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text 2018-09-08 12:14
Cryptozoologist
Dweller - Jeff Strand

 

I can't decide if Toby is mostly pathetic, or just an asshole.

 

The way he treated Owen as a convenience and as a cool thing he owned had me pissed off through most of the story.

 

It rarely seemed to occur to him that Owen might be miserable and lonely.

 

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review 2017-07-03 10:32
not for me.
The Sand Dweller - Molly Neely
Independent reviewer for Archaeolibrarian, I was gifted my copy of this book. This review will be short, and for that I'm sorry. But I am struggling to word what I need to say about this book. I'm not entirely sure what I think, to be honest, about this book. There is a lot of flipping between the past and present, and while each change is headed, there is much missing from each flip. I felt that more could have been made of the NOW, rather than the past. It's well written from a host of different points of view, and I did like that. I didn't spot any spelling or editing errors. I just....*insert sigh*... don't see what the whole point of the story was. It's been left opened ended, maybe for another book, I don't know, it just....*insert ARGH!!!!!* ....I can't word it. I gave it three stars, because we do get to here from everyone, and I did finish it. 3 stars **same worded review will appear elsewhere**

 

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text 2017-06-22 15:50
The Sand Dweller by Molly Neely
The Sand Dweller - Molly Neely

In the ancient mountains of the Sinai desert, a child is born. The half-demon son of the devil’s greatest general, Malachi grows up with one foot in the human world and one in the darkest pits of Hell itself. Soon, a power struggle will force him to choose. Will he claim the dark heritage promised to him by Lucifer? Or will he learn firsthand just how far evil will go to destroy mankind? 

Caleb Glass is a young priest with a flourishing flock and a successful church. Plagued by strange visions and a tragic past, he’s also beginning to question his faith. When he’s suddenly thrust into an ancient feud, Caleb must decide whether wearing the collar is a part of God's plan, or an excuse to hide from his pain. 

Is it possible for a broken priest and a sand dweller to achieve redemption, or are they both doomed by circumstance beyond their control?

 

@debbiereadsbook, #Historical, #Fantasy, #Paranormal, 3 out of 5 (good)

 

Source: sites.google.com/site/archaeolibrarian/debbie/thesanddwellerbymollyneely
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review 2016-12-29 00:00
Revenge of the Cube Dweller
Revenge of the Cube Dweller - Joanne Fox Phillips Ok, it's a bit childish but nevertherless a good take on the professional challenges of an auditor, and an internal one at that! As some people would say, being an internal auditor requires a special kind of crazy. And I say that expressing my respect for the general IA's tenacity.

Q:
I return to the Bishop building at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday to do the busywork Frank has given me. Once again, there is no security manning the desk, so I badge in and head for the elevator bank servicing the sixth floor. I log in and complete Frank’s request in less than an hour.
Frank is a guy who overcomplicates things, so for him even the most inconsequential task takes hours to think through, evaluate in every detail, and then execute and re-execute as new issues pop into his pea brain. I am usually able to isolate the core objective, make a decision, and then produce a workable result quickly and efficiently. Though not specifically identified by Dante, there is indeed a ring of hell where punishment involves being an underling to an idiot boss. I have no idea what I have done to deserve this punishment but I have lots of company, particularly at Bishop.
(c)
Q:
My second day on the job, Frank asked me to review some reports for him and give input. Trained in the old-fashioned way of Big Eight public accounting firms, I went through the report footing the columns and making sure everything was tip-top. As Frank walked by my cube, I asked him, “Do you want me to make a list of the errors I find and discuss them all at once, or go over each report separately?” I was pretty sure Frank was testing me to see if I could help with reports, and I was sure he would be impressed by my experience.
“What mistakes?” Frank asked sounding irritated.
“Well, the gross margin table in this report doesn’t calculate, for one thing,” I said. “I think there’s a typo in one of the numbers.”
Frank pursed his lips and tilted his head sideways as he looked down at where I was pointing on the report. I was a little surprised at his reaction and even more so when he grabbed the papers abruptly and stared at the numbers I had circled in red.
“Please step into my office, Tanzie,” he said.
I followed him in and he shut the door behind me.
I sat down, but Frank did not. His office was as utterly dull as its occupant. No framed jerseys on the wall or encased balls on this credenza. Just neat stacks of papers anchored with paperweights that I thought had been rendered obsolete with the onset of the technology age. There was a bookshelf, but so far Frank had not accumulated many materials worthy of display. Other than a framed photo of his bride on their wedding day, there were absolutely no personal items that might give insight into Frank’s interests or hobbies. From what I now know about Frank, it is entirely possible that he has none.
“First of all,” Frank said, “when you find something like that, you should never assume you’re right. You should have said, ‘Excuse me, Frank, but I am very confused about something in the report. I am not sure I understand how the gross margin table works.’ Rather than accusing me of making an error. I didn’t appreciate your tone.”
This really caught me off guard. There is nothing remotely confusing about a typo. This was male dominating bullshit as far as I was concerned, and all the more galling being delivered by a thirty-something kid.
“I’m so sorry, Frank,” I said. “I don’t think making a typo is any big deal. I didn’t mean to offend you.” Oh brother. Right then I knew it was going to be torture tiptoeing around Frank and his inability to be wrong. It turned out all the reports had already been issued, and Frank had just been giving me busy work. He was horrified, too, that I corrected his grammar. Midwesterners in particular have a problem when it comes to the past participle of the verb “to go.” They say, “I should have went there” or in Frank’s case in this report, “The auditor had went to the job site to observe the inventory.” I changed the “went” to “gone.”
“You know, Tanzie,” Frank pointed to my grammatical editing, “it’s perfectly acceptable to use ‘went’ in that sentence. People say it all the time here. They know what I mean. Don’t be acting like you’re a smarty-pants or something.”
At the time, I felt as though I had time traveled back to a middle school hallway. “Frank,” I said, getting up to leave, “I am very confused about the spelling of Mr. Bishop’s first name. I always thought there were two n’s in Bennet, but of course he might have made a change. I can’t be sure. I will be happy to follow up on that for you.” I smiled pleasantly as I waited for a response from Frank, who was frantically looking at the reports to find that particular misspelling. “That will be all,” he said finally, and I went back to my cube.
(c)
Q:
Mazie doesn’t keep her password in the usual places, but she does not lock her desk either. I go through her desk drawers one by one and come up empty. I notice a two-drawer file cabinet under her desk that is locked, and I am unable to find the key anywhere. I help myself to candy left in a bowl in a neighbor’s cube and stuff the wrappers into my back pocket so as not to create a trash trail exposing my unauthorized access to the Accounts Payable department. But search as I may, I cannot find Mazie’s password or any other personal details other than a couple of framed pictures of the grandkids. Leave it to the thief to take security seriously.
I continue my search in the Accounts Payable area, scoring big time at the candy lady’s cube. I suppose she thought it was clever to embed her password in a grocery list kept in a manila folder by her desk. But I knew that trick and noticed 6#sParsley immediately. Who would ever buy six pounds of parsley, anyway? I did give her partial credit; this was not the same as leaving it under a pen set. I hit a couple more floors on the lower levels, and by noon I have sixteen passwords, a list of Social Security numbers I discovered in an HR wastebasket, and a copy of a potential acquisition memo found at a printer in one of the Environmental Health and Safety work areas. I feel bored and decide I have enough information for one day; it is all too easy.
(c)
Q:
Mazie’s behavior piques my interest. It is fairly common for fraudsters to work after hours and on weekends. Maybe I can find something incriminating in her desk this time. So, instead of getting off on six, I decide to get off on nine and walk directly to Mazie’s cube. I cannot believe my luck when instead of a blank screen or the three grandchildren, I see the blue Windows screen staring back at me. Computers left unattended usually revert to a screen saver after about five or ten minutes of inactivity and require an ID and password to log back in. It is best to manually log out every time you leave your computer, but hardly anyone ever does.
(с)
Q: The Monday morning executive meeting is scheduled for 8:00 a.m., an hour and a half before our weekly Internal Audit update in Hal’s office. I dial the conference number at five minutes till from my cube, using an earbud to ensure my privacy. If someone walks by, that person will think I am listening to music while I work. After yesterday, I am committed to planning everything I do and figuring out plausible explanations for my behavior just in case. I don’t want to find myself crammed under another desk any time soon.
(с)
Q:
I think that deep down every one of us auditor types wants to uncover a fraud. Not that we want fraud to occur—we just want to be the ones to discover it. After all, so much of internal audit work is tedious and mind numbing, and the notion that you might identify something worthy of a Law & Order episode provides enough incentive to prevent heavy drinking or suicide.
(c)
Q:
Often auditors test just a small sample rather than look for anomalies via data analytics, the preferred method. The technique takes more skill, but it is regarded in the profession as superior, particularly when looking for fraudulent transactions. I find it so frustrating to work for bottom-feeders who do not understand the technical side of auditing enough to appreciate someone who does.
(c)
Q:
I don’t want Lucy to know I smoke, so I had decided not to while she is staying with me. I know it’s lame, but I’m private about my character flaws.
(c)
Q:
so replaying the tape, making notes on the times at which the most damaging conversations took place. It is that fraud triangle all over again. The extreme pressure of possibly losing their company and the personal humiliation for having let all those people die; the opportunity to make it all go away by greasing the palm of a Houston sewer contracting firm president; and the rationalization that it isn’t really the Bishops’ fault but in fact the nitwit in EH&S who dropped the ball.
(c)
Q:
There is just something about people who cannot admit mistakes or defeat. Urging them to be reasonable is like trying to teach a pig to sing: They are just incapable.
I once attended a business ethics seminar where it was suggested that when struggling to decide what to do, always imagine your mother or some other loved one is reading about your decision in the newspaper. A company that lets a maintenance project fall through the cracks is just incompetent and possibly criminally negligent. But one that commits fraud by destroying evidence or bribing is in another category. What would Mama Bishop think of these boys now? I wonder.
(c)
Q:
Dan chimes in, trying to squelch the hostility. He must be from a small family, I surmise from his desire to become the peacemaker. Big families in general, and big Greek families in particular, tend to argue to the death. It can seem mean to outsiders who grew up in more polite households. But it really just demonstrates how close Lucy and I are: We can yell at each other and neither of us takes it personally. And honestly, the truth is that Lucy and I agree that Bishop has done wrong and should be brought to justice. We just disagree on the methodology, timing, and whether my going to jail should be part of the process.
(c)
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review 2016-05-10 16:22
Dweller review
Dweller - Jeff Strand

Credit where credit is due, Dweller does not tread the well worn path most seasoned horror fans will be assuming after 30 pages. Instead, it becomes a life-long story of an unlikely friendship, with a large side-serve of mental health issues. And it's kind of like watching a train wreck in slow motion.

Jeff Strand is instantly recognisable. Not by face. But by his writing. If I was to blind read five novels, and four of them were by Strand, I'd be able to pick it was by him at least 80% of the time. Except I obviously wouldn't be blind, because then how would I be able to read? And now that I think about it, wouldn't chance dictate I'd get it right 4 our of 5 times if he actually wrote 4 of the 5 non-identified novels. Ugh. Making this point is way too hard. I should probably just walk out my back door, through the forest which grows up to my back yard line and consult with my Bigfoot-like friend who lives in a cave three or four miles away. He'll be able to help me work out what I was trying to say. Or maybe not. He is, after all, a Bigfoot-like creature whose receptive language skills aren't too bad, but his expressive language skills need a fair amount of work. I know, maybe I should take that that pretty woman down the road to meet him. She's a teacher. Maybe she'll be able to help him do more than just sign at me. Hmm. Or maybe not. Last time I took someone to meet my friend, things didn't turn out so well ...

If that last paragraph in any way, shape or form appealed, you're ready for Dweller. Of course, if Strand actually wrote the above, it wouldn't be a single paragraph reading like a stream of consciousness.

For one, there would be way more paragraphs.

And for two, the sense of a main POV protagonist who just does not quite fit in with the world around him would be far more effectively conveyed.

Which is why Strand is a well-paid author whose style (if not his face) is instantly recognisable, and I'm a non-paid reviewer who should be in bed by now, rather than trying to find a slightly irregular way of saying the same ol' thing about what I'm reviewing.

Long-winded review short: Dweller is good. Though for mine, its not as good as what some of the other prominent reviews here have suggested. Expectations played a part in that, but at the same time, I found it difficult to truly buy into the level of stupidity Toby displayed on a regular basis - regardless of the obvious issues he had.

3 Friends Who Can't Stay the Night for Dweller

Source: www.goodreads.com/review/show/945912721
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