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review 2018-08-14 09:19
Munteres Geschichten-Stapeln
Girl of Nightmares - Kendare Blake

Im Frühling 2016 wurde bekannt, dass Kendare Blake die Filmrechte von „Anna Dressed in Blood“ an Stephenie Meyer verkaufte. Die Produktionsfirma der „Twilight“-Autorin legte sofort los, benannte Regisseurin, Drehbuchautorin und einen Teil des Casts. Seitdem wurde es still um das Projekt. Vielleicht wurde „Anna Dressed in Blood“ einfach nur hinter Meyers Serien-Realisierung ihres Romans „The Chemist“ zurückgestellt – vielleicht wurde die Verfilmung aber auch gecancelt. Wir haben ja schon oft erlebt, dass solche Projekte im Sande verlaufen. Für mich hat der Film allerdings ohnehin keine Priorität, obwohl ich mir vorstellen könnte, ihn mir anzusehen. Die Fortsetzung „Girl of Nightmares“ war definitiv wichtiger.

 

Cas, Carmel und Thomas verdanken ihre Leben einem Geist: Anna Korlov, besser bekannt als Anna Dressed in Blood. Sie opferte sich, um die drei zu schützen und zog den schrecklichen Obeahman hinab in die Hölle. Cas weiß, dass Carmel und Thomas die beängstigenden Ereignisse dieser Nacht hinter sich lassen möchten, doch er kann nicht vergessen, was Anna für sie getan hat. Er kann nicht aufhören, an sie zu denken. Er träumt oft von ihr – blutige, unheimliche Albträume. Als er beginnt, Anna auch tagsüber zu sehen, zweifelt er an seinem Verstand. Die Visionen sind verstörend; sie wirkt gequält, gehetzt und verzweifelt. Ist es möglich, dass es sich gar nicht um Halluzinationen handelt? Versucht Anna, um Hilfe zu rufen? Sofort ist Cas fest entschlossen, Anna zu retten. Die einzigen, die ihm einen Weg in die Hölle weisen können, sind die Mitglieder des mysteriösen Ordens, der sein Athame erschuf. Diese verfolgen allerdings ganz eigene Pläne, für die Cas nicht unbedingt überleben muss. Und in der Hölle wartet schon der Obeahman auf ihn…

 

Überflüssig. Hätte man auch sein lassen können. Ich hatte keine hohen Erwartungen an „Girl of Nightmares“, weil mich bereits der erste Band „Anna Dressed in Blood“ nicht vom Hocker riss. Aber ich habe schon angenommen, dass sich einige Fragen, die der Vorgänger offengelassen hatte, klären würden. Beispielsweise, welch merkwürdige Beziehung Cas‘ Familie zu dem Athame hat und ob sie die einzigen Jäger auf der Welt sind. Gibt es nur Geister und Hexen, oder auch Monster? Vampire, Werwölfe, Banshees? Und wie kann es eigentlich sein, dass Cas‘ Mutter einverstanden ist, ihren minderjährigen Sohn auf Geisterjagd zu schicken und ihn ihr Leben bestimmen zu lassen? „Girl of Nightmares“ beantwortet keine dieser Fragen zufriedenstellend. Es fügt der Geschichte nichts hinzu, was ich hätte wissen müssen, beleuchtet keine Hintergründe und fühlte sich irritierend losgelöst vom ersten Band an. Obwohl die Handlung an „Anna Dressed in Blood“ anknüpft, hatte ich den Eindruck, Kendare Blake hätte einfach nur eine weitere Geschichte auf die erste gestapelt, statt erläuternde Verbindungen zwischen den Bänden herzustellen, die das Verständnis erweitern. Vielleicht wollte sie das gar nicht, vielleicht wollte sie zwei weitgehend eigenständige Geschichten erzählen, doch ich hatte mit unter der Fortsetzung eben etwas anderes vorgestellt. Unsere Prioritäten liegen offenbar recht weit auseinander. Während ich Hintergrundwissen als deutlich wichtiger als Action einstufe, scheint Blake handfeste Szenen zu lieben und schreibt lieber übernatürliche Prügeleien, anstatt Details in einen Kontext zu setzen. Trotz dessen bemühte sie sich, die Horroraspekte der Fortsetzung eher aus der psychischen, als aus der physischen Perspektive anzugehen. Es gelang ihr, eine ansatzweise gruselige Atmosphäre heraufzubeschwören, die meine Vorstellungkraft allerdings nicht auf eine Achterbahnfahrt des Grauens schickte. Für meinen Geschmack ging sie definitiv zu zaghaft vor. Als Cas beginnt, Visionen von Anna zu haben, besucht sie ihn eines Nachts. Ein gequälter, gefolterter Geist steht plötzlich an seinem Bett. Doch statt das unheimliche Potential der Situation voll auszuspielen, lässt Kendare Blake die beiden reden. Sie reden! Schnarch. Ich fand „Girl of Nightmares“ aufgrund solcher Szenen ziemlich langweilig und war enttäuscht, dass sich meine Schwierigkeiten mit Cas, die ich im ersten Band kritisiert hatte, leider nicht legten. Ich halte ihn noch immer für einen arroganten Kotzbrocken. Es ist ja ganz toll, dass er mittlerweile erkannte, dass Freunde eine praktische Sache sind, aber sein Mangel an Demut stieß mir weiterhin sauer auf. Er interessiert sich nur für Anna, die Schicksale anderer Geister sind ihm so gut wie gleichgültig. Außerdem verstehe ich einfach nicht, was an ihm so besonders ist. Er hat keine speziellen Kräfte, sein einziges Ass im Ärmel ist das Athame, das jeder andere Mensch ebenfalls führen könnte. Was qualifiziert ausgerechnet ihn als Geisterjäger? Kendare Blake schaffte es nicht, mich von seinem Sonderstatus zu überzeugen, weshalb ich das gesamte Buch in Frage stellte. Nicht einmal der finale Showdown, für den die Autorin wieder den Obeahman als Endgegner hervorzerrte, vermochte die Lektüre für mich zu retten. Das offene Ende war schlicht unbefriedigend, weil es die Geschichte nicht wirklich abschließt. Wir erfahren nicht, was aus Cas und seinem Familienauftrag wird. Kendare Blake dreht sich einfach um und geht.

 

Wenn ihr „Girl of Nightmares“ mit der Erwartungshaltung lest, lediglich ein weiteres Abenteuer mit dem Geisterjäger Cas zu erleben zu wollen, kann euch diese Fortsetzung sicher glücklich stimmen. Erwartet ihr hingegen Erklärungen, wie es bei mir der Fall war, wird euch das Buch enttäuschen. Die Handlung bietet zwar durchaus neue Informationen, aber ein Erkenntniszuwachs blieb aus. Es fühlte sich an, als hätte Kendare Blake Neues begonnen, bevor das Alte abgearbeitet war, was dadurch unter den Tisch fallen musste. Ich mochte diese Herangehensweise nicht. Daher verabschiede ich mich jetzt kurz, schmerzlos und unzeremoniell von der „Anna“-Dilogie und widme mich wieder dem Original. Supernatural, ich komme.

Source: wortmagieblog.wordpress.com/2018/08/14/kendare-blake-girl-of-nightmares
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review 2018-08-13 21:12
From where do all those 5* ratings come from I will never understand
A Scoundrel by Moonlight - Anna Campbell

"Dear God, wait until she saw his cock. If his chest made her nervous, she’d run screaming once she caught sight of it. He wasn’t a monster. He knew he was in proportion. But his proportions were notably generous. He’d managed previous encounters without injuring his partners, but Eleanor was a virgin. Perhaps he should ask her to close her eyes when he removed his breeches."

 

 

What a load of bollocks. 

 

Yeah, I've said it. This is hands down the worst book of this series and it just had to come at the very end so it left such a vile taste in my mouth. All those people leaving 5* reviews have clearly: 1. never read a good book, 2. have been hit in the head, 3. are taking some kind of drugs, 4. have amnesia of everything that is good and right about this world. 5. have never encountered the word love or romance in their lives, 6. are personally associated with the author and/or were given books in exchange for better reviews or for some reason 7. like everything that is wrong about historical romance genre.

 

Right, so I got that out of my system, wonderful. First of all, the title doesn't suit this book at all. Who exactly is this scoundrel in the title... the righteous honourable selfless Lord Leath or very prim and proper Miss Trim... they are both so very scoundrelish that I simply cannot decide. Secondly, dear author, if you had no idea what to do next, you didn't have to force this quick cash grab just to have something published. Because this is exactly what I have said, a quick cash grab, adding one more character to the Sons of Sin series (that only had bastards of the ton originally which is why it is called The Sons of Sin... explain to me how exactly is Lord Leath, a legitimate child of a famous honourable praised influential family a son of sin exactly??? ).

 

I won't dawdle on this too much, it's clear that my opinion is in the minority here but it just irks me so to have my time wasted intentionally. I read this book only because I have read the previous ones, I like the sons of sin idea, but how the hell does Leath fit into this at all??? I am so tired and exhausted after dragging this read throughout this week.

 

This book is so dry, there is not one original thought in it, there is nothing that would make me find it at least a bit redeemable, even the godforsaken sex scenes were so dry I am surprised they didn't turn into dust and got blown away with the wind. This just follows the same formula, get two people who are not society's ideal couple into a perilous situation and they will eventually get together, and I mean eventually, like after a thousand years it seemed, if I would have to read one more line of inner thoughts about how I love him so much but I would just be a burden to him and would tarnish his reputation I would stab my eyes with a fork. Hopefully a very dull fork. Pain would be such a relief at that point.

 

Everything in this book is wrong, it is so CONTRIVED it honestly leaves me lost for words at times. If this just so conveniently didn't happen in this convenient accidental place because of that totally convenient not at all contrived reason with the help of that convenience and simply pissing on reader's intelligence this oh so convenient love might not turn out to be so convenient after all.

 

First half of the book Eleanor Trim so wants to marry Lord Leath but he can just have her as his mistress. The second part of the book Lord Leath begs Eleanor Trim to marry him but she keeps on refusing saying it is for his own good. Honestly... *sigh. And their so well thought out reasons and feelings shift in less than a second. Without any explanation. Just ah, yes, for two hundred fucking pages I have been saying no to marrying you because I am a poor nobody and I would ruin your career and your mother would hate you and you would no longer have a place in society but now that I was in one stupid perilous situation I totally want to marry you and all the reasons against it just simply vanish. Why would we mention such silly things as me ending your political career or me hurting the health of your frail mother even more or me making you a laughingstock of the ton... what reasons? This is fiction, people, reasons have no place in historical romance genres you know. Yeah, I am being sarcastic and after everything this book has put me through I think I have a right to be.

 

Did I mention that the awkward dry scene of him taking her virginity lasts for 21 pages? I didn't? Oh, well, let me correct that. So yes, their first sex scene together, without the flirtation before that mind you, takes 21 pages of the book, and I will add to that that immediately after this sex scene finishes, another one starts as soon as they wake up and it lasts for another 6 pages. 27 pages of the awkward humping. Lord give me strength, and no, I do not mean Lord Leath in this instance.

 

The worst thing is that the one thing that keeps them together, this misunderstanding without which they would never have stayed together, is the most contrived thing in the history of contrived things. Lord Neville's henchman, Greengrass, fellow from one of the previous books, has kept the diary of Lord Neville's detailed deflowering and consequent sex encounters with many women across England. He goes through the list and keeps on having sex with those same women and he also blackmails them into giving him money. Eleanor initially thought Leath was the one who did all those deflowerings because apparently Neville used his nephew's name in his evil wrongdoings and it is never explained why really. He was his family, if anyone found out his name would be tainted too, it doesn't matter that he might have thought Leath was acting all too good and proper. Makes no freaking sense. And now this Greengrass wants Leath to pay up for not making the diary public. And they arrange to meet at some tavern or whatever and Leath has all of the 'bastards' with him when they thoroughly inspect the place one day in advance and make note of all the exists and surroundings. And what do you think happens? CONTRIVANCE, that's what. They missed to notice a third exit and a whole freaking back alley where it leads to, not to mention the escape and tunnels from the cellar... where were they looking? Alternate universe??? And they clearly say this:

 

"...sidling to bring the end of the alley into view. It was ominously empty. How the hell had they missed this exit? Last night, he and the others had thoroughly checked the inn. He’d have laid money that they’d counted every door and window." - p.244 look it up if you don't believe me. Most intelligent, cunning, brave, influential men of the Society and they missed an entire back ally of the establishment. I have to say that is an achievement in itself truly.

 

 

I will stop now. My head hurts so much from all this nonsense. My suggestion? Read the other books in the series (my favourite is about the Hillbrooks), pretend this one doesn't exist. If anyone happens to wonder why I still haven't left reviews of the other books in the series, the reason is that I wanted to read all of the books before leaving reviews and since I ended with this one and this one made me so angry I wanted to start with this one whereas reviews are concerned and put it out of mind as quickly as possible.

 

And if you wonder why after all that I ranted about I am still giving this book 2*? The answer to that is simple and will always remain the same. Because it is still better than Twilight and 50 Shades of Grey.

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review 2018-08-13 20:26
4 Out Of 5 "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger" STARS
Alex, Approximately - Jenn Bennett

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~BOOK BLURB~

Alex, Approximately

Jenn Bennett

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The one guy Bailey Rydell can’t stand is actually the boy of her dreams—she just doesn’t know it yet.

 

Classic movie fan Bailey “Mink” Rydell has spent months crushing on a witty film geek she only knows online as Alex. Two coasts separate the teens until Bailey moves in with her dad, who lives in the same California surfing town as her online crush.

 

Faced with doubts (what if he’s a creep in real life—or worse?), Bailey doesn’t tell Alex she’s moved to his hometown. Or that she’s landed a job at the local tourist-trap museum. Or that she’s being heckled daily by the irritatingly hot museum security guard, Porter Roth—a.k.a. her new archnemesis. But life is a whole lot messier than the movies, especially when Bailey discovers that tricky fine line between hate, love, and whatever it is she’s starting to feel for Porter.

 

And as the summer months go by, Bailey must choose whether to cling to a dreamy online fantasy in Alex or take a risk on an imperfect reality with Porter. The choice is both simpler and more complicated than she realizes because Porter Roth is hiding a secret of his own: Porter is Alex…Approximately.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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I was worried, despite the multitude of glowing reviews that I would find this annoying and juvenile, but it was actually quite good.   It might have felt like it was even going in that direction, early on.  But it soon became a story of substance.  After reading the blurb above, it comes off as being a story about IM's between two people, but that’s really only a small portion of the story.  Overall, the story has a lot more to offer than that and it was a really sweet and worthwhile listening experience.

 

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~MY RATING~

4STARS - GRADE=B+

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 4.2/5

Main Characters~ 4/5

Secondary Characters~ 4/5

The Feels~ 3.8/5

Pacing~ 4/5

Addictiveness~ 4/5

Theme or Tone~ 4/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 4/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 4.5/5

Originality~ 4/5

Ending~ 3.8/5

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Book Cover~ It's Okay…but it doesn't represent the story.

Narration~ Amy Melissa Bentley

Setting~ Coronado Cove, California

Source~ Audiobook (Library)

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review 2018-08-13 19:38
Aru Shah and the End of Time
Aru Shah and the End of Time (A Pandava Novel Book 1) (Pandava Series) - Roshani Chokshi

The first book in a planned quartet by Roshani Chokshi. I thought this was wonderful and could see this being a life long favorite with children just like His Dark Materials and Harry Potter. Aru Shah is a heroine for the ages and I was so reluctant to put this book down. Not going to lie, there were a few rough spots here and there with flow and a few times I may have went, well this just seems like an obstacle to keep the story going. I loved the mythology, the characters, and the setting. Any book that returns to the Night Bazaar is always going to be an instant win for me.


"Aru Shah and the End of Time" is about 12 year old Aru Shah. She and her mother live in a museum (I know, I may have squealed with delight) called the Museum of Ancient Indian Art and Culture in Atlanta, Georgia (I maybe squealed again). Aru feels a bit lost. Her mother is always gone looking for antiquities, she is at a new school where she feels like she doesn't fit in, and she lies (and feels bad about it). One of her lies catches up to her and three of her classmates arrive at the museum to confront her. Feeling pressured, Aru does something she has been told to never do, she lights the Lamp of Bharata which causes her world to turn upside down. Soon Aru finds out she is one of a reincarnation of brothers (soul, not biological)  who are children of the gods. Aru is to seek out her fellow family and see about going against someone called "The Sleeper" before he wakes Lord Shiva and the world ends.

 

Aru made me laugh. However, will admit that at times I got frustrated with her. Her trying to make excuses for her lies didn't really sit well with me. Chokshi has her face some repercussions for that, but still. She also does something I thought was a necessary cruelty that sounds like it's going to come back at her later in her life. I honestly don't know what choice I would have made.

 

Not going to lie though, my favorite in this story had to be her fellow soul sister Mina. Mina is me all over. The two of them going off on a quest to save their families and the world was great. I also maybe laughed at the dismay everyone had that girls were doing the saving of the world thing and not boys.


Aru due to being kept in the dark about her past is going purely on instinct. Mina is going based on the fact that her family has known about the pandavas. I also loved that Mina is Filipino and Indian. Her talking about her family and grandmothers was pretty cute. 

 

We have other characters we meet (gods, their chariots, The Sleeper, the Seasons, and the two sisters teacher/mentor/flying pigeon called Boo).

 

I do have to say that it was kind of a cop out for Chokshi to show us parts of Aru's mother's history but not have them discuss it. 

 

The writing was so good. I became familiar with some of the figures mentioned in this book because I have read and devoured "The Star-Touched Queen" "A Crown of Wishes" and "Star-Touched Stories." 


The flow wasn't that great though after the initial start, I think the chapter endings needed to be tighter IMO. It did feel after a while though a little bit to me that Chokshi threw too much in this first book. It just read as overly long in places. Plus a few times Aru and Mina would be upset with each other and it felt like it was just done away with too fast. I get it's the first book though so I let that go.


This book is the same setting as the "Star-Touched Queen" series. We hear about the Night's Bazaar (and get to see it again too!) but we get a new adventure that we realize is going to be dealing with these mythical brothers (now girls it seems) who are going to be reunited. We also get an inkling that something dark may be coming for Aru. 

 

The ending set things up nicely for the next book in the series, very interested to see where that book goes next. 

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review 2018-08-13 10:41
Star Wars: Ahsoka
Star Wars Ahsoka - E.K. Johnston

It was probably a coincidence, but at the same time, Ahsoka had been around long enough to know that coincidence and the Force rarely went together. There was always some sort of link.

 

When Lucas created the Force, did he know he’d be forcing countless future authors into lazy (if entertaining) writing? Force Ex Machina: the easiest way to get your characters from point A to point B. For example:

 

Ahsoka – “I’m going to hide on this tiny Outer Rim agricultural moon that couldn’t possibly be of immediate interest to the Empire.”

 

Empire – “We are immediately interested in this tiny Outer Rim agricultural moon because reasons.”

 

OMG, WHAT ARE THE ODDS?! (Never tell me the odds!) The Force is to Star Wars books what London fog is to cozy mysteries, and the number of Force non-coincidences in this book is high.

 

Blatant for(c)eshadowing aside, I was hoping for an entertaining account of what Ahsoka got up to between her last appearance in The Clone Wars (which I absolutely recommend watching before reading this novel) and her first appearance in Rebels, and this delivers. Mostly. The climactic confrontation was a bit meh. Based on this book, I’d say writing action isn't E.K. Johnston’s strong suit. Her characterization is pretty good, though, so I’m looking forward to her upcoming Padmé novel.

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