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review 2017-07-26 23:07
All the Birds in the Sky: Or, Science versus Magic, except not really.
All the Birds in the Sky - Charlie Jane Anders

I've been putting off reviewing this book for a while, trying to come up with something new to contribute to what has become a very large conversation. I don't think I'm going to succeed, but I will add my thoughts. Here's the thing: All the Birds in the Sky very swiftly became the "It" book of 2016, and now in 2017 it is up for All The Awards. Many many people love this book. So when I sat down to read it for my book club I had really high expectations. Did the book rise to meet them? In some ways yes and in other ways no.

 

I quite liked that a fair amount of this book put fantasy and science fiction into the same world and made them ideologically opposed. We have the young witch and the young mad scientist, and we stick with them as they grow up and the world falls apart. Both the strength and the weakness of the narrative is that at its core this book is really only about two people. If you manage to invest in these two characters and their relationship then you will likely like this book. However, if you want to see an epic battle between science and magic, or you want to focus in on how the world is falling apart, or even the world-building or other characters, well, you are going to be really disappointed.

 

This is a book that presents a bunch of enormous, epic, sweeping plot points...and then pushes them into the background so they merely serve as the backdrop for a slow-burn romance. Which is honestly something I haven't seen before. I was okay with it, but it was a surprise, and could be really disappointing depending on what you want (or if you strongly dislike the two main characters, which wouldn't be difficult as they can be quite abrasive). The climax of the book felt subtle to me in that the book could have ended in several previous points with equal punch. In many ways it reads like three connected short stories - it has a light touch, close focus, and the bigger plot in the background is overshadowed by a more intimate and close perspective. Again, I didn't particularly mind this, but it was an unexpected choice.

 

Overall I liked All the Birds in the Sky because I was fine with the soft focus and narrowed plot. The side characters were flat and interchangeable, but that didn't hurt my enjoyment since they were so secondary to the focus. The world-building left a lot of questions unanswered, but again, that wasn't the focus. There were some jarring tonal shifts, and the comedy was occasionally bizarrely executed, but I was having fun so I didn't mind that either. Bottom line, I could see reasons to dislike this book, and problems, but I enjoyed myself and the book despite all of them. There's one thing I'm a stick in the mud about though: there were better fantasy/sci-fi books in 2016. I liked this book. I really did. But it was not the end all be all of books in this genre. Worth the read? Absolutely. Worth the hype? Debatable.

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review 2017-07-17 15:56
A Game of Ghosts by John Connolly
A Game of Ghosts: A Charlie Parker Thriller - John Connolly

 

This time around Charlie Parker is hired to look into the disappearance of Jaycob Eklund. Jaycob is a P.I. that has mysteriously vanished while investigating the history of a group named The Brethren. Louis and Angel get involved and the Collector and his aging father do as well. What FUN!

 

FBI Agent Edgar Ross is the man who hires Charlie and I still don't trust him or his motives. He won't even tell Charlie why he's searching for Eklund. I'm not sure where Mr. Connolly is going with this relationship, but I have a bad feeling about it, for sure.

 

Louis and Angel trade insults as always, but in this book their love became a little more real to me. You'll see why if you read it. (You SHOULD read it!)

 

Also playing a part in this volume are Rachel and Sam, Charlie's ex-girlfriend and (living) daughter, respectively. Rachel, understandably, is still angry and upset after what happened to Sam in the last book and is now taking legal steps regarding Sam's custody. Trusty Moxie, Charlie's lawyer, is on the case. Unfortunately, Rachel doesn't ask Sam how she feels about all this, but Sam makes her feelings known-in a way that is uniquely her own.

 

I loved this book! I believe I am seeing the beginning of the end, off in the distance, and that makes me sad. However, I am hoping that perhaps the series will continue in some other form, I

am hoping for an entire new series featuring Sam and her insane capabilities.

(spoiler show)

But if I don't get I will still be happy, because I believe that the Charlie Parker books have become the best ongoing series out there, bar none. They are consistently interesting, well written and just plain fun-and considering how dark some of them are, that's quite a feat!

 

I love Charlie, Louis and Angel and I love YOU, John Connolly! I can't wait to see what happens next! I highly recommend A Game of Ghosts to fans of the series, and to new fans, (but I strongly suggest you read them in order.)

 

*Thanks to the publisher and to NetGalley for providing an e-ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*

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text 2017-07-12 22:30
Reading progress update: I've read 34% and...
A Game of Ghosts: A Charlie Parker Thriller - John Connolly

and I'm getting a very bad feeling regarding one of my favorite characters in this series.

 

That's not gonna happen, right? John Connolly wouldn't do that, would he?

 

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review 2017-07-11 01:39
An awesome summer listening experience...
Beware of Geeks Bearing Gifts - Charlie Cochet, Michael Stellman

'Beware of Geeks Bearing Gifts' was an adorable and sweet summer audio experience. Quinn is a gruff, tough Miami SWAT officer and he's also Spencer's sexy, nerve inducing neighbor and never the twain shall meet...until Quinn gets hurt in the line of duty and suddenly finds himself housebound and dependent on others for help and still Quinn and Spencer remain strangers...until Quinn's brother-in-law Rick leaves Quinn's pain meds with Spencer and the rest as they say is history.

 

Quinn and Spencer were just an adorable comedy of errors and getting past Quinn's defenses was more than a little challenging and just when he starts to thanks to Quinn's friends...or at least one in particular...that's right I'm talking about Javier...Mr. Total Jerk it's Quinn's turn to break get past barriers.

 

However, I did like Quinn's mother she was adorable in a smothering sort of way and then there was also Spencer's friend and neighbor, Danny who apparently likes to hand out Spence's apartment key to wounded, hunky SWAT agents...seriously why didn't I have a neighbor like that when I was single...honestly, some guys have all the luck. 

 

I really enjoyed this one it was low steam but sweet and fun with a nice touch of heat towards the end.

 

Michael Stellman was the narrator for this audio book and his voices were well done. I definitely enjoyed listening to him and look forward to enjoying other audio books narrated by Mr. Stellman...as a matter of fact I see 'The High King's Golden Tongue' in my audio book future.

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text 2017-07-06 06:49
Doctor Who: 12 Doctors, 12 Stories - Eoin Colfer,Charlie Higson,Philip Reeve,Michael Scott,Malorie Blackman,Alex Scarrow,Neil Gaiman,Richelle Mead,Marcus Sedgewick,Patrick Ness,Holly Black,Derek Landry

Not a bad read, all in all. Most stories were nice but not extremely memorable. I think the one I like best is the Ninth Doctor's adventure between when Rose turns him down the first time and when he come back for her again. 

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