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review 2017-11-08 03:06
Surpasses it's predecessor and sets up a killer (and hilarious) conclusion
Communication Failure (Epic Failure Trilogy) - Joe Zieja

So, Captain Rogers has escaped with his life after saving the 331st Meridian Fleet from a takeover from almost all the droids on board, now he's been made acting admiral and is faced with a potentially bigger threat: the Thelicosan fleet -- the very fleet that Rogers' ships are to keep on their side of the border -- has informed him that they are about to invade. Given the size of the fleets facing off, this is an invasion that will not go well for the 331st.

 

So how is this would-be con-man, former engineer, and current CO going to survive this? He hasn't the foggiest idea.

 

Clearly, for those who read Mechanical Failure (and those who haven't have made a mistake that they need to rectify soon), whatever solution he comes up with is going to rely heavily on Deet and the Space Marines (the Viking/Captain Alsinbury and Sergeant Malin in particular) will be heavily involved. Malin has taken it upon herself to help Rogers learn some self-defense (even if that's primarily various ways to duck), the Viking is questioning every decision her new CO is making, and Deet is continuing his exploration into human behavior/consciousness (he's exploring philosophy and spirituality at the moment -- which is pretty distracting). Basically, if Rogers is looking for a lot of support from them, he's going to be disappointed.

 

It turns out that the Thelicosans didn't intend to send that message at all, what they were supposed to communicate was very different, actually. But before Rogers and his counterpart can find a way to de-escalate the situation, shots are fired, milk is spilled, and events start to spiral out of control. Which isn't to say that everyone is doomed and that war is inevitable, it's just going to take some work to keep it from happening. There are forces, groups, entities -- whatever you want to call them -- hawkish individuals who are working behind the scenes to keep these cultures at odds with each other, hopefully spilling over into something catastrophic. Which is something too many of us are familiar with, I fear -- and something that someone with Zieja's military background is likely more familiar with. The Thelicosans and Meridians discover who these people are -- and how they are attempting to manipulate the fleets -- and the big question is how successful they'll be.

 

We focus on three Thelicosans, but spend almost as much time on their flagship (The Limiter) as we do the Meridian flagship (Flagship). Grand Marshall Alandra Keffoule is the commander of the border fleet -- at one time, she was a star in the special forces, and now she's been assigned to the border fleet as a last chance. She fully intends on taking full advantage of this opportunity to make history and restore herself to her position of prominence in the military. Her deputy, Commodore Zergan, has fought alongside her since the special forces days and is now trying to help her rebuild her reputation. Secretary Vilia Quinn is the liaison between the Thelicosan government and the fleet. Quinn's development through the book is a lot of fun to watch -- and is probably a bigger surprise to her than it is to the reader, which just makes it better. Thelicosan culture is saturated in science and math, and is full of rituals that are incredibly binding and incredibly difficult for outsiders to understand. In many ways, the culture is hard to swallow -- how a society develops along those lines seems impossible. But if you just accept that this is the way their society functions, it ends up working and stays consistent (and entertaining).

 

Lieutenant Lieutenant Nolan "Flash" "Chillster" "Snake" "Blade" Fisk, the best pilot the 331st has is a great addition to the cast -- yeah, he's probably the most cartoonish, least grounded, character in Rogers' fleet -- but man, he's a lot of fun (and I think it's pretty clear that Zieja enjoys writing him). think Ace Rimmer (what a guy!), but dumber. Mechanical Failure's most cartoonish character, Tunger, is back -- the would-be spy/should-be zookeeper finds himself in the thick of things and is well-used (as a character) and is well-suited to his activities. Basically, I put up with him in the last book, and enjoyed him here. I'd like to talk more about Deet and the other characters here -- I've barely said anything about Rogers (he develops in some ways no one would've expected) -- but I can't without ruining anything, so let's just say that everyone you enjoyed in the previous installment you'll continue to enjoy for the same reasons.

 

Mechanical Failure didn't feature a lot of world-building outside life on the ship. Zieja takes care of that this time -- we get a look at the political situation between the various governments, and the history behind the four powers. Which isn't to say that we're drowning in details like George R. R. Martin would give us, it's still breezy and fast-paced. Still, there's a handle you can grab on to, some context for the kind of madness that Rogers finds himself in the middle of.

 

One of my personal criteria for judging books that are heavy on the humor in the midst of the SF or mystery or fantasy story is judging what the book would be like without the jokes. The Hitchhiker's Trilogy, for example, would fall apart in seconds (and few rival me for their devotion to that series). Magic 2.0 would hold up pretty well, on the other hand. The Epic Failure series would be another one that would hold up without the jokes. I'm not saying it'd be a masterpiece of SF, but the story would flow, there'd be enough intrigue and action to keep readers turning pages. However, you leave the humor, the jokes and the general whackiness in the books and they're elevated to must-reads.

 

There are too many puns (technically, more than 1 qualifies for that), there's a series of jokes about the space version of The Art of War that you'd think would get old very quickly, but doesn't -- at all; and Rogers has a couple of bridge officers that make the pilot Flash seem subtle. Somehow, Zieja makes all this excess work -- I thought the humor worked wonderfully here, and I think it'll hold up under repeated readings.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and can't wait to see where Zieja takes us next.

 

Disclaimer: I received this book ARC from the author, and I can't thank him enough for it, but my opinion is my own and wasn't really influenced by that act (other than giving me something to have an opinion about).

Source: irresponsiblereader.com/2017/11/07/communication-failure-by-joe-zieja
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review 2017-04-07 13:38
Bubbles by Abby Cooper
Bubbles: A Novel - Abby Cooper

Abby Cooper's BUBBLES is the follow-up to her strong debut and surprisingly takes every aspect to the next level. I was amazed, chapter by chapter, just how good Cooper’s new middle grade novel truly is. BUBBLES has all the humor, magical whimsy, and lovable characters that were notable in her first outing, but manages to exceed expectations in terms of style, voice, and concept.

 

12-year-old Sophie has a lot on her plate: her mother is single (again), unemployed and depressed, her teacher is making her do a challenging project on risk-taking, her best friends convince her to do a triathlon with them, and she’s getting a crush on her childhood friend Rafael. To make matters more interesting, Sophie starts to see other people’s thoughts in balloons over their heads and finds out there are definite pluses and minuses to knowing what on people’s minds.

 

The concept works really well and draws the reader deeper into Sophie’s inner world with every revelation. Most of us can relate to thinking we can read other people’s minds at times, and it’s never more important than when in our young teens. The plot moves along nicely and gathers momentum with every relational complication. In the end, it comes down to learning about communication, and without saying too much more, the results are surprising, funny, and touching. I highly recommend this wonderful and inspiring novel.

 

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review 2017-03-22 01:26
COMMUNICATION SKILLS by Minxie Wells
Communication Skills - Minxie Wells
 

Kira, a tournament playing Scrabble player, meets her match in Grahame. As a Dom he challenges her to let go and become the sub she was meant to be.

 

An interesting story that uses Scrabble to communicate between the partners. Grahame is a jerk. He expects Kira to know instinctively what he wants but he never talks with her about what he wants. He is a his way or the highway guy. It's a good thing I was not Kira. I would have walked away. She persevered and figured out what he wanted through Scrabble. Amazing! This is not a story to use as a guideline for how to begin a BDSM tryst except for what not to do.

Because of the shortness of this work, the time in the playroom is intense. The storytelling is good. Ms. Wells does well to put the reader into Kira's shoes. I could feel Kira's anger, fear, frustration, and desire. I will read her again.

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url 2017-01-31 11:50
Cross cultural communications: How to understand and adapt your behaviours?

 

Businesses have gone multinational and there is a huge shift in the way of doing business across the globe with the advent of online and international business. The workplaces of today have rapidly grown and become vast. Expatriates and people doing business across borders should be proactive and well informed about the culture of the people they are interacting with. A clear understanding of the cultures and knowing some basic or frequently used words can help in communicating effectively.

 

Modern technology and internet have made international transactions simple and reduced international trade complications to a great extent. More people are promoting businesses regularly as new markets have opened up for business across all cultures and geographical locations. Technology has also made it possible to facilitate easy conversations between people through language translation software and language conversion dictionaries. Cross Cultural Communication Trainings available online gives clear insights to appropriate ways to behave and communicate among cross cultures.  Electronic communication has made communication and networking as easy as working with someone in the neighbourhood or next town.

 

Why would someone limit himself by working with a location that has lesser demand and workforce rather than a location that has greater demand and can have easy access to most knowledgeable people in the entire world or the highest quality resources?

 

A multicultural workplace brings a lot of communication challenges. There are some cultural differences between employees located in various regions or organizations speak the same language. For example: English speakers in the US have differences in accent, spelling and pronunciation. Communication can be optimized between such cultures if these cultural differences are considered. People should have a mutual understanding of communicating with cultures to reap the benefits of a diverse workplace. An organizational work culture that is common to people of all cultures is being adopted by a majority of companies across the globe. Effective cross-cultural communication starts with a basic understanding of cultural diversity.  This can start by knowing the basic differences between cultures that are totally from our culture.

 

Better communication with individuals and groups who totally differ from our culture should be analysed carefully by paying attention to every detail. Below mentioned are some of the aspects to be considered while communicating among cross cultures:

 

Greetings and physical contact: This can become critical if a basic study and understanding of cultures is not present. For example, kissing a business associate with one peck on each cheek is an acceptable greeting in Paris but the same will not be acceptable in gulf countries. A firm handshake that is widely accepted in the U.S which is not recognized in all other cultures.

 

Ambiguity: The ways of seeing, thinking and interpreting are different in different cultures. There is a possibility of misunderstanding where languages are different and similar words can have two different or sometimes opposite meanings in different languages and cultures.

 

Attitude of Acceptance and Flexibility: Some people tend to void exposure or experience of the host culture as this might not be favourable for their culture or due to an attitude of introversion. This results in developing a closed mindset and learn and ignorance to learn and adapt to the new culture which will give rise to cultural shock and spoiling of business relationships.

 

Ethnocentrism: Assuming that own groups culture is right and moral. Considering other cultures as inferior can spoil and bring an end to a business relationship even before it starts. It is often an unconscious behaviour which is realised after reacting. It is always necessary to consider respecting a totally opposite culture or establishing a path that builds a favourable climate among such cultures. Cross Cultural Awareness Training conducted by people who have a practical experience of dealing with different cultures can be very helpful with practical approaches.

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review 2016-11-02 23:18
Spiritual Alchemy by Jenny Tyson
Spiritual Alchemy: Scrying, Spirit Communication, and Alchemical Wisdom - Donald Tyson,Jenny Tyson

Join Jenny Tyson, wife of occult author Donald Tyson, on a remarkable journey of spirit communication and instruction with her two guides—famed Elizabethan magicians John Dee and Edward Kelley.

This fascinating book follows her yearlong training that culminated in an intense, three-day initiation through which her minimal psychic abilities became full-blown clairvoyance and clairaudience. Providing detailed accounts of Jenny’s experiences and the tools she used to contact the other side, Spiritual Alchemy also teaches you how to undertake your own spirit communication.

Meet your own spirit guide, develop your psychic abilities, and learn the spirit world’s greatest secrets. With powerful new training methods, a rare interview with Edward Kelley himself, and more, this book revolutionizes the interactions between humans and spirits.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First off I need to say that this is a very dangerous lesson for those who aren't well versed in the practice. This book is not for beginners.

Only those who have had enough time in the field should pursue the journey within.

Spiritual Alchemy is fascinating and entertaining and also includes some intriguing interviews with her spirit guides.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                

 

 

 

        

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Krissy's Bookshelf Reviews received a digital copy in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts, comments and ratings are my own.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Krissy's Bookshelf Reviews received a digital copy in exchange for an honest review from Netgalley

 

 

 

 

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If any of Krissy's Bookshelf Reviews has been helpful please stop by to like or let me know what you think! I love hearing from followers! Thank you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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