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review 2018-06-13 02:02
Parallax by D. T. Dyllin
Parallax - D.T. Dyllin

Note: While this is Book 2 in the series, this works fine as a stand alone novel.

It was fun getting to know Tamzea in this novel. In Book 1, Starblind, she was a rather minor character. Here, she is center stage. Even as memories from her past haunt her dreams, her future lies rooted in that past. The Pittsburgh has bumped into an unexpected spacepod with an even more unexpected cargo. This cargo drags Tamzea back into a hell hole she once escaped.

Eron, Tamzea’s other half, has been trapped in that hell hole all these years. The two must figure out their escape together even as they decide on their new relationship. There’s plenty of sexy scenes in this book, as there was in Book 1. They are delightfully steamy even if some of them are rather brief.

This space opera is quick and breezy fun. Jane still has a role as captain. She’s got a whiny side when her mate, Ash, is off doing something, leaving her alone. Zula and Masha also put in appearances but their roles are small. I liked the new addition of Eron though I felt that most of the focus was on his most masculine attributes (especially during the sex scenes).

The pace is fast and well spaced between action scenes, sexy bits, and a little bit of character reflection or growth. The Denards continue to be the baddies in this series with little depth but I can live with that. While I did like Book 1 a little more, this was a good addition to the series. 3.5/5 stars.

The Narration: Ashley Holt continues to have a distinctive cadence in her narration. It’s not bad but it is an acquired taste. Since I was already familiar with her work from Starblind, I found her narration a good continuation for the series. Mostly, her character voices were distinct but sometimes they were muddied. Her male voices were masculine. Once again, I did speed up the narration just a touch (1.25X) as so many of the syllables are really drawn out. Increasing the speed made the narration sound more natural. 3.5/5 stars.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. This tour is being sponsored by Spectrum Audiobooks. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

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review 2018-06-13 01:04
The Final Enemy by Dan Petrosini
The Final Enemy - Dan Petrosini

Imagine Jack Amato as a older, boring, arrogant Peter Parker who never got bit by a crazy spider and became a super hero. I never really warmed up to Jack and he plays center stage for the entire story. He wants to be an investigative reporter but mostly he has contacts where he wheedles info out of people, through begging or guilt trips. I also simply found him boring. I don’t have to like the main character to find them interesting and get into their story (like in Brave New WorldWuthering Heights, or Breaking Bad).

The main premise of the story held promise. A mysterious meteorite has crashed into the Earth and it has a very fascinating power: it grants immortality to most humans. You can still be murdered or die in an accident and there are a few medical conditions it can’t cure. So initially, there’s the breaking of the story and figuring this out. Then we have the sharing of the meteorite so all can benefit. Finally, what happens to the world if the population greatly increases because birth rates remain the same but death rates greatly drop off. Yet there was very little science and I do love my science in my science fiction. What little science bits were included made me cringe. As a biologist, I felt the author was just tossing some genetics terms in there without really understanding what they meant.

The setting was very one dimensional. This story takes place in the later half of the 21st century. Initially, there’s a few remarks about self-driving cars and other tech but we never have any examples. Honestly, this story could take place in the 1980s since the future tech had no role in this story.

All the decisions are made by male characters. Laura (Jack’s girlfriend) and Jack’s granma are the two recurring female characters. They are there to provide support and not much else. Laura initially has her own life but that is quickly minimized. In fact, there’s a scene where Laura is talking with Jack where she tells him she doesn’t want to be eclipsed by him. That gave me a chuckle because that happened several chapters back.

My favorite parts of the story were all the different ways the US government attempted to keep everyone fed. Some of these were pretty straight forward, like limiting the number of births, while others were more radical (and therefore more interesting). There’s also little snippets about how other countries are handling this unexpected world tragedy. I did feel that the tale left some big ideas out such as what people would grow at home to supplement their diet (anything from veggies to mushrooms to insects).

All together, the story has an interesting underlying backbone but it was clumsily executed. The characters were one dimensional and boring. I wanted more science but would have been satisfied with awesome characters had they been there. The story does leave us on a cliffhanger with possible hope hanging ready for Book 2. 3.5/5 stars.

The Narration: Joseph Kidawski was a good pick for the voice of Jack Amato. He sounds like a corn-fed midwestern reporter and he did a decent job of putting emotion into Jack’s voice. His female character voices were feminine and all his characters were distinct. There were a few times where a sentence or two were repeated. Twice I noticed a slight change in volume. 4/5 stars.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Dan Petrosini. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

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text 2018-06-13 01:03
Reading progress update: I've read 7%.
Aliens Omnibus: Female War and Genocide: Female War, Genocide v. 2 (A dark horse science fiction novel) by Steve Perry (1996-01-02) - Steve Perry

Well that was horrifying. And not in the typical Aliens way.

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review 2018-06-10 08:06
Blood Rush
Blood Rush (Immortal Aliens Book 2) - Laura Diamond

I must start by saying that while it didn't influence my rating of the book, it must be the ugliest cover I've seen all year. I don't even understand how it fits into the book.

So, the Vie are still terrorizing the Earth and people who are anaemic provide a powerful drug the Vie like to get high on. In this conclusion to the story, it is time to bring the Aliens and the system down.

Like I said in my review of Dawn of the Vie, it has all been done before, but it is still very enjoyable. I liked the second book slightly less. The discovery of others and the power struggles in between the resistance are never my favourite parts. Still glad I read it though.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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review 2018-06-10 00:45
Inuyashiki (manga, vol. 1) by Hiroya Oku, translated by Stephen Paul
Inuyashiki, Vol. 1 - Hiroya Oku,Stephen Paul

Inuyashiki is a 58-year-old man who is unloved by everyone in his life. When he moves his family to a new home, all everyone does is gripe about it - how small the place is, how cheap he is, etc. He has a young son and teen daughter, both of whom are embarrassed by how old he is. They also don't respect him and don't bother to hide this fact. When Inuyashiki proposes that the family get a dog, no one will come with him, so he ends up selecting a Shiba, Hanako, on his own. It seems that Hanako is the only being in the world that Inuyashiki has to live for, until one fateful evening, when he and a teenage boy end up forever changed.

I picked up the first couple volumes of this in a Humble Bundle a while back. There's Humble Bundle with more volumes of this and other series up right now, and I'm still debating whether to get it.

 

This first volume of Inuyashiki didn't leave me wishing I had more in my collection. The characters were, for the most part, horrible. I doubt any of the people in Inuyashiki's family ever genuinely loved each other, and the world of this series seemed to be entirely populated with bullies. The only character I even vaguely liked was the dog, and something about this series makes me suspect that the dog isn't going to make it through the whole thing.

The artwork definitely wasn't to my taste. There was something slightly unsettling and repulsive about it, even before Inuyashiki discovered that there was something strange going on with his body. Maybe this was intentional, but the result was that I didn't really want to spend more time than necessary looking at pages and panels.

The sci-fi aspects were weird and a little hand-wavy. The goals of the beings Inuyashiki and Shishigami, the teenage boy, encountered were never stated outright, but they seemed to want to avoid causing a stir, or perhaps to avoid affecting humans with their appearance too much. Either way, they failed miserably, and their failure seems likely to grow more pronounced in later volumes.

I'm really not impressed with this series so far.

Extras: 

Two pages of translation notes.

 

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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