Saturday, March 25, 2017

Review: Killer Frost

Killer Frost Killer Frost by Jennifer Estep
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series ending here. Most I have said in the reviews for the other books is still true.
No love-triangle , no insta-love, no sex, romance ok. While I still think, Richelle Meads: Vampire Academy and Bloodlines-Series are more gripping, I rated the last few books with 5 stars. Maybe a bit much, see it as 4.5 rounded up to 5.
Overall the series gets 4-5 stars, so that may also be seen as 5 stars.

While a few nice twists, and I did not see everything coming, ending as guessed, with Gwen making again a very tough and mature choice for the Greater Good. Could have done with more suspense or more blood and deaths for me, as it is, the ending feels just a bit too good to be true. But the choices made, even not killing someone, are well done, no unnecessary killing, a little cruelty where it may have been more kind to kill someone.

Recommend this book and the entire series and will certainly look into other books by this author.

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Monday, March 20, 2017

Review: Desire in Frost

Desire in Frost Desire in Frost by Alicia Rades
My rating: 0 of 5 stars

This looks like it will not even get 3 stars from me currently. Bad idea to read them back2back. And so far no real growing up, just more of the same from the first book. And looking at the time it takes me to get through it, I am contemplating DNF.
OK, forced myself to finish it, but regret buying the other books in the series before reading this one.
After thinking about it, I guess I am not really the audience for this, maybe more targeted at to the 12-14 year-old?
Again no sex, but more romance then in the first one, slowly developing.
Story a bit more suspenseful, but still dragging.
MC is crying too much for my taste, without real reasons (for me), should toughen up.
Some things are thought about too much, and explained too detailed to be real thinking.

Read at your own risk, if you read and liked the first, this is better than the first, but not really recommended. Even with the probable intended target-group it feels immature and too young, and could be more suspenseful. Solid writing and going safely in the same direction as the first one warrants the 3 stars for me, but from some other reader or at some another date this would get 2 stars. It is a short read, so something very light for a rainy afternoon, but I know better books I would read instead.

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Review: Desire in Frost

Desire in Frost Desire in Frost by Alicia Rades
My rating: 0 of 5 stars

This looks like it will not even get 3 stars from me currently. Bad idea to read them back2back. And so far no real growing up, just more of the same from the first book. And looking at the time it takes me to get through it, I am contemplating DNF.
OK, forced myself to finish it, but regret buying the other books in the series before reading this one.
After thinking about it, I guess I am not really the audience for this, maybe more targeted at to the 12-14 year-old?
Again no sex, but more romance then in the first one, slowly developing.
Story a bit more suspenseful, but still dragging.
MC is crying too much for my taste, without real reasons (for me), should toughen up.
Some things are thought about too much, and explained too detailed to be real thinking.

Read at your own risk, if you read and liked the first, this is better than the first, but not really recommended. Even with the probable intended target-group it feels immature and too young, and could be more suspenseful. Solid writing and going safely in the same direction as the first one warrants the 3 stars for me, but from some other reader or at some another date this would get 2 stars.

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Review: Spartan Frost

Spartan Frost Spartan Frost by Jennifer Estep
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Shorty, not sure if this counts as a novella. Good addition to the series, from POV Logan (Boyfried of the MC of the series). Nightmares and a fight scenes away from the academy without Gwen.
Recommended, but as it is rather short, it should be free (as a teaser) or integrated in some other volume. Paid less then a 1 Eur for it (78 ct.), that feels just ok, but mostly because I wanted to complete the series, as the longer books are not so expensive it feels balanced, also I just checked and I bought 1-4 as cheap Omnibus.


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Thursday, March 16, 2017

Review: Fire in Frost

Fire in Frost Fire in Frost by Alicia Rades
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Got an email on a day when it was available for free, so I snatched it up. When it was updated (as Amazon does that) on March 15, 2017 I just finished the Trilogy "Penryn and the End of Days" (Susan Ee)End of Days and felt like reading something lighter so I started this on the day it was updated.
Strange combination, parts of the story (no sex, very little romance), seem for a younger audience, but the main problem is very real and mature: abuse of a spouse, physically but not too many details. The MC is well written, younger, and just grows into her powers, fumbles with the problem and how to help. Very well written how she feels along till the solution, also with working together with people she knows and trusts, even if she is not sure if all believe in her power - which she just learned of herself and does not know to the full extend what she is capable of.
Recommended, but only 3 stars as I think parts could have been more mature, maybe the next books will grow into it (just bought the next 3 books, as they where not too expensive).
Though I must admit I might have given 4 stars (rounded up from 3.5), just as easily.

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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Review: The Dirt Diary

The Dirt Diary The Dirt Diary by Anna Staniszewski
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a nice cosy read, and not really 4 stars, more like 3.
A hint of romance, no sex, feels a bit too young (the MC is 14 if I remember right).

As I do think some US-authors use the same few swear words over and over again (f*k, s*t, b*h), and not always in context (those who read The Martian might know what I mean, worst wrong use of these swear words so far in a book I read) - so kudos, 1 star extra for inventing new, silly swear words. In this context very personal heartwarming for me, as my late father did the same for us kids (my sister and me), only at school did I use (and sometimes learn) the usual bad words.

Recommended as a short, nice feel-good read for a rainy weekend, like eating Mac'n Cheese.
Will certainly read the next book in this series to see how she grows up (she does grow up, doesn't she?).

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Review: End of Days

End of Days End of Days by Susan Ee
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“These are the rules we live by. We are soldiers, Penryn. Legendary warriors willing to make legendary sacrifices. We do not ask. We do not choose.”


Actually I should just finish this. Actions-Scenes, fights are great. Rest of story so-so.
Also, while there are no Zombies per se, the Changed People and the Resurrected are bad enough.
The election who from the Angels gets to be leader gets even worse, not to spoil the story, but I could do without.
My main reason for reading this was that I somehow got the impression this gets made into a movie, ok, it is planned: News from November 2012. Now after reading this, I am not too sure I want to watch a movie (let alone 3) from this material. Liking some of Sam Raimi & Rob Tapert's works (Xena, Evil Dead etc.), I can only guess how they should film it: bloody and brutal as the book describes some scenes, or toned down to get a greater audience. Both is not possible, and with dark and gritty dystopia these books describe, a toned down version would not do it justice. Wether even I would enjoy such a movie, I am not too sure.

But then again, I am not finished yet with this book.

Hm, so now the final thoughts after finishing this - finally.
As said before, the fight scenes where very well done, vivid and bloody.
Romance was ok, though a bit obvious, and no-sex scenes, very tame in contrast to the brutal and blood fights, for that I would have expected more. That might be my upbringing, but I never understand why the Americans do not mind brutal and bloody, even sadistic scenes, but shy away from nudity and sex, as a movie this might have been rated FSK 18 (adults-only, NC-17 or even X in USA) in Germany, but probably PG-13 (comparable to our FSK 12) in USA.

The trilogy as a whole is a fast read, I just took my time, as I saw the structure and the end was as guessed. There could have been some twist, or more back-story, more philosophical pondering or or or, I am not sure, but writing this, 4 stars feel a little too much. More like 3.5 rounded up. As it was good entertainment, with short chapters I stand by the 4 stars but can understand when some might not feel these warranted.

No love triangle, no unnecessary swearing, no sex, also nothing risky, like LGBT, feels a bit tame in that way (almost PC). Not really sure whom I would recommend it to.

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Thursday, March 9, 2017

Review: Sündige Opfer: Sex & Crime 3

Sündige Opfer: Sex & Crime 3 Sündige Opfer: Sex & Crime 3 by Harry Hold
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

German, felt too short, I read in 2-3 hours.
Also, as in most of the other books, some things where just too unbelievable.
The strong 4 star entry with the second book in this series (I read most out of order) looks like an exception.
Main reason for buying this was, that the price sank from 4.99 to 2.49 Eur, which also feels much more in line for me regarding the reading time (roughly 1 Eur/hour).


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Review: Descent

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

Received this as an ARC from the author for an honest review.
This is a short novella, so as expected a fast read, can be read in an afternoon.
Reading time displayed by my Kindle is off, I think it displayed 17 min. reading time left, as I had the story finished. The reason for this is, there are quite a few 2-3 page-previews in the book, I think seven or more. Which is too many and not enough reading material even for teasers, 2 longer previews would have been enough - and I had already read some of the books, so I did not even skim the previews.
For a short story (novella?) this could have been easily 4 stars - but again Kate's too meek as a heroine for me, and her situation as it was in the last book does not really get better. On a personal level she can not decide to talk with her lover about all her problems and fears to clearly commit herself. This is true both in her personal life and in her job.
Both take a little turn in the end, but by his action and suggestion, not by deciding for herself. Without him she would be indecisive and fret about more about these decisions, as she does during part of the story.
The case gets solved by a gut-feeling, and then by a little added police-work to prove that gut-feeling - not enough real work, and forcing a confession, while the scene is well written, it was not really satisfying - which Kate reflects on, so ok, even she thinks that was not really a solved case with a clear villain, leaving only a destroyed family and losers in the end.

While part of this too long review might read like I should have given 4 stars, I still think, 3 stars solid for this, also it is too short to think longer about it.
As I got it free for a review, and I think it is not yet published, the question is, how much the price will be, and will it be worth it, sorry to say, but even if you like the Kate Redman series, beware not to pay too much for it. For teaser for next book it should be given away.

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Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Review: Perverse Opfer: Sex & Crime 2

Perverse Opfer: Sex & Crime 2 Perverse Opfer: Sex & Crime 2 by Harry Hold
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Read this in German (my first language), this is not translated into English.
The price was half of what I remembered, so I bought this and the third together for the same price I think was the price of one book last year - and that is for the short reading length of the book just the right price.

Somehow I gave this 4 stars, while the others so far read got 3 stars.
As expected a nice fast, sexy read. Really liked the killer and the thoughts of the killer.
Very well done, this is a little above the others and warrants the fourth star.
Also this time the two MC's do not make obvious or totally stupid mistakes during investigating. The story from the first book (which I barely remember) swaps into this book with very well done behavioural change in one person after a traumatizing event.

Also the killer is traumatized, and this is well done without being too detailed, bloody or exploiting. The murders are gruesome, sadistic and brutal, with the killer relishing it's work and slipping into torture.

Recommended, imho the best in the series of those I read so far (1, 2, 4, 5). For a bloody raining weekend.


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Monday, March 6, 2017

Review: Operation Hail Storm

Operation Hail Storm Operation Hail Storm by Brett Arquette
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Received an ARC from the author for an honest review. As the author indicated that a week or so after I downloaded this book there might be an update, I saved the spot in the book and downloaded a newer version and this review is based on this newer version.

Short version: too long, chapters too long, too many details. Not enough action, the real mission starts way too late in the book for me.

There is a short encounter with pirates that serves as a demonstration of the capabilities of the tech and the crew - that could have served as a free short-story / novella, and teaser.

Given the length of the book I thought it would be two missions, but it was only one, and that was well done, but could have been shorter and more suspenseful.
As it was, it is very detailed, with no logic errors or wrong technological details as far as I can tell (as a former IT-Helpdesk-slave, I do not know much about weapons, explosives and languages), there went a lot of work in these details, it is like the author tried too hard to got that right and while that is certainly important, there is just too much and too many details explained. So it also took me long to get into the book and I read several shorter books in between to keep me entertained.
This also reminds why I stopped reading Brad Thor, there where just the wrong kinds of decisions (torture, vigilantism). In this book this develops and is well explained, so you might feel sympathetic when the good guys/gals try to kill the bad guys - there are no women on the really bad side, if you do not count the US-president (a woman, but not based on Clinton, imho) or the female CIA-Agent.
So the actions with the MC basically promising to the US-President to kill the Top-10-FBI's-most-wanted are questionable and shortly discussed in the book, but basically the President just wants plausible deniability, nothing more. But if there are more books with this characters, there should be serious repercussions looming or at least someone voicing real discontent.

While a lot of characters are well developed and most (all, I think) have a little well done background, again there are too many, not all need background and also they are sometimes too simple black-white / good-bad.

Actions have consequences, but the actions in this book end just too neat, solved, explained and then business as usual, maybe. In a next book (if there is a next book) I would like to see repercussions and some failure in a mission. This one went a little too smooth.

Added later: just saw that this is the first in a series, so that was correctly guessed and I will probably read the next one to see how the people change and the series progresses.

Solid 3 stars. Recommended. Tech is up-to-date with a little slipping into near future, entirely believable.

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Review: Engel in schwarzem Leder

Engel in schwarzem Leder Engel in schwarzem Leder by Tawny Weber
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

(This book is in German, my first language)
Got this free thanks to lesen.net EMail-Newsletter, which I receive 3-4 times a week.
Do not expect too much, will probably be a steamy fast read.

Nice read, but real sex-scenes come only later in the book (after 50%?), before that they always get disturbed or break it off for different reasons. Sex-scenes are ok, real but not very kinky. Got this free, so checked the price today, and I do not think that it is really worth it for the sex scenes, the story is well writen and rather interesting. But, it is still free, so grab it while you can, if you are interested.
Solid 3 stars, nice short story, a little adult sex. Would give it to teenagers age 16 and above, but some would say it is for adults, so whatever. For a rainy weekend-read.

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Thursday, March 2, 2017

Review: Rumors

Rumors Rumors by Erica Kiefer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Got this free (twice, as I did not realize I already owned it), once from the "Fussy Librarian" daily mail with free and cheap ebooks, the other time from "Bookbub", which is also sending a daily mail.
The book is ok, but sad, and does not really end, more ore less forcing you buy and read the next books if you want to know what happens.
Wanted something different, this book is about death, loss and how to cope with it.
Interesting, but except for the twist how someone drowns not very suspenseful. While the people are real, I liked only the heroine, some of the rest where blah or really bad and dragging her into dangerous shenanigans. Not so sure, I will buy and read the other two books in this series. A few chapters from the next book where given as a teaser and I read that, but it is more of the same.
Solid 3 stars, well written, just not geek-nerd-etc. enough, and too heavy without a real solution (in this book, that may change with the next too). Also though it was shorter, but with the theme it felt too long (it may have been described as a novella, which it may be, but it took me too long to finish it). Not to be read if you are feeling depressed, imho.

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