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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