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review 2017-02-25 05:35
Book Review: Dead and Breakfast (Cayo Hueso Mystery #1) by Kimberly G. Giarratano
Dead and Breakfast - Kimberly G. Giarratano

 

Title: Dead and Breakfast
Series: Cayo Hueso Mystery #1
By: Kimberly G. Giarratano
Categories / Themes: Mystery, paranormal, ghost, young adult, angst
Read: 21st February - 25th February, 2017
Rating: 1 / 5
Obtained: Kindle Scout (Nominated)
Crossposted Review to: Goodreads, Booklikes, Amazon

 

Dead and Breakfast (Cayo Hueso Mystery #1) by Kimberly G. Giarratano is about a small hotel, the Dead and Breakfast, which is marketed to people who are interested in knowing about its haunted past. Autumn Abernathy and Liam Breyer both work there. Autumn is someone who has become accustomed to the ghosts. She can see and communicate with them. However, it's Liam's first day and, unfortunately for him, one of the ghosts has taken a dislike to him. Throughout the book, both teenagers try to uncover the mystery behind this unfriendly apparition. The excerpt on the Kindle Scout website is what first drew me to the book. I liked the introduction of the characters and the welcoming to the Dead and Breakfast. However, much like the events in the plot, things took a turn once I actually began reading past the excerpt after I received my copy. This review is kind of lengthy and opinionated, just to warn you.

Autumn and Liam are the two narrators of the plot and it switches back and forth between them.

Liam isn't the most interesting person on the planet, but he has some good thoughts here and there. The relationship between Liam and Autumn is pretty bad and somewhat cringe worthy. There are a lot of tacky areas where others keep on telling them not to be together; Autumn's mother and Victoria both have problems with it. Though neither have particular reason to be upset with the relationship. For Autumn's mother, it's pretty much just meant to seem like she doesn't want Liam turning out like her own ex-husband, though she's no reason to think it. With Victoria, the only real reason we're given is jealousy; which doesn't make much sense either. It's a fairly typical "love" story and it kind of feels like they're just together because the author has deemed it so. I don't sense much real relationship, or get the feeling that they even like being in each other's company. The most cringe worthy moment is late in the book where, for no reason, there's one of those scenes where the antagonist kisses Liam and then Autumn walks in. I hate those moments in media; it's just a bit where one character is meant to be making another one jealous. However, Autumn was already plenty jealous of her. It's all really generic.

Autumn's parents have recently divorced. Autumn was brought to the Dead and Breakfast by her mother, from where they had lived in New Jersey. Autumn is desperate to return there. She longs for the memories she had there whilst growing up and would love to return to that happy point in life. She's miserable here at the hotel. It definitely shows in the entirety of the story. She's a somewhat hateful person. In the beginning, I understood it as a general dislike for her position. However, later on, I realise that she's just a spiteful person in general. No matter what goes on, there's just so much she dislikes, and she's just so angry all the time. She goes about the place and deliberately antagonises people she dislikes.

There are a few antagonists, but Victoria is pretty much the primary one. She's... Not very original. She's your generic mean girl. Realistically there isn't much reason to hate her, in my opinion, but the author keeps on trying to thrust this opinion on us. Characters keep on implying that Victoria is a terrible person because she's rich and beautiful. Nothing wrong with either but, for some reason, that's cause enough for people to look down on her. So, basically it's just others being jealous of her. Just because she has money and her grandfather is an important person, doesn't mean that we should hate her, despite what the author is trying to imply. Another reason given, in Autumn's case, is that she doesn't like her because she thinks Victoria is entitled. One example, soon after we meet her, is that Victoria asks for Autumn's class notes because of a quiz and Autumn internally mocks her for not doing well in classes. Really, this just makes me look upon Autumn more negatively; she's just bullying someone who's looking for genuine help with school work. I'd like to point out that Victoria didn't actually seem that entitled to me. She hosted a party for her friends. Though it had a cover charge, that money went to charity. She even offered Liam money to help him start a business. Sure, it had strings attached, but at least she was giving him an opportunity. Really, I can sort of see why we're meant to dislike her. There is the basis for demanding and selfish behaviour. However, the majority of situations where she's involved/ mentioned are scenes where Autumn and Liam are bullying her. They make fun of her behind her back, mocking her for not being smart or for her appearance. Things like that. I'd like to comment here that there was some negative behaviour on Victoria's part, such as pushing Autumn in the pool. That's obviously not acceptable, but nor is Autumn and Liam's behaviour. Yes, she does make fun of the hotel for being haunted, but Autumn does it more than Victoria does. Autumn absolutely loathes the place, so why should she care about some random thinking it as haunted. To be honest, Victoria's comments about the place being haunted come off as jokey to me. She comes up and tries talking to Autumn, making conversation. As much as we're meant to see Victoria as a bad person, the behaviour of both Autumn and Liam are worse, in my opinion.

Going back to the "entitled" reason, I'd like to discuss Autumn's character a bit here. It seems to me that that Autumn shows far more feelings of entitlement than Victoria does. That's pretty much the basis for Autumn's entire character. I'll explain: Autumn desperately wants to go back to New Jersey because she misses it there. However, she has no money for college. Plus, she blames her mother for spending money on the Dead and Breakfast- her college fund, in particular- when she feels that she ought to go to college instead. Let me point out that, though it is her college fund, it isn't really her money. It's money that her parents have been putting aside and her mother just happens to feel that it's more important being put towards a business. Autumn has all sorts of complaints about others with this whole New Jersey thing. She blames her father for not being able to accept her back- despite the fact that he has a child on the way, which is a good enough reason for me. She hates her friend for not being able to take her in- which, I'd like to point out, she oughtn't have to; it's not her friend's fault that she's in this position. She complains at her mother for taking them to Florida in the first place. She hates the Dead and Breakfast, and any of the ideas people have to better it. Sure, Victoria might be entitled in Autumn's mind, but Autumn is pretty much the epitome of entitled. She blames everyone else and is pretty ungrateful in general. Autumn shows much more feeling of entitlement than Victoria does.

I'm mystified as to how much Liam and Autumn really hate Victoria. If either of them really hates Victoria so much, they wouldn't have gone to the girl's party. Autumn even comments that Liam probably only did it to annoy Victoria. They essentially both know that they're just going to the girl's party to bother her and try and make her jealous. Even when they get there, there are a lot of complaints from both of them. Autumn, for example, has problems with the house being so big and there being a cover charge (which goes to charity, I'll point out). She's making herself miserable, and trying to make others miserable as well. The party is a particular event. It's pretty much the epitome of all teen movies. We're meant to think that Victoria's cool because she's got a mansion and catering. There's nothing wrong with that, but I don't see why Autumn's meant to be surprised by any of it. Plus, it doesn't make sense that Victoria would just push Autumn in the pool. The author has very little reason for her to do it. None of the conversations with Victoria and her friends make much sense. It's just generic mean girl stuff, but without any point. From what the author implies, Victoria doesn't like Autumn. Well, later scenes make it obvious- where she tries and pays Liam to stay away from Autumn. However, a lot of her behaviour suggests otherwise. If I'm honest, it kind of seems like Victoria is actually trying to befriend Autumn. She often tries to come and talk to her, even asking her about her life. Why would she ask for Autumn's class notes, rather than someone else's? Why would someone who supposedly dislikes Autumn so much VOLUNTARILY come up and talk to them so often?

Autumn is a quite pretentious character. She's desperate to go to college but, for some reason, she's definitely against community college. It seemed odd to me; she was interested in taking a journalism course, but has no experience. Going to take courses at a community college would be great to help her along that path. Yet, for some silly reason, she was quite set against it. Jennifer is her father's girlfriend. The back-story is that the father cheated with Jennifer, Autumn's parents got divorced and now he lives with Jennifer. They're expecting a kid. Apparently Jennifer and Autumn are about the same age. Okay, I get that everyone dislikes her because she's "the other woman", but Autumn has some pretty hateful things to say about her. Again, we're led to hate someone, despite not having the full story. There's probably a LOT more behind the relationship, but the author just has these inane reasons for why we should hate her. Yet, Autumn makes contact with her father several times, wanting to move back into their house, despite hating Jennifer so much. That just makes no sense; she's desperate to move in with a woman that she hates? She just expects everyone else to accommodate her wishes, no matter how difficult or expensive it is for them. Just as long as she's happy...

It's pretty *beeping* obvious that, if you dislike someone, you should probably stay away from them.

The actual mystery and investigation aspect were somewhat generic. Many TV shows and other books I've read have similar plots at times. As for supernatural aspects, I could have probably done without them. I wasn't particularly interested in the actual supernatural happenings; I felt that they could have been better dealt with. For example, the reasoning the author gives for Autumn being able to sense the ghosts isn't very original. It was really reminiscent of things I've seen in some movies and TV, even in genres such as science fiction. I'm reminded, in particular, of an episode of Stargate SG:1 where it was the explanation for certain alien appearances. The primary reason she was looking into the ghost of the ring was for a potential college opportunity. However, after the initial mentions of it, that plotline was sort of dropped. We saw her researching the ghost, yes, but we never really saw her writing any notes or an indication that she was recording this for journalism purposes. If she was planning on using any of the information, she should have been at least making sure to get some evidence of it. The plot in general is alright. However, I think that there are people who don't get a proper introduction and there are a lot of portions that feel missing. For example, the areas where we're meant to hate Victoria and the father's GF. Right now, they aren't there. Some characters get kind of lost. Timothy, for example, is a character where I just seem to miss a lot of information about him and don't really feel like he fits in. The same can be said of the primary mystery aspect. I think, had the author focused a lot less on Victoria, and actually worked to build a better plot, we would have a much more intriguing mystery.

I didn't particularly enjoy any of the characters. To me, the majority are just ordinary people. However, others have behaviour and feelings that don't make sense. For example, the hatred towards Victoria and Jennifer. Autumn is just such a spiteful person and she displays such a poor attitude. Yes, I get that she hated her situation. However, she could have made the best of it. College costs a LOT, so she could have been using community college as a way to build her knowledge, and a part time job to build her funds, before heading to a more expensive place. However, for some reason, she thought that she was above that. Other characters, such as Victoria, just show such weird behaviour. I know that she's just meant to be an antagonist, but the least the author could do is have Victoria's actions make some sense. To me, it just looks like she was just stuck into the book to have someone to hate. As much as I appreciate the free book, I feel like it just needed a lot more work in a variety of aspects. The character behaviour/ opinions are unbelievable and the plot/ mystery aspects are generic. I first nominated it because I thought it was an interesting premise and I liked the author's writing style in the excerpt. The thing I'm primarily disappointed at is that the rest of the novel doesn't follow through with my expectations of an original plot and characters.
Overall, I wish I could rate it higher, but sadly I was very disappointed with it.

I obtained a free copy for nominating the book on Kindle Scout and this is an honest review.

Source: www.goodreads.com/review/show/1919390176
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review 2017-02-10 07:07
Good Story and Characters
The Big Wheel by Scott Archer Jones (201... The Big Wheel by Scott Archer Jones (2015-02-17) - Scott Archer Jones

Robko had been in the building and the Gray Man had just got the power off for the first of four times to give Robko a chance to do what he had to do to pull the theft off. The day before he had been in the apartment with the Gray Man going over everything one last time. Stealing something so big from Governor O'Brien was both lucrative and and dangerous. The Gray man had told Robko that has been a year long job with months of surveillance. They have to bypass four levels of security to get in O'Brien's office. Then Robko while in the vault finds a box with a lot of crystals that he figures he can keep that the Gray Man does not have to know about. This could get Robko killed by the Gray Man or O’Brien but he decides to chance it. Thomas het a call from the Governor assistant 10:00 AM . Thomas was was at his job working with another company when he said something came up and they would have to meet again at another time. When he got to O'Brien's empire his secretary told Thomas there had been a big robbery the night before. The had lost some intelligence of great value. It was another round of problem solving for the Governor. Then the CEO had Thomas go to the table to sit. Dan the head of security was there and Lefarge who had handled some tricky stuff for the Governor before was there. Don showed Thomas the list of stolen items.Then Thomas was asked by O’Brien what he thought. Thomas told him to follow the trail of the money. Thomas said he knew of a firm that can follow disappearing money through the banks and determine who owns the accounts. The company moves fast and had some not so legal contacts. Don was to call the company but Thomas added to let them know it’s Thomas Stewart on behalf of Dennis O’Brien. Thomas also said if they don’t have names they do have characteristics and that will make the thieves more predictable. Lefarge went over what they could already figure out about the thieves. There was a limited number of people who would be able to do this. This tells them the mastermind is known in the business. Also the mastermind is willing to take on anything. O'Brien said he wanted a name, a location, and his date back all of it. Then they told O’Brien he had to decide whether to hand the answers over to the cops or have his own extraction team. O’Brien told Thomas the had all the data . but also the memory device with O’Brien’s total finances on it. The rest of the memory devices were political . they document who O’Brien owns and how much he paid. There was another thing stolen and O’Brien wanted Thomas and only Thomas to take personal responsibility for getting back. The device stolen was the greatest artifact ever produced and there was only three made until last night O’Brien had controlled all three. It was a new form of data storage . it can be used to store all the things that make up a man.It can download into new computers to form artificial intelligence based upon man. It can be used to archive and search the greatest minds of the world. It can be used to download a man’s mind into another human host. The Governor had the stored device in him. Thomas said he would give it his best shot. Thomas says he needs access to O’Brien and reports from both teams day and night, also he needed any resource he asked for. He also said he wanted Ryan Heavers to come behind him and take over the acquisition Thomas had been working on. O’Brien agreed. Robko figured O’Brien didn’t report the theft when he seen or heard nothing about on in the newspaper or from the media. Angie was to be Thomas’s assistant throughout his mission. O’Brien’s people came up with the nickname of The Gray man as the probable mastermind. He was highly respected in the underworld, had never been caught, and his people were seldom arrested.

This was a good book to read if you are into corporate power and political corruption. I am not but this story did hold my interest and I did finish it. It had a complicated plot but the story was complicated. It was fast paced for the most part but at least for me some of the story dragged some. The writing was also great especially since i mistakenly picked this book but did have interest in it. It was suspenseful and had a lot of intrigue. It explained completely how detailed the robbery was and how much and went into it and I liked that. Also all Robko had to do and the time frame he had. I was however waiting for a twist and there just wasn’t one and that surprised me and not really in a good way. So all and all an interesting story I liked the ins and outs and I recommend.

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review 2017-02-06 13:21
Just astounding 2099 story
Deadpool (2015-) #25 - Gerry Duggan,Scott Koblish

We learn more about Warda and why she's so angry at Deadpool - and what she'll do to get what she wants.   Which is where her mother went. 

 

We also learn where Shikla is, and why she had to be disappeared.   It all actually makes sense.   But the sibling rivalry between Ellie and Warda has to be the most compelling thing here: Elli is really trying to keep the family together and Warda is simply too angry to let anyone in even for a second. 

 

It's heartbreaking.   

 

This book has more: an elderly Iron Fist, a joke about Malia Obama's healthcare - which is apparently excellent, and the revelation of Ellie's mutant powers.   It was one of the best Deadpool stories I've read in a while, combining the social commentary, his general wackiness, and the emotional content perfectly.   The balance was just excellent and left me feeling satisfied overall. 

 

I'm eager to get to issue 26 now.   Which, yes, is already out.

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review 2017-02-04 23:56
Another excellent entry!
Daredevil (2015-) #16 - Charles Soule,Goran Sudzuka,Dan Panosian

Daredevil has a good reason to want Bullseye after him: Bullseye has, or had, or has access to a serum that mimics DD's powers.   At first, I thought his guilt was so crippling he was trying to get Bullseye to take him out, and he toys with the idea that he might have been hoping for that outcome. 

 

But he fights to live, he fights for his life.   And I found myself holding my breather and hoping for this outcome.   See, if anyone has reason to be so depressed that they're suicidal, it's Matt Murdock.   All his life, it's been one tragedy after another.   My sister describes his life as 'like the Winchester's, just worse and more depressing.'   My list of his love life is 'dead, dead, crazy, dead.'   

 

He gave up everything when the Marvel universe rebooted.   And yet he still fights for others.  He's been my inspiration for so long, although I didn't realize just how much when he came into my life.  I was sixteen, had gotten my first pair of glasses, and was so convinced I was going blind, I started learning braille.   My friend goggled at me, and pointed out her glasses were ten times as thick as mine and she wasn't afraid of going blind.   I was still terrified.   If I could still read, though, it would be alright. 

 

And then Matt Murdock walked into my life.   I knew the idea was ridiculous, although it turned out I was wrong.   The truth is that no one may have quite the skill set that Murdock does, but this man has done amazing things with echolocation.   Still, doesn't it sound more like science fiction than real life?   I heard about Daredevil and got caught up with his stories, but believed that no blind person would be able to use any sort of echolocation effectively.   

 

He saved me.   I was despondent, sure that reading with braille would be too difficult for me, and I read Daredevil's and thought, 'okay, I can't do this but surely I can read and live if he can do this when he's blind.'   And it turns out it wasn't just him being a blind superhero.   No matter how much his life sucked, or people tried to pressure him into doing wrong things, he was too moral to do them.   He always followed his conscience, no matter what.   Or he might slip up, but he tried, he truly tried to do the right thing.   So all of this means that I would have been crushed to have him truly suicidal.  I have too deep a connection to him to continue on a series that takes him down that path. 

 

There's also a story with a priest who can kick ass, and what evil is, and why it exists and what it's purpose is in this world.   And while this was exciting and I adored it as well, it also has promised to reveal why no one else knows Murdock is Daredevil.   And with 'purple' in the title to the next story arc, well...

 

I'm thinking this: 

 

 

Remember, guys, the Purple Man - who is never named thus, or actually purple in the Jessica Jones Netflix series - first appeared in Daredevil and is a traditional DD villain.   It's quite likely he's involved in this, although I didn't think he was able to do something on this level.   

 

I guess I'll find out in another month.  

 

*I want to point out that if you buy newer print issues of Marvel comics, you don't get the digital versions.   Which I think sucks.   I'm hoping to get more DDs on sale in the future, but I'll be buying the print issues first.  I like having them in print, and while many people are making statements by no longer buying Marvel comics, it would hurt me more than them.  I buy the comics for the stories, not just for the digital freebies, and I tend to prefer them in paper format.   Which is why I'll be buying Lost Light in print and OP in digital: I don't care as much about OP. 

 

Marvel is my main source of inspiration, strength and it's mostly what keeps me sane.   So, yes, I'll continue to buy them in print.   I do want to support the company, although I think it was a mistake to accustomed the fans to the freebies, then take them away.   I've decided we're not entitled to the bundle, but we feel entitled to it, and therein lies the mistake, since the comics still cost the same price. 

 

However, having come to this decision, I'm okay with what Marvel did.   I'm disappointed, but I'm okay enough to keep buying the comics.   I mean, how many paper comics do I have from pre-digital comics that I'd have to pay for again if I want them that way?   Yup, I wasn't entitled to them free then, and I'm not entitled to them now.   

 

So I'm going to warn people, but not be angry about it anymore.

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