Sunday, December 23, 2018

Review: Tote Unschuld: Hamburg Krimi

Tote Unschuld: Hamburg Krimi Tote Unschuld: Hamburg Krimi by Martin Barkawitz
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Rather short, would think this as novella, also sex-scene, non-kinky, ok but not something I like enough to pay for it to read more of the series. Got this one for free after an email from lesen.net.
German, probably not translated in English. OK, you will not miss it.

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Review: Trace Evidence: A Virals Short Story Collection

Trace Evidence: A Virals Short Story Collection Trace Evidence: A Virals Short Story Collection by Kathy Reichs
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Four to 5 dtars, depending on wether you already own some of the short stories.
As it was, I re-read all but one, making this an addition I would have liked to be cheap or free (not sure what I paid for the other stories, too lazy to look it up).
Good addition and some background to the longer books of that series. One story is a prequel with a how the (not yet Virals) meet.
Have not looked, but there should be made a bundle with all ebooks and these stories for a bargain price, imho.

Highly recommended, but you should have read some if not all books from the series.


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Review: Dead Center

Dead Center Dead Center by Danielle Girard
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Lent with a Kindle Unlimited 3-month-free subscription.
(Added later, found notes I made): Good police procedural, but too many different POVs, too many stories, too long, so 1 star less. Recommended, Trigger warning, will certainly read the next one sometimes. USA, would have liked to have this set in the UK.
(End of addition)

Quite a few POVs and important persons, a bit much, and very twisty.
Still good, recommended, and will read the next one sometime if it is not too expensive (or with KU).

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Review: Meine teuflisch gute Freundin

Meine teuflisch gute Freundin Meine teuflisch gute Freundin by Hortense Ullrich
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

German ebook, filmed a Movie.
Had this pre-ordered, and was a little surprised, that this is sold rather expensive, as it is only a short 100pages, not a book but a novella.
Fluffy teenage stuff, both the movie (which I pre-ordered for iTuns and have seen), a little silly, but normal German fare. OKish, but not really recommended, a book more to lend to read once, and the movie only to be seen once, and with the 5 Eur I paid for the ebook too much (2 or maybe 3 should have been more than enough). Read in a few short hours in one day.

Oh, and also probably not available as an english translation.

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Review: Dreamfall

Dreamfall Dreamfall by Amy Plum
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Although more horror than the expected fantasy/supernatural, quite good and will read the next book when it gets cheaper.

Not sure who to recommend it to, beware of some bloody scenes, and horror. No sex, no romance (only hinted at). Changing POVs with the chapters, may be confusing for some.

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Review: Frank Thelen – Die Autobiografie: Startup-DNA – Hinfallen, aufstehen, die Welt verändern

Frank Thelen – Die Autobiografie: Startup-DNA – Hinfallen, aufstehen, die Welt verändern Frank Thelen – Die Autobiografie: Startup-DNA – Hinfallen, aufstehen, die Welt verändern by Frank Thelen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Bought this the instant after hearing an interview with him, Podcast Tech Freaks (from Bild.de), the same day (October 13th, 2018).

German book from someone who is in the Jury for "Die Höhle der Löwen" ( aka Dragons’ Den aka Shark Tank ). Some of the book is a bit much, so only 4 stars, but the startup descriptions and insights are worth reading, if such stuff is interesting for you.
Only available in German currently, and I think for english speaking people living in other countries as a lot is very dependent where you live.
Having said that for German reading people living in Germany recommended, mostly non-fiction, some may seem embellished, and take care to not take everything as gospel, with flying cars and even blockchain, I think he es part wrong or too enthusiastic! Regarding that, the 4 stars may seem a bit much, more like 3.5.

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Review: Spartan Heart

Spartan Heart Spartan Heart by Jennifer Estep
My rating: 0 of 5 stars

For some reason Amazon (even .com) offers a German translation?!
Currently not available as an english pre-order at Amazon nor B&N .
Bought the english edition, there was some confusion with the name, as it is also listed as "Bitter Frost".

As I liked the other Frost series by Estep, I really liked this one, 4 stars recommended, a little romance, no sex, good fighting. Next book pre-ordered. Nice cozy read.

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Review: Second Grave on the Left

Second Grave on the Left Second Grave on the Left by Darynda Jones
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Took my time reading it, not enough suspense and not as good as the first one. Will probably not read another one in this series, sorry to say. Like the snark, but world-building and suspense is not good.

Bought the ebook with 12% off-coupon, but in hindsight still too expensive.

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Review: Dead Center

Dead Center Dead Center by Danielle Girard
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Lent with a Kindle Unlimited 3-month-free subscription.
Quite a few POVs and important persons, a bit much, and very twisty.
Still good, recommended, and will read the next one sometime if it is not too expensive (or with KU).

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Review: Abgeschnitten

Abgeschnitten Abgeschnitten by Sebastian Fitzek
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Filmed as a movie, pre-ordered this on iTunes, but no release date yet.
Read a few of Michael Tsokos True-Crime non-fiction books, and like his style, this is my first Fitzek, read Amokspiel shortly after. And I own Noah, which I got cheap or for free.
Bought one of Tsokos other fiction books.
Gruel and grissly real at times, beware!
There is additional material either in the book, pictures, explanation and online for the interested persons, even a short comic, which enhance the book (although I think only in German).
For some reason while the book has been translated in a few languages, I think English is so far not available, but I did not check throughly.

Recommended, but a little over the top, so only 4 stars. Given what Tsokos has seen in his life, probably all real and worth 5 stars, but I am not so sure about that, so 4 stars it is.

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Review: A Bad Deal for the Whole Galaxy

A Bad Deal for the Whole Galaxy A Bad Deal for the Whole Galaxy by Alex White
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Even better than the first one, so 5 stars it is. If you liked the first book definitely read this one, and I will probably pre-order the next one. The page-count is off, as there are 2 pre-views in the back, an excerpt from the next book, and one of a another book. Do not really like that, as I have to stop reading and wait for the next part, and if it is an unpublished book, that is really not my thing.
Also for Kindle, remaining read time is often wrong (some ebooks do get it right, so there is some setting which says to kindle when an ebook is ended, even with more pages). Did not read this on Kindle, so not sure, what it is.
The first book only got 4 stars from me, I had to get used to the Magic, but with this you know what to expect. Also this one could be read as a standalone, but I do not recommend that.
Highly recommended SF, bloody, a little romance, sex hinted at, some LGBTQ+.

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Saturday, December 15, 2018

Review: Artificial Condition

Artificial Condition Artificial Condition by Martha Wells
My rating: 0 of 5 stars

Wow! Really liked this one, looking forward the next books, and highly recommend them so far, but they are rather pricy for such short content (they are novellas, around 100 pages each).
Like the snark and the personality of the Murderbot.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Review: Death by Chocolate

Death by Chocolate Death by Chocolate by Sally Berneathy
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Mystery ok, not much romance, 2.5 star rounded to 3, as I liked the idea and that there where receipts in the back. Also I got a Bookbub email on a day that I was thinking of reading something like this and it was free that day, I always feel sorry for the author if I do not have to pay for a book.
Liked the MC and the other persons, and it has a cat, so there is that (I am more of a cat person, even though I do not have any pets).
The ending might point to more romance in the next book, if this is a series (I think it is).
No errors and the plot was ok, no annoying mistakes by the MC.
So not really recommended, and it took me too long to read it, with more romance or more suspense/thrills it would have been a book for a rainy day or weekend, to snuggle with a hot chocolate and a pice of pie or a plate of cookies.

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Friday, December 7, 2018

Review: Shadow Sight

Shadow Sight Shadow Sight by E.J. Stevens
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

And, as is now too often the case, I just added a book to my TBR, and wanted Amazon to send me a sample, only to be informed by Amazon that I bought this already half a year ago...

DNF at page 108, then backwards from end to get the main end (chapter 24 or 25), then FF to end of book.
Some scenes where ok or even good, but too much information on the side, meshed up with world-building, and background. Not enough straight suspenseful story for me. Read a few of the other reviews, they basically confirm this. Not for me.

Bought the next book cheap, and a collection of novellas/short stories. Read one of the short stories, and it was way better, straighter, not too much information etc. May try the next book, wether it gets better. But probably not soon.

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Sunday, November 25, 2018

Review: HELIX - Sie werden uns ersetzen

HELIX - Sie werden uns ersetzen HELIX - Sie werden uns ersetzen by Marc Elsberg
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Waited a long time for the price to sink. Now that the paperback is near, it finally sank under 10 Eur, so I picked it up. As this is a German book, review in German. Read the XXL sample, and expect this to be good, but would have liked to read this earlier, as the obvious link to Monsanto (bought by Bayer) I thought was interesting and time relevant and constricted, I feared that the product or company would be forgotten soon (but it is not...).
Wartete sehr lange darauf, das der Preis sinkt. Nun steht das Taschenbuch kurz bevor, und damit ist der Preis unter 10 Eur, also habe ich es gekauft. Habe die XXL-Leseprobe gelesen, und erwarte, daß dieses Buch gut ist, aber hätte es gerne früher gelesen, wegen der offensichtlichen Verbindung zu Monsanto (gekauft von Bayer), die ich interessant fand und zeitlich relevant aber begrenzt, ich hatte befürchtet, daß das Produkt oder die Firma bald vergessen währe (aber ist es nicht...).

Das Buch geht weit darüber hinaus, wobei logische Entwicklungen von heutigen state-of-the-art Technologien logisch extrapoliert werden in ein SF-Szenario, daß in der nahen Zukunft spielt. Es werden ethische und moralische Dilemma aufgezeigt, die im Buch diskutiert werden. Das ist unterhaltsam, anspruchsvoll erklärter Stoff, über den lange nachgedacht werden kann, anhand der vielen wichtigen Personen im Buch werden verschiedene Standpunkte deutlich gemacht. Über allem bzw. auch hinterher, bleibt die Frage - wie würdest Du selber entscheiden?

Das Buch besteht aus lauter kurzen Kapiteln mit abwechselnden Hauptpersonen, wobei einerseits dadurch schnell mal ein Kapitel beendet werden kann (irgendwann will ich auch mal was essen oder schlafen oder wasauchimmer), also gut eine Pause eingelegt werden kann. Andererseits habe ich überlegt, dafür einen 1 vollen Stern abzuziehen, da es recht lange dauert, etwa bis 50% bis die verschiedenen Handlungen zusammenfinden, und es sind sehr viele (8?) und das Buch an Tempo zulegt. Ich kann mir vorstellen, daß viele bis dahin ausgestiegen sind, oder sich zwingen müssen, weiterzulesen, aber m.E. lohnt es sich.

Das Ende, wer genau aufpasst, ist etwas offen, theoretisch ist ein 2. Band möglich. Andere werden das Ende unbefriedigend finden - während ich es leider sehr realistisch finde, würde ich mir in der Realität doch ein anderes Ende wünschen.

Zwischendurch kann mal ins Internet geschaut werden, z.B. hier:
CRISPR/Cas-Methode Wikipedia
Die Techniken, die Beschrieben werden, sind so noch SF, aber logisch aus den aktuellen Techniken weitergedacht, und damit im Bereich des zukünftig möglichen.
Damit müssten die Probleme, die hier im Buch aufgezeigt werden, jetzt in der Gesellschaft diskutiert werden, bevor sie zum Einsatz kommen.

Damit hat HELIX für mich neben der gelungenen Unterhaltung und dem Thriller-Aspekt eine Relevanz erreicht, die 5Sterne und eine klare Empfehung rechtfertigen. Intelligentes Lesefutter, das zum Nachdenken anregt.

Etwas störend war, das es im EBook einen langen Anhang mit einer XXL-Leseprobe von Blackout gab, von einem älteren Elsberg-Buch, das ich schon kannte. Damit stimmt beim Kindle die "restliche Lesezeit" nicht, was ich recht ärgerlich finde - obwohl ich es auf dem Tolino (konvertiert nach EPub) gelesen habe, nervt mich das, wenn die Anzahl der angezeigten Gesamtseiten so falsch ist (+80 Seiten?). XXL-Leseproben sollten extra als EBook erhältlich sein, ausserdem ein älteres Buch? Dann lieber eine Einsicht in das nächste Buch, wenn überhaupt.

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Review: Lügen haben rote Haare

Lügen haben rote Haare Lügen haben rote Haare by Käfer, Anne-Marie
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Review in German, probably no english version available.
Einfache HEA Romanze. Etwas sehr viel Rum-Gelüge für meinen Geschmack.
Nette Unterhaltung für Zwischendurch.
Entsprechend lange habe ich daran gelesen, während ich bessere Bücher gelesen habe.
Sympatische MC, aber trotzdem keine Empfehlung, warscheinlich werde ich auch kein weiteres Buch von der Autorin mehr lesen. Immerhin habe ich es preiswert bekommen, aber den normalen Preis halte ich für zu hoch gegriffen. Ist der Beginn einer Serie.


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Review: Amokspiel

Amokspiel Amokspiel by Sebastian Fitzek
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

4.5 stars rounded up to 5 stars.
As this available in English and has been translated in other languages, review both in English and German. Read ebook in German, may buy the Audible Hörspiel (radioplay), but it is rather expensive without Audible subscription.
Know Fitzek and stumbled over this book because it was filmed for TV and this week ( November 27th, 2018) gets send in German TV (although Sat.1 is a sender I do not have programmed with too much advertising and normally no program to see for me).

The book is a little over the top, and no real detective-who-did-it-mystery, but rather a few well integrated infodumps on the reader, where key persons tell their part of the story. Also, while I guessed some of the twists, there where enough I did not guess which made this fast-page-turner interesting.
Also, as a German, I can relate to some of the things told and how they happened, spot-on!

Recommended fast read, a little torture, sex mostly talked about (happening of-page), little romance, not too bloody. Half the time you will keep guessing what really happened and wether the victims are dead or not.

4,5 Sterne aufgerundet auf 5 Sterne.
Das Buch ist auch in Englisch und anderen Sprachen verfügbar, deshalb die Rezension in Englisch und Deutsch. Das deutsche ebook wurde von mir gelesen, kann sein, daß ich das Audible Hörspiel kaufe, klingt interessant, ist allerdings recht teuer ohne Audible Abo.
Kenne Fitzek und bin über dieses Buch gestolpert, da es verfilmed wurde für TV und diese Woche (27. Nov 2018) im deutschen TV gezeigt wird (obwohl Sat.1 ein Sender ist, den ich nicht programmiert habe mit zuviel Werbung und normalerweise nichts für mich zu sehen bringt).

Das Buch ist etwas überkandidelt, kein richtiges Detektiv-wer-war-es-Mystery, stattdessen einige gut integrierte Info-Dumps für den Leser, wo Schlüsselfiguren ihren Teil der Geschichte erzählen. Ausserdem, obwohl ich einige Wendungen erraten habe, blieben genug, die ich nicht erraten habe, dies diesen schnellen Thriller interessant machten.
Und, als Deutscher, kann ich einiges nachvollziehen, was erzählt wurde und wie es passiert ist, das war spot-on!

Empfohlen als schnelles Lesefutter, ein wenig Folter, sex wird grösstenteils nur drüber geredet (passiert ausserhalb des Buches), kleine Romanzen-Szenen, nicht zu blutig. Die halbe Zeit ist offen, was wirklich passiert ist und ob die Opfer tot sind oder nicht.

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Sunday, November 18, 2018

Book Cover to identify for Goodreads

These 2 images are for a Goodreads Group, see here (I will reply with a link to this page, a little redundant, sorry).
Goodreads Post asking for info about the book for these images.

These two images are from the Netflix Series "La casa de papel" aka "Money Heist", Part 2, Episode 05, 3min 41sec. . Taken with an iPhone 8, as Netflix on a Mac (and probably Windows) does not allow screenshots (they turn out black). The scene is only a second or two long and rather dim and unclear. These are the original images, no editing. Hopefully someone can identify the book. My guess is the red big A on the cover is before a park-bank with a wreath, like for a funeral?!

Friday, October 12, 2018

Review: Leah on the Offbeat

Leah on the Offbeat Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Nice sequel to Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, with Leah as mc (obviously).
Drama, romance, no sex although some graphic thoughts, but nothing cringeworthy.
No triggers, as I expected this to be like "Simon vs ...", I did not have the feeling like in "Simon ..." that something bad was going to happen at some point (like a school-shooting or a bloody fight or someone trying suicide for a change).
LGBTQ+, my age-advisory is 12 and above, others may differ.
Well written characters, sometimes they are rather confused, but rightfully so, I could relate to most of them, very engaging.
Read this in two days, although no thriller, for me it was a real page-turner and I stopped doing other things for it.
Recommended reading for the aware person, straight, gay, both or otherwise.
Would really like to see this filmed, so far no sign for it.

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Review: Leah on the Offbeat

Leah on the Offbeat Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Nice sequel to Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, with Leah as mc (obviously).
Drama, romance, no sex although some graphic thoughts, but nothing cringeworthy.
No triggers, as I expected this to be like "Simon vs ...", I did not have the feeling like in "Simon ..." that something bad was going to happen at some point (like a school-shooting or a bloody fight or someone trying suicide for a change).
LGBTQ+, my age-advisory is 12 and above, others may differ.
Well written characters, sometimes they are rather confused, but rightfully so, I could relate to most of them, very engaging.
Recommended reading for the aware person, straight, gay, both or otherwise.
Would really like to see this filmed, so far no sign for it.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Review: One Perfect Lie

One Perfect Lie One Perfect Lie by Lisa Scottoline
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Nice twist I did not see coming after that beginning (I think it was with Step 2).
A little over the top action-sequence in the end, and it was a little too neat after that, nearly bordering on hea (hope this does not count as a spoiler). For this and the lone-hero feeling 1 star less, could easily have been a 5star read.
A few times different POV, but all in all not too many and well done.
Sex mentioned but happening off page, although Sexting plays a certain role in the story.
The problems of the different families felt a bit much, but where all in all very real.
Main parts of the book read like one lone hero trying to save it all, hindered by having one chef with his own goals and playing it by the book.
Nice integration of current technology (Smartphones, surveillance App), I think no hacking or (luckily) even embellished/unrealistic use of technology.

Recommended, reasonably fast page-turner, no real thriller, though. Would have wished for a more bloody ending, with lots more casualties. Standalone, nicely finished. Will probably remember this author and try to read more of her, depending on theme.

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Sunday, September 9, 2018

Review: Expose

Expose Expose by Danielle Girard
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Lent with Kindle Unlimited.
Trigger Warning: Torture, short but detailed, rape mentioned a few times but happening mostly of-page.
Read back2back with the one before it ( Excise ), which imho was better.
This one has too many threads which take a long time to come together.
Also while there where some unexpected turns, in the end an explanation sequence like Agatha Christie was needed to bring the main case to reasonable conclusion.
Way too complicated, could have been better written.
A lot of personal life happening, but romance and off-the-page-sex-scenes are ok in this amount and felt real, even with the taking-it-slow-approach.
What kept me from liking the book more was the main victim (Bitty), I could not really relate to her suffering and her actions.

Also the ending of the book was something I expected since nearly the end of book #02, so no surprise there.

Still recommended, 3.5 stars rounded up to 4 as I cannot really wait for the next book, to see how the cliffhanger will continue. Also, not sure, but it felt longer then the last one, and till 50 or maybe 60% percent I had to push myself sometimes to read it. Not such a good fast page-turner until it comes together.

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Thursday, September 6, 2018

Review: Excise

Excise Excise by Danielle Girard
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Most of it this book is a fast page-turner, a little dragging for me when the therapy of the MC is described.
A few deaths and a twist from the last book, where a bad decision bites back in this book.
Serial killers and some brutal scenes, but not enough to warrant a trigger warning.
And for once, also turn toward the right and the wrong way to bring someone to trial (see above...) and no vigilante or going alone into dangerous situations. Also tech is up-to-date playing some little role, without being embellished or unrealistic: things take time, not everything is recorded by traffic-cams, mobile phone tracking in a big city is not precise enough, etc .

The two decisions of the MC later in the book regarding her private life are great stuff, just my kind of woman, strong and willful, even with all her problems independent and headstrong. Wow! These two turns alone are worth 1 star for me.

Have the next book lent with a KU trial and will read that next before I pay for Kindle Unlimited (which I consider not worth the amount it costs, but as long as it is a free-trial it is ok).
Might be a 4 star for some but, I feel good about it, and it was a fast 3 days read, and with the strong MC, so 5 stars it is and highly recommended.

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Monday, September 3, 2018

Review: Aftermath

Aftermath Aftermath by Kelley Armstrong
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Obvious Trigger warning: Bullying.
After reading and the reviewing That's not what happened I was in the mood for more school shootings, and this turned out, to be even better. Again about the way the story that gets known is not really what happened, with an obvious twist I guessed early on, and a few other twists, I did not guess.

Liked the MC's Skye & Jesse, with how they changed after the shooting and grew up, not talking to each other for 3 years and then meeting again when Skye is forced to change school again. Swoonworthy realistic romance during a rocky patch in their live.
Very good characterizations, even in the minor characters, like the adults and Tiffany and Chris. As this is a current book, technology (chats, video sending, hacking) was integrated. And very well, no mistakes, everything is very real without being embellished or too much hacking. For that alone I could have given 1 star extra, so far I found a lot of books are missing the technology angel or get it wrong. But even without that I would have given 5 stars.
So suspenseful, I read it rather fast (under 3 days), well done romance-thriller about a school shooting, with current technology and a real page-turner.
Solid 5 stars, Highly recommended.

Family-ending may be a little to neat for some, but I can live with that.

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Saturday, September 1, 2018

Review: That's Not What Happened

That's Not What Happened That's Not What Happened by Kody Keplinger
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Would have liked more about the shooter, and some real twist.
Mostly I thought one or more of the survivors where in on it or even shooters themselves.
Still, for being to straight 1 star less, it is still a good fiction about a school shooting.

Solid 4 stars giving a few different POV of a school shooting (and aftermath).
Recommended, also reasonably short read, could be finished in a day or on a rainy weekend.

Even before I finished it, I looked for other books about school shootings and more or less randomly picked these from a goodreads list:
Hate List (owned that one already as an ebook bought 6 years or more ago, not read yet...)
Aftershock - Andrew Vachss is one of my favourite authors, but ebook is too expensive
This Is Where It Ends (bought today as an ebook)
Aftermath (bought a few months ago as an ebook)
School Days (looked for Robert B Parker books way back, August 2009, bought and read the paperback, may read it again)
Quicksand by Malin Persson Gilolito As it would have been a translation anyway, I bought it today in the German translation as: Im Traum kannst du nicht lügen (Malin Persson)
and
In the Skin of a Monster (bought today as an ebook)

no ebook - Endgame Nancy Garden
no ebook - Quad C.G. Watson, Carrie Gordon Watson
That I have bought these books does not really mean I will read and review them. The Spenser one I read already, this one offers a nice twist on the reasons for a school shooting. Worth reading for that, as a Spenser thriller, it is as expected, wether you like them or not. Recommended.
A different kind of school shooting is also to be found in Andrews Vachhss first book which was a long time unpublished - A bomb built in hell. The story was and probably still is available on his webpage for free, but I think you can also buy it in different formats in the usual shops.
Also, I still have Columbine in my TBR-bought pile (looked into that, the reviews where rather mixed, but I still want to read it someday).

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Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Review: Fury

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

Received an ARC from the Author for an honest review.
Read and liked the first 3 books in the series, read some of the others out of order, and have not yet read books 6 till 9.
What I said about the other books, too much romance, Kate being to insecure as to what she should do, I will not repeat that here. For me she should cut her losses, split from the man who does nothing for me and the story - and is not even a police-man anymore, being forced in early retirement (or fired?). The case is ok, but the book without the unnecessary parts (romance etc.) would have been 50% shorter, more like a novella. Will read one more, when it is published and then decide wether to stop reading these.
There are way better books / series, sorry to say, but my time is to short to read books I do not really like.


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Review: The Lost Causes

The Lost Causes The Lost Causes by Jessica Koosed Etting
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Read this review by Jennifer and wanted to buy the book, only to be informed, I alread bought it... So, I will try to read it soon.
(Added months later)
Has been sometime since I read this, sorry. Reminded me a little of Jennifer Lynn Barnes "Naturals"The Naturals The Naturals (The Naturals, #1) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes.

Currently a single book, not sure wether is going to be series or not, so currently a standalone.
Recommended, not sure, wether 4 stars is a bit much, whatever.

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Review: The Lost Causes

The Lost Causes The Lost Causes by Alyssa Embree Schwartz
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Read this review by Jennifer and wanted to buy the book, only to be informed, I alread bought it... So, I will try to read it soon.
(Added months later)
Has been sometime since I read this, sorry. Reminded me a little of Jennifer Lynn Barnes "Naturals".
(somehow inserting links only works after I saved once).
Currently a single book, not sure wether is going to be series or not, so currently a standalone.
Recommended, not sure, wether 4 stars is a bit much, whatever.

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Review: Don't Turn Around

Don't Turn Around Don't Turn Around by Michelle Gagnon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

3.5 rounded to 3
Romance ok, but could have done without it, not sure, wether you would call that a love-triangle, also when the book ends, it is open who loves whom.
Could have done with more hacking, but what was there was ok, without details, so as not to give a blueprint for aspiring hacker-wannabes (I dare to count myself in that group, with a basic knowledge of Unix, bash, html and having learned more than 25 years ago Cobol85, Assembler and Modula 2).
Too expensive, should have cost helf that. Will try to read the next books in the series sometime, but with KU or if they are cheap!

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Review: The Lost Causes

The Lost Causes The Lost Causes by Alyssa Embree Schwartz
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Has been sometime since I read this, sorry. Reminded me a little of Jennifer Lynn Barnes "Naturals".
(somehow inserting links only works after I saved once).
Currently a single book, not sure wether is going to be series or not, so standalone.
Recommended, not sure, wether 4 stars is a bit much, whatever.



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Review: Ostfriesensünde

Ostfriesensünde Ostfriesensünde by Klaus-Peter Wolf
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

(Review in German, as this is a German Book, not available in English)
Nachdem mir die vorigen Bände schon recht gut gefallen haben, wird in diesem Band die Geschichte um den Vater von Ann Kathrin gelöst und beendet (m.E.).
Ein Effekt, der mir bei einigen (wenigen) Autoren auch aufgefallen ist: die Bücher werden zunehmend besser, mit fortschreiten der Serie. Ob das so bleibt, muss sich zeigen.
Habe diesen Band, zusammen mit #05 und #06 wieder als (ebook) Sammelband gekauft. Einzeln finde ich die zu teuer.
Der 1. Band wurde verfilmt, und das bietet sich bei den anderen (vor allem diesen) auch an, darüber weiss ich aber nichts, habe nichts gefunden.
4.5 Sterne, aufgerundet auf 5 Sterne.
Empfehlung, aber kann nur als Serie gelesen werden, obwohl wie immer Sachen wiederholt werden, ist dies als Standalone nicht logisch sinnvoll zu lesen.

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Review: Take a Walk on the Dead Side

Take a Walk on the Dead Side Take a Walk on the Dead Side by Jada Ryker
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Got this for free, informed by a Book Raid Mail.
Blurb and title sounded interesting.
Possible DNF, too much side-remarks which do nothing to the story, but will try to get further. The characters are funny, could have done without the fart-machine, though, but ok, US humor (I am more on the German or UK side of funny things, being German).
Ok, so I read it, all of it, some in FF (skimmed).
In German I would say "Das war ein Griff ins Klo" (Sticking you hand in the toilet...).
Did not like the writing style, too much tell, not enough crime, not enough story.
There where two stories, one concluded at roughly 50%, so nice planning.
Two stars, the basic idea was ok, I really liked the cat - the real MC in the story. And Wikket's magical capabilities are not explained, just hinted at.
The romance, and the major crime was like a merry-go-round, but not very logical, also way too much romance for me, ok for a book which has chick-lit on the cover, this should be expected, so my fault. And I would have liked a logical, twisted crime-romance, but this was not for me.
Also, I will probably stay away from this author and never read something by her in the future.

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Review: Intrusion

Intrusion Intrusion by Reece Hirsch
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Lent (like the first one) with Kindle Unlimited. One of the few books I hope will be good. Some authors I do not know, but the first book in this series was good, and I have already bought the third book (Surveillance) for a reasonable price.

A little too much info which is not needed (places, background info on history, people) and not enough hacking. The case, with all of its twists, even the surprise with the killer and the excursions into privacy law etc. where very good and I look forward to reading the next book in the series. What I also found very good, the moral of the MC after he had to defend himself - in this case, not as a vigilante nor planned, together with the PTSD also of Zoey his girlfriend, who has two people on her conscience.
But still, for me could have done with more hacking and more computer scenes, action and storyline was very good.
For laypersons computer things are explained, but as a retired IT-Helpdesk-slave I am not sure wether it is enough for all, I just hope so.
Recommended.


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Friday, August 24, 2018

Review: Lost Library

Lost Library Lost Library by Kate Baray
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Got this for free from a BookBub email info.
Liked the blurb and the cover.
Skimming through a few 2star reviews, this might have been updated, they say Lizzy kept the magic for 2 years without deciphering it? It was a much more reasonable 2 months, just checked again, before she gets approached by John.
As the reviews said, World-Building was bit much of an info-dump at times, I agree, but it was not as bad some other books I read.
A little too much self-doubt and too much thinking about romance cost this the 5th star for me. And could have done with a little bit more action early on or in the middle.
It gets better near the end with the settings in London and Prague.
Also, other reviews mentioned a cliff-hanger at the end, I do not see the ending as a cliff-hanger, more a finished book with open threads to lead into the next book. The different problems (kidnapping, magic, etc.) are solved and concluded.

So recommended and I just checked and bought not the next book but the Lost Library Omnibus 1-3 for the price of one ebook Lost Library Collection: Books 1-3- there are now 4 books, with a 5th to be published November 1st, 2018.

So, recommended 4 stars it is, a little sex, lots of romance, could have been a little less for me. Action later in the book, and I am more interested in the library, which also was not mentioned enough in this book, hopefully this will change with the next book(s).

(Update a few hours later:)
After looking into the Collection, I skimmed the final chapter (#45 instead of #50) and there was an Epilogue, then I looked at the beginning of chapter 2, and there was the mentioned "two years later" as the time-frame of checking the book. Read the Epilogue and then gave the ebook back to Amazon and bought the single issue ebook of #02 Spirited Legacy, even though I will pay more if I read on, but I wanted an updated version, not knowing wether I will get it or not. Will only buy the other ebooks when I read that one.

So just to be clear: the ebook Collection is cheap, but you get currently not updated versions, while with buying the single ebook issues at some higher price you get the chance for updated version, with the first (lost library) certainly updated as an ebook - which I was lucky to get for free, so at this point I have not spent too much money.

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Review: Nemesis - Verkaufte Unschuld

Nemesis - Verkaufte Unschuld Nemesis - Verkaufte Unschuld by Stefanie Ross
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Lent with KU, luckily I did not pay for it, wasted time anyway.
German book, so short review in German:
Nicht empfehlenswert, zu viel Aktion, nicht glaubwürdige Zusamenarbeit, zuviel Familie, zuviel alles.
Könnte 2 sterne vergeben, aber die Idee war ok, war nicht mein Stil, so 3 Sterne aber ausdrücklich nicht empfehlenswert! Werde keine Bücher von dieser Autorin mehr lesen.

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Review: Lost Library

Lost Library Lost Library by Kate Baray
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Got this for free from a BookBub email info.
Liked the blurb and the cover.
Skimming through a few 2star reviews, this might have been updated, they say Lizzy kept the magic for 2 years without deciphering it? It was a much more reasonable 2 months, just checked again, before she gets approached by John.
As the reviews said, World-Building was bit much of an info-dump at times, I agree, but it was not as bad some other books I read.
A little too much self-doubt and too much thinking about romance cost this the 5th star for me. And could have done with a little bit more action early on or in the middle.
It gets better near the end with the settings in London and Prague.
Also, other reviews mentioned a cliff-hanger at the end, I do not see the ending as a cliff-hanger, more a finished book with open threads to lead into the next book. The different problems (kidnapping, magic, etc.) are solved and concluded.

So recommended and I just checked and bought not the next book but the Lost Library Omnibus 1-3 for the price of one ebook Lost Library Collection: Books 1-3- there are now 4 books, with a 5th to be published November 1st, 2018.

So, recommended 4 stars it is, a little sex, lots of romance, could have been a little less for me. Action later in the book, and I am more interested in the library, which also was not mentioned enough in this book, hopefully this will change with the next book(s).

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Monday, August 20, 2018

Review: Was der Nebel verbirgt

Was der Nebel verbirgt Was der Nebel verbirgt by Maximilian Seese
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Ausgeliehen mit KU.
Langweilig, Hauptfigur unglaubwürdig, die meisten Wendungen vorhersehbar, diejenigen, die ich nicht vorhergesehen habe, retten das Buch nicht. Genausowenig wie das Setting in UK.
Polizeiprozeduren waren teilweise gut, teilweise völlig neben der Spur (vor allem gegen Ende).
Viel Nebebeikram, der weggelassen werden könnte und nichts zur Geschichte, geschweige denn Spannung (welche Spannung?) beiträgt.
2 Sterne, weil mir keine Fehler aufgefallen sind. Keine Empfehlung. Hab versucht das in FF schnell zu durchblättern. Für KU ok, aber wenn ich das normal bezahlt hätte, hätte ich mich geärgert. Werde wohl kein Buch vom Autor mehr lesen.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Review: Sturmflut: Ein Fall für Suna Lürssen

Sturmflut: Ein Fall für Suna Lürssen Sturmflut: Ein Fall für Suna Lürssen by Kerstin Wassermann
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Mit KU geliehen.
Nette Story, aber Auflösung am Ende durch einen der Schuldigen, nicht durch Ermittlungen, auch wenn vieles schon vermutet wurde. Ein wenig angedeutete Romanze, könnte auf eine Verbindung in den nächsten Büchern hinauslaufen, oder auch nicht, da die Personen ihre Wohnungen / Büros in unterschiedlichen Orten und Ländern haben.
Werde bei Gelegenheit weitere Bücher der Reihe lesen.
Realistische Beschreibung der Vorgehensweise bei den Ermittlungen, mit etwas Sylt lokal-kolorit.
Solide 3 Sterne, mit Empfehlung, liest sich schnell, gut für ein verregnetes Wochenende.

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Friday, August 10, 2018

Review: The Caller

The Caller The Caller by Chris Carter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Trigger warning: torture, very bloody, detailed murders - but for a book about a serial-killer, that is expected, you get what you came for.

Got this cheap (promo price?) as an ebook and read the blurb which pointed to social media, stalking and a serial killer, so obviously a book for me, with the tech up-to-date.
Fast paced page-turner, which was just not worth 5 stars for me, as a lot of times the (short) chapters ended with a cliffhanger, but the next chapter was a different POV or scene. Not always, though.
This interchanging of scenes/pov's sometimes break the stream of reading for me, sometimes not.
A little romance, no sex.
Very gristly murders (expected), a few nice twists, and good ideas.

Instead of "swap", the author uses "swop", never read that before, googled it, as I thought this was an error, and wanted to report it (it is not, the word is used in the same manner and context as swap, I am German, and my english education is heavy on UK, which I prefer, even though most english books I read are in US-english, so pardon my french).
A completely real error is in chapter 64, using a wrong name when a person calls out (in the ebook I own it is currently "Jeffery" when he calls for him, but the person is named "Michael" and I see no reason for the name Jeffery and the name is not used in other parts of the book. Will report that (Kindle), so it can be corrected.

So, imho writing is bit uneven, there might be other places, but still it was good enough.
In catching the killer, one of the detectives (the MC) breaks a few rules and it was the often (too often) case of going after killer alone and getting in a situation where the MC could have been killed. Too obvious that never happens, yawn, so too predictable. One should kill the MC once every other book imho, just to keep the reader guessing.

Recommended 4stars, but as have read one other novel and a short novella from this author, I think, this is one of the better ones (or the author is getting better with each book). Might read other books from this series depending on price (or if I can lend it with KU). Can be read as a standalone, as I did.

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Review: The Caller

The Caller The Caller by Chris Carter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Trigger warning: torture, very bloody, detailed murders - but for a book about a serial-killer, that is expected, you get what you came for.

Got this cheap (promo price?) as an ebook and read the blurb which pointed to social media, staling and a serial killer, so obviously a book for me, with the tech up-to-date.
Fast paced page-turner, which was just not worth 5 stars for me, as a lot of times the (short) chapters ended with a cliffhanger, but the next chapter was a different POV or scene. Not always, though.
This interchanging of scenes/pov's sometimes break the stream of reading for me, sometimes not.
A little romance, no sex.
Very gristly murders (expected), a few nice twists, and good ideas.

Instead of "swap", the author uses "swop", never read that before, googled it, as I thought this was an error, and wanted to report it (it is not, the word is used in the same manner and context as swap, I am German, and my english education is heavy on UK, which I prefer, even though most english books I read are in US-english, so pardon my french).
A completely real error is in chapter 64, using a wrong name when a person calls out (in the ebook I own it is currently "Jeffery" when he calls for him, but the person is named "Michael" and I see no reason for the name Jeffery and the name is not used in other parts of the book. Will report that (Kindle), so it can be corrected.

So, imho writing is bit uneven, there might be other places, but still it was good enough.
In catching the killer, one of the detectives (the MC) breaks a few rules and it was the often (too often) case of going after killer alone and getting in a situation where the MC could have been killed. Too obvious that never happens, yawn, so too predictable. One should kill the MC once every other book imho, just to keep the reader guessing.

Recommended 4stars, but as have read one other novel and a short novella from this author, I think, this is one of the better ones (or the author is getting better with each book). Might read other books from this series depending on price (or if I can lend it with KU). Can be read as a standalone, as I did.

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Review: Alex, Approximately

Alex, Approximately Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

No Triggers, imho, so no Trigger Warnings!
YA Romance, sex talked of, a little mentioned, but rather tame.
Felt too long, and as it was big on romance, not really a book for me. A few scenes where suspenseful, but the main story began to drag for me, I think about 60% into the book, too late to DNF, although the ending was as expected. One real problem was well handled (gun), but the problem of the female MC did not really grab me.

3.5 stars, rounded down to 3, as it is it was too long and not interesting enough for me. Would have worked for me with 20-30% less pages, or a few other problems.
What saved it, was the wording and use of language, the movie references. This exceptionally well written, a big notch above usual YA romance fare and/or some indie-self-published ones, imho. As it was very hot, I tended to rate it harder, with colder weather I might have rounded up to 4.
As it is, I stand by it, recommended 3star, but am not sure, wether I will read a book by this author again. Have not followed the author anywhere, as I tend to do with other books ( authoralarms, Amazon.de / .com follow this author etc. ).

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Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Review: Juli.Mord.: Sylt-Krimi

Juli.Mord.: Sylt-Krimi Juli.Mord.: Sylt-Krimi by Bodo Manstein
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Ohne den Epilog hätte es 3 sterne gegeben, 1 weil es ein Debüt ist, und ich da immer
vorsichtig bin - einige Autoren, gerade selfpublished, werden von Buch zu Buch besser.
Bis zum Epilog ist es eine lockere Krimi-Romanze, nicht sonderlich spannend, und mir
fehlten Twists, also vor (unvorhersehbare) Wendungen.

Habe ein paar der anderen Reviews überflogen, es wurde die alter Mann - junge Frau
Romanze etwas kritisiert, vor allem, da der eine Mann sie schon seit der Geburt kennt.
Wurde nicht ausgelebt, also fand ich das, wie immer bei Romanzen, uninteressant, hat
mich nicht weiter interessiert. Die andere Romanze (mit Sex aber nur angedetet) fand
ich glaubwürdig, aber langweilig.

Ortsbeschreibungen waren noch das Beste am Buch, aber dazu kenne ich Sylt zuwenig, um
zu prüfen, ob das so stimmt. Lebensstil usw. war ganz ok, aber deswegen kaufe ich ja
das Buch nicht, ich will spannende Unterhaltung, und die hatte ich hier nicht, die
Ermittlungen waren ok, aber zu sehr auf die Hauptperson abgestellt.
Das wirkte konstruiert.

Der Epilog hat es für mich ruiniert, jetzt hätte ich das Buch nochmal lesen müssen,
um zu prüfen, ob das logisch in der Handlung passt und evtl. sogar zu erkennen ist.
Ich denke nicht, kann mich natürlich irren, dafür war es einfach nicht spannend genug.
Vor allem, ohne Epilog ist das Buch weitgehend abgeschlossen, ein paar lose Sachen
können auf ein nächstes Buch, aber mit einem neuen Fall weisen, der Epilog lässt fasst
alles offen. Das war natürlich Riesen-Twist, eine Wendung, aber gerade deshalb auch so
unglaubwürdig und aufgesetzt.

Damit so mal eben nur noch 2 Sterne, die ich als Gnadensterne empfinde, und ich werde
selbst kostenlos kein weiteres Buch des Autors lesen, keine Empfehlung, eher
eine Warnung. Der Preis, den ich für das Buch gezahlt habe, war m.E. ein normaler
Preis, aber wert war es mir das Buch nicht. Kostenlos, KU oder 99 ct. würde ich
für angemessen empfinden.

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Sunday, July 29, 2018

Review: Ragdoll

Ragdoll Ragdoll by Daniel Cole
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Trying a paid for service, which I just realized I should not yet write about and share, as it is still in Beta.
This is one of the three recommended books. Price is ok, instant ebook buy.

Fast paced page-turner, set in the UK (London mostly).
Wow, what a ride!
After a grisly find of a puzzle-like-ragdoll-staged-death consisting of body parts from several different victims, this story keeps its fast pace with a serial who leaks to the press, and sets a short timeline to stop his killings.

A lot is standard police procedure, but under very high pressure, and with several not sleeping and or not sleeping well for days on end (with the obvious problems such behaviour brings).
People and places well written, with several POV, and a few flashbacks.
Most twists I did not see coming, and a few persons are not simply black-and-white, but more a muddled morally grey, veering into being vigilant or at leas sympathetic to being vigilante.
One member of the police was doing manual data-mining during his supposed sleep or free time in going through old evidence. This felt very real, amassing lots of data, sometimes mining them with a computer, but also trying to locate and speak to every person of a large group to see wether they could offer information or simply are still alive. Although computers where used and some special programs, the large amount of work felt like a lot of old detective work, where computers only added or helped to come to some conclusions, others where simply guessworks or intuitions.

This being the first from three paid-for-recommendations, I can safely say: this one is a success, on the point for me!

Will certainly look for the sequel (this is supposed to be a series) and probably buy it soon.
Read this as an EPub and page-count was strange, so I cannot really say, how long this book is. But the short 3 days it took me to read it where mostly spent reading, with lights-out late on a few days (11:30 pm, 1 am).

A little romance thrown in, sex hinted at, but happening off-page. Very grisly murders with several scenes described en detail, not for the faint-of-heart, but not veering into SAW-material either, keeping it real and no torture.

Highly recommended, for fans of serial killers, UK-settings.

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Friday, July 27, 2018

Review: Sanctuary

Sanctuary Sanctuary by Caryn Lix
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Preordered the Kindle ebook with Amazon.de, but they cancelled on publication day, due to a price rise.
Found it cheaper elsewhere - owning Kindle and a Tolino ereader, I can buy and read Kindle and EPub ebooks even with DRM.

As we have a heatwave in Germany, I read a few hours and managed with little sleep, and was more than half through when I turned the lights out, a quarter to midnight on the first day.

Very well written, so far lots of action and twists I did not see coming. A little obvious and expected romance, no sex. After the not very suspenseful (link will be inserted today) These broken stars, which dragged at times, this is way better - so far, but my guess is, it will stay that way. Might get 5 stars, so far. Ok, so it is more like 4 to 4.5 stars, but I rounded to 5 for the first in the series.
Hopefully the next one will be as good or better.

Romance, not really sure, if this counts as instalove - I think not - no sex. Suspenseful and no toned down death-scenes, might be a little too gruesome and bloody for some. Also quite a few real characters die.

What warrants less than 5 stars, some might even give 3:
- at times too much thinking about the same things again and again
- a few too much coincidences aka deus ex machina, convenient, but summed up not too believable.

Still I stand by my 5 star rating and highly recommend it, it was a fast page-turner for me.

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Saturday, July 14, 2018

Review: Mörderisches Ostfriesland

Mörderisches Ostfriesland Mörderisches Ostfriesland by Klaus-Peter Wolf
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

#01 Ostfriesenkiller (filmed, TV-Movie) - angefangen 04-Feb-2018 / durch 08-Feb-2018
#02 Ostfriesenblut - angefangen 08-Feb-2018 / durch 23-Feb-2018
#03 Ostfriesengrab - angefangen 14-Jun-2018 / durch 19-Jun-2018
3,5* rounded down?

Leicht durchgeknallte MC, Polizeiarbeit ok, Fall je nach Buch gut bis extrem gut, etwas viel Privatleben, Romanze, kaum Sex (Jugendfrei). Übergreifender Fall, wo es um Ann Kathrin Klaasens Vater geht, der in diesen 3 Büchern ziemliche Wendungen nimmt und nicht gelöst wird.

Gutes Buch für den Strand, aber eben weil für mich zuviel Privatleben reinspielt, auch nur 3.5 Sterne, insgesamt abgerundet auf 3. Allerdings sind die Fälle zum Teil recht heftig, also etwas Mischmasch zwischen Thriller mit Romanze, nicht 100% leichte Kost, bis auf das etwas zuviele Privatleben fand ich es recht gelungen ausgewogen.
Empfohlen, wobei ich finde, die sind zu teuer, bzw. sollten ggfs. nur geliehen werden, oder eben als Sammelband gekauft werden. Bis jetzt ist nur der 1. Band als TV-Movie in Deutschland verfilmt worden, mit ein paar Kürzungen, und damit wird die Hintergrund-Geschichte um ihren Vater nicht richtig klar. Ob weitere Filme geplant sind, ist offen.

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Thursday, July 12, 2018

Review: All Systems Red

All Systems Red All Systems Red by Martha Wells
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Bought this cheap with a coupon. More a novella than a novel, lenght-wise.
Fast gripping read, well done world-building.
Highly recommended, already bought and pre-ordered all other books (as ebooks), although I must say I find the price too high for the short reading time.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Review: The Fifth to Die

The Fifth to Die The Fifth to Die by J.D. Barker
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Had pre-ordered this for Kindle and checked the price, as Amazon had previously cancelled an ebook where price had risen, and saw 2 things: the price had risen, and while the publication date was July 10th, 2018 (today being July 3d), it was already available as an EPub elsewhere in Germany for a good, low price, so I cancelled my Amazon order and snatched this up to read it soon. Having both a Tolino epos and (two) Kindle Voyage, I am even without tricks from the Apprentice able to buy and read ebooks from most retailers.
Currently reading A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe (link inserted later), after I finish that, I might start this immediately - started evening July 4th, 2018 happy holiday to the US.

Just finished it, during lunch and after that.
Enough twists I did not see coming, to build a circular staircase in an old library ....
Saw my few words about the first book, and realize I was even than too lazy to write much.
This book is near current regarding the tech, the description with the router and Mac-Addresses is spot on (although I still think, a MAC-Address can be faked, but I am not sure how easy).

While the diary bored me sometimes, it is essential in understanding the story.
Otherwise this is a page-turner, but with changing POV (chapter wise and clearly marked).
No love, romance, nor sex.
Bloody. Cruel torture, at times shocking, but not too much, and keeping it way below SAW-levels.
On par for the good serial-killer-book, not unexpected.

Highly recommended page-turner, also I think it might help to read the first book (again), although some things are repeated. Next book will be pre-ordered as soon as possible!

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Thursday, July 5, 2018

Review: A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe

A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe by Alex White
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Can be read as a standalone, but the ending points to the next book with a new adventure.
Pre-ordered that.
A little sex, romance, and lots and lots of well designed fights and action. Could easily have been a 5 star book with more twists. As it is, recommended, solid 4star. SF with Magic (!).

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