logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: 2017
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-11-20 23:12
The Ocean at the End of the Lane (Audiobook)
The Ocean at the End of the Lane - Neil Gaiman

Can a pond be an ocean?

 

This isn't the best that Gaiman's ever written, but it's still filled with his delightful prose and vivid imagination. The boy who is the POV character is more of a witness to the events around him, even while he's the unwitting reason for many of them. Leti, her mom and grandmother are as mysterious as they are fascinating. Since the boy isn't really given many answers, a lot goes unresolved or hinted at, but it's the adventure that this boy goes through that matters. 

 

Neil Gaiman narrated this and I could honestly listen to him read the telephone book, so full marks for the narration.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-11-20 20:11
The Kiss of Deception / Mary E. Pearson
The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles) - Mary E. Pearson

She flees on her wedding day.  She steals ancient documents from the Chancellor’s secret collection.  She is pursued by bounty hunters sent by her own father.  She is Princess Lia, seventeen, First Daughter of the House of Morrighan.  The Kingdom of Morrighan is steeped in tradition and the stories of a bygone world, but some traditions Lia can’t abide. Like having to marry someone she’s never met to secure a political alliance.

Fed up and ready for a new life, Lia escapes to a distant village on the morning of her wedding. She settles in among the common folk, intrigued when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deceptions swirl and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—secrets that may unravel her world—even as she feels herself falling in love.

 

Holy Mother of Love Triangles, Batman!

However, having said that, it’s a common trope in Romance novels, and is used quite effectively in this YA novel. Of course our main character is a princess, one who has become a runaway bride. Unwilling to marry for political purposes to a young man that she’s never even met, Lia takes off on her wedding day and sets her sights on becoming a commoner.

Enraged that his bride has kicked over the traces, her betrothed goes looking for her. He seems unsure of quite why—maybe he just wants to look at the woman he’s lost, maybe he wants revenge. Also pursuing the fugitive bride is an assassin from a neighbouring kingdom whose job it is to eliminate the princess and thus make sure that these two countries don’t unite against his.


The inevitable (in romantic fiction) happens and both young men unexpectedly find that they really like Lia. They both (unwisely) spend time with her and learn the reason that she fled and the things that matter to her. Lia finds that she likes both young men, not knowing that they have ulterior motives for spending time in her company.

I have to say that it took me 2/3 of the book to figure out which name belonged to which man! I could have sorted it out, but preferred to just plough on until the matter sorted itself out. I didn’t really find the assassin’s task to be a sensible one—just let the princess stay lost and the situation resolves itself! Plus, Lia’s quick adaptation to working at an inn seemed too easy. Despite those misgivings, I think that my teenage self would have loved this book. It makes at least as much sense as the Victoria Holt and Mary Stewart books that I was devouring at that age!

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-11-20 19:20
For me, it was meh. YMMV.
Home For the Haunting - Juliet Blackwell

I borrowed this from my public library's ecloud collection because . . . I did.  It has a lot of colors on the cover, so maybe I'll use it for that Festive Holiday square, whenever I get around to toting them up.

 

Mel Turner -- her first name is Melanie -- is in the process of taking over her father's construction company.  Mostly they do remodels and historic restoration, but she's currently involved with some volunteer group that rehabs older homes for low income people.

 

She also sees ghosts.

 

While she's working on this rehab job for Monty, a whiny guy who needs a wheelchair ramp added to his home and a new roof and a bunch of other stuff, she keeps seeing ghosts in the big, mansion-y vacant house next door.  Then a recently deceased body is discovered in a storage shed that serves both Monty's property and the vacant house.

 

The vacant house, she learns, was the site of a horrific murder-suicide.  Are the ghosts she keeps seeing related to that?  And what about the body in the shed?

 

For the uncritical reader who's looking for some light entertainment with a bit of a mystery, this might do fine.  For me, it was just blah on a whole lot of levels.  So, now there will be lots of little spoilers.

 

There was very little with the ghosts, for one thing.  Mel sees them in the house while she's working on the rehab project, but she doesn't show much reaction.  This isn't the first book in the series, so maybe there's more shock, surprise, disbelief, whatever in earlier volumes, but there sure wasn't much in this one.

 

The mystery to do with the two murders, both the body in the shed and the other one thirty years before, seemed a minor part of the book.  The information about the older crime was easily obtained from neighbors who had lived there at the time and from the lone survivor.

 

I'm not sure why I didn't buy the character of Hugh, the boy who escaped the murder scene and went on to an illustrious writing career.  He seemed too emotionally fragile.  Nor did I buy Simone, his wife.  Both of them lacked substance, though I'm not exactly sure why.  Maybe if I were giving this book a thorough analysis I would look at them more closely, but while I was reading it, I just didn't care about them.

 

There were a lot of secondary characters who never came alive for me either.  Mel's dad was a little better than cardboard, but not much.  Then there was Stan, and I didn't really know how he fit into the picture.  Mel's sister was just another cartoon character; there was so much room for development there that I could have wept when it all just went poof! in a happy smiley explosion of unicorn glitter.  The semi-sorta boyfriend Graham actually had more substance.

 

Two elements of the overall characterization rang sour notes for me.  Hugh and Simone were flat, but not sour.  Monty was just all wrong.

 

Supposedly he was in some kind of accident and that's why he's now unable to walk and in a wheelchair.  How long ago this was, I'm not sure, but he's been unable to leave his house unassisted ever since.  Now all of a sudden he's finally getting a ramp installed so he can come and go as he pleases.  There's no mention of any social services that come to his assistance -- shopping?  doctor visits? -- or what kind of income he has.  There's an assumption that he gets a disability income.

 

However, as soon as there are suspicions that Monty is in fact not disabled and is faking his reliance on the wheelchair, I saw lots of red flags.  Social Security doesn't just grant disability payments because you apply for them.  There has to be evidence, as in doctors' statements and so on, that the person really can't work.  He would have been found out a long time ago.

 

I also didn't quite understand how and where he originally found the body, but that may be due as much to my not paying attention because I had lost interest as anything else.  Nor was there ever a clear explanation of how that death tied in to the rest of them -- was the victim killed by the same killer, or was it an accident, or what?

 

Monty turned out to be kind of a slimeball, though he wasn't the killer -- ooops, sorry for that spoiler -- but the character who really wrinkled my nose was Mel herself. Her silly spangles-and-fringe dresses worn with steel-toed work boots just seemed . . . stupid.  Stupid as in gimmickry for the sake of gimmickry.  No reason was ever given, or at least not one that made any sense.  She's supposed to be running a contracting business; why dress like a phantom from the 1960s caught in a time warp?

 

This wasn't a particularly long book -- I read it comfortably in a day -- and maybe that was its problem.  With all the various threads going on, maybe it needed to be longer, more like the hefty books of Rendell and Grimes that allowed for the interweaving of personal and professional life along with the details and atmosphere of vocation and location.

 

The details of a single historic San Francisco home would have made wonderful atmosphere, but author Blackwell didn't dwell as much on that as she did on the two smaller homes in the neighborhood that weren't involved in the mystery or the ghosts.  The "Murder House" should have had star billing, and the appropriate weight in the text.  I felt it got shortchanged.

 

The writing was okay, other than that one horrible paragraph where everything sat, sat, sat, sat, sat on Hugh's desk, but it wasn't anything special either.

 

As I said, other readers may enjoy this.  It just wasn't all that great for me.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-11-20 16:49
She’s Kicking Ass Again in Strong to the Bone by Jon Land @jondland
Strong to the Bone (Caitlin Strong Novels) - Jon Land

Buckle your seatbelts, because Strong to the Bone by Jon Land is one rootin tootin, smash bang novel of action and mystery that culminates in a rip roaring ending not to be missed.

 

Strong to the Bone (Caitlin Strong, #9)

 

Goodreads  /  Amazon US  /  Amazon UK  /  Amazon CA

 

MY REVIEW

 

I am so happy to be back into a rootin’ tootin’ Caitlin Strong adventure. The Texas Rangers and Nazis…doesn’t bode well for the Nazis. LOL

 

Right off, Jon Land does what he does so well, makes me so curious and surprised about our prisoner of war camps in Texas during World War II, that questions arise. Why have I never thought of this before? Was I never taught in school? Is is true? I know a lot of people don’t care one way or another about prologues, but this one sure did it’s job. Sent me straight to Google. I had to know more.

 

I can picture Caitlin on top of the fire truck, spraying the rioters with the fire hose like Al Capone sprayed his enemies with his tommy gun. A young woman is in distress, possibly being raped, and nothing will stop Caitlin from going to her rescue.

 

If you are not familiar with Caitlin, let me introduce you. She comes from a long line of Texas Rangers, but until she was raped in college, she had no plans to follow in their footsteps. Now…she’s a kickass, no holds barred force to be reckoned with. She goes in with guns blazing,  her fists and legs pumping, doling out justice.

 

I love that Jon Land is constantly challenging Caitlin in personal and professional ways.

She teams up with her sweetie, Cort Wesley. He’s an ex Green Beret, maybe a bit tarnished, but that will only serve him well when he meets up with Armand Fiskar. Armand is the son of the man who created the Aryan Nation, only he has more grandiose plans.

 

I am lovin’ Paz, an ex Venezuelan secret policeman, sent to kill Cort. Now they walk together. I love characters who have walked the wild side, yet are able to redeem themselves.

 

And neo Nazis…smacks of reality.

 

Cort, Paz, and even Caitlin, though she doesn’t acknowledge it, have a little bit of help from the paranormal.

 

Moments to laugh, moments of anger, smiles and frowns, humanity in all its glory and disgust.

 

Jon Land’s creative writing shows his humorous side, when he allows his characters to replace the Captain’s cigarettes with the candy kind. Do you remember eating them as a kid?

 

The Aryan Nation, neo nazis, bioterrorism, organ transplants, weapons of mass destruction…so many underlying plots culminate in a blown out ending. I am a lifelong fan and eagerly await each and every story Jon Land has to tell.

 

I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of Strong to the Bone by Jon Land.

 

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos  5 Stars

 

Read more here.

 

  • You can see my Giveaways HERE.
  • You can see my Reviews HERE.
  • animated smilies photo: animated animated.gifIf you like what you see, why don’t you follow me?
  • Leave your link in the comments and I will drop by to see what’s shakin’.
  • Thanks for visiting!
Source: www.fundinmental.com/shes-kicking-ass-again-in-strong-to-the-bone-by-jon-land-jondland
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-11-20 16:33
The Most Dangerous Place...
The Most Dangerous Place on Earth: A Novel - Lindsey Lee Johnson

1. This author has a degree is writing and used the word "gentle" as a verb. He gentled his voice. That's just unacceptable.

 

2. I must be super out of touch because there were teen slang terms in this book I have never heard before like "jaws" and "chag". Wtf do those mean?

 

3. Blatant homophobia. For San Francisco, these kids sure do seem to call everyone a "fag". Again, not cool.

 

4. Wow, this whole book was a giant teen drama trope. Teacher/student screwing; the new, naive teacher that wants to save all her students; suicide; bullies; stoners; out of touch parents. 

 

This book wasn't bad, but it wasn't anything special either. It was mediocre.

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?