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review 2017-12-13 00:00
Blockbuster Science: The Real Science in Science Fiction
Blockbuster Science: The Real Science in... Blockbuster Science: The Real Science in Science Fiction - David Siegel Bernstein Blockbuster Science was a neat concept. As someone who loves hard science fiction, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. It explores everything from Theory of Relativity, to String Theory, to Black Holes and everything in between. The chapters are short, kept as light-hearted as possible while still being informative, and obviously written by someone who truly loves science and science fiction.

I feel like Blockbuster Science would have been better as a coffee table book.

Yes, I think pretty pictures would have helped it out a lot.

It had very few photos, and most of what it did have were simple yet boring ones that we’ve all probably seen in some form several times before.

While I did genuinely enjoy reading several of the chapters, I found myself beset by the thought that I wasn’t really the right person for this book. Everything in Blockbuster Science was either something I’d read (lots) before, or something that went so completely over my head I could barely get a glimpse of it’s rear before it was out of sight. I picked this book up and put it back down several times before I actually got around to finishing it. It was never a bad book, it just felt unfinished/rough.

This is a science book for someone who doesn’t really want to science but like science at the same time. And while that sounds like it would be a really cool book in theory, in actuality, it just felt a bit off. Like it couldn’t quite figure out what it wanted to be. I think a pared down version, using (color) photographs and/or illustrations would have been able to hold my attention better. (Disclaimer from me: I’m the type of girl who likes to read Nat Geo and Discovery books about science for kids.)

One of the times when its easy to celebrate exactly how neat science is when you’re learning it in context of a great story. Its easy to see science as ‘the cool bits’, and much of that science is – indeed – awesome! However, to take the cool bits and talk about them in a way that keeps a casual reader (or viewer’s attention) requires a certain way with words and a charisma that few have. As it is, Blockbuster Science feels a bit text-bookish, with pop-culture references that are fun but don’t really do enough to keep the momentum of fun + educational going.

Blockbuster Science had a lot going for it, and the information contained within it is very interesting. However, it neither fails or succeeds spectacularly and left me, as a reader, vaguely frustrated because I felt like it could have been so much better than it was.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review consideration.
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review 2017-12-03 01:05
Episodes of Violence - David Bernstein
Episodes of Violence - David Bernstein

I absolutely blew through Bernstein's Episodes of Violence. I literally couldn't put it down. There was just something about this tale that sickened me and rocked me to my core. After taking some time between finishing it and writing this review, I believe it's simply that the story of these teenage losers going around and systematically killing for fun felt way too real. We all know kids like this. No, not necessarily first-hand knowledge that the scumbags across the street are offing random people. It's more like that you could see these kids fly under the radar because people don't necessarily notice them. They're undesirables, loners, not someone that the masses pay attention to. Bernstein uses this to his advantage and paints a picture that hits a little too close to home. A little too real. A little too believable. That's the beauty of Episodes of Violence. Be prepared to be uncomfortable when you read EoV. Be prepared to look at your neighbor kids across the street with a little more scrutiny. Are they just a bunch of misfit potheads that raise a little hell or is there more too them? You might want to make sure the doors are locked, just to be on the safe side.



5 Bashed Mailboxes out of 5



You can also follow my reviews at the following links:









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text 2017-10-25 13:25
Double Bingo! 25 October
Dead Sea - Tim Curran
The Thin Man - Dashiell Hammett
The Turn of the Screw - Henry James
A Latent Dark - Martin Kee
Faerie Tale: A Novel of Terror and Fantasy - Raymond E. Feist
Goblins - David Bernstein
Tales of Men and Ghosts - Edith Wharton
Helltown - Jeremy Bates
One Blood - Qwantu Amaru

With today's Monsters call, I've got a double Bingo! 4th row across and 4th row down.



The real stand out books for this bunch are Dead Sea by Tim Curran and Faerie Tale by Raymond Feist. This were both excellent reads!



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review 2017-09-09 13:47
Goblins - David Bernstein

by David Bernstein


Jacob is an ordinary kid with nothing more important on his mind than how well he'll play in a local baseball game, until he runs into the woods to retrieve a ball. When he doesn't return, his coach goes to search and finds disturbing evidence of a struggle that leads him to bring in the police.


This was a predictable story and the author digressed into individual character back stories too much in the early chapters. The writing itself was engaging and kept the story moving forward despite the sidetracks. There is some pretty gross graphic violence and disturbing themes like dealing with kidnapped and murdered children.


The one thing that began to make me lose interest was the mixed mythology, equating the goblin world with Satan and Hell. If you want an evil goblin king, fine. If you want to write about Satan, fine. But they come from different cultural beliefs so mixing them just dilutes the horror. Goblin mythology leaves a lot of room for imagination so why fall back on common Hell tropes?


The violence goes well into the gratuitous at times and by the ninth chapter the believability was developing a serious wobble. It also became repetitive with the goblin attacks following the same pattern every time. It was fairly engaging in the early chapters, but became tedious as the pages moved on. The ending was a good twist though. I hope it's left as it is and not a jump off for a sequel.


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text 2017-08-30 11:13
Ready to start reading on Friday!
Children of Chaos - Greg F. Gifune
Cabal - Clive Barker
Goblins - David Bernstein
Faerie Tale: A Novel of Terror and Fantasy - Raymond E. Feist
The Thin Man - Dashiell Hammett

Last year I read shorter books first because getting through 25 books in two months is a lot for me! This year I have a different strategy. Most of my books are medium length, so I'm going to endeavor to fill rows, starting with this one:



The choice of rows is starting out according to which books I'm most dying to read (pun intended), but will adapt as the bingo calls start coming out.


So, my first two books will be Children of Chaos by Greg Gigune for the American Horror Story square and Cabal by Clive Barker for Serial Spree Killer. Then I will continue down the row.Cabal was my reason for choosing this row first, plus I keep hearing good things about Gifune.


At present I have The Abyss Above Us by Ryan Notch scheduled for free square but that was a freebie and might get replaced if I don't like it enough. Modern Masters of Horror gets Helltown by Jeremy Bates. I've read a couple of Bates books and really enjoyed them, so I expect to like this one. Darkest London gets Stalking Jack by Madison Kent. I haven't read the author before but I'm pretty sure I got this one after reading a sample, so it should pass scrutiny.


I'm also going to get a start on two books not on this row because they are in different formats and will take me longer to read. These are Goblins by David Bernstein for the Terror in a Small Town square, which I'm going to have to read on desktop and Faerie Tale by Raymond E. Feist for 80s Horror, which I have in paperback. That one is also on the list of books I've really been wanting to read.


I've been finishing up all the active reads I've had going in these last days before the challenge begins, so the decks are all but cleared. I'll still have Don Quixote in progress considering I've only got to 46% on it, but I expect to finish the short story anthology I've been slowly reading one story at a time until now. Everything else I had in progress is finished!


Two more days and I can start new reads. Yay!


Edited to add: I'll also be starting The Thin Man for the Noir square and the buddy read!

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