Friday, January 24, 2020

Review: Deadly Games

Deadly Games Deadly Games by Sally Rigby
My rating: 0 of 5 stars

Snatched this up, blurb sounded interesting, setting is UK, and it was free.
It had no DRM, so I had no trouble converting the Kindle ebook to EPub for my other Reader (a larger Tolino Epos).
Do not like the female detective (one of two female MC's), old fashioned and even according to her superior still living in the 70ies... Already I have to force myself to read this, looks like a 2star book and a possible DNF, but I want to be sure bevore abandoning it.
So far by-the-numbers-serial-killer-book. Nothing special, and the the thoughts of Walker grate on my nerves, they are uninteresting, rather dull and mostly could have been cut.
While the setting is supposed to be UK, I do not really feel it.
Unless something changes, I will beginn at some point to skim the pages and look for the end.
Certainly so far not the page-turner promised by the blurb.
Really liked George and how she handled Stephen at about just after 50% of the book.

And also, as this is the beginning of a series, I will most probably not read anything else from this author.
OK, so I did not DNF it, there where no real twists, I did guess whodunnit since the point of introduction, so no surprises there.

Would have given more stars if one of the following would have happened:
- Whitney gets fired (should have happened IRL) and will not turn up sequels or as a PI
- Killer walks free (could have happened, some evidence was obtained illegaly)
- MC's get together as lovers (would have been a good twist and stranger things have happened).

While at some points it might be ok to bend the rules, I prefer books where the police work feels more real and evidence etc. is obtained within the rules, not outside of it.
Glad they have not made other mistakes (going places alone without telling anyone, not charging their cellphones etc.). They even had support in the final scene.

As is, I will read the promised epilogue for another book, as I am more interested in what happens to the arrested than to the MC's.

End is as usual, meaning forseeable and boring "arrest made, etc. all is well".
A real good twist would have been one more victim, the detective fired because of her faults and the dealing with the fallout from all that in the next book.

Will check what the following books in the series are about, but guess more of the same, so will most probably not read them.

Some might like this, but to call this a page-turner is stretching a reality I do not live in.
So two stars for more than one reason, could have been three if Walker was more interesting and up-to-date. Also, although it is set in the UK, I did not feel it, could have easily been Germany, or US with a few different expressions.
Not recommended.

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Monday, January 20, 2020

Review: Star Wars: Thrawn

Star Wars: Thrawn Star Wars: Thrawn by Timothy Zahn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Chapter-Start-Musings remind me of The Art of War (which I consider greatly overhyped).

Great book for Star Wars fans. Will certainly read the sequels, the second Thrawn: Alliances bought after it was under my usual price barrier (flexible, but most times Eur 10, which is currently nearly exact Us$ 11). The third book is on my daily watchlist.
Although most of the action is viewed from the POV of the empire, knowing all movies and/or some of the other books helps.
Very well integrated in the Star Wars Universe. And the characters are just to die for, complex, well written, and they learn constantly and grow during the path they take in the book.

Recommend it, Space-Opera at its best, although for non-Star-Wars-fans it will be not as good. Reasonably fast read, with an interesting ending, which is not really a cliff-hanger, but rather a twist (or really two!), which will make the sequel and the path the main characters take rather interesting.

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Saturday, January 11, 2020

Review: Catfishing on CatNet

Catfishing on CatNet Catfishing on CatNet by Naomi Kritzer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Bought with an Amazon XMas Gift certificate from my Sister Katja and her Husband Andreas.
Also bought the Audible version (as often was rather cheap when bought with an ebook for Kindle).

Wow! Longer review in the next few days when I am not using the app on my phone at 11:30 pm in bed.

Trigger Warning: animal death, megalomaniac, dictator, abuse, bullying.

This is a nice, clean YA about diversity and growing up, no sex, and a bit much for the diversity of genders, would have liked a section at the end of the book with an overview and short explanations. Some I knew, but 1-2 pronouns where new to me. Did not look them up yet.
Could have done with a bit of sex, but that is maybe just me.

Some things are little SF, so this has a feeling of being like Max Headroom "15 minutes into the future", for those of you who still remember that show - it was on German TV when I grew up in the 80ies.
Hacking feels real, and the mentioning of safe surfing, VPN, Proxy is good, but could have been more detailed or a section in the back with explainations would be nice to have.

Just when I thought this would get only 3-4 stars (maybe 3.5 rounded up depending my mood to 4), at abuot 50% or maybe 2/3 in the book the story took a few very interesting turns. Without revealing some main points of the story I will just describe the main broad themes. You have to think about education, ethics regarding how to act and what to allow when you teach someone like your child. The Sex-Ed Robot is one of these introductions of this theme.
Also makes you think about privacy and post-privacy.
As the numbers of teenage/underage pregnancies are rather high, imho something is definitely wrong in our world with sex-education, even without Robots teaching it.

All situations, even if some are SF, are rather realistic and well thought out - in contrast to my worst unrealistic read scene in Numbers (the review - today it would be 1-2 *), where the couple on the run would have frozen to death.

As a sequel is promised at the end of the book, I will certainly pre-order this as soon as possible and read it.

Highly recommended YA with a little SF thrown in and themes to think about.

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