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review 2018-09-23 23:52
Rogue Protocol by Martha Wells
Rogue Protocol - Martha Wells

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

This was another great installment in the series! These stories have been a lot of fun and I have found that each one tells a really big story in a rather small number of pages. Murderbot is on another mission in this installment that kept me glued to the pages once again.

Murderbot wants to find out what is really going on with the GrayCris Corporation. The SecUnit poses as a security consultant when it encounters a group of people off to explore an abandoned facility. The group has a bot, Miki, that they consider to be their friends which is somewhat confusing (and annoying) to Murderbot. Of course, things go wrong and there is lots of action and excitement as Murderbot works to help save the day.

I really enjoyed seeing Murderbot interact with Miki who was a very different kind of bot. Murderbot has seen people at their worst and expects for problems to occur while Miki has been treated like a trusted member of the group and seems rather innocent in its manner of thinking. I really enjoyed being inside Murderbot's head as it worked to process a solution for the problem at hand. I can't wait to start reading the next installment.

Initial Thoughts
This was great! Murderbot never seems to let me down. I love how this SecUnit operates and engages with the world surrounding it. Miki was wonderful and I thought that its character really gave our SecUnit some thing to think about and consider. I love the humor worked into the story and the level of excitement that kept the pages turning.

Book source: Library

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review 2018-09-23 23:47
Artificial Condition by Martha Wells
Artificial Condition - Martha Wells

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I had a lot of fun with this story! This installment is my favorite of the three that are currently available in the series. I had kind of wondered where the series was going after the way the previous installment wrapped up but I trusted that Murderbot would not let me down and I was right.

Murderbot is on a mission to find out what really happened in its past. The SecUnit decides to hitch a ridge with a transport vessel and gets a little more than it bargained for in the process. ART isn't a mindless vehicle and challenges Murderbot and offers guidance and assistance. I really loved watching this unlikely pair work together on the mission.

This story had all of the excitement and action that I have come to expect from the series. The humor really added to the story and I thought that the interaction between ART and Murderbot was oftentimes quite comical. There was a pretty solid mystery that is tackled in this installment that kept me turning the pages.

Initial Thoughts
This was fun! I wondered what Murderbot's plan was at the end of the previous installment so it was great that this story picked up shortly after the first one. ART was great and I really enjoyed the interactions between ART and Murderbot. I really enjoyed the humor that was worked into the story as well.

Book source: Library

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review 2018-09-23 23:41
All Systems Red by Martha Wells
All Systems Red - Martha Wells

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

This was great! I had a good feeling about this book when I found myself chuckling on the very first page. This was a story that I didn't want to start once I got started which worked out perfectly since it is short enough to be read in a couple of hours. I am glad that I finally decided to spend a little bit of time getting to know Murderbot.

Muderbot is a SecUnit that is technically rogue since it decided to hack its own governor module. Obviously, Murderbot isn't letting anyone know that its governor module has been compromised because if the Company knew they would just get things working the way that they want once again. Murderbot has developed a fondness for human media since going rogue and loves to spend long hours viewing downloaded media.

The story was pretty exciting with some unexpected surprises along the way and plenty of action. I loved Murderbot's view of the world and the humor woven into the story. This is definitely a novella that science fiction fans will not want to miss.

I won a digital copy of this book from Books of My Heart. Thanks, Anne!

Initial Thoughts
This was great! This little story had everything that I hoped it would including great characters and an exciting story. There were a lot of surprises along the way and I look forward to Murderbot's future adventures.

Book source: Won @ Books of My Heart

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review 2018-09-19 23:24
So here's the thing...
BFF - K.C. Wells,Michael Mola

I'm really, really torn on this one. I had moments where I really into the story and enjoying myself and then I had moments that bordered on total ambivalence and my brain started to blank out and go 'yeah, yeah whatever'. 

 

For me this story was very reminiscent of Anna Martin's 'Five Times My Best Friend Kissed Me' or or Laura Lascaro's 'When Everything Is Blue'. While each story is told in the author's unique style the overall concept is similar life long friends to lovers and in each case the story is all at least partially told through flashbacks.

 

I'm sure there are a number of other that could fall into this group as well but ironically I listened to all 3 of these books on audio, 2 of them actually had the same narrator...this one and 'When Everything Is Blue' were both narrated by Michael Mola who did an excellent job of with the narrating as did Jesse Cota who narrated 'Five Times My Best Friend Kissed Me'. So I guess that's some of the reasons that the other two books came to mind while I was listening to the audio book of 'BFF'. 

 

I think one of my biggest problems with this one was the fact that we've got two boys/men, Matt and David who meet as young children and become life long friends...so far I'm on board with this it's cute and I'm liking it. For the most part they grow up together and as the years pass their bond of friendship strengthens and again still on board here and things are making sense...I get lost with the whole fact that we have two young men who have grown up together. Spent a huge amount of time together but both claim to be 'straight' and neither seems to realize that the reason the never seem to have a steady girlfriend or want to go with girls is because they just don't really want to be with anyone other than their 'best friend'. 

 

From an objective point the story was well laid out and there were a lot of really sweet moments...maybe, some of them were too sweet. I liked that both of these boys/men seem to have pretty awesome parents...this was nice and I enjoyed the lack of douchie parents...but maybe these parents were just a little too over the top sweet. For example there was this whole incident involving champagne when Matt and David finally admitted their feelings for each other that was just a little bit more sweet than I could swallow and while were a few other moments like this the champagne was the one that really stood out in my mind.

 

I had honestly expected that I'd like this one a lot more than I did, but that's not to say that I didn't like the story, it's more a case of I liked the story, I just didn't LOVE the story and honestly we can't love them all can we?

 

***********************

An audio book of 'BFF' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2018-09-17 01:59
Book Review: Truth & Betrayal by K.C. Wells
Truth & Betrayal - K.C. Wells
This was a tearjerker, for sure, but also a book that tackled some big issues.

Jacob is a young man living in a small town in Eastern Tennessee (close to Knoxville) and working for his daddy's construction company. His older brother Caleb left for Atlanta a few years ago and only returns home sporadically, having forged a life for himself in the big city. Jacob knows he's gay, but has no desire to come out to his parents, because he's sure of their negative reaction. He's been taking a few steps to distance himself from their church, but he knows that coming out in such a small town isn't going to go over well. His group of friends are more like acquaintances at this point, since he no longer has anything much in common with them, and the secret he's keeping isn't conducive to a close friendship anyway. Small-town bigots don't make for good friends. 

Then Jacob and his parents get word that Caleb has died in a car accident, while riding in a car with another man who was also injured. And Jacob's whole world crashes down around him.

The author does a fine job describing his grief and his anger at losing Caleb, while slowly coming to the realization that he lost his big brother long before his death. 

Liam is the friend who was driving the car at the time of the accident. Injured himself in the crash, he nonetheless shows up at Caleb's funeral, fully realizing that he's probably not welcome, but needing a bit of closure for himself. The reader is at this point likely aware that Caleb and Liam were more than friends, even if Jake and his parents are not. The scene at the grave - gah, that felt as if plucked from real life, and my thoughts were drawn to Shane Bitney Crone (if you don't know who that is, google his name), and how he must have felt visiting Tom's grave all alone after the fact because he wasn't welcome at the funeral either. 

Going to his late brother's apartment to clean out his belongings brings Jake face to face with the secret Caleb has been keeping. And slowly Jake comes to terms with what he finds out. 

This could have been icky, obviously - one MC feeling attraction to his late boyfriend's little brother, who also happens to be gay, would usually make me feel really squicked out, but the author did a fine job laying out how the relationship between Liam and Caleb wasn't one of true and lasting love, so Liam slowly falling for Jake and vice versa didn't feel weird to me. The fact that it's a super slow burn also helped with this. At first, Liam takes the place of a friend, giving Jake a glimpse into Caleb's life, meeting his friends, visiting his favorite places, and such. He becomes a confidante of sorts as Jake gets more comfortable with who he is, and who he's attracted to. It didn't feel as if falling in love with Jake was what Liam had planned for - it simply happened.

Both Jake and Liam are really likable characters, and the author drew them with complexity and flaws. Their actions and reactions made sense within the overall plot, and the dialogue felt authentic for the most part. What grated after a while was Jake's accent - he often sounded a bit too much like a country bumpkin for my taste, but that's on me, I'm sure. Jake has quite a few hurdles to clear, before he can ride off into the sunset, his mama's machinations being the least of his worries. Jake finds his backbone - and that was a wondrous sight to behold when he told off the bigot preacher. Liam's family is made from a different cloth - fully supportive, warm and welcoming, and embracing Jake for who he is. 

KC Wells always delivers with the emotions in her writing, and this book is no different than what I'm used to from this author. There are heart-wrenching moments of grief and pain that made me cry, but there are also moments full of love and light, and those made me cry also. There is passion between two young men who finally found what they've been looking for, there is courage and strength in the face of adversity, and there are surprise reactions you didn't expect. 

I couldn't stop reading until the very end, and this is no surprise to me at all, really - It's a KC Wells book, after all.

Recommended.


** I received a free copy of this book from its author in exchange for an honest review. **

 

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