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review 2018-05-23 04:45
3.3 Out Of 5 "who put that dead body in the trunk of my car" STARS
Just A Little Junk - Stylo Fantome

 

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~BOOK BLURB~

Just A Little Junk

Stylo Fantome

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Jodi Morgan is having a bad weekend. 

 

After partying a little too hard, she wakes up with a monster hangover and almost no recollection of the night before. So imagine her surprise when she looks in her trunk and instead of finding a spare tire, she finds the last guy she'd danced with before blacking out. 

 

Who is he? How did he get in there? How did he die? And oh dear lord, did she kill him!? 

 

When her older brother's best friend offers to help, things start looking up. They've known each other since she was thirteen, and ten years later, he still treats her like a little kid - surely, committing felonies has to trigger some sort of spark. Together, they wind up going on an adventure that takes them all over Los Angeles. From raves to penthouses to strip clubs. All in the search for the answer to her question. 

 

Who is the dead guy in my trunk!?

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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If you like a funny, albeit, over the top rom-com, reminiscent of The Hangover with a splash of Weekend at Bernie's, you should give this a try. (((The scene at the rave is my favorite of the whole book))). I thought this was a totally fun read, while not life-changing or anything quite like that, though.  And, other than the twist near the end and everything following after, this could have been a solid 4-stars.  That whole scene…it was just too over the top for me.  But hey, it could make for an entertaining movie, I'm sure.

 

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~MY RATING~

3.3STARS - GRADE=B-

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 3.5/5

Main Characters~ 3.2/5

Secondary Characters~ 3/5

The Feels~ 3/5

Pacing~ 4/5

Addictiveness~ 4/5

Theme or Tone~ 3/5

Flow (Writing Style)~4/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 3.5/5

Originality~ 4/5

Ending~ 2/5 Cliffhanger~ Nope.

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Book Cover~ It's quite cute...

Setting~ Van Nuys & Malibu, California

Source~ I own Kindle eBook

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text 2018-05-22 23:21
Reading progress update: I've read 150 out of 150 pages.
World Without End (Star Trek Adventures, #10) - Joe Haldeman

Now this was an excellent read! It's unfortunate that most authors who write Star Trek novels can't write as well as Haldeman.

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review 2018-05-22 20:09
Valentine's Day at the Star and Sixpence (Star and Sixpence #1.5) by Holly Hepburn
Valentine's Day at the Star and Sixpence - Holly Hepburn

I just couldn't care about any of these characters. This was a short 35 page story that didn't do much to develop the characters past where they left off at the end of book one. There wasn't a point to this story other than maybe fan service. There wasn't anything for new readers to get into and I just can't see myself reading anything else in this series.

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review 2018-05-22 16:03
A poor employment of a classic Star Trek trope
Mutiny on the Enterprise - Robert E. Vardeman

One of the most prevalent tropes of the Star Trek franchise is the disruptive effect of the outsider to the smoothly-functioning operations of the U.S.S. Enterprise. The ship picks up a person or small group of people, these people then introduce some foreign values to the crew, and then a few leaders (usually, but not always the captain) then address the disruption caused and reassert Starfleet order. It's a recurrent trope in part because of its versatility and the number of variations possible, but that doesn't make it any less of a trope.

 

It's no surprise that the trope would appear eventually in a Star Trek novel, and Robert Vardeman's book seems to be the first employment of it in print. Yet for the first use in a novel with all of the greater possibilities the medium entails, his use of it is surprisingly unimaginative. Picking up after the events of his previous contribution to the series, The Klingon Gambit, Kirk and company are assigned to transport a small team of ambassadors to a system where two planets are on the verge of conflict. Along the way they rescue Lorelai, a woman of an unknown species from her disabled craft. Once on board her pacifist philosophy and powers of persuasion quickly sow dissent among the crew. Though Kirk and Spock attempt to battle her influence, they soon find their mission in jeopardy in the face of the resistance of the crew, who are following Lorelai's siren song (get it?) instead of the orders of their superiors.

It's fair to note that just because a trope isn't terrible just because it's a trope, and the subsequent use of it in Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Enterprise, and other franchise media demonstrate some of the creative possibilities still possible with it. This is why Vardeman's novel is so disappointing; rather than take it in rich new directions possible thanks to the freedom inherent in a novel, he prefers to deliver instead what could have been just another warmed-over episode of the original series. There is little development of the plot and even less of the characters, as Vardeman relies upon the work of the series and what limited effort he put into his previous contribution to coast through. Even his main antagonist is defined more by her powers rather than any inherent motivation beyond "It's her job," and her employment in the story's resolution is predictable from the moment her abilities are defined. To be fair it's an improvement over his previous novel, but that reflects more the very low bar set by his earlier effort than a dramatic improvement in quality between the two books. Perhaps a subsequent novel would have been even better, but I can't say I'm regretting that he never wrote another one for the franchise.

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review 2018-05-21 19:27
No gambit, and barely any Klingons
The Klingon Gambit - Robert E. Vardeman

One of the more apt criticisms of the Star Trek franchise is about the repetitiveness of their plotting. Though the original premise of a starship exploring the galaxy opened up a variety of possibilities, it wasn't long before crew encounters were primarily limited to godlike aliens (often in energy form), faux-Edens, and dangerous machines that needed to be talked into destroying themselves. From the standpoint of a television show (especially the original series), such repetition is perhaps understandable given the constraints imposed by special effects and budgets. It's also what makes the franchise's novels so different; freed from such mundane constraints, practically anything is possible,

 

This is why Robert Vardeman's novel is so frustrating. The title suggests a story involving the Enterprise crew grappling with some fiendish Klingon plot to take over the Alpha Quadrant or perhaps an interstellar battle in which Kirk matches wits with the captain of a Klingon warship. What Vardeman delivers instead is a tepid mystery that for fans of the original series will seem all too familiar, as the author takes elements from two of their episodes and mashes them together after making just a few minor alterations. The Klingons are less of a fearsome threat in the story than they are a secondary plot device, and their "gambit" (to the degree that there even is one) boils down to seeking a MaGuffin and nothing more. The whole thing is a waste of a good title, a neat cover, and the hours of time spent reading it, as fans are best advised taking a hard pass on this one.

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