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review 2020-06-28 17:46
Book Review for Brutal Beast (Vicious Vipers MC, #5) by Lynn Burke
Brutal Beast (Vicious Vipers MC Book 5) Kindle Edition - Lynn Burke

 

This was and enjoyable read and we loved Virgil,Mila and Devon and their story.

I always pick a favorite character that stands out and my favorite this time around was Virgil because he always seemed almost unapproachable most of the time but, when it came to spending time with both Mila and Devon he was anything but.We loved Devon and Virgil's interactions and so forth whether Virgil realized it or not he was taking on the role of a parent while also extending friendship to a boy who seemed to be a little bit lost.

We loved the chemistry between Mila and Virgil because if you just entered a room you could feel it between them but, Mila is constantly Waring with both her heart and mind but, with very good reasons to be that way after the situation she has found herself in but, one thing is for sure is Virgil has met his match in Mila and he is addicted to her sassiness.

I really loved Mila and Virgil together they were super sweet together and even when she was trying to avoid him she was constantly drawn to the cocky alpha biker so much so her attempts made us smile.

Overall we felt it was a heart felt story and the characters we easy to love and as always we love all the teasing and so forth among the clubs members added with a bit of suspense and bitter betrayal and unanswered questions about Virgil's brother created a bit of a mystery so much so we want answers too it was the perfect read to pass the time.

 

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review 2020-03-24 18:44
Full Brutal by Kristopher Triana
Full Brutal - Kristopher Triana

This book will not be for everyone but it was definitely for me. It managed to take my mind off of the current hellish timeline we’re caught up in and thrust me into someone else's for a few hours.

But, yeah, this book is not for everyone. It is extreme horror and by extreme I mean extremely gross and violent. Prepare thyself.

“I want to fuck you with a frozen dog turd.”
(note to myself: remove this most excellent line before the cross-post to those prudes at Amazon!)

It’s funny too, sometimes. Or at least I thought so. And I desperately needed some pitch black humor in my life at this moment in time.

Things start out normally enough. Kim is one of those spoiled little rich cheerleader types that most of us love to hate and by us I mean me, and maybe you too if you’re busy reading a review of a book called Full Brutal but I’m not here to judge. Her daddy gives her whatever her black heart desires, as well as all the freedom in the world but she is deeply unhappy. She can’t feel things like the other girls do. Boo-hoo. Woe is her. Blah, blah, get over yourself and who cares, right? Well, this girl decides to be proactive and tries to fix her ennui and her whining and believes life will be worth living once she finds the thing that gives her a thrill. You can't fault her for that, right? She thinks that thing might be losing her virginity but soon enough she discovers that sex is blah like everything else but she’s a girl who learns from her mistakes. She learns that it’s the thrill of the dark and the dangerous that make her heart and other body parts race.

I’m going to keep from spoiling the ugly surprises that await within these pages because I think the impact will be stronger if you don’t know what’s coming. I spoiled myself because I read the blurb and skimmed a review or two before stopping my nosy self. You should know that this story features a whole heck of a lot of trigger warnings. Quite possibly all of them with the exception of prolonged animal torture (but don’t quote me on that because my brain is not working okay right now). Sometimes things bother me depending on my mood, the day, or the color of the sky but there was nothing here that made me ever want to shut it off and pour bleach in my ears.

I enjoyed this immensely despite knowing I probably shouldn’t. Kim is a monster. One of those human monsters that walk around looking like everyone else and pretending to be like the others. Full Brutal is cruel and evil and so very wrong but the fact that the perpetrator of all of these horrible misdeeds is a beautiful teenage girl worked for me. I’m not even going to pretend to lie, if it had been a grown man telling this story and finding such joy and glee in these atrocities I might’ve pulled the plug, I refuse to think about that too much or attempt to explain myself so please don't ask. You like what you like, you know? And this book held me in its gore-filled grasp until the very last word.

Narration Notes: Dani George does a decent job with the narration. A few of the guys sounded a bit rough but they didn’t really matter anyway, lol.

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review 2019-11-15 01:21
THE COMPATRIOTS: The Brutal and Chaotic History of Russia's Exiles, Émigrés, and Agents Abroad
The Compatriots: The Brutal and Chaotic History of Russia's Exiles, Émigrés, and Agents Abroad - Andrei Soldatov,Irina Borogan

A few days ago, I first became aware of "THE COMPATRIOTS" from an interview I saw on TV with its authors, Russian journalists Andrei Soldatav and Irina Borogan. I became fascinated with the interview, which was focused on the history of Russian émigrés in Europe and the United States and the influence and control the motherland exerted on them from the Bolshevik Revolution to the rise of Putin's Russia in the present era (since 2000). Shortly thereafter, I put in an order for this book.

In reading this book, I received a thoroughgoing education about the evolution of the complicated relationships between, first, the Bolshevik/Soviet government and the émigré communities abroad. In the early days, influence and control from Moscow on these communities through espionage and assassination (e.g. the brutal murder in Mexico in August 1940 of Leon Trotsky, Stalin's rival, by a Soviet trained agent). Then in the later stages of the Soviet Union, from the Brezhnev era to Gorbachev's era of glasnost and perestroika, Moscow's way of dealing both with its dissidents and the émigré communities abroad involved forced external exile (for its dissidents regarded as too much of a nuisance to be allowed to remain in the USSR), as well as espionage - and when judged necessary and expedient: poisoning of opponents (as evidenced by the murder of Bulgarian dissident/journalist Georgi Markov in London in 1978.

The sections of the book that dealt with the post-Soviet era under both Yeltsin and Putin were highly illuminating as well as fascinating. I LEARNED SO MUCH. In that era, from the breakup of the Soviet Union on Christmas Day 1991, thru the rest of the 1990s - which witnessed Russia's struggle to develop a capitalist, Western-like economy, the rise of the oligarchs, and a democracy all the while Russia itself was in flux --- to the rise of Vladimir Putin, the ex-KGB agent, and his consolidation of control and power in Russia to the present day.

For anyone who wants to have a better understanding of today's Russia and its expatriate community's relationship to it, by all means read "THE COMPATRIOTS."

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review 2019-10-22 09:38
Die Anmut von Anpassungsfähigkeit
The Reapers are the Angels - Alden Bell

Werden Autor_innen postapokalyptischer Literatur nach dem Reiz des Genres gefragt, geben sie oft unspezifische Antworten, die sich auf die Faszination der Angst und der Abgründe des menschlichen Wesens beziehen. Deshalb war ich positiv überrascht, als ich Alden Bells Antwort auf diese Frage in einem Interview las. Er glaubt, dass hinter der Leidenschaft für düstere Zukunftsvisionen eine konkrete Freiheitssehnsucht steckt. Seiner Meinung nach werden moderne Menschen im Alltag von so vielen Zwängen beherrscht, dass ihnen die Idee einer zerstörten Welt, in der keine Regeln mehr existieren und in der sie zu den wenigen Überlebenden zählen, die Hoffnung vermittelt, sich selbst neuerfinden zu können. Ich finde, das ist ein interessanter Ansatz, der viel Wahrheit enthält. Auch ich frage mich während der Lektüre von Postapokalypsen häufig, wie ich mich verhalten würde. Ob ich wohl ebenso mutig wäre wie Temple, die Protagonistin in Bells Roman „The Reapers are the Angels“?

 

Temple wurde in eine Welt geboren, die dem Untergang geweiht ist. Sie weiß nichts von der Zivilisation, wie sie einst war. Sie kann weder lesen noch schreiben. Aber sie versteht sich darauf, zu überleben. Allein streift sie durch das Land, ohne Herkunft und ohne Ziel. Die Untoten schrecken sie nicht. Vielmehr muss sie sich vor den Menschen in Acht nehmen. Ein Killer ist ihr auf den Fersen, weil Temple ihm etwas nahm, das ihm viel bedeutete. Sie muss fliehen, doch auf ihrer Flucht begegnet ihr der schutzlose Maury. Ihm zu helfen könnte Temples Weg zur Erlösung sein, um all das Schlechte wiedergutzumachen, das sie getan hat. Denn eines ist gewiss: in dieser neuen Welt sind nicht die Untoten die Monster.

 

„The Reapers are the Angels“ gefiel mir viel besser, als ich erwartet hatte. Ich habe das Buch 2016 gekauft, als ich Dystopien und Postapokalypsen in rauen Massen verschlang. Drei Jahre später hat sich mein Geschmack verfeinert, sodass mich längst nicht mehr jede zombiebevölkerte Zukunftsvision in Begeisterungsstürme versetzt. Ich erkannte, dass dieses Genre, wie jedes andere auch, permanent von Durchschnittlichkeit bedroht ist. „The Reapers are the Angels“ ist keinesfalls durchschnittlich und das liegt meiner Meinung nach maßgeblich an der Protagonistin Temple, deren Perspektive zu den spannendsten zählt, die ich je in der postapokalyptischen Literatur einnehmen durfte. Ich habe bisher wenige Hauptfiguren getroffen, die so sehr im Hier und Jetzt ihrer Gegenwart leben wie Temple. Anfangs erschien sie mir sehr jung, unschuldig und naiv, denn das Buch beginnt auf einer kleinen Insel, auf der Temple sich in einem alten Leuchtturm ein Heim einrichtete. Leider kann sie dort nicht bleiben. Sobald sie gezwungen ist, mit ihrer postapokalyptischen Umwelt zu interagieren, offenbarte sich ihr harter Charakter. Ich möchte betonen, dass ich „hart“ völlig wertungsfrei verwende. Temple muss hart sein. Sie ist brutal unabhängig, beinahe schmerzhaft selbstständig und das alles im zarten Alter von etwa 15 Jahren. Sie nimmt die verwüstete Welt, wie sie ist, erkennt ihre Schönheit, vermisst oder betrauert nichts und reagiert pragmatisch auf jede Herausforderung, die ihr begegnet. Schlagartig wirkte sie deutlich älter, taff und abgebrüht. Nachträglich glaube ich, dass diese Diskrepanz darauf zurückzuführen ist, dass Temple im Schutz der Isolation ihrer Insel den Luxus genoss, nicht erwachsen sein zu müssen und sich deshalb einer Kindheit annäherte, die sie eigentlich nie hatte. Zurück in den Überresten der Zivilisation verkörpert sie eine neue Generation – Menschen, geformt von der Zombie-Apokalypse, die alles tun würden, um zu überleben und sich dessen nicht schämen, weil sie nichts anderes kennen. Bell konfrontiert seine Protagonistin immer wieder mit den Grenzen des Akzeptablen und erforscht, wie weit sie zu gehen bereit ist. Folglich ist die Handlung von „The Reapers are the Angels“ zwar sehr blutig und gewaltgeprägt, vermittelt aber trotzdem eine tiefsinnige, feinfühlige und fast sanfte Ausstrahlung, fern von reißerischer Hysterie. Leise, reflektierte Momente wiegen schwerer als wilde Action und selbst die Zombies spielen nur eine untergeordnete Rolle. In Temples Wahrnehmung sind Zombies gefährliche Tiere, denen sie wann immer möglich einfach aus dem Weg geht. Sie verteidigt sich ausschließlich, wenn ihr keine andere Wahl bleibt und empfindet keine Freude daran, Zombies zu töten. Mich überraschte es dementsprechend nicht, dass Ursache und Auslöser der Zombieplage nie geklärt werden. Bell erläutert nur, was für Temple von Bedeutung ist und das ist tatsächlich nicht viel: das Verhalten der Zombies, ihre Fähigkeiten und wie die Infektion übertragen wird. Alles andere kümmert sie nicht. Braucht es auch nicht, denn schließlich sind die Zombies nicht diejenigen, die sie fürchten muss.

 

Mit „The Reapers are the Angels” verfolgte Alden Bell meiner Ansicht nach das Ziel, das Potential der Zerstörung zu untersuchen. Er konzipierte einen Neuanfang für die Welt und erkundete, welches Leben aus der Asche einer glorreichen Vergangenheit hervorgehen könnte. Dazu bediente er sich einer Protagonistin, die in vielerlei Hinsicht außergewöhnlich ist und sich hervorragend dazu eignet, die Erwartungshaltung seiner Leser_innen durcheinanderzuwirbeln. Temple ist keine stereotype Heldin, sondern ein echtes Unikat. Ich bin ein riesiger Fan von ihr, weil sie zahlreiche paradoxe Eigenschaften vereint und dennoch glaubwürdig erscheint. Ihre Geschichte berührte und begeisterte mich, denn für mich personifiziert sie die Anmut von Anpassungsfähigkeit. Temple ist, wer sie ist – ein Kind der Postapokalypse, die Zukunft der Menschheit. Ihre bloße Existenz stellt ein literarisches Ausrufezeichen dar. Die lose Fortsetzung „Exit Kingdom“ ist meinem Empfinden nach daher überflüssig. Ich glaube nicht, dass ich sie lesen werde. Manche Geschichten sollten einfach so stehen bleiben, wie sie sind.

Source: wortmagieblog.wordpress.com/2019/10/22/alden-bell-the-reapers-are-the-angels
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review 2019-01-25 03:49
A fast, fun, and bullet-ridden adventure
A Brutal Bunch of Heartbroken Saps - Nick Kolakowski

Bill is a con man, a hustler, a grifter with a gift -- one that has been put to good use by the Rockaway Mob until the day that Bill has had enough. He just can't keep going the way he's been going. So he leaves New York and heads off on his secret plan to leave the country. Of course, before he left town, he helped himself to a large amount of the Mob's money to fund his retirement. Which is as popular a choice as you can expect.

Only . . . his plan isn't as secret as he thinks and people are on his tail immediately. A pair of employees are sent to take care of Bill and retrieve the cash. And then another is shooter is sent before those first two have even had a chance to fail. And it's a good thing that happened.

 

Which is all I should probably say about the plot. Very little goes the way you think it'll go once things get rolling. What follows is fast, fun and violent. It's the least subtle critique of civil forfeiture possible -- and a whole host of other things.

 

The backup assassin is our entry into this world, these characters -- .he's notorious, he's infamous, he's "that guy." And . . . he's kind of falling apart -- his wife can't handle his vocation any more and is divorcing him. His point of view chapters are a mix of attitude, a little snark, mayhem and despondency. Somehow, that mix is a blast.

 

On the other hand, we have Bill -- who you somehow can't believe was ever brought into the fold by the Rockaway Mob, but he's clearly good at what he does. But little else, it seems. He has a real knack for moving from fire to fireplace to somewhere hotter yet. One of the other assassins sent after him was the one who brought him to the Rockaway Mob, who vouched for him. Her name is Fiona, and she's one of the fiercest, deadly, aggressive characters you've met recently -- and at least until recently, was in love with Bill (not that he treated her too well in his exit, and probably cooled her affections as a result).

 

This is a novella -- and there's not a lot of space for character development, for fully drawing out a character -- and while these three aren't as well drawn as Kolakowski has in other work, they're good enough for what he's wanting to accomplish here. (I hope that doesn't sound like a slight -- it's not supposed to be). They may not be fully drawn, but they're a lot of fun -- and there's some intriguing emotional beats between them and some of the other characters in these pages.

 

This book is primarily an exercise in violence -- there's a hint of torture, just a hint (but most of it happens off-screen). What's not hinted at are explosions and gunfire. There's a lot of it -- the literary equivalent of so much of the stylized cinematic violence inspired by Tarantino in the 90's. It's adrenaline set to music -- think Edgar Wright action scenes, but more lethal -- to skip a couple of decades (actually, I bet this novella would pair well with much of the Baby Driver soundtrack).

 

I had a hard time accepting how the last few chapters went, because I had the wrong idea about what Kolakowski was up to with this book (and, I bet, the next two books that follow). But I had a blast with it -- even the last chapters, once I gave up my preconceptions.

 

This is a fast, lean novella -- there's not an ounce of fat, not one unnecessary sentence to this. Kolakowski has a story to tell and he tells it. I knew going in that this was going to be a fast read, but I couldn't believe how quickly I got through it -- between the lean prose, the fast pace of the book and the action scenes, this was just a bullet train of a read (no pun intended).

 

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author. My opinions expressed above are my own. I appreciate the book, but I didn't sell out my opinions because of that..

LetsReadIndie Reading Challenge
2019 Cloak & Dagger Challenge

Source: irresponsiblereader.com/2019/01/24/a-brutal-bunch-of-heartbroken-saps-by-nick-kolakowski-a-fast-fun-and-bullet-ridden-adventure
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