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review 2018-08-05 12:28
Stale Spin-off: “The Grey Bastards” by Jonathan French
The Grey Bastards - Jonathan French

“Jackal ignored him, throwing his arms wide in a mock flummox. ‘The name escapes us. Anyway, he’s some inbred, overstuffed sack of shit that weds his cousins, fucks his sisters, and has small boys attach leeches to his tiny, tiny prick.’”

In “The Grey Bastards” by Jonathan French

Didn't Warcraft come about because they were originally developing a Warhammer game, then lost the license before publishing? Yes. Do we need another Warcraft book derivative with half-orcs and shit like that?


Many spin-offs or Plan Bs have become much bigger than the Plan A:

- The Playstation became much bigger than the N64, for whom Sony were developing a CD drive before they had a bust-up and Sony decided to do their own console

- Warcraft/WoW became many, many times bigger than Warhammer

If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.


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review 2018-06-15 21:26
Royal Bastards - Andrew Shvarts

This was an ambling read with a campy feel but didn't have much depth to it. The world building was decent. The characters were okay. There were a few incongruity issues and more than a few improbable outcomes to overwhelming situations and even a flat, unrealistic, jealous tantrum that seemed more awkward than passionate. Speaking of awkward, there was an uncomfortable "I am a step above disinterested if you are even breathing --> I will change who I am and what I believe in because my life now revolves around you" relationship- insert weird love scene in the middle of that mess.


All in all this read was... Meh.

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review 2017-12-13 20:47
Bastards by Mary Anna King
Bastards: A Memoir - Mary Anna King

This isn’t an awful book. But I’ll say the same thing I said last time I reviewed a memoir about an adoptee connecting with her biological family: it was written too soon. By which I mean both that it seems premature, with some of the most interesting parts of the story yet to be lived, and that it leaves out much of the information I wanted to know, likely because the author and her family weren’t yet comfortable sharing so much.

Mary Anna King has a complicated family: she is the second of seven siblings – all girls except for her older brother – whose father was unwilling and mother unable to raise them. The four youngest children were given up for adoption at birth, and the three oldest shunted around among family members in varying combinations; the author and her sister were adopted by their grandfather and his wife when she was 10. As they grew up, the sisters adopted at birth began to get in touch, until finally King met them all.

This is fertile ground for a memoir. And I think King is talented enough to produce an excellent memoir if the focus is right, but not so talented that she can write about anything and keep readers interested. The first third of the book is all about her early childhood, up to the age of 7. Aside from the question of how much of this she could really remember – she admits that a “memory” from age one is probably fabricated, but then proceeds to describe in detail events and her thoughts and opinions about them from age 2.5 – the material here just isn’t interesting enough to merit such length. The family is poor, the father is in and out, the mother has several pregnancies and adopts out the babies. There is nothing strikingly fresh or insightful in the author’s account. The bookjacket attempts to spice up this portion of the story by claiming the author was “raised in a commune of single mothers,” which she wasn’t. For a couple of years the mom and two oldest kids live in an apartment complex that happens to be full of single moms and their kids. That’s all.

But by spending more than half of the book on her childhood, King leaves precious little space for the things I wanted most to read about: the younger sisters’ lives, how they balanced their biological and adoptive families, and how everyone involved related to each other as adults. We do hear a little about the childhood and adopted family of one of the sisters adopted at birth; I wanted this and more for all of them. I wanted to know how their mother felt about watching her two youngest daughters grow up from a distance, without their knowing who she was. I wanted to know how the author really felt about her biological father. He disappears from the story after she goes to live with her grandparents at age 7, then calls her college dorm room expecting her to immediately resume the role of daughter and angry at her alleged bitterness over his never calling or sending presents. She denies this, but is no more candid with the reader than in her guarded email ending her relationship with him; it feels like she is still protecting herself a decade later in case he reads the book. Then she includes a detailed description of being molested by another child at the age of 5, and never says another word about it, unless you count mentions of not liking to be touched. When did she finally tell someone? With this and her family history, what were her romantic relationships like? She mentions a college boyfriend, describes him briefly and in positive terms, and has nothing else to say on the subject.

Of course, what I wanted from the book adds up to an incredible amount of vulnerability from the author and her family, which no reader has the right to demand. But if you are going to write a memoir on a very personal subject, I think you need to go all in on that subject; if you aren’t ready to do that, perhaps the memoir should wait. And this is in addition to the fact that one of most interesting parts of the story – how the relationships between all these long-lost siblings develop and how their history affects their adult lives – has only begun when the book ends. The author meets her youngest sister in the final chapter. Theoretically she could write a sequel one day, but unless you write like Maya Angelou you generally get one shot at a memoir, and Mary Anna King is no Maya Angelou.

Alternatively, if writing a very personal memoir was off the table, the author might have gone the intellectual route, reading up on adoption-related research to share with the reader. She raises the concern that her sisters adopted at birth haven’t necessarily gotten a better deal: they too have imperfect families, they wind up in a similar place educationally to the older three siblings, and they seem to spiral downward after meeting their biological family (or in one case, before). If the author can’t give us the details of her sisters’ lives, she could have gone broad, looking at outcomes for other adopted kids to discover how common this is. But there’s no research here either.

All that said, I read this book quickly, found it readable and basically enjoyed it. The author does a perfectly fine job with those parts of her adult life she does describe, some of which are quite personal. And of course, my reaction can’t predict those of readers for whom adoption is personal. Nevertheless, this is not a great memoir and it may preclude the author from writing a better one someday.

Final two comments: the title doesn't seem quite apropos when the parents were married, and there are unfortunately no pictures.

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review 2017-11-18 00:00
The Demon Shroud: Bastards of the Gods Dark Fantasy (Enthraller Book 1)
The Demon Shroud: Bastards of the Gods D... The Demon Shroud: Bastards of the Gods Dark Fantasy (Enthraller Book 1) - T. A. Miles *I received an eARC for review. This does not effect my review.*

I really enjoyed this one! I have been eagerly awating this title since May, and it did not dissapoint! Well written, the plot and characters held my attention and kept me wanting more! I'm excited to read more of this series!
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review 2017-11-03 12:02
Review For: Return to the House of Sin by Anabelle Bryant
Return to the House of Sin (Bastards of London, Book 4) - Anabelle Bryant

Return to the House of Sin by Anabelle Bryant is book Four in the "Bastards of London" series. This is the story of Crispin Daventry and Lady Amanda Beasley. I have read the previous book (LOVED THEM!) in this series but feel this is easily a standalone book.
Each time I read one of Ms Bryant's book I think this is my favorite one but then I read another one which takes its place. This book has everything you could want in a romance. The hurt hero looking to get his revenge while fighting to not love again...but then you meet a women who you can't resist. But you try to keep your walls up but each day you are with her she takes one down. The heroine is trying to prove that she is graceful and ladylike but keeps getting into one ungraceful situation after another. Then when her hero tries to help her he keeps telling her he isn't a good guy but she knows different. They each have been trying to be something they are not and fix what they think needs fixing within themselves. But then they learn what they have been trying to fix within themselves doesn't really need fixing when they are together.
I so loved Amanda and Crispin story....and the bonus was the secondary characters. They were great and I truly hope to see more of them soon!

Source: www.amazon.com/Return-House-Bastards-London-Book-ebook/dp/B06XXCV1SS/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1509290895&sr=1-1&keywords=Return+to+the+House+of+Sin+Anabelle+Bryant
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