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review 2018-09-20 13:19
Book Review - Christmas in Paradise by Deborah Brown - Paradise Series
Christmas in Paradise (Paradise Series) - Deborah Brown

Book Review - Christmas in Paradise by Deborah Brown - Paradise Series (Florida Keys Mystery Series Book 13) 'An absolute gem from Deborah Brown again.'....

"What can go wrong in Paradise over Christmas? Well. if you have met Fab and Madison before you will not be surprised and if it’s your first time with them you will be drawn into their crazy world. When a Santa Suited robber takes a liking to robbing banks our duo are drawn into another adventure. As usual they plans and actions don’t run smoothly and bring more troubles to their doorstep. With their loved ones trying to keep them out of trouble and safe they have to devise cunning actions not to let themselves get caught. An absolute gem from Deborah Brown again."

Read more on the #book, series and author here...
https://beckvalleybooks.blogspot.com/2017/11/christmas-in-paradise-by-deborah-brown.html 

Book description
My name is Madison Westin. Unless it’s Christmas, in which case my official title is “Holiday Cheermistress.” Nothing stops me from getting my ho-ho-ho on, not even my friends’ Grinch-worthy attitude toward sparkling tinsel, twinkling lights, and tinkling bells.

Hey, if Creole, Fab, and Didier wind up with coal in their stockings, it won’t be my fault.

When some bah-humbug bandit makes the rounds of Tarpon Cove, Fab and I are on the case. It’s the least we can do for our loyal friends. Seasonal crime-victim disorder seems to be on the rise.

Some guy in a Santa suit—well, the top half of one anyway—is robbing local banks. The cops are fingering the wrong guy. And you can bet your light-up Rudolph boxers that if we can’t track the real thief down, one of my merry band of miscreants could be spending the holidays behind bars.

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review 2018-09-19 16:10
Love Is Murder - Sandra Brown

The best way to think of this is a pricy collection of publisher's samples. You know - those things they normally give you for free in hopes you'll buy the actual book?

 

Some of the stories were surely standalone, but a lot of them weren't. There's a B.A.D. entry, and a Belador entry, for example. And a lot of them weren't my cuppa. A few fell into the category of "what the hell did I just read?". All of them were about the length of the average term paper too, so even if you did enjoy it, it was just long enough to well, make you want to buy the book (which may or may not exist)

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text 2018-09-19 16:06
Reading progress update: I've read 40 out of 176 pages.
The Fabulous Clipjoint - Fredric Brown
Hunter and Hunted: The Ed and Am Hunter Novels (Frederic Brown Mystery Library) - Fredric Brown

@Tigus: I've finally started Ed & Am No. 1 ... and am loving every page.  Thank you so much, once more!

 

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review 2018-09-18 00:52
Red Rising (Red Rising #1)
Red Rising: Book I of the Red Rising Trilogy - Pierce Brown

Beneath the surface of Mars human mine gases that will eventually lead to the terraforming and colonization of the red planet, but they have been lied to.  Red Rising by Pierce Brown is a dystopian young adult novel following a member of the lowest caste in humanities future attempting to position himself within the highest caste to lead a future rebellion for the betterment of all.

 

Darrow, a member of the lowly Reds, within days sees the end of his dreams of family and success in mining in his colonial town underneath the surface of Mars and is ready to die only to be dug up and shown the surface of Mars full of cities and vegetation that was said to be centuries away.  Feeling betrayed by his society not only for the injustice against himself but his people as well, Darrow agrees to undergo numerous surgeries to appear as a member of the highest caste in society, the Golds.  Through training and education he is able to pass the entrance exam of The Institute of Mars where young people of the caste compete to prove their potential as leaders so they can govern the Society in the future.  Darrow makes friends only on the first night is forced to kill one or be killed himself in The Institute’s first test.  What follows for the rest of the book is not only Darrow but every Gold at The Institute learning what it means to rule the Society that has lasted for centuries, but through he makes mistakes Darrow learns and is able to become a leader amongst the students and eventually is able to emerge as the competition’s victor in an unorthodox manner especially as outside forces attempt to have another student win for personal pride.

 

After waiting years to read this book, it was about 40% into the book that I realized that Red Rising was essentially “The Hunger Games in space” with elements of Divergent and other young adult dystopian series thrown in for good measure by the time I finished.  I realize that authors borrow elements from other authors, but Brown rips off of The Hunger Games is so blatantly bad that it hurt.  Frankly the mixture of so many things from other series could have worked if they were written well, but in this book it wasn’t.  On top of that, what Darrow goes through to appear as a Gold seems to be stretching credibility especially since the Society’s “Quality Control” performs tests on him, including blood which has DNA that should show he wasn’t born a Gold.  Though the action in the book was the best feature, the plot just didn’t live up to the hype especially after realizing how much is borrowed and not written in an interesting way from a new angle.

 

Red Rising might be enjoyed by numerous readers, but I’m not one of them and frankly while I got through the book I’m not interested in seeing what happens next.  So I’m selling this book and the other two books in the first trilogy to a friend who is really into young adult dystopia and hope he enjoys it more than myself.

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text 2018-09-18 00:23
Reading progress update: I've listened 73 out of 254 minutes.
The Wild Robot - Peter Brown

Roz is now the accidental mother of a gosling, and it's giving me Horton Hatches the Egg vibes.

 

This started off as a robot trying to figure out how to survive in a realistic wilderness without human guidance. It has since morphed into a talking animal book, which disappoints me a little. I'm trying to adjust, but it's weird that a beaver is advising Roz on how to make her home more inviting to guests ("grow a garden!") and telling her she needs to find a way to heat her home before it gets colder.

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