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Search tags: 4-to-4-5-stars
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review 2017-04-12 01:28
Ten Simple Tips for Surviving the Apocalypse
Ten Simple Tips for Surviving the Apocalypse - Cari Z.

Why yes, I just did use my "WAFF" tag for a book about the zombie apocalypse. What of it?

 

This was cute! Like puppies and kittens in springtime! Just ignore the killer mutant hordes coming to eat your face off. You'll be fine. There's even a quiz at the end that ramps the cuteness factor up to eleven.

 

I did think the romance was a bit on the thin side, but that didn't really bother me, since this is a fun breezy read and anything too angsty would've messed up the tone. Still, if you're looking for steam, look elsewhere. The epilogue could've answered a couple of extra questions than it did, and it was never explained what caused the plague, but again, not a big deal that it didn't. 

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review 2017-04-05 03:12
Play Dead
Play Dead - Avery Cockburn

This is the ending I wanted for Playing To Win. Playing To Win set up this great and fantastic dynamic between Colin, a poor uni student and football player who grew up on government benefits, and Lord Andrew, who is obviously very much the opposite of that. I've always loved their dynamic, because while there was no pretending that Andrew holds more power socially, politically and financially than Colin ever will, Andrew willfully gives up power in the bedroom - and Colin is more than able to take control. Seeing Andrew slowly have his eyes peeled open about social injustices and seeing how they both have their insecurities based around their family dynamics made Playing To Win a real treat. And then it ended rather abruptly, with all the plot threads summarized and wrapped up in a pretty bow without showing us how any of that happened. I was bummed!

 

So getting this novella, which deals with the aftermath of Colin's and Andrew's assault, finally filled in some of those things that were skipped. Andrew's struggles with his PTSD felt real and not melodramatic, which for this drama queen is saying a lot. Colin's struggles to get back into physical shape to start playing football again were also given their due attention. I still would've liked more with Andrew's family but what we do see is well written. 

 

As some of you may know by now, I don't read BDSM, so I skipped the one scene that included it. I did skim the beginning and end of the scene, enough to get the gist of what happened, and the following chapter filled in all relevant information. I didn't feel like I missed anything important, and getting to see Colin take such great care of Andrew following that scene

which ended because Andrew started having a panic attack during it

(spoiler show)

just made me appreciate their relationship more. These two are so adorable and perfect together, I could squish them! So if you're hesitant to read this because of the BDSM, rest assured it can be skipped. 

 

Oh, and as for Evan? I need his story NOW! He just got a billion times more interesting.

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review 2017-04-02 19:27
Life Is Awesome
Life is Awesome - Jordan Castillo Price

This book made me so angry! I wanted to punch a certain someone in the face and now I want - no - NEED - a Mnevermind/Leverage crossover to make things right. 

 

Let's go steal us a mnem!

 

 

Okay, now that I got that off my chest, I loved this! It's not quite as good as Forget Me Not, but what can really compare to Elijah's POV? I liked the way the story progressed here. Some things were left (understandably) unresolved, because not everything in life does get resolved. I was bummed though that

Daniel never told Elijah "I love you". He kept thinking it while they were in mnem. He should've said it! The ending would've been the perfect time to say it. 

I was also waiting for Daniel to take Larry's comment about mneming at home to come up with a mobile mneming business, but that never came up again either.

(spoiler show)

If this means there's a potential for a fourth book somewhere down the line though, I'd be down with that. :D *hint*hint*nudge*nudge*

 

It was so gutting to see Daniel go from disillusioned to hopeful, to see Elijah and Big Dan come up with ways to take some of the pressure off Daniel for his dad's persistent mnem, and to see Larry again who is always a hoot and a half, and to see Daniel actually be able to relax for once - only to see it all blow up 

because of Delmonico's backhanded tactics to steal Life Is Awesome and drive Daniel out of business. And Chuck has the nerve to ask Daniel for a job reference! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! Hadouken to your faces!

(spoiler show)

Once again, if something appears too good to be true, it probably is.

 

But Daniel takes his lumps and keeps on trucking. He may be more pessimistic than his father, but he got his resilience from his dad, and Elijah's teaching him how to hope again. He has to go through the worst to see what's best. Or as a hobbit near and dear to my heart once realized, "the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach." [Excerpt from Return of the King, by J.R.R Tolkien, "The Land of Shadow"] And a life well-lived is the best revenge, and all that.

 

Though I personally think revenge, in this case, is a dish best served cold. Eliot? What do you think?

 

 

Now THAT would be awesome. ;)

 

My only wish is for more Daniel/Elijah relationship development. There is some, and what we get is great, but it felt shunted to the side what with everything else going on. This could've been a little longer to give us more cuddle time with these two, and then this would've been perfect.

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review 2017-03-29 05:06
The Crown Tower
The Crown Tower: The Riyria Chronicles, Book 1 - Michael J. Sullivan,Recorded Books LLC,Tim Gerard Reynolds

Hadrian and Royce are back...in time! No, they didn't time travel. This is fantasy-lite, not sci-fi-lite. ;) But this prequel goes back to when they first met and follows them on their first adventure together, when they were just as much a threat to each other as the enemies chasing them.

 

I was hoping that jumping to the prequel would show an improvement in story structure and writing, and that bet paid off. This was much better paced, with a stronger sense of the main characters' POVs and not so obvious twists. I was especially interested in how Hadrian and Royce went from not trusting each other to becoming the BFFs we saw in Theft of Swords. This is just the beginning - there are twelve years between the starts of these two series - but it's a promising beginning. We also spend time seeing how Gwen gets started in Medford.

 

I would still like to see more fantasy in this supposed fantasy series, instead of the sprinkles we get here and there. But as a fun, easygoing romp, this series hits the spot.

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review 2017-03-15 02:24
Midnight Riot (or, Rivers of London)
Midnight Riot - Ben Aaronovitch,Kobna Holdbrook-Smith

Oh, boy, that was fun! And funny! This is like the UK's answer to Harry Dresden - if Harry was way more mellow and his dog was a slipper with ears. Harry's dog might be named Mouse, but he ain't tiny. :) Toby still has it where it counts though.

 

Survey says: Harry kicks ass; Peter is swell bloke.

 

The world-building was pretty well-developed throughout the story, not just for the magic stuff but for London itself for us non-Londoners who don't know how London works. I imagine it's told in a politely backhanded enough way to still be amusing to those who live there though. We're told only what we need to know when we need to know it, and aren't info-dumped for no reason, yet it still manages to set things up for later books.

 

The case was interesting and certainly unexpected.

Punch and Judy is just messed up, y'all. And to think that was considered appropriate entertainment for the whole family back in the day.

(spoiler show)

Leslie looks like she's getting set up to be the Murphy of this universe, only much more mellow and less awesome. Though she could still end up being awesome later. We'll see. 

 

I'm not sure at all why the American publisher changed the name of the book from Rivers of London - since the rivers actually are pretty important - to Midnight Riot. Sure, there's a riot and it happens at night, but it's not even the climax of the book. Com'n. Did they really think we'd need the promise of a riot to get us interested? That's horrible. This isn't like trying to get kids interested in a bunch of old guys sitting around discussing the meaning of life to a bunch of rocks (BORING!) versus wizards doing cool magical stuff with stones (AWESOME!). There was just no reason to change the title, and maybe it's just me, but it also introduces an unfortunate (most likely completely unintentional) racial implication. Peter's mixed-race. There's a riot. Must be connected, yeah? Let's make it the title! Boo! Bad job, American publisher! Bad job! 

 

The narrator, Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, did an okay job. He has a nice voice, all silky and rich and mmmmm...wait, what was he saying? ;) I did tend to get caught up in the sound of his voice and miss the actual words he was saying, having to go back and re-listen and mmmmm... :D The downside is that he really needs to learn how to breathe properly when he's narrating. Lots of deep inhales at pretty much every stopping or pausing point. Comma? Time to breathe. End of sentence? Time to breathe. I did listen to the sample for the next book, and he seems to have improved on this point, so I'll continue with the audios.

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