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review 2018-10-21 21:57
Bound Gods, Book 7 - Purgatory
Purgatory - Adrienne Wilder

Easily one of my favorites in the series.  So in love with Taurus and Malum.  Damn.  

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review 2018-10-20 16:03
The Shadow of Polperro ★☆☆☆☆
The Shadow of Polperro - Frances Cowan

This book hits the jackpot of terrible books. The characters are uninteresting. The pace is amazingly slow for a 235 page book, with a lot of boring information about characters going places and completing mundane tasks that do nothing to advance the story. The egregious misuse of punctuation and sentence structure had me re-reading paragraphs multiple times in order to make any sense of them.

 

I’m not even going to bother with a synopsis, I’ve already spent more time on this book than it deserves.

 

I read this for the 2018 Halloween Bingo square Gothic: any book with significant: a genre or mode of literature and film that combines fiction and horror, death, and at times romance. It definitely fits the definition of gothic – spooky old ruined castle with a tragic history, strange accidents that might be supernatural in origin, beautiful young woman alone in the world and in peril, an old woman with supernatural gifts. And a handsome young man to give her a happily ever after, although it breaks from the gothic mold here as he is not darkly brooding and mysterious and a little violent in his temper and passions. He’s just a nice, stable young man with a good job.

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review 2018-10-20 15:15
4.2 Out 5 "Incendiary" STARS
When We Caught Fire - Anna Godbersen

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~BOOK BLURB~

When We Caught Fire

Anna Godbersen

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It’s 1871, and Emmeline Carter is poised to take Chicago’s high society by storm. Between her father’s sudden rise to wealth and her recent engagement to Chicago’s most eligible bachelor, Emmeline has it all. But she can’t stop thinking about the life she left behind, including her childhood sweetheart, Anders Magnuson.

Fiona Byrne, Emmeline’s childhood best friend, is delighted by her friend’s sudden rise to prominence, especially since it means Fiona is free to pursue Anders herself. But when Emmeline risks everything for one final fling with Anders, Fiona feels completely betrayed.

As the summer turns to fall, the city is at a tipping point: friendships are tested, hearts are broken, and the tiniest spark might set everything ablaze.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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Despite having less than likable characters (with Fiona as the exception) this was still an engrossing listen.  The backdrop of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 was what made this story stand-out for me.  I could see how others found this to be slow in the beginning, with its soap-opera-like feel and melodrama of the elite high society of the times, but on Audio, those parts fly by fairly quickly.  Once the fire starts burning, the unceasing flames and the lives at stake make this unputdownable.  The way the author takes the truth about the actual fire and plays it out with her cast of characters is quite the tale.  I found this exert from here about the Great Chicago Fire. 

 

The Chicago Fire of 1871, also called the Great Chicago Fire, burned from October 8 to October 10, 1871, and destroyed thousands of buildings, killed an estimated 300 people and caused an estimated $200 million in damages. Legend has it that a cow kicked over a lantern in a barn and started the fire, but other theories hold that humans or even a meteor might have been responsible for the event that left an area of about four miles long and almost a mile wide of the Windy City, including its business district, in ruins. Following the blaze, reconstruction efforts began quickly and spurred great economic development and population growth.

 

With the ending the irredeemable characters become redeemable and the love triangle that takes the center of the stage throughout this story has its inevitable outcome.

 

๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏

~MY RATING~

4.2STARS - GRADE=B+

๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏

 

 

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 4/5

Main Characters~ 3.8/5

Secondary Characters~ 3/5

The Feels~ 4/5

Pacing~ 4/5

Addictiveness~ 4/5

Theme or Tone~ 4/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 4.5/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 4.7/5

Originality~ 4.2/5

Ending~ 4.2/5 Cliffhanger~ Nah…

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Book Cover~ It's incendiary…

Narration~ 4.5 for Suzanne Elise Freeman, she was perfect for this story and she switched from one pov to another quite seamlessly.

Setting~ Chicago 1871

Source~ Audiobook (Library)

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review 2018-10-20 02:14
A Murder Mystery as Fun as The Buggles' Song
Video Killed the Radio Star - Mr. Duncan R MacMaster

(or the cover by The Presidents of the United States of America, either will work)

 

“I fear we will never be mistaken for the Algonquin Round Table.”

 

“We’ll have to work on our witty repartee,” said Molly. “I plan on taking a course on banter, ripostes, badinage, and persiflage.”

 

“Even persiflage?”

 

“Especially persiflage,” said Molly. “There is nothing worse than sub-par persiflage.”

 

“You might need to get a sub-par persiflage lanced.”

 

“We’ve hit the nonsense phase of the night earlier than usual.”

 

“I like nonsense,” said Kirby, “it distracts me.”

 

Kirby Baxter just wants to live a quiet life out of the spotlight: hanging out with his girlfriend, Molly, when he can; restoring a car with his valet/bodyguard/etc.; and drawing his comics. And now that the excitement about the murder he solved at Omnicon dying down, he's on the verge of doing that. But the mayor of his hometown knows Kirby, and has no shame in extorting his cooperation with a small problem that he's having.

 

You see, one of the town's major landmarks -- an old, abandoned mansion -- is in dire need of upkeep and remodeling. And a reality show full of C-List celebrities (maybe D- or E-list) have recently set up shop to do that work. But the city's having second thoughts and they want Kirby and his über-perception skills to find a reason to shut down production and send them packing to disrupt another locale.

 

Kirby visits the production, talks to the cast and producers, looks around and comes up with a lot of observations and conclusions -- and could cause a lot of inconvenience and embarrassment for everyone involved from those observations -- but he can't find what the mayor wants. That accomplished, he gets back to pursuing his best life now -- which lasts just a few hours. Because before he can start to collect from the mayor for the work, one of the celebrities is found dead.

 

So, it's back to the mansion for Kirby, this time to act as a consultant ot the local police as they investigate this suspicious death. Which is soon followed by another. And an attack on another cast member. And . . . well, you get the idea.

 

It's nice that MacMaster didn't repeat the whole "Kirby has to win over a skeptical and antagonistic police officer" thing -- this time, thanks to most of the force having grown up with him, they all accept his talents and skills -- an expect him to deliver.

 

The cast of the reality show, "Million Dollar Madhouse," is filled with the typical collection of has-beens, almost-weres, and celebs trying to stage a comeback. Initially, I rolled my eyes at each of them, but the more time I spent with them, the more I appreciated and enjoyed them. In particular, the Kardashian-esque character totally won me over. Like in the previous book, there's a large cast of characters that MacMaster juggles expertly -- there are so many suspects to the murders, as well as witnesses for Kirby and the police to wade through.

 

Almost every serious suspect has the same defense -- they didn't want the initial victim dead. They wanted him to make a fool out of himself on national TV, possibly seriously injuring himself with a power tool. Some would follow that up with some other form of revenge -- but if he's dead, no one could get the revenge they wanted. It's not ideal, but it's an honest defense.

 

Gustave was slightly less super-human this time out -- but he's still in the Ranger/Hawk/Joe Pike nigh-impossible stratosphere. As much as I like everyone else in this series, it's arguable that Gustave is MacMaster's best creation -- not just the character, but how MacMaster uses him.

 

I did miss Mitch. But was glad to see Molly and Kirby talk about him -- and even make a joke he wasn't around to make himself. It's probably good that he wasn't around -- it'll mean when we see him again, it'll be easy to appreciate him without worrying about over exposure.

 

In the place of Mitch, we have Molly's assertive and cunning cousin -- she runs a gossip-website and wheedles her way into the investigation in order to land a story big enough to put her and her site on the map. Kirby clearly vacillates between finding uses for her and finding her distracting.

 

Molly and Kirby are cuter together than they were previously, and I could watch the two of them banter any day. It seemed harder to incorporate Molly into the story this time, and hopefully it's easier for MacMaster in Kirby #3, but as difficult as it was it was absolutely worth it.

 

I'm not sure exactly what it is about MacMaster's writing that works so well for me, but it does. Just before I started writing this, I started to draw some parallels between these Kirby Baxter books and Ellen Raskin's The Westing Game and The Mysterious Disappearance of Leon (I Mean Noel). I didn't have time to fully flesh this idea out, but Raskin's work definitely was formative for me and if the comparison hold up, that could explain a lot. The mix of humor, real emotions and complex mystery is the sweet spot for me and MacMaster consistently hits it. It's not easy, there are precious few who try -- and fewer that succeed. This is the third novel I've read by him and it seals the deal, I'll buy everything he writes as soon as I can without really looking at what the book is about.

 

I was a little worried that this book wouldn't live up to A Mint-Conditioned Corpse, and I don't think it did -- but I don't know what could have for me. I'd enjoyed the other so much that it's almost impossible to live up to -- and the reality show setting didn't do anything for me -- they just leave me cold. The fact I'm rating Video Killed the Radio Star as high as I am is all about how effortlessly charming and entertaining this seems. Effortless always, always, always equals blood, sweat and tears -- or at least a lot of work. This must've taken a great deal of labor, and it was absolutely worth it. A clever mystery, clever dialogue, and very clever characters in a funny, twisty story. The Kirby Baxter books are must reads, no doubt about it. Give this one a shot -- I don't see how you can't enjoy it.

Source: irresponsiblereader.com/2018/10/19/video-killed-the-radio-star-by-duncan-macmaster-furiousdshow-%e2%98%85-%e2%98%85-%e2%98%85-%e2%98%85-1-2-a-murder-mystery-as-fun-as-the-buggles-song
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review 2018-10-19 16:14
Bound Gods, Book 6 - The Claiming
The Claiming - Adrienne Wilder

So damn good...but I eagerly await the day Leo does this to Alton. Because yes...I believe it WILL happen. 

 

 

and Taurus...

 

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