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review 2017-07-22 03:45
[Book Review] Curse Words, Volume 1
Curse Words Vol 1: The Devil's Devil - Charles Soule,Ryan Browne

A dark wizard has come to our realm to destroy our world for his master... and decides to become a hero (or something) instead.  Clearly nothing can go wrong with this plan.  Clearly.

Yeah... things go wrong.  In a splashy, chaotic, rock music video sort of way.  All in the company of talking rat/koala/being that's a bit more charismatic and moral than Wizord.  Probably for the best.

Entertaining and unhinged.


Advanced Reader Copy copy courtesy of Image Comics; differences may exist between uncorrected galley text and the final edition.

Source: libromancersapprentice.blogspot.com/2017/07/book-review-curse-words-volume-1.html
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review 2017-07-20 21:51
[Book Review] Meddling Kids
Meddling Kids: A Novel - Edgar Cantero

Scooby-Doo meets H.P. Lovecraft.  With an absolutely fantastic cover.

If you want to read someone singing praises of this story it's not hard to find (NPR: In 'Meddling Kids,' The Scooby Gang Grows Up — Hard, USA Today: 'Scooby-Doo' fans will dig Cantero's 'Meddling Kids').

My reactions are a bit muddled, and probably more in line with the Kirkus review.

Is the book fun?  Undoubtedly.  Familiar enough to evoke Scooby-Doo, but different enough to skirt violation of intellectual property.  Even better, Cantero has injected some actual diversity and complexity to the characters.  In true Scooby-Doo fashion, even as they encounter horrors from the gates beyond, the story holds fast as an adventure rather than a horror or thriller.

My copy was a pre-publication galley, so I'm not sure how much has changed in the final publication, but as I still lack access to the final piece, I have to go forward with the above caveat.  Cantero has chosen to drop in and out of narrative voice and style, with parts of the book written as a script instead of as a novel.  Other parts the narrative includes run on sentences masquerading as paragraphs that make my eyes cross.  I truly hope those parts received excessive editorial attention.

The whole story has a fun, tongue-in-cheek aspect in regards to action movies, particularly those it appears to be a script for.  It definitely gives some fun moments.

My biggest response to this  novel is "how can I turn this into a Call of C'thulhu scenario?"  This would be loads of fun to play as a game, and only require minimal juggling to make it work (the biggest issue is probably how to balance attention to players with Peter's ghost, and possibly to consider Nate "mythos hardened" against certain things).

So, overall, the book was fun, but when I sit back it lacks something.  Elements of fun, but I felt I was promised something with more substance and creeping horror.

I still absolutely adore the cover though.

Advanced Reader Copy courtesy of Doubleday; differences may exist between uncorrected galley text and the final edition.

Source: libromancersapprentice.blogspot.com/2017/07/book-review-meddling-kids.html
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review 2017-06-27 04:08
[Book Review] Wired
Wired - Julie Garwood

FBI Agent Liam Scott knows there's a security leak, and he's sure it's from inside the agency.  Enter the gorgeous and too smart to be believed Allison Trent, a brilliant programmer who takes refuge from her manipulative family in code.  Scott learns enough about Trent to know that she is in a class of her own when it comes to coding and hacking skills, and believes that they need someone from the outside to find the leak.  Trent is a little less enthusiastic, she knows she can do it, but regardless of intent she's done quite a bit of illegal hacking that could get her into serious trouble.  Even if that hacking has resulted in the return of millions of dollars and the apprehension of scammers by the FBI and other agencies.  But there's more to the crimes she faces down than just lines of code, and things start hitting close to home, while Scott and Trent struggle with keeping things if not professional, at least casual between them.


I can definitely see where Garwood has a dedicated audience, but I felt the story lacked in suspense, romance, and comprehension of technology.  The idea of a perfect firewall (or firewall equivalent) that you never have to update is a great one... but here's the thing, computer systems and  programs aren't static.  So her program kind of has some glaring flaws.  The hacking was all a little Swordfish-esq to me as well, but that could just be me nitpicking.  As for the suspense, it was pretty obvious what the threat(s) were, even with some minor red herrings.  The romance goes from "no strings" and lots of dramatic anguish (and hurt feelings)... to an immediate "I love you, lets get married" without any addressing or resolution of the significant hurt and issues between them.  The sex happened to hit a few of the cliches I find annoying, such as going from never having ever experienced an orgasm to a earth-shattering one like magic.

Advance Reader Copy courtesy of Penguin RandomHouse in exchange for an honest review; changes may exist between galley and the final edition.

Source: libromancersapprentice.blogspot.com/2017/06/book-review-wired.html
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text 2017-06-16 18:14
cliche check: first orgasm
Wired - Julie Garwood

At least she's not a virgin, but OF COURSE she easily has her first orgasm ever and it's world-shatteringly amazing with almost no effort on either of their parts.  ~eye roll~

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review 2017-06-16 02:24
Sometimes things just work...
Arrows Through Archer - Nash Summers

I have to admit I'm head over heels in love with this book and honestly I'm not totally sure how to explain why, so I'm probably going to just ramble a little here.

 

Have you ever read a book and loved it just really loved it and had someone ask you why? And then you find that you don't really have a definitive reason. All you can say is 'because I did' that's pretty much what I'm feeling here. I know I've read books that are as good maybe even better but they didn't connect with me the way this one did. They didn't make me feel the way this one did. 

 

Was it well written? Obviously I think it was and truthfully from as objective of a viewpoint as I can give I'm sure it was. Have I read books that were written better? Probably, I've been reading for around 50 years now so I'm sure there's a good chance that I've read books that technically speaking were better written and some of them I'm sure I liked as much or more than this one but I also know that there a fair number that I probably couldn't tell you much more about them, than the author's name and the book title, partly because it's been a long time since I read them but mostly because they didn't make a place in my heart the way this one did.

 

So what else do I know about this for sure, well I know I reallyliked the characters...

 

Archer grabbed my heart and shredded it from the first page and he also made me want to mother him...yep, it's milk and cookies time. He's had some really crappy things happen in his life and he's struggling so hard to deal with it all and I felt that. I mean seriously felt it. It was like a sucker punch to my heart.

 

And Mallory. He's the father of Archer's best friend, Danny. Mallory's fighting his own emotional demons, but when Danny drags Archer home for Thanksgiving, Mallory finds he likes his company and the two men become comfortable with each other almost immediately...no we're not talking insta-love or even lust here and that's probably one of the things that I can clearly say contributed to how much I liked this book.

 

The comfort level between these men, while it was quickly established it wasn't an excessive over the top thing. It was that day to day thing that happens to any of us when we meet a person. I know every time I meet a new person how comfortable I feel with them varies. The first time I met my best friend we started chatting like we'd known each other for years there was no awkwardness, we just started talking. The same with one of my son's friends from the minute he walked into our home he became one of my kids and yet ironically my son's partner and I took time to get to that level of comfort...don't get me wrong I adore that girl and heaven help anyone who hurts her because I am a momma lion and she is as much mine as my son is. Ok, I think I've made my point and hopefully it explains a bit about why I loved this story so much...simply put it was little things like this that added realism to the story for me. 

 

On a more obvious l note and just one more little thing that added to my enjoyment was the setting, most of this story takes place in Banff, Alberta, CANADA and if you know anything about me you know that I am Canadian and Banff is practically in my backyard it's less than a 10 hour drive so of course I've been there...I've been to the Tim Horton's that Mallory and Archer went to for coffee...l know if you've read the book you're probably thinking this girls crazy there is no mention of Tim Horton's but you see there is...Mallory went through a drive-thru window and ordered Timbits and 2 regular coffees and there's only one place in Banff that you can do that.  I know that every book can't be set in Canada and certainly not in places that I'm familiar with but needless to say when they are I also know that I can enjoy the hell out of it and I did.

 

I'm not sure where this author makes her home but if she's not from the Banff, Alberta area. She's either spent some time there or does really good research because her descriptions totally nailed the beauty of the place and I really just want to say thank you for that Ms Summers it was yet another little thing that added to my love of this story.

 

'Arrows Through Archer' is not my first read from this author but it is definitely my favorite and one that I honestly hope to revisit. There was a balance to this one that I often look for in a story...there were bad times...heartache, sadness and loss, but there was also good stuff...love, joy and hope. It balanced and when it's done right like it was here the overall tone of the story creates a warm and harmonious imprint on my heart in a way that while hard to define is still very solid and real.  

 

So that's my ramble. I have some very definite things that I know made this story enjoyable but truthfully those things aren't what I connected so strongly with, they helped but it wasn't what sealed the deal for me. I think it comes down to the fact that sometimes things just work and just like with the people in our lives we love who and what we love and reasons aren't really necessary.

 

********************

An ARC of 'Arrows Through Archer' was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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