Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Review: The Initial Fold: A first contact space opera adventure

The Initial Fold: A first contact space opera adventure The Initial Fold: A first contact space opera adventure by Nick Adams
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Lent this with a free Kindle Unlimited trial.
Good beginning for the series, but not sure, wether I will read the next books, 3.5 stars rounded down to 3 - due to the language, which was unnecessarily juvenile-jokingly, even in serious situations and when it was dangerous due to possible miss-understandings (sarcasm not understood by some races etc.).
The main story with two first-contact scenarios happening, was fast moving and without the language this could easily have been a 4star book, but the sexual innuendos and the language seemed out of place, without it this could have been an easy fast rainy-weekend-YA-read, so while not really NA, it felt off for me. With real sex scenes this might have worked, but as it was written this was somehow feeling like a different story added to the book, and did not work for me.
The persons where ok written, but some got on my nerves, with their quirks and ticks.

For KU this was one of the better books, so I recommend it, it may also be that the next books in the series get better, but to state it again, I am not sure wether I will read them.

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Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Review: Portraits of the Dead

Portraits of the Dead Portraits of the Dead by John Nicholl
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Lent this with a free Kindle Unlimited trial.
DNF at 9% percent, wow, what a drivel. Skimmed the ending, that did not help.
Another bad KU choice, where I fell for the blurb.
Not recommended, what others see in this boring writing I will never understand.
Have to change my way to decide which book to get, I am doing something wrong, my last choices where too often really bad.

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Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Review: The Cutting Room

The Cutting Room The Cutting Room by Ashley Dyer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Let's see if this book can hold my interest.
Short intro in the 2 mc's then they are lured to the remains of the next victim of a serial killer.
With the setting being in UK, and for once not London, instead Liverpool, this might just be my kind of book.

4.5 stars rounded up to 5. Up-to-date internet social media-use, with facebook, twitter, tumblr, instagram, live-streaming, VPN, email and short-messages (SMS and chat). Very well done, without embellishing or any mistakes I could spot. Also without hacking, sadly, but as that is often wrong or over-the-top, achieving too much, the fact that it is not used makes it more real for me.
In other books the police (or the investigating people) have a go-to-Hacker (often male) who is like a magician, making things happen that (without explanation) are very expensive, very hard to do in a short time frame or simply impossible.

The POV was mainly from three different persons, the female detective (DS Ruth Lake, which for me is the main character), the male detective (DCI Greg Carver) and the Killer. This was one of the things which did not sit too well with me, but the chapters where short, and the story connecting Art, Performances, Streaming, Graffiti, Exhibition, Tattoos and even crowd-manipulation, was well written, and delved into ethics, asking "what is allowed in Art" and "what is Art" without giving a certain answer - you have to think about the book, probably even after you have finished it.
As I am an interested observer who likes Giger, I know some of the images which are in that style described in The Cutting Room - see the linked book Biomechanics.
Page-turner, with short-chapters, so you can try to take a break after finishing another chapter - if you really want to...

The personal problems of Lake & Carver played a certain role in this book, very well integrated into the story, but a bit much, will be interesting to see how this will grow or develop in the next book (there will be a next book, I hope?!). Will try to get the first book in the series cheap, or borrow it, if possible (just checked, it is not that expensive, might buy it after reading something different).

Highly recommended UK Serial Killer case with excellent Internet integration in the story.

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Thursday, June 27, 2019

Review: Trouble is a Friend of Mine

Trouble is a Friend of Mine Trouble is a Friend of Mine by Stephanie Tromly
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This beginning of the "Trouble is a friend of mine"-Trilogy was pitched to me as a Veronica Mars alike read. In some ways it is, but the main driver of the story is not the female heroine ( Zoe ), but the waky-over-the-top male MC ( Digby ).
As such, this is my main gripe with the story, while it is from the POV of Zoe, she comes acros as a meek, sometimes submissive femaile. So not like Veronica Mars and definetly so not my kind of female heroine: Zoe is not very strong, and certainly not independent.
Then again, the book is well writen and has good, real dialogue and no errors I noticed.

So 3 solid stars for totally twisty crime, well written and rounded high-school drama, with certain outstanding scene. As an example, Bill, a female minor character has a very real scary scene later in the book. From her and some others I would have liked to read more, but the unlikely pairing of Digby and Zoe just does not interest me too much.

Still, would recommend the book, but am not too sure, wether it was logical to buy the next 2 books, even though they where cheap, not sure, if and when I will be in the mood to read them.
This one could be read on a rainy weekend and that just feels about right. Oh, and also, there is kind of an unsolved crime still open in the end, serving as cliffhanger.

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Saturday, June 22, 2019

Review: The Hate U Give

The Hate U Give The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Pre-ordered this October 25th, 2016, was recommended by quite a few blogs I read, and probably persons, received it on Kindle when it was published (EU, Germany, but in English), February 28th, 2017 (more than 2 years ago) - also bought the Audible as a Whispersync deal cheap in December 2017.
One of the reasons to buy this, that it is a current story of the "black-lives-matter", the other that what was then supposed to be filmed to be a movie, and it was. That one I also pre-ordered on iTunes, and I will be able to watch it on or after June 27th, 2019, Friday next week (as of today).
At that time I want to have finished the book.

As a white straight male, I chose to read some books which are diverse, even though I am not that much into race wars or LGBT+. Being German we have homegrown Nazis here, with a fallen-off-the-cliff-far-out-right-wing political party (AFD), and I learned that being disabled gets you in their crosshairs as much as being a jew or black. Some members of the Police-force are supporting Nazis and protecting them being found out. Currently it looks not as bad here as it does in the USA, but we are getting there.
So this one of the more serious books I read this year. And given my bad choice of books these past months, so far probably it looks to be one of the better reads, well written and engaging.

So, 5stars it is, maybe a little much, as the main story is obvious, no twists, but sadly very real, as we saw a few black youth killed, unarmed, posing no threat by a police officer.

Highly recommended, well written, should be read by young white people, to get educated.
Cannot wait to see movie soon.

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Sunday, June 16, 2019

Review: Remote Access

Remote Access Remote Access by Barry Finlay
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Lent this with a free Kindle Unlimited trial.
Skipped/skimmed the also lent second Marcie Kane book, as the first was just so bad.

This should be more interesting: a PotUS-Trump-alike, with doing things without counsel, Hacking, China, Trade relations, so and begins ok. Also it is nearly a Roman à clef to current events (China trade, Huawei, PotUS), which should make it interesting.

But again, it has too much information which does nothing to the story for me, about 30% of the personal issues, descriptions, places etc. could be cut without changing the main events in the story. It feels like a by the numbers story, no surprises so far, and I skip parts regularly.

Also, the main character in the first book, Marcie gets a Fiancé and is planning her wedding, and he is now the main MC for the good guys, something I really do not need, I wanted a strong, single, independent woman, not some boring romance, nor a male MC.

As a contrast and forcing me to read this till the end, the political issues and the hacking descriptions and actions are spot on. There is also some action, everything believable.
So where fails the book for me? TMI - too much information which is not needed. The usual drunk problem with one of the characters, well written, but all taking too long, also a lot is explained in too much details, maybe necessary for the unwashed masses? Just an example: SWATTING, sending a SWAT-team to an innocent person as a prank or revenge or whatever.
All valid and realistic story points, but somehow the added story is not suspenseful. As if on purpose.

Will try to finish the book today, as I want to give it back for a different and hopefully better Kindle-Unlimited book.
Pending some major good twist or a surprise ending or whatever, this barely rates 3 stars, more like 2.5 rounded up for a good idea. Would have liked to read this idea from way better author. And shorter. Maybe still recommended, but I suggest reading it faster than me - 8 days is too much, showing how much interest I did not have in the book!

Ending one of the main story with the ballroom scene was ok, but would have liked a full success, not this failure. The other one was as expected, but well done. Would have liked another and more story about the assassin, not about Marcie & Nathan. Their ending was way boring. As in certain stories no main so-called-good-people die, I am tired of this, would have killed some main characters unexpectedly.

So, the ending of the the main story saving it a little, it is now a full 3 stars, not rounded up from 2.5 stars, but as it is I fail to recommend it. The current reality was well mirrored in the book though, so if you manage to read this on a rainy weekend, it may hold a little more interest than a fluffy romance for some.
Oh, and just to be sure, I will most probably not read a book by this author again. While I could not detect any errors, the style was just not suspenseful enough.

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Monday, June 10, 2019

Review: Uncommon Stock: Version 1.0

Uncommon Stock: Version 1.0 Uncommon Stock: Version 1.0 by Eliot Peper
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Lent this with a free Kindle Unlimited trial.
Beginning takes too long for me to hold my interest, even though the blurb sounded very good, right up my alley.
Currently leaning to DNF.
Will skim reviews and decide what to do.
Ok, was interesting enough to read to the end, but I skimmed some passages.
My problem with the book is, I wanted more hacking, more from James, more suspense and/or crime.
This ebook is a good collection of how to built a startup, how to raise money (which is the main theme in the book). Having read a book by Frank Thelen, his so called Autobiography, I am somewhat interested. Frank Thelen is or was one of the jurors/advisors of the German version of Sharktank (called translated to english "In the lions den" - "In der Höhle der Löwen"), where groups and people can pitch their ideas and get advice and sometimes money.

Such a scene is also in the book.

The book focuses on the female MC, and her ideas, personal problem and sports. A lot of time is wasted and for me also suspense with scenes which do nothing for me, there is a lot of hiking and running, some climbing, and the descriptions are detailed enough that I think, the author has personal experience.
Then again, a lot is told, not shown, not a style I like too much.

Nearing the end, suspense suddenly rises, the book ending in a cliffhanger. But I am not sure, wether I really want to read the next books, then again, it might get better. As all books are currently on Kindle Unlimited, at least I would not have to pay for it, but my KU-trial runs out in little more than a month, and so far my choice of books from KU just confirmed that it ok for free, but not, if I have to pay for it. Just checked the price of this book, and the only reason to buy the Kindle version would be to get the audiobook with audible cheap with it, if you want to, so there is that, but I still think, it is too expensive, this for me is a typical 99ct read.

This review feels little like the breakup apology "... it is not you, it is me".
So, from my description, you should know what you are getting into, wether this book is for you or not.

Recommended, still, but only 3 stars for being too long, too much tell and not enough suspense.
Just read the blurb again, and think, drug cartels are not playing a great role in the book, so some of the blurb is way off.

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Saturday, June 8, 2019

Review: The Vanishing Wife

The Vanishing Wife The Vanishing Wife by Barry Finlay
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Lent this with a free Kindle Unlimited trial.
For some reason I also lent the next few books (with the third being from the title "Remote Access" my main interest), but will probably skim reviews and blurb and might return them back to KU unread.
Currently at 9% percent and since the beginning it looks like DNF to me.
No action, little suspense, a lot of information I do not care about.
From here on I will FF, only skim passages.
Does not get more interesting, at 25%, most skimmed, I think is book is not about a crime, but a crime itself. Nearly bored me to death.
Skimmed the last few chapters to see how it ends, as usual no important person killed (some hurt a little). Big yawn.

Read blurb from next book and gave that back to KU unread.
The third might be more for me, being about some state taking over your computer, but I will try to decide fast wether it is worth reading.

DNF. Not recommended, what others see in this boring writing I will never understand.
Have to change my way to decide which book to get, I am doing something wrong, my last choices where too often really bad.

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Thursday, June 6, 2019

Review: ÜBERWACHT: Warum die NSA-Aktivitäten nur die Spitze des Eisbergs sind und was Sie als Bürger, Konsument und Arbeitnehmer jetzt wissen müssen

ÜBERWACHT: Warum die NSA-Aktivitäten nur die Spitze des Eisbergs sind und was Sie als Bürger, Konsument und Arbeitnehmer jetzt wissen müssen ÜBERWACHT: Warum die NSA-Aktivitäten nur die Spitze des Eisbergs sind und was Sie als Bürger, Konsument und Arbeitnehmer jetzt wissen müssen by Markus Stolpmann
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Review in German, as no translation available.

Veraltet. Als es rauskam, war es vielleicht aktuell und hat denen genützt, die von den Sachen nichts mitbekommen haben (?). Mit Kindle Unlimited geliehen, aber als jemand der seit 1986 online ist und aus der Branche (IT Helpdesk) kommt, bin ich wohl auch nicht die Zielgruppe.
Ausserdem sehr allgemein gehalten.
Habe die ersten Kapitel gelesen, dann einige überflogen und dann DNF.

Der zweite Stern dafür, daß es bei Erscheinen wohl aktueller war. Für mich Fehlgriff.
Lest netzpolitik.org oder Sachen von Schaar (ehem. Bundes-Datenschutzbeauftragter), Beckedahl (netzpolitik.org) und dem CCC.

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Review: Nightworld Academy: Term One

Nightworld Academy: Term One Nightworld Academy: Term One by L.J. Swallow
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Lent this with a free Kindle Unlimited trial.
Clean YA, no sex, no swearing.
Could have been a little more suspenseful.
Worldbuilding integrated in what the MC (Meave, the heroine) learns. Mostly.
Most chapters are from her POV, but some are from the POV of others (Jamie, Ash etc.), so if you do not like that, you have been warned.

OK read, but think, YA books could generally do with sex, regarding how old the people in this book are (17-20?), this does not strike me as realistic.

While the inner conflicts of the main people are well thought out, they are also not very interesting, and Meave as the heroine looks like she is interested and conflicted about 3 different guys, so more like a pesky love-square than a pesky love-triangle.

Not really sure, wether this will hold my interest enough for reading a second book, also depends on wether I can read that cheap (included in Kindle Unlimited?) - paying full price for it, even 3 Eur is too much. As it is not yet published and my free KU-trial end in July, I have to see wether I can squeeze it in ca. End of June, it is supposed to be published June 26th, 2019.

Recommended for a rainy weekend, if the things I said about the book do not bother you.
Then again, there should be better books in this genre.

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Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Review: Invisible

Invisible Invisible by James Patterson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was cheap when I wanted to buy the second book and I like to start series at the beginning.
Knowing that Patterson is not one of my favourite authors, writing too much and everything built a certain way, I am still a bit miffed at the main character, she is boring and too much of the story is about her past.
Also while the story progresses, it began very slow, without too much suspense. Differing POV between the main character (name forgotten) and the serial killer. While the idea with the serial killer narrating a pod-cast-like recording, it is mostly not very interesting at times.
Looks currently at little more than 50% like a 3 star review, with no sure recommendation by me.
May stray into DNF territory.
Not sure, wether I still want to read the next book, which is currently also too expensive.
Started a totally different book in between Nightworld Academy: Term One, but will also try to finish this one fast.
Suspense was so-so, not too great, with a few obvious twists and a red herring signaled I saw coming. Ending also as expected from the get go, nothing new here.
The good things: no vigilante killing, and the final scene in the safe-house was well built and ok for me.

Could have been more entertaining, also for a change I would have killed the really bad heroine in the middle of the book and exchanged against a new character. THAT would have been my kind of book. Also I rather like it when the main person follows the rulebook, but again, no, she does not.
Should have been fired from the get-go, but manages to blackmail her bullying superior into keeping her on the case.
Not really recommended, but if you like this author, pick it up. At least for me it was cheap. Not sure wether I will read the next book.

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Thursday, May 30, 2019

Review: No Exit

No Exit No Exit by Taylor Adams
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Lent this with a free Kindle Unlimited trial, and felt like DNFin it during
the first chapter. Fell for the blurb (again...).
No suspense, no likeable persons, DNF shortly after skimming a few 2 star reviews. Not even interested how it ends.
Not recommended.

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Review: You

You You by Caroline Kepnes
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

At 30%: Nearing DNF - does not grip me...
Two of my friends / people I follow said it very well:
Chelsea Humphrey's 3 star-review
and
this 2star review from Ari.

The cover my edition shows is for the Netflix TV-series. That series, and the blurb is what made me buy this book, I wanted a stalker, but would have liked the roles reversed (female stalker, male victim).
But given that this book is rather long, I already started another one, which is a sure hint towards DNF for me. Will try to watch more episodes (currently only the first seen) of the TV-show and then decide wether to abandon this or not.
The first episode was imho 1:1 like the part of the book, but maybe it is not such a waste of time to watch that in contrast to grudgingly and reluctantly reading it?

Oh, and the book I started? Pre-ordered, and just published, short and suspenseful:
Keep This to Yourself by Tom Ryan
Keep This to Yourself! So far highly recommended.

Back to "You", DNF at 30%, jumped to 80% then skimmed or FF till the end.
Worst book I picked so far, and now I even dread watching more Episodes from the TV series,
although I might still watch 2 more to decide wether it is worth finishing it.

As this is a book about a stalker this should have been my kind of book, but I did not look all (!) characters and even though I could relate to some of the books and most of the movies (Pitch Perfect), this bored me out of my mind. Would have liked a female stalker more.

No Suspense, no good writing, will never pick up a book from this author again!

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Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Review: Somewhere Only We Know

Somewhere Only We Know Somewhere Only We Know by Maurene Goo
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Recommendation from Epic Reads 2019 TBR.
Pre-ordered this December 1st, 2018, and read it in-between the soon to be DNF'ed You.
Earnest YA-romance with two teens growing up on a special day in Hongkong.
Swoon-worthy! Listened to K-Pop during reading (sometimes, mostly Blackpink / Red Velvet, as I am not so much into Boygroups).
Lots of eating in the book, which made it feel very real - one of my pet-peeves, when people during a story don't eat or sleep without an obvious reason (Dan Brown, I'm looking at you!).
Also very inspiring and uplifting book about how to realise your dreams.
Highly recommended fast read. Would like to see this filmed as a limited TV-series (1 Season).

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Saturday, May 25, 2019

Review: Keep This to Yourself

Keep This to Yourself Keep This to Yourself by Tom Ryan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Great read, both a book about a serial killer and a coming of age book of a gay teen.
Could not guess most twists, and was kept guessing till the end who the killer was.
One suspect later in the book gets a short, very well built up to the suspicion and a typical situation of the lone detective walking into danger. Liked that scene a lot!
Fast read, very suspenseful and highly recommended. Way better than the book a will probably DNF which I took a break from for this, You (also a TV-series on Netflix)

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Saturday, May 18, 2019

Review: Delta-v

Delta-v Delta-v by Daniel Suarez
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Like this author a lot, and had this pre-ordered for a price well above my usual 10 Eur price limit.
Was it worth it? Just about, as I was in the mood of reading a good SF book, so, ok, but my guess is, you could wait for the price to drop, it will be SF for a few years to come and not be surpassed by real life events, even though some are currently being prepared to become reality.

Hard near-future-SF, sometimes gritty, very well thought out and detailed in its realism and world-building.
In parts not very suspenseful and also some things that happen are obvious and foreseeable, some twists though I did not guess.
Not to spoil the plot, but I was thinking at least one of the crew would be a traitor and try to sabotage the mission - well there was not.
Would have given 4 stars, but it was well rounded and had a "further reading"
section, so I gave 4.5 stars rounded to 5.
Recommended although it took too long for my liking and could have been more suspenseful.

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Saturday, April 27, 2019

Review: Shadow Moon

Shadow Moon Shadow Moon by Alexandra Sokoloff
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Short chapters with alternating POV of the main characters. also jumping in time but clearly marked, so you do not have to guess. Some nice twists. Ending is ok, but for me a low point, although I like it that there was not too much of a vigilante-killing-spree and a few things went according to law.
Great scenery in this book.
Reasonably fast read, it took my longer as I paused to binge Vampire Diaries on Netflix - starting at S01E01, as I could not get into the S03 where stopped seeing it years ago.
As most of the books from this series felt like it could have been the end to the series, I will not guess wether there will be more, but hope so. Also there seem to be talks or even solid plans for a TV-series, yeah!
Not as much a mirror image for the current (2018/2019) USofA like the last book, at least not for me, but I am not so much into Militia and Conspiracy-Theories, so I may be wrong.
Some good use of internet and current technology, I will not spoil it, only to say there was a nice decision from one of the minor characters.

Solid 5 star, highly recommended, would not consider this a standalone, too much background story would be missing, strongly suggest reading all the books in the series in order. One of my favourite series, hands-down-ever. For more Info read my reviews of the other 5 books in the series.

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Monday, April 22, 2019

Review: Geliebtes Opfer: Sex & Crime 6

Geliebtes Opfer: Sex & Crime 6 Geliebtes Opfer: Sex & Crime 6 by Harry Hold
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Good case, a little complicated romance, less sex than in the other books (if any, not sure for this book). Private live was ok with a nice twist.
Rather short like the other books, like a Novella. Got this for free as I was informed by lesen.net email, which was also the case for first books from this series I read. Normal price a just a bit too high (2,49 for a few short hours reading time, a rainy afternoons worth).
Recommended.

German, imho no translation to English.

Deshalb hier die deutsche Kritik:
Guter Fall, ein wenig komplizierte Romanze, weniger Sex als in den anderen Büchern (wenn überhaupt, nicht mehr sicher ob in diesem Buch überhaupt welcher war). Privatleben war ok mit einem netten Twist.
Wie die anderen Bücher sehr kurz, eher eine Novella. Habe dies hier kostenlos bekommen, nachdem ich eine Infomail von lesen.net dazu erhalten hatte, das war damals auch der Fall, als ich die ersten Bücher der Serie aufgrund der Mail fand. Den normalen Preis finde ich etwas hoch (2,49 Eur für wenige Stunden Lesezeit, für einen verregneten Nachmittag).
Empfehlung von mir.

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Review: The Stranger You Seek

The Stranger You Seek The Stranger You Seek by Amanda Kyle Williams
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It was good, but not quite 5 star, too many little things happening beside, some could have been cut and the story been more straight and suspenseful.
Then again very good twists, some 180 degrees, some going sideways. Most I did not guess.
Recommended, have the next two books and will read them when I feel like it, each just under 5 Eur (ebook) and there will be no more, as the author is dead, which is one of the reasons I like to read her - sometimes I read too many books from one author, reading a few back2back and ending up getting too much even from a good author. Cannot happen here, with just 3 books.

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Monday, April 8, 2019

Review: Persepolis Rising

Persepolis Rising Persepolis Rising by James S.A. Corey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Waited for this to get cheaper than Eur 10 (Us$ 11) as an ebook, and it finally did.
And also waited for the next book (which was delayed a few months) to be published, as I saw mentioned in some comment, that #07 is not really ending, instead it is seamlessly moving into the next book and you will be left thinking what will happen.

After finishing this, I beg to differ. For me this is a concluded story with an ending, so it could even be read as a standalone, theoretically, although you will miss parts of the story, so I advise against it. The war and a possible uprising will be ongoing, so no real surprise there, and imho it is not even a cliffhanger.

The book poses some serious questions to your morals, ethics and conscience - namely how to govern a multi-billion-people fast empire spanning 1300 habitable worlds.
As always, the (former earth-mars) technology is very well extrapolated into the future, and even little things like hacking feel very real in their descriptions.

But this is about people, and in the end, as before, quite a few are dead. It is war, after all.
While the series had some very formulaic writing before, this book was for me one of the best.
Highly recommended, and also highly recommended series, even the short stories and novellas (although I think, some are too expansive).
Hard SF with great world-building and an epic story-arc.
Still have not managed to watch the SyFy/Amazon Prime TV-Series, but plan to.

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Saturday, March 23, 2019

Review: Call Me by Your Name

Call Me by Your Name Call Me by Your Name by André Aciman
My rating: 0 of 5 stars

Saw the movie, rented for 99ct. with Amazon Prime Video, most of it in FastForward, not my thing, so did not even start the book, waste of money. No rating as I did not even glanced into it.
Experiencing love and sex with a girl and a grown man, but dull coming of age story set in a past and in a setting which means nothing to me.
Should have investigated more. Do not understand the hype about this.

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Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Review: The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3.5 to 4 stars, rounded to 4, for a start in a new series.
Could have been more suspenseful.
World-building excellent, buta bit much, with all the different sexes and species.
So it took me a few books in between to get through this, but I still recommend it.

Tragedy and forced actions happens later in the book which change everything, and after that the captain has to answer to a committee of the GC (Galactic Coalition?) of non-human species, where he chose to speak freely, starting a chain reaction with political consequences. It will be interesting to see how the conflict develops in the next book(s).

Diverse, good ideas and conflict, romance in strange ways. Exploring themes which may be relevant to us soon (AI, interspecies sex, gender), all in a way which I consider very well written, better even than in Not Your Sidekick. So I have to say, THIS book deserves the 4 star even more, which I also rated the "Not your sidekick".
Will certainly read the next book sometime, not sure what I am in the mood for now.

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Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Review: Heist Society

Heist Society Heist Society by Ally Carter
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Bought this on a whim, price was ok (ebook).
Wanted to read about a heist, so basically should have been what I wanted.
Not enough suspense or action. A lot twists, but not everything was solved (or I did not get it).
Took me a little too long to read, would have expected to read something fast, but while it did not drag, it did not really manage to keep me turning-pages either.
No sex, no death, a little romance which did not really interest me, a little bit of love-triangle, but not solved. Not sure to call the open threads cliffhanger, more like a reason to buy the next book, but it is all not enough for me to invest in this series.

Ok read for rainy day, but will most probably not read the other books in the series.
Still have a few other things from this author (free preview, short story etc.), will try to read them to make sure wether this is an author for me - I think, maybe not. Not recommended.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Review: The Restless Dead:

The Restless Dead: The Restless Dead: by Simon Beckett
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

My sister mentioned she just bought the 6th David Hunter book, so I thought it was time to read this ...

As she mentioned, it was ok, but not too great, way too much infodump, even in the end to bring all together, while well written, it was not too suspenseful. A lot of twists, most I did not see coming, so for some this might be enough for a higher rating, but think, all in all there where too many twists and too many intertwined stories, could have cut 20-30% to make for a more suspenseful book.
For that it is for me 3.5 stars, rounded down to 3 for the infodumps and being too long.

As I have been burned recently by reading 2 or more of one author back2back, I will wait for the price to sink for #06 and read it later this year or next.

Still recommended, if you do not know the author yet, the crimes and descriptions are grissly and very real. The author has (like a few others) visited the (first) Body Farm, in Tennessee in Knoxville, USA. There are a few (older) standalone novels he wrote, which I thought where really bad, the writing style for the David Hunter series is much better.

If you like this I suggest Jefferson Bass a duo of Jon Jefferson, an author and journalist, and anthropologist Dr. William Bass, who invented and built the original, first Body Farm.

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Thursday, February 14, 2019

Review: Not Your Sidekick

Not Your Sidekick Not Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3.5 stars rounded up to 4, may read the next books.
Light, fluffy YA, dystopian setting, a lot of romance (LGBTQIA+), no sex, no blood, no killing, no triggers. Clean, as far as I remember no swearing (or in languages I do not speak).
Worldbuilding is well done, with the MC learning about the past.
Nice idea for a change with superheroes and villains.
Reasonably read, just the right length, could have been a bit more suspenseful, or have sex or whatever. Nice twists with the big ones in Chapter 9, more than 50% in the story. The first twist I saw coming, the second not, so thats good. Others I did not think about too much, so I was surprised.
Good well rounded show of friendship, trust and values vs. false information. With a good dose of changing history and paranoia thrown in.
Would love to this filmed 1:1, but fear too much might be changed.
Recommended. Will certainly read the next books sometime.

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Saturday, February 9, 2019

Review: Jagdbeute: Ein Ostsee-Krimi

Jagdbeute: Ein Ostsee-Krimi Jagdbeute: Ein Ostsee-Krimi by Frank Bao Carter
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

German book, no translation. Not recommended.
Abandoned.
DNF during 1. Chapter.
Blurp and lesen.net email promised a good book, but that did not happen.
Thrown into action without explanation and prologue or introduction, it read like the beginning of some cheap would-be erotic. Not sure wether this at some point in time was really sold, I got an email from lesen.net that it is free, and grabbed it, after reading the blurb from lesen.net, which is imho way off.
Do not pay for it, if it is free or can be lent, and might be for you, grab it, else, I cannot describe it more, as the style did not appeal to me, and I DNFed it very early, so cannot say more about it.
As my choice of cheap/free ebooks is sometimes really bad, trusting the blurb for each book too much, I will probably try to DNF a lot of books early, so as to read better stuff.

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Review: Never Somewhere Else

Never Somewhere Else Never Somewhere Else by Alex Gray
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Recommended by Paul here on Goodreads, stumbled over the author again in the Bookperk daily email with cheap and free ebooks (although that was for another book in the series).

From the notes at night in bed from iPhone:
Should be a Crime to write so boring! Unlikeable characters and no suspense so far. Did not gripp me. DNF (did-not-finish), abandoned at 13%, will try to remember to not read this author again.

This was supposed to play in Glasgow, not that I felt it.
For some reason after reading the blurb I thought one of the main characters was a woman (prefer crimes with a female MC), but it was not, and the two men where as bland as could be. Also for some reason this book felt older, more like 70ies/80ies with the remarks and phrases.
Not for me, and cannot honestly bore someone else with it, do not buy, wasted money.

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Friday, February 1, 2019

Review: The Acid Suite

The Acid Suite The Acid Suite by Craig Lea Gordon
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Received an ARC from Booksprout for review
Chose this under the wrong impression what this would be.
What it is is 4 very short stories, 8-10 pages each, giving less than 40 pages
to read.
World-Building was good in most, but while it is all SF, most are also
Horror, which I read in the past, but do not really need nowadays.
The titles:
- Bad Hands, was ok, Rebellion, would like something longer from that world. 3-3.5 stars for this alone.
- The Machine, pure Horror, and first of two twists I saw coming from a certain point in the story, another one (the last one) not, but that did not save. Also, due to content I only read this in FF, skipping passages. Bloody and boring. 1.5-2 star, with 2 only for the final twist.
- Theatre of Death, more Horror than SF, with a bit of fantasy thrown in, although I must admit, I did not understand all of the story, felt like it was cut from a bigger one, which was needed to understand it. 1 star. Nothing to write home about.
- Transmit this one is real SF, but again too short for me. 2.5-3 stars.
All together 2 stars. Will not bother with this author again and I think this should be added for free to a longer book rather than sold separately or put together with other short stories in a bigger collection.
Reading a lot of SF and the ongoing "The Expanse"-Series, there I enjoyed the short novellas and even paid for them (thinking too much, though), but that where all longer than this short number - ok, they where mostly novellas, not short stories, but still this felt like not enough meat for me.

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Monday, January 28, 2019

Review: Bridge to Burn: A gripping British detective murder mystery

Bridge to Burn: A gripping British detective murder mystery Bridge to Burn: A gripping British detective murder mystery by Rachel Amphlett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Better than the last book, mote twists which kept me guessing.
Also the police-work and even little scenes (working at a computer etc.) are very well done and felt real to me (wiggeling the mouse to wake up the coomputer, although it was repeated a bit much in the book).
Like in the last book, taking place now and in the UK and still not a word about BREXIT.

Read this back2back with "Gone to ground", the previous book in the series.
Highly Recommended. Nice fast read.

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Review: Gone to Ground

Gone to Ground Gone to Ground by Rachel Amphlett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

From the mailing list of the author I received an email that this is to be published July 8th, 2018 and a few retailers allowed pre-ordering it today (June 10th, 2018), ebook.de (in Germany) among them. Amazon will surely follow soon.
Also there was a link to excerpt from the book, although I downloaded it, I am not so sure I will read it, as I do not like to be stopped reading.
All books by this author I read so far where great, 4 or 5 star reads for me, so I am looking forward to it, and will probably read it in one sitting or on a weekend, which really is not a good idea with an excerpt, but we'll see, may be I cannot wait.
3.5 stars as the story was a little too straight, not enough twists. Rounded up to 4.
Although taking place now and in the UK not a word about BREXIT, strange, it should have been mentioned.
Recommended. Nice fast read.

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Review: Gone to Ground

Gone to Ground Gone to Ground by Rachel Amphlett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

From the mailing list of the author I received an email that this is to be published July 8th, 2018 and a few retailers allowed pre-ordering it today (June 10th, 2018), ebook.de (in Germany) among them. Amazon will surely follow soon.
Also there was a link to excerpt from the book, although I downloaded it, I am not so sure I will read it, as I do not like to be stopped reading.
All books by this author I read so far where great, 4 or 5 star reads for me, so I am looking forward to it, and will probably read it in one sitting or on a weekend, which really is not a good idea with an excerpt, but we'll see, may be I cannot wait.
3.5 stars as the story was a little too straight, not enough twists. Rounded up to 4.
Although taking place now and in the UK not a word about BREXIT, strange, it should have been mentioned.
Recommended. Nice fast read.

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Review: Spartan Promise

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

Pre-ordered this. Like the series, although it is bit repetitive.
3.5 stars rounded to 4.
No cliffhanger for once! Nice clean read, romance, no sex.
Still recommended.

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Review: Der Tote im Strandkorb

Der Tote im Strandkorb Der Tote im Strandkorb by Anna Johannsen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Mit Prime Reading geliehen
Empfehlung, spannend und durchdacht, Ende allerdings etwas zu glatt.

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Review: Zerschunden

Zerschunden Zerschunden by Michael Tsokos
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Etwas heftig (graphische Beschreibungen von Folter und Mord), aber durchaus spannend und lesenswert. Empfehlung

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Review: Spuren der Gewalt

Spuren der Gewalt Spuren der Gewalt by Michael Tsokos
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Kostenlose Kurzgeschichte (32 Seiten oder so), nette Ergänzung.

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Review: CRISPR

CRISPR CRISPR by Lincoln Cole
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3.5 rounded to 4* more action than science, action was very good, but some personal
conversations between the MC's male and female where too repetitive and boring.
Longer review to follow and be published when I feel like it.

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Friday, January 4, 2019

Review: Totwasser

Totwasser Totwasser by Julia Hofelich
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

First book started and finished in 2019. Should clean up my lists, instead I normally start another book, to let it fall by the wayside instead of deciding to mark it DNF and moving it to the "abandoned" list.
But this one was really good, after a bad 2018 regarding my choice of books, I hope to do better this year. Also, I have reduced my reading challenge this year to 78 books, after I missed that on Goodreads the second year running (being 104 books, two books per week). One of the reasons was, that I read quite a few novellas and books I could not review for one reason or the other. And I sometimes did not think about a review and instead only rated it and wrote "review follows later", but often I never wrote one even later.

So, this one is a single female as MC, who had a bad accident leaving her paranoid, scarred and limping with one of her legs. But how she gets through her fears, which are sometimes even justified, was very well written and integrated into the story.
The case was with quite a few twists, which kept me guessing, and different scenarios where played through, so both me as the reader and the MC (and most other persons) did not know what happened, or who died when. This changes a few time through the book, and while not all is totally page-turning suspenseful at roughly 70% or 80% I could not stop reading.
No sex, a little romance.
Suggest to look up Cornwall, UK with Google Earth, there are quite a few beautiful place pictured, took a vacation there with my parents, oh, wow, 1984/5, so long ago.
One idea mentioned is a Keltish Ritual, for fertility of a Woman (Witch), quite grissly.
Killings and other things are quite real, but not too brutal or detailed described. But Trigger Warnings, some ideas mentioned are quite perverted, I will not go into detail as not to spoil it, but again, not very detailed, imho, so even if you try to avaid certain themes, they do not go so deep.

First in a series, but just published (December 21st, 2018 is listed on Goodreads, also only Kindle and only German, so I should write a German review).
Highly recommended 5stars, no logic errors, no bad grammar or spelling, no swearing (or not much and mild). Will try to follow this author and read the next one(s) in the series if they are not too expensive. This one cost me less than 4 Eur, which is ok for me.
If this gets translated into English, I suggest trying it, although it may not hold the same interest for an English speaking person as it did to me as a German.


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Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Review: Faceless

Faceless Faceless by Rob Ashman
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Bought today after I read Petra's review and it was cheap (less than 1 Eur/1.10 Us$ as Kindle eBook). This should be right up my alley.

Well, it was not, the point re the MC in the review linked is not the only bad point against it.
Rate this 2.5 rounded down to 2, not recommended.
Could have been way better with a few cuts and a different ending.
Basically (not to spoil anything but that will be hard) I hate it when the MC does the following: goes alone to try to solve the case and does not tell anyone, so no can follow her. Then the main ending I saw coming since nearly the introduction, with a little twist I by the MC I really do not like. A different outcome would have been way better, I like criminals to get what they deserve - jail time.

Then there is a scene (nearly exactly 50% into the book if I remember right) that gets outdrawn
and played to a boring death - it shows nearly everyone as stupid, which is too simple and not convincing to me. Again, it was way too long, and while I did not guess how that that happened in the beginning, it was explained, and some did not catch on quick, which I simply cannot believe of all persons involved, the fall guy, ok, he was stupid enough, but the others?
While the action took place in the greater Manchester area (not London for once, for which I am glad), that did not save the book, and some expressions and swaering felt too much US like - what I really like about some other books taking place in the UK is the use of way different swear words than in US books and sometimes way different slang - which did not happen here, it was at times the overused words like Bitch and swearing used a little too much or in the wrong place - not disturbing, but could have been better, at least other words.

Also for a book published in 2018 taking place in the UK Brexit should have been mentioned, at least in passing.

The main criminal was way better thought out than the backstory of the MC and I could have cared more about him, but did not really like him (her).

All that together and as it was the book was a little long and took me too long as it dragged me along, but I wanted to finish it, it did not feel like a DNF.
Too little suspense for me.
So, not recommended, and will gladly not read anymore of this author, as I do not care wether the probably following books get better or not (which is sometimes the case).

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