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 oder Sachen von Schaar (ehem. Bundes-Datenschutzbeauftragter), Beckedahl ( 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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