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review 2017-06-23 02:48
If Walls Could Talk ★★★★☆
If Walls Could Talk - Juliet Blackwell

The only other cozy mystery series I’ve tried was not very satisfying, so I had low expectations coming into this one. But what a pleasant surprise! The author introduces each character with descriptions that drew a clear picture in my mind and also gave some hint of what was to come. I learned a little history and felt some of the MC’s enthusiasm for her work in restoring historic homes. The whodunnit was not especially difficult to figure out before it was revealed, but the journey to get there was plenty of fun.

 

Audio version, purchased via Audible. Although there’s not a lot of differentiation between her male characters’ voices, Xe Sands’ performance is very good in terms of pacing and emotion.

 

Previous Updates:

 

6/20/17 6%  http://sheric.booklikes.com/post/1573004/if-walls-could-talk-6

 

6/20/17 15% http://sheric.booklikes.com/post/1573053/if-walls-could-talk-15

 

6/21/17 43%  http://sheric.booklikes.com/post/1573208/if-walls-could-talk-43

 

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review 2017-06-16 17:15
Mile 81 ★★★★☆
Mile 81 - Stephen King,Thomas Sadoski,Edward Herrmann

This is the short story/novella version of every 1950’s Creature Feature B movie, where the teenagers witness everything and frantically try to get help, only to have all the adults dismiss them as crazy kids pulling a prank. Except in this case, it’s little kids instead of teenagers. Good entertainment, SK style.

 

The “bonus story” The Dune is much shorter story, with fairly classic SK story elements, but there’s no horror or gore here, just an odd little story of mysterious events, with a fun little twist at the end.

 

Audiobook version, borrowed from my public library. Thomas Sadoski (Mile 81) and Edward Herrmann (The Dune) bring their stories alive, perfectly capturing the characters through whom the story is told.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-06-16 13:47
The Boy on the Bridge ★★★★☆
The Boy on the Bridge - M.R. Carey

Warning: 90% of this review is hidden under spoiler tags. Don’t read if you don’t want to be spoiled!

 

Fantastic storytelling and interesting characters lift this novel above the obvious flaws in logic. I especially loved the ending, where 

the humans’ last stand, living in isolation in desperate conditions, is found by the second generation Hungries, only to find that the new species has no interest in eating them, but instead regards them with the anthropological interest of 20th century explorers from the West who come across the last aboriginal tribe.

(spoiler show)

 

But there are tremendous black holes in the logic that makes up the framework of this story, that the author makes no attempt to address.

Consistently for every character except Rina, a Hungries bite turns them into a shambling, mindless, flesh-craving zombie within seconds. But Rina took about half an hour before demonstrating symptoms, and Stephen’s internal monologue insisted that this was normal. Also, if the 2nd Gen are children who are exposed in utero, but Hungries are undead, and a Hungry’s bite turns you within seconds, (or even 30 mins as for Rina), how can there be so many 2nd Gen children? Rina was only able to carry her baby to term and give birth to it because Stephen was able to concoct a medicine to delay her conversion for several (days? Weeks?). Other mothers wouldn’t have this benefit. So the chances that a mother could give birth  in the seconds to minutes of time elapsed between being bitten and being undead are so miniscule that it can’t account for the numbers of 2nd Gen children that the team sees. Unless the women who are pregnant when bitten continue to gestate and give birth in their undead state. But even this doesn’t make much sense. The undead don’t grow or change or seemingly carry out normal bodily functions, so how can an undead woman carry a baby to term? Nourish the baby in utero? Go through labor? Who would care for the first 2nd Gen babies? Do they just lay where they’re dropped until they grow their teeth and learn to crawl by themselves until they’re able to crawl around and gnaw on whatever living creatures can’t get away from their freakish baby teeth?

(spoiler show)

 

Well, none of that makes any sense to me, when I stopped to puzzle over it, and the author never addresses it. And yet, it was such a good story that I just barreled past all these questions to get to the ending, which was a good one.

 

Audiobook, purchased via Audible. Finty Williams provides an outstanding performance.

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review 2017-06-09 14:15
The Hate U Give ★★★★☆
The Hate U Give - Angie Thomas

I really wish I could be consistent about writing down even a rough draft of a review as soon as I finish a book, because it starts fading for me as the days pass and my brain fills with other books that I’m reading. Because this book deserved much better than I can give it now. I finished it 3 weeks ago, and all I have left is vague impressions. I urge you to read Obsidian Blue’s excellent review, which introduced me to the book.

 

I will say that I connected more strongly with it than I expected, as I am generally not a fan of YA and have a pronounced aversion to the first-person-present-tense writing style so prevalent in the genre. The subject matter, being so far outside of my own personal experience, felt real and present to me, as did the thoughts and emotions of Starr and those close to her. The writing is compelling, and the plot kept me absolutely engaged. I appreciated the very realistic outcome of

Starr’s testimony

(spoiler show)

, and her emotional struggle to get there.

 

Sadly, I fail both the green bean casserole and the mac-n-cheese tests.

 

Audiobook, borrowed from my public library. Bahni Turpin’s reading is so fantastic that I didn’t even notice the FPPT style for long chunks of story.  

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review 2017-06-06 12:41
The Fold ★★★★☆
The Fold - Peter Clines,Ray Porter

I really had to slog through the first part of this book. This is, for me, the tedious part of Sci-Fi, where the author is establishing the technical How Stuff Works of the book’s events. Honestly, I don’t care, as long as it’s plausible enough for me to suspend disbelief. Not having a hard science background, my mind starts to wander as soon as a story begins delving into quantum theory, which seems to be the underpinning for every Sci-Fi book I’ve read that was written during the last two decades. But the story really takes off somewhere between the first third and the half-way mark. Then it gets to be tremendous fun, with crazy action and mysteries solved. Ironically, though,

the scientific answer in the end was we really don’t know why it works, only that it does.

(spoiler show)

Still, the exciting last half more than makes up for the draggy first half.

 

Audiobook, purchased via Audible. Ray Porter does a fine job in narrating, although I found his voicing of the female characters vaguely irritating. A little too breathy, perhaps.

 

I read this for the 2017 Booklikes-opoly challenge, for the square Mystery 8: Read a book that is tagged mystery or has a title that begins with any letter in the word “CLUE”. The first page of shelves shows 124 users tagged it “mystery” at Goodreads, which qualifies it, although I would personally class it as Sci-Fi and Thriller.

 

Previous Updates:

6/3/17 33% http://sheric.booklikes.com/post/1568262/the-fold-33

 

 

 

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