinked. His laugh, when it came, was deep and rolling. It came up from his belly and filled the air. “Just when I think you’ve changed, you come out with something that is uniquely James Holden. I don’t know what to think about you. I really don’t.” “Thanks?”

And the best one:
“We’re not making any official statements, especially when James Holden’s in the room. No offense, but your track record for blurting information at inopportune moments is the stuff of legend.” (Avasarala, of course)

Highly recommended, probably the best so far in the series. Will not really make sense without having read the other novels, and I also suggest reading the shorties / novellas. Though the order is sometimes confusing.

Off Topic: I am now the proud owner of two T-Shirt's with the OPA-Logo. Not having watched more episode of the Expanse (yet), I hope the logo is the same one as in the series.

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Saturday, July 29, 2017

Review: The Churn

The Churn The Churn by James S.A. Corey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Live on Earth, interesting addition to the Expanse Multiverse.
The MC Timmy is interesting, and very well developed. Would like to see more of him in other books. Some sex (not explicit, more talked about), very well done, with the problems with a young men and an older woman having sex.

Depending on wether he pops up in other books, not really necessary read, nor a great addition. Without the other books not worth it, price ok, for the length of the book.

Three solid stars, recommended for hard fans and completionists. Will add to this review if the character is also in other books.

(Added July 28th, 2017)
Being at 21% in The Expanse #05, Nemesis Games, the genius behind this little story forces me to change the review and add a star, giving it 4. Not to spoil it, this should be read bevore Nemesis Games, and then imidiatly followed with Nemesis Games. Wow. Nice one, did not see that twist coming. So, this one is also a must-read for understanding the series, even if that is not immediately obivous.

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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Review: The Vital Abyss

The Vital Abyss The Vital Abyss by James S.A. Corey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Bought it a little cheaper not at Amazon, but some other ebook seller (as long as it still sells).
Still more expensive in comparison to other novellas from the Expanse-series.
Reason may be, it is one of the puzzle-pieces, which, while not necessary to understand the big picture, is a worthwhile addition, as is the other required reading: The Butcher of Anderson station.
The Vital Abyss is about one of the scientists who work on the Protomolecule.
This is a rather interesting for background, and can be read after Abbadon's Gate (Expanse #03) or Cibola Burn (Expanse #04).
Goodreads lists it as Expanse #05.5, to be read after Nemesis Games (Expanse #05), which I currently just start and I do not see it. Some of story is how the Scientist came to his job, some is flashback, while the Now in the story is after the discovery of the Gate, placing it somewhere before Abbadon's Gate or during it.

Highly recommended backstory to the main story-lines. Short read, and for that it was even the cheaper EPUB I bought too expensive, imho. And like some other novellas, seems longer, as 15-20% of the pages are filled with the beginning of another book - which in this case is more a "you might also like"-read, not something of the Expanse.

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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Review: Enigma

Enigma Enigma by Tonya Kuper
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Ok, so it is a Duology, not a Trilogy.
Ending is ok, but as I feared, way too much romance.
Could have done with a little less and more suspense and fight scenes. In the end then happened all at once, a bit much. And with other books, took me longer than necessary, as it did not grip me. OK read, with the first book for a rainy weekend. Also, as it is now published, the time between reading the first and the second book was way too long for me, suggest reading them back2back (finished this one July 20th, 2017, the first one Anomaly December 31st, 2015, 1.5 yrs in between and me forgetting most, so I had to FF read the first book again). No swearing, a lot of nerdy pop-culture references (think Cookie O'Gorman: Adorkable etc.).
The Author's Note explains the anxiety attacks and how they where handled.
I must admit, I did not remember much about it.

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Saturday, July 15, 2017

Review: Cibola Burn

Cibola Burn Cibola Burn by James S.A. Corey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review to follow, hopefully today (June 10th, 2017) still late, today is June 24th. sorry. 10pm, will go to bed and read a few minutes.
(July 15th, 2017, cleaning up a few leftover reviews)
This is probably the best in the series so far for me, although all are really good, and even though a pattern or framework comes to surface: alternating POV's, one of which is Holden in the novels (as in contrast to the shorties&novellas).

What really gave me a warm fuzzy feeling was the actions by Holden, trying to do the right thing, weighing in equal parts law and moral and for the Greater Good of ALL the people on the lonely planet - even against OPA and Earth suggestions. Helped by the long delay communication takes.
Not taking the easy way out, even if one of the opponents is a psychopath, which Amos would simple have shot, given the chance and ok from Holden.
And that even with Miller intervening.

Very highly recommended, but if you read all novels back2back, they might feel a little too much based on the same framework. Still, worthwhile reading and I have already bought the next one, and would have bought more, but wait for the price to sink. Reading this review, I might start Nemesis Games in the next few days.

Should not be read as a standalone, you will miss out on a lot.

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Review: Born at Midnight

Born at Midnight Born at Midnight by C.C. Hunter
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Review to follow soonish - maybe... Wanted to get into the book again, and skimmed parts of it (today is July 15th, 2017, so going on nearly a year after reading it). Cannot really remember anything, and the fact that I did not read nor even buy the next book in the series is proof to me I did not really like it. Going through the reviews of others, they are mostly love it or hate it reviews, with varying degrees.
Guess, it was ok, but did not like it enough, so not recommended, there are sure better ones. When no other books from this author are recommended to me, I will probably not read the author again.

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Thursday, July 13, 2017

Review: The Fourth Monkey

The Fourth Monkey The Fourth Monkey by J.D. Barker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Pre-ordered, recommended by Maxine (Booklover Catlady).
Suspense is laking a bit, with the constant chapter-pov-changing, every time it gets interesting. Also the Diary was while realistic in speech (of a young teen), it was not interesting enough.
Also I do not like Sam, I would have liked to have Clairy more space in the book. For the start of a series about a serial-killer who is really interesting 1 added star, else I would have given 3.5 rounded down to 3.
Recommended, will probably pre-order and read the next book, but as it is from the info clear that Sam is again featuring as the MC, I am ambivalent about that.

For some reason, although it was at times sadistic, cruel and bloody, I would have wanted more of that, do not question my state of mind (currently listening to Evanescences "Broken", which is totally fitting).

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Review: Magic Bites

Magic Bites Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Reads a bit like Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden series, where I barely managed to finish the first 2 books and will not read more.
This should be right up my alley, what with the female MC, snarky etc., but somehow it is not. worldbuilding is ok, but spotty, with too much info in between the story which is slowing the pace too much. Enough is different from other books to set this apart from them, but again, somehow not for me, with Vampires being remote-mind-controlled like Zombies etc.
For a start of a series I can overlook some things, but for me is not worth while getting into the next books to see wether it gets better. So, solid 3 stars with that in mind, and I cannot recommend it, but that is just me, maybe this is enough for you, or maybe someone who read the next few books can recommend it, maybe I will look into it again, but whatever. Do not want to, do not care.


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Thursday, July 6, 2017

Review: The Circle

The Circle The Circle by Dave Eggers
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Was put of reading it by the many not so good reviews, and now at 27% I am sure I should have DNF'ed it earlier - if not for the fact, that I want to compare it to the German book (available in some other languages, but not English, as far as I have checked) ZERO. That one was a fast paced page-turner and also some philosophical commentary on out current reality re-Facebook/Twitter/Mail/Snowden/Anonymous/etc. - something to think about.

So far, that is all missing here, most is boring work-stuff and some inner dialogue from the unsure and un-likeable MC, boring. May well be a 1 star end-result, but I still have hope.
So far could have been cut about 80% without missing any story.

MC is a spineless git, putty in the hands of her superiors and co-workers.
51% Update:
Some Sex-Scenes, but still mostly boring, very little happens, just too much work and too many things for the MC to do simultaneously - pressure gets higher, but no suspense and not very interesting. Real interesting things are integrated very subtly, the things Circle is doing, also with the critics, are nearly hidden in the non-story of the MC. Which makes me fear if I try to read this in Fast-Forward, I will miss the few good points this book tries to make.
But it drags on and on, and I have yet started a second (and third and ...) book in-between reading.

30-Dec-2016 / 68% Hope to finish it this year (2016), might go FF till the ending. One of the most boring books. Reading both Circle and Nerve by Jeanne Ryan (with a different cover, the Movie-tie-in-Cover) and hope to finish both before 2017 starts wither a whimper, not with a bang.
And then I will probably never again start a book by this incredibly bad author. Hopefully the movie is more entertaining.

28-Jun-2017 / 81% yawn, going through the motions. Will try to end this one way or the other this year, hopefully. Worst writing ever. Promising idea butchered by someone who does not know how to write interesting.

Ending was ok.
So 2 stars, not recommended, so far one of the worst written books I finished - somehow, with going fast-forward through the text - 1 star for the idea, 1 star for the ending.
As I tend to rate the ending with a star, you might think, 2 stars is too much.

Too long chapters, no action, nearly no sex, unlikeable, unbelievable bad MC, who is the typical cult-follower, would have felt right at home in Manson's Clan. This book could have done with more action, more sex, more everything. Instead it consists of the inner thoughts of a person I would glad to not ever have known her. For some reason I think of Katniss (Tributes of Panem), with all the manipulation. Only Katniss was for the Greater Good, while this one (name forgotten) is not.

So not recommended, stay away from this author and this time-waster of a book. Hopefully someone more skilled writes a better book with the same idea. The time it took me to get through this, with more than a year (May 2016 till July 2017) is testament I should have DNF'ed this in the beginning, but I was blended as this is supposed to be a bestseller AND filmed. OK, now I have been burned by quite a few books (Gone Girl, probably also Girl on a train, not DNF yet), so I should know better, I will try to keep that in mind for the future.



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Friday, June 23, 2017

Review: Fallen

Fallen Fallen by Lauren Kate
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Saw the trailer for movie and thought I should read this, was sitting on my bought-TBR for a few years now (since October 15, 2014). And this is not even my oldest unread ebook by far.
Was in the mood for something different after I read a few (well done) police procedurals.

At 30% possible DNF, currently going in Fast-Forward-mode through the book as I want to see how it ends. Read some reviews, 2 of which I will link instead of going into the deep end and sinking this book.

Heroine is bad, meek, unsure, often late without good reason (would drive me crazy), Twilight comes to mind, but in my opinion, even that was better (still think, Twilight without Edward Cullen would have been better). Some review (Dark Faerie, see link below) said, World-Building was bad, and I agree. So, to not repeat what others have written, I will link to it.
Two Star Review from Brigid *Flying Kick-a-pow!* and
One Star Review from Dark Faerie Tales
Comparing the little the trailer for the movie has shown, my guess is, it is not better, but shorter (and wastes less time).

Not recommended, boring time-waster. Cannot understand how this sold or even got filmed. Maybe they all fell for the beautiful covers (as I did). Also, pesky and not very good love-triangle. Yawn!

In all probability I will not even think of beginning Torment anytime in the future. Was not real cheap as a two-book-in-one-ebook deal, so waste of money.

Wow, the ending finished it for me, with a few nice twists I did not guess, and a little action and some explanations which where all missing from rest-say-95% of the book.
So, now my favourite character is not Pennyweather Van Syckle-Lockwood (the geeky one), instead it is the only person who nearly gets the job done. But only just. Miss Sophia Bliss. Not to spoil anything, but she is my kind of woman, strong and willful. Most other characters, including Cam and Daniel, are so weak. And to think out of this story the author managed to squeeze 4 more books and 1 or 2 novella(s)?! Big Yawn!

Instead read The "Penryn & the End of Days"-Trilogy by Susan Ee, at least it has action and some of the worldbuilding is not half bad (although too gruesome, imho).

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Sunday, June 18, 2017

Review: The Janus Stone

The Janus Stone The Janus Stone by Elly Griffiths
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Most of my review from the first book also applies here:
too introvert, personal issues, nice scenery, but not too suspenseful.
Interesting MC, but I do not really like Nelson, the policeman. The other persons are interesting and believable. Felt too long, and it is more a 3.5 star, rounded up to 4.
Recommended for the MC and the scenery, although I have not been to that part of the UK.
Felt more like a romance-drama with a bit of crime thrown in, the dramatic scenes near the end where way over-the-top, too much (fog etc.) happening and thrown in.

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Thursday, June 15, 2017

Review: Ruth's First Christmas Tree

Ruth's First Christmas Tree Ruth's First Christmas Tree by Elly Griffiths
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Got this as an Amazon Free ebook, short addition for fans.
Nice idea, a little romance, and private live with a crime thrown in, but while it is clear whodunit in the end, the motive remains unknown.
Recommended if you have read all other books (which I did not, so far, also I read this out of order, will read the 2nd book in the series now). Not advised to read as a standalone.

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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Review: One to Watch

One to Watch One to Watch by Rachel Amphlett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Fast page-turner and this time it felt more like being in the UK (as I remember the UK, which may certainly differ from todays UK). One of the side-stories shows how BREXIT, even before it is final, is one of the reasons a firm fails and gets bankrupt.
The second storyline with lost evidence starting in the first book gets twisted later in the book. While some is explained and a few colleagues exonerated it is still not solved.

Highly recommended, I paid a reasonable price, which has since risen, as far as I have checked, given this is again a fast read, you must decide wether the price is justified - I think it is still ok. Following this author and will certainly read the next one, and pre-order it as soon as possible (I think somewhere it was said to be published this year?).


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Review: The Trapped Girl

The Trapped Girl The Trapped Girl by Robert Dugoni
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow! What a book. A few very well done twists, although I guessed the one at ca. 50%, saw that coming. This is a top-notch-page-turner, highly recommended. And can be read as a standalone, as some background from the previous books is re-hashed, without being boring.
Although this is a long read, it did not feel this way, and the few days it took me where mostly spend reading, with other tasks falling by the wayside.
The next book in the series is already pre-ordered.


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Friday, June 2, 2017

Review: Will to Live

Will to Live Will to Live by Rachel Amphlett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Bought this while still reading her first book, this is a series for me, highly recommended, barring any bad ending for the first or this book.
See the review of the first book for more information and comparisons (both book and review not finished yet).
Great twist near the end I did not see coming.
Again, some might find this too short, and I do not feel all the time like I am in England, could have played in some US-town, but then they are drinking tea, and using British expressions and feel it again.
The second storyline with lost evidence starting in the first book gets more complicated and still not solved.
Highly recommended, will order the next book as soon as it is possible to. Some may think 5 stars is too much, what with the fast read, again a little short, but I like this, and I stand by it.

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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Review: Lord of Shadows

Lord of Shadows Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Arrived today on my Kindle as I pre-ordered it as soon as it was possible.
Will start reading instantly!

And as expected, I enjoy this a lot, because these characters are so real, and I care about them, even though I cannot stand some (Jace).

“You think angels are gentle,” said Julian. “They are anything but. They bring justice in blood and heavenly fire. They take vengeance with fists and iron. Their glory is such it would burn out your eyes if you looked at them. It is a cold and brutal glory.”


A bit too much with the Julian / Emma relationship, and with Julians spindoctoring and putting family first instead of The Greater Good (meaning the rest of the whole world), this book resulted for me in strongly disliking Julian, nearly as strong as Jace (an arrogant bloke). In fact, if he is not stopped I see him going down a dark fork in his life-path.
The females, be it the few girls or the women are much better (exceptions like the Faerie Queen just prove the point).
Most of the time I considered how many major characters and which I would kill in the end and while I was not entirely wrong, I was still surprised by the final showdown. Although I would have killed a few different people different.
Ending with a brutal fight and major cliffhanger.

Recommended page-turner, does not work as a standalone, Lady Midnight should be read before, the other Shadowhunter-books not necessarily, but it helps. And now I am waiting for the next book, which is listed on Goodreads with a publication date of 2019, nearly 1.5 - 2 years away.

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Review: Lord of Shadows

Lord of Shadows Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Arrived today on my Kindle as I pre-ordered it as soon as it was possible.
Will start reading instantly!

And as expected, I enjoy this a lot, probably these characters are so real, and I care about them, even though I cannot stand some (Jace).

“You think angels are gentle,” said Julian. “They are anything but. They bring justice in blood and heavenly fire. They take vengeance with fists and iron. Their glory is such it would burn out your eyes if you looked at them. It is a cold and brutal glory.”


A bit too much withe the Julian / Emma relationship, and with Julians spindoctoring and putting family first instead of The Greater Good (meaning the rest of the whole world) this book resulted for me in strongly disliking Julian, nearly as strong as Jace (an arrogant bloke). In fact, if he is not stopped I see him going down a dark fork in his life-path.
The females, be it the few girls or the women are much better (exceptions like the Faerie Queen just prove the point).
Ending with a major cliffhanger.

Recommended page-turner, does not work as a standalone, Lady Midnight should be read before, the other Shadowhunter-books not necessarily, but it helps. And now I am waiting for the next book, which is listed on Goodreads with a publication date of 2019, nearly 1.5 - 2 years away.


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Thursday, May 25, 2017

Review: Scared to Death

Scared to Death Scared to Death by Rachel Amphlett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Snatched this up for 99 ct. (Euro) than I got the daily email from the Fussy Librarian informing me of the bargain. Spur-of-the-moment-buy, blurb sounded interesting, takes place in the (as of yet pre-BREXIT, still united) UK, and was endorsed by Robert Bryndza, while I normally ignore popular authors endorsing, sometimes even condemning such endorsed books to the "never-read-never-buy" list (from S. King, J. Patterson I cannot believe people buy these to be real), I needed no more convincing to buy this, and the price was just right for a new author. Female heroine!

Starts as a page-turner. And keeps that pace, although some of it is by the numbers.
So far, I will say, the endorsement by Robert Bryndza is correct, pushes quite a few buttons for me: strong heroine with a bad incident in her (just happened) past, UK, up-to-date technology-wise, she is in a normal relationship with a man, romance is ok, but plays so far not big role in the story, which is ok for me.

Throw in bullying and a twist I did not see coming after the 50% mark, a place where some books, even from well-known and (by me) respected authors drag.
The twist adds a theme I really like, with hints of the saw movies, hard to tell without spoiling anything.

The writing is appealing to me, comparable to the following authors / series, bearing in mind, that it is set in the UK (as of yet with BREXIT voted for and looming, but not negotiated). Some expressions might seem strange to US-American used readers.
For fans of these series (Author - Heroine):
Angela Marsons - Kim Stone
Robert Bryndza - Detective Erika Foster
M.J. Arlidge - DI Helen Grace
Celina Grace - Kate Redman (too much romance and not strong enough heroine for me)
Griffiths, Elly - Ruth Galloway (must admit, I have only read the first book yet)
Robert Dugoni - Tracy Crosswhite

Which also means, if you know yet only some of these and really like them, I would guess, you might like the others, too.
Though I would have stopped reading the Kate Redman series, but I subscribed to an email newletter by the author and was invited to write a review for an arc and I also was informed by the author when a book is cheap for short time.

Finished it yesterday evening/this morning in bed just after midnight.
All loose ends where solved, some a little to neat, and one to many family ties.
After the case a nice ending with a good idea.
Length was just right for me, but some may find it too short, but the normal price of the book should be just right for that length, I think.

Recommended, 5 stars for the beginning of a good series, hopefully the next book(s) are as good as this. Already bought the second book.

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