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review 2017-06-19 00:08
Phew, I Needed to Sit Down After Finishing This One
By Dana Stabenow Dead in the Water (Kate Shugak Mystery) (1st First Edition) [Mass Market Paperback] - Dana Stabenow

Wonderful edge of my seat action plus adventure on the frozen sea. I swear I thought I'd scream during several of the near death moments. Kate can be insanely strong ! Oh and i love the new character California surfer Andy.
Kate goes on a crabbing boat, one of the most dangerous jobs on earth to find out what happened to two missing/presumed dead crabbers. She faces a frozen angry ocean, meets an elder who teaches her much and faces some of her past. Holy smokes it's intense !
Now on to #4

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review 2017-03-19 07:54
The Matter of the Deserted Airliner by Steve Levi
The Matter of the Deserted Airliner: Ala... The Matter of the Deserted Airliner: Alaska Disappearing Crew and Passengers Caper - Steve Levi

The Matter of the Deserted Airliner by Steve Levi was a fast-moving mystery that kept me guessing. I like that in a book so I gave it four stars.

 

Chief of Detectives for the Sandersonville, North Carolina, Police Department, Captain Heinz Noonan is a well drawn, likeable character. Can he find out what happened to the ninety-five missing passengers and crew from Unicorn Airlines Flight 739 that landed in Anchorage, Alaska?

 

I received a complimentary Kindle copy from Publication Consultants and NetGalley. That did not change my opinion for this review.

 

Link to purchase: https://www.amazon.com/Matter-Deserted-Airliner-Disappearing-Passengers-Caper-ebook/dp/B01N10XKQZ

 

This is in pre-order status until April 4, 2017, so I could not post on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

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review 2017-03-04 08:23
Book Review: Looking for Alaska
Looking for Alaska - John Green

I love John Green, and I think he's a great writer. I just don't think his books are that great. This is my second by him, and once again I'm left underwhelmed. I feel like he takes cheap shots at tearjerkers, and I just can't stand that.

For the length of this book, it took me way too long to finish. I'm guessing that's because I felt no connection to the story or the characters... preferring to do other things instead. To be fair, it's also been a crazy week...

In this book, we follow from a 16 year old boy's perspective as he tries to navigate the minefield of teenage angst. Alaska is the manic-pixie-dreamgirl his life starts to revolve around, and while I like her passion and point of view most of the time, she is angsty, depressing and bitchy. Pudge is kind of a weirdo too... He collects famous last words and I'm pretty sure he was way too mature and not enough obsessed with sex for his age...

Disaster strikes (not what I was expecting to happen, though in hindsight I should have guessed), and we're left with a couple of teens trying to make sense of life and it's purpose... or lack thereof.

I guess this officially means I'm getting old, because I know for a fact I would have adored Alaska and wanted to have been just like her when I was 16. I would have gotten her. Now I could barely bring myself to care and found myself rolling my eyes at her dramatics. I wonder what it is that makes people grow out of that teenage angst phase... I sure as he'll don't think it's because you figure out what you're supposed to be and do, because I still don't know... but thank God I grew out of it, because it was horrible.

Anyway, while this book didn't blow my mind or leave me with a lasting heartache, it was a decent read and John's writing made it worth it in the end. I probably won't pick up any of his other work, but I still like him, and if he writes an adult novel I might consider that.

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review 2017-02-09 08:40
Niezły pomysł, sprawnie zrealizowany, czyli o "Barwie ciszy" Rosamund Lupton
Barwa ciszy - Rosamund Lupton

Oto książka, która po opisie wydaje się być po prostu kolejnym thrillerem, a faktycznie jest czymś o wiele, wiele więcej. Rosamund Lupton pod pozorem typowej dla gatunku zagadki oferuje nie tylko niepokój i zaciekawienie, ale także doskonale zarysowaną relację między trojgiem ludzi: małżeństwem i ich niesłyszącą córką.

 

Rzecz dzieje się na Alasce, a fabuła opowiada o wyprawie matki z dzieckiem do męża, pracującego nad filmem wśród śniegów. Początek jest bardzo dynamiczny - Yasmin i Ruby jeszcze dobrze nie wysiadły z samolotu, a tu już widać, że coś jest mocno nie tak, jak być powinno. Krok po kroku dowiadujemy się, że w wiosce, gdzie przebywa Matt był pożar i że wszyscy zginęli. Yasmin jednak nie potrafi ot tak, po prostu, przyjąć do siebie słów policji i decyduje się wyruszyć na północ i odszukać męża, przekonana, że on żyje.

 

Barwa ciszy jest w zasadzie o podróży. Usadowione w potężnym osiemnastokołowcu, Yasmin i Ruby, bez żadnego doświadczenia, jedynie przy pomocy inteligencji matki oraz ogromnej sile jej woli pokonują kilometr za kilometrem. Rosamund Lupton z wdziękiem i sporym talentem opisuje coraz bardziej klaustrofobiczną wędrówkę, z bohaterkami praktycznie uwięzionymi w ciężarówce, gdy dookoła nie dość, że temperatury wynoszą minus czterdzieści stopni, to jeszcze wydaje się, że ktoś im próbuje utrudnić wyprawę, a może nawet śledzi.

 

Istotą książki jest relacja matki z córką, która nie słyszy, zatem kontakt z nią wygląda nieco inaczej, jest utrudniony. Język migowy się sprawdza, ale jak migać, gdy obie ręce należy trzymać na kierownicy potężnego wozu, dodatkowo w rękawicach z powodu przerażającego mrozu? Autorka jednak oferuje sporo rozwiązań tej sytuacji, a czytelnik angażuje się totalnie, także ze względu na dopracowaną narrację. O Yasmin bowiem opowiada trzecioosobowy narrator, jednak fragmenty o Ruby poznajemy prosto od niej, w pierwszej osobie. Książka potrafi także wzruszyć, gdy autorka tak sprawnie przedstawia relację między bohaterkami, jak każda próbuje dbać o tę drugą, na swój własny sposób.

 

Doskonała powieść, opowiadająca także w tle sporo o Alasce i problemach, z jakimi muszą sobie radzić jej mieszkańcy. I nie mówię tu o zimnie, ciemności i śniegu, ale korporacjach i wydobyciu ropy naftowej, której pod Alaską jest potężna ilość. W grę zatem wchodzą ogromne pieniądze, a gdzie są pieniądze, tam coraz mniej rozsądku i empatii.

 

Jedyną wadą, jaką zauważyłem, jest chyba jednak zbyt duża inteligencja Ruby, która doprawdy momentami nie zachowuje się jak dziesięciolatka a ktoś przynajmniej o pięć lat starszy. Sama końcówka książki także nie oferuje takiego poziomu, jak pozostała jej część, jednak wyprawa jest tak fascynująca, że naprawdę wady te są wręcz drobne na tle całości. Z pewnością wrócę do książek Rosamund Lupton, niech tylko pozostałe dwie jak na razie wydane powieści ukażą się w formie elektronicznej.

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review 2016-11-24 09:47
Science,horror, fantasy, paranormal and plenty of action
Hell Holes: What Lurks Below - Donald G. Firesmith

I received a free ARC copy of the book and I voluntarily decided to review it. I am also sharing this review as part of Rosie’s Book Review Team.

Hell Holes is an intriguing book and one difficult to classify. Set in Alaska, the prologue already gives us a hint about what is to come, but once we start reading the account written by Professor Jack Oswald, we get taken in by the mystery of the holes, and by the hypotheses suggested, sending us in the direction of science-fiction. The explanations and the possible scenarios are plausibly rendered and the fact that Oswald’s wife, Angie, studies the effect of climate change, add to the interest, although that line of investigation doesn’t last long.

The plot turns soon when the holes prove to be dangerous in more ways than one, and paranormal and fantastic elements become more important as the plot moves on. There are also horror elements, like the monsters and the destruction and killings, and we do get more than a few hair-raising moments.

As often happens with some of these genres, there is a fair amount of exposition, regarding the set-up of the different pump stations and oil fields, and later about the supernatural elements (as one of the characters is revealed to be completely different to what we thought at first sight). As there is a description of the different Hell inhabitants later on after the end of the story, it might feel somewhat repetitive.

The book is also very short, even more than it looks like when we check the pages, as the end comes at around 80% of the book length, and the rest is taken by a summary/description, a cast of hell characters, a brief biography of the author and a longish sample of the next book, that follows (with a slight overlap) from the first one. From the sample, we see that the second book in the series is narrated by Professor Oswald’s wife.

The novel (novella) is plot-driven, and once the chase is on, the book moves quickly and never lets off, and we don’t have much chance to notice that we do not know the characters in detail, and there is plenty of room for development. The first person narration would seem to allow for a more in depth knowledge of the main character, but although there are some glimpses of guilty feelings and a strong sense of responsibility that make Oswald come across as a good man, this is after all supposed to be an account written by him for other eyes, to do with facts not feelings, and it does not dwell much on subjective matters. There might be time to get to know the characters more during the series but one suspects that the action will continue taking pride of place in the next novels.

There are series where it doesn’t matter where you start reading (or it matters less and it’s possible to read any novel and enjoy it in its own right without feeling you’re missing the context). This is not the case here, as although the story seems to be told from different points of view in the different books, it is all the same story. And in case you hate cliff-hangers, the book ends up in a worrying twist/hook. But, fear not, because if you read the sample of the next book at the end, at least that hook is solved.

The book is an easy and quick read and an action-filled one that you’ll imagine as a TV series or a movie with no difficulty. If you’re a stickler for specific genres and strong characters it might not suit you, and you might question some of the details, but if you’re looking for an entertaining read that moves easily between genres, and don’t mind investing in a series, give it a try.

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