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review 2017-08-12 21:37
Eh
Domino (2003) #1 (of 4) - Joe Pruett,Brian Stelfreeze,Brian Stelfreeze

Got this for free, and it's still free.   An uninspired start to a mini-series about Domino.  I feel like so much could have been done with her, and so little was that by the time they get to the reveal that she might be able to find her long-lost mother, I was just glad this issue was done.  

 

Not the worst I've read, but far from the best comic I've read. 

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review 2016-11-16 19:37
Big Little Lies Review
Big Little Lies - Liane Moriarty

Lies generally serve a purpose.

To save someone from harm. To make one look better to their peers. To get out of a jam.

When we were children, we were always told to NEVER tell a lie. You would get into so much trouble if you told a lie as a child. I for one remember the punishments for lying.

As you got a little older you found out there others have lied to you before...but it's okay. It was just a white lie...which to our understanding THAT lie was to save us from harm.

Then we grew up. One lie after another. But it's okay. We are now adults, so we can tell big lies. We just tell the kids it's a white lie and that they shouldn't lie at all. (And we get away with it.)

Well, sometimes we can get away with them.

A group of parents are getting ready to take their kids to school. A few moms stick together like before; a few new mothers are in town needing guidance. First day of school can be hectic, but once you deal with the cliques; getting the kids ready the rest of the day should go easy as baking a pie.

Apparently someone forgot to set the timer on that pie for it just burned!!

A child is accusing another child of bullying; teachers get worried, want it solved right away so saying your sorry is in order. But, the child in question says it wasn't him. As any parent would do they stick up for their child. Of course other Mom's don't agree with that policy and name calling gets thrown out into the air, and people start having opinions of others (especially if they are new to the town) and start gathering in their cliques to force others to choose: Truth, or power.

It isn't easy for Jane to be new in town and trying to understand the small town antidotes but when her son is accused of bullying and she fully well knows he didn't do it, it just takes the cake. Good thing she became good friends with a woman wouldn't shouldn't be reckoned with. Madeline has been there, done all that even had a divorce. She knows the in's and out's of the small town and knows everyone and everyone knows her. Even though she used to part (or known) the cliques, she sides with the new girl. Helps her out of jams once in a while. Of course she doesn't do this alone, she has help from her friend Celeste.

A woman who has everything: wonderful, handsome husband and two loving boys. She has a wonderful house, beautiful looks, great clothes. Everyone marvels on how she can handle twin boys and always being there for the school/church activities. But we must ask ourselves...do we really know our neighbors? Or do we see what we are supposed to see?

Lies are like a domino effect: once one gets going, it gets tough to stop them from growing. But also like in domino's, somehow, somewhere the domino's stop falling. How would you like the domino's to stop thought is the question? Towards you? Or something more sinister?

Source: www.goodreads.com/book/show/19486412-big-little-lies
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review SPOILER ALERT! 2016-04-20 11:25
Dead Man (Domino Finn)
Dead Man (Black Magic Outlaw Book 1) - Domino Finn

I took a chance with this new-to-me author because I always crave for urban fantasy with male protagonist. While it took me quite a whole to finish it but I guess I liked it enough. I wasn't completely invested with the voodoo ritual part of the book -- I mean, I enjoy urban fantasy stories with magic, but voodoo (with their rituals and their gods) is something different altogether. Which was why I was keep being distracted with romance books instead.

However, I liked Cisco's 'voice'. I also found his backstory and what happened to him with the losing memories to be quite appealing. To think that he killed his own family because he was turned into a killing machine zombie!!. Think of the atonement he could make *lol*. So yeah, I thought this could be a potential for good urban fantasy series.

So I probably check the second book.

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review 2016-03-20 19:20
Dead Man by Domino Finn
Dead Man (Black Magic Outlaw Book 1) - Domino Finn

Cisco Suarez, necromancer and a wee bit of a dumb ass, wakes up in  a dumpster. Wait. Can the dead wake? Cisco is full on dead and he’s none too happy to learn about it, especially since a variety of folks are set on seeing him dead. Again.

The Miami heat can be harsh, especially if you’re already prone to giving off body odor. Cisco needs info and the first person he runs into that he knows is Milena, who was his sister Seleste’s BFF. Cisco soon learns what tragedy befell his family and he’s heart broken and ticked off all at the same time.

The Haitian gang, The Bone Saints, are after him and he’s not too sure why.  They have a new leader, Baptiste, who is dead set on ending Cisco’ second life. Cisco has few options so he calls upon his friends for info and aide. There’s the Norwegian biker tattoo artist Kasper, his boyhood school friend Evan Cross (who’s as straight laced as you can get), and his buddy in studying the dark arts Martine. Unfortunately, Cisco will get less aide tham he hoped for and more info than he can easily handle.

This is a wonderful nitty gritty urban fantasy detective story. Miami provides the author with the opportunity to mix in several cultures and languages. Of course, I loved all the food references. Cisco has that interesting mix of boyish charm, machismo, underdog, do-gooder, and more power than he can easily handle. It made for a fascinating character set in a place that ties together several cultures, and hence, several mythologies.

I often found myself cheering on this necromancer, which is not something I have done often. I mean, it’s just wrong to mess with the dead, right? But Cisco made me see the right of it. After all, there’s utilizing the dead for a higher purpose and then there’s abusing your necromancer privileges. Cisco sometimes walks a fine line, but that only added to the tension and enjoyment of the story.

My one quibble is the ladies. They are few and far between and mostly are comforters and sex objects. Now part of that is how Cisco sees the world, so I can see that adding to the character’s personality, but the ladies as a whole aren’t well represented. Martine has some skills in necromancy, but she has a pretty small role. Max, a body guard, I think has like 5 lines for the entire book and is one-dimensional. Seleste gets a nod and Milena has the largest role mostly because Cisco spends plenty of time admiring her figure. There’s an od girlfriend who also gets a nod but must be protected from the truth as she’s too fragile to handle it. It’s modern-day Miami, which is known for a lot of things, including their bad ass women (for example the numerous ladies from the series Dexter). Alas, this book was lacking in this regard.

With that said, it was still a very engaging story and an excellent addition to the urban fantasy genre. Apparently, the dead can be used more creatively than I expected. The balance of humor and serious points kept me on Cisco’s side throughout the book.

I received this book as a gift from the author with no strings attached.

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review 2016-02-22 20:29
The Green Children by Domino Finn
The Green Children: A Sycamore Moon Novel (Sycamore Moon Series Book 3) - Domino Finn

Note: While this is Book 3 in the series, it works fine as a stand alone.

The Sycamore forest is known for strangeness. Anyone who has spent quality time in the area knows this. Diego de la Torre, former CDC hunter of werewolves, gets pulled into a new mystery when he stops on the highway to help a panicked mother (Julia) find her lost daughter Hazel. While it’s not technically Detective Maxim Dwyer’s area, his friend Diego calls him in anyway. Unexpectedly, another girl (Annabelle) is found, one who had been lost for three days. Now, authorities and Diego are all concerned there is something more going on in the Sycamore woods.

I’ve enjoyed the first two books in this series (The Seventh Sons & The Blood of Brothers) and this installment to the series is pretty darn good. While the first two books dealt with the local werewolves, there’s barely a mention of them in this book. But don’t worry! This book has the unknown, the noir detective feel, and very interesting characters.  Maxim and Diego continue to be my two favorite characters in the series and both feature heavily in this book.

So let me get my one criticism out of the way so I can get back to telling you how much I enjoyed this book. The lady characters are sparse and lacking in depth. Julia is a beautiful woman, a possible love interest, and a mother who can do little more than cry over her lost daughter. We also meet Annabelle’s mom, who has more personality, but again is mostly just a sex object and a ball of anger. While Annabelle has a little more going on than Hazel, they are both one-dimensional characters. Kaeda Burnett, a Yavapai woman from Book 2, makes a brief appearance and gives some sage advice. I know the author can write great female characters because he’s done it in other books. Too bad this book didn’t have any. All the plot decisions are made by male characters and the guys get to have all the fun and outdoor activities.

OK, so setting that aside, we’ve got this great mystery. Annabelle can’t recall much of her time spent in the woods. It’s all  fuzzy and dream like. Or so she says. She’s pretty despondent, not answering questions, and being withdrawn. Maxim suspects she knows more but isn’t sure how to reach her. Then there is her mother that just wants her to snap out of it and get back to school and her normal life. As they dig into Annabelle’s whereabouts prior to her going missing, a drifter who has frequented Sycamore Moon for many years pops up on their radar.

And then things get strange. In previous books, we knew up front that we were dealing with werewolves. Here, the supernatural quality is slow to come and then it took me some time to figure out what we were dealing with. That was part of the mystery and it was a slow delicious burn.

Diego is still trying to figure out where he fits in the world. He loves the area but he’s not an outlaw biker like the Seventh Sons motorcycle club he once belonged to. Nor is he law enforcement, as he once was working for the CDC. Yet he’s not good at driving trucks on a schedule working for a boss either. I really enjoyed watching him figure all this out and I have a guess as to where his path will lead him.

Maxim is another mystery, to some extent. He lost his wife and has difficulty trusting people in general. Living and working in the Sycamore Moon area hasn’t helped that as nearly everyone he encounters has a secret. Still, it takes a person with a flexible mind to accept the things he has come across, and he needs all that quick thinking to unravel this mystery!

Despite the lack of female characters with depth, I was thoroughly caught up in this tale. I had trouble putting it down so I could get a bit of sleep, and I finished it in 2 days. I’m looking forward to the next installment in the series!

 

I received this book free of charge (via Audiobook Blast) in exchange for an honest review.

The Narration: Jason Jewett did yet another fine job. His Spanish accent for Diego de la Torre is spot on. Now I’m not trying to make Jewett blush, but his voice for Diego with that Spanish accent is quite something! Very sexy. His female voices and little kid voices are believable. All his characters are distinct. I love his somewhat gravelly voice for Maxim. 

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