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review 2017-07-21 16:57
Seven Stones to Stand or Fall
Seven Stones to Stand or Fall: A Collection of Outlander Short Stories - Diana Gabaldon

A few of these I've read already, so I'll be lazy and link to those reviews. ;)

 

The Custom of the Army - 2 stars


https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/524842810?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

 

The Space Between - no rating

 

I didn't bother getting this when it was originally released solo and I'm glad I didn't. I don't have much interest in Joan, and even less interest in the Comte St. Germain, nor did I ever once wonder what happened to the guy or what his backstory was. So this was one long bore and I skimmed a lot of it to get to the important plot points. It was nice to see Mother Hildegard, but her role here is pretty much just cameo and doesn't make up for the rest.

 

A Plague of Zombies - 4 stars


https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1900984342?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

 

A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows - 5 stars


(No review for this one though. Sounds like a good reason for a reread.)

 

And reread I did and loved it just as much as the first time. Roger's father, Jerry MacKenzie, is unexpectedly launched back in time when his plane crash lands, and he goes through hell and back to get back to his time and his family. We get a few scenes of what's going on with Marjorie and baby Roger, but most of this is focused on Jerry. It's beautifully and heartbreakingly written, because if you've read the Outlander books you already know what everyone believes to have happened.

 

Virgins - 3 stars

 

Jamie and Ian are mercenaries in France. There's a lot of anti-Semantism in this one, as Gabaldon doesn't shy away from the prejudices of the time, and even our protags are guilty of it. The Jewish characters themselves though do not appear - at least to me - to be caricatures or stereotypes. Some of the Scottisms seemed strange - Ian's constantly referring to Jamie as a "wean" - I didn't think their age difference was all that great, so it felt odd. There's also this whole subplot with one of the other mercenaries who makes Gregor Clegane look like a fluffy kitty.

 

A Fugitive Green - 4 stars

 

Minnie and Hal's first meeting! I was intrigued by the backstory we got about Minnie in The Scottish Prisoner, so getting to see a more detailed telling of it was great. Minnie's wonderful and resourceful, and we even get a brief (too brief, I thought) subplot of Minnie's mom and her quest to find her. That was rather melodramatic - the mom's backstory that is - and I kept feeling like there was something more there going on than we heard

because nuns getting pregnant is not exactly unheard of so why exactly did Minnie's mom go mad because of it?

(spoiler show)

 

The ending also felt a bit rushed, so I hope this isn't the last exploration we get into these characters' backstories.

 

Besieged - 4 stars

 

Man, John can't even leave an assignment without getting pulled into a war. :P This is an interesting follow up to A Plague of Zombies, as John's still temporary military governor of Jamaica and trying his darnedest to resign that post. Enter his stepfather with some harrowing news. Loved seeing Tom Byrd again, and it was neat to see how Rodrigo is dealing after being zombified. There's your ingrained racism of the time, what with the slavery and all. I've never liked John's pragmatic view of slavery, but it is what it is, I guess? At least here, that pragmatism is a help to them.

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review 2017-07-20 18:07
Review: "Lovers in Arms" by Osiris Brackhaus
Lovers in Arms (Extended Edition) - Osiris Brackhaus

 

~ 4.5 stars ~

 

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text 2017-07-19 14:40
Reading progress update: I've read 33%.
Shy - John Inman

"Sometimes people are just born assholes, Tom. No rhyme or reason to it. It’s just the way it is. I hate to admit it, but Stanley’s one of them.”

 

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review 2017-07-16 17:41
A Tap on the Window ★★★★☆
A Tap on the Window - Linwood Barclay

There were a lot of characters to sort through and mysteries to unravel in this story, but it wasn’t too complex to easily follow along and guess at, even on audio. The clues were ambiguous enough to keep me guessing through at least two thirds of the book, but it was satisfying at the end to find that I was wrong on a few of my guesses, due to some successfully planted red herrings. There’s a lot of moral relativism at work amongst pretty much all the characters, so this is not a book for readers who want a hero to root for.

 

Audiobook, borrowed from my public library via Overdrive using the Libby app. Mark Zeisler provides a good performance – he sort of disappears inside the story, so I honestly didn’t notice much about his reading style. Which I guess is a recommendation in itself.

 

Previous Updates:

7/14/17 – 18%

 

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review 2017-07-16 10:50
{ARC} Book Review: Coming Up For Air by Miranda Kenneally
Coming Up for Air (Hundred Oaks) - Miranda Kenneally

This review first appeared on Wayward Kitsune. 

 

I’m never the sporty type but if someone asks me what’s my favorite sport, it’s more likely that my answer would be ‘swimming.’  There’s just something fulfilling about being in the water and feeling it splash against your skin as you swim.  And that is why I immediately picked up and read this book. And wow, Kenneally delivered.  Keneally’s world of swimming was intricate, competitive and realistic.

 

Just like Kenneally’s characters in the previous books,  Coming Up For Air has a bunch of lovable and goal-oriented characters.  Though there’s something that bothered me about Maggie, I still liked her because she never got sidetracked by her longing to experience the ordinary teenage life from achieving her goals. And I could say the same for Maggie’s longtime male bestfriend, the straightforward Levi, who’s always there for her.

Basically, Coming Up for Air is more of a self-discovery story than romance. But for whatever its worth, the romance between Maggie and Levi was worth following even if it’s the usual bestfriends-turned-to-lovers kind of thing.

 

All in all, Coming Up for Air was certainly a winner and definitely one of my best reads this 2017.  It’s very relatable even for adults like me.  So you better stop what you’re doing right now and read this.

Source: waywardkitsune.com/2017/07/arc-book-review-coming-up-for-air-by-miranda-kenneally
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