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review 2019-01-20 16:50
Elevation by Stephen King
Elevation - Stephen King

What a different story from Stephen King!
When I sit to read  king book, I expect to be scared shitless. I at least figure he will take me to a scary place that is twisted and unique. Well, I got the unique part, and frankly, didn't miss the scary part.
It was such a cool little story because of the strange phenomenon that happens. It really made me wonder, 'what if?'. 
This story is now one of my favorites. The emotions I had mixed with master storytelling makes it a fantastic read! You should definitely read it too!

 

 

Source: www.fredasvoice.com/2019/01/elevation-by-stephen-king-4.html
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review 2019-01-20 16:15
Audio Book Review: H.A.L.F. Origins by Natalie Wright
H.A.L.F.: ORIGINS - Natalie Wright H.A.L.F.: ORIGINS - Natalie Wright

*I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

We pick up where the second book, The Makers, ended with our characters. They are all still separate in a work of turmoil as a few major cities on Earth are attacked by a deadly alien. Erika, Jack, Ian, Tex, and Alecto learn what they must do to save the world.

Dylan voices the story with different feelings in his voice for the characters, even different tones for our characters. One thing that I struggled with though, the audio sounded as though there was an object that moved in front and away from the microphone, blocking it and sounding muffled from time to time. I always wonder if it's my iPod or if it's the actual audio when I hear these things. There is one small section that's repeated, missed in editing. But these are small if you are looking to listen to the ending of the series.

Everyone's in tough spots. They've all done things they aren't proud of, and still doing those things to survive. There are attacks in Europe - London and Paris - putting the area in darkness. The attack on Earth has started. The world feels to be falling apart and Tex, Erika, Jack, and others feel to be the glue to bring it all together and save the world.

We get a few POVs that tell us what is happening as information is gathered from different directions. We stay with our friends, all in different areas as they fight to survive. Erika, Jack, and Tex. We also get to see through William Croft's eyes. He's one of The Makers and has insight to what was created to save them when the attacks started. Ian wasn't as much a main character in this book as he was in the past. And we got a point of view for the captain of the M'Uktah who have invaded the Earth.

Our friends learn much about themselves as they age in feelings and mind through this book. They live through terrible tragedies and have to do things to survive they don't want to do, like kill. But through this they see things are changing, and so are they. They even find loves in their lives they never thought they'd find, and worry about what their dear friends would think.

The M'Uktah we see here learns much about his world and what was to happen to him based on those who were around him. I thought at the end that there's possibly more to the story with M'Uktah and on their world. But things care cleared up here on Earth for everyone.

We see Tex and our friends figure out what to do with the M'Uktah along with what happens to the The Makers organization that had plans in place for when the M'Uktah arrived. This was the reason all of this started, with Tex and Alecto, bring the story full circle for the reason Tex and Alecto and the underground city were created.

Tex grows as a person as well. He makes some huge discoveries but also learns what it's like to be a teenage boy in love. He has some huge decisions to make. Alecto struggles a little with not being commanded by Lillian Sturgis. Alecto feels she was created to take and follow commands, so this is something she needs to learn to work through, and become an individual.

The title of the book is true to the story. Origins. We learn where the human race along with others came from. This is a journey that Tex needs to make to figure out how to save the people he's come to care deeply about. In doing so, he learns of the origin of his people along with humans and other races in the universe. This is where the story stretched further than just aliens in science fiction fantasy.

There are lines in the story that feel as though they were lines the author wanted to use like others have. These lines are ones that feel to be said in about every other book. I would have loved these to be written differently. All I do and will do are for you, where one ended and the other began - in a love scene, emotions run high, they are a matched pair, she fits perfectly to him. Ugh. Put these in different words. It would have felt to have fit the writing style better for me if the author reworded these sayings.

These small sayings aside, the book came to a conclusion for the series. It all comes together as things tie up.

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review 2019-01-20 16:06
Audio Book Review: Teeth of Gods by Sarah K.L. Wilson
Teeth of the Gods (Unweaving Chronicles ... Teeth of the Gods (Unweaving Chronicles Book 1) - Sarah K. L. Wilson

*I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

Veronica is one of my favorite voice actors. She slips into the characters and their rules with ease. We can hear the emotion of each individual as she puts voice to their thoughts, words, and actions. She uses different tones, accents, and personality to differentiate each character for us. I feel this is a blessing when listening to audiobooks. Veronica has brought the characters to life for us.

I'm taken with the world. There was a lot of thought and creation in this world and culture of the people. From their dress to their land. From their beliefs to their magic system. The relation to other lands after a ruler defeats them. It's all so well drawn out. The best part is we see all of this through details of what Tylira is living through. It's all conveyed through events, which makes the story rich and full.

Tylira is an interesting character. She hasn't connected with The Common as others have. She doesn't know why. When she starts to connect it's because of the cruel nature of discipline inflicted on her by her fathers high consort to find it. Tylira wants more in life than sitting in the Silken Gardens. Tylira finds her way to a new city with a summons from her father, High Tazmina, in order to be bonded with another that can teach her new things. She finds more than she expected, along with a strong determination to join the Hunt for the Teeth of the Gods.

Tylira is a bit young, more naive. She's lived at the Silken Gardens with her half sisters and trained her whole life thus far, she's eighteen. She's not kissed a boy yet and has many things she wants to do, like seeing the world. Tylira sees her chance to experience many things and takes it. Though, she's stubborn in taking advice. She's struggling with her "magic" and she refuses to listen to a few things that could help her. This is something I think comes from the way she is raised, alone in the Silken Gardens, and treatment from others since her mother is said to be The Tazmin's least favorite wife. She is determined to be independent and free, though at times I would like to shack her to get her to listen. lol. I can see her being a character that readers could get frustrated with because of her decisions.

I like Amadera. I have mixed feelings of her as the book goes. I didn't like her at first. She's the High Tazmina's High Consort and acts all mighty. Even what she does to Tylira to get her to connect to the Common. Grrr. But, there is something more to Amadera, or so I think I see flashes of. Maybe Amadera thinks she's really helping Tylira and making her a stronger person for what may come in the future for Tylira.

The magic in this book is something I liked. They use heart stones to show when they have made a connection to The Common, and it shows clear with their color and power. I found I was attracted to the meditation spirit area that Tylira goes to speak to her ancestors. I looked forward to the moments when visiting these deceased ancestors. There is one ancestor that is a bit strange but interesting - An'alepp. She's an old woman who's a bit crazy. I kept trying to place the influence in the culture and world to something in our world. I just keep getting drawn into what's created here and love it.

There is a growing romance here. I like this kind of romance, when two people are thrown together and very individually strong. They work at a friendship first, then the rest follows. But they have to get through "other" things in their lives before they can trust and like each other.

Coming to the end of the book, it took a turn I hadn't expected. As much as I enjoyed the story, world, and character interaction, I found I was really sparked by this surprise. I thought back, thinking on what we learned through the book and where we ended up. There were hints given as we came here, not as much in the beginning but more so the closer we got. Very cool!

I thoroughly enjoyed this story for all the aspects and the turn at the end. I am ready to ride along with Tylira on her next adventure. I'm curious to see what comes and if she can learn what she must.

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review 2019-01-20 14:02
The Sound of Silence
The Sound of Silence - Myron Ulhberg

by Myron Uhlberg

 

Non-fiction

 

This is the story of a boy with normal hearing growing up with deaf parents and the issues that caused in a time when disability awareness was significantly less than it is now. It's a very personal story and the situation put a lot of responsibility onto a small child that was often stressful and at times heartbreaking.

 

Acting as an interpreter between his parents and the hearing world from the time he could talk, young Myron was sometimes put in the uncomfortable position between his father's temper flashes and people he didn't want to insult. Worse, when his younger brother developed epilepsy, he was the one who was expected to deal with seizures that his parents couldn't hear happening.

 

It was a lot to expect of a child and prevented him from having a normal childhood. Often the cruelty of ordinary people was such that they referred to the parents as "dummies" because they couldn't communicate in ways the general population were used to. It's an ongoing problem today with companies that only offer customer service by phone, assuming anyone deaf can afford specialist equipment for phone communication and not catering to the hard of hearing at all.

 

It was well written and gave insight into the life of a person born into unusual circumstances. I felt it ended at just the right point too, though I wonder how his parents got on after he grew up and moved away. I think this kind of story is useful for people to get insight into what it's like to grow up in a family where disability creates special circumstances, so those who haven't had this experience can develop empathy for the diversity of people who live among us.

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review 2019-01-20 10:58
"Casimir Bridge - Anghazi #1" by Darren D. Beyer - abandoned at 75%
Casimir Bridge (Anghazi Series) (Volume 1) - Darren Beyer

"Casimir Bridge" is an award-winning technothriller that combines deep space exploration and advanced technology with vicious corporate intrigue and global power struggles. The last thing I expected when I started this book, was to be abandoning it at 75%.

 

For me, the book got off to a weak start with a device I hate, a prologue. It was a short chapter that started in the middle of some action, ended with violence and was followed by a "One Week Earlier" heading before chapter two. The prologue wasn't badly done but I think it was a poor editing decision. To me, it shows a lack of confidence in either the reader or the writing. It says "let's show them some action at the beginning so we don't lose them while we're setting up."


I enjoyed the next part, which set up the good guys, the bad guys, and the likeable outsider to whom everything could be explained, in this case, a young reporter who actually investigates things. There was some explanation of the technology and a little world building. Then, for reasons I still don't understand, we headed off for a Zulu dance festival where our young reporter turns out to be part of the privileged elite. What that added to the plot or the characterisation still isn't clear to me.

 

By thirty-two per cent I was wondering if I would continue with the book. I liked the idea of intrigue on an interplanetary scale, larded with big dollops of hard science but I wasn't connecting with it on a personal level. Then the plot took a turn, our young reporter was rescued from a dire situation by a tall, dark and handsome, respectful, competent, quietly-alpha male and real thriller stuff started to happen at some speed.


So I continued, initially because I wanted to know what would happen next, and then because the science was interesting.

 

I stopped at seventy-five per cent when I realised I no longer had anything more than a mild curiosity about what would happen next.

 

When I'm reading a thriller, I expect to be keen to find out what happens and or be committed to the success of at least one character.. Neither the lead good guy nor the lead bad guy had much going for them to hold my interest. The politics was too superficial to offer any surprises and, although our young reporter still offered some interest, the action was constantly slowed while we examined some aspect of space technology.

 

More Larry Niven than Michael Crichton, "Casimir Bridge" does Hard SF well but struggles for traction as a thriller. If your main interest is in space science, spiced with strategy games, I think you'll have fun with this. If you really want a thriller, I doubt this will do it for you.

 

I read this as part of my Thirty Firsts reading challenge. This is a series I won't be continuing with.

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